Tuesday, April 23, 2013

EYES WIDE OPEN by Ted Dekker

This was a scary book! But first things first. I grabbed this as a freebie off Amazon's kindle store. What I didn't realize is that if you do that, it is broken up into 3 more sections that you have to then pay for at 3 dollars a piece. So you can get the whole ebook for 8 bucks, or each section for a total of 9 dollars. Hmmm. Just saying, I think that's kind of weird. Why charge more for the serialized version?

But moving on. I did buy it and loved it. This is the story of two people who accidentally wander into the psych ward of a hospital by mistake. The girl has no ID on her (long story about how she gets in that I won't spoil) and has to trade her dirty clothes for the resident uniforms and of course it's only minutes before the staff think she's a patient trying to escape. Needless to say they won't let her leave and her ordeal becomes both maddening and horrific.

Her friend who comes to save her merely finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, witnessing some freaky treatment of the patients by the doctors, and is--of course--admitted as a patient by a sadistic doctor who keeps him drugged.

At first I kept thinking....there's no way this would happen in real life. And despite how well the book was written, I had a hard time getting past the obvious plot holes, saying stuff like, why don't they just call their friends or families or employers?  But, as readers of the free kindle section will soon discover, there is WAY more going on than just an incompetent staff mistaking civilians for patients. We soon learn there is some supernatural stuff going on that makes it pretty hard for our protagonists to leave, and that this book much scarier than it leads you to believe in the first few chapters.

Thanks to that added element, I was able to really let go and enjoy it for what it is, and it started to really scare me. Not the supernatural/psychotic experiment parts of it, but the notion that someone in authority can so easily take away your identity and you're right to freedom, that we rely so much on pieces of paper to prove who we are in today's society. Okay, also the supernatural part too. You'll have to read it for yourself to see how dark it gets and how it ends, but be warned, it can make your skin crawl.

This one left me wanting to read a lot more of Dekker's work. I can't recommend it enough if you're looking for a good scare. (But just buy the 8 dollar version, yeah?)

4 OUT OF 5 Worms

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