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Possessed by Niki Valentine

Possessed by Niki Valentine — coverA review by Elizabeth Manthos

Possessed follows the story of Emma, a musician accepted to a prestigious music school,where she is determined to excel. But when the impossibly-chic twins Sophie and quieter Matilde come crashing into her life, they demand Emma’s full attention.

Out of nowhere shy Matilde commits suicide and, shockingly, her identical twin Sophie flourishes. Odd things are now happening to Emma: blackouts, waking up in strange places and bizarre dreams. Something or someone is consuming Emma’s mind.

Terrified, Emma begins to doubt everything and everyone around her. Who do you trust when you can no longer trust your own mind?

My biggest pet peeve with novels today is comparing a novel to another novel or movie. Possessed was compared with Black Swan and I understand why, but they shouldn’t have. It makes you have an unrealistic expectation of what the novel is supposed to be.

This “thriller” was by no means a thriller. I don’t say that lightly as I am not a fan of the thriller genre. I’ve seen Black Swan: that movie was scary and nightmare-inducing but this novel was bland and boring.

This novel was almost a DNF (did not finish) but I persevered through the repetitive prose. The main character, Emma, was 1-dimensional and dull, stuck in a world where it seemed she didn’t belong.

Possessed was repetitive; very, very repetitive. There were stages in the writing where Ms Valentine was adding every single piece of punctuation into a paragraph. The sentences were short and choppy, making the story feel frantic and disjointed.

I am not being biased because I don’t like novels of the thriller genre — I’ve read thriller short stories from a certain other reviewer that gave me nightmares — so it has nothing to do with the genre, it was just the underwhelming writing and story behind it.

ISBN: 9781847444561
Format: paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Sphere (Hachette)

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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