She Wakes - Jack Ketchum

(No Series)

She Wakes ....And feeds on the living, who are so easy and so pleasurable to kill. She Wakes ...And her awakening summons Jordon Thayer Chase, a man who hears the voices of ancient gods and feels the power of sacred places -- who knows he must fulfill a destiny which may ensure his death. She Wakes ...And seeks out Robert Dodgson, a writer who came to Greece for sun, ouzo and women -- luring him and his friends into an unimaginable nightmare of pain and terror. She Wakes ...To seduce and destroy, to drench the world in blood. And nothing human can stop her.

Ketchum, not one to delve into supernatural too often, goes way out there with a plot that’s as unique as it is odd. The story itself was intriguing, with a multitude of bizarre circumstances and horrid tortures. The ending is a mixture of supernatural elements, old world mythology, ancient battles of good and evil, and the ultimate, get down and dirty, brawl. Even though this book excels in its theme and story, it never gets past the ‘mediocre’ line. It held my interest enough to keep me reading, but my blood never hearted up to the point of perfect bliss either. It’s hard to place a finger on the exact soft spots, but basically the story is a bit lengthy for its kind (even though it’s not a large book to begin with), and could have been wrapped up quicker in a more entertaining manner. The pace keeps up at a rapid pace, so it can’t be faulted, it’s just that the traditional twists of ‘Lelia’ get old quick. New scenarios would have helped, and I didn’t care as much about some of the characters as I should have, causing me to grow impatient with their scenes.

The characters are convincing and enjoyable on different levels, and I enjoyed being able to see through the POVs of each of them. However, Jordan grew thin as his scenes were more boring than anything else. Every one else worked; I can’t find much fault here with Ketchum’s characterization.

Here is an area Ketchum truly shines. The world he paints of Greece is both tragic and appealing at the same time. He truly captures the spirit of the land, while causing it to appear almost alien with the terror that takes place there.

It doesn’t take long to get the story boiling, and by the end of the novel, the water in the fiction pot runs over. While I hold no qualms with the pacing, it just never raised the hairs on my head like I expected it to.

Ketchum uses a multiple point of view, writing short and sweet, filling the pages with a well-done style and obvious enthusiasm.

Overall She Wakes was a decent read, even though at times my interest didn’t stay. Perhaps it was the subject matter, perhaps it was the execution, but whatever it was, the end result is something that’s enjoyed but not too memorable. I have heard excellent things about Ketchum and will eagerly give him another chance; however, I have to admit I was a trifle bit disappointed with the one after all the consistent hype. I will say one thing for sure, and that is that no one exaggerated the brutality of his work, how far out he went with slayings and horrid imagery, not censoring his work.