DiscoverHorror

IMAGE: An Illustrated Novel

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Poor writing leads to the reader wanting to rush through half the book, and the rest seems to be rather aimless at any rate

Image opens in the present with a tortured artist named Caleb attempting to uncover what past trauma has haunted him for most of his life. The rest of the novel is a flashback to Caleb's childhood, when he tagged along on his uncle's desperate journey to cure his terminal cancer with an old scientific theory. Illustrations are included between every chapter.


I'm not sure I'm comfortable labeling this book as "horror" as the suspense and literal horror needed is absent. Turner hardly focuses on the thoughts and feelings of his characters, and also fails to describe events in a manner that would warrant the genre. If anything, the seemingly hasty ending is the only thing that justifies the genre.


The illustrations are good but don't add anything to the story. Once again, my expectations based on it being a "horror" novel were let down. Each illustration is simply an object from the story, with nothing else to actually tie them in, and again without a horror style.


The pacing and writing style of this book was very off-putting to me. The action seems to be the main focus, but truthfully I'd hesitate to call it "action." Often, a whole paragraph is wasted relaying an event that could be described in a single sentence. And yet the action never feels seamless, either from the odd writing style or other pieces being left out completely. The biggest problem with this and the unnatural dialogue is Turner's sentence structure. While not always incorrect, he leads with the meat of the sentence and sticks the set up - or just "is why" - at the end. Between this and the clutter, the reader is tempted to rush through what amounts to at least half of the novel.


All of the problems listed above lead into an even bigger concern: the author's unclear journey, message, or intent. I can't even say whether it was simply unclear and completely absent.


I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone as I think its issues make it unenjoyable.

Reviewed by

I fell in love with reading when I was eight years old, and after that it was hard to get my nose out of a book. I review a variety of genres, but gravitate most towards historical fiction. Nothing beats the excitement of a new adventure, and I love connecting others with theirs!

Chapter One

About the author

Although born in the L.A. area, Colin Turner grew up in the Mother Lode region east of Sacramento. After studying art at the University of California at Davis, he spent twenty-five years in the printing industry making books. It inspired a few literary experiments of his own. view profile

Published on April 17, 2021

60000 words

Genre: Horror

Reviewed by