By: April A. Taylor
Midnight Grasshopper Books
St. George Island, Florida is the perfect, sleepy getaway for virtually any and all walks of life. That is of course until everyone is forced to evacuate with a hurricane in sight with enough vengeance to obliterate all within its path. Six strangers are trapped on the island and must set aside their differences in order to survive within the eye of the storm. Only one hitch. One of the strangers is hellbent on blood and carnage and will stop at nothing until each is slain.
Although we’re only in mid July, I can safely say one of my most memorable and cherished times of year is summer. I often can reflect on countless memories of each past summer with my particular chosen reading material. The year of 2021 has been special, in many ways. For this summer at last holds promise, some much needed levity while caught within a dismal world. While we each find semblance in a brighter, healthier future, our vicarious imaginations can rejoice on a collective level. I believe I’ve found my cherished escape in Evil Eye, by one April A. Taylor.
The author paints a flawless image, a virtual film reel unravels within the cerebral cortex. From page one we get a glimpse of what is going on with each character as he and she is introduced. Subtle nuances ensue, yet each of the senses somehow help each of the reading audience to experience what each character endures and feels. A bona fide sense of empathy is enhanced, the sort of wordsmith wizardry spawned of veteran years of writing.
A foreboding atmosphere is unleashed creating a true sense of dread. Taylor seems to have a firm grasp on what her audience fears. Primal in nature whether its remote desolation, the depths of high seas and all the unknown that lurks beneath the surface or plain darkness and what lies within, fear is universal. A sense of relating to the reading audience and beckoning upon collective subconscious fears is a swift tactic and ensuring he or she delves deeper. Its damned effective.
Intriguing, relatable characters are conceived within the pages. The author also has an uncanny ability to present contemporary, diverse characters the reading audience will relate to. No easy feat, especially considering the broad contrast in personalities. Everyone from Annette, Chad, Spencer, Kate, and Heather will find redemption in each of us. We want to engage in each individual plight and see each overcome adversity.
Without indulging in any specific plot spoilers, the rising tension in between Annette and Heather keeps the reading audience ravenous for more. Will their strife be the very nature of individual demise? Or will each manage to set aside their differences and band together to survive the unrelenting pursuit of the insatiable blood thirsty killer? The very ingredients keep the reading audience fixated and begging for more.
The killer’s methods are unassuming, adding intrigue to the death scenes. Even the most cynical or jaded of readers won’t possibly be able to predict the manner in which each is slaughtered. A sense of vicarious, you could be next is accentuated and beckons even further unnerved reading.
I was especially fond of just how Taylor manages to allude to how each of the characters could be the killer. The most compelling of story elements are often the ones we are not bludgeoned overtly with upon first glance. Quite often the real story is what is being told between the lines and what the reader does not see up front. It’s evident the genre influences within the author’s past and she does an effective execution of delivering.
A heightened climax upon the final paragraphs, most readers will be rendered spell bound makes Evil Eye worth the price of admission alone.
A glimpse of additional works by the author is highlighted upon the final pages with a brief synopsis of each.
Make 2021 the summer of fun and blood again, beginning with Evil Eye. It’s not simply the eye of the beholder