Stacy Troy is just your ordinary everyday upper middle class suburbia housewife. While Jon her physician husband is busy tending to his practice and an abundance of fundraisers and her teenaged son becomes emotionally distant she succumbs to a series of hauntingly realistic nightmares. As her frightful visions begin to eclipse into her ability to cope in regular life she agrees to see a therapist with reluctance. Dr. Light seems a little eccentric yet begins to provide some assurance in Stacy’s disturbance. As the appointments become more frequent so does her ability to distinguish between dream and reality. Will Stacy be able to decipher the macabre symbolism within her nightmares or will reality and existence as she knows it require an Evolutionist?
Author Rena Mason’s debut novel is a highly imaginative and ambitious tale of supernatural themes. Her use of dreams and the subconscious as a subtext is brilliant to showcase the horror that lurks within Ms. Troy’s cerebral cortex. Each nightmare is more pulse hammering, breath taking and bone chilling than the next. Her lucid visions are just the beginning of indication that something is terribly awry.
The portrayal of upper middle class/socialite America is so accurate it’s humorous. Everything depicted from Stacy and her clan of friends’ empty gestures such as ‘air kissing’, Pilates, yoga, Starbucks obsessions, gossiping, shopping and book clubs are reflective of a plastic/shallow society. Mason illustrates this way of life with deadly precision inviting every day, average readers a glimpse into something otherwise unseen. Stacy and her group of friends become our guilty pleasure and we thrive on unravelling what happens next not entirely unlike many of the reality television shows that flood the networks today.
Mason’s individual style is refreshing as a first person point of view. It’s a challenging persona to undertake yet she executes it with ease refraining from the mundane all the while expressing a wide range of deep emotion. The interpersonal relationships with her husband, parents, son and friends are created effectively bound to emphasize the way in which the readership holds relationships in their own lives. It creates a sense of suspended belief, enhancing the tale with an endearing sentiment. . Her applied knowledge of the medical profession creates a sense of concrete credibility that pushes readers into believing in the story without question.
Descriptions of Stacy’s dream and visions are so vivid in surrealistic glory the unexpected plot twist is reminiscent of an LSD flashback gone awry breathing a life of its own into the story. Without indulging in any plot spoilers, I will state that the unexpected twist in conflict escalation is the blueprint of a veteran author, well versed in their craft. It is evident Rena Mason is an avid fan of horror and her talent is reflective of a best-selling author that’s been on the scene for years. Step aside King, Koontz and Del Toro there’s a new temptress of terror in town.
Book Review: The Evolutionist – Author Rena Mason