I hate to start of reviews negatively, but this was a hard book to get through. The protagonist, Jesse Wheeler, is one of the most unlikely, unrelatable and down right “deserving of everything that happens to him” type of character. I was intrigued to read the book by its synopsis which contained the warning that “anyone who reads this book would be subjected to a world of terror”. I fell for the “lore” of this mysterious book because, of course, you’re reading the book and it all connects, making the experience quite creepy. However, that was not the case.
Back to Jesse Wheeler and why he’s a horrible person. He’s a former guitarist of a heavy metal band, who dabbled in adult like beverages and activities that have cost him quite a bit in his life; specifically a situation that happened with his son which left the son permanently disabled. He receives a book that he begins to read, that warns of a personalized nightmare that you are basically giving your signature to occur just by having the book. Jesse is then kidnapped and is taken to this facility that is rigid with hellish scenarios, making Jesse come face-to-face with some of his demons and life choices.
Nothing in this story makes you want Jesse to come out of his situation alive. If I wasn’t so stubborn, I wouldn’t have finished the book but I had to know what happened to him. The book made me mad on so many levels because its content wasn’t scary, which is what the book portrays itself to be. It was almost like the movie “Saw” but in book form. The protagonists are usually not likeable and your investment in their well-being is so minimal that it makes the whole movie/book uninteresting.
My Ratings: 2.5 out of 5. I could not get into this book. It was a struggle to read. It was NOT scary and the protagonist was so unlikable that any redemption would seem unlikely and unbelievable.