by Tim Lebbon
PUBLISHER: Allison & Busby
RELEASE DATE: Aug 2008
FORMAT: Paperback, 350 pages
Thirty years ago, Scott s grandfather slaughtered his best friend, then committed suicide. Now the spirit of the murdered man has returned, seeking the ancient volume that can return him to life — forever. Pursued by this savage spirit and accompanied by a strange woman who claims to be immortal, Scott must do the impossible. He must find the book that may have driven his grandfather to murder and destroy it before its secrets can be revealed. (Goodreads)
What a fabulous idea for a story! A loving, wonderful grandpa (Papa), who thinks nothing of allowing his doting grandson (Scott) to take a few risks in life, suddenly kills his best own friend, and then commits suicide! 30 years later, the grandson gets a hand delivered letter from his long dead Papa. Upon reading the letter strange and unnerving things start happening. Scott can now see ghosts….(yes, thats right, just like the little boy in the film… I KNOW you are all saying it to yourselves!!) but they sort of fade in and out, like a spell kicking in, and then wearing off. They are all coming towards his house, but making no attempt to enter. Then, the ghost of his grandpa’s best friend shows up in the garden, demanding he hand over a book Scott doesn’t know exists, let alone have. The ghost kidnaps Scott’s beloved wife, spiriting her off to a dark and scary, in between place, holding her for ransom until the book is delivered to him.
Wow right! Yeah, that’s what I thought too! In all honesty it wasn’t really bad or anything, but I do feel it could have been so much more. All of the above happens in the first few chapters, which is a fantastic opening to a story. The next morning a stranger turns up in Scott’s house, claiming to be an immortal, who wants to help him find and destroy the book, and get his wife back. Then, the next half of the book, consists of a mostly non dramatic journey across the UK, meeting other strange immortals, and trying to follow the trail left by Papa to help him find the Chord of Souls.
Throughout the journey you are trying to decide whether or not to trust the immortal woman, should he hand the book over to the ghost, should he destroy it or give it to someone else, will he get his wife back, and if he does, will she ever be the same again, which all makes for interesting reading. But there isn’t really anything that I would call Horror. There are certainly dark bits, but not really any gore, and nothing majorly disturbing either. It leaves me wondering if Horrors have gone soft?? *remembering Rats by James Herbert and grinning evilly*
I rather liked the idea of Grandpa. A man knowing what he knew, and seeing what he could see, but still managing to live and thoroughly enjoy a relatively normal, albeit enthusiastic life. Scott is a good guy too. Only wanting to do whats best for him and his wife, which I guess you could say was somewhat selfish, but in all honesty, who can blame him.
One bit of the story I did find chilling was where he causes, and in turn is involved in a road traffic accident that leads to the death of quite a few people, who are then stood around him begging for his help.
All in all THE EVERLASTING is not a bad read. I could follow the storyline pretty easily, and it definitely had some intriguing characters, with a bit of a twist at the end. Just don’t read it expecting full on gore and blood lust because it really isnt that sort of a horror. For me it was more of a Dark Fantasy/Thriller sort of thing.
BUY THE BOOK