Monday, March 14, 2016

'The Waning' (Book Review)

The Waning isn't what I initially expected. After reading Ms. Bergling's first novel "Savages" this was a big departure. The scope of the story is far more intimate and deals with marketing executive Beatrix, and the ordeal she faces at the hands of an unknown captor.

I'll try to stay as spoiler-free as possible, but if you don't want to know anything up front just know this is a tense psychological horror story that deals with subjects such as power dynamics and Stockholm Syndrome.

Beatrix is obsessed with making to the top at her marketing firm, and on the day she lands the big account, she is taken captive by an unknown assailant on the way to her car. She is thrust into a cage where she is deprived of her senses, and begins a new life as a captive to this anonymous man. With little hope of escape, she begins to empathize with her captor.

The story was tense, with very detailed language throughout that give the reader a strong amount of insight into what Beatrix is going through while being utterly isolated and deprived of most of her senses. The first scene where the captor arrives in the room was tense, and I wasn't exactly sure where the author would take it. A few subsequent chapters were slightly repetitive, but I think it was due to the nature of the story and it's incredibly tight scope. It kept me guessing about who the captor might be, and wondering what would happen to Beatrix every time he entered the room where he kept her. The writing gives a strong sense of space as Beatrix is confined into her tiny cage. 

Not normally the sub-genre of horror that I read, but it is a well written story that you can finish in an afternoon. It is definitely not in the realm of Saw or any torture style horror, even though initial impressions (and the cover artwork) might lead you to believe that. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys psychological horror, and maybe even a little bit of erotica peppered in for good measure. Bergling's writing is of high quality as it was in Savages and the book was edited and presented well. 

I look forward to reading more of Bergling's work in the future.

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