Yesterday I promised to tell you why I didn’t order up Shade by John Olson when I had the opportunity to get a free preview copy. Well, first off you know I’m not really into scary. It’s hard to know how scary something is going to be, though, unless you hear a personalized testimonial. (Even then you may not be sure, but it helps!)
Randy Ingermanson has co-authored a couple of books with John Olson and they are, apparently, quite good friends. And in April I attended a workshop taught by Randy. In it, he told us how excited he was for his buddy, and then told us the following story about Shade (which Randy has posted on his blog here and which I am shamelessly stealing):
In any event, as John’s writing buddy, I read SHADE at a physics conference in 1999. I finished it about 1 AM and went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep, so I turned on the light and checked in the bathtub for vampires. (They hide there sometimes.) I checked under the sink. I checked in the medicine cabinet. (You probably know about mirrors.) Then I went back to bed.
But I still couldn’t sleep, so I turned on the light and checked the room thoroughly again. Then I went back to bed.
But I STILL couldn’t sleep, so I made one last check. Those vampires can be sneaky little devils. After an extremely careful check, I went back to bed.
BUT I STILL COULDN’T SLEEP. So I turned on the light. And left it on all night. I can’t sleep with the light on, so I was a wreck the next day. But the point is that I survived the night.
All that was ten years ago. I’m now halfway through SHADE and you know what? It’s scarier this time. It’s better written. (I’ll take credit for that. John learned everything he knows from me. Ya heard it here first.)
Bottom line: SHADE is probably the spookiest book you’ll read all year. DO NOT read this book if you can’t take spooky. It also takes a bit of brain-power to “get it.” DO NOT read this book if you are a shallow reader who won’t “get it.”
Here is your chance to prove you are a deeper reader than me. Someone who “gets it”–whatever “it” is.
Have you read Shade? If not, does Randy’s recommendation make you want to read it? Or, like me…chicken out?
Rebecca LuElla Miller says
It makes me not want to read it. And I came within an eyelash of not ordering it myself. I’ve passed on a couple other supernatural suspense books before. But Randy is off on his assessment. Don’t take my word for it. Chawna didn’t find it overly scary either.
Thanks for taking part in the tour regardless, Val!
Valerie Comer says
No problem. I enjoy taking part. I don’t mind a variety of books, and it makes sense that not every reader will love all of them.
I’m back tomorrow!
KEANAN BRAND says
It’s tense, but not scary.
And I get the vibe that the real reason the story is being spun as “too deep” for some people to “get it” is because it is purposely confusing. That’s the author’s burden, not the reader’s.
Though I like reading books that challenge me and make me look for clues and try to solve the mystery before the characters do–and though I like well-written spy novels that do the same–the mystery in this book sometimes felt contrived and that the continued confusion wasn’t really necessary to the plot.
In truth, had I not committed to review the book for the blog tour, I would probably have not read past the first few chapters I read the first night I had the book.
Having never read Olson’s work until now, I might give his other books a chance.