It has been quite a few months since I last wrote a book review. It’s not because I haven’t been reading, I have been reading lots but I just haven’t managed to actually make it to the end of any books recently. Nothing has managed to keep a hold of my attention, no story has drawn me in so much that I physically struggle to put the book down. No book, that is, until I received a copy of The Joker from blogger turned author Deborah Stansil. Some of you may know Debbie from her blog My Random Musings or you may have read her collection of short stories, Twisted Tales. The Joker is Debbie’s first novel and if you like a taste of the supernatural, this is one not to be missed.
The Joker is a supernatural thriller focusing on a group of teenage friends who get drunk one night and make the foolish mistake of messing around with a Ouija board. What starts as a bit of drunken fun quickly turns into something much more sinister and our leading lady, Kayleigh, finds herself in a very dangerous situation. Bad things start to happen very quickly within Kayleigh’s friendship group, things that can only be explained as a result of their meddling with the spirit world. Kayleigh and her boyfriend Kev quickly learn demons are not something that should be messed with as their lives become a shiny new toy for Scurra, the evil demon, to play with.
The Joker is written from Kayleigh’s perspective and Debbie has cleverly created a character here who is perhaps not as sweet and perfect as she may seem. As Scurra forces himself more and more into Kayleigh’s life, the reader is taken on a crazy journey through fear, determination, desperation and sexual desire. I must admit, I was very shocked by the sex scenes in this book. There were times where I was convinced this book was better suited for the young adult genre but then – BAM – I found myself reading a sex scene so explicit even E L James would be blushing. I quickly changed my opinion and realised this is very much a book for the grown ups. These chapters are not there just for the fun of it though, they play a very important part to the story as a whole.
I love a twist in a book and Debbie chucks in a couple good ones to keep the story interesting and by the time I turned the last page I still wasn’t completely sure how things were going to work out. I love this in a book, a narrative that keeps me guessing right up until the last sentence is what I crave when I immerse myself in a piece of fiction. The Joker definitely delivered on this and I think for a first novel it is brilliantly written.
My final thoughts.
I must admit I was a bit dubious when I started reading this book’s prologue, with words like ‘exorcism’ and ‘demon’ screaming at me from the page I was a bit unsure if I was going to be brave enough to read on. I watched The Exorcist when I was way too young and it is has, quite understandably, scarred me for life! Anyway, I read the opening pages of The Joker whilst pretty much holding my breath and wondering, due to my scaredy pantsness, how I was going to review it if I was too terrified to actually read it?
Obviously I persevered and I am so glad I did. The Joker is a scary book yes, the mere concept of possession is terrifying, but it is no way as in your face scary as an 18 rated horror movie. There’s violence, demons and death but Debbie delivers these lines in a way that isn’t too much for wimps like me to handle, although some bits did have me wincing in imaginary pain!
If you are looking for something a bit different, not your usual run of the mill horror story and a novel written in a fresh voice by a talented new author, I would say The Joker is definitely worth a read. Just make sure you don’t read it at night…
The Joker is available to buy now on Amazon in both paper back and Kindle edition.
Do you like supernatural books? Do you like the sound of The Joker? If you are new to supernatural books, like me, has this review convinced you to try the genre out? I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you enjoyed this review you may like to give some of my other book reviews a read too.
* Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. As part of Amazon Associates, I receive a small commission from Amazon if you purchase anything after clicking on these links, this is at no extra cost to you.
I was sent a copy of The Joker free of charge in return for this honest review. All words and opinions are my own *
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