Friday, April 12, 2019

The Writing On The Wall

The mother of an eight-year old autistic boy, Sonya has fought an uphill battle for survival in her hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria, but has managed to take care of her son against almost impossible odds. The safe haven she had found in her marriage to the successful advertising executive Anton, has started to falter after he has lost his job and she has become the sole supporter of the family, and she can only watch as her ambitious husband gambles their savings away in a desperate attempt to become rich.

When Anton responds to an ad on the internet and gets a job as the caretaker of a luxurious mansion in a rural part of the country, Sonya sees this as an answer to her prayers. As soon as they arrive at the mansion, however, Sonya starts to get an anxious feeling about the whole thing, especially after meeting the eccentric owner. 

They quickly learn that their new home is anything but ordinary when a message inexplicably appears on a wall, promising them riches if they perform a simple act. They perform the act out of curiosity and a reward is instantly delivered. When a second message appears – raising the stakes and increasing the promised reward – Sonya begins to realize that they are dealing with very sinister forces, intent on some scheme for which the three of them are the perfect victims. 


I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS by Kresten Forsman is a novella about a small family chosen to live in a mysterious house. The circumstances which brought them to the estate are sketchy at best, but the couple are having financial difficulties due to the husband's gambling addiction, so it's an offer they can't afford to refuse. The mother is struggling to keep peace in the marriage, despite the malicious messages appearing in the house, for the sake of her autistic son, but she soon finds herself forced to make a life and death decision.

While the supernatural elements involving the house are thrilling and suspenseful, much of the story is unnecessary filler. While Sonya's background is somewhat relevant, the constantly explaining of this and that brings the pace of the story to a crawl. This plot would have worked much better as a short story.

The ending is somewhat abrupt and leaves the reader with many unanswered questions about the owner Iavan, as well as the history of the house and the village. Overall, more drama than any kind of horror.

As always,
AstraDaemon

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