Book Review: Deadly Nightshade by Jason Paul
A twisted tale with an anticlimactic, unbelievable conclusion.
There is no doubt Paul has a vivid imagination for horror but for me, this tale failed on many levels. While I was hoping for something along the lines of Hitchcock, the level of sexual violence and pedophilia led this story down a path closer to that of the old classic movie, Rosemary's Baby, but without a buildup of tension or credible storyline. The book got so weird and twisted halfway through I nearly quit reading, but curiosity got the better of me. I had to see this one through. Could Paul pull it off?
A resounding no. I gave Deadly Nightshade two stars instead of one only because I was curious enough to read to the end, which was a disappointment. I found many errors in logic. Paul mixes up the characters at points referencing scenes that existed for other characters or couldn't have happened in the story he fed the reader, and expected too much suspension of disbelief. I didn’t buy it. Too many erroneous details and the characters didn’t interact credibly or make realistic decisions. The ending was wholly unearned and didn’t make sense. I love a good horror with a paranormal twist but unfortunately, I couldn’t make heads nor tails out of this storyline.
The writing style overall was okay and some chapters flowed, but other sections had many typos and strangely worded sentences making me concentrate on extracting the ideas. While the elements for a good horror were present, elements of suspense and fear were never developed.
As a first novel, I would say the potential for this author to develop is there – a keen imagination, a thirst for horror and basic writing skills. Running the plot through a beta group, reviewing the logic, removing unnecessary descriptions and rambling internal dialogue, and working with a good editor would be a good next step.