Home > Book, fantasy, Genre, Review, scifi > Book Review: Haunted by Glen Cadigan

Book Review: Haunted by Glen Cadigan

Spooky black and white picture.Summary:
Mark is an Iraq War vet with PTSD, so he counts himself lucky when a Gulf War vet gives him the chance to be a security guard at an office tower.  Unfortunately, he’s the night watchman, and he doesn’t seem to be alone in the tower.

Review:
This is a unique, sympathetic story idea that is not as well-executed as it deserves.

Mark is ultimately a well-rounded character, but it takes too long to get to know him in this novella.  Since it is in first-person narrative, he has the option of holding off on telling us about his PTSD symptoms and how they affect him.  While a soldier would certainly most likely be more stoic in a traditionally masculine way, it gets in the way of the reader understanding where Mark is coming from and empathizing with him.  He *tells* us that his PTSD makes his life difficult, but we don’t really ever see it.

Because this is a first person novella, this problem with the characterization gets in the way of the strengths of the scifi/fantasy plot, which is honestly fairly unique.  I was glad I got to the end and saw the surprise reveal, but I certainly wasn’t expecting such a good twist from the rest of the book.

Essentially, the scifi/fantasy element of the book is strong, but the characterization at the center of the first person narrative is weak.  Although Mark is a soldier, Cadigan shouldn’t be afraid to let us see the vulnerability of his PTSD.  Recommended to fans of a unique ghost story looking for a quick read.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Kindle copy from author in exchange for my honest review

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  1. June 11, 2012 at 8:39 am

    This sounds like clever and unique concept, but I’m on the fence whether I’d read it because of the weak characterisation.

    • June 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Hmm if you’re on the fence probably only reading it yourself could help you really know if it’s for you.

  1. June 29, 2012 at 1:10 am
  2. June 6, 2014 at 1:02 am

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