Book Review: The Many by Nathan Field

by - 2:07:00 PM

Title: The Many
Author: Nathan Field
Pages: 274
Genre: Adult Horror/Thriller
Release Date: 12 July 2016

From Goodreads: "Karl notices something odd about his sister the morning after a blind date. A coldness in her manner; nothing anyone else would notice. Suspicious, he confronts her about the date but she turns nasty, accusing him of taking a perverse interest in her sex life. When he next sees her, months later, she seems back to normal, until a harmless comment provokes a sudden, violent response. As her mental state fluctuates, Karl seeks out the man she dated just before her personality began to change, convinced she is suppressing a painful memory from that night. But what he discovers is something far more sinister, and pervasive, than he'd ever imagined.

Strictly for adult readers, THE MANY is the first book of a series that explores the dark side of the world we live in, and sheds light on a shadowy evil that is both disturbing and eerily familiar."

Thank you to Silvermac Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

Before I begin my review, I would like to stress that this is very much an adult book and should probably be avoided by younglings. Please approach with caution! Also, this book deals with rape/sexual assault so please be aware of that if this topic is a trigger/issue for you!

From the synopsis, I approached this book with the mindset of a story that was probably about a sex trafficking circle and a brother on a mission to help his sister and destroy the circle. Holy crap was I wrong! The Many turned out to be so much darker and twisted than I thought it would be, and I enjoyed every page.

Karl knows something is wrong with his sister, Stacey, when she comes home the afternoon after a blind date. She's cold in her responses and is nothing like the sister Karl knows. When confronted, Stacey lashes out and sends her brother away. Months pass and when the two siblings reunite, she appears to be back to normal, until an innocent comment provokes an incredibly violent and out of character response. Karl is convinced that Stacey's behavior has to do with her blind date, and that she's suppressing something terrible from that night. But the truth gets darker the farther he digs, and what he discovers is far worse than he could have imagined.

The idea that a girl goes on a blind date and comes back a completely different person was a pretty creepy one. It really makes you realize that you can meet literally anyone on the internet, and they could be absolutely anything from a doctor, to a teacher, to even a mass murderer in hiding. That last one may be a stretch, but I think I got my point across. I was really expecting a good thriller about a brother trying to help his sister who was assaulted during a blind date, but it was so much more than that. I don't want to give too much away, because the twist is a huge part of the story, but there is so much more to this than what you see on the surface. You get to see Stacey completely unravel and Karl basically has to watch her mental state deteriorate as he scrambles to try and help her. What is completely unexpected is that you get more than one story with The Many, and watching the stories eventually combine was really cool. I thought I was getting one story with one set of characters, but I really got a few different stories that took me down a path I was not expecting. I enjoyed that the book was much darker than I had initially expected and I'm eager to see what direction the author takes with the next book!

Right as I began to read, I got the absolute creepiest vibe from Stacey's date, Adam. The very first line of the book is, "Stacey knew something wasn’t right when he asked who was feeding her cat tonight." This automatically sets the reader on edge and makes them cautious about Adam, and rightfully so. But Adam is only the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, you don't get to learn much about Stacey other than she has a brother named Karl, works at an advertising agency, she loves her cat and was rather well known in high school for being promiscuous. Her character doesn't get a chance to develop much before she comes home and starts to basically go crazy, but watching her go crazy was definitely more than enough when it came to her character. Karl definitely gets a bit more time to develop, and his progression from start to finish was not something I was expecting, if I'm being honest. He didn't start off as a character that I thought would be able to grow and get stronger, but he totally proved me wrong! There are other characters that get introduced, but I won't go into detail about them because of spoilers. Basically, all of the characters in this book were very well-written and easily stood out rather than blended together. You really get a good dose of crazy with several characters, and even some serious evil with one "character," and I liked the unpredictability that came when someone new was introduced.

I think the best part about this book was the feeling that looms over you while you're reading it. You're constantly feeling threatened and like someone is watching you from the shadows. It's so creepy and I think that the author did a fantastic job at bringing that feeling to life! I found myself constantly wondering what was happening behind the scenes while I was reading about what was happening to Karl and Stacey and the other characters that show up as the book progresses. There are several instances throughout the book that hint at something more happening than the characters realize, but they never seem to really put the pieces together until the very end. The writing was very easy to follow, and really draws you in, but there were definitely times that I felt like I probably shouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did. I know I've said this multiple times, but this is a very dark book that touches on some very dark aspects of humanity, and it was very unexpected but also a nice change from some of the things that I normally read.

The Many is a book that dives into the incredibly sinister side of the unknown. This is a multi-layered book that has some brilliantly terrifying ideas, creepy characters, and writing that will have you looking over your shoulder for monsters walking behind you. If you're looking for a darker read that will make you rethink signing up for a dating website, then The Many is the book for you!

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