I’m not very sure where to start with Fear Inducer. It was about equal in strengths and opportunities.
Felix Bloom is a psychiatrist with a penchant for murder. His latest toy is a pill to induce intense hallucinations in people with severe phobias. Reactions strong enough that people start killing themselves. And it’s graphic. Good for horror, bad for the squeamish. Some of the scenes were so intense that even my toes curled–not an easy feat!
What’s unique about this novel is that it’s told from the antagonists’ point of view. We never see much of a protagonist, and the good doctor is no way an anti-hero. As a horror movie, Fear Inducer would follow the killer, not the victims. Sort of like “How to be a Serial Killer,” only less comedic. Things go a little longer in the novel than they should have. Especially given the ending. The same formula occurs over and over enough times that it becomes monotonous. It’s what you come to expect. When it’s time for the ending–it smacks you in the face so hard. I can’t emphasize that point enough. I’ve never read an ending that made me absolutely reel. In some ways it’s well-done. In others, well…resolution was lacking something fierce.
Bloom’s character was an interesting dynamic between the caring doctor and murderous villain. Interactions with others outside of the doctor-patient relationship adds further character layers.
Writing style was good, but there were some areas that needed visible editing. Paragraphs were long-winded and didn’t break where they should. It didn’t have the right pacing to enhance the feeling of apprehension conveyed. The “what’s going to happen next?” page-turning fear. The excess chapters contribute to this. Readers are able to guess what’s going to happen, and it breaks the mood.
Things were way to easy for Bloom. The conflict was there, but he was too smart. Always. Nigh infallible. Sure, he stumbles on occasion, but it’s brief and not very noticeable.
The ending was. It ended without warning. There wasn’t a satisfying “I got away with it!” moment, or an intense struggle. It leaves things wide open for a sequel, but still feels unfinished. I have so many questions.
When it comes to inducing fear, this book does a decent job. The scenes of violence did well with description and evoking emotion. It will raise your blood pressure. A phobic variety is available, which helps a little in changing up the scenes. Crafted to elicit anxiety, they usually do their job. A fear inducing start.
Buy it here!