Friday, June 16, 2017

The Changeling by Victor LaValle: A Review

Apollo's father disappeared from his life when he was very young and this feeling of abandonment affected him throughout his childhood and into his adulthood.  When he meets a fiesty librarian, Emma, he falls in love with her and the couple marry.  For the first few weeks after the birth of their child, life seems perfect.  After Emma must return to work after her six week maternity leave, she begins to act strangely.  Her sister and Apollo chalk it up to postpartum depression and exhaustion but Emma swears that she is receiving photos taken of her baby, Brian, as texts that are then deleted when she tries to show them to others.  After she plans to have Brian baptized without notice to Apollo, Apollo refuses and locks Emma out of their apartment.  When he wakes up, Emma has tied up Apollo and is killing the baby.  Emma hits Apollo with a hammer and knocks him out and escapes by jumping through a window.  In his grief counseling, Apollo hears a story from another woman who claims to receive similar texts that disappear and meets a man who claims to be able to help Apollo find Emma but does the man have ulterior motives?

This book floored me!  It was so exciting and kept me up until late at night as I tried to cover more ground in the story.  I was simply too excited to sleep while reading this.  This book is horror and fantasy and fairy tale all rolled into one.  I really enjoyed reading about the origins of old fairy tales like Rapunzel and trolls.  The ending was a complete shock for me.  The characters were so interesting and felt so real.  Apollo is bookish, enterprising, smart and likeable.  You feel as if you know him after you read the book.  I felt the same was about Emma and even more secondary characters like Patrice.  The book held an important lesson for me to be careful with the information that is shared online.  This book was exciting from the beginning to the end and I really enjoyed the wild ride.  I would recommend this to any reader who enjoys a little magic and "glamour" from their fiction.

My rating:

Victor LaValle explains his inspiration in this video:

Reviews of books like this one:
The Only Child by Andrew Pyper
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Ill Will by Dan Chaon

This book is currently available and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in order to review it but that did not have an effect on my review of the book.  This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind.

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