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When it comes to scary books – stories of horror and gore – I’m most certainly not your girl! And I’m damn proud to say so!

But I’m also proud to say that despite my cowardice, I manage to read wonderful books that are simply gondsend gifts to humanity – books that are so scary, my freaked out self from two years ago wouldn’t even touch them with a ten-foot pole. And The Terminals: Spark was one of those.

When a psycho who has abducted eleven kids dies unexpectedly, everything seems lost – there’s no way the police can find where Hillar the Killer had hidden the children before his brains got shot out of his head. Or is there? The Terminals beg to differ. A special military unit, these people specialize in interrogating the dead in the afterlife. Its agents are either on their way there, or eager to kick the bucket, anyway. Looking for some kind of redemption and honorable death, Christine Kurzow becomes a handler and future Terminal. Her first case is Hillar, and with Attila the medium, Dr. Deeth, and the General who recruited her on her side, Christine will try her hardest to bring the kids back. But will they make it in time? Or will their many differences and Christine’s own suicidal ways prove to be too much?

While the book started in a rather confused way – and it took me a while to get where this was going – the pace and the interest soon picked up to keep me hooked. There were definitely many chapters that were pure terror for me, and I came too close for comfort to losing my lunch or dinner sometimes, but I made it to the end of the story seemingly unscathed – and with the bile held down, thank God! Yes, I’m not going to lie, many parts were violent and disgusting. (by the way, the author did warn me, but masochistic ol’ me never seems to listen)
There were scenes where kids were tortured and treated awfully. Oh, and don’t let my flowery words misguide you. I don’t mean they were just beaten around or got bullied by their kidnappers. I mean the real deal. One that had to do with needles, and sewing, and creepy lullaby songs while this whole thing was taking place.

And surprisingly, that’s what made it better. See, Mr. Stewart had warned me. But what I read was far worse than what he briefly descibed in his email. It was downright terrifying, and can cause the nightmares of a lifetime. Because in his story, he didn’t sugarcoat things. He told them as they were. He didn’t cut down on the violence for the reader’s sake. And that, people, THAT showed how much respect he holds for his readers. He doesn’t keep us sheltered, he doesn’t try to just give us a nice story with action and suspense – maybe throw a little horror in the mix – and be done with it. No, instead he lays the events in a rude but oh-so-brilliant way, bursts our bubble, and gives us the scene raw and uncensored – the way it should be. That… that, my darlings, had me loving this book so much – despite the fact I lost my sleep, despite the fact I cried and sobbed, scared that “monsters” like the ones he described could very well and truly exist in our world, despite the many times I told myself “ok, one more line, and I’m closing the file, I can’t take anymore of this”. In the end, that “one more line” somehow became a little magical word called “END”. I was so engrossed, I didn’t even realize I had reached the end of the story!

If you’re looking for a book to take you beyond what you have ever experienced as scary and violent, this is the one for you. Believe you me, meeting Christine and the rest of Mr. Stewart’s cast may seem like a bad idea at first, but you will come to see it is the best decision you ever took!



***I was given a review copy from a LibraryThing Member Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***