Monday, September 26, 2011

Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes.One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While the couple explore the lighthouse, Maja disappears -- either into thin air or under thin ice -- leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, alone and more or less permanently drunk, Anders returns to the island to regroup. He slowly realises that people are not telling him all they know; even his own mother, it seems, is keeping secrets. What is happening in Domaro, and what power does the sea have over the town's inhabitants?
As he did with Let the Right One In and Handling the Undead, John Ajvide Lindqvist serves up a blockbuster cocktail of suspense in a narrative that barely pauses for breath.

This just might be one of my favorite reads this year. I was lucky to receive the ARC for Harbor from the publisher and I can tell you, this is one that I’ll be recommending to a lot of people.

What is incredible in this book is the atmosphere the author creates, the almost mythic quality to the story, which adds layers and layers of knowledge as the chapters take us deeper into the history of Domaro. This is no normal horror novel, it is so smartly done that it begins to get under your skin from the very first page, building the mystery and the tension to an excruciating pitch.

The characters are well done, but they all take a back-stage to the setting. The island itself is a character, one to compete with the moors in Wuthering Heights. It is impossible to forget where we are, the ocean always a step away in all its glory and power.

The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was the ending. It seemed too easily resolved. There were a few plot points which were still not made too clear. This however, should not stop anyone from reading it, since I’m sure others will see the ending as genius. I’m willing to forgive the weak ending because the rest of the book just astounded me.

This is one of those books that you will not want to put down. One that will stay with you for far longer than it takes to read. When it comes out on October 11th, this is one to add to your shopping lists.


Bev Hankins said...

Oh my. It sounds really good. But I have a hard time with children in danger...may have to overcome that and give this one a try.

Susan Oloier said...

Okay, I truly have to read this one soon. I loved your review!