One of the things that I like about Samhain Publications is that it not only puts out quality fiction but it also publishes a mixture of new writers as well as established genre authors so that there is a good mixture of the tried and true mixed with the new. “The Sound of Time” by Jeremy Essex was one of those new writers that I was not familiar with when I started this short novella.
Charles does not believe in ghosts so he never believed the stories of the haunted factory. Instead, he turned to his chosen field, psychology, for the explanation that the workers were just hallucinating due to their tired and overworked minds kicking into overtime. To disprove the stories of the haunting, he conducts and experiment in which he decides to recreate the noises and events that are supposedly caused by the spirits the refuse to leave the building. Charles soon finds that science cannot account for everything and his belief in the physical world is about to be pushed to the breaking point.
“The Sound of Time” is an atmospheric book that is dominated by an aura of the dark and weird. This works well for the book even though it is a bit heavy-handed at times. The reader almost feels the weight of the story resting on his head as it slowly unfolds. It is almost a physical thing and as important to the story as the characters. It is also fitting to the subject of the story as the weight of time rests on the shoulders of everyone and it is easy for the reader to feel haunted by the past if nothing else. Essex does a great job of developing the setting so that it becomes a living, breathing thing in its own right as well as the perfect atmosphere in which to set a ghost story for maximum terror.
Essex brings a unique idea into the story and I was excited about what was going to happen next when I was about 10 pages in. Unfortunately, the promise that the book starts out with is not carried through and the story evolved into one scene after another that seemed to be essentially the same thing almost as if the story was caught in a loop. It was still interesting but I kept waiting for something new to happen and it just kept on with the same thing. I think that the book is worth reading for the premise and the atmosphere, both of which are very well done, but the actual story is simply par at best and well served by being a short novella as I do not know how much longer I would have carried on if it had been a longer work. Fans of the genre may find the novella interesting but it takes a little work to get through and reads much longer than its short length.
I would like to thank Samhain Publishing and NetGalley for this review copy. “The Sound of Time” is available now.