Friday, October 26, 2012
Review: Last Regress by Rachael J. Thorne
By: Rachael J. Thorne
Published: July 15, 2012
Published By: Self Published.
Description: Alyssa Matthews thought she had an explanation for everything. After all, as a slightly sceptical paranormal investigator that was what she was used to doing; researching, observing and explaining.
So when she began writing a paper about a long forgotten case of death by Spontaneous Human Combustion, she assumed it would be a run-of-the-mill piece. Little did she realise that she was about to be plunged into a situation that would not only force her to question her own sanity, but also her scepticism about the nature of the paranormal.
Not to mention the dreams that just wouldn’t go away...
My Thoughts: Last Regress was an interesting and terrifying novel that made one think deeply about life and death and the bridge between the two. It was dark and haunting, but with a love story that connects the living with the dead and provides a bit of light on an otherwise dark tale.
We follow Alyssa, a young and slightly depressed woman as she begins work on a case file at her job as a paranormal investigator. This particular case file is strange in that the ruling of cause of death of the subject Cain, was Spontaneous Human Combustion and despite some strangeness of the case, it was never looked into any deeper. Alyssa is convinced foul play was involved and sought to bring it to light.
As Alyssa gets involved in the case, she and her friend Greg discover a CD Cain recorded prior to dying. As they listen to the CD, Alyssa is mentally transported to another plane/dimension where horrible and good things happen. Upon her return, nothing is quite the same. She begins seeing a ghost, dark shadows come for her at night, and her friend Greg begins to wonder about her sanity. All of these events coalesce until they end in one big finale.
As a character, I didn't much like Alyssa. She began the book really depressed due to a prior break up and spent the duration of the novel giving me the feeling that she was weak and vulnerable. She psychoanalyzes everything and spends the duration of the book panicking about what may or may not happen when she gets ready to go asleep. She's a paranormal investigator for crying out loud. You'd think she would be at least a little open about the possibility that ghosts exist and stop thinking she's going crazy.
Greg, her best friend, also didn't always appeal to me. When Alyssa came to him talking about what she believed she was seeing at night, he seemed to automatically think she was going crazy. A true friend (at least any of my friends) would most likely take your comments and not make you feel crazy for what you think you saw. A real friend would say "Hmmm, maybe that could be it, or maybe all the work you're doing may be carrying over into your personal life. Either way, how about I stay with you tonight and make sure everything works out smoothly." Instead, he basically just brushed it off and said she was seeing things because her work is carrying over into her personal life and she needs to just get over it.
Cain, the love interest, was interesting. He seemed to be a tortured soul much like Alyssa so in that way I guess they fit well. He was her protector from the shadows and he seemed to care a lot about her. My issue though is that it was insta-love. Unlike some of you though, I don't always mind insta-love if I can see where it grows from. In this case though, it seemed like too much too fast. I just couldn't connect with it.
As a whole the book was interesting. I liked the concept of what happens after death, and the ways the dead can look back at those they left behind and all that. I also liked the idea that delving in too much knowledge could possibly be a bad thing (Take that Teachers of the world!) In terms of pacing the book was okay. It started off a bit slow and the point of view seemed to switch to random characters life stories I wasn't interested in like, for example, Nathaniel, but I guess it was kind of necessary in the grand scheme of things. This book wasn't completely realistic to me though and kind of reminded me of a Soap Opera sometimes. It got too dramatic too fast and the conversations seemed a bit too formal. Finally, there were a few plot holes that I wish were filled.
Posted by Sherre at 5:00 AM