Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, a book review.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Sometimes life can be very strange. A while back I bought the book Hex, written by Dutch writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt. I was drawn to it by the fact that it was being promoted as the new Dutch fantasy novel.

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For some reason I put it in my bookcase and forgot about it (sorry Thomas).

Earlier this year whilst I was attending Dutch Comic Con, Thomas was there, signing books. I felt a small pang of shame as I remembered that unread book, still in my bookcase, and bummed I didn’t have it with me to get it signed.

Still, I again forgot about it, until two days ago. One of my friends posted a screenshot of the tweet made by Stephen King, the master of horror himself, praising Thomas his book. How epic and cool is that! So I liked that post and yesterday I got a friend request from Thomas himself.

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Maybe this was the universe telling me, read the book! Ok, ok. I got my copy, settled on the couch and… read the book in one go.

Now I have read loads of books, the fact that I own over 700 of them is prove as well. And there aren’t many books I read in one sitting, where I am drawn into it, forget the world around me and keep turning page after page, desperately wanting to know what happens next. This book did.

Slight note. As I understand it, the English version is slightly different from the Dutch version. I read the Dutch one, but now I want to get my hands on an English copy as well.

Synopsis according to Goodreads:

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves. Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened. The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

Author info according to Goodreads:

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

  • Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands

 

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book. “HEX is reminiscent of vintage Stephen King, and I can think of no higher praise. Chilli

Dutch novelist THOMAS OLDE HEUVELT (1983) is the author of five novels and many short stories. His work has appeared in many languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and French. In 2015, his story The Day the World Turned Upside Down was the first ever translated work to win a Hugo Award. Two more of his stories have been nominated for both Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2016, Olde Heuvelt’s critically acclaimed novel HEX, which became a bestseller in The Netherlands, will be launched around the globe (In the US by MacMillan/Tor and in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton). Warner Bros. is currently developing a TV series based on the book.

I’ll try not to give away too many spoilers.

What I loved about this book, first and foremost is that it is set in the region I originally come from (for the people who read the Dutch version of the book). I was born in a smallish town in ‘Brabant’ although not as small as the town ‘Beek’ mentioned in the book. But how the people and townsfolk act is pretty much how I remember it (minus the horror stuff, but then again, I wouldn’t be surprised). It has nothing compared to living in a larger city where you are lucky if your neighbours greet you at all.

Not until the second chapter you finally begin to get a grasp what the story is about, and throughout the book you begin to grasp the situation about Hex. I imagine when reading the book for a second time you will get a lot of aha moments, small little signs you missed the first time because know you know.

It is amazing how Thomas managed to capture todays life, with texting, popular language and big brother is watching you and at the same time describes that small town feel and throw you back into the middle ages as well.

Some of the horror stuff, nope no spoilers, you should really read the book yourself, reminded me a lot of the books written by Bridget Wood and which I think is high praise. Thomas has captured multiple important ethical dilemmas while being subjected to years and years of indoctrination and pear pressure in such a way that it’s almost scary, even if applied to today’s everyday life and how we as people react to say the refugees’ crisis.

If you are susceptible to nightmares I suggest reading this book during the day, or keep a light on at night when you go to bed. Unfortunately, I’m past this point, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me at some points.

Not one point during the book I had a moment where I had that feel of pages being filled, just for the sake of creating pages (which some books do). From beginning to end it captures you and I hate myself sometimes for having a high reading speed and finishing it in a couple of hours.

The book leaves you hunger for more, but as I said, luckily I can read the English version as well!

Thomas, ik had niet gedacht dat Hex zo ontzettend goed zou zijn. Schrijf meer van dit soort boeken, je hoort thuis in de fantasy wereld en ik kan niet wachten tot een eventuele verfilming en meer van je fantastische verhalen.

This books gets a well-deserved 5 out of 5 star review and I recommend you get your hands on a copy and read it, over and over again, because this is a book you can read multiple times.

Have you read it?

Lots of love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

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Sleepy Hollow, 2 episodes in and my thoughts and hopes for this new series.

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. Since I still have some days left before going to work I decided to catch up on my TV series. I am currently way behind on watching some of my favourite shows and the new season are already starting so I am dividing my few days left between writing, reading and watching TV. Basically vegging on the couch and such. So expect a few blogs coming your way the next couple of days if I can keep up writing them.

Let’s start with Sleepy Hollow. One of the new shows I’ve been looking forward to watching. The first two episodes aired in the States and here is my review or opinion about it, also if you haven’t seen it yet, be beware of spoilers 😉

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Synopsis according to the official website:

Welcome to SLEEPY HOLLOW, the thrilling new mystery-adventure drama from co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the “Star Trek” and “Transformers” franchises, “Fringe”).

In this modern-day twist on Washington Irving’s classic, ICHABOD CRANE (Tom Mison, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and only one of the many formidable foes that Ichabod must face to protect not only Sleepy Hollow, but the world.

As Ichabod finds himself in 2013’s Sleepy Hollow, he discovers a town he no longer recognizes and grapples to understand. Teaming up with Lt. ABBIE MILLS (Nicole Beharie, “42,” “The Good Wife,” “Shame”), a young cop who has her own supernatural experiences, the two embark on a mission to stop the evil that has awoken along with Ichabod and that now is seeping into this once-sleepy town.

Clues from the past enlighten mysteries in the present, as each episode features a flashback to Ichabod’s life in 1776. Ripe with untold stories from American history and cloaked in mythology, the divide between present and past becomes dangerously blurred. Lives are in the balance, including that of Ichabod’s late wife, KATRINA (Katia Winter, “Dexter”), who is trapped in a mysterious netherworld. In his pursuit to save her, Ichabod uncovers secrets about her, leaving him with countless questions.

Not everyone believes Ichabod’s tales of 1776 and supernatural evils, especially the new head of Abbie’s police precinct, Captain FRANK IRVING (Orlando Jones, “The Chicago 8,” “Drumline”). When faced with bizarre events he can’t explain, Capt. Irving reluctantly turns to Ichabod and Abbie to investigate.

Ichabod’s extensive first-hand knowledge of our country’s hidden history, coupled with Abbie’s superior profiling and modern threat assessment skills, make them a formidable duo. The complex pasts of the pair, from Ichabod’s inclusion in the powerful and secretive Freemasons Society to Abbie’s childhood visions, will help them solve the intricate puzzles of Sleepy Hollow in order to protect its – and the world’s – future. As history repeats itself, the oddly-linked pair will draw on the real stories and secrets this nation was founded on in their quest to stop an increasingly vicious cycle of evil.

My thoughts:

I absolutely love it! Seriously! The first episode started with the famous music ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ by the Rolling Stones! How freaking awesome! But let’s start at the beginning as we see Ichabod Crane, played by the (sorry lads, a very hunky Tom Mison, seriously, the guy is one year older than I am, can I have a piece of him please?) You may know him from Parade’s End or Lost in Austen. Back to what I was saying, so we see Crane on the battlefield, fighting and dying 250 years ago and then waking up in modern day Sleepy Hollow.

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At the same time Lt. Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) and her partner the Sheriff (Clancy Brown) respond to some spooked horses. Basically, not only Ichabod woke up, but the headless horseman as well, he kills the Sheriff, Ichabod is arrested as the suspect, a wild Sulu appears, Lt. Mills and Ichabod have a nice chat about crazy stuff happening, they team up and a new OTP is in the making boys and girls.fall_tv_preview_sleepyhollow1

So that’s how it begins. Why do I love it? First of all, I love strong female leads. And although I described the pairing of our two main characters as an OTP (I haven’t checked tumblr yet, but there is bound to be some smutt written by now), I love the fact that it probably ain’t gonna happen. Mainly because Ichabod Crane is still in contact with his ‘not so dead’ wife Katherine, who’s a witch and lost in between the worlds. Not every freaking show needs a romance happening.

Also, it’s funny as hell to see Ichabod Crane adjusting to the new world around him. He is smart as hell (I do love smart guys) and his reaction is just priceless.

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And I love that, the funny bit I mean. I love me a show where characters speak their minds, make mistakes, screw up, are sarcastic and all is mixed up with some good old fashioned horror bits, the apocalypse rising, witches, a headless horsemen and a tall dark and British guy. (Although, why all the German? Still don’t get it.)

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No, but seriously. The first two episodes left me speechless on the couch and I hate that I have to wait until next week for the next episode. If the writers keep up the pace, don’t make all the different storylines and flashbacks to complicated, leave out the freaking romance, and add some more gory stuff this show is bound to be a winner. I am already looking forward to next week’s episode and I’ll leave you with the trailer for episode two and three (beware of spoilers).

All I can say is watch it. Especially my US based followers, keep up those viewing ratings so we get to enjoy more episodes!

If you have seen the episodes, let me know what you think!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

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