Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review Wednesday – Raising Riley

Raising Riley is the story of Riley Lewis, a fifth grader victim of abuse from his dad and school bullies.  Nothing we haven't heard before, you may think, but Riley's problems are far from ordinary. There is something living in his closet. An otherworldly creature with piercing red eyes that is slowly, but surely taking over him.

Brick Marlin's novella takes the reader back to a time when children didn't have smart phone and spent their days playing outside.  The format of the book makes it seem like it's a book for kids  (relatively short, children as main characters) but the setting itself appeals to people born in the 80s.  I like to think of it as a children story for adults.

Although Riley is the main character, it was his father, Edward, that stirred the most emotion in me.  I hated the man and really wanted him to suffer at some point in the story.  The protagonist was also well portrayed, forgetting his chores like any 10 year old boy, despite the fact that he knew that it would get him in trouble.

Marlin's writes horror and there is no doubt that the creature in the closet belonged to the genre, but for me, the real horror was the abuse Riley was victim of.  the author really managed to depict the flawed logic of a violent parent.

Although this is already a fairly short novella, I think the content could be consensed into a great short story.

View my interview with Brick Marlin.


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