Review: Your Turn To Suffer by Tim Waggoner

Rating: 7/10

Synopsis

Lorelai Palumbo is harassed by a sinister group calling themselves The Cabal. They accuse her of having committed unspeakable crimes in the past, and now she must pay. The Cabal begins taking her life apart one piece at a time – her job, her health, the people she loves – and she must try to figure out what The Cabal thinks she’s done if she’s to have any hope of answering their charges and salvaging her life.

Review

Your turn to suffer is the kind of book some people will hate, and others will love. As a reviewer, I go beyond just the overall story; I look at structure, characters, style and the overall plot. If you enjoy Clive Barker-Neil Gaiman’s styles, you’ll love this book. It’s a horror novel peppered with the weirdness of a Lovecraftian tale — sometimes called weird fiction. The overall story wasn’t my typical go-to genre, however I loved everything else about it.

In horror, many authors speak of the terror to horror to disgust elements in this genre. If you’re not familiar with these terms, basically terror is when you have a sense of dread. You’re afraid a monster is lurking in the shadows, but you don’t know what it is or where it is — fear incarnated. Horror is when an event shocks you, makes you angry or yelling out loud “Nooooo”.  For example: your favorite aunty committed suicide while being the happiest human being you know. And finally disgust is when it almost feels like you’re going to throw up in your mouth, while reading a specific section of the book. Well, Your Turn to Suffer sits in between horror and disgust, and spends a good portion of the book in the disgust genre, sprinkled with unexpected horrific events waiting at the curve.

The story starts a bit slow, but eventually picks up speed as Lori, the principal character, tries to figure out — like us — what really is happening. There were a few areas in the book I’d structured a bit differently, such as the big reveal in the end where it feels a bit out of place or less than credible as we had gotten very little setup prior. Also, there was a big event with the shadowkin mid-book, like it was the end, and then we went back to the story as if nothing had happened. It felt misplaced. Also, as a comment probably to the publisher, I’d change the cover. It feels a bit dated and really not representative of the story. 

In this third chapter in a trifecta of articles (see links on the other articles below) I wrote around Tim Waggoner, my expectations around this book were high and met in certain areas, especially where characters were involved. Tim spends a good amount of time building humanized characters we can root for (or hate), even when a truly horrific event occurs to them not long after. I also liked the constant sense of ignorance on what exactly brought such darkness around Lori, and as far as I was concerned, didn’t know where the story was going next, which is where you want your readers to be.

I also really enjoyed Tim’s style, where he inserted a few lines here and there to lighten the mood of the book and gave me a few laughs. Which is so important when you dabble in dreadful and shocking events throughout a story. Strike a good balance. In the end, the overall package that is Tim’s Your Turn To Suffer is a book I’d recommend to fans of the genre, especially those who truly enjoy tales of the weird and disturbing.

My review of Tim’s non-fiction award nominated Writing in the Dark here.

My interview with Tim on writing books on existing characters (tie-ins) here.

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