Book Review: Father Figure by Andrew William Clark

Father Figure

“…truly, the world had gone mad. Perhaps it was fitting that I did too…”

It all began when my father abandoned the family years ago, leaving me with a hearty dose of childhood trauma and a depressive, alcoholic mother. Now I attend a high school in a less-than-reputable part of town, where I am friendless and relentlessly bullied.

My fortune seems to change for the better when I encounter Valerie, who swears like a sailor and fights like ten of them. It’s love at first sight, and I know I will do anything to be with her. However, my resolve is soon put to the test by Valerie’s brother, Richard, who hands me a gun and demands an impossible favour. We can all leave together once the deed is done, he promises, and find our “paradise,” a place to live free of bullies forever.

But when we make it to the empty, pristine and eternally sunny little town of Mill River, I begin to doubt my choice. I find myself dreading that Richard’s promise was not what it seemed, and that what he calls paradise is closer to my vision of hell.


I would like to begin by saying how proud I am of my friend for publishing his first book. The summary on the back is definitely interesting, and this is a big plus for me. I get bored easily and if I can’t get past the first page I don’t continue reading the book.
Not a great practice since some books start out slow by nature, but I have the focus of a squirrel. They are SO cute!ec3c2188cbffc30dc560c6f2ce03b8e9
They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and I understand it’s application to people, however when it comes to actual books its total BS. We can’t help but look at the cover first, with the only exception being those ‘blind date with a book,’ promotions in book stores where they wrap up the book and just give you little phrases of what it’s about. The cover of Father Figure is a great choice, minimal, but eye-catching, and definitely straight to the point. After finishing the book it also makes a lot more sense.

This book is fantasy/horror, and I would argue a psychological thriller. The best way I can describe the style of writing is quite simple…
The author is like a young Stephen King who has played way too many video games (like Silent Hill) and one day found books on satanism, witchcraft, and anything occult. He received a tarot deck from this best friend, John Saul – who is known for terrorizing kids/teenagers in his books. They think, hey lets rip open a portal to hell and destroy the world. Then they begin to study world domination in between their classes.

                                          Stephen_king-coming-to-boulder     42677310_scaled_192x288

At times it reads like a horror survival game, which I definitely love. I can envision it easily as a game or movie, so reading it wasn’t difficult to get submerged in the universe. At the same time it was a very complex plot, which only got increasingly harder to follow as the book went by. I might’ve stopped it if I had not been so determined to finish it. Near the end, it started to make a bit more sense, but I feel I would have to reread it to get the full experience.

I love nothing more than character development. I began liking Joachin and was indifferent to Valarie, however, by the end of the book that opinion switched, and honestly Joachin grew so much, I have no idea why I stopped caring about him. Valarie was the strong female character I needed, and I absolutely loved how Joachin referred to her as his knight, and how he would be rescued by her. I appreciate the decision to move away from the damsel in distress cliche. No matter what gender you are you can be haunted by insanity and darkness (that’s some pretty deep shit right there).

In terms of themes, I really like that this book has many different characters who believe they are doing the right thing. The absolute best way to make a villain is to make them a hero in their own story. This grays the area between good and evil. It works most of the time, unless you’re Thanos. Ugh, hate that guy.

Thanos-Snap-Featured-120518-2
I don’t forgive you!

I am a huge tarot nerd, I have about 5 decks and I can do horrific readings. For example,
Friend: *draws 5 of cups*
Me: *way too excited* “That’s grief!!”
Friend: …

The author uses a few famous major arcana cards, and one minor arcana (court) card to describe the characters. He matches them perfectly to each one in my opinion. I will share the cards, but not the characters they are associated with. I’m honestly trying so hard not to spoil anything.

 

220px-RWS_Tarot_00_Fool
The Fool: innocence, potential, new beginnings, start of a journey.
One of my favourite cards as it focuses on the possibilities that one has, not the experience that they lack.

RWS_Tarot_01_Magician
The Magician: willpower, motivation, determination, manifestation.
Another one of my favourites, this often represents a person determined to turn their vision into reality.

220px-RWS_Tarot_15_Devil


The Devil: materialism, playfulness, excess, greed.
It focuses on the excess of earthly pleasures, and being consumed by them so much that you don’t take in the bigger picture.

knight-of-wands-rider-waite-tarot_large

The Knight of Rods/Wands: action, adventure, fearlessness.
This person is relentless and often acts before thinking.

 

I would recommend this book if you are a fan of the genre, if you want a bad ass female character, if you like fantastical dark themes, if you want to question your own sanity, or if you just want to support a budding author. This book has potential to grow, and I’m only excited about where it goes from here.
You can buy it now on Amazon.

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