Rating : 3/5 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Originally a Portuguese novella, it has recently been translated into English. It is a quick read of 75 pages and readable in a single sitting. Coming to the plot, what starts as a tragic family story with Ada Hughes, a doting sister, talking to her brother about how they can’t stand the sight of their father takes a complete 180-degree turn and gets transformed into unexpected supernatural fiction.
One day Ada’s father came running, blabbering some warning, and the next day, her loving brother gets missing. I first thought it to be a dream sequence but no, and from here begins the story of supernatural creatures. The author has tried to create a virtual world of monsters by writing out minute specifications of varieties of monsters. It seems unpromising when two experienced professionals couldn’t identify the kind of monster dealing, but Ada, with her sharp reflexes, recognized it, and the rest follows. Writing anything more will be a spoiler for readers.
The plot has the full potential of being a novel rather than a novella. However, it is abrupt and too swift for a reader to understand and immerse in the story. Removal of some extreme events and slowing down the pace could have helped in building interest.
The author has incorporated domestic violence, alcoholism, family stress, and an imaginary world in a single novella. So, naturally, it gets overwhelming. It is a one-time and an average read for me.