August and Jack are best friends. They need each other, they are there for each other, they are bonded like no one else they know. So when Jack starts seeing things that August can’t, August does everything he can to help him.
Jack is living in two worlds. One, the reality that August, his friends, and family live in and the other that only he can see. Darkness is spreading, an evil is trying to take over the world and soon it will fall to ruin if Jack and August don’t do anything to stop it. At first, August just takes notes on the things Jack says. Draws pictures of the things he sees and doesn’t deny their existence. But very quickly everything starts getting darker, more sinister, more serious, and August is desperate to help solve this problem so Jack can go back to the way he was.
This story is painful. In a good way and a sad way. As an adult, I found myself desperate for these boys to get professional help, desperate for them to reach out to people they knew for help, guidance, any form of intervention. And I can value and admire their story as it played out. August is loyal to a fault. He is so obsessed with and drawn to Jack, hell bent on keeping him safe, keeping him near. Jack is so in love with August that all he wants is for August to be happy and it hurts him to know that he is causing August pain. These boys are so intertwined that it is impossible for them to function individually.
I really enjoyed the arc of this story, it’s thrilling, sad, confusing… it grips you from beginning to end. You have no way of knowing how the story will play out. There’s just nothing guiding you in a familiar way, it’s all uncharted. The actual reading experience was also fascinating. The pages slowly darkening, drawings encroaching on the words on the page before the pages turn completely black. The chapters are also incredibly short; none going more than three pages. It made it so easy to keep flipping the pages and reading on. I’m not a very fast reader myself, but I was able to finish this book under three hours just because of how it is structured and paced. I knew people love K. Ancrum’s work and I’m glad to now count myself among them. I’m so interested to read her other book and anything else that she comes out with.