GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: Providence by Caroline Kepnes | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review: Providence by Caroline Kepnes

by Caroline Kepnes
June 19, 2018

ISBN: 9780399591433 AUDIOBOOK: B079J4QRG1
AUDIO CD: 780525588238
359 pages
Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.

Four years later, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off . . . until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.

Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.

In this dazzling new novel—and with an intense, mesmerizing voice—Caroline Kepnes makes keen and powerful observations about human connection and how love and identity can dangerously blur together.

I first saw Providence in someone's bag of goodies received at Stokercon held this year in Providence, Rhode Island. Sadly, it was not in mine, but a friend’s. But I got the chance to read the arc through Netgalley. It begins not in H. P. Lovecraft’s city, Providence, but in another state. Teenagers Jon and Chloe are best friends, and maybe a budding romance. Jon is kidnapped and vanishes for years. Chloe eventually turns to another boy. But when Jon awakes in the basement of a mall and stumbles out into it, he is no longer a wimpy, thin kid, but a muscular, handsome man. He wants to pick up with Chloe but discovers that his kidnapper, a mad scientist, may have changed him. He has the ability to suck energy from others, especially when his emotions are involved, and even kill them. He ends up living in Providence because
 his kidnapper left him Lovecraft’s novel, The Dunwich Horror to read. As for Chloe, she moved to New York City for college and stayed. She searches for Jon and he learns how she’s doing by social media. All the while people who come in contact with Jon die. These deaths attract the attention of Eggs, a police detective who gets unexplainable hunches. Hunches his police chief wants him to back off from.

A mixture of love story, Lovecraftian horror, superhero, and detective mystery, sadly the characters and story don’t do it for me. The only character I liked was Lo and I couldn’t understand how she stayed with Eggs after he disregard to her to pursue his obsession with Jon. The connection of the storyline to The Dunwich Horror, and Lovecraft, could have made for an interesting dark fantasy, but did not. I could even see Jon's connection with Frankenstein, especially since 2018 is the 200th anniversary of the Mary Shelley novel, making this a nice touch, but again, not enough to hold my interest, though I will admit I plodded through to the end.

I give Providence 3 sheep.

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Caroline Kepnes is the author of You, Hidden Bodies and Providence. She has worked as a pop culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer on 7th Heaven, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and the upcoming adaptation of You. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts she now writes full-time and lives in Los Angeles.

No comments:

Post a Comment