This was the shortest of the four "Black Room" novellas, but it was gut-wrenching. It was incredibly sad to think that these two people, who had a connection like none other and deeply loved each other, might never be able to be together through circumstances completely beyond their control.
The following passage is heartbreaking. The sense of loss it conveys it universal.
"...all Charlie felt was a tightness in his chest and a dying sensation in his heart. He'd known he was drawn to her, but a vague awareness of true desire is quickly and fully realised when the possibility for obtaining that desire is taken away."
I felt just as broken as Charlie after reading that.
We finally find out what all those previous flashes to water actually mean and how they are connected to the Woman in the Night.
There are a lot of questions to answer in the final chapter:
1. Why does The Black Room keep getting lighter? 2. What is The Blue Room? 3. Will Charlie and Minnie be able to save themselves and each other? 4. How much pain can two people stand? Jeez, oh man. This one hurt a lot.
Ive hung onto a wire waiting & still hanging!!! Seriously! My heads been up & down with Charlie/Chuck.......I cant let on but wow that ending was freaking noooooooo!!!!! Luv it roll on July for next installment. Nice 1 Mr Smitherd
The latest book in The Black Room quadrilogy is all that I'd hoped for and more. The mystery of Chuck and Minnie continues to deepen and the twist at the end has got me absolutely chomping at the bit for the final part. Luke Smitherd continues to show mainstream published writers how it's done; fantastic character development, a seemingly watertight plot and flowing prose made this impossible to put down. As I'm not a an author myself it's hard to put into words how much I enjoy Mr Smitherd's books - if you enjoy delving into the alternative but grounded realities which made Iain Banks a household name, give it a go... brilliant!
The finale of this book kept me up until 4:30am on a work night, riveted to the page and unable to stop reading despite being half dead with tiredness and knowing full well the bleary-eyed horror that awaited me the following morning. It's that good.
The plot concept is highly imaginative - and rest assured, the story does cleverly explore all of the ramifications that will occur to you as you're reading, and also a few that will surprise you - and I couldn't wait to find out more about the mystery. I also very much liked the two main characters and the quality of the writing (a little raw, but clearly and vividly written and giving its honest all - I expect great things in the future as this author matures over time), and by the end the story had managed to both surprise me with where it led and also satisfy my curiosity on all plot counts. All of which may sound a little meta for a review, but I really don't want to give away anything too specific as this is a tale that should be read as unspoiled as possible. But hey look, the first part is free, so give it a try and find out for yourself. If you like it as much as I did, you'll be back on Amazon buying the rest of the story eagerly.
Lastly a brief word, if I may, about fan support. Much like dialling a voting hotline to support your favourite acts on a TV talent show, indie authors in the self publishing economy live and die by the number of reviews they get, which is essential to whether or not a book reaches your notice through Amazon's profiling algorithms. I don't know Luke Smitherd, but having enjoyed The Black Room immensely and now wanting to continue reading more of his work for years to come, I have chosen to respond to his plea in the afterword to come on here to leave one of my rare reviews to do my bit to help his career along. And so for anyone else who might read this comment and decide to take the same chance on a new author that I did and come away satisfied with what you've read, please keep this in mind and make the small effort to remember to come back and do the same. I can't stress enough what a huge difference it can make to an author's chances.
To be honest, I was approaching this next instalment of the excellent Black Room series with a slight trepidation, knowing that I has 2 parts to go, and wondering how on earth Luke was going to keep the story going/stretch it to another 2 books. Well I was wrong to doubt him for a moment. Part 3 instantly throws the reader back into the black room and its characters, and even with a month between books for me, I felt as I'd never been away. The tension races, more is discovered about Charlie and Minnie as each electronic page turns, and the reader is gradually reeled in on Lukes fishing line, squirming and flopping in places, sometimes nearly getting away in some of the middle explanations (which does get a little Matrix reloaded ouch my brain hurts) but then with a massive heave, Mr Smitherd pulls you onto the deck of his trawler and whacks you over the head with a mallet. okay the fishing analogy has gone far enough now. The book is fantastic, and as I write I have already read part 4, which I will review later, but trust me, if you've got this far with parts 1 and 2, then keep going, you won't be disappointed.
I feel a bit breathless, my emotions have been up and down, so many more twists and turns my head is still struggling to make sense of it all. I thought I was getting to grips at last and then a bombshell hit me and part 4 was beckoning as I'm sat holding my breath. Your writing is pretty damn good Mr Smitherd, your blowing my mind to smithereens !!!!! :)
I read the first 2 parts of this series and each time was left on the edge of my seat waiting for the next bit. Oh, but this time is so much worse! Luke Smitherd needs to seriously write fast to put his readers out of their misery! It's a bigger cliffhanger ending than anything that's gone before.
Those of you who haven't read the first parts of this set, you would really need to to catch up with the story.. a plot synopsis just couldn't fill in enough to dive in here. However, it's a brilliant tale and well worth the investment of your time (and the few pence they cost). I strongly suggest that readers of the unusual and mindbending type of stuff should give it a go.
I've enjoyed all of this authors work so far. I find his writing style as compelling as parts of the story.
Part 3 was a blink of an eye, I finished part 2 and started part 4 and somewhere in the middle I read part 3 but was too engrossed to notice even changing books. Best story I have read in a long time. Really makes you think which then REALLY makes you think. Never read anything like it. I have no idea how Luke comes up with his stories but I hope to god he doesn't run out of these twisted plots anytime soon as they are unique and well thought out.
Since I got my kindle my bookshelf has become a little bit of a collectors area where I like to go back to my favourite books, I can't wait for these books to go to print so I can buy them again and then add them to my favourites along side stephen king and james herbert where they belong.
The ease of reading these four books is just great. The plot thickens and gets more and more mind twisting as the story unfolds. All the way through you feel for Minnie and you want the beautiful young woman to find the love she deserves with Charlie. The different time lines running parallel may be an old idea but it is so deftly handled here. You are willing them to meet and become a couple but how can they when the Charlie you know can only appear in the black room in Minnie's head.
This may sound pretty strange but how can you review such a wonderful but strange story. Just don't bother hesitating just get all four and I defy anyone to put them down. Just brilliant. Read Luke Smithered other books to. I can't wait for the next one.