Thank you for this eArc copy of The Toy Thief by D.W Gillespie and Flame Tree Press in exchange for an honest review.
I am glad that I didn’t read any reviews for this book before trying it myself, because I am quite surprised by the number of people who didn’t like it. I actually loved it.
The book is written from Jacks perspective, telling her story from when she was young and occasionally going back to the present day to the adult she became. She lived with her older brother, Andy and her dad as her mother died in childbirth when giving birth to Jack. They are loved but not your traditional family as her father struggles to provide them with a traditional upbringing as he is on is own and quite probably still grieving. Andy is a quiet but angry young boy, who misses his mother, loves but resents his sister and shows some unsettling qualities. You know from the beginning that Andy ends up in prison but not why. Jack is a tomboy and even though she has so many barriers up and an inner anger that continues into adulthood, I can’t help but like her. Maybe I see some of myself in the character, just little snippets but I do feel some empathy with her. Not all of us find it easy to show emotion appropriately.
Anyway, when Jacks friend leaves her beloved doll at her house, jack witnesses a horrific creature that comes and takes it. Tall, dark, rat like and intelligent , I found the creature both imaginative and unsettling. Maybe because I’m a big kid myself and also being a parent, the idea that something is creeping in the dark hours taking those things that mean the most to you/your child, taking their joy and innocence disturbs me. This isn’t the last she sees of the creature as it then senses two things she holds dear and wants them for itself.
It is a dark fairy tale like coming of age story and I really enjoyed the journey it took me on. There were parts that reminded me of some of my favourite coming of age type horrors. There was plenty to think about after the book was finished and definitely a good October read for me.
4/5 I would read more by this author.