#Review: HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt @Thomas_Novelist @HodderBooks


The greats of fiction Stephen King and George R. R. Martin lead the fanfare for HEX, so be assured that Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s debut English novel is both terrifying and unputdownable in equal measure.

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.


I’ve had HEX on my ARC shelf for over a year, waiting patiently and I will admit that I was being a little bit of a wuss, slightly afraid of what I was going to find in those pages! But I finally put on my big girl pants, I manned up and started reading and well, what a bloody brilliant book.

Black Spring, to look at, is a normal town in the Hudson Valley, except they are cursed, there is a 300-year-old witch named Katherine, who appears in their homes, walks their streets. Her eyes and mouth are stitched to prevent her from causing chaos. But once someone moves to Black Spring they can never move away.

Now, regular readers of this blog will know I tend to flip things on their side, and while I found Katherine immensely creepy (and as someone who suffers with psychosis and sees people who aren’t there, is slightly freaked out that a Katherine is going to appear by the bed now) I felt intensely protective of Katherine as the book progressed. I felt like this was a woman who had been cursed herself and the town wasn’t cursed by her but as a result of what had happened to her.

Although Katherine is the focus of the story I felt like the people of the town were where the main story sat. This story was about what happens when there is a kind of marshal law, or even a mob rules. What happens when the laws of the land don’t apply and people go against what is morally right and get carried away with being cruel instead jumping into the idea of an eye for an eye. It’s as though our author has looked at where evil really comes from in these stories.

This book gets uncomfortable and hard to read in parts, it doesn’t hold any punches and things happen that made me feel ill but they aren’t going too far, they fit with the story and the situation perfectly. Not once did I feel that things had gone outside the realms of reality.

There were subtle references to original Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which obviously didn’t end well, in some ways this was like a modern adult version one. It did remind me of them in the way it read.

The writing was engaging and between the author being a fluent English speaker and Nancy Forest-Flier who acted as translator for the novel you would never know this had been written in Dutch originally.

I can’t recommend this highly enough, a gripping, psychological journey.

A huge thanks to Thomas Olde Heuvelt and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.


Book & Buy Links

Series: N/A
Author: Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Genre: Horror | Thriller | Magic
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 26 April 2016
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: Paperback | eBook | Audio
Pages: 385
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen

Week in Review – 30 April 2017

This week I drew the winners of my Blogiversary Giveaways, all of the winners have been notified by email and I’ve received word that some of the prizes have already landed. 

I’m so grateful to everyone who entered, for the people who donated prizes, and to all of you for all of your support.

The lucky winners were:

  • The Last Days of Magic – Holly
  • Caraval – Ali
  • Caraval Goodies – Kerry
  • Bookishly Goodies – Suzanne
  • Book & Nook Candle – Jill

I also had a wonderful experience with an author this week which I wanted to share, especially during these times where there is so much talk of aggression from authors. 

I wrote a negative review on the back of not being able to finish a novel. I was very disappointed about this because I’d been very much looking forward to reading this book and as all of us do I did my best to make sure that the review I wrote was reflective, honest, but fair. 

The response I had from the author was nothing short of wonderful and far beyond gracious. We had a short conversation and she even recommended some other authors to me. I know it can’t be easy at all to know the work you’ve put your heart into hasn’t been well received but to be so lovely when you read that is something I’ve certainly never experienced before. If I’m honest, I’m even more gutted than I started out that I didn’t get on with this book, because now I know the author is really nice aswell!

Flash Giveaway

So, I bought myself a new Kindle cover and like the highly intelligent person I am, I bought the wrong size *insert clapping here* the ebay shop I bought it from, after making me think they were going to refuse to let me return it, actually spun things around and sent me the correct one at no charge and told me to keep the wrong one (5 star review for them). So, I now have a cover which is of no use to me. So I figured if anyone out here in book blog land wants it…it’s yours! It is for a Kindle Fire HD 2013 7″ model and the picture to the right is the design on it. If you want it just pop a comment below to say you want it. I don’t expect this to be popular so first comment that wants it wins. Simples!

So, onto my update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Currently Reading

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone

What I’ve Read

There Is Always More To Say - Lynda Spiro HEX - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

New Books

I’m sticking with being strict on not having too much adding to my TBR at the moment. I really need to clear it down some more.

Bought / Freebies

The Keepers Sienna - Rae Rivers 


Mother of Wolves - J. Aislynn D'Merricksson


The Dragon's Legacy - Deborah A. Wolf  Find Me At Willoughby Close - Kate Hewitt The Darkness of Love - Catherine Green the-unlikeable-demon-hunter-deborah-wilde

Other Posts

I had a lovely guest post from dual-timeline novelist Suzanne Rogerson this week, and author of The Guardian J.L. McFadden wrote a really personal guest post which was very well received earlier in the week.

Prowlers & Growlers The Guardian - J.L. McFadden the-authors-bookshelf-logo


  • eBook Copy of Thrust by Sybil Bartel with Rough (International) Rafflecopter
  • Amazon Kindle Fire or $100 Amazon Gift Card and FREE eBooks from Prowlers & Growlers – Blitz Wide (International) Rafflecopter
  • 1 Signed Paperback of The Unlikeable Demon Hunter – Tour Wide Rafflecopter

Stacking the Shelves #1 – New Books This Week

I’ve decided to join in with Stacking the Shelves which is organised by Tynga’s Reviews, now given I put myself on a book ban during April to catch up with ARC’s this should be a blank post, but I’ve not exactly been well behaved…

So here are my new books this week!

Continue reading Stacking the Shelves #1 – New Books This Week