There is a fine line between shock for the sake of shock value and using it to bring the story up a few notches. David Owain Hughes walks this line like an expert tightrope artist. Wind-Up Toy is not for the faint of heart, I think that the only thing it’s missing is a bit of cannibalism.
David Owain Hughes writes fucked-up like no one else. In Wind-Up Toy, we are introduced to the world of Simone, a quiet young man who is desperate for a way out of a life that is no longer fulfilling. This boy has some serious problems! Next we have Toni, a university student with a compulsion to help others. These two drive Wind-Up Toy in so many directions that I didn’t know where the next punch was coming from. I think it is a testament to the skill of the author that I could feel some sympathy for Simone, but also wanted to reach into my Kindle, grab Toni by the hair and scream in her face, “What the hell are you doing?!”
Despite the over the top violence, I didn’t find it to be excessive (that may say more about me than the story). Everything fit perfectly into the story.
Now that I’ve finished up Wind-Up Toy, I think I will go and have a scalding hot shower, grab a book that’s calm and peaceful, perhaps a good zombie apocalypse where everyone dies. You just can’t read this kind of book all the time and stay right in your head.
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