deke mackey Jr.

Review of ‘From Away: Episode Three’

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Dawn Lesguettes’ saga continues on Mossley Island. The unnamed, unknown threat is still ‘out there’ in the sea, and islanders are going missing—including Dawn who fell off the radar at the conclusion of the second episode of From Away by Deke Mackey, Jr., an eldridtch horror story of an island that has cut itself off from the mainland, and only reluctantly allows visits by those ‘from away.’

Dawn has accompanied her father who is returning after a long absence to oversee building a connecting bridge, which many on the island protest, and in From Away: Episode Three she returns after mysteriously disappearing only to discover that she’s been sleepwalking and has come to a barrier separating the rest of the island from the strange town of Adderpool. In the meantime, Roscoe, one of the island’s watchers, has been kidnapped, and the lives of others on the island are falling apart. The enigmatic ruling Circle is ‘circling the wagons,’ leading to a confrontation with the Watch commander, the eerie nuns continue to march around doing who knows what, and a strange couple is exploring the holes they’ve dug around the island.

Mackey’s psychedelic adventure continues with Dawn finally entering Adderpool and almost ‘meeting’ an unidentified, but menacing ‘someone.’ While this is, like many TV serials, a mostly self-contained episode, with enough action and adventure to satisfy, like the two that came before, it ends on a lollapalooza of a cliff hanger, with another character’s fate unknown. Oh, and we still don’t know for sure what it is that is threatening Mossley Island. Still, it’s an enjoyable read.

I’m giving this one four stars, but the author better identify the threat to the island soon, or his writing ability will not save him from my vengeful rating pencil.

Review of ‘From Away: Book Two’

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After reading From Away: Book One, I had to read From Away: Book Two by Deke Mackey, Jr., if for no other reason than to see how the cliffhanger from book one was resolved. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review.

In book two, Dawn continues her quest to learn more about her Mossley Island relatives, and finds herself becoming immersed in the fifty-year-old horror that surrounds the island. Accepted by some of her island clan, but rejected by others, she is unaware of plots to extract revenge on her father for imagined past wrongs, or of the strange beings that instill fear in the hearts of some on the island.

Death lurks around every corner, and there is plot within plot. No one is who they seem in this chilling tale of arcane horror. This is book two in a planned seven book series, and as I expected after reading the first, it ends with a cliffhanger—actually two; Dawn disappears mysteriously from her motel room, and her father’s colleague, injured in an attack and left in a coma, wakes up to strangeness that you’ll just have to read.

I find myself hooked on this series; and, I don’t usually read series. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘From Away: Book One’

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Dawn Lesguettes is going with her father to pay a visit to Mossley Island, a home that he ran away from. He has to go back now, though, because he’s in charge of building a bridge connecting the island to the mainland—a project that many on the island, especially members of The Circle, a shadowy group that seems to be in control, object to. Awaiting Dawn, though, is a secret that is 50 years old, strange beings that prowl the sea around island, waiting to attack, kept back only by constant patrolling by her aunt and other members of The Circle.

I received a free copy of Deke Mackey, Jr.’s book From Away: Book One in exchange for my unbiased review. Part one of a seven-part serialization, From Away is a chilling tale of the supernatural, political intrigue, and troubled human relationships. It moves from character in an almost haphazard way as the story unfolds, step by chilling step, and ending with a cliff hanger that makes you want to know more—but, you have to read the next book to find out what happens.

Mackey could be called a modern-day Poe; his skill in painting a picture of fear is without parallel in the paranormal genre. This is a book that stands in a class by itself, full of darkness, leavened only occasionally with a touch of humor. If you’re the skittish type, or you like your stories wrapped up in a nice pink ribbon at the end, don’t read it, because the wrapping around this one is razor-sharp barbed wire.

I give this piece of experimental fiction four stars.