Book Review

D Like Doll, E Like Evil By Omid Olfet

A tale of horror, D Like Doll, E like Evil by Omid Olfet is the story of a doll that was once owned by a witch in the 1400’s that led to a tragic story.  The doll is purchased by a mother for her son that she does not have custody of.  The stepmother of the boy is jealous of the doll and the son that is not hers and engages in a series of actions to sabotage the boy’s relationship with the father as well as get rid of the doll but the ending is a classic twilight zone horror that no one could have imagined.

The ending is what really makes this book so intriguing as a horror genre novella and despite some inconsistencies in the book it is a beautiful ending.  The plot is, again, not without inconsistencies, but is set to a normal, everyday experience that makes the ending that more shocking and horrific.  However, overall, this book has some major problems for me that made it less than satisfying to read.

The characters in the book are a little two dimensional.  I think what really adds to that feeling is the dialogue between them is not very convincing but more flat.  There are a few characters who were portrayed in a good way even though they still fell short of what a well developed character should be.  The mother only had a short scene in the book with the son but her interaction with her son was cute and convinced me she was a good mother, even if the wording of her actions was a little awkward.  I really liked the interaction between her and her son regarding the doll and it being asleep.  The stepmother was probably the character I could visualize the most.  She came across as an archetype gold digger who hated her stepson who only cared about making a good impression and how she could use any situation to develop her goals.  I hated her, which is exactly what readers should feel about her.  The main character of the little boy was harder to see.  He was very young in the story, but I don’t feel like I learned anything about him as a character other than he liked his doll and grew to hate his stepmother.

The plot itself was average, but the inconsistencies and use of situations that didn’t make any sense to me left me questioning it all the way through.  I think using a girl instead of a boy for this story would have made much more sense.  The book addressed that the boy liked the doll regardless of being a boy and in modern society with gender roles no longer being traditional this may not be as big of a problem, but it just seemed to go against the grain for no good reason that it was distracting.  Other inconsistencies that left me puzzled was the fact that this doll ran on batteries in the 1400’s.  While the batteries ended up being somewhat important to the end of the book it still just isn’t accurate and another method would have made more sense.  Maybe the doll could have had a locket that that the mother could have put a note in instead.  The boy loses his ability to speak halfway through the book, but then can occasionally speak when it’s really needed and then goes back to being unable to do so.  No one ever really figures out why this happened.  I also couldn’t imagine a three year old child being as cognizant or behave in the ways the main character did in the book and although it’s certain the stepmother and even at times the father was neglectful of the boy, I can’t see a three year old being left alone and if he was I can’t imagine him carrying out the actions our character did.

This was an average book that needs work on editing for inconsistencies, improvement of dialogue and overall storytelling in that it reads just like someone would tell a scary story around a campfire versus a well developed story, and a more believable scenario that won’t distract from the story itself.  The author has a real talent for coming up with horror stories that have an atmosphere of the Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock but lack the well polished feel of a book.

 

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