In his book Eternal Victim by Dexter Morgenstern, the author introduces us to a confusing and gruesome alternative reality. The main character is a victim of some sort, who is ethereal in existence, and on a mission that is unknown to her throughout most of the book. The main character ventures through various periods of time trying to help other victims of a killer who appears to be reincarnated as an embodiment of evil. As she helps each victim to be released from his power, another new level comes along and the venture starts all over again. How can she escape this never ending story and why is she here to begin with? The reader won’t know until the final pages of the book.
This book is conflicting for me. I struggled to read through it for various reasons I will explain, but the ending just blew me away and made everything that was originally frustrating for me come to light in a really wonderful way. The way the plot makes sense in light of the ending is fantastic and incredible. That was my favorite part of this book. The author mentions his interest in designing video game stories, and I think this would make an interesting one. I read this book with that in mind and could almost see what it might look like in a video game world. The results were pretty amazing. For me, it almost read better as a video game than a book. Reading it in that light was what kept me reading. The world itself is very creative and detailed. A lot of thought has gone into the inception of this story.
With that said, the way the plot reads throughout the story is troubling. Readers need a general sense of what is happening so they can care about the story. Adding to the trouble of why we should care is that the story “levels” repeat and give us the same plot looping around, which can be a little boring. It was hard to make it to the ending that brought everything together. Another aspect of the story that was troubling was the main character. While I understand that the story would be given away if too much of her story is addressed, it was hard to care about her as a main character because so little is known about her. The mystery is great enough that you want to follow her and figure out why she is in this predicament, yet as far as being invested in her, it was a little hard. There’s almost more that carries the evil forward as a character than our main character here. Perhaps just more of a sense of her as a person would have made me care more to see the end of the story.
I can’t give this book a bad review because the story really was originally developed and amazingly good, but I worry many readers won’t stay interested in this book to read it to the completion of seeing it. Something has to deeply hook the reader to keep reading and the main character is hidden so much we can’t care about her the way many protagonists would make us care about them. In addition, the world is so confusing and changing with a repeating storyline in each “level” that it could easily lose a reader. If you can follow the story to its ending, however, this is a very intriguing and satisfying book that I ended up enjoying. The creativity in the story is special and also helps to make it original.