One by One was a title I heard a lot about during the fourth quarter of 2019; so, yes, I’m a little late to the game. That being said, I am glad to have at least made it! I really adored One by One from start to finish, especially those final fifty pages or so.
This was my first outing with Gillespie, but it won’t be my last (I have already ordered The Toy Thief). One by One has a somewhat classic haunting feel to it, but without all the supernatural theatrics. Everything can be explained, even if you’re not confident there isn’t something otherworldly taking place. That’s a real part of the charm with this novel. I’m the kind of reader that prefers the scares of reality to the scares of fictional monsters, so this story lined up just fine with my tastes.
Gillespie has a good, strong voice (even if his younger characters sometimes tend to sound older than they should). I was sucked into the drama of Alice’s family, and how the pressure of the new (strange) home was affecting everyone around her. It only got more tense as the novel went along, without ever boiling over and taking the fights too far. The conclusion was just what I was hoping for, and I don’t think I would have changed anything about the ending.
Clearly, I loved this book. It excelled in the areas that were most important to me, and it didn’t disappoint during the finale. Gillespie has shown me his prowess in writing horror-based drama, and I am going to hold him to it. Next up, The Toy Thief!
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