[REVIEW] The Waiting – by Hunter Shea

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was first lured into Hunter’s writing with Creature, which hooked me right out the gate with its use of the disease, Ehlers Danlos. Not only is it rare, but I have it. This allowed me to connect with the main character and her story in a special way. As it turns out, that novel wouldn’t have existed if not for The Waiting, which was first published in 2014. In it, Hunter tells a (somewhat) fictionalized version of he and his wife’s first year of marriage, in which complications with her Ehlers Danlos almost killed her several times. Again, I was able to make a personal connection to the story, even if my Type (there are several) isn’t as bad as her own. The Waiting beings with the marriage of Brian and Cassandra. When they go to feed cake to one another, Cassandra collapses in horrible pain. Due to a major infection, she nearly dies. And even though she doesn’t, Cassandra ends up in a long coma in which it doesn’t seem likely she’ll overcome. Eventually, Brian removes her from the hospital and sets her up for homecare alongside his new mother-in-law. Life is stressful and scary. Then a ghost boy starts appearing to make it all the more complicated. This is more of a dramatic novella than a horrific one, though the emotional trauma runs deep. There isn’t a lot of excitement, but the reveal near the end was great and the storm was suspenseful. As always, Hunter shows his chops in the dramatic, which is why his brand of horror does so well. You connect with the characters and care. I suspect this story will be especially captivating for someone who has had to care closely for a loved one. I’m glad to have a copy of this one alongside Creature.

P.S. I recommend the Foreword and Afterword! Don’t skip them.

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