A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave-Publication August 1, 2017
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
A Killer Harvest is a story about a young boy named Joshua who receives an eye transplant and it seems as though those eyeballs have retained some memories from their previous owner….who was not a very nice guy!
My thoughts on this story are very mixed. There was some awesome ideas in here and it was certainly very creepy at points, but I also had some issues with the writing and believablility of the story. The beginning felt especially rough to me and there were a few events that were so unbelievable that it punted me right out of the story. Right at the beginning there are two deaths and both victims are having their eyes harvested for transplantation to other hosts, these said eyeballs are removed in very dubious circumstances, and them transported to their recipients by some random meth-head “intern” who stops along the way to pop some more meth and ends up tripping on the stairs and dropping the packages. Yep, one of the eyes goes bouncing merrily down the stairs garnering a massive eye roll from me (I just couldn’t help it). Then to make matters worse druggie intern then proceeds to lick….yes lick the eyeball clean because it got dirty from rolling down the stairs. All the mixed up eyes are then shoved back into packages and proceed to be transplanted into unsuspecting recipients. You could not be more obvious about upcoming conflict if you tried. This whole scene was so ridiculous it had me very concerned for the rest of the book.
Another large issue I had was the character interactions were also not very believable. Some of the reactions and decisions made in aftermath of the deaths seemed very false and frankly just really strange. The way Joshua’s surgery was handled and explained to him was off, as well as how they dealt with his fathers funeral, the reaction of his friends, his rehab after surgery, it all could have been handled better. There also seemed to be many extraneous characters that didn’t really seem to have much purpose and development and I think it added to the disjointed feeling of the story . Take random meth-head intern, why was his contribution necessary? Why did we need to learn about his conflicts in the work place and the struggles in his life, only to have him completely disappear from the story. There were many characters that fell short of the mark and just seemed like plot devices that just ended up muddling the story. I felt the same way about many of the plot/conflicts as well, there may have been just too much going on and could have benefited with some further editing. If more attention and development had been focused on just a few key points and characters instead of being all over the place it could have been a much stronger story.
After all that, why three stars you say? There was some very good ideas here and the story did keep me wanting to know what was happening. The parts with Archer I enjoyed, enjoyed may not be the correct word when discussing the inner workings of a killer..was fascinated? very unsettled by his thought processes and I think enjoyed those chapters the most. As well as the ending, thats where the good ideas were for me and I really would have liked for that to be explored more. I wish all the unnecessary things at the beginning had been cut out, like his parents deaths, discussion of his “curse” (which also just randomly was not discussed again), all the time at the hospital and his interactions at school. More time could have been focused on the events and people from the last 1/4 of the book. That was the story I had been waiting for, and felt like it didn’t receive enough development and attention. It was however enough to drag this book up from 2 stars to 3.