I read the page at least 5 times. I read the paragraph on the page at least 10 times. I was shocked. I was terrified. And I loved every word of it. A twist that took this already gripping spectral thriller into an even darker and more wicked place.
Someone Like Me begins with two central characters, Liz and Fran, living in modern-day Pittsburgh. Liz is a single mother of two who is trying to survive on a very limited income and a trickle of child support from an abusive ex-husband. Yet, when her ex assaults her, something inside of Liz snaps, and out comes a part of her she never knew existed. A manifestation of rage, and hate, and frustration that cuts through the gridlock of the superego.
Now in high school, Fran was the victim of a violent abduction at age six at the hands of Bruno Picota, “The Shadowman.” Her trauma has manifested itself in hallucinations, most notably Lady Jinx, a warrior fox from a childhood TV show. Jinx acts as protector and confidant, someone she can share her pain with. Fran also has the support of her strong single-parent father and her therapist, and she tries to manage with medication, but sometimes her suffering is too much.
I instantly connected with these characters and the complex ruminations of the “others” in our minds. After a shocking start, the books ramps down a little to a satisfying creep, but the twist about halfway through creates a tension unmatched by the vast majority of books I’ve read.
Someone Like Me is a contemplation on fear, memory, and the will to get out from under the weight of ourselves. What is the origin of the attacks on our own psyche, and the “shadows” that live within us all?
5 out of 5 stars
Releases on November 6th.
Thank you to NetGalley, Orbit Books, and M.R. Carey for an advanced copy of the book.