At the beginning the author put a lot of effort in making you feel for Willem and his best friend since forever Jake. It’s clear that Willem is in love with Jake, but it’s also clear that Jake has a cloth in front of his eyes. Jake is juggling/fighting with his straight relationship with Amy, but at the same time is unconsciously preventing Willem to find a mate; every man Willem met was wrong, and Jake was always there, being the epitome of what Willem wanted, but being also unreachable. And now Willem once again is risking his happiness, choosing to meet face to face with Charlie, a man who he met online. Jake is not happy, but Willem is stubborn… and when he disappears, Jake has the confirmation he was right, but also the epiphany that he is in love with his friend and that he will do everything to find him.
At this point the storyline split in two, following Willem and his nightmare in the paranormal world, and Jake and his mission to find Willem. Probably for the first time since forever, they are far from each other, and while this is heartbreaking, it allows to Jake to comprehend his feelings, not only towards Willem but also on himself and his desires.
I felt a lot for Willem, and as I said, at first I hoped he would be lucky, that he had finally the chance at happiness he was searching since forever. But that is the skill of the author, to move the reader’s expectation, to yes, let you with a bittersweet aftertaste for Willem, but to give you also a glimpse on a better, and happily, future for Jake. And why not, maybe the “new” Willem will have his chance in the following three books of this 4 books series. He is no more the same Willem we knew in the first book, not at all (and I will stop here to not ruin your reading experience) but he is someone else the reader could care for.
More than a paranormal feeling, this novel reminded me a bit of a gothic genre. Maybe it was the setting, Southend and London, rainy England, always with a dark and heavy feeling, given but the clouds, the muted light, the wet cobbled streets where you expect each moment a coach to come out from the next corner. In this setting it seems more “ordinary” for paranormal events to happen.
Amazon: Seeker (The Garden)
Amazon Kindle: Seeker (The Garden)
Publisher: Untreed Reads (March 16, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott