Title: Don’t Write it Down | Author: C.E. Wilson | Series: Rainbow Noir #1 | Pub. Date: 07/10/2017 | Pages: 90 | ASIN: B072M3W5VK | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Mental illness stereotypes | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: Received from the author for review consideration
Don’t Write it Down
Bestselling novelist Emma Ross isn’t satisfied being number two. She wants to be number one. She can’t stand always looking up to Jessen Blake – an amazing writer – but also a dead one. She vows that her next book will top the charts no matter what it takes. But after repeated encounters in her dreams with Jessen Blake himself, warning her that she must never become number one, Emma drives herself harder than ever to top him. But as her grip on reality starts to unravel, she begins to suspect that her words may have more power than she could possibly imagine.
Don’t Write it Down is the first standalone novel in the Rainbow Noir series, and perfect for fans of light horror, Stephen King, and Alfred Hitchcock. Remember, the dark is scarier when you can see a hint of light.
Don’t Write it Down Review
I really like the cover to the novella.It fits the theme of the book well and is eye-catching. My first impression of the book is a little…underwhelmed. It started out pretty interesting but it soon became a bit of a struggle to finish. At a mere 90 pages it should have been a much quicker, much tighter read.
The character of Emma Ross/Shade starts off ok but after spending five pages in her head I grew to not like her. That’s not necessarily a requisite for me to like a story but I found her character a bit whiny. The only other peripheral characters are her mom and her ex/separated husband, Kevin. Even though, initially, Kevin isn’t represented as a sympathetic character I ended up liking him a lot.
The pacing stutters a bit. It will flow smoothly for a couple of pages but then it will get bogged down in her vodka drinking and not showering habits while she’s writing. If these passages had been pared down a bit I think it would have been a much tighter read. After a bit I kind of lost any concern in the story and wanted to say “Take a freaking shower, woman!”
She becomes so unlikable that I was actually rooting for Kevin to move on and find someone else. This brings me to my major issue with the book. Emma’s mental illness issues are kind of plunked down into the latter half of the book with no real indication that she had any up until that point. Honestly, up until then I assumed she was an alcoholic and that was about it. As soon as they are mentioned, however, the book becomes a tired checklist of a ‘typical’ mental illness breakdown. She doesn’t bathe, doesn’t clean, doesn’t sleep and hallucinates all over the place. Unicorns seem to be a favorite for some reason. It actually manages to wrap two stereotypes into one. The ‘Descent Into Craziness’ person along with the author that gets so into their work that they won’t bathe or eat until they’re done. The mental breakdown is so generic that I’m not even sure what ‘illness’ it is that Emma is supposed to have. They refer to her meds in a general way and her reaction to them being “they turn me into an uncreative zombie”. Because that hasn’t been said a gajillion times before in a book or movie. Thrillers and horror seems to be the worst offenders in this category. If pressed I would say that maybe the author was going for paranoid schizophrenia but I honestly can’t say.
The main plot gets lost in there somewhere along the way. There are a few incidents where her writing does create real-world consequences but they’re few and don’t really make any kind of impact. The story is very light on gore and avoids detailed descriptions of the deaths that do take place. It would be good for those looking for a horror novel that’s not too gory.
The epilogue to Don’t Write it Down would have been better without the last sentence or two. I won’t give anything away but it just doesn’t make much sense and seems a little like a desperate way to keep a bit of mystery going when there’s really no need to. This being the first in what looks like a series it might prove me wrong. Maybe it will be resolved but only time will tell with that, I suppose.
The writing in Don’t Write it Down is good and I wish I could give it a better rating. Maybe it’s just not a book that I clicked with. I was interested in the main premise but when that got dropped so did my interest. The author of Don’t Write it Down, C.E. Wilson, does have a talent for writing very vivid, creative scenes. I will check out some of her other books and see if they would be more to my taste.