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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Apnea by Jay Sizemore is a psychological thriller set in a futuristic dystopia where the outbreak of the deadly Y virus has wiped out almost all the human male population of the planet. The authorities have prescribed the revolutionary drug, XAPNEA, to be taken by those who contract the Y virus. However, the drug prohibits the user from sleeping for 21 days, and the victim exhibits irrational behavior with adverse side effects and hallucinations. This is what happens to Joseph Conrad. When his wife, Virginia, discovers his positive diagnosis, she holds him captive by tying him to the bedpost and proceeds to conduct increasing amounts of torture to keep him alive and get what she wants. As he slowly loses his grip on his body and mind, Joseph's only hope lies with an extremist hell-bent on exterminating all men.
Provocative and utterly gripping, Apnea is a surreal psychological thriller that fans of the horror genre will gobble up with relish. With a thoroughly captivating plot and compelling characters, Jay Sizemore touches upon relevant social issues that have parallels in the real world. Sizemore infuses a sense of tension and dread into the narrative with a dystopian setting that pulls you in from the first page and holds your attention until the last. Joseph and Virginia's slow descent into madness is fascinating to read, especially as we get access to the inner thoughts and monologues of the characters. I was completely hooked from start to finish, and I will gladly recommend it to horror aficionados.