The Gift

Fiction - Horror
308 Pages
Reviewed on 02/24/2013
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Author Biography

    Book Review

Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite

If you could strike a deal that would make all your problems vanish overnight, wouldn't it? That is exactly what happens in the book “The Gift” by Jonathan Lynch. Michael, the main character, is a pimply-faced, thin, 17-year-old teenager struggling with the daily torment of bullying, poverty and adolescent angst. Better to just end it all, he decides. So, he gobbles a mixture of pills and a bottle of Merlot and waits for death. But it doesn’t come. Instead, Lorcien, a 6-foot, mystical man with long, black hair and a knack for transcending walls appears in his apartment. He explains how he interceded Michael’s suicide. He calls it a gift. But this bestowal exacts a price, of course. Can you ever reclaim your soul after you haplessly sold it?

This work of fiction has paranormal undertones; Lynch says he grew up reading Stephen King. This intriguing, fast-moving book requires reading some parts twice. I recognized the conflict of man versus himself and good versus evil. I enjoyed the small-town setting and I appreciated the overall simplicity, that is, a teenage boy with an age old problem. Indeed, the birth of Lynch’s son inspired this novel. But his masterful narrative technique has made the plot more complex. He is skilled at writing in a conversational tone. He understands the importance of details that help the reader relate to the character. I will read his other book, “Dead Business.” “The Gift” is highly recommended.

Maria Beltran

Set in Dublin, Ireland, "The Gift" is the story of a miserable teen-aged boy who is being bullied around in school. Michael is 17 years old and has no friends. Lonely and without any social life to speak of, he resorts to keeping a diary to keep a record of his life. He tries to commit suicide but is unable to do it. Something strange stops him. Eventually, he finds a message that offers him a new life but there is a price to pay. Michael accepts the offer and his life is completely transformed. He now lives in a world filled with wealth and women. Before he knows it, a man comes to ask for the price that has now become due. What the man in black demands from him involves a matter of life and death.

Jonathan Lynch's "The Gift" is certainly not an original story. This is a subject that has been written about in the last hundreds of years. However, the author knows how to keep his reader interested in this fast paced novel that is hard to put down. This is a supernatural thriller with elements that are superbly mixed together into a compelling story. You cannot help but relate to the plight of this miserable seventeen-year-old boy. Lonely and vulnerable, it is understandable that he will be tempted to make a pact with the devil himself. And just as he starts to have a wonderful life, the time to pay back arrives. This is where the story reaches its climax. What follows is a revelation of the stuff that human nature is made of. What makes the novel unique is not its plot but the way it is told.