Does the notion of having a secret admirer catch your fancy? Someone who writes you sweet notes and sends thoughtful gifts. Most individuals would find that to be quite flattering. However, what if that admirer as simply leading you on with evil and malice in their heart? The sad truth is that this can often be the case. Either intended as a cruel trick meant to get a cheap laugh… or something much more sinister in nature. Even more concerning- what if the admirer is not even human? Instead, it is a mythical creature with a serious chip on its shoulder! If this has piqued your interest then Make Willing the Prey, by Luna Lindsey, may well be worth a read.
Essentially, the story revolves around the trials and tribulations of the main character, Sandy Windham. Starting off in the novel as a “bookish” and somewhat lonely teaching assistant, she soon finds herself the object of a secret admirer’s affection. Feeling quite ecstatic at first with the sudden onslaught of gifts and messages, these feelings of elation change as things begin to get very strange and macabre. Something evil this way comes! Soon everything takes a very drastic turn as Sandy and her best friend Jina are trapped in an old house with the demented admirer. Mind you… this is no ordinary run of the mill villain. He is actually a faerie by the name of Haun who is a master of illusions. His mission is to wed and subjugate Sandy and he will stop at nothing to inflict his tortuous will. What follows is a virtual menagerie of horror and illusion. Do Sandy and Jina have what it takes to battle and escape the clutches of this malicious faerie? Or are they doomed to exist in his deadly grasp eternally?
There can be little doubt that this story contains a number of very positive aspects. For instance, it is very imaginative, suspenseful and action-packed. The elements of horror are descriptive and will create vivid images within the mind of the reader. Also, the plot unfolds in a neat and structured manner and the use of dialogue is witty and engaging. The back and forth banter between the characters actually enhances the overall direction of the tale.
That being said, there are a number of limitations in this book as well. For example, I had great difficulty with the overall believability of the characters. Sandy is a very intelligent woman, but the way she responded to the abundance of creepy gifts left by Huan was beyond gullible. Even after she began to grow suspicious, she still ate some of the treats left behind? Was she dumbstruck by a new love opportunity? That simply did not resonate with me. Another example would be the romantic tryst which takes place between Jina and Lewis. Right in the middle of a full blown crisis with Sandy trying to break down the door? It just did not come across as authentic and I therefore had difficulty with character growth and development throughout the tale. However, with what is included in the epilogue, I am hopeful there are changes coming in this regard in the next book by this author.
Overall, I did find Make Willing the Prey an enjoyable story to read. As previously discussed, there are some drawbacks to the book, and I would include sufficient editing and proofreading to that. By and large however, I did enjoy this quick read.
3 out of 5 Creepy Stars for this one!