During a mysterious flu pandemic, Rachel’s son, Billy, lies close to death. Rachel is so distraught. He is just a little boy, how could this happen?
Defying all odds, Billy fights through and survives, but he brings a friend back with him from the brink. An imaginary friend who he calls, Delfy.
Rachel knows that many children develop imaginary friends to help them cope through difficult times, so she’s not too concerned about it.
From what Billy is telling her, Delfy is encouraging him to get stronger and that can’t be a bad thing, can it?
But when Billy’s behavior takes a frightening turn, Rachel knows Delfy is to blame.
Billy’s older sister, Nina, also thinks Delfy’s influence is harmful, and she is determined to get to the bottom of it. Her theory is that the flu is the root of the issue and she believes other children may be experiencing the same phenomenon.
There’s a lot going on in this novel; some of the subplots being more interesting that others. One of my favorite aspects was reading about the pandemic, obviously made more eerie due to everything happening in our world.
This novel follows multiple perspectives as it builds out the dreary post-apocalyptic atmosphere. We follow Rachel, a struggling mother, Billy’s sister, Nina, who is part of a space program for teens, and a doctor, whose name I can’t recall, who treats children hearing voices post-flu.
While many of the aspects of this were interesting to me, once they were mushed together, it became a bit much. It was like the plot suffered a little because there was almost too much going on.
The pacing was off because of this as well, with me much preferring particular perspectives to others. Frankly, I could have done with just Rachel and Nina’s points of view.
Even though this is pitched as Horror, I would categorize it more as a Sci-Fi Thriller.
In spite of the tiny criticisms mentioned above, I still found this be to an engaging story and Green’s writing style to be quite pleasing. I would definitely pick up future work from this author.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate it.
On the heels of 2020, now is the perfect time to pick this one up! You’ll know what I mean once you read it.