Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book Review – "Sadie the Sadist" by Zané Sachs

I have said many times before that it is the development of characters that really draws me into a horror novel.  I have to feel an investment in the people within the story in order to really have any emotional investment in reading.  One way that always hooks me into a story is to use the first person perspective.  This allows us to see the progression of a character from the start of the story to the finish more intimately than with any other method.  This method can be even more entertaining when we get a glimpse of the mind of someone sliding down the slope of insanity.  This is exactly what Zané Sachs treats us to in her novel Sadie the Sadist.

“Like many people, Sadie feels undervalued and frustrated. Employed by a supermarket, she plots to murder coworkers—or lure them into the employee bathroom for a quickie. Sick of being treated like a robot, she taps into a powerful (and deranged) alter-ego and transforms into Sadie the Sadist. READER BEWARE: This book contains graphic violence, psycho/sexual incidents, and Sadie’s favorite recipes. X-tremely Black Humor.”

Any of us who have ever worked service jobs will quickly find ourselves relating to the plight of hard-working and underappreciated Sadie.  As Sadie starts to come to certain realizations about what her continued work in the service industry means about her, she discovers the other side of herself in the form of Sadie the Sadist.  From there, it is a rapid plunge into hilarious madness.  The person we imagined Sadie to be early in the novel based on the way she describes herself, her interactions with others, and the way people react towards her or act towards her is quickly shattered as we her depravity and brutal nature continues to grow as she embraces Sadie the Sadist.  However, this does not mean that this book is not suitable for more casual horror fans.  Sadie the Sadist has a lot to offer for a wide range of readers.

One of the best things about this novel for me was that even at the most horrific moments, Sadie’s insight and perspective were full of dark humor.  Even Sadie’s recipes placed throughout the book contain a dash of laughs.  One of my favorite lines in the book came from when Sadie shares her first recipe.  “Sadie’s Hot Shit Brownies” tell you at the end that it is important to let the dish cool before cutting it.  Sadie commiserates with us that she knows this is hard, but shares that “time passes faster if you do something productive, like vacuum or masturbate.”  Do not mistake this to mean that all of the humor in the book is sophomoric.  You have to appreciate the placement of this line to get its humor.  It is delivered right along with the rest of the recipe as if it is something you would find in a Betty Crocker cook book.

Another strong point of the novel is Sachs' ability to create a great visual as you are reading.  I have no idea what any of the equipment with which Sadie works looks like, but I could visualize it enough to have an idea.  The over-the-top kills are described with a great balance of imagery that provides enough details for the reader to see what it is that Sachs wants them to see and leave a little bit to the imagination.  Best of all is the first person descriptions of Sadie and the tour through her mind.  You can
not help but love this character, despite the fact that she is gathering a pile of victims rather quickly.  You root for her more and more as she falls further into madness all the way through the surprising ending.

Over all, Sadie the Sadist is a fantastically written mix of horror and humor.  Zané Sachs takes a likeable character with whom we can all relate and sends her right into the depths of sociopathic insanity.  If you haven’t read it yet, you need to do yourself the favor of checking it out.  Maybe even try one of Sadie’s recipes.

So, let’s take a look at the Rage Circus breakdown:

Story Concept - 4/5
Story Execution - 4/5
Story Flow - 4/5
Character Development (give-a-damn factor) - 5/5
Gripping visuals/details - 5/5
Entertainment Value/Story Engagement - 5/5
Editing (including grammar and spelling) - 5/5

Overall – 4.57/5 – Don’t upset Sadie, get your copy and read it now!

You can get your copy at Amazon in print or Kindle version:

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