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An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Before I begin my review on this amazing book, I want to give a big thank you to Gemma Creffield from Angry Robot Books for contacting me about this new release. Full Immersion releases on September 13, 2022 and horror fans will not want to miss this one!
When I was first contacted about Gemma Amor’s upcoming release, I read the overview and was immediately intrigued. It gives you just enough information to reel you in without really telling you too much. This book comes with a lot of warning labels for possible triggers including depictions of suicidal ideation; post-natal depression; implied acts of violence towards a child; and a visceral birth scene. But if you’re not easily triggered, I can tell you these warnings can be taken lightly. However, I know many people want to know the trigger warnings so there you are.
I will say the first few chapters felt a little slow for me and I was worried that I might not be able to continue reading it, but I was so intrigued by the premise of this one that I forced myself to continue. Reminding myself that the initial chapters are always a little slow to lay the foundation. Boy am I glad I continued because after the first few chapters settle in, I couldn’t put this book down for more than a few hours at a time. I found myself fully immersed in the story of Magpie and her self exploration.
To give you a little background, this is a story of a woman that continuously is attempting to take her own life and is seeking help after nothing else has worked for her. She reaches out to a company that is using ground-breaking new technology to immerse patients in a VR (Virtual Reality) world to be treated for mental health issues. But as the story goes on, the experience is nothing like any of them had expected. Piecing together her life using photographs, stories, letters and any family input – the technicians in the story have essentially recreated her life in snapshots for her to wake up within and explore her own mental illness.
There are very real mental health issues addressed in this book related to post-natal depression. As a mother of three children I very much understand how lonely and difficult those years are as you’re raising your children. It is the most precious gift and experience in life, but also creates an anxiety and overwhelming sense of self- critique than anything else I have experienced in my life. Because of this relatable experience, I would say the story of Magpie is even more impactful because it provides a very deep representation of these experiences that many people cannot explain to others and have an even harder time reconciling with themselves over their fears and feelings.
I honestly enjoyed all the horror elements of this one as well where it genuinely provided me this creepy sensation whenever Silhouette appeared.
This is Magpie’s manifestation of her guilt and fear and boy does that manifestation give me the absolute CREEPS! But not so creepy that I couldn’t continue on, because in reality, this characterization is spot-on for what that internal darkness can feel like. The entire story had me absolutely hooked and I just could not put this book down.
Coming September 13, 2022!