Blurb: Jacob Duke has come back to Braketon—a sleepy, backwoods town bordering Dover, the mental institution where he spent his formative years. Jacob’s intention is to enjoy Braketon’s woods and water for the first time as a free man, but he soon discovers that Dover isn’t through with him yet. Driven by a curse that compels him to grant any wish he hears, Jacob is drawn back into his disturbing former life by a young boy’s desire to see his own father dead.
Complicating things are Lori Nelson, Jacob’s friend who continues to put new boyfriends in his path, and Motown, Jacob’s friend from his years at Dover, who carries a secret that rocks Jacob’s foundation and makes him question his own morality.
Stonefly has an intriguing setup: Jacob Duke suspects his father is a genie who has given him the worst kind of curse: When he hears someone make a wish, Jacob is compelled to make that wish come true—or the wisher will die. The world-building around Jacob and his birthright is well thought out and presented; there’s not too much information, just enough presented exactly when it’s needed to have the most impact.
Jacob’s curse has led him to do some unthinkable things. At the age of ten, he killed a classmate. Not long after, he punctured his own eardrums with a pencil. But when ten-year-old Frankie wishes someone would kill his father, Jacob is faced with the worst kind of moral dilemma.
This was a competently written book, and I think with a little work it could have been better. I think it was self-published, and there are some rough edges that could stand to be smoothed (primarily interrupting action with flashbacks, which bled the tension at the worst possible moments), but all in all this was an enjoyable read.
This ARC was furnished by the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 3 stars