Ryan Hill published his novel, Barking Madness with an independent publisher, PULSE Publishing. I was privileged to receive a copy of his novel in exchange for a review on my blog. Barking Madness is an exciting surprise. This psychological thriller will keep you turning the page to find out what happens next. Murders, werewolves, ghosts, psychotic delusions…there is so much and yet Hill pulls it all together and makes the pieces connect.
The story is told from two different first person perspectives. Mike and Rose switch back and forth to tell us this strange story as they see it. Mike’s character is strong and endearing. He cares about others even when he is hurting and that makes him attractive as a main character. I definitely wanted to continue to know him and thoroughly enjoyed his chapters.
Rose, on the other hand, is distant and childish. She is introduced immediately as being completely self-involved. I found descriptions of her to be very interesting…I am curious to know more about Hill’s construction of this character. Rose is clearly the central figure of the novel, and yet Hill distances her from the reader. However, this does not distract from the desire to “see what happens next”!
Something pretty neat about Ryan Hill is that he began writing Barking Madness when he was 18 and published the book his freshman year of college! How exciting and encouraging at the same time! What is so great about that is not only the accomplishment in and of itself, but the fact that Hill, who is definitely a talented writer, can only continue to grow in his craft. I would imagine that we may see some extremely good pages from Hill in the future.
(Rated R: for language and sexual situations – I would recommend this for older YA readers.)