Review: Alex – Adam J. Nicolai

”Alex was Ian’s five-year-old son: brilliant, earnest, and compassionate. He is dead now, but Ian can’t let him go. When his wife urges him to move on, he drives her away. His performance at work collapses; his friends leave him.

Six months later, alone in an empty house, Ian starts to see his son again. Every vision is a repeat of something the boy said or did in life: aching memories replaying themselves for Ian’s eyes only.

Are these images of Alex real? Has he found a way back, to forgive or condemn his father? Or has Ian’s sorrow metastasized into psychosis?”

Alex is the first novel by Adam J. Nicolai and has been a kindle bestseller of the genre suspense. Ian Colmes is the protagonist of the story who has lost his son Alex as he was kidnapped by the man Leroy Eston and later brutally murdered. In the process the kidnapper also dies, and Ian is left with a great feeling of guilt, not having been able to save his son and still not being able to do anything. As the back cover says, Ian Colmes is left alone in his house and is not able to let go of his son. As both visions of Alex and his kidnapper appear, Ian tries hard to figure out the reason why they are there, concluding that either he has gone mad after the incident and is now hallucinating, or Alex has come back to torment his father for not having saved him.

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The plot in Alex is very interesting and very original. It focuses a lot on the feelings and thoughts of Ian throughout the story, seeing how he processes and changes. The reader is slowly seeing Ian fall into despair and madness, and it is so well described that the reader may also feel these changes.

Because of the huge focus on Ian’s feeling, not much is going on in the story and sometimes there are quite an amount of pages to read with little to no progress which can seem somewhat boring at times. But then again it is really nice to be inside of Ian’s mind and see what a father would be thinking after losing his only son. The fact that the plot isn’t filled with crazy action scenes all of the time sure does make the story seem rather realistic, even with the visions of Alex.

This inner conflict Ian has, of whether he has gone mad or he sees the ghost of his son, leads him much further away from the people he loves, because with both options he is not able to tell anyone. Throughout the entire story he discusses these options with himself, while the reader does exactly the same. The reader knows only what Ian knows and therefore the conflict of the story becomes the reader’s conflict. Adam J. Nicolai does an amazing job of making the reader a part of the story.

Alex by Adam J. Nicolai (English), 300 pages, Lone Road Publishing LLC

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