Sunday, January 29, 2023

"Episode Thirteen"

Craig DiLouie is an author of popular thriller, apocalyptic/horror, and sci-fi/fantasy fiction.

In hundreds of reviews, DiLouie’s novels have been praised for their strong characters, action, and gritty realism. Each book promises an exciting experience with people you’ll care about in a world that feels real.

These works have been nominated for major literary awards such as the Bram Stoker Award and Audie Award, translated into multiple languages, and optioned for film. He is a member of the HWA, SFWA, International Thriller Writers, and IFWA.

DiLouie applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Episode Thirteen, and reported the following:
From page 69:
After a few seconds, she will let the device record all night, which will be played back the next day to look for electronic voice phenomena. The voice of spirits.

Jessica: Can you tell me what your name is?

She waits.

Jessica: Do you know what year it is?


Jessica: Do you dream?

A piece of plaster falls from the ceiling onto the floor. She looks around nervously.

Jessica: We’re friends. Are you friendly?

The wall rustles again. It sounds like chuckling.
When I took up the Page 69 challenge, I was very curious what I’d find. I have to say it’s a good representation of what readers will find in Episode Thirteen, for several reasons. In this horror novel from Hachette, a team of paranormal investigators who have their own reality TV show venture into a haunted house hoping to capture evidence of the supernatural. They get far more than they bargained for.

It’s an epistolary novel, meaning it’s presented as a collection of documents—in this case, video transcripts, journal entries, emails, and the like—that combine to tell a complete story about what happened to the team. On this page, we conclude a brief chapter that is a video transcript. In this scene, Jessica, one of the investigators, engages a dusty room using an audio recorder to get electronic voice phenomena, or EVP. This is where an investigator asks questions, waits a few seconds, and then plays it back later to see if any words show up on the recording that the human ear didn’t detect. Any entities in the house don’t answer, however, though Jessica begins to get nervous.

In my view, this little slice captures the epistolary flavor of the novel, the common use of gadgets in ghost hunting, and the psychology involved in believing you may be interacting with something powerful and creepy that you can’t see. It also foreshadows the ominous point that if spirits exist, they may not be interested in playing along with the living but instead playing their own game.
Visit Craig DiLouie's website.

The Page 69 Test: One of Us.

The Page 69 Test: Our War.

--Marshal Zeringue