Author: Marcin Lechna
Release date: August 9, 2021
Even though I’m technically closed for review requests, I’ll still get the occasional one that’ll come through that meets my “exception” criteria. New authors or books with limited reviews that sound right up my alley.
So, when Cristina from Authors Large and Small contacted me about ‘Daniel’ by Marcin Lechna, I was intrigued. Marcin has an interesting background and because this was a book first written in Polish and translated to English, it had me wondering what I’d be getting into. Much like foreign horror movies, foreign (to me at least) horror stories don’t follow the formula or the norms. And while this synopsis seemed to lean more to speculative science fiction, I wanted to see what type of experience Lechna had created.
What I liked: ‘Daniel’ is a story about a man, named Daniel, who wakes one day in a white room. It’s sparse and seemingly has no exit. There is a computer which turns on to one singular website where Daniel can click on a few things, but otherwise he’s essentially trapped.
As the days go by, Daniel comes to the conclusion that this place is a puzzle and he must figure out the clues to allow for his escape.
Lechna has written a very unique story here, where there are limited set pieces but a lot of questions and what-ifs. Someone must be watching him. How else can things arrive? Someone must be visiting him. How else can things appear to move?
The prose is great, minimal but impactful and as Daniel goes through his character arc, the subtle shift in writing works really well.
What I didn’t like: It just so happens that this book was sent to be reviewed by the one reviewer who has written a book that is mildly similar with my debut novel ‘Invisible’ that came out almost 5 years ago. If you’ve read that book from myself, you’ll see some of the clues that I did that ultimately made the ending not as impactful as it could’ve been.
For those who haven’t read my book (shame! ha!) the ending will either work for you or it won’t. I think that’ll wholly depend on how much you’ve bought into Daniel’s realizations etc.
As for any worries regarding translation issues, I found none here and nothing felt clunky and there was no odd instances of dialogue.
Why you should buy this: The story was crisp and felt futuristic enough to create questions while reading that can really steer your experience reading this in a number of directions. Lechna does a great job of making Daniel a likeable/relatable character. The story offers the reader that ability to ask themselves ‘what if I woke up in a white room with no exit? What would I do?’ This really heightens the tension.
As for a rating – I’m leaning towards a 3.5/ maybe a 4, but as always – reader experience will vary!
The book launches August 9th, 2021 and looks to be only available currently for pre-ordering through Marcin’s website. If and when this gets added to Goodreads or Amazon, I’ll update this page!
Otherwise you can find out details and ordering links here;