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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess, Andy Marino: A Review

I saw this title making the rounds on Twitter and I was so intrigued. The cover is stellar, and I am a sucker for possession stories. After a string of existential reads, I was looking for something a little meatier and I was thrilled be approved.

Sydney Burgess is a recovering addict trying to do the best for her son. After she's attacked in her home by a masked intruder, however, things turn sideways. She remembers the events one way, but the police tell her an entirely different story. As the memories return, Sydney questions whether her memory loss can be explained by the trauma or something more nefarious.

I liked this book.

To start, the voice is really well done. I loved the exploration of recovery and Sydney's past. Marino does a good job of establishing an authentic character, layered and flawed, that is endearing to the reader without being overly sympathetic or antagonistic. The first few chapters were gripping and bloody and extremely cinematic, and I could definitely see this playing out well on the screen.

I was not expecting a sci-fi angle, so in terms of visitations or possessions, there might be some dissonance with how the series of events plays out. The experimental structure was hit or miss, with some chapters being super successful and others feeling a bit forced/out of order. I didn't mind the time jumps, but as the present timeline unfolds, I found some of the flashbacks unnecessary to character development or plot propulsion.

Overall, The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess is a bloody, troubling read that examines the grittier side of addiction and trauma, but might not be the supernatural possession narrative you expect. Still a solid read and look forward to more from Marino.

Thank you to Redhook and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.


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