The Damage Done
Tony Tremblay
Twisted Publishing (July 18, 2024)
Reviewed by Carson Buckingham

Who doesn’t know a teenager who isn’t emotional? Hormones tend to do such a number that the kids can make ‘Hello” sound like World War III, right? But that tends to be as far as it goes. No deaths, no injuries, just hurt feelings.

Not so with Korean teenager Choi Lee. When Choi Lee gets emotional things happen…bad things. When she gets upset, the guilty are punished all out of proportion to the ‘crime’ and the innocent become collateral damage as her destructive retaliation sweeps through like a tornado. This is why her parents, from the early age at which they discovered this facet of their daughter’s personality, have trained Choi in strict emotional control for her sake and the sakes of others.

It works…up to a point.

When the mean girls play a prank on Choi, she is unable to remain calm, and devastation and a high body count result. Choi, horrified at what she’s done, runs to her mother, who calms her and takes her home where they surprise burglars—one of whom has a gun and shoots them both. Mother dies and Choi is critically injured, but Choi manages to unleash the most horrifying emotional reprisal ever seen before she loses consciousness. At the hospital, her father explains that Choi must be calmed down for the destruction to stop—but Choi is in a coma and the doctors say she’s brain dead.

While investigating, the police captain stops at a hole-in-the-wall pawnshop in town that he’d never seen before. Those inside deal in the occult and will be a tremendous asset in resolving the situation, with an ending that you won’t see coming, but which makes perfect sense. His characters are all so well thought out and interesting that I had no difficulty regarding them as real people and was able to identify with aspects of many of them.

Mr. Tremblay is so adept with words that reading his work is akin to enjoying an excellent chocolate mousse—smooth and delicious—and when it’s gone leaves you with the memory of something truly extraordinary. You will eagerly anticipate the next book so that you may, again, feast on those dark and creamy chapters.

This is one book you do not want to miss.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Carson Buckingham

Professionally, Carson Buckingham has made her way in life doing all manner of things, most of which involve arson. She is currently employed as a freelance writer on a work release program. In her spare time, she studies forensics, in hopes of applying her new knowledge to eluding the authorities more effectively the next time. She is originally from Connecticut, but now resides in Kentucky—and Connecticut is glad to be rid of her.