From the age of seven, Jack Harper is raised by the leader of a mystical cult, Cyrus Harper. Through Cyrus, Jack receives a full education in all usual subjects - economics, literature, mathematics, history - as well as one unique skill useful to a person in Cyrus's position: assassination. With the help of Roland James, a man incapable of dying, Cyrus hones Jack into the perfect weapon to use against all who oppose him.
It is not long, however, before Jack discovers that Cyrus and Roland are not the only ones living in Cyrus’s mansion. There, too, exists a mysterious creature in the depths of the house with supposed immortal magic. According to Roland, this creature is responsible for all the miraculous things Jack has witnessed throughout her childhood, including Roland’s resurrection. The creature, potent and powerful, only weakens in the presence of Cyrus’s red velvet box - a dark, enchanted tool that grants Cyrus his invincibility and ensures his reign.
Lonely and terrified by her life in the cult, under Cyrus's neverending watch, Jack desperately pursues the mysterious being. When they finally meet, her world is turned upside down, as he offers her more than she could have ever expected - the possibility of escape and her own secret, magical power.
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Freaked Me Right Out
4.75 out of 5 stars The amount of times in the introduction of Pivot that I felt myself getting squeamish in my chair… was a lot. Barlow holds back no punches as this story is introduced and we meet Jack for the first time. Jack is doing things that no child should ever see – let alone do. And they were definitely there to make you queasy (but also introduce the story and just how messed up Jack could become). I went into this unsure of what the genre would be, but this is definitely a horror story. It has the same build up and the same type of bad guys in it – along with Jack sort of being the anti-hero. I saw in another review that “Pivot opens with shock and the shock never ends” – I’m sad that I couldn’t think of a better way to talk about this story other than to rip off that other reviewer, but it’s incredibly true. I just kept thinking “no, no, there’s no way” about everything that happened. Each character we’re introduced to is crazy in some way – it’s just a matter of time before we figure out how (and so does Jack). The cult itself gave me the heebie-jeebies numerous times, and the thing that Jack seeks out numerous times in the beginning of the story had me wondering what the heck was going on. This whole book had me looking around in the dark every time I put it down. Barlow was able to write a great horror story that freaked me right out.