Deliciously scary. Nathalie Ruas, Le français dans le monde n° 374, March/April 2011
Over the generations Louise Gaucher's family has become stronger and stronger thanks to its powerful women who have made the family the success it is today. Amongst the well hidden secrets of the family is that Louise possesses a gift: she is able to travel within the dreams of others. As the year falls into the grip of winter, mysterious things start happening around the Chais, the Gaucher's property. Simon Larcher, a policeman by trade, means to get to the bottom of this affair. But in doing so he risks a nightmare situation.
By involving many characters and blurring the boundaries of the real, Anne Fakhouri has created a really disturbing and even oppressive narrative. The reader is, both willingly and unwillingly, confined within the book and has to rattle through the pages so that at the end he is free from the unpleasantly enduring feeling of dread. The freezing January conditions with its short foggy days add a hostile element; the plot itself is dizzying and drags you down and down, with no sign as to where it's leading, until the final part where everything becomes clear. Surprise elements are many, with the author bringing new characters and new twists and turns to feed the plot and the sense of dread. Clues are liberally scattered and the nets drawn in slowly but surely around the reader and the main characters to reveal an ancient and powerful nightmare. The narrative takes the form of an adult fairytale, in creating wonder, but spares both nothing and nobody. It is terrifically aesthetic and so dark that it becomes almost suffocating.
Narcogenesis is a remarkable journey back to deeply entrenched roots, taking you far away yet keeping you imprisoned. It is the kind of novel you have to read again in order to appreciate the clues left and how intelligently constructed it is once you know the ending. You won't be able to put this book down, you have been warned: you are under its spell!
What is so striking about this book is that we enter a world cleverly balanced between the imaginary world (with Louise's gift, the Sandman), and our real world (a child disappears, a police inspector leads the investigation). [...]
As far as the writing is concerned, Anne Fakhouri is certainly gifted. Her style is lively, fluid and subtle, showing a great deal of emotion and feeling. She has managed to tell a wonderful story where the supernatural/real mix is very subtly distilled and where childhood fears have the upper hand over reason.
I hope that this foray into the world of adult literature will not be the last. Anne must still have so much to tell us!
Narcogenesis is a morbid tale on the theme of childhood lost, (a disturbing variation of the Wizard of Oz), which will captivate lovers of the supernatural.
Its originality stems above all from the omnipresence of women. From abortion to infanticide, the author examines the feminine psyche in its most sombre forms. The Chais, the impenetrable Gaucher property, becomes the scene of the most atrocious crimes, fruits of hidden and undivulged pregnancies.
In Anne Fakhouri's novel, the baddies are ectoplasmic dregs desperate to get back the vital energy they have been deprived of. Between the land of the living and that of the dead, of coma and awakening, there is only a tenuous link, a yellow brick road ... like the one that leads to the Wizard of Oz. Except that here the aforesaid wizard is a lot more wicked than the one in L. Frank Baum's story...
The author presents us with a morbid tale that has a sickly-sweet air about it, an indictment of the adult world, which on occasion is reminiscent of Stephen King's It ... A must-read.
Denis Roditi, Nabbu.com
A cross between a detective novel and a dream-related initiation process, this novel will take you right out of your every day life. Narcogenesis by Anne Fakhouri is therefore an excellent dream fantasy novel to carry you off to places undreamt of. [... ] A fast-paced book, with a police investigation as backdrop, will have no trouble in finding its readership, considering how everything is so perfectly set up by its author.
And then there are the rather taboo subjects. Narcogenesis attacks them head on and renders this family's secrets even more horrific, dealing with some that are even older and more sordid than we might have imagined at the start. A real journey into horror!
Anne Fakhouri has actually updated a supernatural structure, using a modern style of writing and themes that are no less so. The writing works closely with the characters, their secrets and fears, and their memories and traumas.
Narcogenesis is once again fresh proof that the supernatural genre, the real thing, which bites you to hurt you is still around and in good health, only waiting to slip in between a couple of fantasy novels and some paranormal romances so it can fall into the hands of eager readers and surprise them. All the better, it's what the genre needs!
In the end, Narcogenesis is one of those novels that one reads for the pleasure of getting shivers down one's spine and becoming involved in a simple yet skilful story. Leslecturesdecachou.com
If I wanted to come to a rapid conclusion, I'd say that Narcogenesis is quite simply a very beautiful book. Dense, tense, dealing with cruel and serious subjects and superbly written, its narrative confirms the talent of Anne Fakhouri, who has already received the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2010 award for her previous novel, The Clairvoyage. A masterpiece rich in elements of the supernatural.