Ngeri by Gina Yap Lai Yoong

I've just known about a publishing company named Fixi, in which they derived the word from 'fiksi'. During my outing with my siblings several weeks ago, I took the time to visit the Times bookstore at Suria Sabah. It suck that they didn't accept the 1M voucher, and most people might agree with me that sometimes Times gave ridiculous prices for books that were actually a lot cheaper in Popular bookstores or at Zenithway (Penguin).

Still, it was pleasing to find some contemporary styled books at Times. I had never seen the Fixi books around any other bookstores. So, I was particularly thrilled about these fact. There were a lot of books like these at that time I couldn't make up my mind which I wanted to buy. Some of the books that caught my attention was Zombijaya, Jerat, and Cekik. I had the feeling that all of these were very good. I chose to buy just one first in to check whether it would be to my liking. And after I read this, I would indeed go and make a collection out of Fixi books!

Now, onto the book~

Joanne, Samuel and Rehan are three university film students who dream about being successful in Hollywood. Their obsession: producing scripts which feature sadistic murders. Their scripts however are always rejected by their professor, who thought that their plot too illogical. But, everything changes for the worst after a series of murders occur similarly to their scripts. The three suspects one another. When the murder looms the university environment, panic begins to grip upon them. Is one of them the murderer?

First thing first, the writing is quite good. Not exceptional, but good nonetheless. They are easy to read and Miss Gina uses contemporary words that makes it very enjoyable to read. Miss Gina uses unconventional ways to get her story across; such as using telephone conversations, and emails to show how the plot goes from one event to another. I like her method as it makes the book a lot more fun. There is no extravagant or flowery words to describe the characters' feelings, the grim atmosphere or anything. But Gina still manages to preserve the disturbing atmosphere and delivers a quite chilling story.

Second thing is the plot. I mentioned that the plot is scary, but at some parts they are a bit funny and ridiculous. For once, I knew that it is ______ that commits all the murders, as he can be seen to be really interested with the rejected scripts. I mean, he is the ONLY one interested in the scripts, so it is like putting a large sign that says "HE'S THE ONE". However, there is a twist that I have never expected at the end of the story, and I think it is a nice one. I mean, who would have thought! All the murders scenes are nicely done. It seems Miss Gina knows how to create unique crime scenes and gory imagery.

Last thing is the characters of Ngeri. The three main characters- Joanne, Samuel and Rehan- are thought out pretty well. I like how Miss Gina presented them in contrast personalities; Samuel the hotheaded slacker and stubborn student as well as rude, Joanne the careful and playful one, and Rehan as the most composed and easy-going. I thought Miss Gina had done exceptionally good on Samuel by portraying his attitudes through his hateful comments, his taste for 'rempit' and also his procrastination by showing how he spends a huge amount of times on facebook games while neglecting his assignments. It is great that the author is using the principle of 'Show, don't tell' in her books, as this give more room for me to get invested with the characters using my own experiences with real life or imagining one. Some of the other characters are also great; like Hema, and Professor Bazri.

I would love to read more Fixi books now. I recommend this to anyone who would like to read anything Malay that is contemporary, have elements of 'pulp fiction' and interesting themes.