Slade House

Title: Slade House

Author: David Mitchell

Genres: Fantasy | Horror | Paranormal

Length: 233 pages

Source: Purchased

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4.5/5

Premise:

In an alley, there is a tiny iron door that only shows itself on certain times and is only visible to certain people.
If you happen to be one of them, be careful. Slade House has two inhabitants who will want you to stay forever.

Review:

Ok this review is going to be different because I simply have to gush over this amazing cover:

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Not only is it absolutely gorgeous but it also conveys the feeling of the book splendidly.

And inside… Inside you are able to glimpse something that is one of the many secrets of the book in a chilling design:

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Also gorgeous!

Alright, enough gushing, on to the proper review.

Slade House is a difficult one to review. There are some books where you just can’t say much without spoiling the experience because the unveiling of the mysteries at the pace that the author presents them is what gives it such power, and this is one of them.

What I can tell you however is that it is a deliciously magical novel. For me, it was absolutely riveting, fast-paced and most of the time I was completely enthralled by the narrative. And every time I thought I knew what was happening, doh! Nope, the author got me.

I had heard good things about David Mitchell and this was my first experience with him. I can definitely say I would love to read more by him.

There were a couple of things I did not understand and if you have read the book I would love for you to let me know:

If it is said that Gordon did not call the handyman then that means he never left the orison that first time, right? Not like anyone else did. So how did he write the report describing the little door then?

It is said that one of the twins creates the orison and we don’t see much of that one during the interaction with their guest. I got the feeling that that twin does all the work keeping it up and whatnot. However, in some cases both Norah and Jonah appear, especially in the first one with Nathan. So how exactly does it work?

I was confused as to why they had to wait 9 more years after Freya. Does the door only open on that specific day at the end of October?

Norah kept arguing with her brother but I never got what alternative she was proposing. If they left, their bodies would age and rot, so what could they do?

Also, I was not a fan of the open ending and it makes me wonder if there will be a sequel, though it doesn’t look that way.

Other than that, this was an amazing read, highly recommended if you are looking for a magical tale with a chilling touch.
A solid 9 out of 10.

Read from Mar 3rd to Mar 4th, 2017

GR Review

Wicked Prayers

Title: Wicked Prayers

Author: S.D. Moore

Genres: Horror | Paranormal

Length: 246 pages | 3753 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 1.5/5

 

Premise:

It all started with a priest not being able to let go of his wife and now dark forces are awakening in Autumntown.
Can the evil be stopped?

Review:

I usually read while eating. Couldn’t do that with this one.
Man, there were some disgusting bits.

Wicked Prayers started really well for me. That prologue immediately grasped my attention.
But shortly after it all went downhill.

I just could not appreciate the characters. The dialogues felt like right out of the crappiest B-movie and the plot was so messily constructed that I could not enjoy the book.

When I was coming to roughly halfway through the book it started to majorly drag out for me. There were pages and pages of useless dialogue and I often innerly yelled Come on, get to the juicy part already and cut it out with the crappy attempts at humour!

The more I read the more it felt like a parody of a horror book instead of a proper one, with soldiers throwing lines like No hot girls are getting eaten on my watch! or Yeah the frickin Beast is a beeeast!

There wasn’t even a proper evolution. One minute the characters did not believe in anything supernatural and then next they are (especially our main character Del) experts on how to kill the ‘monsters’ and how to make the Beast weaker.

I had to keep fighting the urge to skim through the text and trudged through most of the book. More and more characters kept being introduced (or rather dumped into the story) and I just could not keep track, nor felt any will to catch up by that point.

The ARC needs major editing. Lack of punctuation, missing words and misspells (even with main characters names) were just a couple of issues I constantly found.

Wicked Prayers is one of those reads that has so much potential but when you don’t have believable characters it is just ruined, at least for me.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Feb 7th to Feb 11th, 2017
GR Review

Hangman’s Army (Lake of Sins #3)

Title: Hangman’s Army (Lake of Sins #3)

Author: L.S. O’Dea

Genres: Fantasy | Horror | Paranormal | Post-apocalyptic | Speculative Fiction | Thriller

Length: 565 pages | 7940 locations

Source: Author

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4/5

Premise:

Book 3 of the Lake of Sins takes place four years after the events of the previous one. While High Hugh Truent was in prison for claiming that all classes were genetically similar, the world outside changed radically. A war is looming… and the allied classes need Hugh.

Review:

When I first looked up the book details I thought whoa, 565 pages, that is going to take me a while. But it went by so fast! I never imagined I would finish in just three days.

I cannot say this enough, L.S. O’Dea is such a talented writer. The pace is relentless but that does not mean that the world and character development is not satisfying, on the contrary. There is a lot going on but it is quite easy to follow and it only made me want to know what happened next.

It’s a YA book, not my favourite genre, so there will always be things I don’t particularly like as the characters end up sounding too dramatic for my taste. Trinity ticked me off a few times but I enjoy to see her keep growing.

There were quite a few repetitions – a lot of disgusted looks, for instance, and the way Hugh kept correcting mother to Sarah and father to General Truent when he found out the truth just felt forced and overdone, just like the excessive compliments on both Trinity and Hugh. I feel that their actions say enough, we don’t need to be told several that Trinity is brave and honest, even through the voice of another character, or that Hugh really doesn’t want more deaths on his conscience.

All in all I had a really good time reading this. Some parts made me laugh out loud, which earned me quite a few puzzled looks on the bus ride home, while others had me biting my nails. Some scenes were just so tense that I figuratively stood on my toes.

I can honestly say this is amongst the best YA reads I have stumbled upon and encourage you to pick up these books. This series has all the ingredients to become an epic.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jan 25th to Jan 28th, 2017
GR Review

A Collapse of Horses

Title: A Collapse of Horses

Author: Brian Evenson

Genres: Horror | Paranormal | Science Fiction | Short Stories

Length: 220 pages | 2683 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4/5

Premise:

A varied short story anthology.

Review:

What a wonderful collection of short stories. They manage to be thought-provoking, engaging and entertaining.

Overall they were quite disturbing, exploiting the darkest corners of the human mind, and really got under my skin. Some struck me as almost psychedelic and/or nightmarish. They were not only quite philosophical but also just plain insane and my oh my there were so many types of insanity.

As in all anthologies there were stories I liked better than others and there’s always the feeling of disappointment when I finish a story that is just too short or unresolved, but if you are a fan of the genre and don’t mind your mind being turned into jelly I am sure you will enjoy this.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Jan 21st to Jan 25th, 2017
GR Review

Dark Vision

Title: Dark Vision

Author: Debbie Johnson

Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal

Length: 336 pages | 4414 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 2/5

Premise:

Lily can see a person’s future just by touching them.
It is not something she wanted or that she can control so, at 26 years old, she is almost a hermit, working at night and not letting people touch her. Ever.
When a handsome stranger enters her life, Lily will finally get the answers she craved. But she will not like them.

Review:

When I began reading Dark Vision I found it a refreshing YA novel. The main character is in her mid-twenties and has developed quite a sarcastic personality.

However, as the story progressed I found myself growing more disinterested in what happened. The premise is never really explained properly. Concepts that could have been engaging were just mentioned and then never picked up again because it became all about Lily. Her witty remarks were a bit much at times, to the point where the lack of interest and blind acceptance of everything that happened was no longer new and uplifting. It was just unbelievable. Same goes for her friend. Who on earth would accept vampires just like that, not to mention all the other stuff?

Lily’s thing with Gabriel got so old so fast. Towards the end I just felt like the story was dragging on and on, repeating what had already been told so many times, with all the main character’s ‘all my life’ speeches.

There is an attempt to create a choice out of a situation where there simply isn’t one and, again, that got really old after a while.

I just can’t say I enjoyed the story, though I did like the Liverpool setting and the main character’s humour, for the most part.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Dec 2nd to Dec 4th, 2016

GR Review

Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1)

Title: Drayton, the Taker (Drayton #1)

Author: Tony Bertauski

Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal

Format: Mobi

Length: 70 pages | 688 locations

Source: Author Newsletter / Promotion on Amazon

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Premise:

Drayton does not know why he is the way he is. He only knows what he is compelled to do, which is to take human essence.
To balance his nature, he tries to atone by honouring his victims’ dying wish.

Review:

I absolutely love Tony Bertauski’s ability to come up with interesting new concepts. Even if they are not absolutely new, he has a way of recreating them into something unique.

Drayton the Taker is no exception. I was immediately taken by the story. It is so much more than a vampire’s tale, though there are similarities.
The way Drayton was introduced was incredibly well achieved and it set the pace for the narrative’s development.

It is remarkable how the author manages to depict each character so well in such a small story but the fact is we get a crystal clear idea of who they are and what moves them.

I was intrigued by the change in Drayton’s behaviour considering his past. I would have liked to know what triggered his sense of morale, but I can only hope the sequel(s) will explain that.

This is a brilliant introduction to a mysterious, dangerous character, who seems to also have a soft side and once again Bertauski does not disappoint.

Note:
This book is currently free on Amazon; click here!

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read on Nov 10th, 2016
GR Review

White

Title: White

Author: Tim Lebbon

Genres: Horror | Paranormal | Short Stories

Length: 62 pages | 918 locations

Source: Negalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

Several people are trapped inside a manor while outside the world changes.
The snow is relentless and it seems that someone may be hunting them.
Can they escape?

Review:

White is a very bleak, end of the world novella.

For the most part, I felt the prose engaging. Some descriptions were beautiful, even if sad.

As events begin unfolding, I thought it odd that the main character would not be more horrified,but on the other hand it makes sense if you consider the resignated frame of mind he was already in by that point. Still, I wish I could have felt more connected to him and the other characters.

Some things did not make much sense though, like how it was possible to walk so many hours and not be attacked by one of the whites or why claim Hayden was poisoning them when they never showed any signs of feeling sick.

I could not help feeling disappointed about the ending but I suppose it was fitting.

White is not a tale for everyone. There is horror, sadness and despair, and hope and happiness are distant notions. If you feel you can deal with the desolate feeling it will imbue in you, I recommend it.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Nov 4th to Nov 7th, 2016
GR Review