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Monday, 20 October 2014

Review: The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story


The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story
The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story by Lisa Unger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars




I received a copy of The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story (The Whispers #2) from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Having loved The Whispers: A Whispers Story (The Whispers, #1) I jumped into part two immediately on finishing it.

Part two takes place 10 years further down the line from where the first one finishes. Eloise has moved on, as well as anyone can, from the devastation of losing her husband and oldest daughter. She's using her gift to help people but still finds herself struggling to come to terms with what is happening to her. As if things can't get any worse, the burning girl makes an appearance.

I must admit I feel like part two made a huge jump in time. I would have liked to have known a little more about what happened between the first book and the second. I would have loved to know how Eloise and her daughter came to terms with her gifts, how she started using them in the beginning. I also would have liked to have known a bit more about how her daughter moved on, how she got to be where she is part two.

However, despite the above, I enjoyed this one. It isn't as emotional as the first but it does pull on the heart strings in places. You can feel and sympathise with how hectic and unsettling Eloise's life still is. The burning girl isn't what she seems and I really liked how the tension built around her character as the story progressed. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I'll just say I'm really keen to see where the story is going to go in part three in regards to Eloise's family.

Another great short in the Whispers collection. The only negative I can really say, is that it was finished before I knew it. I want part three!

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Review: The Whispers: A Whispers Story


The Whispers: A Whispers Story
The Whispers: A Whispers Story by Lisa Unger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars




I received a copy of The Whispers from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Whispers is the first book by Lisa Unger that I have read and it won't be the last. This was such a great read, I was pulled in right from the first page.

The characters in this book are so easy to care for and their experiences tugs on your heart strings. I am not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears while reading this one. The main character Eloise, my heart broke for her. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to go through losing your husband and oldest child, never mind both on the same day. The way Eloise's story is told is expressed so well, I could feel her pain. Not only the pain of losing two family members but the pain of watching her youngest try to deal with what happened.

In the aftermath of events when Eloise and her daughter are trying to recover and move forward with their life, Eloise starts to hear and see things she can't understand and isn't even sure are real. The confusion and doubt portrayed during and after these events adds to the emotional turmoil of her life. Is it real? Am I losing my mind? Do I tell someone? Can she really help these lost and hurt women who only she can see and hear?

I loved the premise of this book and was not disappointed on reading it. The Whispers was an emotional read, it was both heart-warming and heartbreaking, you'll smile, you'll shed a tear and you'll keep turning those pages.

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Review: Figures of Fear: An Anthology


Figures of Fear: An Anthology
Figures of Fear: An Anthology by Graham Masterton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars




I received a copy of Figures of Fear: An Anthology from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I originally planned to read this anthology one story at a time between my other books but once I started I couldn't stop. I enjoyed most of the stories but some more than others. My favourite has to be Beholder, closely followed by The Night Hider, my least favourite being The Battered Wife.

This is a great collection, it's dark, twisted, gruesome and well worth a read.

1: Ex-Voto - Short and to the point, with some squeamish cringe factor. I can't say it was great, just ok.

2: What the Dark Does - That was creepy. I was terrified of the dark as a kid and I remember my imagination runningaway with me convinced that things were coming alive in my room. This story creeped me out, don't read this one in thedark and don't leave it too late to turn that light on.

3: Saint Bronach's Shrift - You need to be a special kind of stupid to build this kind of hideout, seriously.

4: The Battered Wife - Hmm I wasn't so keen on this one at all.

5: The Night Hider - A nice spin on a classic tale. It was a pleasant surprise to see where the twist in this onewent. Great story!

6: Underbed - Well that was a story and a half, there's no end to what a childs imagination can come up with. Verycleverly done and full of imagination.

7: Night of the Wendigo - I enjoyed the lore behind this one but it felt a little short for everything it wastrying to say. Great story though.

8: Spirits of the Age - I wouldn't class this one as having any scares or fear factor at all, for me personally anyway.

9: Witch-Compass - Be careful what you wish for, what you have may not be perfect but things could be a lot worse.Boy did this guy show his true colours and get way more than he bargained for.

10: Resonant Evil - Curiosity can have devastating results. A dark and twisted story on how some ones senses can bemanipulated to see, feel and experience something that's not actually there.

11: Beholder - This has to be the most twisted and gruesome story in the collection. I was cringing at parts of this one. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what if someone was to steal that beauty? How would you get it back?

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Review: Horns


Horns
Horns by Joe Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars




Horns is the first book by Joe Hill that I have read. With the film being released I wanted to read the book before watching the movie, because as everyone knows the book is always better than the movie. I went into this one blind, I had seen so many friends post positive reviews that I decided I would give it a go and not read the blurb before diving in.

I enjoyed Horns, the characters were easy to like and to dislike in the case of the bad guy. The picture Hill creates of small town life, of love, loss and revenge, pulls you into the story and plays on all sorts of emotions and fears.

Horns is a tale of good verses evil that is dark, twisted and original, one that I'm sure many horror fans will enjoy.

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Review: Crawlspace


Crawlspace
Crawlspace by Evans Light

My rating: 4 of 5 stars




Crawlspace was a great wee story. There was a couple of inconsistencies but they in no way ruined my enjoyment of the story itself.

Evans Light does a great job of expressing the fear and confinement experienced by the main character. You feel his terror and claustrophobia and are drawn into the story very quickly, eager to know what the outcome is going to be. And that ending! I'm not going say any more , so as not to spoil it, other than to say that it was perfect and unexpected.

Let this be a lesson, "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned"

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: The Seance: A Gothic Tale of Horror and Misfortune


The Seance: A Gothic Tale of Horror and Misfortune
The Seance: A Gothic Tale of Horror and Misfortune by Jack Rollins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars




I received a copy of Seance from the author in return for an honest review.

I really enjoy the writing style of Jack Rollins, the tales he weaves are both original and atmospherically dark and gothic. The way he builds the Victorian age and atmosphere in his stories pulls me effortlessly into another time and place.

Seance is a tale set more around fear of the occult and the unknown rather than what most would associate with horror. It was very well written, the dialogue fitting perfectly to the time period. I could almost hear their voices as I was reading. The descriptions of the streets and events created a depth to the story that was easily pictured in my minds eye.

I have always been fascinated by spiritualism and the mediums of the Victorian era. There's just something about it that captures my imagination. Reading Seance was like bringing all those old black and white photographs - of darkened rooms with candles, of people sitting round tables holding hands to contact the dead, of spectral ectoplasm and tables tipping - to life.

At only 56 pages Seance isn't a long read, but it has it's fair share of twists and turns and it builds a wonderful atmosphere. It gripped and held my attention from start to finish and I enjoyed it immensely. As if I wasn't creeped out enough by mirrors, Jack Rollins adds a whole new level to that creepiness.

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Review: Funhouse


Funhouse
Funhouse by Michael Bray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars




I read Funhouse in-between full novels or when I was just in the mood for a quick short story to read. I updated the review as I read each story and give a little detail about my opinion on each below. I have summarised my rating and which are my favourite at the very bottom of the review.

1: Mr Ghoul's Quaint Little Ghost Train - This was a great wee story, never again will I look at a ghost train the same. These are a whole different type of skeletons.

2: 99.9AM - A radio station with a difference. Not as good as the previous story for me but still enjoyed it. It didn't go where I was expecting which is always a plus.

3: The Eye - Ugh now I'm going to be paranoid about checking the toilet bowl when using the little girls room. Thanks for that Michael lol.

4: Scarecrows - Scarecrows have always creeped me out. I grew up spending a lot of time on my great grandparents farm, my pop would hide walkie talkies in the scarecrows when he knew we were playing in the fields, his idea of fun. It's funny to think back on now but even to this day they give me the heebie jeebies. This story is kind of like my worst nightmare.

5: Hangman - This is one game of hangman I wouldn't like to play. I kept trying to work out the answer, no fair!

6: The Boy Who Saw Spiders - Ugh spiders. I was half way through this story and stopped to make a cuppa, when filling the kettle a huge freaking spider fell from it into the sink, scared the life outta me. Now I keep imagining I'm seeing the little sods everywhere! Not too sure of the ending of this one though.

7: The Man in the Alley - I loved this one, my fav so far! The characters and the interaction between them just grabbed my attention. The mixture of curiosity and fear kept me totally intrigued.

8: Sick Day - Ugh that was just yucky. I hope that dinner wasn't what I think it was.

9: Jasper - Poor Jasper. I'm not a big fan of birds and have always disliked crows. Dislike them even more now.

10: Tilly - Ugh creepy dolls, enough said. Gave me the heebie jeebies that one.

11: Long Tall Coffin - Let this one be a lesson to you boys and girls. Never bully!

12: 50/50 - Darn it Michael, you can't leave me hanging like that! Poor choice of words considering the theme of the story but cmon, I wanna know what happened! I really liked this one, so simple yet so effective.

13: Cabin Fever - Cabin Fever is my favourite story in this collection so far. I loved the way it was written, the voice of James was excellent. There are a couple of great twists too. I Really enjoyed this one.

14: The Langton Effect - Hmm not too sure how I feel about this one. I can't say I didn't like it, it just didn't grip me like the others have.

15: The Trial of Edwyn Greer - What a great twist on vampirism. I really enjoyed this one, it was great to read a vampire story that was different from the norm.

16: Candyland - Small towns can be picturesque and welcoming but they can also be far from what you are expecting or what they seem. Candyland is not a place I fancy ever making a pit stop at.

So now that I have finished this great collection of shorts, I can honestly say that Funhouse is the first anthology I can easily give 5 stars to. My favourite in the collection has to be (#13) Cabin Fever, closely followed by (#1) Mr Ghoul's Quaint Little Ghost train, (#7) The Man in the Alley and (#15) The Trial of Edwyn Greer.




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