Many thanks to the author, Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for a copy of ‘The Wise Friend’.
“I could never have believed I would wish my son would love books less, let alone dread the consequences.”
This was a very deep and interesting read. I still feel to relatively new to Ramsey Campbell – first being introduced to the author by my husband almost 3 years ago – I find him a brilliant author. A master of words and of horror.
This is a wonderfully descriptive novel, set in Liverpool (very close to myself) and reads mostly in the first person which I really liked. Patrick has brought his son Roy to visit the place where Patrick’s Aunt Thelma tragically lost her life. An artist, Thelma has a great deal of history to her name.
This was a mystery horror novel, slow to get moving in some respects but with that, the pace does fit the story. It’s a descriptive wonderland, fanning the flames of one’s imagination and leading the reader down a dark path.
I would love
to see this made into a movie or mini-series (are you listening to this Netflix?).
The imagery and scope of the landscape, the nightmare sequences, down to the
descriptions of the characters (especially Meggie) is work of flawless art. This
book is a real testament to the ability of the author.
The scene is set from the beginning; creepy yet beautiful Scottish Loch, an old stone circle, a house in the middle of no-where (a glorious old building), Meggie the mysterious sister and not to mention the majestic stag. An accident on the way to the house for the groups post-graduation holiday results in a wrecked hire car and a dead stag. No one was seriously hurt… but the accidental killing of the stag sets of a chain reaction of supernatural events centered around Mike Carter (our main protagonist). Mike’s friends Alex and Kay, and girlfriend Helen are dragged through the ringer by his deteriorating state.
The mental collapse of Mike throughout the story is handled vividly yet with delicate ease. First the accident, then finding out his girlfriend is pregnant, as well as his drinking and weed habit, he steadily circles the pits of despair, not knowing what is real or what is a dream.
Hearthstone Cottage is a wonderfully written supernatural horror story that captures the Scottish charm and beauty effortlessly.
“A house that
sat empty for fifty years as its dead owner instructed. A locked room with no
key. A single father with eight-year-old twin girls. A nursery from long, long
ago that no child ever played in.There are eerie things going on at The Arbors
in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Architect Jordan Blanchard is joined by his
friend Callie Pilantro (“Callie – The Bayou Hauntings 1”) and Landry Drake
(“Forgotten Men – The Bayou Hauntings 2”) to learn the secrets of a domineering
matriarch whose two husbands died in bizarre ways. They explore the house as
someone watches from a hidden place high above. The Nursery, the third book in
the series, will keep you up late at night wondering what’s behind the next
door, what lies beyond the mirror and who hides and waits at The Arbors.”
this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The initial grabbing
point for me was the cover, I found it to be quite intense and thought provoking,
and I’m always interested to read and good haunting story.
first half of the book read really well. The story was developing nicely and
the plot seemed to be going somewhere. I didn’t find myself at a disadvantage
from not having read the first two stories in the Bayou Haunting series either –
always a plus. What knocked it down to a three star review? The latter half of
the story lost its way somewhat. It felt like it could have been wrapped up far
quicker than it was. I found myself getting bored and wanting to skip to the
end. I hate that in a book. I feel like I need to give a book my full
attention, and I always feel dreadfully guilty when I am not enjoying the
the characters, Landry I found horrendously annoying – As I haven’t read his
book, I can’t comment as to whether this is just ‘him’… But he was a pain in
my side the brief times he appeared. The father of the twins, Jordan, I really couldn’t
force myself to like him either. He just came across very contradictory. One
minute nothing matters but his children, and the next, he is totally absorbed
in work forgetting about them.
setting, Louisiana, I found perfect. The descriptions of the area, that
southern charm and atmosphere were there in the forefront. For me, sadly, that
was the saving grace, it was well written and thought out. It seemed to be a
combination of poor characters and a lazy plot that let it down for me.
isn’t sure what to expect when her father’s job uproots her and her brother,
Dion, to Estes Park, Colorado. But right away, something doesn’t seem right
with their hotel. Jayla soon discovers that their home for the week, room 217
of the Stanley Hotel, is the most haunted place in all of Colorado. Barely
asleep the first night, Jayla watches a ghostly woman walk toward her bed. And
the ghost visits her room every night. What does the ghost want? And what
happens when Jayla and Dion get in her way?
Every state has its
own spine-tingling stories of ghosts and mysterious hauntings grounded in its
regional history. The Haunted States of America series uses
real-life ghost lore as jumping off points to new, chilling tales. But beware:
sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.”
Thank you to Netgalley for this copy of ‘Trapped in
Room 217’ to read in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great little read, a short story based around
the true haunting of a room in a popular haunted hotel. This is based on The
Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where the author did actually get to stay
overnight, just sadly not in the room itself.
Jayla and Dion (I love this kid, he packed nothing
but books) head to Colorado with their father for work, also meaning that spring
break starts early for them. They arrive at The Stanley Hotel, and are
pleasantly surprised at how grand it appears. Immediately though, they are disturbed
by an eerie feeling. It seems the other guests know something they don’t.
In the middle of the night Jayla is awoken by a
chill, the room has turned icy cold. She and Dion are frightened by a figure in
their room, the ghost of Elizabeth Wilson, a maid at the hotel from the early
The story goes on to see Jayla take it upon herself
to ‘release’ Elizabeth from room 217, but of course it’s not quite that simple.
I love things like this, ghost stories based on true
events. I think in another life I would have ended up as a ghost hunter on a
show such as Most Haunted, but anyways, enough about me.
The ending was a tad anti-climatic, but that was down to the author staying true to the history of the hotel. It would have taken away from the real life story to have this turn into some sort of Poltergeist style haunting. Over all though, it’s an enjoyable story, well worth an hour of your time.
Clue meets Riverdale in
this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly
night one year ago.
One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has
told the truth.
But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion
in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of
course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the
prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was
Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person
bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually
happened on that deadly night, one year ago.
Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them
Or will their lies destroy them all?”
let me extend my thanks to NetGalley, and of course the author, Chelsea Pitcher,
for this copy of ‘This Lie Will Kill You’ to read in exchange for an honest
This has many ‘I Know What You Did
Last Summer’ tones to it. We have a group of teenagers, a party, drinking,
driving and finally, a death. One year on, someone wants their revenge.
Five teenagers – Juniper, Ruby,
Parker, Brett and Gavin – all arrive at a mansion with the expectation of
competing to win a $50,000 scholarship, a prize each of them desperately needs.
After the events of one year ago where a fellow student tragically lost his
life, each of the five have struggled academically. Juniper, for example, would
have been valedictorian with a scholarship to a school of her choice. But that
party, that fateful night one year prior changed everything. It was a similar
story for each of them. One night altered their lives in unimaginable ways.
This is a story about bad decisions. A
showcase of the poor life choices we make in haste turning out to have lasting consequences.
This is a whodunit novel, Cluedo for the Riverdale-age, with a variety of
shallow and frankly quite annoying characters. I found myself wanting to carry
on, but struggling to connect with the book. It wasn’t a read I particularly
enjoyed, which considering I am a fan of franchises such as I Know What You Did
Last Summer, and shows like Riverdale, I thought it would definitely be
something I would like.
I feel like, well for me, the let down here was the characters. They were annoying, boring, shallow, horrid people. No one you would be able to garner any sympathy with. A big part of my enjoyment in a story comes from my developing relationship with the characters. I love to be invested, I love rooting for a character, being drawn into their lives,feeling a variety of emotions for them. That was missing here. The setting itself had loads of potential. A creepy mansion, life size porcelain dolls (they are extra creepy at the best of times), and a murder mystery dinner. It could have been really good. It’s a real shame that it was let down by the lack-luster characters.
“‘She sat us all down and told us a
story. About things that lived in the woods. Things that only came out at
For Charlie, a school ski trip is the perfect
escape from his unhappy home life. Until a storm blows in and the resort town
is cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped on the mountain, the students
wait for the blizzards to pass, along with mysterious ski guide Hanna.
But as night falls and the town’s long buried
secrets begin to surface, the storm is the least of their problems….
A chilling RED EYE horror, perfect for fans of
Dawn Kurtagich, Juno Dawson and Charlie Higson.”
This was a thrilling read, I became quite wrapped up in the story
and with the characters early on. A group of teenagers, on a school skiing trip
to a remote resort, what could possibly go wrong? Plenty it would seem, for
this particular ski resort is like no other. A storm is heading in, meaning
that there will be no skiing happening for a day or two. Both the students and
their teachers, lead by their guides, head back to the lodge. A lot of the
workers and regular townsfolk head back down the mountain before the storm hits
to avoid being stranded. This place has a dark secret, for there are monsters,
vampire like creatures who every so many years, awaken to feed on the unsuspecting
tourists. The locals though cover it up, sacrificing them like lambs to the
slaughter to keep themselves safe. High on a remote mountain, it’s very easy to
say it was an avalanche, or a skiing accident. It’s too easy to lie.
Hanna is desperate to find out what became of her brother. She was
told it was a skiing accident, she knows something doesn’t quite fit, it
doesn’t feel right. She has heard the stories, the tales told to children to
keep them away from the edge of the mountain. To keep them safe.
A terrifying night ensues, leaving a group of lone teenagers in
fear for their lives.
Thank you to NetGalley for this copy of Whiteout to read and
review. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was pretty fast paced,
lots of action with a good mix of character development intertwined. There are
quite a few characters in this book, and I feel they were all given adequate
time, letting the reader get to know them and subsequently be rooting for them,
even if they are not the nicest of people.
For me, what knocked this off from being a 5* book, is the ending.
The discovery in the cave somewhat took away from the terror of the creatures,
causing it to lose some of its claustrophobic intense atmosphere. By far though
this is a great read. As the reader you are pulled deep into the narrative from
the beginning, developing a relationship with the characters and feeling the same
fear and trepidation as them. This book contains some very gory moments, and
some pretty good scares.