horror

My Kyrosmagica Review of Glimpses by Hugh. W Roberts

http://hyperurl.co/42ou22

Goodreads Synopsis:

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

“If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future. Every story makes a compelling read and just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Hugh masterfully reveals a brilliant twist. With bite-size and longer stories, Glimpses is a must-read. I loved it.” – Esther Newton, Writer, and Author.

My review:

Welcome, this is my first review of 2017. Happy New Year!!! Happy Reading!!!

This is undoubtedly an excellent collection of short stories from Hugh W. Roberts.

In my opinion, short stories are so difficult to write as the author has to encapsulate so much into such a rigid format and end on an engaging twist too.  Hugh effortlessly manages to introduce us to such a wide range of well-crafted stories, encompassing several genres, ranging from Science Fiction, Supernatural, Thriller, Drama, Humour, LGBT, to Horror, with something for everyone in this entertaining compilation.

When Hugh jokingly remarked that his horror stories might give me nightmares I really didn’t believe that this kind-hearted chap could write that scary a horror story, but I was so wrong!!!!  The particular one that stays in my mind the most is undoubtedly Needles, which definitely made me wince a lot and with a title like that it’s no wonder! Other favourites of mine in the horror category are The Easter Bunny,  The Gingerbread House, and Lipstick. You can see I do like to read horror! I also have a soft spot for The Cake Decorator, (Thriller) and The Last Train to Aldwych (Ghost). Every single story in the compilation is a little nugget of imagination. Hugh may be dyslexic but he certainly has no difficulty on the imagination score! His powers of imagination and creativity are first class. Often dyslexic people are amazingly talented, and Hugh certainly is.


My advice:

Glimpses is highly recommended for all short story enthusiasts. Go get a copy!!

My rating:

4 stars.

Competition Time….

To celebrate the launch of Glimpses Hugh is offering six wonderful Amazon gift prizes. Follow the link here to find out more: Hughs Views and News Competition

Do check out his most recent post about this as Hugh has kindly given us a clue!

A clue from Hugh – Glimpses Competition

Please do support Hugh and buy a copy of his book, and if you could share a review even better…

DISCLAIMER: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Amazon buying link:

Author page

Universal buying link for Glimpseshttp://hyperurl.co/42ou22

I recently interviewed Hugh on Kyrosmagica. Here’s the link:

Hugh W. Roberts Awesome Author Interview

Have you read Glimpses? Do leave a comment below and let me know…

Soon I will be reviewing Ruth Hatfield’s The Colour of Darkness, the second book in the Book of Storms Trilogy, so keep a look out for that.

Bye for now, back to my books…

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Glimpses

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Horns by Joe Hill

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

My review:

I began reading Horns after James Fahy Author tagged me on Instagram:  #backofthebook – Horns Joe Hill.

Horns is one of those books that captures your attention right from the  start in a spectacular way. The main protagonist Ig, wakes up after a night of drunken debauchery with more than a mighty hangover. He finds a set of horns attached to his head, and these act like antennae giving him the ability to coerce people to tell him their darkest, most deeply hidden secrets. Time and time again the result is unequivocally shocking, making the reader reel at the depths to which people will have a hidden dark side. It makes us question just how much we really know our dear neighbours, friends, and family, who we love so much. Undoubtedly, we are all flawed human beings even the ones amongst us who we look up to  are  wretched sinners.

Horns is in part a love story, a tragic one, as Ig’s girlfriend, Merrin has been raped and murdered, and Ig is the prime suspect. Through the antennae effect, we get to learn the true reaction of his family, friends and the community to his possible culpability.

Horns isn’t easy reading and at times I definitely flinched. But it’s one of those books that draws you in and keeps you reading even though you want to look away. The villain is well crafted and engagingly horrible.  If you have a phobia of snakes I don’t recommend you read this novel! It will give you nightmares!

The faster pacing of the earlier chapters gives way to a slower mid section that explores Ig’s relationship with his long-term girlfriend Merrin, who by all accounts is his soul mate, the love of his life. Given her importance to the narrative, this weightier middle section is understandable but does slow down the pace of the novel somewhat.

There is a reveal with regard to Merrin which ties some of the loose threads together in a very interesting way. But I am still a bit unsure about the ending…. perhaps this is a novel that would benefit from a second reading. I did feel that the ‘happier’ ending didn’t quite fit with the rest of the book, but I wonder if it was added as a device to make it less grim and more marketable – particularly with regard to a potential film contract – the film was released in 2014.

I’d definitely read more from Joe Hill, and it’s not just because he’s Stephen King’s son! This is ‘my first,’ Joe Hill novel. With this introduction, I can see that he weaves a wonderfully enthralling tale that explores the darker side of humanity, which continues to fascinate me.

Would I recommend Horns? Yes, most definitely but only if you like novels that explore the darker, murkier side of life.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

Bye for now,

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Stephen King’s Revival

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe. 

My review: 

Revival is without doubt a very good read –  it’s bound to be – but somehow it falls a tiny bit short of a great read which is a bit of a disappointment for a Stephen King novel. Of course there is wonderful writing a plenty, particularly with regard to first love, loss, heartbreak, and death, but the slow middle section makes the narrative drag a little. The conclusion’s on the right track but ends up being so bizarre, (even though I could see what King was trying to say,) that I couldn’t quite take it on board at first reading. The ending benefits from a second reading if you can stomach it!  I’ve read through various reviews debating the final conclusion – what lies beyond death – a lot of readers found the ending pretty disturbing. In my opinion it kind of is, (nobody wants this outcome to be the truth,) and isn’t, because it’s verging on being too fantastical, talk about tripping! I expect that’s the point…. the final trip… electricity style!

Overall, I’d say do read Revival but be aware that it might or might not reach your exultantly high moon struck King expectations. If you have an addictive personality this book is for you! Reactions vary.  Nevertheless, Revival is certainly an entertaining read, portraying the main protagonist’s journey from childhood,  and youth to middle age, in a heady eclectic mix of music, (Jamie’s years playing guitar in a band,) family life, religion, love, sex, and loss, and Jamie’s downfall into drugs.  As well as addictive drugs we are introduced to pastor Charlie Daniel’s obsession  with electricity, his moving away from the church (after his young family die, in horrible circumstances – this is the pivotal point that shapes the story,)  resulting in his experimentation into the darker side of electricity, (with side effects that would make prescription drugs look pretty lame,) until he commits the ultimate terrible act against nature, and God.

I particularly enjoyed the dark humour reflections on getting older… just check these quotes and you’ll see what I mean:

“The three true ages of man are youth, middle age, and how the fuck did I get old so soon?”

“On the way home I remembered a bit of old folklore about how to boil a frog. You put it in cold water, then start turning up the heat. If you do it gradually, the frog is too stupid to jump out. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I decided it was an excellent metaphor for growing old.”

“When I was a teenager, I looked at over-fifties with pity and unease: they walked too slow, they talked too slow, they watched TV instead of going out to movies and concerts, their idea of a great party was hotpot with the neighbors and tucked into bed after the eleven o’clock news. But—like most other fifty-, sixty-, and seventysomethings who are in relative good health—I didn’t mind it so much when my turn came. Because the brain doesn’t age, although its ideas about the world may harden and there’s a greater tendency to run off at the mouth about how things were in the good old days.”

See what I mean, King really does understand how the body ages but the brain stays forever young. Cruel or what?

Music outlives us all…. see this quote and you’ll know what I mean…

“Music matters,” he told me once. “Pop fiction goes away, TV shows go away, and I defy you to tell me what you saw at the movies two years ago. But music lasts, even pop music. Especially pop music. Sneer at ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’ if you want to, but people will still be listening to that silly piece of shit fifty”

My rating:

A difficult one to rate, on first reading – 4 stars. Might benefit from a second reading – the more I think about this one the more it intrigues me!

Have you read Revival? What did you think of it? Are you a fan of Stephen King?

Bye for now,

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Dark Room by Tom Becker

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood.

I’ve been participating in the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads, and this is the last book in the series,  read during the week 26th October 2015 – 31st October 2015.

I joined in the readalong with mixed feelings as I am a bit of a novice horror reader – I tend to be a trifle  scared of reading frightening stories – but astonishingly I have found it really fun and totally enthralling throughout. I whipped through those pages reading five books in super quick, heartbeat time! There have been moments when certain passages I’ve read have turned my stomach, or left me hugging my duvet for comfort but it has been such a positive experience overall. So thank you so much to Chelley who blogs at Tales of Yesterday and Heather from Heather Reviews for including me in this readalong.

My overall favourites are without a doubt, Frozen Charlotte from week 1 and this final book Dark Room from Week 5! So the best were first and last as far as I was concerned!

My review:

Dark Room certainly started off  dark and sinister and that’s a fact. The Prologue tells the tale of Walter West, a rich young chap, but don’t be fooled this, he is no sweet boy next door! If you are friends with Walter West and you’re young and pretty, don’t pop over to visit, well not unless you want to be viciously murdered.

In Chapter 1 we are introduced to the main protagonist a sixteen year old girl called Darla whose life has been hard, with a capital H, she certainly hasn’t had a fairy-tale existence. Her dad hopper is a drunken, hopeless fellow who runs from one unhappy experience to another. Her mother Sidney killed herself. Darla runs away from yet another bout of trouble with her dad Hopper to Saffron Hills. She finds that Saffron Hills has its fair share of  beautiful people, is obsessed with looking good, and is home to the Miss Saffron beauty pageant. Not exactly a place to make Darla feel at home as she is a fairly plain looking girl.

There are a bunch of mysteries to solve in this book so at times it came across more like a murder mystery than a horror story. Though there are elements of horror in Dark Room, the visions that Darla experiences are certainly horrible,  and this sense of terror is amplified by Darla having no control over these frightening and disturbing visions. As the story unfolds she starts to try to take control of these visions, but more about that later…

Darla meets with her artistic neighbour Annie, who befriends Darla and Hopper. Annie is a fascinating character too with a hidden aspect to her personality that is revealed later in the novel.

When more beautiful kids are killed Darla’s personality changes, she becomes this courageous kid investigating, trying to stop another murder from being committed. That’s when I really started to love Darla, undoubtedly she is the best character in the book, the one that you can’t help but root for.

Photography is used in a creative way as a device in this book, to reveal the next murder, but is also used to suggest the nastiness of the beautiful crowd. In one particular scene TJ takes a selfie with Darla to ridicule her and other plain girls like her.  Natalie, Gabrielle, Ryan, TJ, Carmen are beautiful on the outside, but inside they are mean, unlikable, thoughtless bullies. That is not a criticism of the book, the beautiful kids are meant to be portrayed this way, a message is intended to come across. Beauty is more than outward appearance it is what you hold in your heart. The cruel message finally gets through to one of the beautiful kids, who eventually turns over a new leaf.

Darla’s friend Sasha is an interesting but flawed character. She is pretty but in a non-conformist, punk style of way. She is also quite unlikable, and comes across as pretty uncaring, and glib, until one of the kids who she is secretly fond of in the beautiful clique gets murdered. Frank  appears to be Sasha’s errand boy, but even Frank has a side of him that is kept a mystery.

So a very intriguing story, full of mysteries, secrets, it kept me wondering, guessing… I guessed the murderer then I changed my mind, then I guessed again… Lots of excitement.

The ending was good but perhaps a bit far fetched so instead of a 5 star read I’ve reduced it by half a star!

Would I recommend reading this?

Absolutely, if you can stomach it!  The murders are visually gruesome, made me flinch in parts but nevertheless I found Dark Room very absorbing. So go out and get a copy… Just don’t do any selfies for a while…

Warning: Not For Younger Readers.

My rating:

4.5 stars

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

Buying Links:

Amazon UK Kindle: http://amzn.to/2xfFm5r

Amazon UK Paperback: http://amzn.to/2w5vRUV

 

Links:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-qa-with-tom-becker/

http://www.welcometodarkside.co.uk/index.tao?PageId=Biography

Bye for now.

Do comment I’d love to hear your opinions. Have you read Dark Room or any of the other books in the #redeye series?

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#Redeyereadalong: Dark Room by Tom Becker

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Bad Bones, I’m joining in the #readeyereadalong:  The Red Eye series of books from Stripes Publishing, this event runs from September 28th to October 31st and is hosted on Goodreads.

There are five scary titles to get you in the mood for Halloween!

Frozen Charlotte, Sleepless, Flesh and Blood, Bad Bones, and Dark Room.

Dark Room is the next scary book I’ll be reading for the #RedEye readalong  from:

26th October 2015 – 31st October 2015

Wait a minute – 26th October, that’s today. Can it really be the final week? How time flies when you’re having fun.

It is the final book in the readalong!!!! Dark Room by Tom Becker.

It’s been a blast such eerie, scary excitement all the way, there’s never been a dull moment.

Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis of Dark Room:

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood.

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog. There are lots of fun activities on their blogs so do check them out:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/

Have you read Dark Room? Do you dare to? Let me know if you have!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My Kyrosmagica Review of Bad Bones by Graham Marks

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Goodreads Synopsis:

 

Some things are best left buried. Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave. Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…A chilling new story in the Red Eye series.

This is the fourth book I’ve read in the #redeyereadalong, from Stripes Publishing. I have to say they have all been different, and quite engaging in their own way. So what’s my take on them wicked old Bad Bones?

My review:

Bad Bones starts off with Gabe getting himself in deep water by finding a grave and raiding the skeleton taking a very expensive looking gold bracelet. This seems like an answer to his prayers, a way for him to be able to help his family who are in financial difficulty, but instead he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into a nightmare scenario of growing proportions.  He starts getting followed around by owls, cayotes and a creepy guy. Soon he realises that his actions have led him and unsuspecting bystanders and friends into grave danger. Excuse the pun!  To add to his troubles he tries hard to avoid getting involved with low life Benny, and his dodgy money making schemes, but doesn’t manage to succeed. The only silver lining in this hellish scenario is his developing relationship with Stella, and his pal Anton who obviously cares for him and literally does have his back. I enjoyed his little sister Remy too. The scene in which his sister inadvertently gets involved and Gabe goes into big brother panic mode is one of my favourite parts of the book.

The humour is a bit of a double edged sword in Bad Bones because at times this distracts from the potential scary/creepiness of the storyline. This is particularly true with the character of Rafael who comes across as being a bit over the top,  an almost stereotypical baddy. Somehow I just couldn’t take Rafael seriously, at times he just seemed to be verging on ridiculousness.

Of all the characters the main protagonist Gabe is the most well defined, a regular kid who wants to make things better for his family. He tries his best to do what’s right. Stella, the love interest in the novel  seems a bit too goodie goodie to be true. What girl would hang around under such circumstances? Does she love to live dangerously or perhaps have some kind of a death wish? As far as Stella is concerned I kept on expecting some kind of plot twist but that never happened. I was really hoping that she was the baddy’s sidekick but no such luck! She’s a bit too good to be true. Anton, Gabe’s best friend appears in various cameo roles predominantly at the beginning of the novel and then at the end. He seems very noble, and worthy of the title best friend, but his part in the story possibly could have been developed more. The other character that deserves a mention is Father Simon, Father Simon is pretty cool, he reminded me of the cool dude that married me!! Kind of has hidden aspects to his character does Father Simon, he even possesses a firearm, now that’s all I’m going to say about him!

So mixed feelings about Bad Bones. Had me giggling, enjoying the M & M moments, imagining tucking into those chocolate peanuts before fighting off evil. But, if you enjoy being scared out of your skin and bones then this one is not that scary compared with the other #redeye books that I’ve read up to now. There are moments of scariness but it is more like a sort of Scooby Doo of the Horror book world, which suited me quite well as I’m a bit of a wimp but probably wouldn’t be as popular with the die hard horror fans. So a good choice for novice horror readers who perhaps want a laugh, some fun, likeable characters and a touch of horror thrown in for good measure.

My rating:

3 stars.

If Rafael had been portrayed as a more scary character this book would have climbed the star levels, but as it is, it stays at around the 3 star level.

Have you read Bad Bones or any of the other books in the #redeye series from Stripes Publishing? If so, please do comment and let me know what you think.

Links:

http://grahammarks.net/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/05/qa-with-graham-marks/

doyareadme.tumblr.com

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

#RedEyeReadalong: Bad Bones by Graham Marks

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Flesh and Blood, I’m joining in the #readeyereadalong: The Red Eye series of books from Stripes Publishing, this event runs from September 28th to October 31st and is hosted on Goodreads.

There are five scary titles to get you in the mood for Halloween! Frozen Charlotte, Sleepless, Flesh and Blood, Bad Bones, and Dark Room.

The next scary book I’m reading for the #RedEye readalong this week  from 19th October 2015 – 25th October 2015 is Bad Bones by Graham Marks.

Sounds fascinating, wonder what kind of bad bones we’re going to be in store for!

Here’s the Synopsis to tell you more:

Some things are best left buried. Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case. Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave. Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…A chilling new story in the Red Eye series.

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog. There are lots of fun activities on their blogs so do check them out:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/

Author link:

http://grahammarks.net/

 

Have you read Bad Bones? Do let me know I’d love to hear if you have read Bad Bones or any of the other books in this readalong.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

My Kyrosmagica Review of Flesh and Blood by Simon Cheshire.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

I must record the facts that have led me to where I am now. So that, when someone reads this, they understand. Sam Hunter’s neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they’re liars too. The Greenhills are hiding something and Sam’s determined to find out what it is. As his investigation unfolds, he realizes the lies reach further than he ever imagined – is there anyone he can trust? Uncovering the horror is one thing …escaping is another. A chilling new story in the Red Eye series

My Review:

I’ve been reading several horror novels in the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads, this is the third book in the series from Stripes Publishing that I have read, enjoyed, (if that is the right word!) and reviewed. During this week’s  #RedEyeReadAlong – 12/10/2015 – 18/10/2015, I’ve been immersed in Flesh and Blood. Oops that doesn’t sound right, let’s hastily change that to I’ve been reading Flesh and Blood!

Flesh and Blood kind of lives up to expectations in terms of its title – this is a pretty gruesome horror read. The central theme of Flesh and Blood is not ghosts, scary dolls, vampires, witches or demons,  it focusses on warped people,  doing some disgustingly deplorable actions. In my opinion this makes it a harder to take read,  we can’t blame it on a fantasy element, it’s the human race that’s well and truly screwed up! So this is a horror read for those who like their horror choc-a-bloc full of gore.

The beginning starts of fairly slow, fooling the reader into thinking that perhaps nothing too horrible can possibly happen in the apparent heavenly suburbia of Hadlington. But even then there are huge hints that horrendous things are about to happen. A dead guy is found in the park on Sam’s first day at his new school and the state he is in isn’t exactly picnic viewing. Put it this way a lot of the kids from school who see his dead body are offered counselling afterwards.  Nearby in an area known as Elton Gardens there is gang activity, giving the snobby kids and their parents a ready scapegoat for the murdered guy. This is a fast paced read which explores class differences, snobbery, reminding me of the kind of cruelty perpetrated in the Second World War. It manages to do this all in a neatly packaged horror format. I have to admit to turning pages in a desperate need to find out what happened in the end, (the ending is no picnic either.) Somehow, the ending left me feeling rather depressed!! Though in its defence the ending rocked, it was undoubtedly the strongest conclusion but don’t expect a cheerful read !! Hey this is horror!!

Overall, I would say that Flesh and Blood is a well crafted story but I have a slight personal preference for Frozen Charlotte and Sleepless in the books I have read up to now in the #redeyereadalong.

The main reason why?

Due to Sam’s interest in journalism, and his narrating the story,  the reader can expect a fair amount of telling in this novel. At times this narrative device just annoyed and distanced me from the story. At a particularly pivotal point in Flesh and Blood Sam told the reader exactly what was going to happen next, and I was just staring at the page and wondering why, why, why? I found it difficult to identify with the main character Sam Hunter possibly due to this and some of his actions though understandable under the circumstances nevertheless came across as pretty heartless. So if Sam ended up in deep water I didn’t really care as much as I should have done if he’d been more likeable. In fact I think I identified more strongly with his nerdy friends, Liam and Jo, who he leads into trouble, and I ended up feeling very sorry for them. Of all the characters Emma Greenhill, Sam’s neighbour, and the Greenhill’s in general captured the full focus of my attention with Emma’s sweet perfection at the beginning evolving into something else entirely.

Apart from the above points Simon Cheshire wove a clever story, and kept me entertained all the way through, though it was pretty gruesome in parts, and definitely not for the younger reader or those who don’t like gore!

There is a warning on the back of the book about it not being suitable for younger readers which is undoubtedly justified.

A bit mixed feelings about Flesh and Blood, a highly compulsive read, with an ending that doesn’t hold back, bringing Sam’s narrating to a conclusion which leaves you with a sick feeling lodged in the pit of your stomach, so BEWARE it might not be for everyone.. Possibly I’m too much of a horror novice to cope!!!  EEK!

Links:

The following links are for author Simon Cheshire, and Chelley Toy’s Blog, and to Heather’s review blog on WordPress, (both Chelley and Heather are organisers of the readalong.)

http://simoncheshire.co.uk/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/10/spotlight-red-eye-read-along-flesh-blood-by-simon-cheshire/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/03/flesh-blood-by-simon-cheshire/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/redeyereadalong-qa-with-simon-cheshire/

 

My rating:

So difficult to rate, probably just a tad under 4 stars, I’d say, 3.75 stars.

DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”  

My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in exchange for a review. 

 

Buying Links:

Amazon UK – Kindle – http://amzn.to/2xmxvmA

Amazon UK – Paperback – http://amzn.to/2xkZPWw

Do comment if you’re read Flesh and Blood or any of the other books in the #redeye series. I’d love to hear your opinions.

Bye for now,

file

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

My Kyrosmagica Review of Sleepless by Lou Morgan

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My blog theme this month is spooky, scary, creepy stuff and nonsense in the lead up to Halloween, so with this in mind I joined the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads. I’ve already acquainted you with Frozen Charlotte, and now from 5th October 2015 – 11th October 2015,  I’ve read the second book in the #redeyereadalong, Sleepless by Lou Morgan, finishing a couple of days early!!!!

I finished this in super quick time, it was such a faced paced, exciting, adrenalin filled read.  Highly entertaining.

Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis:

Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.

What did I like about Sleepless?

Well first point I’d like to make is the excellent premise. A bunch of kids from a high achieving school, Clerkenwell, are about to sit their final exams and the pressure is well and truly on to get those perfect results, so they are tempted to take a little innocuous looking pill to make sure they get top marks.  The drug looks harmless but smells foul, that’s the first clue to the outcome. Clever use of this premise by Lou Morgan, she illustrates in vivid detail the nasty side of internet supplied drugs, in crazy, manic, horror fashion, and highlights the temptations that teenagers face in a modern world that is becoming more and more pressurised.

One the whole the characters are well crafted, but I would say that my two favourites are Izzy, and Grey. When these two team up later in the book, the story really starts to buzz with energy.  The beginning of the book builds up the story line slowly introducing the reader to this close knit group of friends. It gives you a view of the different personalities of the characters, not all of which came across as that appealing! Tigs, the instigator tempting the others to take the pills seems pretty brattish, and not particularly likeable. But often it is the characters that seem friendly and approachable that turn out to be not so nice. Lou Morgan explores this concept well by bringing  the worst aspects of the different personalities to the forefront in vivid detail after they have foolishly gulped down these study drugs. Result: Chaos, Fear, Dread, Mania, Sleep Deprivation, Hallucinations.

The book’s title Sleepless is a bit of a hint to one of the possible aspects of the drug. But it does not tell the reader the full story, even though sleeping is crucially important to the story line, believe me when I say there is so much more to come. What price will these youngsters have to pay to get those results?  The reality is shocking beyond the mere word Sleepless. Can you imagine what it would be like to suffer the most dreadful spate of insomnia, then add horrendous hallucinations, murderous intent and then you might be halfway there! I’ve suffered from difficulties sleeping from time to time so this really struck a chord with me, as I know just how wretched this can be. Then add into the horror scenario mix this foul smelling and foul behaving drug. Result: Shocking story.

The story tackles friendships well, and looks below the surface of relationships to question how much do friends know about each other?  Even in sibling relationships in which closeness is paramount, (the twin brother and sister, Mia and Dom,) startling truths are revealed. Just how well do we really know those we love? Again, I felt Sleepless handled this topic so well. The effects of the drug are far reaching, turning friends against each other. So faced with that kind of scenario who do you dare to trust?

The ending is great, but I had to read it twice to really understand what the author was trying to say!! Perhaps it was a bit ambiguous on first reading. So read the ending and the build up to the conclusion more than once to savour its startling implications!!

Warning: Sleepless is shocking in parts, one particular scene really turned my stomach, so this is not for younger readers, or those who don’t like reading anything too gruesome.

My rating:

4 stars.

Highly recommended to readers of YA, Horror, Mystery, Contemporary. Go out and read this now!!

Have you read Sleepless? Or any other good creepy books recently? Do comment and let me know.

Bye for now,

file

 

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

#Redeyereadalong Sleepless by Lou Morgan

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My blog theme this month is spooky, scary, creepy stuff and nonsense in the lead up to Halloween, so with this in mind I joined the #redeyereadalong on Goodreads. I’ve already acquainted you with Frozen Charlotte, and now from 5th October 2015 – 11th October 2015,  I’m reading the second book in the #redeyereadalong, Sleepless by Lou Morgan.

I’ve started it and believe me it is compelling reading…. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the group begin taking the study drug. It doesn’t take long before they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.
Here are links to the two bloggers organising the Goodreads readalong:

Chelle at Tales of Yesterday:

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/09/tales-post-red-eye-read-along-october-2015/

http://talesofyesterday.co.uk/2015/10/spotlight-red-eye-read-along-sleepless-by-lou-morgan/

and Heather who also blogs about you guessed it, books….. :

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/redeyereadalong-qa-with-lou-morgan/

https://heatherreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/redeyereadalong-qa-with-alex-bell/

What are you reading, have you read any scary stories of late?

Bye for now,

file

Marje @Kyrosmagica xx

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