Stripes Publishing

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

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#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

#RedEyeReadalong: Bad Bones by Graham Marks

bad bones graham marks

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,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#RedEye Readalong: Flesh and Blood, by Simon Cheshire

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As you’ll know if you saw my previous post re: Sleepless, 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’ll be reading for the #RedEye readalong next week from 12th October 2015 – 18th October 2015 is Flesh and Blood by Simon Cheshire.

Well, no messing about with the title, this one spells it out straight away, Flesh and Blood….. Yikes, let’s hope I don’t have nightmares…..

Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis:

Sam Hunter’s neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they’re liars too. The Greehills 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 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/2015/10/06/redeyereadalong-qa-with-lou-morgan/

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

 

Author link:

http://simoncheshire.co.uk/

There will be tweets about the readalong using the hash tag: #RedEyeReadAlong

This month as I mentioned before I will be focusing on a bit of scary fun to get me in the mood for Halloween, so any posts that I do will be spooky or linked to Halloween !!! I promise…

Let me know what you think about Flesh and Blood, have you read it, do you dare? !!

Bye for now. I hate bats.. ugh…

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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,

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Marje @Kyrosmagica xx

Ronovan Writes Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge # 64 Tide and Flesh

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I’m joining this week’s haiku prompt challenge from Ron, the prompt words Tide and Flesh just seemed to be made for me as I’m doing Halloween type/scary posts leading up to 31st October.

Here’s a few of my recent activities:

I’ve been joining the #red eye scary read along, from Stripes Publishing, more about that on my previous post: https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/read-eye-readalong-frozen-charlotte/

and I’ve written a Halloween themed short story for #BlogBattle too:

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/blog-battle-blood-moon-a-rip-of-a-ride/

So let’s talk haiku, I’ve written several this week, five in total. You see I like spooky things, even though spooky things scare me!!

sunrise-66954__180

The Red Tide

The red tide flows in

It decimates the shoreline

Flesh flows scattering

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Vampires Outlive Us

Vampires outlive us

Life drifts and flows on the tide

Flesh decays with time

ghost-235395__180

Ghosts Harbour Grudges

Ghosts harbour grudges

With no flesh to look pretty

Tide drifts ghosts do too

woman-533874__180

Wily Witches

Wily Witches Spells

Make their old flesh young and firm

Charms cast on the tide

blood-moon-521892__180

The Blood Moon

The blood moon settles

High above tide’s jewelled throne

A red shadow glows

Link to Ronovan’s Blog, do check it out, he has an awesome blog:

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Hope my haiku didn’t give you the shivers!! What do you like to do to get in the mood for Halloween? I’ve been watching vampire diaries!!

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Bye for now,

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

#Red Eye Readalong: Frozen Charlotte

Frozen-Charlotte-book-cover

Just to say that I’m joining in the #redeyereadalong:  The Red Eye series 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.

We’re starting with Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell.

Here’s the synopsis on Goodreads to get you in the mood, if you dare!

We’re waiting for you to come and play. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind…Sophie arrives at the old schoolhouse to spend the summer with her cousins. Brooding Cameron with his scarred hand, strange Lilias with a fear of bones and Piper, who seems just a bit too good to be true. And then there’s her other cousin. The girl with a room full of antique dolls. The girl that shouldn’t be there. The girl that died.  

Author website:

http://www.alex-bell.co.uk/

A fellow WordPress blogger Heather is running the goodreads readalong with Michelle Toy from Tales of Yesterday blog.

Links to these two bloggers Red Eye posts are below so you can connect with them, and find out more about the readalong:

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

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

There will be tweets about the readalong using the hash tag: #RedEyeReadAlong

This month I will be focusing on a bit of scary fun to get me in the mood for Halloween, so any posts that I do will be spooky or linked to Halloween !!! I promise…

Bye for now.

Let me know what you think about Frozen Charlotte if you’ve read it, or any of the other titles in the #redeyereadalong. Or have a chat about Halloween, I’d like that too!!

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

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