Sunday, 29 March 2020

GHOSTER by Jason Arnopp

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another book I've had my eye on for a while and decided to finally get stuck into. After all, I enjoyed the hell out of The Last Days of Jack Sparks. 😈

Kate Collins is a paramedic with a social media problem. Her addiction to her phone screwed her up in many different ways. So she doesn't engage anymore and only uses a very basic phone.

That all changes on the day she's supposed to be moving in with her boyfriend in Brighton. Scott isn't in his flat and all of his stuff is gone. The only thing left behind is his phone...

Wow. This book is fantastic! It's packed with SO much, and everything fits SO well together that I couldn't put it down. Still, I forced myself to take my time. To make sure I didn't miss any of the essential details.

I was instantly hooked into Kate's hectic way of telling the story. Right from the beginning, she offers details in such sporadic bursts, that I knew she was intentionally leaving out plenty of stuff. And because I love reading unreliable narrators, I couldn't wait to find out where the mystery of her missing boyfriend was going to take me.

The story is told in Kate's POV, her timeline alternates between the moment she first spots Scott and what happens when she moves in with him. Or rather, into his apartment.

Although she peppers the narrative with clues and enough pieces from the past to get an idea about what's going on, she holds back enough to keep the core mystery buzzing and the tension building. And along the way, she faces some seriously weird shit. A lot of fascinating stuff.

This book was as addictive as Kate's desperate need to sift through Scott's rabbit hole of a phone. 😲

I really liked how well the obsession our modern world has with social media is portrayed. And not just that, but also the way it showcases how dependent we've become on our phones. In theory, it's easy to state that they're a computer and communications device in the palm of our hands. BUT the reality is that our phones have become an extension of us, almost like another limb we need instant access to.

It's quite the observation and having this clever commentary depicted via a very creepy and sinister story provides such a disturbing experience.

I had an awesome time with this supernatural thrill ride and LOVED the ending. Everything becomes so very clear all at once.

Oh, and I thought Izzy was a great character. She's interesting and strong, honest and loyal. If it wasn't for her, Kate would've fallen apart a lot sooner.

Can't wait to see what Jason Arnopp comes up with next...

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

THE FLOWER GIRLS by Alice Clark-Platts

The Flower Girls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've had my eye on for ages but because--for some strange reason--I always put off reading my most-anticipated reads, it's taken me a while to get to it.

Laurel and Primrose were sisters. Little girls who liked to play games together. One of them was convicted of murder and the other was given a new secret life.

Now, years later, the one who had the chance to live gets caught up in the mystery of a missing girl in the hotel she's staying in...

Wow. This book is amazing.

I was hooked as soon as I started. I couldn't put it down. Didn't want to, but took my time because I wanted all the details to stick. I enjoyed collecting all the messed up pieces while the puzzle was slowly put together through the narrative.

Looking at the paperback doesn't give you the scope of just how huge this book really is. Within the pages of this brilliant psychological thriller, there are many moving parts and plenty of players to keep you guessing.

This elaborate story is told in several POVs. All of them slowly add a new layer to the main thread, while also revealing what lies beneath at a great pace. These characters ramp up the tension and spread out in unexpected directions, leading the reader down an unpredictable path filled with intrigue and a very dark core.

Every new chapter I read threw me deeper into the mystery and muddled the waters a little more. Even so, I started forming a picture of what I suspected was going on. And although I did get some aspects right, there were others that I did NOT see coming. Like the secret wickedness hidden in the past, or where some of the characters end up.

Not to mention that ending! 😯

I do love reading thrillers and mysteries that keep twisting until the very last chapter, and this one is DEFINITELY one of those. It was so tricky! And yes, I'm not mentioning any of the nitty-gritty details because I don't want to spoil anything.

There's nothing better than reading a highly-anticipated book and it turns out to be everything you hoped it would be, and so much more.

Just one more thing, I think the simplicity of this cover is perfect.🌼

Sunday, 22 March 2020

This Week's Reading

Hey! How are you today? Hope you're having a nice weekend.

Just thought I'd pop in and post about something I mentioned on Twitter last night. I even posted links to my reviews over there, but I thought it might be cool to write a blog post about it too. 😊

I know a lot of people don't like Twitter because crappy stuff goes on sometimes, but that's not Twitter's fault. That's just people. And people always disappoint.

Anyway, personally, I really like it over there. I've been tweeting for years and asides from this blog and Goodreads, it's the only social media I bother with.

Through the years I've met, and continue to meet, some really cool people. A bunch of them happen to be authors. Writers just like me, who are pubbed by smaller publishers, are self-pubbed, or a bit of both. I also happen to have quite a few of their books on my Paperwhite, so I decided to spend this past week reading books written by some of these cool people. 

Here's what I ended up reading: 

That's two short story collections, two novellas and one novelette. I loved all of them for different reasons, but mainly because they were all awesome in their own dark and twisted way.

I really enjoyed doing this and had such a great time, that I'll definitely do this again soon.

Can't wait to pick another five titles... 😁📚

Saturday, 21 March 2020

WARDING by Kev Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As soon as I read the blurb for this story, I knew it was something I wanted to read. I was not wrong because I enjoyed the hell out of it.

When Kate moves into her new house with her dog, Tigger, she's eager to turn it into a comfortable home. But after Tigger starts digging at a wall in the cellar and finds a horrible surprise, her life is turned upside down...

Wow. What an awesome novelette!

As soon as I started reading, I was hooked and couldn't stop. The writing is smooth and sets the mood as perfectly as the mounting tension. Kate is an awesome character who might be terrified by what she finds, but responds in a logical way. The two supporting characters were great. And Tigger is such a cutie.

Oh, and what lurks in the cellar is both terrifying and cool. Terrifying because I felt so bad for Kate and what she was going through. Cool because I love creepy house stories, witchcraft history and demonology. There were two very familiar demonic names mentioned that I've researched and used myself in my own stories, so I always get a kick out of that.

Loved it.

Friday, 20 March 2020

WE ARE ALL MONSTERS by Cassie Carnage

We Are All Monsters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this book on my Paperwhite for a while with the intention of reading it, and today I decided it was time...

HER ROTTEN EMBRACE is a beautiful, lyrical tale about revenge and healing after the ultimate rage has settled over a murder victim. I loved how the swamp and nature imagery simultaneously invoked so much emotion.

CANCER'S REQUIEM is a heartbreaking story. I loved the flawless personification of such a cruel disease as a terrifying monster hellbent on ultimate destruction. Another lovely, but dark tale.

THE RING is a somewhat twisted and humorous story with heart. Seeing dead people really messes with Nick's life but sometimes, it can also lead to some surprising situations.

DROSOPHILA felt like being stuck inside an incoherent waking nightmare that buzzes away inside your brain like little fruit flies containing small fragments of the story. And when you reach The End, they all come together.

THE DYING LIGHT is a longer and very wicked story with an awful twist ending. OMFG. Brad and Frank really should've paid more attention to the stories told about the abandoned mines and the ancient spirit haunting them.

THE CORNUCOPIA was a demented little tale about Greed, Famine, God and the burned preacher who gets caught between them. It's also a hopeless story about the Forgotten people in society and the silent struggles they go through. Oh, and it has a really gross ending.

HOT WATER is a cautionary tale about what can happen when someone starts looking into something as simple as a faulty hot water system, and ends up dealing with vile magic. Which is exactly what happens to Addie and Hugh. Wow. Loved how this tale ended up doing the switcheroo on me.

BLACK HEARTS AND BLOODIED LIPS turned out to be an interesting urban fantasy vampire story with a bloody good twist and great world building. Annie and Sam make a great team, but I wonder what will happen to them after that intriguing ending...

WALPURGISNACHT reminded me that there's nothing like an evil witch story to grab my interest, and this was an excellent one. Maybe they should've listened to Mrs. Calvera.

OF 'SQUATCH AND MAN is the story of three friends--James, Ryan, Eric--who go on a camping trip. Where they discover a beastly secret one of them is keeping, in the most brutal way. Oh, and it was a hell of a lot of fun!

THREE THIEVES OF NIGHT PRELUDE is actually a preview of one of Cassie's novels. I liked it!

All of these stories caused me to feel different emotions, ranging from feelings of sympathy and empathy, to amusement, horror and intrigue.

I was deeply drawn into every character and what was happening to them in such an involved way that some of these tales left mental scars. And that is an awesome thing, because it means that with words and great descriptions, Cassie Carnage painted vivid images in my mind.

This is definitely a fantastic horror collection with a great mix of dark tales. There's something for everyone, and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed all of them. A LOT.

Loved this book!

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