My Rating: 4 Stars
A great read! A mix between different genres that blend perfectly together and with a style of writing that got me hooked from the beginning.
Arriving in a new school, Annie feels out of place. When she meets Elsie, she is forced to become her best friend. Her new friend soon begins to reveal that her character isn’t at all pleasant: she is controlling, spiteful and demanding, but at the same time, she is violently bullied. When Annie ends her relationship with Elsie and joins the opposition, things take a turn for the worse: Elsie dies of influenza… and she comes back to haunt Annie. How do you release a vengeful ghost when its anger is aimed at you?
This suspenseful novel is a page-turner with brilliant descriptions and amazing characters.
The setting was very well picked; the reader is taken back to 1918 during the World War I where political tension runs high, the talk of war is current and the Germans are considered the enemy. The descriptions allow the reader to live the story instead of just reading it. The storyline is solid and its depth reveals a few brutal events and behaviours that took place during that time. There is a mix of genres that is perfectly balanced and they all come together to create a historical ghost story.
The novel is fast-paced; I couldn’t find a moment it slowed down even for a moment, one of the reasons the book was so hard to put down.
The characters are the best element in the novel for me. They are very well developed and defined not only in behaviour but also in dialogue and their actions. I must admit I found it impressing that the author managed to do this with so many characters and not once lose track or diminish their presence in the story. Elsie is a character that I couldn’t help but sympathise with. In my opinion, her actions and behaviour come from her lack of attention and acceptance and her loneliness. If she never got anything positive out of human interaction, she wouldn’t know how to actually establish contact in a friendly way in the first place. She has a difficult character, but she was also a victim. Annie is a good main character and she struggles to fit in. In the end, she chooses to be part of the bullies group and it becomes her downfall. She does learn from it though, which was a satisfying point personally. Annie and Elsie are the pole opposites of each other both in personality and behaviour, like good and evil. However, I think the point of the author is that none is really good and no one is really evil, at least not without good reason.
A great read, one that I recommend to all the fans of a good ghost story with historical highlights.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Clarion Books. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best mystery thrillers I’ve read this year! I’m a fan of Caine’s work on The Great Library series and it was a pleasant surprise to read something so far from the fantasy world!
Gina Royal had it all: the house, the husband and her two children, completely unaware of the deadly secrets hidden behind a perfect family picture. When a car accident brings to light that her husband is a serial killer, Gina becomes Gwen Proctor, a woman on the run from accusations and internet stalkers that find her guilty of helping her husband. In desperate need to settle down, Gwen moves to the remote house of Stillhouse Lake where she thinks her children and herself will finally have some peace. That is until the body of a woman is found floating in the lake, killed with the same method Gwen’s husband used.
It’s a horrific, thrilling and suspenseful novel that had me glued to its pages, right from the first chapter. The style of writing and the very well thought plot made this novel very addictive and compelling. The feeling of paranoia is always present and the characters will share that feeling with the reader. The atmosphere builds up perfectly and every event just adds to a great climax. The novel works perfectly on the dangers of the internet and how “internet is forever”. The author describes very well the social dilemma of how the family of a criminal is easily put in the same bag even though they had nothing to do with the acts committed by that individual. People tend to forget that there is a chance they might be victims too. Also, beware: if your husband doesn’t show you his garage, maybe it’s not just his workshop after all…
The characters are well developed and very well described. Gwen is a great main character and a warrior; I was proud to read about her deeds and the demonstration of her courage. Her first priority is always her children and if she has to break the rules and moral codes to do it, so be it. It takes a lot of courage and a strong spirit to be able to do what she does in the novel. Overall, the relationships in the novel are solid, especially between Gwen and her children and Gwen and her neighbour.
A great psychological thriller that I recommend to all the fans of these genres.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
A great historical/mystery novel! It was the first time I read about the story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke and it captivated me from the very beginning.
Andrea Warren is haunted by the suicide of her father while searching for the coffins of Beechland a group of 117 people that went mysteriously missing in 1590. Being a young archaeologist, Andrea takes on her father’s path only to discover that her attention is very much unwanted. Someone is trying to stop her from discovering one of the biggest mysteries of the American culture but with what purpose? Can she finish what she started without losing her life?
Deborah Dunn did a great work in presenting so much historical details and research throughout the novel. It fits perfectly with the story and it made it believable, especially when put together with her own opinion of what might have happened. The mystery that is built around the legend is solid and it kept me captivated all the way through. The approach the author takes in presenting past events through dreams and visions is brilliant. No questions are left unanswered and no strings are left loose.
The descriptions are amazing. The details are so realistic that I could actually see, feel and smell what Andrea sees in her visions. Furthermore, there are the descriptions of the landscape. North Caroline both in the present and the past were described in a way that made me want to visit. The images of the small towns along the coast are mesmerising.
In the beginning, the reader is given a timeline with the known events and their dates of Roanoke; it gave me a first introduction to the theme of the novel. In the end of the novel, the author gives a clear image to the reader of what is real, what is fictional and a small bibliography if there is further interest, details that truly make the difference for me.
It’s an incredible, captivating and thrilling novel that I highly recommend to the fans of a good historical mystery.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Createspace Independent Publishing Platform. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
An epic fantasy worth all the five stars!
Two young men from different circles have a greater destiny beyond their wildest dreams and hopes. Quint is the son of a powerful religious family and leads a sheltered life, but everything changes with the introduction of the tribes of Dragonborn. When his life is turned upside down, Quint has to lead and advise his people. Will he be able to since he knows very little of his responsibilities? On the opposite side, Whym’s life has always been haunted by poverty, being born in one of the poorest parts of town; he has little hopes for the future. His life changes when he is given the opportunity to become the apprentice of a mysterious figure. Both men will have to face the journey of their lives, forced to go through dangerous geographical and political paths and war, filled with hidden enemies, dangerous lies and glimpses of truth.
I have a lot to write about on this novel. I loved every moment, every page of this story: I was taken into a different world, immersing myself in its history, its complexity, its characters and social life. But allow me to start from the top.
The style of writing is mesmerizing and I truly admire how the author managed to described and give depth to the world of the Lost Lands and its characters without leaving the reader bored or tired of the descriptions. Furthermore, the organized and methodical structure of the novel leaves no space for loose ends, which is the best satisfaction a reader like me could have. It starts with the lightness in the first chapters, thoroughly building up, providing background stories, introducing characters that sooner or later will have an impact in the story. I have this image that the words are like puzzle pieces that come together to create something bigger and beautiful. I got completely absorbed by the words; it was difficult to put the book down.
The characters are just as complex as the reality they live in. I have to be honest and confess that I did have to make a list with the names of the characters and who they were since I did end up forgetting who they were at some point, but that didn’t influence my view of the novel at all. It is an extensive list of characters however and all of them have a distinctive way personality, and they are all very aware of the issues of their society. They have depth and are well-developed; it was easy to connect with them. The way the novel is written gives the reader the opportunity to get to know the characters as individuals and then as a group. I really felt their connection with each other, not only based on their conversations but also their actions.
Overall: beautiful scenarios, unique characters and a thrilling story-line make this a very promising fantasy series! I vividly recommend this novel to all the fans of fantasy that want to live a unique adventure in this wonderful world!
Thank you, J. Kyle McNeal for reaching out and giving me access to the novel through NetGalley.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.
Disclaim: All the images used serve for illustration purposes only, I don't own them. All the reviews and opinions are my own.