The much beloved fairy tale of Snow White gets a cold, dark twist in this paranormal reinvention by Lanie Goodell. Many elements of the story remain the same, although the reader experiences a heightened sense of sinister suspense as Snow’s true nature is revealed to the reader.
This is definitely not the Disney or children’s storybook version of the story, harking back to the macabre intensity of the fairy tale’s earliest form while adding additional original twists to the tale.
Comfortably read in under an hour, this story was both interesting and darkly entertaining without being too mentally demanding.
This first book in the Elmwick Academy series delivers a refreshing change to the “you’re a witch, here’s a wand, there’s a school of magic” trope that has become so popular. It’s an excellent and highly original YA paranormal story that is engaging and interesting for YA and older readers alike.
‘Newcomer’ introduces Cami O’Brien, a 16 year old who faces a unique challenge: she already knows what her legacy and powers are, but she must learn to control and use them before they destroy her and everyone she cares about.
This is not just a story of challenge and magic, but also one of friendship and loyalty among unlikely allies.
Elmwick seems to be a town like any other, yet it is populated by a unique mix of people who reflect both their individual qualities and their family histories in their actions and motivations.
The writing is excellent and the story moves at a good pace. The story is unpredictable and exciting, delivering some most intriguing twists. The book finishes with sufficient resolution to be satisfying while leaving some questions to be answered in the next book in the series.
‘The Final Act of Mercy Dove’ is a new release Victorian Gothic Horror novella.
This is the story of Mercy Dove.
This is a story of secrets.They hide in the wainscoting where the paint flakes, they slip behind the silk wallpaper. They whisper to the Mistress under cover of nightfall. She knows little else; they are her comfort and her curse.
This is a story of corruption. Of the mind, and the flesh. It sits thick in the air, gathering in corners, loitering at keyholes. Adhering to all who visit, it leaves with them, trailing from their coattails.
This is a story of scandal. Infamy, seduction, and lust. It hovers like a murder of crows, circling the grounds waiting for the invited; the unwitting.
Take a seat; the curtain is about to rise…Let us begin at the end.
Readers should note that there is mature content in this book, so it is recommended for adult audiences only.
‘The Malan Witch’ is a haunting story of old magic, retribution and superstition, filled with tension and suspense.
The writing is powerful, full of symbolism and dark imagery that captures the imagination and takes hold of the pit of the reader’s stomach.The tone becomes darker and increasingly urgent as the story unfolds.
This is a gripping read and an absolute page-turner, suitable for Young Adult and older audiences.
‘Autumncrow’ is a collection of stories set in the spookiest town in America, telling of its past and some of its quite varied and interesting residents.
The town of Autumncrow resembles any other small town in many ways, and the people who live there are completely normal people — except, perhaps, for the fact that they acknowledge their monsters and accept their fears more openly than most of us are willing to do.
The stories are loosely interwoven, ranging from the deeply unsettling to the macabre and horrifying. Each tale is a well-written narrative characterized by a dark undercurrent that creates shadows and nuances that become bigger and bolder at night. Some of the imagery is regular Halloween fare, while other elements are more sinister.
‘Autumncrow’ is a most enjoyable work of macabre storytelling, suitable for young adults and older readers.
This is a suspenseful tale full of foreboding and intense dread, skilfully crafted to build slowly and relentlessly. It is a story of reality vs perception, causing the reader to continually question their own assumptions.
The story is really well written. Conversations and thoughts allow the reader into the main character’s mind, while his reactions allow them to share his genuine fear and doubt. The imagery is highly sensory, often macabre, with some great Gothic elements combined with the contemporary. Coates’ writing is powerful enough to prompt genuine physical responses in the reader, yet subtle enough to achieve the slow creep of fear that characterises the book.
This is an excellent psychological horror story, perfect for Halloween or any other day of the year.
‘All The Children On The Porch’ is a mysterious and creepy dark read about secrets, lies and the ghosts of Halloweens past.
The story is beautifully constructed and suspenseful, achieving a sense of foreboding that builds slowly and steadily as the story progresses. Fox’s imagery evokes flashes of memory and glimpses of the macabre truth, keeping the reader guessing right to the end.
This is an excellent short story for Halloween reading.
‘Inspector Hobbes and the Curse’ delivers an intriguing and unpredictable mystery story featuring the hapless Andy and the unflappable Inspector Hobbes as they investigate the circumstances of a wild animal killing a local farmer’s sheep.
Of course, nothing is as straightforward as it might otherwise be, so the story develops into a much more complicated and unexpectedly bizarre case than either Hobbes or Andy are expecting.
Martin’s writing is witty and easy to read, characterised by a lighthearted tone that is enriched by word play and “dad-joke humour”, and balanced by macabre scenes and some really lovely poignant moments. The story is very engaging, and carries the reader along at a very comfortable pace.
This quirky and fun read provides a great escape for the duration of the book, and the series is proving to be most enjoyable.