‘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.
This is a short story in which the author develops a sense of foreboding and mystery that gives the reader that odd feeling in the pit of their stomach.
The plot is unpredictable and twisted, playing on the reader’s suspicions and assumptions right to the end.
Easily read in under an hour, this is a great read for busy people who enjoy dark fiction and psychological horror.
‘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.
The sequel to Inspector Hobbes and the Blood, this is the second book in Wilkie Martin’s Unhuman urban fantasy mystery series.
‘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.
This book tells two stories: the first, a quest to restore justice and balance, and the second, a thread that draws together the strands of narrative from the first five books in the series. Together, these stories become a complete, complex high fantasy tale of the battle between good and evil for control of the Kingdom of Durundal.
It is not necessary to have read the previous books in the series in order to fully enjoy this one, although they are all well worth reading.
While some of the characters from the preceding books in the series continue in this one, the central characters are of the next generation, adding a sense of freshness at the same time as achieving very effective continuity in the series as a whole.
Reminiscences from some of the older characters provide part of the backstory, but they are not sufficient to deliver any major spoilers forecasters who might want to revisit previous instalments in the series. This is evidence of how cleverly the author has crafted and woven an intricate story full of adventure, danger, and deep, powerful magic.
The third book in The Network Series of fantasy books for Young Adult readers, ‘The High Priest’s Daughter ’ is an action packed, suspenseful read that is very hard to put down once started.
The characters, plot, settings and cultures are highly original and well-crafted. This is a compelling tale of a battle between the powers of evil that threaten to destroy the world of Antebellum, and those who refuse to yield to the darkness. The story delivers tension and adrenaline in equal measure, and there are plenty of twists to keep the reader guessing.
This book and the series to which it belongs have a magic of their own that readers of magical fantasy will find most appealing. Highly recommended for YA and older readers.
This is an entertaining mystery full of all the sights, sounds and intrigue of the circus. Trixie is a likable young woman with integrity despite her obscure past, and her natural curiosity and honesty make her a great amateur investigator.
With a cast of colourful characters in vibrantly drawn settings, the story unfolds at a good pace, delivering lots of intrigue and plenty of possible suspects to keep the reader guessing.
Appropriate for YA readers and older, this book is sure to have wide appeal.
This third book in the Helena Brandywine steampunk adventure series is packed with action and suspense as Helena fights to solve the puzzle of her parents’ disappearance and battle against the evil forces that have taken over San Francisco at the same time.
In many ways, Helena is a woman ahead of her time, who shows that women can do anything they set their mind to. She is also flawed, which makes her more believable and relatable for the reader.
While this story is part of a longer overall narrative, there is sufficient resolution for this story to stand on its own merits. The book ends in a satisfying manner, and yet the teasers for the next story still make book 4 beckon most invitingly.
When I started book three of Rue Volley’s ‘13 Ways To Midnight’, I was in no way expecting the reality shift that this book delivered.
While Echo struggles with her perceptions and choices, the reader shares her sense that something is not quite right. As the truth unfolds, the reader realises just how cleverly this story is designed and crafted. Even so, nothing prepares the reader for the body slam of the ending.
Yet another great instalment in this spellbinding series.