Hamilton, ON, Canada | Member Since 2011
This book has been one of my all-time favourites to date and to think I almost gave up on it! Pines is the kind of novel that will keep you up at night and into the next morning. When you are no longer able to keep your eyes open, it will fill your sleep with nightmares. Crouch describes Wayward Pines so eloquently that you become completely entranced with the setting. Seemingly perfect, the town of Pines is the ideal place to live yet it becomes evident that something is not quite right in this utopian society.
Rarely are books filled with so many unexpected plot twists, that you are unable to definitively understand what is at the core of the conflict until the very last pages of a novel. Crouch maintains suspense from the first page all the way to the end, and truly, the reason behind the horror that Ethan must withstand is completely unforeseen. Hardly ever is there a book that weaves its way into the reader's mind like Pines in such a way that the shock never leaves — even after the last page. I was under the impression while reading the first half of the book that I was just reading about one man's hell on earth and there was only that.. However, as I read on I learned this book delivered in so many ways. I like to think of it as an X-Files meets Outer Limits, meets Twilight zone…What an AMAZING twist!!!
I literally could not stop reading by the second half. This book has several overlapping themes and "enemies." The author knows how to create fear and do it well!! I could not stop reading and I still can't get this book out of my head weeks later! If I were to ever recommend a fantastic book, this would be it! DEFINITELY worth the credit!!! One of my favourites! If you are looking for creepy, strange, unique and believable all-in one, pick up PINES!!!
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: (*Spolier-free*)
This pulse-pounding listen set in Britain during the 1950's reflects an era when the war had just ended and poverty was a common. Electricity was scare, and so were methods of communication. Bryers-Guerdon is a small, isolated, gloomy town surrounded by acres of countryside and foreboding marshland. Four children go from trespassing and exploring an old forsaken church and its graveyard to stumbling upon a centuries-old mystery, dark kept secrets, a family curse and an ancient terror laying in wait.
First of all, let me say that Long Lankin is now among my favourite horror novels, earning its place with the scariest of the scary. I loved the premise of centuries-old folklore based on harrowing truths with a malevolent entity at its core. In terms of delivery this story is meant to be more of a "follow the breadcrumbs" kind of tale, centred on unravelling an eerie puzzle rather than the action-packed, fast-paced, kind. While some might consider this type of horror story "slow-paced" I found it to be just right in terms of building suspense and balancing it with just the right amount of backstory, creep factor and character development. This is not to say that there wasn't any action or that it was boring in any way because that certainly wasn't my experience. I found myself completely immersed in the story, zipping through several chapters all in one sitting. I caught myself looking for reasons to abandon my daily routines in favour of another listen (it was THAT good!). If a story is able to make me "forget" its just that, then the author has done their job in my opinion. I also didn't mind the multiple POV's of different characters narrating because it didn't detract from the action of the story, kept with the pace and actually enhanced the plot.
Regarded through children's eyes, Barraclough's spooky scenery introduces a world where the lines of reality are blurred by terrifying apparitions and the most horrifying sounds (my favourite). Her imagery delivers the very best of a rural, post WWII setting; rich in atmosphere with exquisite detail on everything from impoverished children's attire to abandoned war bunkers. Although descriptive, these details do not hinder the progression of events as they are not without purpose. Rather, these details lend authenticity to the more frightening imagery such as: old, decrepit buildings, secret passages, forbidden places and eerie latin messages. Her writing is some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of reading/hearing when it comes to setting in a horror novel.
Barraclough's literary talent is matched perfectly with Flosnik's excellent narration, offering multiple point-of-views, and incredible voice and tone variations resulting in unforgettable characters. Although multiple POV's can often leave the reader/listener feeling confused, Barraclough controls her narrative with authority using careful dialog and pacing. The way in which she switches characters offers not only perspective but also the occasional welcome respite from tension. This is complimented perfectly by Flosnik's performance as each character is given their own speech pattern and vocabulary, adding authenticity and depth to the characters. Flosnik's performance was absolutely incredible.
FLAW: My one and only complaint is the ending. Although well written and thorough, I felt it was predictable and didn't culminate to match the level of sophistication given to the rest of the story. It wasn't horrible by any means, but it left something to be desired.
OVERALL: Although considered YA, Long Lankin should appeal to a broad audience--incorporating elements of mystery, suspense and horror all intricately woven together to make a chilling late night read. I absolutely recommend this book and I give it the highest rating possible. I hope other listeners enjoy it as much as I did! :)
Words cannot describe how angry and betrayed I felt after realizing I wasted a credit on a book that is a complete LIE. I was promised to be purchasing a 'TRUE' story from a 'REAL' 15-year-old girl's diary but this is nothing more than drug propaganda of the 70's and Beatrice Spark's Mormon agenda. THAT IS THE TRUTH PEOPLE. YOU WERE ALL FOOLED.
I realized it was fake before I even did the research. No one (not even in the 70's) used language like "flabby-flab flab" "great great great!" not to mention the RIDICULOUS timeline events!!! She sticks a needle in her arm immediately after one accidental drug encounter? Oh, and of course she talks about being scared of pot AFTER using Heroin? I DON'T THINK SO. She magically goes from being scared of everyone in her school to having drug connections and a sex life? All in 18 MONTHS?!? WTF!!! How did anyone buy this as real?
I can't believe this is legally sold as non-fiction in the year 2014 when back in the 70's the real author came forward admitting "some of it" to be her work. Beatrice Sparks was a Mormon youth counsellor who was mistaken labelled a "Dr."(although she earned no doctorate) and sold this story for a profit. She later wrote "Jay's Journal" which was based on yet another 'TRUE' story and what she did with that one is unforgivable. It was based on the journal of Alden Barret who was a 16-yr-old boy who committed suicide. Alden's parents gave Sparks the journal and trusted her to get it published but she butchered his character instead and twisted it into her own Mormon-taught propaganda about satanism. She ruined lives for money. If you read Jay's journal you would also notice that both 'Alice' and 'Jay' use the same messed up jargon such as "quick quick quick" because it's the voice of Sparks NOT any real teenager.
This personally offends me because as someone who uses a diary and has experience with real addiction it is WRONG to call it real. Well intended or not, I want my credit back and for God's sake, change the book's description!!!!!
This is my first Greig Beck novel and Alex Hunter book but it certainly will not be my last! I'm really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book because I usually can't stand action hero novels or their ridiculous plots but this story was really well done and the characters were awesome! Beck's writing offers excellent imagery as well as impressive amounts of research into his ideas. The research aspect alone lends his work a level of authenticity and believability quite foreign to many other fictional works of its kind. Narration was also expertly performed and really brought the entire experience to life.
What I love most about this book is how it combines elements of my favourite genre
(horror) and blends together elements of sci-fi & action to create a really exciting and unique experience. The horror part of the book relates to the biological threat to the human race as well as the inhuman creature who stalks them in the jungle. I found the ideas not only spooky but very imaginative and original.
The other aspect I loved about this book was the story.The plot explodes into action right from the beginning of the novel and we are introduced to Alex Hunter, the elite American "Hawks" (soldiers), and the sexy scientist, Amy Weir who venture deep into the jungles of Paraguay. Several different events take place at once and Alex and the others face one threat after another from flesh-eating disease to demonic, skeletal creature and more... The suspense is totally addictive-I couldn't stop listening! The story also earned my admiration for not having sloppy plot devices or predictable outcomes (which I can't stand) and the suspense and danger actually felt real as a result. Even the ending was intense and unpredictable!!!
This book was AMAZING and I can't recommend it enough! I'm downloading the other Alex Hunter books as we speak! ;)
Although I liked elements of this book and I often enjoy fiction of a melancholy nature, this one felt just a tad "icky" for my taste. The subject matter of this book contains themes of sex, murder, violence, isolation, depression, anger and justice but is heavily focused on negativity in general (in my opinion). The book centres on a crime of a young woman's past---the brutal slaughter of her entire family and her brother sentenced to life in prison for it. As she wrestles with her personal demons of anger, hate and general misery she is confronted with learning the truth about what really happened to her family.
While I found the mystery of the story quite good, the writing solid and the character development impressive, I couldn't enjoy the miserable protagonist or the side-story of her brother. The protagonist was stubborn, hateful, rude and foolish and I personally couldn't relate to her nor did I find satisfaction in her "development." The Narrative also centres on her incarcerated brother's past which was painfully slow, drawn-out, and disturbing. Again, my personal taste didn't derive satisfaction from scenes involving awkward sexual situations and teenage sociopaths doing drugs and killing cows. Although descriptive and visceral, not my cup of tea!
Overall, this book was expertly written and subject matter aside, it was fantastic. This book would be a great option for those looking for non-traditional characters, dark subject matter and suspenseful murder mystery drama. I rated it based on my personal taste, not quality. Please keep that in mind and no offence to the author!
This book was my first introduction to Alan K. Baker and I can honestly say this book blew me away and I'll explain why. This book captures all the elements I love in a good scare---a dark, brooding mystery, mounting suspense, realistic characters, superb writing and most importantly, ORIGINALITY.
Baker illustrates the spooky atmosphere of Eilean Mor (a Scottish Isle) using fantastically descriptive Scottish diction and powerful imagery. The story itself features two interwoven narrative threads which depict current events and reveal the supernatural mystery of a missing lighthouse keeper. The story centres on a team of Scientists all working for the Joint Nature Conservation Comittee (JNCC) who set up a camp on the island to research marine life. The crew discover the testament of Alec Dalemore, (the missing lighthouse keeper from 1901) and read of his frightening paranormal encounters as they too, encounter something inexplicable and horrific. The testament lends to the story at the same time a revelation of the past, an anchor in the here and now, and a confession of fear and terror. The pacing between these two threads was done perfectly and I really felt it added to the overall experience.
To offer just a small taste of what to expect in terms of paranormal happenings, I want to make clear that this is NOT a ghost story nor is it anything predictable. Between a ruined chapel, strange weather and a white fox with...."something wrong with its face," you will not be disappointed. This book was really spooky and that fox...what the.....#%@^&?!
Narration was excellent and the Scottish accent really authenticated the story for me.
If you are looking for a spooky mystery with supernatural elements and a Scottish flavour, pick up The Lighthouse Keeper!
This book deserves as much praise as I can possibly give it! Clegg delivered everything I love in a good horror novel and remained entirely unique and creative, offering something refreshingly different for the genre. Clegg probably has one of the BEST dark imaginations I've ever had the pleasure of reading and I simply cannot get enough! (I bought his other book, "Hallowe'en Man" immediately after I finished this one!)
This story is a coming of age tale about Beau, a twelve-year-old boy visiting his grandmother's summer retreat off the coast of Georgia. During his stay he spends time with his disturbed, maniacal cousin Sumter who invites him to join in a dark union of worship involving a derelict shack in the woods, a crate, and what lay inside the crate...something that calls itself "Lucy." (If you aren't already wondering how a concept as aberrant as this plays out I'd be surprised!) Well, lucky for you its as deliciously satisfying as it is perturbed.
In terms of plot, this was most surely a RIVETING read and I couldn't put it down! The more I read the more engaged I became, needing to know what the #$%^@! is in that shack?! Is it real?! Is it going to hurt him?!...Oh God...its breathing on him in the dark...its not human...what IS it?!?!?! I'm telling you that the story and ideas behind this entire concept could only have been derived by the mind of a creative genius---its a gripping mystery that unfolds flawlessly into a full-fleged nightmare. The images and events that played out had me totally unnerved and trust me, I read so much horror that that excitement almost never happens anymore! Keep in mind however, that this no "popcorn horror" novel so if you're expecting a lot of action and enjoy a lot of violence/gore you probably won't find it here...this is a different kind of scary so its more like a psychological build-up of suspense & mystery of the unknown with explosive plot twists and a wicked finale.
Aside from the tantalizing plot, I fell in love with Clegg's characters and writing style and credit his ability to bring this story to life. The believable characters made me entirely reminiscent of my own childhood days and reminded me of how blissful, pure and innocent youth is supposed to be. It is because of the purity and innocence of childhood that the stark contrast of evil seeping into their lives becomes truly horrific. There are things that children should just never do...but there are no limits in Neverland.
In terms of content I will warn that events and images are sometimes of a disturbing and graphic nature so this book isn't for the faint of heart. Some of the subject matter also contains themes of animal cruelty and extreme gore/violence. Although I am an avid animal lover and I found those scenes very hard to read and disturbing, I simply skipped those brief sections in favour of the remaining storyline. This book is so good I got over it.
Narration was INCREDIBLE, and David Stifel delivers flawless inflections and variations among characters. He also made me laugh with his superb ability to emphasize the child-like humour in the simplest of things such as "The Weenie's all-natural, silver-backed bristle brush" (grandma's all-feared hairbrush used to discipline and scold the children).
Should you buy it??? UMM...HELL YES!!! If you're looking to experience a humorous yet, terrifying deep-South horror story then "Neverland" will surely be treasured among the best.
I really enjoyed this book! It entertained me immensely and I will definitely look for William Meikle's other works. Since there are so many different types of "horror" novels out there and not everyone's definition of "scary" will be the same, I'll do my best to help you decide if this book is right for you without giving anything away.
First of all, this is definitely what I would consider a monster/supernatural horror novel but it certainly is one of the best I've read since so many are often comical rather than scary. One of my favourite types of suspense when it comes to supernatural horror is the author's ability to create fear with atmosphere, isolation, darkness and most importantly-with the character' s actions and senses. Meikle delivers a fantastic read by taking us to a small island on the Scottish countryside where we learn of ancient myths, folklore and we are introduced to ALL its inhabitants with great detail. Meikle also offers a generous amount of backstory on our supernatural villain which I thought was a BIG PLUS. I also felt he did a great job overlapping several different sub-plots through various characters/chapters and created a story that flowed seamlessly from start to finish. My favourite parts were with Duncan wandering through the fog and all of the many noises, smells and EXTREMELY SCARY descriptions of what he saw---so well done! This book was also well-paced so I finished it in just a few reads and didn't want to put it down.
My only critique so to speak (and the reason I only gave it 3 stars) is due to the same thing I come across in almost all modern horror: unnecessary/unrealistic SEX scenes! Ugh! I could not help but roll my eyes when the lead lady in the story rips the clothing off of our protagonist Duncan and has sex with him during the most ridiculous circumstances...definitely written by a man! No women behave like that!!! Aside from that, I felt the ending was very lazy and unsatisfactory...it just didn't seem to fit considering all of the work the author put into the rest of the book.
Overall, this book was worth the credit and one of the best "creature features" I've read in a while! The narrator also did a great job and added authenticity to the characters. If you like the supernatural and the idea of being creeped out by evil, malevolent creatures beneath a Scottish burial mound, give this a go!
This book was an instant grab immediately upon completion of Douglas Clegg's "Neverland." I was so impressed, inspired and (most importantly)-SPOOKED by his dark writing, unforgettable characters and powerful, twisted imagination that I was sure to enjoy more of his work. This lead me to "The Hallowe'en Man" a tale told in several layers through excellent narration.
The story is told through the eyes of Stony Crawford, a man in his late 20's who, in spite of kidnapping a child at the beginning of the story, takes us into the past to re-live his teenage years. For many chapters of this thick, twisted plot I was unsure where the horror would be, how it related to the title of "Hallowe'en Man" and whether or not I would enjoy it but I was not disappointed! It is within Stony's memories that the nightmares are revealed; we learn of his first love, the blind woman in the forest, a summer mansion, hidden secrets of the town, ancient legends and eventually, of a creature...The plot also shifted many times to reveal several layers of sub-plot and different characters took turns providing a glimpse into the horror and suspense that make up this book.
This book earns its right as a horror novel not for the typical cliches, violence or cheap thrills as other books of its genre, but Clegg delivers horror in an entirely different way. Clegg's writing offers a very GRAPHIC and often times, disturbing portrayal of evil with powerful imagery and sadistic motives. Clegg's ability to create fear by exploring the depths of evil and combine it with the unknown make him one of my most cherished authors.
As an Audiobook, William does an impeccable job!!! He used different tones, accents and inflections for each character and brought them to life beautifully!
I will admit however, that due to the constant 'jumping' around in the plot from one story to the next, I was confused at times and sometimes had to back-track. Aside from that, I enjoyed this book very much and I thought it was well-written, creepy and entirely unique. Douglas Clegg has impressed me so much with his capacity to scare and vivid imagination. I recommend this book and especially his book, "Neverland" if you are looking for something new and REALLY creepy.
I was completely captivated by the "The lighthouse Keeper" and picked this up because I wanted more of this author, Alan K. Baker. I was not disappointed. However, this story isn't for everyone. This story has all elements of creepy and scary but lost me at the conception of species from other planets. Baker delves quite deeply into "clandestine affairs" and I could not help but roll my eyes in disbelief. I adore his writing style and horror imagery but I cannot comprehend some of his notions regarding "other worlds."
….I never finished this book because the story lost me but what I did read was worth its weight in Gold. If you are into a suspenseful sci-fi tale that goes beyond earth and far into outer space then grab this one! Either way, this book has haunting imagery, well-developed characters, entirely original concepts and a VERY eerie villain...I recommend this author alone just to experience something incredible and spooky!
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