Dead Stream Curse

A Northern Michigan Asylum Novel
Series: Northern Michigan Asylum, Book 4
Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A secret they intended to take to the grave, but the dead will tell...

In 1945, Liv commits an unspeakable act. She flees from her life, but all actions have consequences. Twenty years later, she's drawn back to Northern Michigan where it all began.

Dead Stream Curse weaves together the past and present in a chilling ghost story filled with mystery.

©2019 J.R. Erickson (P)2019 J.R. Erickson

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

First, I am a huge fan of this series. I love the way that Ms. Erickson has the ability to intertwine timelines and characters all while leaving the reader wondering and waiting in anticipation of the next creaky floorboard and hidden ghost. That said, surprisingly this one took me the longest to get into.

I’ve grown accustomed to different narrators for each book, but I was surprised to see that this one had two narrators. I was a little off put that the volume of the narrations was not equal and felt that I had to increase the volume with Ms. Swanson and therefore, decrease the volume with Mr. Hart. Overall, I felt that they both did a decent job and it helped the story move along switching between the view points and types of narration each of them provided.

It was Ms. Erickson’s writing style that kept me listening though. Her stories require focus to follow the multitude of characters and the different timelines, but it is so worth it in the end. She has an uncanny ability to wrap everything up so eloquently that despite any frustration a reader may have during the book, it all dissipates upon the novel’s end.

I highly recommend these novels, especially if you enjoy spooky/scary stories and truly if you have ever visited the location that inspired them all.

I was provided with a free copy of this audio book for my honest review. The views expressed here are entirely my own.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Scary, brilliant, so totally worth it!!

On Halloween night, Liv did something terrible. 20 years later and still haunted by her past, she returns to Northern Michigan, to the place where it happened.

Jacki, you just keep getting better and better! I love how the story develops through interweaving timelines, characters and the paranormal. I have never been able to find good scary stories but Jacki is my favourite! I cant believe what a gem this series is, you have to read it! Although it is a series, each book is stand alone so you wont miss any plot details from hearing only one, but you would miss out on awesomeness if you miss any of them!! It is exciting, chilling, eerie, entertaining, and absolutely brilliant. Highly highly highly recommended!!

The narrators were excellent, making the story even more enjoyable. Thank you for an awesome performance.

Note: This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this objective review voluntarily.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a haunting tale

This story has two different stories woven together as one. It jumps from one time to another, but this story flows well and is easy to follow. I loved Steven and Liv's story. Liv practiced magic. Steven wanted to use it for revenge. But these two have a tragic ending. Mack sees a ghost in the present and is determined to unravel the mystery. Through both the past and the present, we find out all about Liv and Steven. Liv and her Uncle practice a type of magic. I loved how that magic was able to tie the two times together. I could not put this story down and listened to it in one sitting. This is a must read!

Nicole Jatho Swanson and Craig A hart were a great narrating team for this book. They both have voices easy to listen to. By having two narrators, helped me follow the jumps in time. Their voices compliment each other and kept the story flowing smoothly. I look forward to hearing more from both narrators.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another beautifully crafted tale!

Dead Stream Curse, which is Book 4 in the Northern Michigan Asylum series by J.R. Erickson, is an absolute blast. Though each story is a standalone, aspects of the other stories are a bit more prevalent in this book and I absolutely loved it! If you've read the other novels, you'll be interested to learn that this story you get a quick cameo of Sophia, from the first book in the series and you also learn tons more about Dr. Kaiser and how he ended up becoming the crazy lunatic that he is in the other books. This was a really fun aspect of the story for me, as I was able to see a bigger picture of the whole world that Ms. Erickson has crafted through her tales. I loved it!

As I mentioned, this story tells the "origin" story of Dr. Kaiser and his childhood friend Liv, who is a bit of a witch, though a good one. There is a bit of Norse mythology in this tale, and it really adds a fun, unique element to the story. Liv shares her abilities with Stephen (Kaiser), though he wants to explore the darker side of magic, with terrifying results. The other story happening at the same time takes place a few decades later when Mack stumbles across a dead body buried in the woods and Jesse, a man lost in his own sorrow, trying to find a place to belong, encounters the old, abandoned Kaiser house and looks for answers. Both stories collide in the end, coming to a solid, entertaining conclusion. I don't want to give away spoilers, but this is a great tale and I definitely recommend it!

I would say that I would give the narration 4.5 stars. I thought that both Ms. Swanson and Mr. Hart really brought life to the characters and read with an appropriate amount of emotion, thus adding to the listening experience. I'd listen to both narrators in the future. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fans of Simone St. James would enjoy this story!

Dead Stream Curse is a modern day good versus evil story and the 4th book in the Northern Michigan Asylum Series by J. R. Erikson. It is a true stand alone novel as it was the first book in the series that I listened to and I didn’t feel like I was missing any plot points. The story flows between 1945 and 1965 and focuses primarily on two main characters who went their separate ways following a disastrous halloween party in 1945.

In 1945, Liv and Stephen are teenagers from the opposite sides of the tracks in a small community in northern Michigan. They become unlikely friends, and eventually lovers, after Stephen saves Liv and her little sister’s lives after they fall into a lake in Dead Stream Swamp. Stephen invites Liv to his mother’s lavish Halloween party where they plan on playing a trick on his abusive mother. However, Stephen violently lashes out at his mother when she makes a scene about Liv’s presence at the party. Liv runs away that eventing and doesn’t return to the area until 20-years later.

In 1965, Mack is a homeless nomad after losing his wife and young son in a tragic accident. He starts seeing a ghost who sets him on a mission to unravel the mysteries of the past. Mack eventually wonders into an old abandoned home that once belonged to Stephen’s mother. As Mack uncovers the past, we learn about what happened to Liv and Stephen in the intervening years. Neither of them grow up living normal lives and Liv is haunted by what she thinks happened all those years ago. Thankfully, Mack helps restore her sanity.

While I really enjoyed this story that weaves Norse folk magic, ghosts, and murder, the quality of the narrations were disappointing. [I requested a copy of this audiobook and leave this review voluntarily.] Nicole Swanson’s narration was softer and harder to hear than Craig Hart’s narration. I would have enjoyed the audio more had the quality of the recordings and volume been more equal. Despite that, I really enjoyed the story and plan on listening to others in the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Scandinavian folk magic!

J.R. Erickson tells 2 stories, one set in 1945 and one in 1965.
1945 centers around Liv and Stephen. Stephen rescues Liv and her sister from drowning. They quickly become friends and spend the summer together.Stephen learns that Liv is what i would call a witch. She and her Uncle George practice a type of Scandinavian folk magic. I loved, loved, loved the bits with the magic. Stephen sees Liv's magic as a way to get revenge.
1965- Mack starts seeing a ghost and is set on a mission to unravel the mysteries of the past and what happened to Liv and Stephen on that Halloween night.

I enjoyed this book very much. I did not have any problems with the time line switching back and forth. I liked both narrators. So far, this series has been very, very good. I requested the audio book and have left this review voluntarily.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Great Suspense Story

I liked the story although much of it wasn't pleasant to listen to. I did, however, find the constant time changes made it difficult to keep the characters and events sorted out. It does pull together well in the end and the climactic ending made it all worthwhile.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth sticking around for

It took me a couple of chapters to decide this story would be worth my time, but I’m glad I stuck around. The story jumps between four characters’ perspectives, though in the end, I feel like one of them was quite weak to the story. I usually don’t mind this type of storytelling, and overall, I think the author did a pretty good job. However, I felt like I lost my bearings to the story at the beginning of each chapter. I know that’s somewhat normal with stories that shift perspective, but on top of that, the story shifts back and fourth between 1945 and 1965. Because of that, the narrators should have added an extra second or two of silence after announcing the character and date.
Speaking of the narrators, they both did great! However, one thing threw me: there is a particular character that has a Scandinavian accent. The female narrator did it splendidly. However, the male narrator did not even attempt it when narrating that person’s voice, which made things confusing until I realized he, indeed, was the same character. It’s not good for a character to have, then lose, then regain his accent between chapters
Overall good story.
Warning: Some unnecessary foul language in the book. I wish books came with ratings or advisories of such.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another spooky Michigan Asylum story

The narrators did a wonderful job. I like having male and female narrators instead of one person trying to do both parts. It was very effective in this book. At times it was a little confusing jumping back and forth between 1945 and 1965. That sometimes happens when you listen in small stretches, which I sometimes had to, but once I got into the story I loved it. This is a book it is best to concentrate on at the beginning to get a feeling who the characters are. The story totally connected the two time periods and the characters were great. I generally had no trouble telling who the bad guys were. The paranormal aspects really added to the story. It wouldn't have been possible without them and they were well done.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Really good

Full of twists and unexpected turns.

Both narrators do justice to this audible with their wonderful narration.

I received this audible free at my request. This is my honest review.