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Publisher's Summary

There's No Place Like Home. A new, terrifying serial from author Ambrose Ibsen. 

Kim and Julian Taylor are in the market for their first home, and a visit to the secluded Beacon estate finds them enamored. It's a peculiar home, rather large and in need of some renovations. The price is right however, and after a tour, they snap the house up without hesitation.  

The man who sells them the house has one last detail to share before they sign on the dotted line. The previous owners of the home disappeared under mysterious circumstances nearly eight years ago and have recently been declared dead in absentia. Unperturbed by this fact, Kim and Julian set about making the home their own.  

It quickly becomes clear that the two of them are not alone there, however.  

In Absentia is the first novella in the Black Acres serial by Ambrose Ibsen. It is approximately 25,000 words and contains adult language, scenes of horror, and a cliffhanger ending. Reader discretion is heavily advised.

©2015 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2018 Ambrose Ibsen

What members say

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

Quick but creepy read!

Julian and Kim get a bit of money and decide to buy their first house with it. They view the Beacon Estate and fall in love with it, plus the price is low for a house this size. Just after buying it, they find out that the previous owners disappeared and have now been declared dead in absentia. It doesn't really bother the couple though until they start renovating because they start finding weird stuff and they soon realise that things aren't as easy as they hoped. What happened the couple that owned the house before them?

I normally stay away from short stories, and serials in particular, because more often then not, they end in a cliffhanger and don't feel complete. But on seeing that this was written by Ambrose Ibsen, I had to listen to it!! He does scary and creepy so well. While this does end on a cliffhanger, I still loved it! Though I think I'll wait till all of the rest are out on Audiobefore I buy them because I so wanted the next one right away.

The plot is paced well. The couple buy the house and pretty much straight away things start happening. Julian is more laid back and puts the strange finds down to everyday occurrences, eg. they find this creepy picture with people in masks, and he immediately says it must have been Halloween. They also find another creepy picture of what look like the previous owners with some things written on it, and he says they must have had a weird sense of humour. I actually really liked that he did this because I know if something like this happened to me, my husband would say the same kind of things.

Kim on the other hand, is more open and feels like there is more to it than that. She knows that something strange is happening and is nervous and scared. I liked this about her because I would be the same as her, though I'd run a mile if weird stuff started happening in my house!! The author also makes it feel as if the house itself is a character in it's own right. It feels almost alive and I can't wait to find out more about it!

In all, despite this being so short, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I already own the ebooks and I'm tempted to just go ahead and read them, but I think that the book is so much better when read by Joe Hempel. He knows how to bring the creepy atmosphere to life. He seems to get what the author was hoping to portray and understands that inflections and cadences are important when trying to bring a world to life. I highly recommend both this author and narrator.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Absent but not Gone

Having come off Ibsen’s The Occupant series I was all in for this one. Great series if you missed it. While this didn’t disappoint me it may disappoint anyone not into Ibsen or not ready for a really quick start with no real action. Ibsen tells a great story and this is more like an elongated introduction to a fantastic series. This sets the stage for all the haunt coming up. The tension starts early and I was giddy with excitement waiting to hear where it was going. Only problem is that it barely gets going. It gets you right to the edge of the cliff, lets you see it and feel the tension, then pulls you off quickly. This is like the new kid at the pool, gets the toe wet, but there is no jump. If anything this is the preparation for the run up to the jump. My only complaint is that this is all buildup and doesn't tell enough to make for anything other than a teaser for the next one. I assume this is all part of the plan for the series so buckle in and get ready for a ride. Ibsen’s haunted house stories never fail and as a fan this one seems like it will be different from his norm and I’m buckled in. Bring on the next story.
Joe does such a good job. My internal voice would never be as good as his and anyone who has ever listened to him knows that he brings the story to life and without him it is just a book and not a story.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Creepy mystery

Mr Ibsen is excellent at creating the creepy and haunting stories. I really like this book. Kim and Julian wants a new home but like so many don't have a lot of money. They find the Beacon estate which is in their price range. As an abandoned home it need work. So they go ahead and purchase the house. But there is one thing that they need to know and that is the previous owners disappeared. The title comes from the previous owners being In Absentia and therefore declared dead. That doesn't matter to the couple. They are excited to get to renovations. They find strange and disturbing things in the house. Look forward to the next in the series.

The narrator did an excellent job bringing the characters to life. He added to the creepiness of the story.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Perfect!

Excellent and delightfully spooky. This combination is peanut butter and chocolate to my ears. Absentia is a short story but enough to get to know the characters. They are a young couple, he a playwright and she a bartender until he, Julian, made it big or big enough she didn't have to work. The couple escapes the craziness of city life and heads for the country; way, way out in the country. Their closest neighbor is miles away.

All the solitude doesn't serve the young couple well and when crazy, unexplainable events happen in the house it pushes them to the limits. It's an older home and the previous owners vanished. They don't know this going into the sale only after moving in.

The plot thickens and the intrigue intensifies through the story built with descriptions that paint a vivid picture in the readers mind. For spook, ghost loving readers this is an excellent choice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Victoria Palmer's Review.

Excellent story brought to stunning life by Audible, with just the right suspenseful narration by Joe Hempel. I was on edge of my seat with chills. Great job 👍.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great

I enjoyed the story very much I like scary stories and the narrator did a great job thank you for giving me a promo code I recommend this audiobook

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great start!

This is just the beginning to the book, only a couple of hours. It's a great start, but since it's not the entire story, hard to review in whole. Eager to hear the rest though and looking forward to the next installment. Good narration, keeps you in just enough suspense. ***This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.***

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous!

Quick, entertaining, and thoroughly creepy! This would make a very cool short movie (or, better yet, filled out with the rest of the series when it's complete as a full length)! If you want a quick scare, this is the book for you.

Narrator is, as always, spot on. Both this author and narrator are on my radar as ones to keep an eye out for!

5 Platypries!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great start!

From the get go we know this is a serial so no complaints that it doesn’t end. It was a great start. A young couple gets the deal of a lifetime on an old fixer upper in the middle of nowhere. Kim the wife begins to feel uneasy about the house and surrounding woods, likely due to the mysterious disappearance of the previous owners...more to come. Excellent narration as always. I received a free review copy of this book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Creepy

Quick listen, but creepy. Ends on a cliffhanger, so I’m looking forward to the next part. Great narrator, he really set the tone for the book. You may not want to listen to this at night! I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful