Blog Tour; They Kill – Tim Waggoner

What are you willing to become to save someone you love?

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

Publication Date: July 2019

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Synopsis

What are you willing to do, what are you willing to become, to save someone you love?

On the one-year anniversary of his death in a terrible car accident, Sierra Sowell’s brother Jeffrey is resurrected by a mysterious man known only as Corliss.

Corliss also transforms several people in Sierra’s life into inhuman monsters…

…Each of these people harbor grudges against Sierra, sparks of anger and resentment which Corliss fans into murderous flames…

Sierra and Jeffrey’s boyfriend Marc work to discover the reason for her brother’s return to life while struggling to survive attacks by the monstrous quartet whose only desire is to see her dead…

After the monsters carve a bloody swath through town – and each other – Corliss gives Sierra a chance to make Jeffrey’s resurrection permanent: if she’s willing to make a dreadful bargain.

Can she do what it will take to save her brother, no matter how much blood is shed along the way? Or will she allow him to return to the land of the dead and perhaps join him there?

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Review

They Kill has a very fluent pace, written in 3rd person, each character links to the next in either minor or major ways. The length of their own storylines are comparable to their contribution to the story. Some are short chance encounters whilst others are relations, colleagues and neighbours.
The way Waggoner tied all the characters together with one demonic man wreaking havoc in various chaotic scenarios reminded me of King’s Needful Things.

Occasional use of disturbing imagery includes a particularly rancid scene involving a drinking fountain. You’ll get a good stomach churn from the sex scenes too, they were uncomfortable and a little skeevy I felt.

I was never really invested in any particular characters or the story line. Sierra’s devastation over the loss of her brother was mentioned often but never really described in a way that ellicited enough emotion for my liking. It was just a tool to create the scenario and that showed.

The supernatural abilities of Corliss made him much less frightening. For me he was more of a fantasy character, and whilst I do enjoy fantasy it’s not what I expected from a Flame Tree Press title.
As well as being telepathic, Corliss travels by ripping holes in time and space. This along side his blackest black coat, long blonde hair and pointy fingers made him a resounding stereotype of the evil found in 90s entertainment. Unfortunately this robbed me of the tension Waggoner tries to build.

‘The Gyre’ and Corliss’ purpose are semi-explained in passing, I felt this either needed a lot more depth or to be omitted entirely. The same could be said of the monsters- formally acquaintances in Sierra’s life. Aside from Jeffery himself, none of them had a particularly strong bond with Sierra and so it seemed odd that they should all be hell bent on her destruction.

If you like silly horror then this is one for you. I think fans of Janz work would definitely enjoy Waggoner. Unfortunately I didn’t.

TW rape, child abuse, alcoholism.

Roxanne’s Reactions:

I received a copy of this title from Flame Tree Press in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks to Anne Cater.

Book Review; Pans Labyrinth- GDT & Cornelia Funke

The perfect blend of fantasy, history and horror.

Published by Bloomsbury 

Released 2nd July 2019

Page count 320

GoodReads

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Synopsis:

This book is not for the faint of heart or weak in spirit. It’s not for skeptics who don’t believe in fairy tales and the powerful forces of good. It’s only for brave and intrepid souls like you, who will stare down evil in all its forms. Continue reading “Book Review; Pans Labyrinth- GDT & Cornelia Funke”

TheWriteReads Blog Tour Review; Chasing Graves – Ben Galley

‘Welcome to Araxes, where getting murdered is just the start of your problems.’

I received an epub of this title in exchange for my review on The Write Reads Blog Tour.

GoodReads

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Synopsis:

Meet Caltro Basalt. He’s a master locksmith, a selfish bastard, and as of his first night in Araxes, stone cold dead.

They call it the City of Countless Souls, the colossal jewel of the Arctian Empire, and all it takes to be its ruler is to own more ghosts than any other. For in Araxes, the dead do not rest in peace in the afterlife, but live on as slaves for the rich.

While Caltro struggles to survive, those around him strive for the emperor’s throne in Araxes’ cutthroat game of power. The dead gods whisper from corpses, a soulstealer seeks to make a name for himself with the help of an ancient cult, a princess plots to purge the emperor from his armoured Sanctuary, and a murderer drags a body across the desert, intent on reaching Araxes no matter the cost.

Only one thing is certain in Araxes: death is just the beginning…

 

Review:

The concept of shade-binding (ie- enslaving the soul of a corpse in the form of a ghost) was a refreshingly original plot for a SFF. It was this that originally stoked my interest, and whilst the synopsis made me wonder if having so many characters would make the book hard to follow I was happily proven wrong.

The world building in Chasing Graves is phenomenal. The balance between description, action and dialogue was absolutely perfect. Galley sets each scene brilliantly without slowing the pace.

I was pleased with the formatting of the book. Having the origin and laws of shade-binding laid out piece by piece in italics below each chapter heading meant I got a good grasp of the idea without having a massive info dump. Each stage is explained simply and concisely as it becomes relevant to the story.

There are four concurrent storylines to follow. The rise of criminal Boss Temsa, the scheming or Empress Sisine, Niliths journey with her shade husband Farazar and the secret project of Widow Horix. I assume the main character Caltro will be the key to them all but you won’t find out how in this book.

I spent much of the book wondering how and when things would tie together and just as they began to… it ended! Whilst I really enjoyed Chasing Graves it felt like a lot of side story without enough main plot advancement. It’s a fantastic opening to what I think will be an incredible series BUT i felt like I’d been given 3/4 of a book.

I had a massive AHA! moment (though I’ve heard other readers saw it coming, I was completely thrown by it) but then ten pages later the book came to an abrupt end. I will definitely be reading the next one as I’m totally invested in the characters and their secrets, but to my mind the first instalment finished too early. I’m left feeling like the book was put down unfinished rather than it being a planned cliffhanger.

Well you got me Ben! I need to know now!
Must. Keep. Reading.

 

Roxanne’s Reactions

 

This was my second contribution to UltimateBlogTours run by the fabulous Dave at TheWriteReads, you can see the first right here; Blog Tour Review; After The Green Withered – Kristin Ward.

If you’d like to join the gang in reviewing indie authors then come! Join us! Head over to Twitter and contact Dave to get your spot in the fastest growing book community online.

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Book Review; The Girl In Red- Christina Henry

Beware the wolves in the wood…

Publisher: Titan Books

Release date: 18th June / Page Count 304

GoodReads Link

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Synopsis:

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods…

Continue reading “Book Review; The Girl In Red- Christina Henry”

Book Review; The Red Labyrinth- Meredith Tate

Magical tricksters and a dangerous labyrinth in a dystopian world. What’s not to love!

I received a copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Page Count 352

Publication date June 2019/ Publisher Flux

GoodReads

Scrolling through Netgalley recently my eyes immediately zeroed in on the word Labyrinth. I am an enormous fan of the old Bowie fantasy film from Jim Henson, in fact I’d only watched it the week before. I only needed to skim the blurb of The Red Labyrinth to see the similarities… Continue reading “Book Review; The Red Labyrinth- Meredith Tate”