Tag: Layout

Edward Lorn – Life After Dane | Review

Title: Life After Dane

Author: Edward Lorn

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 268

Rating: 4.5/5

I’m probably quite biased here because this book was written by a BookTube friend and because my name’s in the title, so I guess it would almost be weird if I didn’t like it. I was also given a copy as a gift from someone who’d seen my wish list. But it also has a lot of the themes that I like, and the story line itself is cracking, a sort of paranormal thriller following the weird stuff that our narrator starts to experience after her son, the Truck Stop Dentist serial killer Dane Peters, is put to death by lethal injection.

This was very, very good for an indie book, although I don’t like the cover much. But covers don’t matter, and I was impressed by everything from the quality of the writing to the interior layout. I was also a big fan of the way that Lorn told the story using Dane’s mother as a mouthpiece. She’s perhaps the only person in the world who knows why he turned out like he did.

And then there are the religious themes, as well as the recurring motif of the hymn Amazing Grace. It’s funny because while I’m not religious myself, I’ve always found it interesting to read about religion in fiction. I’ve even dabbled with writing about it myself. The bottom line is that I’d recommend this if you’re interested in thrillers in general, but especially if you’re keen to support indie authors in a difficult marketplace.

Learn more about Life After Dane.

 


Oli Jacobs – Wilthaven | Review

Title: Wilthaven

Author: Oli Jacobs

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 396

Rating: 4.25/5

I’ve read about a dozen of Jacobs’ books by this point, and all of them have been worth reading. This one is cool because you can read it as a standalone but it also still functions as part of a wider realm. It’s almost King-like in that respect, and indeed I think King would approve of it because it lives up to his saying that “there are other worlds than these”.

Wilthaven follows the BPD, the Bureau of Paranormal Detectives, and essentially documents their investigation into this strange, eldritch, Lovecraftian town called Wilthaven where nothing is quite as it seems. It’s almost reminiscent of Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae series in the way that it plays with layout, except I didn’t finish Illuminae while I tore through this one and had a blast while I was at it.

What’s quite cool here is that there’s a nice little range of genres, with a lot of Lovecraftian creepiness, some dark humour and some honest-to-goodness horror. One of my favourite bits was when a bunch of limbs just appeared out of nowhere. That was actually pretty brutal and not for the faint-hearted, but at this point I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I can read that will properly shock me. I’m immune.

There was also a pretty cool little subsection in it which was kind of a book within a book, and I think that it worked really well in context here. Because the book itself is presented as a dossier of documents, it makes sense that there’d be a book within a book. It worked better than Paul Sheldon’s book in Misery, in any case.

So would I recommend this one? Oh, absolutely, especially if you’re looking to read some more indie authors and to help to support the ecosystem. I’ve always enjoyed Oli’s stuff and this is him at his best, at least in my opinion. I’d take this over Kirk Sandblaster any day, and probably over another installment in the Filmic Cuts short stories series.

Oh, and did I mention that there’s a photo of yours truly in there? Oli was looking for volunteers to be featured in the Wilthaven files, and I of course jumped at the opportunity. Even though it’s a super old photograph. At least it’s heavily stylised though.

Learn more about Wilthaven.