Tag: Theme

R. Saint Claire – Local Haunts | Review

Title: Local Haunts

Author: R. Saint Claire

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 298

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, one of my short stories is featured in this collection.

Building on from the disclaimer, I suppose the first thing that I should mention is that my review is only valid for the other stories in the collection, because obviously I can’t exactly review a story that I wrote myself. Although for what it’s worth, I do think it’s one of the best short stories that I’ve ever written.

The stories here are all be different horror BookTubers, and the theme is that they’re stories from our own “local haunts”, i.e. places that are near to where we live. That means that there’s a huge amount of diversity here, and I think that Regina did a great job of corralling all of the authors together and successfully getting them to participate and meet deadlines.

I will say that I noticed the odd typo here and there, and I’m also not sure why some stories use single quotation marks and some use double, especially considering I originally used doubles and in the book it has singles. But they’re minor things and they don’t detract from the overall enjoyment, at least for me.

Overall, my favourite thing about picking up this book was the fact that I’m already pretty familiar with a bunch of the authors here and so I was looking forward to getting to them anyway. I enjoyed some stories more than others of course, but that’s always the case with short stories and so I’m not too surprised about that. I’d recommend giving it a go, and not just because my story is in there, especially if you’re into indie horror.

Learn more about Local Haunts.

 


Louise Candlish – The Other Passenger | Review

Title: The Other Passenger

Author: Louise Candlish

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 411

Rating: 4/5

I was sent a signed copy of this book for free as part of a bookish subscription box that reached out to me, but I don’t think that will influence my review. Still, I guess that’s a disclaimer for you.

The theme of the box that I received was all about the commute and this was pretty much the perfect book for it because it was mostly set on the commuter boats that people take to get into the city. As for the genre, it’s basically as close to generic contemporary thriller as you can get, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

We have a lot of the classics tropes here, from an unreliable narrator to tons of twists and turns, complex interpersonal relationships and of course that little technique of jumping backwards and forwards through time to advance what’s happening in the present by bringing up something that happened in the past and which changes the way we look at things.

Other than that, I don’t really want to say too much about the plot, purely because as with most of these, half of the point is being taken by surprise. And I will say that while there were one or two things that I called pretty early on, there were also a couple of twists here and there that I didn’t spot.

It probably also helped that I received quite a nice edition of this, a hardback with the author’s signature in it, and so it was quite an aesthetically pleasing read, too. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of thrillers in general, as I tend to prefer either cosy mysteries, private detectives or gritty police procedural novels, but it certainly did the job and was a pleasant enough read, keeping me going until the end to find out the truth about what happened.

And that brings us on to the question of whether I’d recommend it or not, and that really depends upon the type of reader that you are. If you’re really into modern thrillers and you loved Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, you’re probably going to like this one. There are a ton of twists, more than I’ve seen in a novel of this size in quite a long time, and the characters are just warped enough to keep them interesting.

Learn more about The Other Passenger.

 


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