ARC REVIEW – Horror book by Thom Carnell.

A big thank you to NetGalley, Crossroad Press and Macabre Ink for the advanced copy of this book to read for free in return for an honest review.

Horror Book by Thom Carnell, due to be published 22.2.22. Read the synopsis here.

Overall rating – 2 out of 5 stars.

I kind of struggled with this one, to really understand it. From the title I was expecting individual short horror stories, what I got was not that.

Whilst the stories were good, more on those shortly, it just felt incredibly misleading to be called Horror Book and then not feature anything that would be classed as horror. I appreciate that some of these stories did feature some very scary and very real world horrors, but I was expecting more make you scared horror, make you sit on the edge of your seat horror, make you scared to look in the mirror horror… That kinda thing.

There is no denying though that some of the individual stories were well written and cleverly produced.

Family Matters was one that was well written, but I did struggle to see how it was horror related. It was an excerpt from a book so I didn’t want to judge it too harshly as the rest of the book could well have been full on horror.

The Promise again had really good writing, I couldn’t fault that. But it was very mundane and very same old.

The Appeal really stood out to me. I enjoyed this one a little bit more and liked how they used such a happy holiday to try and create some horror.

Homecoming. Now this was more like it! It was exactly the sort of story I was expecting to read in this book. While it was a little samey, it was definitely creepy!

Esurience – Trigger warning for discussions of food and extreme fasting and disordered eating.

I had to stop reading this one as I didn’t feel like I could continue with the topic the story was discussing, especially without a prior trigger warning to prepare myself.

Happy Together just wasn’t really horrifying at all, it felt really obvious and I guessed what was going to happen with it pretty much straight away.

Sovereignty was a DNFR.

Tomb of the Living Dead was another highly predictable story. I just felt it lacked any originality and was packed with a lot of unnecessary stuff that didn’t add value or bring anything to the story.

The Dagger of Golgotha I was excited about! And I did enjoy it, it had the makings of a thoroughly good story but it just went on for a bit too long. It was well written and certainly grabbed my interest but I felt it dragged out just a bit too much and would have benefitted from being wrapped up sooner.

Hypoxia was a DNFR.

Anamnesis should have been another DNFR, it was possibly the most copied tale of the bunch…

Just overall this book was not what I thought it would be and because of that, I did really struggle to enjoy some of the stories within it.

Happy reading bookworms! Until next time, Em xxx

The Doll, JC Martin – A Review. [SPOILERS].

What Em's Reading (4)

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog! I’m back again with another read from January, I promise one month I will catch up with my drafts and actually post reviews when I read them lmao. This time I’m reviewing The Doll by JC Martin.

Overall rating 4.5 out of 5 stars.

This was a short story, but oh my god it had SO much packed in and just enough of a tease to make you want to read more. I really enjoyed the “realness” of it, talking about The Island of the Dolls and the mention of Santeria candles, which I actually did some more reading about afterwards because I was really interested after reading this book!

For a book of some 30 pages, JC Martin really built the tension, and you could almost feel the fear coming off Joyce (the mother) when her daughter was getting too close to the dolls.

I particularly liked the way the rest of the story was normal, Taylor had an imaginary friend, her parents were getting divorced, it made it feel like real-life, which in turn made the superstitious aspects even scarier.  

I find dolls incredibly creepy anyway, but this book really cemented that fear… I also did NOT see that ending coming, it properly made me shout out loud with shock!

All in all, a good free Kindle book that I would definitely recommend for anyone wanting a creepy read.

Till next time, Em xxx