3 #Horror Novellas. Terry Reviews Undead by Mark Brendan, For Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT.

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Undead by Mark Brendan

3.5*

In the first of these horror novellas, a man falls foul of the Spanish Inquisition and finds himself on a curious island where he comes under threat from unhuman terrors.  The second tale is about a necromancer in the eighteenth century, and the final one about some members of Napoleon’s forces stationed in Northern Africa, who are looking for a way out of their situation.


All three stories are highly inventive, and I very much enjoyed some aspects of all of them.  My favourite was the last one, about the French deserters; this one really kept my attention and I was engrossed.  The atmosphere of the time was so well written, and I particularly liked the early scenes at the site of the battle.  I also liked the sections of the first one where the hero is a galley slave. The stories are fairly gory but not unnecessarily so; it worked.


I felt that the book, as a whole, could have done with a better copy editor/proofreader, as there were a few wrongly used/spelt words and many punctuation errors, mostly missing vocative commas.  The content editing is fine; the stories flowed well and were told in a way that kept my attention. It was just the incorrect punctuation and other errors that should have been picked up, that distracted me.  Also, I felt that on several occasions the dialogue was too modern for the relevant periods in history.  Not horrendously so, but I think an experienced copy editor could polish them up to something first rate.

Desc 1

A collection of the author’s previously published pulp horror novellas, gathered for the first time in a single volume, Undead features three macabre tales of blood, terror and the living dead. In the first story, Exuma, a convicted seventeenth century heretic is shipwrecked along with his galley slave companions on a mysterious Caribbean island, where worse things than the surviving guards haunt the shadows. The second, The Worm at the Feast, is a darkly comedic, Gothic account of the life and misdeeds of an eighteenth century alchemist, who is also by turns a murderer, grave robber, bandit and necromancer. The final tale of historical horror, Temple of the Hyena, follows the exploits of a crew of deserters from Napoleon Bonaparte’s army in Egypt, lured into the deep desert by an ancient treasure map that promises riches beyond their dreams of avarice.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Horror HIGHLAND COVE by @dylanjmorgan

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs here https://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading Highland Cove by Dylan Morgan

HIGHLAND COVE: a ghost story by [Morgan, Dylan J.]

My Review:

I’m a massive fan of this author and waited (im)patiently for the release of Highland Cove. It didn’t disappoint, and I devoured this in two sittings.

The book starts with a throwback to sixty years ago, setting the scene and introducing us to the reason for most of the horror that follows. We are then swept into the present day and introduced to our five main characters as they begin an expedition to film a documentary in a deserted asylum on a Scottish island.

Character development is vital to any novel as the ‘cast’ are the most significant part of any story. However, in Highland Cove, Morgan’s storm becomes a pivotal main character. You can almost taste the electricity crackling in each thunderclap and bolt of lightning, and feel the rain on your face. The descriptive prose adds another layer to the fear as it builds to the crescendo.

There’s a twist I didn’t see coming (no spoilers here) that raised the bar on the horror of this story. I physically squirmed in a few places, and I’m relatively sure I won’t sleep for a week!

As with all of Morgan’s novels, this would transfer beautifully to the big screen, and as I was reading, I could easily picture the terror and fear these characters were going through. You get caught up in the panic and terror of Highland Cove as Morgan weaves current day with occasional flashbacks into old inmates of the asylum.

When you’re nearly at the end of the novel, you dare to hope, but Morgan has a knack of blindsiding you with another twist or two leaving you with a book that stays with you for days, if not weeks after finishing.

I can’t recommend this enough.

I received an ARC copy of Highland Cove from the author in exchange for an honest review via Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team #RBRT

Book description

Highland Cove Sanatorium sits abandoned on a desolate island one mile off the Scottish mainland. It’s a dark, foreboding place, filled with nightmares. Even darker are the asylum’s secrets: a history of disease and mental illness, macabre experiments and murder.

The tales of ghostly appearances are said to be more fact than fiction, but no one has ever documented the phenomenon. Codie Jackson aims to change all that. Arriving from London with his small independent film crew, they plan to make a documentary that will forever change their lives.

But when one of the crew disappears, things begin to spiral out of control. A storm closes in to ravage the island, and in the darkness Highland Cove’s true horrors are revealed. Now lost within the institution’s labyrinthine corridors, Codie and his team realize that their nightmare is only just beginning.

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HIGHLAND COVE: a ghost story by [Morgan, Dylan J.]