Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Cathy reviews FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #amreading

Today’s Team Review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

20793203

A graphically gruesome opening chapter sets the scene for the horror which surrounds the town of Vacant. The townsfolk are living in fear of the unknown entity after a couple were killed in their own home. In order to appease whatever lurked in the woods, visitors or people passing through were to be chosen as sacrifices, at the instigation of the fanatical Pastor Nielsen and corrupt Mayor Wyatt. Deputies Manning and Brady select the victims and Sheriff Andrew Keller and Deputy Matthew Nielsen dispose of the remains.

The main characters, although very well interpreted, are all flawed and damaged in one way or another, drug addiction, alcoholism, corruption, and initially none of them were in the least appealing. Even Deputy Nielson who, although he seems unconcerned about the grisly tasks he performs in the woods, wants to help Sheriff Keller and stop the killings, yet in his own way he also has a desperate addiction.

Then about halfway though I began to root for Sheriff Keller. The past he’s been running from and trying to drown in whisky and beer, unexpectedly appears in Vacant, turning him into more of a sympathetic character. He has no choice but to face his demons and he tries very hard to fight as the suspense escalates. I liked the inclusion of Joe, the Chippewa Native American, who brings everything to a head when he shares his knowledge and beliefs.

The vivid imagery and detailed description of the setting creates a powerful representation, as do the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. The sense of fear, panic and disbelief as events unfold. Dylan Morgan puts his own unique spin on a Native American legend in a lurid tale of sex, murder and horror contained in a well thought out and suspenseful plot. The narrative is paced well, incorporating some surprising twists and treachery.

4.5* out of 5*

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Shelley she blogs at http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Shelley has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

20793203

Author: Dylan J Morgan

Category: Horror

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

Review:

 

Dylan Morgan is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Once again I was instantly captivated by the descriptive writing and fully developed characters. The opening scene of a wife murdering her husband, chopping him up and serving him up for dinner certainly hooked me in.

 

The brutal and graphic murders that haunt the small town of Vacant are sinister and menacing, but so too are the townsfolk and half of the police force.

 

I was split into two camps when reading Flesh. Half of me felt compassion towards the drunk Sheriff Andrew Keller and his deputy Matthew, and then the other half of me wanted to scream and swear at them for letting deputies Manning and Brady get away with their drug induced behaviour. I was rooting for the Sheriff the whole time and wanted him to stand up for himself more against the corrupt Mayor and the freaky pastor.

 

As with any good horror story you expect a bit of blood and gore and Flesh delivers this in Dylan’s uniquely descriptive way. What I love about the author’s style is how he delivers the gore in short, sharp bursts as he concentrates primarily on the characters and their story.

 

The book is told from the various characters point of view which gives you a better insight into the inner workings of their mind – not always pleasant in some cases.

 

The ‘big bad’ remains elusive until the end portion of the book leaving a trail of terror as you speed towards the finale, which was fabulous – I didn’t see that one coming!

 

A must read for horror fans. I couldn’t put it down, even when my cat jumped onto my lap at a crucial point and I nearly leapt out of my skin!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Teri, she blogs at http://teripolen.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Teri has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

20793203

Five Stars

I’m officially a Dylan J. Morgan fan.  From his previous two books I’ve read, I knew I loved his novels.  As of now, I’d read anything he put in front of me.  Grocery list, errands to do – anything!

As a warning, I’d advise some of you not to eat while reading the first several pages of this book – but for me?  I found the opening scene morbidly delightful, and could only imagine the type of research the author conducted.  Vacant is full of some vile, twisted people who perform some reprehensible acts to keep a creature fed and away from their town.  Sheriff Andrew Keller is one of the more flawed MCs I’ve seen, an absolute wreck of a man – and yet I didn’t find it difficult to connect with him.  When his past is revealed, it’s a surprise and at that point, I came to the harrowing realization of where this story was going.  The suspense escalates even more from that point and I was riveted until reaching the end of this book.

Flesh offers vivid imagery of blood-soaked scenes, wicked chills, nail-biting suspense – a veritable buffet for horror fans.  But it’s also about the story of a man struggling to make amends for some regrettable life decisions.  Highly recommended.  I received a digital copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT FLESH by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Olga, she blogs at http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Olga has been reading Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

20793203

Flesh by Dylan J. Morgan Horror, twists and turns and a small-town legend that’s anything but…

I am reviewing Flesh as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team and I’ve received a complimentary copy of the novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

I love horror. Books, movies, series… I’d read very good reviews of Dylan J. Morgan’s books and when I saw one of his books come up for review at Rosie’s team I decided to take the chance and read it.

You probably have read (and/or watched, if you’re interested in the genre) similar stories. Small town, something in the woods is killing people. The something might vary from book to book. Here the small town is not the wholesome small-town of cosy diners and picket fences, but rather the strange world of Blue Velvet (well, perhaps weird in a different way, a corrupt place full of drug-addicts, alcoholics, mad preachers, power-crazy mayors, and people prepared to do anything to keep themselves safe, even if it means others have to suffer). And the story is written in such a way that we don’t really know what we think we know, or rather, we don’t realise what we know until very close to the end. At least for me, the novel was full of surprises.

The novel is told in the third person, from quite a few of the characters’ points of view, the main characters. None of them, with the exception of Miranda, but she hardly appears in the first part of the book, are easy to connect with or sympathetic. The book opens with one of the character’s (although we are not told many things about her) extreme violence and a description of butchery that, being a doctor, I must confess had me wondering if some of the things were anatomically possible… As we see things from the character’s mind’s eye, the reading can be quite uncomfortable. On the other hand, at least for me, it didn’t work at the level of some scenes of extreme violence in Tarantino’s movies, for instance, when you might find yourself joining in and siding with the perpetrator. But perhaps that’s a matter of personal taste. The rest of the main characters are deeply flawed, addicted to alcohol, drugs, and egotistical. Matthew, newly joined deputy sheriff seems too good to be true, other than for his sexual relationship with a woman that also seems to break the rules (sex during work at the police station for instance), but until more than fifty per cent of the book has gone we don’t have much of a hero to root for. And then, things change. And how. (Also some new characters appear that add to the interest, but the biggest surprise is how the ones we knew already change. Or we realise we didn’t know them quite as well as we thought.)

I’m not overtly fond of descriptions and the book is full of them, be how the characters are feeling (hangover, highs of drugs, sex, hot and sweaty…), clothes, food, drinks… Although well-written, I felt due to this the first half of the novel moves at a slow-steady pace, whilst the last half speeds up.

As you’ve probably noticed from what I’ve said, I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the book, where you feel much more invested and engaged with the characters and things get much more personal, not only for us but for some of the protagonists. It is a good way of rising expectations and interest, although there is always the risk that some readers might not follow the writer, but in this case it’s well-worth the patience. I won’t go into a lot of detail not to spoil the reading experience, but as I mentioned, it took me quite a while to work out the connections and the ins and outs of the plot. It’s very cleverly done.

Overall, would I recommend this book? Yes, if you love horror, and you like descriptive writing, both of horrific scenes and in general (there’s also a fairly explicit sex scene, be warned), and want to be taken by surprise (even shocked). And, a word of warning, whatever you think of the beginning, keep reading, because the second half of the book is fantastic.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

THE GHOST FILES #2 by @AprylBaker #YA #Horror #Bookreview

The Ghost Files 2 (The Ghost Files, #2)The Ghost Files 2 by Apryl Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Ghost Files #2 is book two in this #YA #Horror series. I enjoyed #1 and downloaded this immediately to continue following the life of Mattie Hathaway, a reaper of souls. Mattie has been in the foster care system most of her life. She is just recovering from a violent attack. She is surrounded by friends; Officer Dan Richards, Dr Olivet, Mary, Meg and Eric a ghost.

Mattie can speak to ghosts, in fact she has abilities to help them cross over and she is a beacon to them, but it has its downsides as darker creatures also want her powers. Officer Dan is helping Mattie find out about her mother, he arrives to take her to her birthday party, but they are confronted by a demon. They only just escape in time and the party meal gets abandoned when it shows up again.

Dan and Mattie hole-up in Dan’s flat, but even here Mattie is drawn to dangerous ghostly beings, but its a revelation from reliable Dan which breaks Mattie’s heart and has her running away. She takes off to New Orleans to help Dr Olivet with a haunted house, but the City of the Dead is so full of ghosts who want help that Mattie is overwhelmed and passes out for three days.

Dr Olivet is working with the Malone family and they help Mattie to keep some of the ghosts at bay, but the house they are investigating holds some very strong evil characters who will stop at nothing to get to Mattie and her powers.

This series has a very compelling storyline, I really enjoy Mattie’s sharp witty narration and there were some unexpected twists and turns which I enjoyed. I did want to learn more about some of the twists and storylines introduced and a couple of times I felt lost. For instance friends set up a party for you and you just leave and no one complains for follows it up? Mattie fears flying, yet next day she’s flying to New Orleans? Throw in a handful of typos and this book was good, but not quite good enough. I’m sure more of the storylines I’m interested in will be explored in the next books in the series.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

THE GHOST FILES #1 by @AprylBaker #YA #Horror #Bookreview

The Ghost Files (The Ghost Files, #1)The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I chose this book after a search on the #FridayFiveChallenge, not a genre I would normally read, but really enjoyed it.

The Ghost Files #1 is a #YA #Horror set in North Carolina. Sixteen year old Mattie Hathaway is a foster kid. The book opens with her getting ready to go to a party when a ghost appears. This isn’t unusual for Mattie, she’s been seeing ghosts and ignoring them since she was five years old, she’s just never told anyone.

The ghost of Emma is around eight years old, she has a hole in her head.

Mattie leaves her foster sister Sally at home while she heads off to the party, but later the ghost of Sally appears at the party. Mattie knows she’s dead. Rushing home she begs Mrs Olsen to ring the police, but she’s reluctant because Sally told her she was going to a party too. She insists on waiting a few hours. Desperate to help find Sally’s killer, Mattie bravely calls out to the ghosts. Instead of Emma a small boy appears, he too has a shot wound. Then a gruesome ghost physically attacks Mattie and she ends up in hospital.

With no other option but to tell someone about the ghosts, Mattie confides in officer Dan Richards. Dan is very sceptical, but agrees to help. Another ghost appears, Mary, she’s beaten, but Mattie believes she is still alive, promising to find and help Mary before it’s too late. Mattie is convinced there is a serial killer attacking kids and time is running out.

I liked Mattie, she is sharp witted, independent and strong willed. She’s been in foster care long enough that she knows the system and how to survive. Horror isn’t for everyone, and I need to sleep at night, but because this is #YA I found the horror compelling to read rather than frightening. Really enjoyed the twists and turns in this and have downloaded the second book in the series.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE SICKNESS by @dylanjmorgan #Horror

Today’s team review comes from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading The Sickness by Dylan J Morgan.

The Sickness

In the small village of Nash Grahame Harris is woken by noises outside his farmhouse.  What he discovers as he goes to investigate is beyond comprehension and is the last thing he ever sees before dying horrifically.

The only reason for James Harris’ continued existence, and going through the ordeal that is his life, is his Goth teenage daughter, Ruth. he normally has her to stay at weekends but she turns up at his house unexpectedly one Thursday, which breaches his custody agreement. He’s more than glad to see her, all the same. When he receives a phone call from his estranged sister, Laura, informing him of the murder of their parents, long-buried and distressing emotions begin to surface. After taking his daughter to school the next morning, James very reluctantly begins his journey to Nash to attend the funeral.

Unbeknownst to James Ruth had skipped school and was even now back at his house. Curious to know why her dad didn’t want company on the trip, or her to be anywhere near the village, and why he never talked about his boyhood, Ruth decides on a course of action that will have repercussions beyond imagining.

“With a sigh she placed the drink carefully on the coffee table and hurried down the corridor, pausing outside his bedroom door. Ruth glanced down, pursed her lips, and wondered if this was such a good idea. She’s never snooped around in her father’s bedroom before, and a twinge of guilt held her at the doorway for a moment. Shaking her head, Ruth tried the handle and her heart picked up rhythm as the lock released and the door moved in the frame.

She took a deep breath, stepped into the bedroom, and hoped her father would forgive her if he ever found out.”

The horror is evident from the start of the book, beginning as it does with someone raising a corpse from the grave. The depressing and sombre atmosphere of Nash as the backdrop for the story sets the scene for what is to come. The identity of the culprit, and reason for the bringing corpses back to life to take revenge, is the mysterious thread running through the dark and gruesome story.

Facts about James’ traumatic childhood and teenage years are revealed slowly, by degrees, until I couldn’t help but think his parents got their just deserts. I liked James and Ruth very much, their relationship and love for each other is wonderful, so well defined. The rest of the characters, although unsympathetic and impossible to like, are very well drawn and so easy to picture, even if that picture isn’t a very pleasant one. Dylan Morgan is a very descriptive and skilful writer. I love how the suspense builds steadily right up to the intense and completely unexpected ending. Great cover, too.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE SICKNESS by @dylanjmorgan #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Karen she blogs at https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Karen has been reading The Sickness by Dylan Morgan

The Sickness

My Opinion

The story starts at an unmarked grave and a conjuration. James Harris is forced to return to the home town he despises – to attend his parents’ funeral. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With The Sickness, Dylan J. Morgan has created an expertly woven plot, a thrilling horror novel. The Sickness comprises authentic characters; James is a very likeable guy, I liked him from the start. You may feel inclined to change your opinion on his daughter Ruth. The more you learn about her, the more you are inclined to really like her. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read. I was drawn into the story right away, close to James and relieved to be invisible.

The cover is awesome – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like some shivers running down your spine, a creepy atmosphere and a mystery that needs to be solved.

A remarkable story to read again.

Highly recommended!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT THE SICKNESS by @dylanjmorgan #Horror #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is form Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry chose to read and review The Sickness by Dylan Morgan

26864153

The Sickness by Dylan Morgan

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team

 

First of all I have to say what a terrific cover this book has!

James Harris is a divorced, part time dad, living on a run down London estate. He has a warm, close relationship with his wayward, punky daughter, Ruth – which goes a long way to make up for the horror of his childhood and the breakdown of his marriage. But something’s happening in the isolated village of Nash, where he grew up, and a phone call from his sister moves him to return….

Dylan Morgan is so adept at writing the underlying sinister atmosphere of the one horse town or small, ‘Straw Dogs’ type village – he did the American version in his excellent ‘Flesh’, which I read earlier this year. Travelling through Nash, I felt the silence, the claustrophobia, the despair, from the depressing mood of the sparsely populated pub, to the darkness of his former family home; there almost seems to be a sepia tone over the whole book

This book is subtly rather than in-your-face creepy, at least at first, and the story unfolds at a steady pace, the supernatural element and details about James’s dreadful childhood being released gradually, building up to an explosive end; this is a writer who totally ‘gets’ suspense. The characters are so well drawn, even the minor ones, particularly Ruth’s creepy stepfather. I loved Ruth, she’s a great kid, tough and ballsy but with a sometimes most mature outlook, and James is very likable, too.

Definitely recommended for all lovers of supernatural horror.

Find a copy here form Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE SICKNESS by @dylanjmorgan #Horror

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

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Shelley chose to read and review The Sickness by Dylan Morgan

26864153

Book Review ‘The Sickness’ by Dylan J. Morgan #RBRT

4 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC of The Sickness in exchange for an honest review via Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT

An unmarked grave, a ring of salt, and four black candles are my favourite type of opening hook. As a fan of horror, and supernatural novels, I am always happy when the two mix and The Sickness provides this in abundance.

From the opening paragraph, we are shown that some of the characters have returned from the dead. To discover why this has happened, and indeed, how it was possible, we must join James Harris as he re-visits his home town, and a past he has tried so hard to forget.

The story unfolds in the thick of the action and only after we’ve experienced our first evisceration do we get to meet our hero.

I like James, a lot. I also like his teenage daughter, Ruth. Their relationship is beautifully crafted. The bond between them is clearly evident and even though Ruth is a feisty teenager with a strong will and tendencies towards truancy, you feel the love they have for one another flow off the page. I didn’t warm to Kath, who is Ruth’s mother, but I think that was the whole point, as it strengths the readers compassion for that father and daughter attachment.

If you like your supernatural horror to be dark, gruesome and unequivocally gory, then this is the book for you. The author’s ability to describe a brutal murder down to the last laceration is captivating. He paints a vivid and colourful picture of blood and bodily fluids.

The story is set in Nash, an English countryside community. I love Morgan’s style of writing as he sets the scene. His descriptive prose is so crisp that I found myself tugging at my collar to shield from an imaginary storm. Although I don’t believe the British weather is quite as dismal as it is in Nash, Morgan certainly captures the essence of the dark and gloomy horror backdrop, and he uses it to its full potential. I believe George Romero or Wes Craven would have enjoyed developing this story for cinema.

I was expecting horror, but I wasn’t expecting such graphic sexually explicit scenes. They are sprinkled throughout the story, some of them are vital to the plot, but there were others that I felt were unnecessary, this is a purely personal observation that may not be mirrored by other readers.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but I must briefly mention the ending. It is explosive, expertly written and riveting. I didn’t blink in case I missed something. The plot is neatly interwoven and carefully planned out, so you don’t see any of the twists coming.

No review would be complete without a shout out for the book cover. The image, colours, and typography fit the horror genre perfectly. It drew me in straight away. I would highly recommend The Sickness if you enjoy horror or/and supernatural novels.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com