Highland Cove by Dylan J. Morgan

Cover: Highland Cove
by Dylan J. Morgan

 

The author sent me an ARC (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4  stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

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.

 

Genre(s): > Ghost Fiction
> British Horror Fiction
Series: n.a.
File size: 3663 kb
Release date: 2020-03-30

Teaser


Liam looked up, caught a glimpse of shadow fluttering over the grime-coated wall. The wheelchair turned a gentle arc outside the open door. Pressing the record button on his EVP recorder, he held it out at arm’s length and stared at the wheelchair as it settled against the wall.

“Hello,” he addressed the hallway. “Can you hear me? What’s your name?”

A murmur, indistinct and barely audible, drifted from the shadows at the end of the passage…


My Opinion

The story starts sixty years earlier when Polish psychiatrist professor Bukoski was head of the Highland Cove asylum. The stories about Highland Cove intrigue Codie and his team to document the ghostly appearances. 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 Highland Cove”, Dylan J. Morgan has created an expertly woven plot, a thrilling horror novel. “Highland Cove” comprises authentic characters; Codie is a very likeable guy, I liked him from the start. You learn more about the team as the story processes; the more you learn about them, the more you are inclined to take sides. Dylan J. Morgan easily provides that fine chill that soon lets shivers run down your spine. There are turns that I did not see coming; most of my question marks were answered towards the end. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read. I was drawn into the story right away, close to Codie and Kristen and relieved to be invisible.

The ending was what I least anticipated; I could imagine two quite different possibilities for a second book or just say ‘Well, I really did not see that coming – but I accept it.’

I could imagine this a perfect plot for the “Fantasy Film Festivals” (they are known for gory horror films); I would admittedly opt to see a milder version, though.

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

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

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful, creepy
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: (some mild swearwords spread sparsely)
Violence 😡  (not for the faint of heart)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (mentions)

About the author

Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.

If you’re searching for that light at the end of the tunnel then stop looking—you won’t find it here.

Connect with the Author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Highland Cove”?  Or – if you did not yet read Highland Cove”  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

The Other Side of the Wall by A.D. Starrling

The publisher sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Have you ever seen flashes of darkness where there should only be light?

Ever seen shadows skitter past out of the corner of your eyes and looked, only to find nothing there?

Forced into a sabbatical following his affair with an undergrad student, university professor Jim Grayson rents Holloway Farm for the summer, in the hope that time away from his wife will help salvage his marriage. But all is not what it seems at the farmhouse and he soon finds himself at the mercy of powers beyond his understanding.

The Other Side of The Wall is a horror short story from multi-award-winning paranormal action thriller author AD Starrling. If you like things that go bump in the night, then you’ll shiver at this spine-tingling tale.

Genre(s): Horror, Short Story
Series: n.a.
File size: 2 939 KB
Release date: 2017-05-12

 

Teaser


Bar the faint ticking of the clock, the place was silent. Jim brought the suitcases inside and closed the door.

A sudden feeling of claustrophobia swamped him. He froze, gripped by irrational fear. He strode across the hallway and opened the first door.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Jim Grayson, on a sabbatical at Holloway Farm, hoping to save his marriage.

With The Other Side of the Wall, A.D. Starrling has created a chilling horror short story centred on Jim Grayson. It is a quite compelling read, drawing you into Holloway Farm. A.D. Starrling paints a clear picture of Jim’s mind while the story evolves.

This is a book for you if you like the horror genre and short stories.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence/Horror 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

AD Starrling’s multi-award winning thriller series Seventeen combines action, adventure, science, and a dose of the supernatural to make each book an explosive, adrenaline-fueled read.

When she’s not busy writing and reading, AD can be found looking up exciting international locations and cool science and technology to put in her books, eating Thai food, being tortured by her back therapists, drooling over gadgets, working part-time as a doctor on a Neonatal Intensive Care unit somewhere in the UK, reading manga, and watching action and sci-fi flicks. She has occasionally been accused of committing art with a charcoal stick and some drawing paper.

Find out more about AD on her website www.adstarrling.com where you can also sign up for her awesome newsletter and never miss her latest release. You’ll also get a chance to read advance copies of her forthcoming novels, have access to sneak previews of her work, participate in exclusive giveaways, and get special promotional offers.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Other Side of the Wall?  Or – if you did not yet read The Other Side of the Wall – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Sarah by Teri Polen

 

I bought this book (mobi format).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Horror
Books > Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Horror
Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 203 pages
Release date: 2016-12-07

 

Teaser


My heart was pounding and deep within my gut I knew what I’d just experienced wasn’t a dream. Still looking around the room for Eby, my gaze fell on the attic door. The chair that had been wedged beneath the knob was now turned over on its side, the door wide open, revealing the heavy, threatening darkness behind it.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 17-year-old Cain Shannon. He and his family had to move to a smaller house, he cares for his younger sister and his cat, is on the soccer team, does not have the heart to break up with his trying girlfriend. Luckily he has his friend Finn to support him in hard times.

With Sarah, Teri Polen has created a remarkable and thrilling horror story for young adults, centred on a boy who suddenly has to face Sarah – a ghost. It is a compelling read, drawing you close to Cain, his family – including Eby the cat, his best friend Finn, Erin, and to Lindsey. Teri Polen expertly combines the horror and young adult genres; I had the feeling of being an invisible and close ally. Cain is complex and likeable, so is Finn; Sarah is complex – obviously less likeable. The other characters are of sufficient depth (according to their relevance). The story comprises realistic characters in a “normal” environment with interesting turns and nicely fitting surprises; it has a great flow. Sarah’s story disturbing; Cain and Finn need to solve the mystery about Sarah’s demise, find out if she is telling the truth.

This is a book for you if you like well written and compelling young adult horror stories with a touch of mystery, if you like getting close to likeable and believable characters.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳
Violence 😳 – 😡
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳

 

About the author:

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Sarah?  Or – if you did not yet read Sarah – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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The Disembodied by Anthony Hains

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Thirteen-year-old Griffin Rinaldi seems like a normal kid. He plays basketball at the Y and he’s just learning to talk to girls. But Griffin doesn’t feel normal. He’s been diagnosed with Depersonalization Disorder—he feels disconnected from his body, and at times, he doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive. And it seems to be getting worse.

Following the brutal death of his abusive father, Griffin is haunted by a red-haired kid only he can see and who wants him to do things he doesn’t understand. Griffin’s only sources of support are his grandfather, Soren – a regional author of Outer Banks ghost stories – and his same-aged cousin, Tanner, a boy coping with his own troubled life.

When a rare blizzard strikes the Outer Banks, Griffin recognizes the red-haired boy as a vengeful specter from Soren’s tales. To make matters worse, his well-meaning aunt has convinced his mother he’s under some sort of spiritual attack. Unsure if the mysterious boy is a symptom of his disorder or an entity with evil intent, Griffin finds himself in a struggle to save his life, his sanity and maybe his very soul.

Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Ghosts
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Horror
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Psychological
Series: n.a.
Length: 316 pages
Release date: 2016-08-16

 

Teaser


Beatings and belittling were common methods of child-rearing employed by the adult Rinaldi brothers. For Griffin, the terror had ended when his father died the previous summer. He’d felt a sense of relief. What would other people say if they knew? They wouldn’t understand. None of them had any idea what he went through – other than Tanner, of course. They’d both lived with the same shit, but now his nightmare was over. Did Griffin feel guilty for being relieved? No, that didn’t weigh on him.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 13-year-old Griffin Rinaldi. He is suffering from strange out-of-body experiences.

With The Disembodied, Anthony Hains has created a surprising and thrilling story about a boy who is having mental issues after his father’s death. It is a compelling read, drawing you close to Griffin and his grandfather, Soren. Anthony Hains knows how to keep you glued to Griffin’s story, giving you the feeling of being an invisible ally and/or at least part of the events. Griffin is quite complex and likeable, so are Soren and Tanner, the other characters are of sufficient depth (according to their relevance). The story comprises realistic characters in a “normal” environment with interesting turns and nicely fitting surprises; it has a great flow. The story covers a disturbing topic; its characters are sometimes too realistic for comfort.

This is a book for you if you like well written and compelling stories with major psychological and horror aspects, if you like getting close to likeable characters.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV third person – past tense
Language 😳
Violence 😳 – 😡
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author:

Anthony Hains is a professor of counseling psychology with a specialization in pediatric psychology. His latest novel, The Disembodied, is a Kindle Scout winner and published by Kindle Press. He is the author of two previous horror novels, Birth Offering and Dead Works. Anthony lives with his wife in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. They have one daughter.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Disembodied?  Or – if you did not yet read The Disembodied – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


10 Statements – Anthony Hains

 

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Come On Up to the House by Dane Cobain

come_on_up_to_the_house

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Doesn’t life seem nasty, brutish and short?

This horror novella and accompanying screenplay tells the story of Darran Jersey, a troubled teenager who moves into a house that’s inhabited by the malevolent spirit of his predecessor.

As time goes by and the family begins to settle, Darran begins to take on more and more of the qualities of James, the dead teenager who committed a bloody suicide.

As tragedy after tragedy threatens to destroy the family, Darran’s mother Alice decides to leave the house behind and start afresh, but is it too late?

Find out when you Come On Up to the House…

Genre(s): Fiction > Horror > Occult
Series: n.a.
Length: 125 pages
Release date: 2016-12-05

Teaser


Darran breathed a sigh of relief an turned around. As he did so, the lights flicked on by themselves and his nightmare was back, only this time he was living through it. The walls and carpet were daubed with blood. Darran did not know it, but he was looking at the room as it was left by its previous inhabitant. It wasn’t a pretty sight.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to the Jersey family – especially teenage son Darran – and their house.

With Come On Up to the House, Dane Cobain has created a horror story about a house, the evil spirit within, and a family. It is a fight between evil and not-so-evil; the horror is not limited to the evil spirit. Dane Cobain paints a clear picture of Darran while the gory story evolves. The other characters are of sufficient depth, supporting the novella-length story appropriately. The story has a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like the macabre, novella-length horror stories with a psychological touch, and screenplays.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Dark
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language 😳
Violence 😡
Sexual content 😳

 

About the author

Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK) is an independent poet, musician and storyteller with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not in front of a screen writing stories and poetry, he can be found working on his book review blog or developing his website.

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Dane Cobain
Buy link(s):  books2read.com/u/bQZXQw

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Come On Up to the House?  Or – if you did not yet read Come On Up to the House – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Former.ly by Dane Cobain

Review:  No Rest for the Wicked

10 Statements – Dane Cobain

 

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