Connect with us

Published

on

The Red Eye book series by Stripes Publishing has been a blessing for those wishing to experience YA horror in a book form. Vampires, cursed treasures, human centipede wannabes – there is something for everyone. Lou Morgan’s ‘Sleepless’ is essentially a slasher on paper, more specifically, a group of privileged teens making some dumb decisions which come back to bite them in the ass. Are you intrigued?

Plot

Izzy and her friends are young, rich and most importantly, enrolled in a private school which is extremely serious about their exams. With failure not on the menu, Tigs, the group’s ‘leader’ presents them with a solution. A pill that will help them focus and get those amazing grades, with no consequences whatsoever. Except that of course, there is no such thing as a consequence-free drug. 

One thing is for certain – the novel definitely has the creep factor down. Interestingly, once the characters start hallucinating, the tension is not from questioning if what they’re seeing is real because we know it’s not. It more so stems from seeing how the pill affects each character and how some of them become a danger to themselves and others.

However, for those looking for a kickstart that drops you right in the middle of the action, this book is not for you. The writer takes her sweet time establishing the setting and dropping immense amounts of exposition which add to the worldbuilding but are forgotten by the time the story finally kicks off.

Mild spoilers ahead 

One of the major flaws of ‘Sleepless’ for me was the fact that for all the exposition dumps, Morgan does not take enough time to develop her characters. Half of them are basically just numbers to add to the body count. Even Izzy, the character we’re meant to sympathise with, is morally dubious and not exactly emotionally stable. This does not make for a bad character in itself but feels tacked on at the end (and especially with the cliff-hanger at the last few lines, people who read this know what I’m talking about). 

While with stories like this, there has to be some suspension of disbelief, here it is stretched pretty damn thin. So many things were completely unexplained, such as how did Tiggs access the drugs? Why was there no investigation launched considering the bloodshed? Why was Mia’s motivation for her actions so basic? Why did no one take Izzy to therapy? And what was that ending? (Can you tell I’m still upset?) 

Final thoughts 

Despite what I’ve said above, I did enjoy ‘Sleepless’ a great deal, if for nothing else then for the fact that there just aren’t many of this sort for young adults. It could’ve definitely used some refining and development of the characters but overall, it was still a creepy thrill ride that is definitely not the worst of its kind.

3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

If you are interested, click below to purchase:

Book Reviews

A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”

Published

on

The Plot

“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?”  — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.

The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.

Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.

The Verdict

This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.

It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Woom: An Extreme Horror Novel

Published

on

“That doesn’t invalidate it,” Angel said. “There’s no statute of limitations on pain.”

The Plot

Angel is a man who knows pain: physical, mental, sexual. The story begins with Angel visiting Room 6 at the Lonely Motel and ordering a plus-size sex worker to his room. What comes next is Angel’s retellings of painful stories while performing sexual acts on the sex worker, Shyla.

The novel reads as a book of short stories, as Angel relays stories to Shyla and she tells him stories back. This is a novel of pain and disgust. Angel’s stories are so dark and traumatic that Shyla can’t believe they are true. As Angel bares his soul, we see a side of him that is melancholy and unable to process hurt in a natural way.

The Verdict

This novel is full of disgusting visuals and isn’t afraid to get dirty. This truly is an extreme horror novel. As a warning, there is discussion of feces, blood, rape, sex, and body horror. This novel is not for the faint of heart. You’ll close this short novel feeling dirty. Angel is a character that begs for sympathy while his stories narrate that he may not be as innocent as he perceives.

When the subtitle says this novel is extreme horror, believe it. Only the strong will survive Duncan Ralston’s Woom. It is more splatterpunk than anything, but true literary quality lies beneath the filth.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Read it yourself by clicking below!

Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Did She Do It? Stacy Willingham’s “All the Dangerous Things” Asks Us Just This

Published

on

One year ago, Isabelle’s life crumbled when her baby was abducted from her home. Her marriage to her husband, Ben, is destroyed as they try to navigate the fallout.

The Plot

Even one year after the abduction, Isabelle seeks answers. She is still doing appearances at true crime expos to get information on the attendees, thinking the abductor will be there one day. Abductors usually revisit their crime and Isabelle swaps her appearances for the event guest list, never taking any money for her talks.

Some think that Isabelle killed her own baby as evidence from the case says the perpetrator came from inside the house. Isabelle hasn’t slept – not fully – since Mason was abducted. Her therapist is worried that she may be having hallucinations. Is Isabelle the killer or is she on a quest for true justice?

The Verdict

I absolutely loved the complication of not knowing whether Isabelle was a reliable or unreliable narrator. This was my favorite aspect of the novel. It made me question everything that Isabelle had to say and the actions she executed.

Isabelle is a character that, as a mother, I really felt for. I wanted to believe that Isabelle was innocent, but I was hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to find out. Stacy Willingham is the master of a story that winds all around, waiting for you to find the truth.

If you are interested in reading Willingham’s first novel, A Flicker in the Dark, check out my review here.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Continue Reading

Trending