Review: Shadow Lands by Alan Kessler

Genre: Pychological Horror

Rating: Maybe

 

True to its blurb, Shadow Lands brings us into the mind of Steve Goldblatt, who takes us on a journey across a landscape filled with macabre and often horrifying elements treated as normal, everyday occurrences. At times difficult to follow (on purpose, as our narrator is in the unreliable school of Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart narrator), the story unfolds like a lazy, yawning cat. That has one eye. And long teeth. And wants to eat you whole.

We begin in the present. Steve meets his friend Tom to go fishing. Seems simple enough until Tom thwacks our narrator in the head with an oar. This opens up Goldblatt’s recollections, from his childhood to his adult life. Kessler captures these moments well, and drapes every one of them with a gauzy shawl of horrific. Nothing in this book is innocent, and nothing maintains a feeling of normalcy. Any sort of typical experience is tainted with Steve’s not-quite-rose-colored glasses, and there’s always a heavy feeling of trepidation hanging. This is truly Kessler’s style–you’re never ever quite comfortable with what you’re reading, and sometimes you’re not entirely sure why.

Fans of EA Poe should probably give Kessler a try,  especially if you’re a fan of unreliable narrators. This book isn’t for everyone, though, so if you’re not okay with not knowing 100% of what’s going on, you may want to pass.

Shadow Lands is available at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

 

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This Week’s Read: Shadow Lands – Alan Kessler

 

shadowlandThis is a coming-of-age story about a young boy who endures abuse by creating a world of shadows where he can escape beatings and the dead. His journey is across a unique internal landscape where there is no borderland between sanity and madness, only a compelling, sometimes horrific blending of the two into a power strong enough to summon love and extract revenge.

The novel is psychological horror. In the story the protagonist, Steve Goldblatt, asks that before judging evil we first live with those who made it and taste, as he did, what they put into their witches’ brew.

Haunted, Mr. Goldblatt brings the reader face to face with demons–external ones and those living deep within our soul.

Shadow Lands is available at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Review: Serving Time by Nadine Ducca

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: Yay with qualifiers

It’s been awhile since I’ve been graced with a sci-fi book for the Indies pile! I was more than pleased. And this book, with its twists and turns, certainly serves up sci-fi fun times, with a bit of a twist.

We follow two brothers, Eneld and Tristan as they attempt to save each other from their personal burdens—Eneld’s drug addiction, and the shadows haunting Tristan’s past. We soon discover that Tristan’s shadows are from more than just the murders he’s committed.

I loved the book and how this spoke to relationships—not just the brother’s, but a host of other people who are involved in the unfolding story. The goddess Time and her servant Thomas also feature heavily, as well as others. A huge thanks goes to the author for providing characters without a crazy love triangle.

And this involvement, ironically, is what made a huge drawback. There are so many points of view in this book, a few of which only receive one scene in their POV, that it diluted the story’s strengths. It took me longer to really get into the story, and because of that, I wasn’t really invested until a third to halfway through. It got to the point where I almost resented having yet another throwaway POV.

I sat and thought about this for a while, and after a few days, I still feel less POVs would’ve made for a stronger, tighter, more engaging story.

Still, the ending is a whirl of problems spiralling together, and the finale was really enjoyable.  I’d love to read on and see what happens after, but I really hope it’s with a few less POVs.

Serving Time can be purchased at the following locations:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Smashwords

This Week’s Read: Serving Time

When narcotics courier Tristan Cross attempts to resign from StarCorp, he never thought the company would servingtimeebookinfect him with the mind-consuming loyalty drug. With his personality slipping through his fingers, Tristan embarks on a desperate quest for freedom that will take him across the solar system, and into the most unexpected regions of space and time.

Buckle up for an interplanetary race against time in this extraordinary fight for survival.

 

About the Author:

I currently live in Barcelona, Catalonia, although I’m originally from sunny southern California. I work with computers and books all day, which means my ophthalmologist isn’t too happy with my eye care habits. Science fiction has been my passion ever since one of my father’s friends introduced me to Red Dwarf at the age of 12. Making up stories has been my passion for as long as I remember, so it was only a matter of time until my two favorite things met and had a love child called “Serving Time.”

A hopeless lover of anything and everything containing chocolate, I live with my fiancé and three cats, and I have recurring nightmares involving very big and very white public restrooms.

 

Serving Time can be purchased at the following locations:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Smashwords