#BadMoonRising The Sea Was Angry by Armand Rosamilia #horror #seastories

If you’ve followed Bad Moon Rising from the beginning, you’ll probably recognize today’s author – he’s participated every year. Today he brings his newest release, a tale of horror on the sea (love the cover!) With his list of things he’d take to a haunted house, I’d probably tag along – the man has excellent taste in bourbon. Welcome Armand Rosamilia!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

Neither, but if I had to choose it would be the haunted house. I’m too fat (too many peanut M&M’s and bourbon in my diet) so I’d have to be stuffed into a coffin. That would be quite uncomfortable. Bring on the ghosts!

Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.

A five lb. bag of peanut M&M’s. A bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. A paranormal investigator. I’d drink the bourbon and eat the M&M’s and hope the paranormal investigator will keep the ghosts busy so I can enjoy my dinner.

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn’t break down?

Definitely the car. Bullets won’t work against monsters. I mean, it might knock them down, and then you think they’re dead, but as soon as you walk away they rise behind you and start to slowly walk at your running form, until they catch up because you trip over something trying to look back, and… at least with a car I have a fighting chance.

Do you write to music?

I have to. I can’t stand when it is quiet. I need background noise. I’ll have my Spotify on very low, just enough I can hear the song but not enough I am focused on it. It’s usually a mix of thrash metal, black metal and random stuff like Bowling For Soup, Barenaked Ladies and Volbeat. I’m all over the place with music lately.

What was the hardest scene to write in your featured book?

In The Sea Was Angry, a lot of the beginning of the book relies on a shrimp boat crew. I’ve never been on a shrimp boat. I don’t like going in the ocean despite always living near it. So having to make it read authentic (as authentic as you can get in a horror book, I guess) I asked a lot of questions. Luckily I grew up in a fishing village in NJ so I had a few people to ask about it. A lot of it was cut in edits but I think I faked my way through it!

Describe your writing space.

I have my own office in the front of the house, so I can write while watching the street like an old man. We recently installed a Little Free Library out front, so I get to also watch the neighbors as they come and go, taking books and leaving books. Then I run outside and see what’s new. I collect Funko Pops, too, so there are hundreds of them on shelves in my office now, crammed in with my comic book art, Conan prints, Jaws stuff, zombie stuff, coffee mug collection, and so much more. I’ve had a few guests think the room is for a teenager. I guess it is, only I’m fifty.

The fishing industry near Daytona Beach is crippled when the shrimp stop coming up in nets, when the trout and flounder stop taking the bait… and when mysterious black sea life begins to attack the boats, the swimmers and the land, can anyone escape the horror as the oceans fight back?

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…

He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.

He not only runs two successful podcasts…

Arm Cast Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda – talking about writing and publishing

But he owns the network they’re on, too! Project Entertainment Network

He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.

Social Media: https://armandrosamilia.com, Twitter: @ArmandAuthor, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorArmandRosamilia, Facebook Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1637817943125835

#BadMoonRising Tales From the Annexe – 7 Stories From the Herbert West Series by Audrey Driscoll #horror #occult #shortstories

Some readers aren’t quite prepared to jump into novel-length horror, but they can handle the torture scares in shorter spurts. Today’s featured book of short stories checks off that box. Read on to find out which chilling book has stuck with this author since the age of twelve. Welcome Audrey Driscoll!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

A nice new, padded coffin in a coffin showroom would be okay, as long as the lid was left open. If it had to be closed, or if the coffin had been previously occupied, I might just go for the haunted house. On the other hand, spending time in a closed coffin might be a useful experience for writing a horror story.

Has a movie or book scared you so much you couldn’t sleep?  Which one?

Yes, terribly! When I was about 12, school kids could order books from a company called Scholastic. One of the books I bought was called Stories of the Supernatural, and one of the stories was “The Willows” by Algernon Blackwood. It’s about two guys who take a canoe trip down the Danube River. They camp in a place where the river flows among many small islands overgrown by willow bushes. Seriously weird things happen. The terrifying thing about this story is its subtlety. It hints at the horror rather than describing it in any concrete way. It’s not a ghost or a monster, but Something Else. And there’s a lot about the experience of fear and the narrator’s awareness of it as it develops from vague unease to full-on terror. I was a nervous wreck for months after I read it.

Would you rather use a Ouija board or participate in a séance?

I’ve never wanted to participate in a séance because I just assume they’re faked, but I have used a Ouija setup, decades ago. It wasn’t a board, though, but a homemade arrangement. Each letter and number was written on a separate small piece of paper, and the paper bits were randomly arranged in a circle. They were not in order. We used a glass instead of a planchette. When everyone placed a finger on the glass, it skittered around and spelled things out. While I can’t remember what the message was, the fact that actual words were spelled out was so creepy we never tried it again.

Do you write to music?

I have done, to the point where the music found its way into the writing, and even exercised an undue influence on it. Both those things happened to my first novel, The Friendship of Mortals. There is a scene in which characters attend a performance of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. And listening to Loreena McKennitt’s album The Mask and Mirror while I was writing, especially “The Dark Night of the Soul,” nudged the plot in an unintended direction. Then there’s my not-yet-published novel about a young woman’s experience with Franz Schubert’s gloriously gloomy song cycle Winterreise. Listening to that music compelled me to write about it.

What was the hardest scene to write in your featured book?

In one of the stories in Tales from the Annexe, the main character is physically immobilized. In another, mobility is limited by illness. Action has to happen in memory, imagination, or hallucination. Since I haven’t experienced situations like these, writing them strained my imagination engine to the utmost. I hope it and I succeeded, but only readers will be able to say for sure.

Which comes first for you – plot or characters?

Characters, definitely. I think that’s why my novels are slow burns; I get too involved with my characters and have a hard time pushing them along through the plot and making them suffer. Sometimes plot ideas of the “what if” type go nowhere because the inspirations don’t come with equally good characters.

Seven stories from the world of Audrey Driscoll’s Herbert West Series, followed by seven other tales of illusions, delusions, and mysteries on the edges of logic.

Discover Herbert West’s connections to Egypt, and how a dead man can help solve a mystery.

Share Charles Milburn’s ruminations as he explores another dimension of his friendship with Herbert.

Experience the horror of a long-anticipated revenge.

Sample the treats on offer from the ice cream truck from Hell.

Ride along with a dad who abandons his ten-year-old son in the woods where something howls.

Find out why a woman paints her bedroom a very special colour.

Accompany fifteen-year-old Ann as she tries to prove she belongs to the glamorous family on the other side of town.

These and seven other curious encounters may be found in this annexe to the ordinary.

Buy Links for Tales from the Annexe:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Author Bio

Three quarters of the way through a career as a cataloguing librarian, Audrey Driscoll discovered she was actually a writer. Since the turn of the millennium, she has written and published five novels and a short story collection. She negotiates with plants, juggles words, and communes with fictitious characters in Victoria, British Columbia. Her opinions on gardening, writing, and things that bug or delight her, along with information about her books, may be found on her blog at https://audreydriscoll.com

Social Media

Blog: https://audreydriscoll.com

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Amazon.uk:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4202146.Audrey_Driscoll

#BadMoonRising: Diaballein by Cage Dunn #horror #darkfantasy

Today we have an author making a first time appearance at Bad Moon Rising.  I read a wonderful review of Diaballein last week at D. Wallace Peach’s blog HERE  The list of three items to take into a haunted house totally makes sense – well thought out.  Welcome Cage Dunn!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night, or spend a night in a haunted house?

For prickly-skin inspiration, I’d like to walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight on my way to sleep in the abandoned haunted house, but not in a coffin.

What three items would you take to the haunted house?

  1. eReader, of course, ‘cos how else am I going to get weird reflections of the ghosts who think I can’t see anything behind me?
  2. Pump-up mattress, ‘cos even sleeping with ghosts should offer some comfort, and old haunted houses are not conducive to a good night’s sleep, are they?
  3. A notebook, so I can offer to relay the stories the ghosts want to have told.

Ghosts have many stories to tell, many woes to share, and if I can steal one idea from any of them, or show a reader what it feels like to be there, how the heart races at the tickle of cold air that touches the face like a dead lover’s caress – that’s a good moment. Fear is the anticipation of something bad happening, and I love to talk to the things that cause fear, find out why they do it, how it works.

Would you rather boogie down to Monster Mash or get your groove on to Thriller?

For musical inspiration, I’d like to boogie down with Monster Mash followed closely by Thriller.  Music is the soul of writing stories. A piece of music can inspire a story or enhance it. The rhythms of the sound transferred to the story demonstrate the subtext, the pace, and the sense of movement. Not every piece of music works for a story, but when it’s right, it’s so very, very right.

Do you write to music?

Funny you should ask that. I do, but only sometimes. I’m tone deaf, so the music can’t have voices, and if it’s the wrong music, I can’t write. So the music has to be non-vocal, and clearly defined between beats. It’s the beats I feel that need to be expressed into the pacing of the story, or the feel and atmosphere. It may not make sense, but it’s fun.

What is the hardest part of writing an author bio?

Do I have to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? I mean, I tell stories … but in the end, I told enough of the truth mixed with enough of the dreamer to satisfy both me and the muse. Maybe.

What are you working on now?

There are two series, or maybe serials, in novella formats.

The stories are based on the paths taken to achieve the highest level of magic. Not the type of magic that waves a wand, but the real magic where a person calls on their elemental nature, their strengths through familiars, and patterns of power to assist the people in the world who need it.

The second is a series about a man I’d call a negotiator, a fixer. He knows everyone on the dark side, and everyone knows him. The man youu call when you want a good thief to retrieve the family secrets, or to barter for the return. This man employs the skills of psychics and future-tellers as well as punishers and common thieves. You want something done on the quiet, he’s your man.

One man, one woman, one Diaballein — who will survive?

Kano Varre seeks a rare mineral in Outback Australia to prove his controversial and dangerous research — what he finds is a nightmare.

His body is possessed by the Diaballein, whose purpose is to open a gateway for his brethren, Kano must defeat the enemy while there’s only one, and he needs Eyza’s help to do it before the world falls into slavery, torture, death — worse than any nightmare ever imagined.

The gate is open …

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/cagedunn 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cage-dunn

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/ap/nkG5gn/Cage-Dunn

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CageDunn

Author Bio

Cage Dunn is a dedicated Fibber, Fabricator, Teller of Tall Tales who writes Australian stories, rural and outback urban/dark fantasy, horror, and twisted tales, stories about fearful things, dreams and horrors.

Cage was born in the wide-open landscape of inland Western Australia, lived all over the startling country of Australia – now in Adelaide – and worked at everything from sewage collection to computer programming. Still learning, still writing, still scaring the pants off those willing to listen to the stories …

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cage_dunn   @cage_dunn
Blog: https://cagedunn.wordpress.com

Calling #Horror, #Thriller, and #Paranormal #IndieAuthors for #BadMoonRising

It’s that time again – Bad Moon Rising is coming!  Thirty-one authors for thirty-one days in October.  If you’re an indie author of horror, thriller, or paranormal/supernatural books and would like to be featured, send me an email.  FREE publicity, book sales (hopefully!), new authors to follow, and more books added to the TBR – what’s not to like?

Each post will feature one of your releases, a blurb, author bio, social media links, buy links, and a short interview.  If you’d like to include a giveaway or have alternative ideas for your post, I’m always open to suggestions.

This is the sixth year of Bad Moon Rising and spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’d like to be included, email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.

I’ll be traveling today, so I probably won’t be able to get to emails until tomorrow.

Fractured Tide by Leslie Lutz #bookreview #YA #thriller #scifi #TuesdayBookBlog

Lost meets Stranger Things in this eerie, immersive YA thriller, thrusting seventeen-year-old Sia into a reality where the waters in front of her and the jungle behind her are as dangerous as the survivors alongside her.

Sia practically grew up in the water scuba diving, and wreck dives are run of the mill. Take the tourists out. Explore the reef. Uncover the secrets locked in the sunken craft. But this time … the dive goes terribly wrong.

Attacked by a mysterious creature, Sia’s boat is sunk, her customers are killed, and she washes up on a deserted island with no sign of rescue in sight. Waiting in the water is a seemingly unstoppable monster that is still hungry. In the jungle just off the beach are dangers best left untested. When Sia reunites with a handful of survivors, she sees it as the first sign of light.

Sia is wrong.

Between the gulf of deadly seawater in front of her and suffocating depth of the jungle behind her, even the island isn’t what it seems.

Haunted by her own mistakes and an inescapable dread, Sia’s best hope for finding answers may rest in the center of the island, at the bottom of a flooded sinkhole that only she has the skills to navigate. But even if the creature lurking in the depths doesn’t swallow her and the other survivors, the secrets of their fractured reality on the island might.

With Lost and Stranger Things being the comp titles (and two of my fav shows) for this book, I was soooo hoping to not be disappointed – and I absolutely wasn’t.  The comps are perfect descriptions.

Creepy, bizarre, mind-bending – all are apt descriptions of the island Sia finds herself stranded on.  Honestly, I’d be afraid to close my eyes at night.  This book held my attention from page one, and I probably could have finished it in one sitting.  Pacing is brisk and tense – I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Characterization is another strong point, from the MC to supporting characters – flawed, layered, and relatable.  I loved that Sia was a diver, and it’s obvious the author did her research on the subject.  I tried diving several years ago, but I was too claustrophobic – so I really felt the tension when Sia was caught up in dangerous underwater situations.

Although completely riveted by this book, I dreaded the ending because I was sure to be disappointed by some weak excuse for what was happening.  But I wasn’t at all, and that made my sci-fi loving heart so happy.

Fractured Tide is a fantastic blend of thriller, sci-fi, and horror and fans of any of those genres are in for a treat.  With such an amazing debut novel, this is an author to watch.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

House of Shadows by Darcy Coates #bookreview #horror #TuesdayBookBlog

Sophie’s world is shattered when disaster bankrupts her family. She’s still reeling from the news when she’s offered an unexpected solution: Mr Argenton, a wealthy stranger, asks for her hand in marriage.

Marrying Mr Argenton will restore her family’s fortunes and save them from scandal, but condemns Sophie to a life in Northwood, a vast and unnaturally dark mansion situated hours from civilisation.

Sophie struggles to adjust to her new position as mistress over the desolate house. Mr Argenton’s relatives are cold, and Mr Argenton himself is keeping secrets. Even worse, the house is more than it seems.

Mr Argenton’s young cousin, Elise, draws terrifying images. Doors slam. Inhuman figures slink through the forest surrounding the house. A piano plays in the middle of the night. Blood drips from the ceilings.

Sophie is inevitably pulled towards the terrifying truth: Northwood’s ancient halls are haunted by the family’s long-dead ancestors. The malevolent spirits–produced by grisly deaths–resent her intrusion into their home.

Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself irrevocably drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding the truth about the house–and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable. 

This is my second Darcy Coates book and I’ve come to learn there are two things I can count on – my enjoyment of her writing style and eerie covers perfect for what’s inside.

Reading The Amityville Horror many years ago made me a fan of haunted house novels.  I seem to gravitate toward them.  House of Shadows has a distinct gothic feel, an aspect which adds to the creep factor in my opinion.  When candles are your only souce of lighting, you never know what that light will fall on when you round a corner.  Or what it might miss in the shadows.

After marrying someone she barely knows and moving far away from her family, Sophie is immediately thrust into an unwelcoming sitation with Joseph’s relatives.  It’s also clear the staff are terrified of something and barely speak.  Sophie initially gives off the damsel-in-distress vibe, but when her back is against the wall, she comes through when it counts.

This is a quick read, but I wouldn’t have minded it being longer.  Once the climax is reached, pacing moves at break-neck speed, but the ending nicely sets up the second book.

If you’re looking for aggressive horror, this may not be the book for you, but if you enjoy some creepy-crawly moments that send chills down your spine with a touch of romance, you’ll settle in quite well with House of Shadows.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Reaper: A Horror Novella by Jonathan Pongratz FREE Today! #FreeBook #horror

I don’t usually post on Sunday, but today I’ve got a fantastic reason to – and I promise you’ll benefit from it.  An author friend of mine, Jonathan Pongratz, is offering Reaper: A Horror Novella FREE today!  I read it back in the winter, and if you’re a fan of dark basements and vivid imagery that may send chills down your spine, this book is for you.  Get it FREE today and you’ll have time to read it before the sequel is released – which I can’t wait to get my hands on!

Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is different. If he proves he can take care of Imogen all by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of.

That was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement and Imogen was taken from him by the monster.

Now everyone in town is blaming him for her disappearance, but no one is listening to his story. Where did the door come from? What was that creature? And most of all, can he find his sister before it’s too late, or will he bury his memories of her along with his parents?

Purchase Link  Amazon 

Excerpt:

Call me a scaredy cat all you want, but there was always something about the basement that I didn’t like. It always made me feel like I was being watched, like there was some

thing in the shadows just waiting for me to make a wrong move. Even now, the frigid air crept over me, creating more goosebumps on my arms and legs. I quickened my strides up the stairs, Imogen dragging behind.

We were halfway up the stairs when the knocks stopped. For a moment, I stopped my climb. The house was eerily quiet, and for reasons I can’t explain I felt a sudden urge to hurry back upstairs. I charged forward, trying to pull Immy along with me, but she resisted.

“Too fast!” she whined.

“If you hurry, we can play dress up sooner, now come on!” I yanked on Immy’s arm, practically lifting her into the air. Seven steps. Just seven more steps and we could look back on this night and laugh it off. Seven, six, five. Almost there.

I was just three steps away from the door when I leaped for the landing. I’ll never forget that jump. Time seemed to stand still, as if those cold icy fingers in the air had somehow found a way to slow time down. I remember that I had a smile on my face, a smile that disappeared when the door slammed shut in my face.

 

Social Media: 

Nightmareland (Horror Anthology) #bookreview #horror #shortstories #TuesdayBookBlog

From the creators of the #1 bestseller The Box Under The Bed horror anthology and its #1 bestseller sequel Dark Visions, comes Nightmareland
A horror anthology with 23 stories from 14 authors.
A high school girl with something to prove to herself and possibly to her parents, goes to a rundown shack deep in the woods to try a new drug that will give her the worst nightmares of her young life. A “Nightmareland” injection opens a person’s biggest fears to them – and then you are on your own for however long it lasts. Tag along as she becomes a lost child on a Florida party island, an investigator looking into a circus’ bizarre side shows, an abused prisoner, and much more.

Compiled by USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror once again unites the minds and pens of more than a dozen amazing authors.

Nightmareland will send you into the foggy twilight of the eerie and macabre, with heart stopping stories from:
USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Navigators),
award-winning bestselling author Robbie Cheadle
award-winning bestselling author Ellen Best
award-winning author Kaye Booth
award-winning bestselling author Betty Valentine
award-winning bestselling author Alana Turner
award-winning bestselling author Christine Valentor
award-winning bestselling author Nick Vossen
award-winning bestselling author Alana Turner
award-winning bestselling author Victoria Clapton
award-winning bestselling author AM Andrus
award-winning bestselling author Adele Marie Park
award-winning bestselling author Barbara Anne Helberg
award-winning bestselling author MD Walker
award-winning bestselling author Farmer
award-winning bestselling author Marjorie Mallon

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, watching TV with family, or even going on a casual boat ride.

I received this ARC back in October, and it’s taken me this long to get to it.  It would have been perfect for Halloween, but I’ll read tales of horror any time of the year.

Finishing the first story by Dan Alatorre, I was left hanging.  After all the buildup, I needed to know what happened next!  And he answered my questions with the last story in the book.  Very clever.  And what an ending it was.

Robbie Cheadle, another author I’m familiar with, contributed three stories to the book.  While I enjoyed all of them, I think The Siren Witch was my favorite.  Boyscouts camping at a secluded location along the river – what could go wrong?  Lots of things.  Like opening a Pandora’s Box.

As with any anthology, some tales are more polished than others, and a couple left me scratching my head, but that’s to be expected with a group of authors possessing varying writing styles.  Anthologies are perfect for giving readers an opportunity to discover new authors.  Kudos to the cover designer – it’s creepy, eerie, and brilliant.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from one of the authors.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Highland Cove by Dylan J. Morgan #bookreview #horror #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

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.

After reading several books by this author, I became a confirmed fan.  But then he disappeared for a while.  When I learned he had a new release on the horizon, it took me about tenth of a second to request an ARC.

A group of ghosthunters, including some non-believers, spend two nights in an abandoned sanitorium during a vicious storm.  Where lots of people died.  And it’s on an island.  What could go wrong here?  Most folks, believers or not, would likely pass on the offer.  Luckily for the reader, these characters think it’s an amazing opportunity.  Some of them assume nothing will happen and figure they’ll edit in effects to the film later.  Right.  But then, it wouldn’t be much of a horror story if characters made wise choices.

This author possesses an incredible talent for setting a tone – something he immediately did when the group first set foot on the island.  With such vivid imagery, I felt as if I walked the dilapidated halls of Highland Cove along with these characters.  Chills tingled down my spine when a wheelchair moved of its own accord.  Shadows danced in every corner.  During one scene, I cringed repeatedly – and I’ve been reading horror for decades.  That doesn’t happen to me very often, so kudos to the author.  Trust me when I say parts of this aren’t for the faint of heart.

It’s difficult to mention this without giving away spoilers, but a couple things near the end didn’t come together for me.  I had suspicions, and maybe I missed a crucial piece of information early in the book, but I felt part of the puzzle was missing when all was said and done.  It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this atmospheric tale, but still – some questions niggled at my brain.

I’m thrilled to see another book from this author and hope I don’t have to wait as long for his next one.  If you’re a horror fan, this is a writer you need to get to know.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

The Deep by Alma Katsu #bookreview #supernatural

Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .

I’m fascinated by anything Titanic, and I’d read a few titles on this author’s backlist, so it was a no-brainer for me to request this book from NetGalley.

Don’t go into this novel expecting an in-your-face horror story.  The Deep is more of a slow burn tale with a literary feel.  The author does an exceptional job of interweaving real Titanic passengers and historical events with fictional characters to tell her story.  She also uses Violet Jessop, an actual survivor of both the Titanic and the Britannic, in a supporting role as a friend of her main character, Annie.

Annie is a mysterious MC.  At various points in the story I would be annoyed by her actions, then understand them the more I read.  You may also wonder if she’s a reliable narrator, an aspect that just makes a story more enjoyable for me, because I’m constantly questioning everything.  The dual timelines are blended seamlessly and gradually reveal backstories of these characters.

While this novel is certainly atmospheric, I’d personally hoped for more…haunting.  Reviewers are split on this, so it’s really a matter of preference.

If you’re fascinated by all things Titanic, I’d recommend adding The Deep to your reading list.  It’s a slower-paced book, but the characters are well-crafted, and the blend of fiction and nonfiction is done well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.