Haunted Halloween Hop – Beyond The Darkness – Simon Brewer – Review

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As Halloween was getting closer, I wanted to incorporate a themed post into my blog. One of my blogger friends Jess from ReadingWithJessica came up with the fantastic idea of a Haunted Halloween Hop. There are ten of us participating and each of us will be bringing you a spooky themed post, from October 22nd to October 31st!

If you’d like to follow along with the blog hop, then check out the schedule down below.

Oct 22nd – Paige from Books and Belle.
Oct 23rd – Linda from Linda’s Little Library.
Oct 24th – Danielle from The Introverted Book Nerd.
Oct 25th – Jessica from Reading With Jessica.
Oct 26th – Kris from Boston Book Reader.
Oct 27th – Fernanda from The Wanderlust Reader.
Oct 28th – Diana from The Bookish Sisters.
Oct 29th – Sarah from Book Hooked Nook.
Oct 30th – Nicole from Boundless Bookaholic.
Oct 31th – Maggie from The Caramal Files.


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Book logoSynopsis

Four original, gothic parables about cursed individuals who venture beyond death. The stories are:
1. A Bard’s Tale When Anya the Bard’s husband dies, she seeks out a way to bring him back from the dead. A mysterious man, Wilfred Von Wilhelm, a Doctor of Somnambulism offers his assistance in resurrecting the deceased. Soon however Anya realises that she may have made a grave mistake. Is the resurrected the man she remembers and what is the Doctor’s true motive for helping her?
2. The Testament of Prisoner X Able seaman Imran Mehmood witnesses his crewmates killed by an evil temptress. He is seduced by the Siren and taken back to her ancestral home. There Imran is bound to her, body and soul and opens his heart to the evil darkness. Can he escape her – does he really want to?
3. A Song of Human Nature Mother Nature resides in judgement over the earth walkers. That is when Caesare falls into her care. As he grows into a man he is tasked with proving that the humans deserve a place in the world. Yet Caesare is inflicted with an evil curse by the spirit of the Wolf King. Can he escape the monster inside and prove to Mother that the earth walkers are worthy of life?
4. The Fable – Part One. The Tale of two Brothers Twin boys are born to the King and Queen of Ortusland but with their arrival a prophecy is foretold. One brother will kill the other. The first brother, Alaric is enslaved and taken to the Netherworld where he lives a life of torture and cannibalism. The second brother, Basileus must make corrupting decisions and great burdensome sacrifices. The question is, which brother is good and which one is evil and will the prophecy come true?

Book logoMy Rating
★★★☆☆.5

A gruesome collection of stories, sure to give you a fright (or nightmare).

Book logoMy Thoughts

Since my blog is all about my love of books, I thought it was fitting to review a horror themed book for the blog hop. Simon Brewer contacted me to review his debut novel Beyond The Darkness and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

Short stories isn’t my usual bag, but the synopsis of this one intrigued me and for the most part it was very enjoyable to read.

The first story, A Bard’s Tale, was the perfect way to begin. It sucked me in instantly with quick horrific events and kept me captivated until the end. I felt such sympathy for Anya and understood the reasons behind what she did. It was so heart wrenching to read and really pulled on my emotions. I understood her desperation and also her need to put things right. It was the shortest story but one of the most enjoyable!

The Testament of Prisoner X is my favourite. Three times the size of the first but just as ghastly. Imran witnesses his crew mates being gruesomely slaughtered by the Siren and is then seduced by her and becomes her slave. Besotted by her beauty and lulled into a sense of madness, he brings her other men, to which she sucks the life from, literally. I was so absorbed into the story and wanted to see what would become of Imran and whether he would escape the Siren’s clutches.

Now this is where the book kind of deflated for me. The third story is set out as a poem and I’m not a huge fan of poems at all. I did read it because the story was interesting and it was written in a way that I could easily interpret. I think I got the jist of the meaning behind it, which was very deep, but poems are just not my cup of tea.

The final story fell a little flat for me, I found myself skimming it here and there which is not what I wanted! I found it just a bit too detailed and would have been happier with it being shorter, it just dragged on a bit. I was really curious about the story, but I couldn’t fully take it in.

Overall I did enjoy a great deal of the book and Simon wrote it superbly. Each story was incredibly different, but all as horrific as the last.

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*I would like to thank Simon Brewer for sending the book my way in return for an honest review*

Find the book on Goodreads and find out about the author Simon Brewer.

 

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