Tag Archives: #horror

All the White Spaces by Ally Wilkes -a review

all the white spacesAll the White Spaces by Ally Wilkes

Something deadly and mysterious stalks the members of an isolated polar expedition in this haunting and spellbinding historical horror novel, perfect for fans of Dan Simmons’s The Terror and Alma Katsu’s The Hunger.

In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary ship of his hero, the world-famous explorer James “Australis” Randall, Jonathan may live as his true self—and true gender—and have the adventures he has always been denied. But not all is smooth sailing: the war casts its long shadow over them all, and grief, guilt, and mistrust skulk among the explorers.

When disaster strikes in Antarctica’s frozen Weddell Sea, the men must take to the land and overwinter somewhere which immediately seems both eerie and wrong; a place not marked on any of their part-drawn maps of the vast white continent. Now completely isolated, Randall’s expedition has no ability to contact the outside world. And no one is coming to rescue them.

In the freezing darkness of the Polar night, where the aurora creeps across the sky, something terrible has been waiting to lure them out into its deadly landscape…

As the harsh Antarctic winter descends, this supernatural force will prey on their deepest desires and deepest fears to pick them off one by one. It is up to Jonathan to overcome his own ghosts before he and the expedition are utterly destroyed.

Published 29 March 2022|  Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books |  RRP: AUD$26.50

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  |  QBD

My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

This book appealed to me because I recalled a couple of Antarctica thrillers which I enjoyed though I think neither was historical. Nevertheless, I thought that would add to the thrill (difficulty without tech etc) however I didn’t really count on the horror bit of the story. I’m not a huge fan of horror because for some reason, they just confuse me. I read & loved some paranormal, magical books but for some unknown reason, I just don’t get horror. It’s not particularly scary so I guess I just missed the point?

The novel opens with our protagonist’s family receiving news of the loss of their elder 2 sons whom it appears to have had ambitions for an Antarctica expedition adventures. What do you do when the 2 older brothers whom you worshipped were ripped away from you? Well, you do what they have always wanted to do! But well, there is the barrier of your perceived gender and your parents so the only thing to do is to stow away and hopefully prove yourself while onboard. Things never truly go smoothly for an expedition to the unknown but this time, there were other factors at play and not everyone can see them…

It is possibly my initial expectation of the book which influenced my thoughts on this book because I keep expecting a twist of the psychological thriller variety but it never happened so while accept some paranormal activity as possible, I didn’t find it scary. Since I didn’t find it scary nor was there any particular surprising twist, I found this book to be rather long and uneventful (yes, despite all the tragic incidents).

My thanks to Atria/Emily Bestler Books for ecopy of book via Edelweiss+ in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

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Blog Tour: Dagger Hill by Devon Taylor

Dagger Hill
Devon Taylor
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 17th 2021
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult

Stranger Things meets One of Us Is Lying in this creepy paranormal mystery about four friends who find themselves hunted by a malevolent presence in their sleepy hometown.

It knows your fear…

Summer, 1989. Four best friends—Gabe, Kimberly, Charlie, and Sonya—are preparing for their last summer together before senior year, after which they’ll all be splitting up to start college in different parts of the country. They make a promise to always find their way back to each other, no matter how far away from their sleepy Pennsylvania hometown they get.

But their plans are destroyed when a plane crashes right on top of their favorite hangout outside of town—and right on top of them.

In the catastrophic aftermath of the incident, Gabe, Sonya and Charlie are plagued by eerie visions and messages from an unknown watcher. They soon realize that the plane crash was no accident, and now they are being hunted by a sinister presence. And everyone is still searching for Kimberly, who has been missing ever since Gabe saw somebody wearing a gas mask carry her out of the woods the day the sky fell down on them…

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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I thinks it was the year setting, 1989, that mostly grabbed my attention. I was 9 then so not quite the same age as these protagonist but old enough to remember certain pop cultures referred to in this novel so that was real fun! I’m usually not a horror fan either but while this was quite creepy, it wasn’t that bad.

Dagger Hill reminded me a bit of Silent Hill (game) though on a very broad terms. I didn’t watch or play the game; just saw bits & pieces of the game while hubby played. I guess it was more the supernatural creepy sort of feel of a small town. I stopped myself from reading the last 20% last night because I wanted to go to sleep feeling safe… 😅

I really like the friendship factor in this novel. As each character was struggling through feelings of sadness and even unspoken crushes, their friendship comes first and each other’s safety. There wasn’t that much romance in the story yet I still feel I could have done without what little there was.

The whole story felt very visual to me so I think this would probably do better as a movie because I got really confused at the final showdown about who’s who! Dagger Hill was an enjoyable spine-tingling read which I’d recommend for those who likes being freaked out.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

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About the author

Devon Taylor was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. His day job consists of sneaking around the house with ninja-like stealth to avoid waking up his kids. When not writing, reading, or tediously typing out text messages with all the correct spelling and punctuation, he spends his time with his family. THE SOUL KEEPERS is his debut novel.

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