An enjoyable yet sinister tale of the macabre that’ll keep you turning pages…
There is so much going on in this book and I found myself quickly turning the pages as the events build, unfold and eventually intertwine in what is a clever fusing of several stories that centre around the strange dark small town known as Blackwater. Bruce Knapp has delivered a tale that is dark, sometimes gruesome and wholly satisfying and the setting is delivered well and through the multiple characters. Throughout, the story evolves along with those characters as everything plays out.
“Grim shadows loomed over Blackwater, trying to conceal the hatred, but the evil continued to grow like a fungus, a black poisonous mould…“
We see those who are looking for faith, some with lust on their mind, religious types, businessmen, lawmen and even those on the fringes of the occult and witchcraft. Hell, there is even something monstrous lurking in the local ‘Suwanee’ river, this tale really is one of variety that even feels like an anthology piece that is all wrapped up in less than a 200 pages and with short but sharp chapters which keeps those pages turning and the flow consistent.
Main character ‘Robert Thompson’ seems to have a dark cloud following him and his choices soon lead to a shocking and gruesome turn of events. It was at this moment I really became invested in the story. Robert is a changed man from this point and his journey is filled with sometimes graphic brutality to himself and others. Of course that cloud hanging over him has a name (‘Nyx’) and plays an influencing role in the form of possession.
Eventually we see the ‘Noxious’ part of the story which kicks in later on but has been cleverly built from the early stages. Of course Robert’s journey culminates during this satisfying finish for a book with so much variety in the horror genre. The town and setting of Blackwater feels like a character in its own right, it’s always there, hanging over everything with a certain darkness. This makes for a great atmospheric feel to the reading experience.
Those who like multiple character led stories with elements of the occult, witchcraft, paranormal that’s a little graphic in places will enjoy ‘Noxious’. Everyone else may just end up in the ‘Otherworld’ on Leap Day.
4 Stars – this review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery. Reviews left on both Amazon and Goodreads.
I’ve read 9 indie books since the last time I did a wrap up post. So consider this a review of my reviews and here at the Hall of information we pride ourselves on promoting authors of all persuasions especially indies! So here goes with 9 reasons why your next read should be indie…
Prophecy Girl by Ravin Tija Maurice reads like a crime mystery, and is mostly a crime mystery but eventually the reader is taken down the rabbit hole and that abyss is shared with Vampires!
As quoted from my June review ‘the ideas of realistic crime being fused with magic and vampires is an odd but unique pairing. Author Ravin Tija Maurice has obviously worked hard to execute this and has done so by way of a well written novel…’
The news is that Prophecy Girl has a sequel and so the story of main character ‘Camille Bishop’ continues with ‘Believer’ which is out now!
Next up I took on a series of shorter stories which are all part of ‘The Night Audit’ Series by Bruce Knapp. These quick fire fun tales follow Zach as he takes on a new job as night auditor for a hotel. He finds himself in a range of situations from the straight up gross out hilarious to the baffling and strange. I thorougly enjoyed each one and here are my thoughts on them:
So it begins -A fun and intriguing but very relatable short story…
Nights of Hell – Working nights can mess with one’s head…
Guy’s Night out -A hilarious account of one drunken night out…
The Phantom -Strange happenings in the Stay Over-Nite hotel
Dirty Lawyers -Fun gross out comedy…
Next up my reviews of the ‘Quantum Series’ by Christina Engela continued when I read ‘The Time Saving Agency’ which is the second book in the series.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story which fused elements of time travel to the already established quirky futuristic universe that Engela has constructed, referring to my review here’s what I said:
‘Christina Engela has created a story that follows not only a similar concept of the previous entry into the Quantum series but one that fuses those ideas with something completely different and original. Written in a way that sometimes tributes Terry Pratchett, yet again readers will find this story quirky and clever with a style that confides in the reader.’
These stories also take a big step towards positivity for the LGBT community by being unclusive to characters of all persuasions but it’s done in a manner that gives the subject a level of normalcy; something that is needed today! Plus there’s a talking plant, it’s pretty awesome. I shall be reading the next story in the series very soon!
Next up comes a book that probably has one of the most unique premises I have ever seen and read; I am talking about The Good Audit by C.P Aiden.
As quoted from my review it’s ‘Enjoyable, clever and original’ but what exactly is the Good Audit about?
‘C.P Aiden has put together a story that on the surface appears to be about the trials of auditing and finance but in fact it’s about everything else that comes with the territory. This book is so well written and concise you could argue it’s use as a teaching aid for the profession and I mean that in the highest regard even though I am layman to all things finance I found myself able to follow and enjoy everything that was happening.’
I haven’t read anything like this book ever and you don’t have to be knowledgeable in the subject matter to get it. All you have to do is read it and find out. There’s something in this book that everyone can relate to from the world of work.
My final and 9th read but by no means least comes in the form of a truly addictive and very readable story called ‘The Four Before Me’ by E.H Night.
I took me around 3 days to finish reading this story which follows the new girl in town trope but becomes so much more. My very recent review quotes:
‘The Four Before Me leans a little towards cliche but it works in an original way that keeps readers guessing throughout. It’s the late 80’s and Alice our main character; moves to small town ‘Wintersburg’ in search of a new start from the big city and to perhaps be closer to her now deceased Grandmother’s roots. Soon after her arrival she learns that four women are currently missing and that’s when the chilling coincidences begin. I say coincidence but that’s only if you believe in such things and for Alice this starts to play on her mind which in turn becomes psychological – the true strength of this story. She cannot help but think of the many similarities she and the missing women have, in particular ‘Sarah’ who was in fact the previous tenant in Alice’s new place…’
What unfolds is a page turner of a novel which has chills and thrills that reminded me of Stephen King’s works- yes I thought it was that good! There’s a series of mind blowing twists in the final act which rewards the already immersed reader.
That wraps up my newest review of my book reviews and this one possibly has the best line up so far this year! Thanks for reading and remember to leave a review if you’ve read something recently!
Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of this Blog, we are near to 300 followers which is awesome because this year I started with less than 200!
Rock and roll man!
A hilarious account of one drunken night out…
We all think we have good ideas and they seem even better when you add alcohol. In this story we see Zach away from the workplace and out on the town with Randy and Jake. That is without letting on to their colleague Wade who appears to be somewhat of a drip so inviting him is out of the question. What ensues is the typical ‘guys night’ that the title suggests, from chugging beers to a friend going missing to even getting thrown out of one place.
Eventually all roads for Zach lead back to the hotel he works at and Wade. What follows is the drunken idea of initiating him with hilarious results which at the very end of the book have dangerous consequences leaving this story finishing on a cliffhanger.
Working nights can mess with one’s head…
Working nights can not only be hell but they can mess with one’s head. Zach is back for the second chapter of his story as he delves into night work at the hotel. Again he seems to fall into various problems of not only the day to day running of a busy hotel but the perils of working during the night. He faces tiredness on a constant basis while also running important reports which seem to go wrong… that is while juggling extra jobs that don’t get finished during the day.
This part of Zach’s journey is greeted with difficulty as he tries to adjust to life of the nocturnal persuasion while trying to prove himself as the night auditor. He tackles this uphill struggle while also pondering whether this job is for him.
Overall an enjoyable and very quick read – I managed to complete it in one sitting. Looking forward to seeing what’s next for Zach in part 3 of this original and fun journey!
A fun and intriguing but very relatable short story…
Zach is having a bad day. His car has run out of gas and the local gas station only takes cash. That’s how this story starts and like the best of us when it rains it pours. His job is no better, it’s physical menial work that could probably be best described as back breaking and with a supervisor like his it was only a matter of time until he did what all of us sometimes dream of doing.
Soon enough Zach’s luck begins to change as his best friend advises him to apply for a new job opening; that being a Night Auditor for a hotel. He begins training and just when everything looks towards even more intrigue I found myself at the end of this book and chapter…
Everything is set in motion for what will become a journey of discovery for both Zach and the reader. Looking forward to reading more from the 5 part Night Audit Series.