Reviews: Project Nemesis Preview

Elder Park Book Reviews is pleased to annouce the launch of our new sister site. Project Nemesis will focus on the best that Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror have to offer. As well as book reviews, there will be Film, Game, Televison reviews and a Short story page. Please visit Project Nemesis, but for now here is just a sample of what you can expect from Project Nemesis:

 

 

A3The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

To be released: June 1st, 2014

“Award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst has been praised for her captivating novels that merge the darkly imagined with very real themes of self-discovery and destiny. In The Lost, we’ll discover just what it means to lose one’s way….

It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she’s going to have to figure out just what she’s missing—and what she’s running from—before she can leave. So now Lauren’s on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll be found….

Against the backdrop of this desolate and mystical town, Sarah Beth Durst writes an arresting, fantastical novel of one woman’s impossible journey…and her quest to find her fate.”

 

“Welcome to Lost” is what the sign says at the start of Lauren’s adventure and from the off you sense that she is in some sort of purgatory. The dust storm keeps everyone hostage in the town of Lost and no matter what she does, she ends up back at the welcome sign.

Lauren’s metaphysical Lost is as bizarre as Wonderland and it’s inhabitants are equally as mad.

The Lost has a very early Stephen King feel to it; creepy with a touch of menace. There is also the repeated imagery of a solitary balloon just wafting around; daring us to figure out what it symbolizes.

Lauren runs into the Finder, Peter- as she tries to get away from the townspeople who turned on her. From there she scavenges and barters to stay alive long enough to figure out what she has lost. It begs the question- “What have you lost?”

This was a great thought provoking read and I can not wait for the next book in the series.

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The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher

To be Released May 6th, 2014

Only five still guard the borders between the worlds.
Only five hold back what waits on the other side.

Once the Oversight, the secret society that policed the lines between the mundane and the magic, counted hundreds of brave souls among its members. Now their numbers can be counted on a single hand.

When a vagabond brings a screaming girl to the Oversight’s London headquarters, it seems their hopes for a new recruit will be fulfilled – but the girl is a trap.

As the borders between this world and the next begin to break down, murders erupt across the city, the Oversight are torn viciously apart, and their enemies close in for the final blow.

This gothic fantasy from Charlie Fletcher (the Stoneheart trilogy) spins a tale of witch-hunters, supra-naturalists, mirror-walkers and magicians. Meet the Oversight, and remember: when they fall, so do we all.”

The oversight takes place in a late Victorian, slightly Steampunk version of London. The oversight is a band of free men (and women) who police the supranatural world. A Sluagh- a northern kind of a fae/picts/bogeyman finds his way to town and that is where the adventures start.

Charles Fletcher transports you to a gas lamp lit, shadowy cobblestone London of times-gone-by, that is so vivid, you can almost smell the filthy Thames.

There is so much mystery and intrigue, that halfway through the book we still don’t know who Lucy truly is. All we know she was sold to Sara and can only speak French. Sara says she is a trap; maybe not, but still an enigma certainly.

The oversight is a bizarre tale that I have never read the likes of before. I was reminded of Mike Shevdon’s Sixty-one nails and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke in feel; but The oversight is a truly unique and quixotic book. This was an exceptional Gothic Low Fantasy book and a must read.

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ahidden The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

Release date: May 22nd, 2014

When a country life dream turns into a nightmare . . .

Hannah Riley and her musician husband, Will, hope that a move to the Suffolk countryside will promise a fresh start.

Hannah, a human rights worker, is desperate for a child and she hopes that this new life will realise her dream.

Yet when the snow comes, Will is working in London and Hannah is cut off in their remote village. Life in Tornley turns out to be far from idyllic, who are the threatening figures who lurk near their property at night? And why is her neighbour so keen to see them leave? Plus Will’s behaviour is severely testing the bonds of trust.

Hannah has spent her professional life doing the right thing for other people. But as she starts to unbury a terrible crime, she realises she can no longer do that without putting everything she’s ever wanted at risk.

But if she does nothing, the next victim could be her . . . “

Even though it is not said- you sense something is off with Hannah and Will; as if there is some sort of sadness they are alluding to. Their damaged relationship trickles down into everything they touch; tainting it with a kind of residual misery.

Hannah creates and atmosphere of tension as she tries to complete the house on a unobtainable time frame.

A snow storm isolates Hannah and she becomes increasingly hyper- sensitive. Is it her imagination, or are the weird sounds and open cupboards a sinister trick of her imagination or the work of hidden vagrant?

As the snow thaws they meet the other inhabitants of the hamlet; as expected there are all a bit odd.

Elvie, their neighbour and who is suspected to have learning difficulties- attached herself to Hannah.

There are some incredible developments in this taunt psychological drama. I did not see the end coming. I highly recommend The hidden girl.

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