Book Review: Whispers Of Pachamama by Lucia Ashta

 

whispersAnd now for something completely different!

Sometimes it’s great to get out of your comfort zone and let a new author really take you by surprise. I spotted this on a free promo, and the cover impressed me. Once I started reading however, I was even more impressed.

When a logger discovers a strange woman while working in the Amazon, he becomes obsessed with her even though she disappears almost immediately. He finally meets her again, following her into the heart of the dangerous jungle, where he discovers a predestined fate, and a life he would never have even contemplated.

Whispers Of Pachamama, while a relatively simple fable, is a beautifully written one. As a fan of classical magical realism from authors such as Carlos Fuentes, I was instantly drawn to the narrative and style, and the lush landscapes coupled with elegant prose makes this an effortless, yet ultimately satisfying read.

The novella length suits the tale perfectly, telling a compact story without the over-embellishment often seen with new writers attempting this genre, and the author’s Latin American roots show a clear understanding and respect for this wonderful writing style and its origins.

Really looking forward to reading more from this author.

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Book Review: Apocalypse Hill by Matthew Stott

apochillOne of the most promising new talents I’ve come across in the last year has been British author Matthew Stott. His Tales From Between series was eerily entertaining and now Matthew has entered the realm of more serious adult horror with this new episodic series.

Set in the fictional Apoc Hill, dark forces centre around the inhabitants of an old house, where a young girl lives with a murderous father and brother, she herself now prone to murderous thoughts from the demons within, setting in motion a hideous chain of events.

Bill Reed is a writer, keeping busy in his daughter’s absence, who suddenly finds himself faced with terrifying behaviour from those around him.

Meanwhile as the mayhem begins, another young girl, Alice, waits patiently for her father in a car, quickly noticing that something bad is outside, and hoping for his return.

Although the title suggests apocalyptic goings-on, this is very much a horror apocalypse rather than the usual end-0f-world/post nuclear/zombie outbreak that has been flooding the market lately, and while there are still some elements of traditional stories in this vein, Stott’s solid horror credentials breathe new life into the genre with some genuinely creepy characters, and as macabre events unfold relentlessly, the reader is constantly in a state of flux, and wrenched from any comfort zone they may have had. The fear and confusion of the main characters seep silently into the subconscious, and Stott’s knack of taking an everyday location and transforming it into a seething hellhole is a rare talent.

The ending introduces the second part, while offering enough story to satisfy the reader, yet I predict few will be, as this page turner delivers on every level, and will drag you kicking and screaming back to the next instalment.

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