Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare (The Guardians)

I picked up this book because I heard about it after the “Rise of the Guardians” movie came out.

First, I’d like to mention how nice the presentation for this book is. It looks beautiful, and it has nice inside art, too. It’s one of the better looking books I’ve seen.

The way it’s written makes me think of a person sitting in a chair, telling a story to a bunch of people around them. It took me a little while to get into it. It definitely has its own, unique style.

It’s very whimsical and there’s a lot of humor in the writing (for example, North, the character, making a compass that points to himself).

It was enjoyable. The characters were likable, and it had a certain feel to its world. It was “Earth” and yet full of magic and everything seemed to have intelligent – whether a beam of light from the moon or an insect.

It had a fairytale like charm, where it could spout out anything as existing in this world and the explanation is “because”. It didn’t worry about trying to explain the science behind things. For instance, a little girl is tossed high enough to reach the clouds, and lands safely because she’s caught. Obviously she’s still be a pancake, but this is the sort of story where cows can jump over moons or trees can come to life and it’s not questioned.

I did enjoy it and plan on getting the next book sometime.

I also appreciate that while, obviously, this wasn’t the end of the series, the book did have its own end. This particular adventure finished instead of stopping a story somewhere in the middle and asking people to buy the next book.

I give it about an 8/10.

Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1)

Fire in the Blood (Last Moon Rising #1) by Dale Ibitz

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a non-reciprocal review.
(This review will contain spoilers).

“Fire in the Blood” is a nice little fantasy adventure.

I think the second half of the book is much stronger than the first half. The first half is slow. When Haley ends up in the next world she doesn’t know where Tuggin is taking her, what he wants, or anything. And she doesn’t ask. She doesn’t ask him or the other people she meets, and this is a consistent problem through most of the book.
I’d say the second problem is that Haley’s sole connection to the male characters throughout the majority of the book is that she finds them attractive, and that is repeated over and over again. It would have been fine to mention her attraction to either of them about a third or a fourth of the time she did, but the book gets overloaded with her telling the reader how hot they are. Throughout the first half of the book many paragraphs can be summed up as, “Tuggin is hot. But he’s a jerk.”

The other parts work much better. I liked the descriptions for the water and air eyids. The action picks up after she breaks away from Tuggin and takes her own path. Although I was confused by the path she took (even if she didn’t want to be caught by someone else, I would think she’d still hesitate to choose the “fiery desert death trap” path) it did get more exciting at the end.

I think a good editor could clean up a lot of the repetitive parts and strengthen other parts really well. For example:

(Slightly changed to take out stuttering and such).
“Some have killed for it, betrayed for it. Some have even broken their promises.”
In this instance I would swap “killed” and “broken their promises”, because killing someone is a lot harsher than breaking a promise to them. An editor can easily tweak things like that to give them more oomph.

Other descriptions worked really well. When she was describing Ian using his powers, I liked things like this:
“Ian’s lips moved a half-second behind his words.”
It made for a great imagery.

I was fine with Haley saying she was sick of following everyone else, but I was wondering when she would remember that not creating harmony would likely get her mom burned to a crisp. She seemed to forget things like that and she doesn’t seem to consider who might be lying about what. She’ll believe one person is lying over another person and, even as the facts fall apart around her, won’t reconsider what is a lie and what isn’t.
At the end of the book she thinks this: “I should just ask them and find out for sure, rather than believe anything that came out of Ian’s mouth.”
I practically cheered at that line because I had been waiting for her to finally question what was really true. But then she drops the subject and never asks. She doesn’t ask Tuggin or Elana, or anyone else who would know.

Another spot for me that was both good and bad was Tanner. I liked Tanner. I think she worked as a character, and in particular I liked this line from her:
“I kick him in vulnerable thpot. Hurry”

The problem with Tanner came more from Haley’s side. Haley is well aware that Tanner is part of a society where women are slaves. She’s also fully aware of mind control. However, when Tanner was helping Ian because he promised to be with her, Haley considers her a traitor. That would be fine for an immediate reaction, but knowing that women are slaves and that there’s mind control, she should take into account Tanner’s position. She knows that Tanner probably didn’t have much of a choice in anything she did.

I was disappointed there wasn’t more effort in trying to save Tanner. Haley didn’t have to successfully save her, but trying to grab her or something would have helped. Tanner just took lightning for her, she deserves a little bit of effort! And after she’s gone she’s pretty much forgotten.
I would have liked Haley to have come to a better understanding of where Tanner was coming from. She saw what women were being put through in their society.

The whole “she betrayed me” idea is a problem Haley has several times in the book. If any other woman is attracted to a man that Haley is also attracted to, Haley has issues with them. In the beginning her friend Elana appears to be speaking to Ian on friendly terms, and because of that Haley determines that Elana has betrayed her. It’s an overreaction.
Later on, a character seems to like, or at least be friendly, with Tuggin. Haley reacts badly to that, too, constantly having an attitude that he can ‘run to her arms, as if I would care’.
The third time is with Ian and Tanner, as I mentioned above.
Haley reacts really poorly to other girls who so much as act friendly towards men she’s attracted to.

Like I said at the start of the review, I think the book ended stronger than it started. At the beginning I was waiting for something to happen, and at the end I wanted to see what would happen in the next chapter.
The battle between Haley and Ian was good. I liked when Haley started realizing she had powers and using them. More experimentation would have nice, but I also understand that the ending happened over a short period of time and she didn’t have much time to experiment with what she could do.
I do like that Haley understood that Ian was not a good person to be attracted to. It would have been nice if she lost some of her attraction to him because of his personality. People do become more or less attracted to others because of how they act.

At the end Haley decides to go check on her mom – but instead of going home and forgetting that the worlds might be destroyed (which would include her mother dying), she says she wants to check and she’ll come right back.
The last chapter is also the first time I felt any sort of connection between Haley and Tuggin. In the first half of the book we keep getting told she’s attracted to him, but that doesn’t really make a connection.

The world was well built up by the end and there was an understanding of what was going on. I liked Tuggin more in the last chapter, and Haley was starting to make her own decisions.
I wouldn’t mind seeing where the series goes from here, and if someone is looking for a fantasy adventure it’s not a bad book to pick up, and I hope the next book continues to improve from where she left off on this book.

I’d give it about a 7/10.

Seeking the Storyteller

Seeking The Storyteller

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a non-reciprocal review.

The book could use editing for various things. I had a PDF file, so I can’t say if things were same in the Kindle version, but here’s a couple examples:

Page 7: “Alix was disgusted by the thought.
The figure…”

The indent for the first paragraph is shorter than the indent for the start of the next paragraph here.

Page 17: “He crouched in front of, Yvonne and slowly looking him over.”
Page 25: “He says that he was attacked first”
Page 34: “Other times, Fagan and Xaver would hang out at a bar, drinking tall mugs of beer that Alix would distasteful, preferring a classy, well-aged wine.”

I understand how easy it is to miss an error in hundreds of pages. An editor would help catch more of those as well as help clean up other things. For example,

“Fagan – Randall to his parents, but only because they believed in calling him by his dreadful first name – stepped out of the driver’s side and expertly closed his door without any sound.”

They’re just starting a hunt and the part about his name doesn’t belong. It would be better to find a way to work it in, if necessary, another time. Or, better yet, show it. Have his parents use his first name when talking to him.

There was also something odd that I haven’t seen before.
In places in the book a word will be crossed out. At first I thought this was perhaps the author making some sort of remark and then continuing on with the story, but then it also appeared in spots where that wouldn’t make sense.

Page 91: “He tried to keep his voice steady but (it) this new information was a bit disturbing.”

Since there are two authors, it makes me wonder if something like this happened while they were passing the document back and forth between each other and changing things, and somehow some of the corrections are still in the text with a strike-through.

And sometimes there’s things that don’t make sense. Cyn is given a button down shirt. She chooses to only button the top part so that her stomach is still exposed. Two pages later she’s asking if she can have a coat because she’s cold. If she’s cold I would imagine the first reasonable thing to do is button up the shirt.

As far as descriptions, I usually had a description to go with a character except for the group of Scough. When they were introduced, there was a paragraph of description for them, and I wasn’t sure which description went to which name for a lot of them.
There was a lot of repeatedly used words as well (everyone chuckles all the time).

There’s also the issue of Alix and gender. I didn’t care if he wanted to be considered male or female, but this is a tricky subject. For awhile it wasn’t clear if Alix wanted to be regarded as male or female or if he didn’t care what people called him, but by the end of the book it was clear – Alix repeatedly and consistently wanted to be considered male. He had a desire to go back to his previous life, but in his current state he wanted to be considered a man.
It’s one thing for demons on another world to be uninformed and confused about it, but for the people around Alix it was disrespectful when they would change pronouns on him or decide at will to go against the gender he preferred to go by. Tackling a subject like this, it’s necessary to understand what would be considered okay and what wouldn’t be, otherwise characters can come off like jerks when they aren’t meant to be. Luckily I don’t recall too many situations where Alix was addressed in person as the wrong gender, although people did bring it up his original name several times.

There was one other issue that came to mind. I believe Cyn was supposed to be 15. I don’t know the ages of all the people who expressed and interest in her, but at least a few of them were old enough that they should be locked up for it. I’m not sure how old Mira was, but I was under the impression she was pretty young, too.

All of that aside, I can say I did enjoy the story and I think there were a lot of good, fleshed out characters. The copy I had, at least, had many errors that were still included in the text for some reason. I think with an editor to go over it, and to comb through and get rid of errors, telling-instead-of-showing, repetition and inconsistencies, this could be made into an exciting, fast-paced adventure. There’s a lot to work from and the world that was built up was fine and the characters were overall enjoyable. I’d love to see this book fixed up.

Right now, I think I’d give it about a 7 out of 10.

Midnight Guests and Other Weird Stories

Midnight Guests and Other Weird Stories

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a non-reciprocal review.

This was a collection of stories and I’ll discuss each briefly. I’ll try to avoid including spoilers in the summaries, but when I discuss them further it will include spoilers.

“Salazar’s Flamenco Dancer” was sort of like a discussion about a cursed painting. It felt a little like if a friend was telling you about something weird that happened.
“Hidden Canyon” was about a boy who has to kill a bear in order to be considered a man in his tribe. He comes across a strange beast that seems intent on killing him.
“Chimera” was about a woman suffering from sleep paralysis and seeing a strange snake man in her bedroom. It’s written as a letter from her to her doctor explaining what happened.
“Old Billy” is about the groundskeeper of a cemetery and a kid who lives nearby it and visits it often.
“The Wind in the Hollow” follows a young man who is attempting to sell his farm after it’s been considered cursed, and shows why people consider is cursed.
“El Curandero” is about someone visiting a shaman to get help.
“The Bells of San Xavier” is a poem. My eyes glaze over when I see poetry, so even though I read it I couldn’t even begin to describe what it’s about.
In “Skull Valley” the story is told through diary entries and is about an ancient book that has been found and people who are attempting to translate it.
In “Eyes of the Pine” a man is driving to meet his friends at a camping site when he gets strange texts warning him not to text and drive.
“Midnight Guests” is about a team of ghost hunters visiting a ranch to help explain a mysterious light that was appearing in the distance.
“The Ballad of Red Feather” was another poem.
“Biting Words” was a story about a woman attempting to find a hotel and get to her party. On the way, she keeps getting interrupted by homeless asking her for things like donations.
“We are Seven” is about a small schizophrenic girl and her hallucinations as she leaves the asylum and is taken in by her aunt.

The first four stories I felt were okay. Reading the first one was like hearing an anecdote about what happened because of a curse. There’s some follow-up on how the painting came to be cursed, but I felt like that was the weaker part of the story.
The second had a good set-up. The character was likable enough that I was interested in what would happen to him.
The third I was interested in what would happen to her, but the story never left me feeling threatened. Sleep paralysis can be a very frightening thing in and of itself so it’s a good enough set-up, but I think describing the creature see saw and it essentially standing there trying to look threatening took away from the story. I just didn’t think it was scary.
And for the fourth, it had some interesting parts but was confusing as well. At the end I still wasn’t sure why some of the stuff with the tree was happening, or how it could happen. I didn’t see a connection between spitting out gems and killing people, and even if I were to just say “supernatural tree” I’d still be wondering why it has a ton of gems. This probably could have been fixed if instead of gems coming up, something like jewelry was coming up. Then, when the boy sees the man killed and buried under the tree, there would be a connection to how jewelry ended up there.
“The Wind in the Hollow” was one of my favorite stories from this book. It’s the longest one, and gives the most time to build up the characters. One of the things a lot of horror films have a problem with is making people care that something is happening to the characters, but here I genuinely felt bad for the characters. There was some time to show who they were and what happened. When it got to the scary scene and the narrator was caught in the middle of it, it was scary and had me flipping the pages to see what would happen next. The story stays pretty strong throughout and ends in a way that makes sense, though a little too much time is spent on things like talking about directions in a cornfield. I think it only had two weaknesses that stuck out to me: one was the explanation, which I felt like it was thrown in there. There wasn’t much that hinted about what the explanation would be until a character tells the narrator. The second was I didn’t have a clue who the narrator was for much of the story. I do think this story is worth a read, though, and I liked it very much.
“El Curandero” left me confused. The story was mostly going into the man’s place and seeing weird things. While I’m sure some of it would be strange to see in person, it never felt that menacing. Nothing quite seemed like a conflict or climax or anything in it.
“Skull Valley” had a decent premise. I was let down by the big reveal because it left me wondering, “How long could they get away with this before a bunch of police were raiding the city?” If people were disappearing when they went into a small town, especially if there were witnesses to horrible things happening there who could report it, it probably wouldn’t last very long. At least at the end the narrator was thinking of calling the cops.
I think this story had a case of people not being believable. Even when the characters felt threatened and people were obviously doing things to get at them, they stuck around when they could have easily driven away.
“Eyes of the Pine” has a really good premise for the story. It’s modern and it was creepy. Again, the payout at the end felt a little forced like some of the others, but I feel like this story could really be good. It started out very ominous and you could instantly connect with how creepy it would be to be in the character’s position.
“Midnight Guests” was another one where I felt like the explanation was a bit weak. It’s very hard to write the payout for a scary story, because the moment the scares are explained it tends to take away the fear.
I did enjoy the two main characters for the story. I was invested in them and I was interested in hearing about the mystery. I think the build-up was good.
“Biting Words” had the same issue as “Skull Valley”. I could understand the character to an extent. She was a woman out at night in a dangerous area trying to find a party. Being approached by a strange, large man would be a scary thing for her. That’s perfectly understandable.
She reacted in a way that didn’t make sense to me, though. Instead of trying to politely get away from people she seemed more like she was going to provoke violence. When she’s the smaller person and most likely to lose a fight, it doesn’t make sense for her to needlessly aggravate people who she already believes are unstable. The only one that made sense to me was the elderly woman. The woman was in poor shape and non-threatening, so the main character wouldn’t have reason to believe anything bad would happen to her for yelling at the old woman.
I could believe her thinking bad things about the people, but it seemed overly short-sighted for her to readily voice her opinions about people when she thought they might hurt her.
I think the last story, “We are Seven”, had the best connection with the beginning and the end. There are clues beforehand that connect to the explanation given at the end. The character here, even though she’s mentally ill, is fairly understandable. It’s easy to see why she would like her friends and dislike other people. When she meets the priest we can see why she would try opening up to him at first and get increasingly annoyed when they talked about her as if she wasn’t there right in front of her.
I think the interesting part about this story is that she could very well be mentally ill for most of it to happen with nothing supernatural involved. I think only the part with the priest didn’t make much sense to me. If it had been changed a little, in a way were it could have happened even if her friends weren’t real, it would have been better. For most of the actions in the story I could see a way where she could have done something herself and then seen it as her friends doing it. For example, she could have easily overheard someone speaking about a stolen ring, and later on her friend tells her an explanation for how the ring got stolen. It could easily have been information she overheard or made up based on what the character herself knew.
The very end was a little strange but I think the overall story was a good one and the main character was interesting.

As a whole, the book had a few strong stories, a few weak stories, and several stories that were in the middle. One of the strong points for the author was making characters that the reader could get invested in. This isn’t done very well in a lot of horror.
The endings and explanations for a lot of the stories left something to be desired. Some came out of nowhere with no hints. I think the last story was the strongest when it came to this.
A lot of the stories had good ideas that I could see being molded into something really good with some work.

There were a few errors here and there but not enough to distract from the stories.

My favorites were “The Wind in the Hollow” and “We are Seven”. They happen to be the two longest. I think “The Wind in the Hollow” had the best scary scene in the entire book, as well as some good characters that readers could feel for. “We are Seven” has an interesting protagonist. Her character can be horrible yet understandable at the same time, and she could carry a story if done right.
For a lot of this book I would give around 6/10 stars. For those two stories though, I’d give around 8 or a little more.

The Lost Party

The Lost Party (Red Dust)

I was given a free copy of this story in exchange for an honest, non-reciprocal review.

This is a short story, so it’ll also be a short review.

I enjoyed this story. It left me wondering what was going on until nearly the end. The main character is searching for about sixty people who have gone missing. He finds a diary, and the entries reveal how they went from a large, enthusiastic party to a small party, barely still moving on.
It’s not very long and kept things moving well enough to hold my attention.

It does need an editor. There were many places I saw that could have done with better word choices or that needed something like another comma. I wasn’t a fan of the use of present tense, either.

If someone is looking for a very quick read I would recommend it. I’d give it about a 7/10.

What Happened to Tasha Blue?

What Happened to Tasha Blue?

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest (non-reciprocal) review.
(Spoilers Within)

I enjoyed this book. It had a good mystery that left me wondering.

– I was very interested in what happened. I really wanted to find out what happened to Tasha.

– I enjoyed the characters. They were done very well and believable. From Floyd and Deena’s close comradery to Cheryl and what was happening in her head.

– The author was very good at making you invested in someone.

– Although there is a lot of telling in this book it actually didn’t bother me. I liked hearing about a lot of the characters.

– Towards the end I thought the explanation of why Maria didn’t want to work for Cheryl was great. Of all the characters I think Cheryl’s had the most interesting wrap-up, even though it was a fairly short mention.

– A minor one but sometimes similar phrases would be repeated relatively close to each other.
For example:
“She had always moved well.”
Next paragraph, “Cheryl still moved well…”

Or there was occasionally an odd break, like here:
“Preston?” she said. Like she hardly remembered who Preston might be.

This didn’t happen enough to bother me a lot though.

– I wasn’t completely satisfied with the conclusion. To be more specific, I wanted to understand Tasha’s motivations better. At the end I felt like she made a really huge move for someone her age and I didn’t quite understand what prevented her from waiting a few more months, or even why she completely cut off ties with her mother. We know she lied about her reasons, which leaves us wondering about the truth, so all we had was a character deciding that maybe she was impatient to get on with her life. If that was the only reason it seemed very extreme considering what she put everyone through.
I could get some sense that her mother might have been blind to things, but what we were shown as most definitely being true didn’t seem to add up as being enough of a motivator to do what she did.
At the same time I’m left with an eerie feeling because I’ve known someone quite like Tasha’s mother – the type who practically worships their child, thinks they can do no wrong, and wears blinders when it comes to her kid. So even though I didn’t leave the story with a clear motive for Tasha, I’m left with a kind of dread, wondering what her mother may have blatantly ignored.

– There were a few parts that dragged on a little bit.

Despite that, I truly enjoyed this read. I liked the way the author fleshed out the characters. I’m glad the book spent a lot of time with Floyd, because I enjoyed his approach. It was easy to keep reading. I wish there had been a bit more about Preston and Tasha and the exact circumstances there. It was mostly the bits that dragged on and the ending that I wanted a little more from that took this from ten to eight for me.

The Adventures of Jimbo, the Homeless Cat

The Adventures of Jimbo, the Homeless Cat

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This review contains some spoilers.

I deal with a 5 and 9 year old, and my guess would be that the reading level of this book would be for around age 8, maybe 7.

I think what I liked most about this book was the gravity of the struggles Jimbo had. Many children’s books seem to be afraid to tackle difficult issues. I appreciated the way Jimbo lost his home, and then his owner, and had to deal with homelessness and the loss of a friend.
I also liked how Jimbo had a mentality that followed him throughout the book. Even though he was a simple character, he remained consistent and had his own quirks. His owner told him being clean was good, and when he runs into a wild animal one of the first things he brings up is that they smell dirty. He continues to be concerned about how clean he is throughout the book. Even when he meets the little girl, she never comments on how clean or dirty Jimbo is, but he is self-conscious about it and cleans himself up. I like that this thought process can be something that he worries about more than anyone else.

This could be a good book to teach kids why we should empathize with animals. Especially in these times we’ve had many cats who have been abandoned and left roaming the neighborhood, and it’s good to show kids that there’s nothing wrong with these animals; they’ve just fallen on hard times, too. It would probably be a good idea for parents to read this with the kids and discuss some of the problems Jimbo goes through.

I’d give this about a 8.5/10.



I received a free copy on this book in exchange for an honest review.
(Spoilers ahead)

– There’s a lot of strong parts to this story. There were many strong and different characters and their actions fit with their cultures.

– The way Vierra (as well as several others) grew and changed in the story was believable. The way Vierra acts in the beginning in the tribe contrasts greatly with the way she acts when she comes back, and there’s a definite feeling that she’s more worldly and less likely to blindly believe anything.

– A lot of the events were believable, and even though there were certainly mystical elements that crept into the story sometimes they didn’t pervade every aspect.

– The main character had both times of weakness and strength. As a whole I think people would understand what she was going through. I never got a sense that she was acting illogically according to her situations.

– Not only did Vierra have times of weakness and strength, but she also had times of good and bad. She killed many people during the course of the story

– I thought Aure’s eventual downfall was handled well. She had good reasons for what she did, even if what she was doing was evil.

– The world was well-built. I never had to stop and wonder, “Wait, how does that make any sense?”

– Sometimes it seemed like the author was trying too hard to point out that the women were in charge in the Kainu tribe and some things came off awkwardly because of it.
Man: “Seita will have her revenge and so will I. Whose belt have you around you? My belt. Give it to me and bow before me for mercy, and I might forgive you.”
Vierra: “The belt is not mine but my husband’s, so I cannot give it to you. And I am not responsible to you for my doings. My chieftain is a woman like was my mother and my mother’s mother. Go away and leave me alone.”

I didn’t see why she would bring up that the chieftain was a woman in that conversation. The response could have easily ended with an annoyed “And I am not responsible to you for my doings.” and sounded more natural.

There was also a part earlier where Vaaja said, “Chieftain-man”, and Vierra mentioned how weird it would be for a chieftain to be a man. Vaaja clearly didn’t know much of their language at that point. I think it could have been better if, considering how strange it would be for her, she thought he was trying to say “woman” but didn’t know the word for it. Maybe even laughed inwardly at his blunder.

– I didn’t understand why Alf and Oder insisted on leaving that instant in the cold of the night instead of waiting for morning. The master was dead so why not eat the food there or something? I could understand being fidgety, but it just seemed reckless to leave the warm shelter and food and run off when the master, who seemed to be the only threat to them, was already dead.

– There were a few parts where the wording seemed awkward to me. (“Extending her hearing,” “asked Ambjorn from Vierra.”)

– In the beginning, Rika and Vierra didn’t have quite enough time together to really show the connection.

– There were a couple of parts that confused me. For example, there’s a part where it seems Rika gives her necklace to Vierra, but I was confused exactly how it happened. I know she was talking to Eera, and I know she presented the necklace and then was upset Eera wanted to leave, but how exactly the necklace got into Vierra’s hands I wasn’t sure. I thought perhaps she’d tossed it aside at first, but she clearly knew later that Vierra had it and said she’d given it to her.

– Sometimes I felt descriptions dragged on a bit long. Not that things were poorly described, but I didn’t feel like I needed as many details as I got.

I think this book will appeal to people who are looking for a strong woman in their novels. Vierra doesn’t come off as a shallow placeholder – she acts on her own, fights on her own and make many decisions on her own and her strength in hunting feels real. Which doesn’t mean she’s always right or never loses. It’s a pretty strong basis for a series, so if the premise seems promising to someone I’d definitely recommend they give it a try.

I’d give it about 8/10.

Moorehead Manor

Moorehead Manor

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been a fan of horror since I was a kid, so I was looking forward to reading this story, and I really liked it.

– Sometimes the writing was telling too much rather than showing.
– There were a few errors in the book.
– At parts it might have spent a too much time describing the scenery, but this is something that I can easily see other people having no problem with. It wasn’t so bad that it took me out of the story.
– There were also a few places where taking out a word would have helped the flow. For example:
“Actually, the more he thought about it, the angrier he got.”
I think “The more he thought about it the angrier he got.” would have sounded better. This is something challenging for a lot of writers, including myself, as we try to make things clearer with more words and end up dulling the effect of the overall sentence.
– I didn’t mind this myself, but there is a bloody scene that involves the death of an infant. It’s short, but some people might want to avoid the book if this would bother them.

– The story itself was pretty good. I found it clever in spots, like when Emily used the baby doll to summon Alice’s ghost.
– I also liked that not everything in the house was sinister. Alice was neutral; a wandering spirit in need of closure.
– Even though I mentioned the writing before, I’ll mention it again here. There were parts where I really enjoyed the writing, such as:
“The dust came alive as soon as they walked across the flooring.”

I could practically see the dust swirling up around their feet.

– I thought the characters were likeable. The horror genre is often riddled with characters who lack depth, but that wasn’t true here. While it’s a short story so there’s a limit to what can be done, I liked four of the characters, including Alice. Characters, including the antagonist, acted in a way that made sense for them.
– The romance fit with the age of the characters and I felt very satisfied with the end. I was happy it ended with holding hands. There was a sweetness and innocence to that I found more appealing than a kiss would have.

All in all, I enjoyed this read. It all came together well. The book was up for free on Smashwords, so I’d say anyone who is interested should go ahead and give it a look.

I’d give it a 8/10.