After reading Luke Walker's Mirror of the Nameless, I decided to check out the rest of DarkFuse's ARCs on NetGalley. I ran across this next title and decided to request it. I never expected to finish it in only 3.5 hours; part of me wished it were longer or that it were at least the first in a series just so I could read more.
Moving into a new flat should have been a joyous occasion for Stacey and her fiancé, Liam, even it was on the not-so-nice side of town. Liam had just landed a new job and the flat was closer to Stacey's graduate school. On top of that, it was in their budget.
But cheap always has its own price.
When Stacey begins hearing strange noises, seeing strange things, and having nightmarish visions of darkness and blood, she quickly realizes that price. Cue the elderly woman next door with a chilling story to tell, and Stacey's suspicion that the place is haunted is confirmed.
"True! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story..."
Watch Book Trailer:
Gems for Writers:
Kane sets the mood of the story with a quote from Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, a quote upon which she delivers in a way I would have never expected. But you'll have to read the story to find out how.
Suspense. Kane's use of flashbacks, interlaced with the present plot, generates the suspense of the story. The reader is given breadcrumbs throughout so that they can attempt to put the pieces together; she leaves some of the puzzle pieces missing on purpose, though, only revealing them as they are revealed to the protagonist.
Pebbles to Polish:
Assumed Familiarity. Local slang and dialect can really create a rich and believable narrative. It definitely does in Kane's case. Her usage of terms such as hob, Humbugs, and Curly Wurly , really concrete the setting. On the other hand, Kane's assumption of her reader's familiarity with these terms used can be a bit crippling on the reader—even limits her audience—if they are unfamiliar with them.
Using the call and response technique of a lot of Sci-Fi and Fantasy titles (which possess terms the reader wouldn't know)—the usage of a term (initial occurrence only) immediately followed by its definition or translation—would help to alleviate any language barriers or confusion.
I thoroughly enjoyed this title, perhaps a bit obvious in the time it took me to read it. It was well-written and its obvious planning and outlining was executed very well. Some scenes, however, though they were complete, felt a bit rushed and left me wanting more.
Tear Up the Planks!
***Shattered (2013), by C.S. Kane, is published by and copyright DarkFuse. It is available in stores, online (see above), and from your local public library.
***Per FTC Regulations: I received a free Advance Reading Copy (ARC) from the author and was not compensated in any way, monetarily or otherwise, for this review.