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Wizards Tower Books
Joan De La Haye
Sarah is forced to the edge of sanity by the ghosts of her family's past. Suffering from violent and bloody hallucinations, she seeks the help of psychiatrist and friend, Michael Brink.
After being sent to an institution in a catatonic state covered in blood - from stabbing her unfaithful boyfriend - Sarah is forced to confront the truth about her father's death and the demon, Jack, who caused her father's suicide and is now the reason for her horrific hallucinations. Unlike her father, Sarah refuses to kill herself. She bargains for her life and succeeds.
In Sarah's struggle to regain her life and her sanity, she discovers more things to the world than she could ever have imagined and leaves her seeking the answer to the nagging question, "Who is really mad?"
The lights from the Seven Eleven reflected in puddles of murky rainwater. At eleven oíclock at night, the parking area was deserted. Kevin stepped inside the store in search of something to eat while I waited in the car for him.
My fatherís funeral had been that morning, and Kevin thought a night out would be the best way to take my mind off how heíd died. It hadnít helped. All I could think about was that I hadnít been able to say good-bye or tell him that I loved him. I couldnít even get drunk and forget about it, I couldnít pretend that I was okay and put on a happy face for the sake of Kevin and his friends. As a result we cut the night short, which irritated Kevinís friends and I was once again the party pooper.
Kevin had been gone for what seemed like a few seconds when everything that I knew and trusted in my life changed forever.
I was rudely distracted from my reverie by an annoying tapping on my window. I was about to hurl off a few choice words at the offending party, until I saw his face. My stomach churned, and my self-pity party transformed into a Stephen King novel.
Yellow eyes stared back at me. Sharp, pointed teeth, filed into fangs, snarled. He shook my door handle. My heart rate jumped sky high. He was gone as fast as heíd appeared.
I took a deep breath and looked around. No sign of him. I took another deep breath and breathed out slowly.
ďWhat the hell was that?Ē I stammered.
I managed to get my heart rate down, but couldnít quite get the hair on the back of my neck to go back to normal. My skin wouldnít stop crawling. Goose bumps appeared on my skin and the smell of sulphur wafted up my nostrils.
Something scraped the driverís side of the car. I hoped it was Kevin returning with a strong drink: preferably a bottle of tequila. I turned to look and my heart sank. The scary-looking man with fangs was back. Kevin had left the car unlocked. Panic gripped my palpitating heart. Who didnít lock their car in Johannesburg? He shook the door. I leaned over the driverís seat and slammed the lock down. The central locking did its job. Then he was gone again.
Review by Fatally Yours
Sarah is struggling through her estranged fatherís recent suicide while trying to maintain her relationship with cheating boyfriend Kevin. Unbeknownst to Sarah, Kevin is seeing Denise, who in turn is seeing Kevinís sister, Carol. Things get complicated in the love triangle when Denise asks something of the siblings that is unfathomable to most people.
Meanwhile, Sarah is falling into despair at Kevinís neglect of her in her time of need. She falls further into a downward spiral when she starts hallucinating and starts seeing a demon that shows her horrible scenes of carnage. The lines between reality and fiction become blurred as Sarah is tormented by the demon.
Shadows is from South African author Joan de la Haye, and itís fun to read the Johannesburg slang that pops up in her writing. The rest of the book is just as engaging, making it a quick, nail-biting read that is hard to put down!
I really enjoyed the two storylines, one told from Sarahís first-person perspective and the other alternating from Kevin, Carol and Deniseís perspectives, but all told in third person. The switches in voice made things interesting and let you know right away whose perspective you were seeing things from.
The characters, while not remarkably likable (the cheating, incestuous Kevin is especially vile), are all very engaging and you canít wait to see how they will unravel next. The calculating Denise is almost as bad as Sarahís demon, manipulating both Kevin and Carol at the same time. Carol has her own motives, but follows wherever Denise leads. And Sarah is a needy, dependent woman who gains the readersí respect later in the book when she decides not to take it anymore and fight back! Sarahís demon is quite entertaining, though I definitely wouldnít want to get on his bad side!
The issues in the book are appropriately disturbing as it deals with everything from rape, suicide, incest to poor healthcare systems. Sarahís demon takes gruesome delight in tormenting her, showing her effectively gory scenes of bloody death of her loved ones. There are plenty of passages filled with grue in the novel, but these never overpower the truly scariest aspect of the novel, which is the cruelty that people can inflict on each other and themselves.
Author Joan de la Haye has crafted a darkly entertaining book with Shadows and I canít wait to see what she has in store for readers next!
Shadows tells Sarahís story. The main character is struggling with her fatherís recent suicide, dealing with a cheating boyfriend, and at the same time wondering if she is losing here mind. After eventually stabbing her boyfriend and falling into a catatonic state, Sarah is admitted to a mental hospital where must face her demons.
The book contains elements of the supernatural, and deals with many appropriately horrific issues (rape, suicide, incest), and is a genuinely good read. The characters are all well rounded, and many of them are characters you will love to hate. As you make your way through Joanís book you can expect to be drawn right in, and youíll find yourself constantly looking for what happens next.
The book includes all of the right elements to make it a great horror novel: suspense, great characters, disturbing issues, and even throws in a bit of the supernatural. If youíve been looking for your next ďscaryĒ book, I am definitely recommending Shadows by Joan De La Haye. I will be watching for the next book from this great new eBook author.
A Short Excerpt from Shadows
She couldnít help but wonder what her punishment would be now that her uncle was no longer there to punish her. Would it be eternal damnation? That had always been her motherís punishment of choice. Or would it be a slow, bloody end? Keys rattled in the door interrupting her thoughts. She heard their voices as they came in the door. Then she realised what her punishment was.
It was Kevin. Kevinís happiness, short lived though it would be, was her punishment. But her reward would be sweet, as sweet as revenge could be.
Shadows starts off by setting the scene. A cheating boyfriend and a girl coming to terms with the death of her father sounds like the beginning of something normal and boring but then all of a sudden the story curves into something much more scary. Twists and turns throughout the book make the plot look so complex but yet it is so simple. As the tale unfolds and small pieces start falling into place it is hard not to enjoy every new puzzle thrown into the mix.
Full of revenge, pain and horror this book really grabbed me and didn't let go until the end. Shadows is the car crash you know you shouldn't stop to look at but do so anyway. Twisted threesomes, strange hallucinations and a demonic element come together to build up the suspense right till the very last word. The amount of thought and depth that went into writing this has left me inspired.
Well written, great interesting characters and the surprising paranormal element made this an amazing read. I hope the author will write more about her demons because I really want to read about them.
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