Blog Tour: See You In Hell by Demelza Carton Excerpt +Giveaway

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See You In Hell Ebook CoverTitle: See You In Hell
Series: Mel Goes To Hell # 1
Author: Demelza Carlton
Genre: Paranormal
Source: CBB Production
Published: 2014
Buy Links: AMZ
* I recieved a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review which will be posted soon.

AMZ Blurb:A devilishly hot CEO. The angelic new office temp. A match made in Heaven or Hell?

Melody Angel takes a job as a temp at the HELL Corporation. Surrounded by eternal bureaucracy gone mad, demons who love making life miserable, and dying for a decent coffee, it may take a miracle for Mel’s mission to succeed. She must find out what evil plans Lucifer and his minions have in store and stop them, using any means necessary.

Adding trouble and temptation to Mel’s job is Luce Iblis, the damnably hot CEO, who has set his smouldering eyes on the new office angel and he’s determined to claim her, body and soul.

Can ultimate evil and angelic perfection escape a limbo of desire and find a paradise of their own?

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Here’s a lovely excerpt of the book:

“Yep, that looks fine,” Lili said, pushing the piece of paper across the table to Mel. “Just change it to the font in the style guide and you can take it up to Luce yourself.”

“I…what? I thought you said I just had to write it and send it up to him,” Mel protested.

Lili’s eyes glowed red as if she sensed Mel’s discomfort and enjoyed it immensely. “Oh, no. He came down here personally and placed the offending report on your desk. He waited a while, too, determined to make sure you understood his message. He insisted that I send you to report to him as soon as you received it.”

Mel felt her jaw drop. “But…that was hours ago!” She felt her stomach and the sandwich inside it start to sink.

Lili grinned fiercely. “Then I suggest you change the font quickly and leg it up those stairs to Luce’s office before you’re any later.”

Struggling not to swear, Mel marched back to her desk to make the letter and offending memo as perfect as she could. Fifteen minutes later, she pulled the pages from the printer and set off for the executive suite upstairs.

She kept a serene smile on her face as she strode through the maze of cubicles, nodding slightly every time she caught the eye of another demon. She’d never recognise them all, but it still seemed a good idea to stay on good terms with them. If her job survived the day and the belated dressing-down from Luce.

She shrugged. If her first job lasted less than a fortnight, so be it. She didn’t much like the work, anyway, and there were plenty of demons to do it. It’s not as if the HELL Corporation would miss her. She’d tell Raphael that the CEO definitely was Lucifer and let him sort it out while she went to Korea. She could taste the bulgogi already…

The cubicles were bigger now – spacious enough to take several visitors and a large meeting table between them. Mel knew she was nearing executive territory.

“Can I help you?” an imperious voice asked. Mel heard the words, along with the implied message that the owner of the voice would not help her. Mel was perfectly happy helping herself.

Mel’s smile lit up her whole face. “Lili sent me to see Luce regarding a report.” She proffered the papers.

The older woman’s lips pursed as her deep, dark eyes narrowed. She had to be one of Luce’s more senior demons. Her demeanour spoke of indescribable age and experience – all of it decidedly dark.

“I’m Mephi, Mr Iblis’ personal assistant,” the woman said, emphasising the demon’s name. “All of his appointments go through me. Do you have an appointment?”

The woman’s subtext was amazing, Mel decided. She radiated an aura that said Mel hadn’t a hope of getting through her and she’d never be important enough for an appointment. Despite herself, she was impressed. She wondered how many demons balked at this formidable gatekeeper.

“I’m delighted to meet you, Mephi. I wish I’d known to call you first – but Luce left this on my desk and insisted I speak to him about it immediately. Given the urgency, I didn’t dare delay.” Mel let the slightest look of concern cross her face. “I haven’t missed him, have I? I’ll wait as long as I have to, if he’s with someone. I’d hate to be the one responsible for this getting to him later than he’d like.” She slipped on a sympathetic smile that suggested she wouldn’t want Mephi to bear the brunt of her boss’s wrath.

Mephi held Mel’s gaze for a few seconds before she conceded her point and picked up the phone. “Mr Iblis, I have an angel here to see you.” She managed to make it sound like something she’d found floating in the staff toilets.

“If you’re talking about the girl standing at your desk with the papers in her hand, send her right in, Mephi,” came a voice from behind Mel.

Mephi shrugged. “If you say so,” she sniffed, clicking the phone handset back into place.

Mel nodded her thanks to Mephi with an unwavering smile, before turning to brave Luce in his lair. His office, she corrected herself, as she entered the airy space. She couldn’t imagine a lair containing…

“Are those Pro Hart landscapes?” Mel asked eagerly. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the originals in oil before – just prints of them. It’s the colours. They’re always so vibrant, so real…”

“They are,” Luce replied, “but you’re not here to discuss my art collection. You’ve kept me waiting and I am far from happy.” His eyes seemed to catch the light in odd ways, as if each was a singularity drinking the photons in, with no intention of releasing them.

Mel stepped forward and laid her papers on his desk. “The corrections you requested, along with a letter.”

Luce gave the papers a cursory glance before turning the full pull of those dark eyes on Mel. “Do you know how long you’ve made me wait?” He lifted his chin. “Close the door.”

For the first time, Mel felt a premonition of danger. The demon reclined in his desk chair with his hands in his lap, a picture of relaxed repose. Only his eyes seemed to belie the image – like a crocodile lurking beneath still, muddy waters. Did the crocodile know how much danger he was in?

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Author Bio:

Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world. The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by her suspense thriller Nightmares trilogy. She swears the Mel Goes to Hell series ambushed her on a crowded train and wouldn’t leave her alone.

Connect with the author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | YouTube | Amazon | Pinterest | Google +

Giveaway:

$20 Gift Card (INT)

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Short Hiatus

Hi!

I will be taking a short hiatus from the blog. I really have to do this because I’m stressing out over a 20 page paper that is due in the next few weeks (and let’s not forget the multiple 6-8 pages, smaller essays, due as well). It’s not the smartest idea to start a blog in your last year of college or when taking a research seminar that requires hours and hours pouring over a topic that is not even remotely related to science fiction or horror. It’s the Cold War.

I will be back to actively blogging (a minimum of one post per week) in June, possibly the second week of June. Let’s say that on June 9, I will be returning. I will try to be more active on Twitter so I’m not completely shutting down the blog. Just the review section. Anyways, I hope all of you are doing well and hopefully, come back in June. Good luck with finals to all college students out there.

Comic Review: Gambit #2 by James Asmus

gambit1Title:  Gambit # 2
Series:  Gambit Series
Writer: James Asmus
Illustrator: Clay Mann
Genre: Superheroes
Source: Friend
Published:  Aug 2012
Format: Paperback
Buy Links: Marvel/ AMZ & BN*

Marvel Blurb: The Ragin’ Cajun Gambit has his set size on a major prize. But is this thief’s eye bigger than his stomach?

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Case File: Great Opening Scenes/ Flirting Fights/ Story moves forward
Rating: 5 out 5 Hearts

Gambit # 2 is a much more exciting than the previous book. There is a museum robbery, a couple of fights, and new information. The star protects itself from any attempts to force it to leave Gambit’s body but they do find information on it that lead him to a museum. It turns out, he is not the only one breaking into the museum because Rockabilly Woman is there as well. Cue a flirtation fight between Gambit and her before she has the upper hand in the fight and tries to knife the relic out of him. No luck though. Gambit ends up stealing a map from her which she bargains a trade for it because the map is in a dead language that only she can read and he wants the relic out of him so they agree to work together. They need to head down to Guatemala to obtain another piece of the puzzle.

The opening scenes are fantastic because it is not what you expect; reading the surface only makes seem dramatic but upon re-reading them, they are hilarious. Asmus and Mann play with your emotions so well because the scene goes from being frighten for Gambit to laughing at or with Gambit. Gambit # 2  is loaded with some comedic elements and romantic tension between Rockabilly Woman and Gambit.  New information about the relic reveals it is part of a two-piece artifact, not much else but it is clear Rockabilly Woman knows more (she won’t say what though).

Overall, it was a fast-paced comic that had great actions scene and it moved the plot forward cause Gambit is leaving New York City for Guatemala.

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5 hearts

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles are Volume 1 editions so they contain Gambit # 1-7.

Review: Magnificent Things by Michael McNichols

magnificenthingsTitle: Magnificent Things
Series: None
Author: Michael McNichols
Genre: Superheroes
Source: Zharmae Publishing
Published: 2014
Buy Links: AMZ/ Zharmae
I receive a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Amz Blurb: Will Nihgate has run into several scrapes during his short career as the masked vigilante Dusk, but none have been so potentially fatal…returning to consciousness at the splashing of cold water against his face, totally encased and seemingly powerless to free himself from the trappings of John Skeleton, Dusk is in deep trouble.

Outside of his prison box, dark forces are threatening New Danko, and if Dusk and his companions can’t defeat Skeleton in time, all will be lost.

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Case File: Superheroes/Women in Refrigerators/John Skeleton
Rating: 4 out of 5

Magnificent Things is an interesting novel, full of plot twists and fast-paced action scenes. In a world where superheroes are a daily occurrence, it is interesting to see how they interact with each other and the massive amount of villains running around. Seriously, there is an over-abundance of villains. The novel tries to deal with the question of what does it mean to be a superhero in a world that is shades of grey and people are not whom they seem to be.

Dusk or Will Nihgate is the main character who operates in New Danko and is apparently, the villains favorite target to target. He is in love with Dani Clovenson, his roommate that he keeps at a distance because of his superhero lifestyle. We have the Odyssey which is McNichols version of the Avengers or Justice League and they have diversity because there is a a Puerto Rican woman (Zombie) and an Asian-African man  (Savior) included as superheroes. There is an ensemble of villains like John Skeleton, Black Wind, Danny Plague (I just keep thinking of Danny Phantom when I read his name), Red Rabbit, and Jack of Terrors . The most interesting is John Skeleton because we find out he has a family and he doesn’t have an underground lair but has something so much better. He creates the problematic dehumanizer gun which strips people of their emotions and those guns are crucial to how the story plays out. The first and third part of the novel are fast paced story lines about the heroes saving the city and dealing with villains. The second part, the bridge, slows down the story to deal with  Dusk’s trauma and on John Skeleton’s world (I want an origin story for him and his lair). It is slower and different from the other parts because it is less focus on action and more on revealing the past and how everything is not black and white. Even villains like John Skeleton have a sense of honor.

The world building of the novel is interesting because this is a world where superheroes, The Odyssey, patrol New Danko alongside the police. It reminded me of Watchmen. I hope McNichols writes a prequel and gives an origin story for the acceptance of superheroes as licensed and legally working with law officials, it’s a rare sight seeing superheroes working alongside the law. It does suffer from having too much of a cast so most of the cast are minor characters who are rapidly given explanations as to why they are heroes or villains and the main cast like Dani who is just there as a romantic interest to Dusk (I didn’t really connect to her) is just there. Even though the majority of the characters are minor characters, they do grow as characters and become more than their original roles because they become corrupted or resist corruption when faced with it. The main relationship in the novel is between Dusk and John Skeleton and how they transgress the roles of hero and villain (a central them to the novel that plays out as well with Savior and Phantom). They have a mentor-mentee relationship but John Skeleton also plays the Creepy Uncle who knows too much about Dusk’s family, and acts like a caregiver but is still creepy. John Skeleton is a fascinating character.

One of the problematic aspects of Magnificent is that it suffers from the women in refrigerator syndrome. Basically, women die to further a man’s pain in life; to make men miserable in life is the purpose of the women’s death and it drives men to better themselves or to insanity. Three women are killed to cause men pain (and the fourth woman dies in the line of duty, I’m okay with her death). I don’t like this trope because it devalues women and make it seem like women only have value when they can cause men pain. The first woman is a woman in refrigerator because her death is a plot point that drives Dusk from Point A to Point B. It ends the first half of the book. The second dead female did not even know Dusk yet she die to cause him pain. The third female death distracts the villain but she did have more autonomy in her death; she was aware of it. On the flipside, there are the men’s death that are not “on-screen” meaning they are not happening in the present, they are mentioned in passing by Dusk. As readers, we do not read the death of men as they are dying but we are witnesses to the majority of the women’s death and it has to do with the men’s death not being as emotionally damaging to the main characters as the women’s death are. Overall, how people die in the novel is problematic because it is reinforcing comic book tropes that negatively affect women because it gives the impression that women are only in novels to die (and the men are not even worthy of an “on-screen” death because they are useless to the main characters emotional development).  Furthering complicating the matter, is that diverse characters, at least the ones whose race was mentioned, tended to die or be villains (I don’t think Dusk’s race was mentioned). It is good to see a diverse cast of a Hispanic woman, an Asian-African man, a Saudi Arabian man but not if they are going to die or be villains because again it reinforces the idea that only white people survived in the end and non-whites like females are written to die in novels. 

In the end, Magnificent Things is well written. It has the word fetch in it which is awesome. It is fast paced story. John Skeleton and his lair make the slow part of the novel interesting because he is the most complex character, more so than Dusk who is the good guy. The second part, while slow, was my favorite part of the novel because it didn’t allow the villains to just be villains bur rather humanize them and it was interesting to see how Dusk dealt with different levels of villainy. Danny Plague as a villain is  just a villain who wanted to destroy Dusk, he is a villain because he is a villain while John Skeleton and his people are villain for reasons.  It is not magnificent that the death of women are used as events to show emotions in men nor that in the end, the book is not as diverse as it started. Overall, Magnificent Things is slightly problematic with how it deals with gender and race but the relationship that develops between John Skeleton and Dusk is intriguing plus John Skeleton’s lair is fascinating. The characters do grow into themselves so they do change as the story progresses and adjust to the situations around them. They are quite realistic in that manner. It is an exciting action novel that just needed to not kill off the majority of the women in order to be a fantastic novel.

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4 Hearts-Pretty Good

4 Hearts-Pretty Good

Comic Review: Forever Evil-Rogues Rebellion # 2 by Brian Buccellato

roguesrebellion2Title:  Forever Evil: Rogue’s Rebellion # 2
Series: Forever Evil: Rogue’s Rebellion
Writer: Brian Bucellato
Artists: Scott Hepburn
Genre: Superhero
Source: Borrow From Friend
Publisher: DC Comics
Buy Links: AMZ/BN/DC

DC Blurb: Separated from their leader Captain Cold and trapped in Metropolis, the Rogues must fight for their lives against the Secret Society’s secret weapon: the horrifying Parasite!

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Case File: Fused Weapons/Mirror travel/ Deathstorm/Cliffhangers
Rating: 4 out of 5

The second part of Rogues Rebellion is far more exciting than the previous one. We finally see how the Rogues’ storyline connects to main storyline in Forever Evil  because we get glimpses into Metropolis and Gotham City.

Trickster manages to make a bad situation worse by talking bad about Power Ring calling him a”meth-head Green Lantern” which makes sense because he is paranoid, impulsive, and he stutters. Trickster does not know how to keep quiet, he is the kid of the group so he has impulse issues and wears out the patience of the group in dealing with him (he receives quite a beating in this issue). The fight between the Rogues and Deathstorm/Power Ring reveals interesting information on both sides. The Rogues had their DNA fused with their weapons which is fascinating because their weapons are not a part of their costumes, they are their weapons. Deathstorm can apparently separate the Rogues from their weapons (which still doesn’t clue me in if he is a dark version of a superhero or an original villain),  so not only is he a fire creature but he can rearrange molecules.  Fascinating.

The Rogues barely escape with their lives and end up in Metropolis but Mirror Master’s power fizz out and Captain Cold ends up in a different part of Metropolis. Captain  Cold decides to follow Luthor and Creature while the rest of the Rogues fight against the Parasite and Archer but to end the fight, they use the mirror roads to travel to Gotham where they are introduced to Poison Ivy.

Rogues Rebellion # 2  has begun the journey to join with the main storyline in Forever Evil, we have Captain Cold following Luther and seeing what is happening in Metropolis. It also branches off into Gotham City and we can see the effects of Crime Syndicate in other main cities of the DC Universe. Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion # 2 ends with good cliffhangers because I’m excited for the third comic, I  can’t wait  to see Poison Ivy.

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4 Hearts-Pretty Good

4 Hearts-Pretty Good

Review: Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past by Paul Cude

A Threat From The Past New Cover (Reduced)Title: Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past
Series: Bentwhistle the Dragon
Author: Paul Cude
Genre:  Fantasy
Source: Author
Published: 2014
Format: E-book
Buy Links: AMZ/SMW/BN
I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

AMZ Blurb:  Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past is an adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present day world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them.

Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past?

Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?

In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon sports, you’ll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile!

You’d be flamin’ mad to miss it.
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Case File: Intense World building/Emphasis on Sports/Strict Good& Evil Mentality/ No Villain Speech/
Rating: 4 out of 5

Benwhistle the Dragon in a Threat From the Past was an entertaining read that a had very clear view of the world it was part of, sometimes a little too clear but it was the strongest point of the novel. It emphasized sports quite a bit but some of it was crucial to the world-building so it’s fine. The novel was a decent read.

Peter Bentwhistle is a dragon disguise as a human who lives in London, England with his best friends, Tank and Richie. Peter is a protagonist who sees the world in black and white because he has very clear standards about what people should do and not do like he doesn’t drink because people act like idiots when they are drunk (which is true but not always) or he doesn’t use his dragon abilities to show off. He has a good moral compass. Tank is built like a tank but is a softie who works for Gee Tee (an old man who develops mantras (spells)). Richie is the female of the group who is reckless (aka: Fun) with her dragon abilities. Richie comes off as frivolous person because she dismisses Peter’s concern about Manson from the start;Richie and Peter seem to have a rocky relationship, Peter seems to judge her for leading morally ambiguous life because she drinks and her uses her dragon abilities in public. Tank is a sweet-natured guy who agrees with Peter more than Richie but he doesn’t really grow as a character, perhaps because he is under-utilize. He is intelligent and excels at channeling mantras, a very useful skill to have in a magic-ruled world.

The good guys are good guys, there is no ambiguity about them. The bad guys like Manson, Troydenn, Osvaldo Rosebloom, and Theobald, well, it’s clear that they are the bad guys because they are one-sided characters. Troydenn the dragon commits heinous crimes against humanity but only speaks to declare vengeance upon the Dragon Council and he doesn’t explain why he did what he did. The novel is missing the epic villain speech that smoothly reveals the motivation behind the villain’s action instead we have Peter’s speech to Manson which resembles the speech Harry Potter gives to Lord Voldermort at the end of Harry Potter and the Order  of the Phoenix  with the vibe of “I feel pity for you because you will never understand love” or something like that. There is no red-herring in the novel. Manson, from the beginning gives Peter the creeps, and Peter turns out to be right about him. The villain is too simple, probably because Manson is not the driving source of the world domination plot but may be a high-ranking foot soldier.

The world-building is one of the most fascinating aspects of the novel (but it also hinders it). The first three chapters have an intense amount of detail about the dragon world. It explains the two forms of the dragons, mulation (human form) and solitus (dragon form), the mantras, nursery rings; it’s very intense which is great because it develops the world of the characters and explains to the readers how this world will function. It’s not so great in later chapters when the plot is developing andCude stops the plot in order to give a history lesson about the origin of Sandskimming which is great to know but not crucial to the plot. It shows that Cude has truly developed his dragon world down to minor details but as long as the reader understand the premise of sandskimming as a sports activity, it’s fine to move on without explaining the origin in great details. Now Laminimum Ball which is another dragon sport which has a Global Cup tournament which makes me equate it with soccer and its World Cup tournament, needed an intense explanation because it’s quite important to the characters and the dragon society.  The complex underground living of the dragons is just beautifully detailed because it’s a functioning society mirroring London, it has geothermic energy as a power source which is clean energy (which emphasis how environment friendly dragons try to be), and the Daily Telegraph newspaper as a telepathic newspaper contributes to showing Cude’s dragon world. It’s a society that lives side by side with humans and keeps its existence a well-kept secret.

Remember that I said Peter acts as a good moral compass, well, it’s not just Peter but rather his whole society that functions to guide and protect humans (which is ironic because the dragons don’t really guide people, not Richie who humiliates two drunken men by using her dragon abilities to beat them in an arm wrestling game). The Dragon Council states that is the purpose of the dragons to guide humans away from harm or evil which actually make the dragons seem like they are morally superior than humans because they know what is best for the humans and it is the dragons’ fault when humanity goes astray from the right path. It was dragons who introduced tobacco to humans as way to destroy them, it was evil dragons but nonetheless, the dragons sort of treat the humans like children who have to be taught right or wrong. The trace of resentment is even apparent in Peter, who is morally good, when he goes on a tangent about drunken humans, he is disgusted by their behavior, fighting with each other, their lost of bodily functions, their drunken behavior making people afraid of each other. His showdown with Manson, it’s not about protecting the humans but rather Peter fights to protect the dragon world. I find it to be a fascinating aspect of the world-building Cude has created in showing how the resentment from babysiting human appears and how subtle it can be at times that not even a morally right person like Peter can see that he does not like humans at times.

Bentwhistle the Dragon in a Threat from the Past has some of the best world-building that I have read in a while. Paul Cude knows very well what his dragon worlds looks like and he will showcase it to the readers even at the risk of slowing down the novel’s plot. Yes, the showing of the world slows downs the novel but it is very fascinating how the dragon world came to be and how it co-exists with the human world. Peter, Richie, and Tank are distinct characters that hopefully grow more into themselves in later novel. I just really want a more complex villain next time (or a villain that I don’t immediately know is the villain as soon as I meet them).

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4 Hearts-Pretty Good

4 Hearts-Pretty Good

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

tenTitle: Ten
Series: Standalone
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: Thriller
Source:  Public Library
Published:  2012
Format: Hardcover
Buy Links: AMZ/BN/TBD

B&N Blurb: From Possess author Gretchen McNeil comes this teen horror novel inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Perfect for fans of Christopher Pike’s Chain Letter and Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ten will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page!

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

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Case File: Slasher Films/Valentine / Crossbow/ Minority Characters
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Ten was exactly what I expected from a novel that reminded me of all the slasher films that I have ever watched. People die one by one as one character struggles to understand their connection to each other and why they were chosen, it’s a murder-mystery party. Nothing new. That being said, it was a quick and enjoyable read.

I was very impressed the killer knew how to use a crossbow because besides Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead  and the Argent family from Teen Wolf, it’s rare for the crossbow to be use as weapon even though it is a weapon. Props to McNeil for that and for making the love interest of Meg Pritchett, be a black teenager boy, T.J Fletcher. The cast of Ten was diverse, there were three Asian girls, one black teenager, and possibly everyone else was white which is better than most slasher films where they have one minority represented in the cast. McNeil was self-aware of the genre and the tropes that are embedded in it so she twisted some of them like the love interest and calling out the genre for always having the minority character die first or just never surviving to the end of the film (which is also a problem in horror films but some have challenged it like A House on Haunted Hill, fantastic movie, watch it). The characters are still identifiable by the stereotypical role they play such as Meg being the shy virgin,  Minnie being the bitch or the whore, Nathan as the douchebag of the group, etc. McNeil changes some aspects of the genre but it is still recognizable as a thriller/horror novel.

The plot of the novel is just figuring out the mystery as the characters die one by one. Besides the survivors, half of the cast is unlikable starting with Minnie and the other half is one dimensional (like Lori who was a singer) that they don’t matter.  It’s a simple novel and the mystery in unraveled through a series of diary entries, there is a couple of red herrings but when the killer is revealed, it’s an “oh”, a small “o” moment.   Even the reason why they were selected for the island is not shocking, it’s just that some of them were shitty individuals like Nathan who needed to someone to kick his ass and the other half were oblivious to the effects of their actions. For the killer, it was about revenge for betrayals committed. I’m not saying they deserved to be on the island but they needed to re-evaluate their lives  but it is also high school, were people do shitty things in general because life after high school tends to be a foreign concept. Like the naivety of Meg in thinking that her relationship with Minnie will survive college  (most relationship don’t or maybe it was just mine that didn’t survive). It’s barely surviving high school and Minnie’s bipolar disorder which plays a very strong role in their relationship because the disorder dominates both of them .

Ten is inspired by And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. The original novel has a nursery rhyme which is replaced with the diary entries which is interesting because the deaths are more tailored to each individual and befitting of they crime committed.

Ten, as a book, is a fast-paced read that acts like a literary slasher film meaning that it will blend in with other murder-mystery parties. It will stand out for having a minority as a love interest but it is just an all right novel. It’s not a bad novel, it’s just… go in expecting a slasher film in writing and it’s a pretty good novel. I’m actually looking forward to reading Possess because Ten drops some interesting horror elements and the suspense was well-written. I want to see what McNeil can do when she focuses on demons.

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3.5 Hearts-Decent

3.5 Hearts-Decent