This was one of the most interesting and captivating collections I have read in a very long time. I chose this from the Blackthorn Book Tour folks and once again, our tastes in literature come together in perfect unison.
This anthology is a mysterious kind of collection all in itself. There are stories of all types of dark and sinister themes. While the entire collection would not really be considered horror, a great number of these tales bring the darker and less palatable horrors of actual reality out in the open. I would personally classify this collection as more of a dramatic thriller anthology than horror.
What we read for entertainment is an entirely personal choice. I happen to enjoy reading work that stimulates my brain. Just like any other muscle, the brain needs to be exercised to stay strong and healthy. Use it or lose it, as they always say. This group of stories is by far one of the most thought-provoking anthologies I have ever come across. Typically we apply personal experience and knowledge to what we read, watch, hear, etc. The most unique characteristic of this author’s writing is that it often takes on a point of view that is not what the average reader might have originally thought of or might have never experienced for themselves. This is a clever and intriguing way of really getting into the heart and mind of the reader. If the story is being told from a point of view we are not used to seeing or hearing it gives the reader an opportunity to open their minds and expand their capacity for empathy and understanding. We often only see things from our own side and it’s beneficial and valuable that we get the chance to learn about a different view.
The actual content of each story was great and the plots were thrilling. My only issue was that there are quite a few places where a small word is missing (such as ‘a’, ‘whole’, ‘the’, etc.) or the wrong word is typed, like ‘hours’ instead of ‘ours’. It seems quite possible from the minor grammatical errors that this book was dictated in a voice-to-text program and not typed up by hand. Which is completely fine. The finished product could benefit though from a final spellcheck and grammar check, and maybe even a final physical read-through.
The one thing that did make certain parts a little harder to read was that a great portion of the writing uses a run-on sentence structure. The sentences are four or five lines long and as little as three sentences can take up over a third of a page while creating a paragraph. Now, this isn’t necessarily negative as it comes across as it would if someone were verbally telling you the story. That’s kind of cool. It gives it a more personal feel. On the flip side, the long sentences have a lot of information in them. This is a lot to absorb in one sentence and I often had to go back and read the whole sentence a second time to get everything the author was trying to convey. Again, if this were a person telling this story verbally, none of that would matter. You would have the tone of voice and various pauses and inflections to convey that material. But, when reading, it might be easier to break the long sentences up and utilize more commas and semicolons to get the right effect.
Still, there are a few stories in this collection that weeks after reading are still in my mind. So this writing absolutely has an impact on the reader. This will be a collection I remember for quite some time.
About the Author
Miles Watson has won more awards and accolades than almost any independent writer of his generation. His various works have won the following:
The Cabin Sessions
Author: Isobel Blackthorn
Here we have a definite must-read for those that love psychological and suspense thrillers from Blackthorn Book Tours. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a horror novel it certainly is a wonderful cerebral tug of war. With the steady and consistent build-up of tension and suspense, the author leads the reader through the lives and happenings of a select group of people gathered on a stormy night at a local cabin where they play music and gossip about each other.
This tantalizing page-turner has an easy-to-follow format due to the author’s clever insight. Each chapter is named after a character. When you read each chapter, you are instantly aware of whose “world” we are in and can easily find where we are in each character's story. This story also has plenty of twists and turns to captivate the reader and keep them guessing what will happen next.
Additionally, this particular author has an extensive vocabulary coupled with poetic wit and tempered patience. This means there are no “dead” spots or filler text. The story keeps moving, characters keep building and in doing so, they become more realistic and relatable with every event in the plot, no matter how minute or significant each experience or event may be. All of these skills are melded together to create a fantastic story to curl up with next to a fire and completely submerge yourself in the twisted minds of normal individuals.
There is nothing outwardly special about each character. No obvious hero types or high-moral preachers. No clear-cut villains or physical wars are being waged. Instead, we get to know these people almost as we would in real life. Slowly, carefully, little details here and there combined with behavior and thoughts. These characters develop and mold into true people with thoughts, issues, and solutions.
A lot happens in these few hundred pages. Many lives are unveiled and a lot of truly personal and intimate details are revealed. Just like in real life, the characters are all different. And yet equally as realistic, these people we meet are no different from many others, each having their qualities and personalities, flaws and issues, dreams and failures, losses and successes.