Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: Ritual

One of the things you probably didn't know about me is that I quite like horror stories. The other day, I was in a charity shop in town and saw a few of the Point Horror collections - teen horror novels by Caroline B Cooney, RL Stine and Diane Hoh. I was taken back to those stories I read years ago. Horror movies are also one of my things, although I haven't seen (m)any in a wee while. Underworld, with vampires and werewolves, was probably one of my favourite films.

I'm therefore a prime target for the new horror story 'Ritual' on Kindle from local author, VL Young. Young is a friend of a friend, and twitter marketing meant that I was aware of the book on Kindle, and downloaded it during a 'free giveway' day. It's probably coming in the same vein as the Twilight saga, although I haven't read or seen them.

The book is narrated by Nikki, an Irish girl in America faced with a huge problem: 'Every night when I go to sleep, I wake up in someone else's nightmare.' The nightmares become real for Nikki, though, as she seeks to help her best friend, Alexia, who has been taken by Immortals. Along the way, there are appearances from Cole, Nikki's boyfriend, and Conrad, who is a werewolf, as well as plenty of vampires and werewolves.

The tale is gripping, and the reader is drawn in to the story, with plenty of excitement and lots of action. The ending is dramatic, and will be enjoyed. Young obviously knows the genre well, and writes in keeping with the limitations and 'rules' of the vampire/werewolf horror genre.

My only issue with the book is that it needs some editing, mostly in terms of spelling and grammar. At times the layout can be confusing, with a new paragraph being taken for each new sentence of speech when it's the same character speaking, leading the reader to assume it's the other character speaking. Perhaps another helpful suggestion might be to have the characters develop their own voices, rather than everyone sounding and speaking exactly like the narrator.

With these suggestions, it has to be said that this is a book (indeed, perhaps even a series) with a lot of potential. I enjoyed reading it, and would look to hear more from the author in the future. Fans of Twilight and such like are in for a treat. It's well worth downloading and reading.

UPDATE: Since this review was published, the author has been in contact to say that the editing has now been completed and I was reading an earlier draft. So there's nothing holding you back - download, read and enjoy!

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