A stunning review of Clarissa’s Warning

In this busy world of ours, authors can generally expect reviews of one or two paragraphs. Every now and then one comes along that is much more than that. I am delighted to share extracts from this very long and heartwarming review of Clarissa’s Warning by Kamal of Kiri Books.

“Set in the picturesque setting of an unspoiled island, Fuerteventura – one of Spain’s Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa and Spain, the story weaves all the elements of an archplot in a masterly stroke. The story has a classical design with linear time-flow, causality, single protagonist, consistent reality, active protagonist, external conflict with the exception of the ending, which remains open. Sitting on the top of the story triangle, ‘Clarissa’s Warning’ demonstrates infinitesimal elan over its elements.

Recruiting the latent energies of a scarred soul in defeating the malice play of the supernatural, Isobel Blackthorn has created a protagonist that constantly sheds layers of insecurity and vulnerability, one at a time, to expose the solid-substance she is made of.

Claire is a wilful character with a conscious desire. And she gets a chance to fulfil her desire, courtesy, the lottery-ticket. She has the capacity to fulfil her desire and is appropriately reflected by her independent decisions and strong-willed actions. She holds the cohesive bond with the readers with the glue of empathy. As the story progresses, gaps between expectations and result keep on widening, raising the conflict level and upping the potential of the climax. Placement of the crisis, along with the design, is suitable and controls length of the climax with a palpable fervour. The flashbacks are sporadic, fact-filled and meaningful; especially the flashback of Claire mother’s demise is very graphic and emotive.

The story has a riveting rendition of the Fuerteventura and its history – the belly juice of a beetle that made it preferred inhabitable area of the wealthy, the captivating array of social and personal lives through the lens of colonialism, and the abundance of beauty of nature and traditions. The dialogues are crisp, colloquial and contextual.

The subtext dominates everywhere. When Claire mentions there are five routes to Tiscamanita and she had taken them all, she establishes herself as an exploratory and inquisitive person. She wants to restore a ruin is, in a subtle and indirect way, symbolic of her fierce desire to mend her broken past….

Her unresolved grief, of her mother’s demise, make her inner substance resonate with the subliminal energies rather too fittingly…Sensing the opportunity, the spirits use her as a conduit to express their anguish, warn her, wreck her, take help from her, or plainly observe her.

The story navigates with the enlivened characters, each with a backstory and a brain of their own…The plot has plenty of twists and turns and the structure of scenes, tightly knitted in neatly separated chapters, is taut and spill-proof…

…The anticipation of the unknown and narrative integrity keeps the conflict cocooned and growing, to burst in the final scenes with brilliantly planted and spaced expositions. In the final acts, the veiled and vilifying esoteric elements snatch away the driving seat, chase Claire to run for her life, a sprint in which she discovers the version of truth that alluded her throughout. She welcomes her own metamorphosis, and comes at terms with becoming fearless after making eye-contacts with the ever-evading reality. The light of Mafasca and the legend of Olivia Stone heightened the curiosity-quotient in this tightly-packed thriller.

Recruiting the latent energies of a scarred soul in defeating the malice play of the supernatural, Isobel Blackthorn has created a protagonist that constantly sheds layers of insecurity and vulnerability, one at a time, to expose the solid-substance she is made of.

A terrific and transforming piece of work by Isobel Blackthorn!

Review: Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions by Jacob and Jenny Floyd

When I purchased my copy of Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was a book grounded in history and fact and that was about it.

Kentucky’s Haunted Mansions, from paranormal authors Jacob and Jenny Floyd, will take you into the homes of the dignitaries and luminaries that made Kentucky industrious through business, bureaucracy, and bloodshed. Beyond the rich, sweeping history that these men wrote, there lies the spiritual energy their lives left behind. Some of these mansions are alleged to be haunted, and many ghostly reports have come out of them. Read about phantoms such as the angry young girl at Griffin Gate to the vanishing cat of the Loudon House. Explore the accounts of the Ageing Lady on the stairs at Elmwood and the Creature of the Cross Breeze at Wickland Estate Discover several of the most elegant and haunted homes across the commonwealth. But rest assured, foolish mortals, there are no hitchhiking ghosts here–that we know of!”

Jacob and Jenny Floyd have put together a marvellous collection of haunted-house portraits, each with its own unique story. Together they provide a revealing and detailed, if potted, account of Kentucky’s history, from the state’s pre-foundation years, through its succession from Virginia in 1792, to the present day. The reader is taken on a journey from the hard facts of each mansion, its construction and its various owners and their deeds, through to accounts of paranormal happenings and ghostly sightings. The result is both informative and thoroughly entertaining.

The authors are careful not to sensationalise and the narrative comes with a healthy dose of skepticism, leaving it for readers to decide for themselves what to believe. Having experienced the paranormal on numerous occasions I am probably one of the believers, yet this is a book that will appeal just as much to doubters interested in the stories of hauntings and how they have come about.

This book is a must read for all who’d like a taste of the history of Kentucky as much as its supernatural inhabitants. As for those after a ghostly tale or two, look no further! This is the sort of book that should be on the shelf of every paranormal writer’s bookcase.

Grab your copy here.

Find out more about the authors here

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