Am I a Paper Person? A Review of the reMarkable Paper Tablet

Disclosure: Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

In an age when artists and authors are constantly tempted to surrender their focus (I’m looking at you, social media!), the reMarkable e-ink tablet promises a creative experience free of distraction.  That’s a lofty goal, but the reMarkable crew of Oslo, Norway has made it their philosophy since the tablet’s crowdfunding campaign of 2016.  Now, after years on the market and several big firmware updates, consumers are finally able to gauge how well the company delivers in their commitment to Paper People.

Full disclosure:  my writing process has always begun with putting pen to paper.  Given this, I was intrigued by the idea of an e-ink tablet replacing the many stacks of notebooks lining my desk.  But is the reMarkable tablet really an organized and distraction-free creative experience?

My biggest gripe with the reMarkable came before I even purchased it -– the price.  At $599.99, the “Paper Tablet” would be a hefty investment, but the potential of focus and productivity was worth the risk, so I went for it.  Unfortunately, a few days after purchasing the tablet, it went on sale for $499.99, leaving me feeling a little defeated.  Fortunately, after a quick correspondence with the excellent reMarkable customer service, they refunded me the difference, effectively softening the blow of the price-point.

I received the reMarkable in under ten days.  The package included the 10.3” e-ink tablet, a reMarkable pen, ten additional pen tips, and a charging cable.  I was immediately impressed by how sleek and lightweight the tablet is.  And when they say the CANVAS display has the texture of paper, the company isn’t kidding.

After charging the device, I booted up Codex, the custom Linux operating system, and tried my hand at syncing the tablet to the reMarkable app on my phone.  This was a pain-free experience, though many users have had problems in this area.  With the tablet and the app in sync, anything I created would automatically be sent to a dedicated cloud and downloaded onto connected devices via the onboard Wi-Fi.

In my estimation there are four primary uses for the reMarkable tablet:  writing, sketching, reading, and annotation.  Writing and drawing on the e-ink device is surprisingly smooth with the battery-free stylus offering virtually no lag.  The interface offers a variety of options, from pencils to markers to pens, some of which are even pressure-sensitive.  Though the device is entirely in grayscale, there are enough style choices to offer a diverse writing or sketching experience.  Most impressively, though, the system now offers a writing-to-text option that converts handwritten words to editable text that can be e-mailed and further formatted in a traditional word processor.

The reMarkable tablet also doubles as an e-reader for PDF and ePUB files.  Text is stark and readable even in direct sunlight, though it lacks a backlight to read in the dark.  Even so, for a simple device on the go, the reMarkable serves its purpose well, especially for annotating text.  With such tools as a highlighter and its wide array of writing implements, the tablet presents a great way for notetakers to edit uploaded papers in real time.  In fact, a large part of reMarkable’s customer base are students using the tablet to stay organized in class or notetakers in office settings.

Still, though the reMarkable adds a simple approach to the creative process, the device can be slow at times, especially when loading or navigating particularly large files.  Uploading and downloading also requires some patience as the cloud synchronizes everything.  And that writing-to-text option?  Though it’s definitely a game-changer when writing longhand, the software isn’t exactly 100% accurate in its translation from handwriting to text.

Overall the reMarkable is a neat little device that boosts the creative process by stripping away the distractions plaguing artists and authors alike.  The feel of writing on the system is satisfying and has, indeed, replaced the many notebooks that occupy my office.  The battery life isn’t too shabby either as I’ve only had to charge the device once a week after moderate use.  Though the price is steep for such a niche technology (the reMarkable is currently $499.99 on remarkable.com), it is a dream come true for a writer such as myself who drafts in longhand.  There are negatives, to be sure, and many opportunities to further optimize the device, but the reMarkable offers a unique e-ink experience that delivers on its promise of distraction-free writing.

If you are interested in picking up a reMarkable, be sure to head over to Amazon today!

Epeolatry Book Review: Music Macabre

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Music Macabre (A Phineas Fox Mystery)
Author: Sarah Rayne
Genre: Historical Thriller
Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ld.
Release Date: 30 August 2019

Synopsis: Researching a biography of the composer Franz Liszt, Phineas Fox uncovers evidence of a brutal murder – and finds his own life in danger.

Music researcher Phineas Fox has been enjoying his latest commission, gathering background material for a biography of Franz Liszt. But although he has – as anticipated – uncovered plenty of scandal in the 19th century composer’s past, matters take a decidedly unexpected turn when his investigations lead to Linklighters, a newly-opened Soho restaurant built on the site of an old Victorian music hall, and unearth evidence of a possible murder involving the notorious music hall performer known as Scaramel.

Just what was Liszt’s connection to Scaramel … and, through her, to the infamous Victorian serial killer Jack the Ripper? As he delves further, Phin’s enquiries uncover clues to a fascinating and extraordinary story – and plunge his own life into jeopardy.

‘Liszten for the Killer’

I have been reading Sarah Rayne’s thrillers for years and always await her next one with baited breath then devour it one gulp. This is the fourth novel in the series, starring music researcher and academic Phineas Fox, his girlfriend Arabella  in a more peripheral role than previously) and best mate, the hapless Toby.

This time Fox is researching a book about the composer Franz Liszt and it’s a piece of his strange eerie music which provides the lead in in to the mystery. Rayne often uses this motif in her stories. How did Liszt know a Cockney music hall performer, the luscious but scandalous Scaramel? Is she linked in some way to Jack the Ripper, who terrorised Whitechapel in 1888? And does the newly refurbished theatre café Linklighters, with its eccentric owners Loretta and Roland, hide deadly secrets both past and present?
Well you can probably guess the answers to these questions but this review doesn’t want to give away any spoilers.

As in many of her books Rayne uses mirroring time lines – present day and 1880’s London- switching smoothly between the two, bringing each set of characters (now and historic) to vibrant life. Linklighters and the horrible underground sluice gate which lies below the restaurant is the physical doorway to the past and as usual Rayne uses old letters, playbills, sketches (by a young artist known only as ‘Link’), programmes, and newspaper reports as a series of informational signposts for us and Phineas Fox to follow. The way she overlays all this is very well done. 

The scenes set in the sewers were dark scary and very unpleasant. Rayne has done some research on the ‘ghost rivers’ which proliferate beneath London. She is very adept to at depicting the smells, sights and sounds of Victorian London. The story hops over to Paris for a brief digression too 

(both in the past and present day).         

Jack the Ripper hovers over the narrative, a shadowy figure who haunts Scaramel and her feisty maid, Daisy) and Rayne’s fictional solution to why Jack stopped killing is interesting, possible and thought provoking.

There are some violent scenes depicted and if you like your crime cozy with a ‘z’ this may not be for you. 

I would say that this time Fox and Arabella are overshadowed as characters by Loretta (the current black widow style owner of Linklighters) and Scaramel the Victorian songstress, who leapt off the page for me. If you’re looking for loads about Liszt and his music this isn’t the right book for you. His role is peripheral.

A dark, elegantly plotted historical thriller romp through Victorian London and current day Soho.

Bonus Content

Sarah Rayne has kindly given us an insight into the research which allowed her to bring her characters to life so vividly:

‘Taking on the man who is probably the best-known serial killer ever – presenting an aspect of him that nobody had so far thought of – was a slightly daunting prospect.  Linking Jack the Ripper, via a music hall performer, with the eminent composer, Franz Liszt, was more than daunting – it was formidable.

There were, though, lighter sides to the research.  It appears that Liszt, early on, almost led the life of a modern-day rock star, mobbed and adored, his fans fighting to secure scraps of his garments, and fainting in the aisles at his concerts.  

One anecdote in particular stood out for me.  During a youthful affair with the infamous 19th century night-club dancer, Lola Montez, Liszt found himself forced to sneak out of a Constantinople hotel bedroom in the early morning while she was still asleep, since, he said, he ‘feared her importunities were starting to damage his sanity, his constitution, and his virility’.

La Montez, on discovering her lover’s absence, gave way to extravagant fury and smashed up the entire room.  Mirrors were angrily splintered, and what was delicately referred to by the hotel staff as ‘bedroom china’ was hurled out of windows.    

It’s these odd snippets that bring the past vividly to life – although it should perhaps be added that Liszt’s later years were quieter and more seemly, much of his time being spent in a monastery near Rome, where he composed many religious and liturgical works.

It wasn’t just the people that came colourfully to life – it was the places, too.  At various parts in Music Macabre, characters become trapped, lost, and generally menaced in the remains of one of the lost London rivers that lies beneath Linklighters, the fictional music hall.  

Working out this section of the plot, it turned out that there were far more of these ‘ghost rivers’ than I had realized – from the Westbourne to the Fleet, from the Black Ditch to Earl’s Sluice, to Pudding Mill River and Carbuncle Ditch and Mutton Brook. Their names reflected their origins – some of which were ancient – and there was no discrimination as to where they wended their way.  For the purposes of the plot, the dried-out Cock and Pye Ditch fitted the bill beautifully. It once circled an area of St Giles – now more generally known as Seven Dials – which meant that Linklighters could be sited to be directly over it.

There was, though, a touch of dark humour in the fact that the old Tyburn was – and still is – directly beneath Buckingham Palace.  As one character in Music Macabre observes, it’s tempting to imagine times when, if there was an overflow, royalty might have had to wade through sewage, complete with gumboots and mops and buckets, to help with slopping out.’

I’d rate this 4/5 stars and yes would recommend it especially if you enjoy history/mystery with some horror. Great title too.

Music Macabre is available on amazon.

Epeolatry Book Review: Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories
Author: Deborah Sheldon
Genre: Horror
Publisher: IFWG Publishing Australia
Release Date: 18 November 2019

Synopsis:

Brutal. Compelling. Sinister.

From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal and revenge.

Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection.

“He was wearing a balaclava, but you didn’t have to see his face to know he was dead.”

This is the latest collection from Australian award winning author Deborah Sheldon. There are about 35 short stories here including some flash fiction (i.e. pieces under 1000 words). Some of the short stories have been published elsewhere, revealing an impressive range of magazines and anthologies in Deborah Sheldon’s CV but there are three new stories written just for this collection as well.

I first came to a Deborah Sheldon novel when I read and reviewed (for the Horror Tree site) her bio-horror novella Thylacines which I hugely enjoyed and so I became a fan of her fiction. 

It is always an enjoyable experience to venture into her fictional worlds, conjured up so vividly and so succinctly in these shorter pieces.

These are dark tales, which step into the underbelly of society and the fringes where folk scurry around to make a buck. They are set in hospitals, the outback, (the powerful punch to the gut opening story Basket Trap), on wheat farms, on roads in cars, in caravan parks (the bitter sweet The Sequinned Shirt where the past is a trap and the present is pretty grim too), in roadhouses, in urban offices (the clever twisting Cash Cow where comeuppance is brutal and final) and on the beach. 

Deborah Sheldon is adept at drawing you in, writing fast, furious dialogue, making you smell and taste the landscape and the characters’ sweat, taking you on a journey with the lost, the displaced, the broken, the runaways, the misfits and the mad, who populate the pages. Many of her characters are in transition, running away from their dangerous past.

I did say the tone was dark. 

This is not always the most comfortable of reads, be prepared to be challenged even disturbed by some of the narratives. There is violence and not many happy endings to be found, though there is some delicious dark humour to be savoured.

But the characters leap off the pages, real, flesh and blood, smoky and smokin’ hot sometimes. You might not want to meet up with them but in these stories you can hang out and still be safe.

My personal favourites – tough call but – the opener Basket Trap, took my breath away; it’s about one woman’s fight for survival in the outback in brutal circumstances, with whole back stories evoked in one sentence. Man with the Suitcase (reminiscent to me, of Donald E Westlake, author of The Hot Rock) in tone, and is a smartly written, slick caper story which reads like a mini movie and pays rereading for its twists and turns and White Powder set around an air plane journey, simply because it was funny and made me laugh.

Definitely worth buying and dipping into.

Bonus Content!

Deborah Sheldon shares a little of her thoughts behind the creation of the collection.

‘I chose the title Figments and Fragments because the collection largely comprises stories based on figments of my imagination or memory fragments.

This is my go-to technique for coming up with story ideas: allowing something to germinate. Something small. An image from a bad dream, perhaps, or a snippet from a painful event in my past. A strong, disquieting emotion that won’t ease up. An overheard conversation. I hold onto the figment or fragment and allow my subconscious to work on it for a while. More often than not, a story begins to form.

I think writers are, by definition, troubled souls! Fiction is about conflict and this is true for every genre, even upbeat ones such as romance. Like many writers, I’m drawn to the exploration of what it means to be human. I just explore it from the “glass half-empty” perspective.

Emotion is the universal human experience. It’s the common language we share, regardless of sex, age, nationality, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status or any other kind of identification label. Writers strive to put emotion into words. As readers, that’s what we look for in fiction; the shared experience of emotion, the mutual understanding, the reassurance that we’re all in this thing together.

Dark fiction digs beneath the social façades, the pleasantries, the polite smiles. I believe that horror, crime and noir are the most authentic genres of all.’

5/5 stars

Epeolatry Book Review: In the Wolf’s Lair

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: In the Wolf’s Lair: A Beastly Crimes Book
Author: Anna Starobinets
Genre: Children’s Mystery Books
Publisher: Dover Publications
Release Date: 17 October 2018

Synopsis: Life in the Far Woods tends to be tranquil because the animal denizens are strictly forbidden to kill (or eat!) one another. An elderly detective, Chief Badger, oversees the community and solves its petty crimes, from stolen pine cones to plucked tail feathers. His restless assistant, Badgercat, longs for some excitement — a desperate crime, a beastly crime! The brash youngster’s hopes are realized when some croaking frogs reveal the shocking news of Rabbit’s murder. Wolf appears to be the most likely culprit, because — duh — he’s a lone wolf without an alibi, but Badger refuses to jump to conclusions. With the help of Vulture the crime scene investigator, Mouse the psychologist, brave witness Beetlebug Buck, and other curious creatures, the woodland detectives set out to discover the truth.  
Newly translated from the original Russian, this fancifully illustrated volume is the first of a Beastly Crimes Books to come from this imaginative mystery series geared toward middle-grade readers. Look for the sequel, A Predator’s Rights, also available from Dover Publications.

In the Wolf’s Lair is the first installment of Dover Publications’ “A Beastly Crimes Book” series. The novel was written by Anna Starobinets and is also illustrated by Marie Muravski. The illustrations here really make the story and as Dover is well known for putting the extra work into making their releases stand out and this helps to do just that.

In this novel, we’re thrown into a world of animals where foul play is afoot. This is a mystery that could be for older children and young adults with the darker humor you’ll find in these pages. Honestly, this can be fully appreciated by adults as it could easily feel at home for fans of A Nightmare Before Christmas.  

If it couldn’t be enjoyed by most of our readers, you wouldn’t be seeing a review here! In another year or so I will absolutely be re-reading this with my older son when he can fully appreciate the humor in it! 

The book follows the police chief who is a badger and his depute who thinks he’s a badger. He isn’t, and you’ll come to appreciate the humor of that as you read the story. The animals in this story are all vegetarians, even the meat eaters. However, we soon find that Mr. Rabbit has been murdered.

Actually, he’s been eaten.

Now an investigation is running full steam as to who took him out. The main suspects are the predator animals but as any good mystery will show you – things aren’t what they seem.  

There are twists, turns, and humor in this murder mystery and you’ll be flipping pages to figure out this whodunit!

4 out of 5 stars.

In the Wolf’s Lair can be found on amazon here.

Book Review: The Perfect Wife by: JP Delaney

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: The Perfect Wife

Author: JP Delaney

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

Publisher: Penguin Random House – Ballantine Books

Release Date: August 6th, 2019

Synopsis: Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science.

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . .

Are cyborgs our future? Are they machines or if we build them in our image do we automatically give them a soul? Surely if you kick a Roomba he makes nothing of it, but what if you impose relationship on a cyborg that has ‘feelings’ or at least is programmed to feel just like you do? The legendary Isaac Asimov’s first law of robotics is that a robot would never injure a human. But what if it’s the other way around? These ethical questions are just some that rise from “The Perfect Wife”, JP Delaney’s latest book.

Is “The Perfect Wife” a thriller? Is it Sci-Fi? Maybe Psychological? The book seems to escape standard definitions, which gives it immediately that X-factor. The certain fact is that the author uses this novel to teach us about autism, its related stigmatism and ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis – a method trying to embed “normal” behaviour to autistic patients), subjects which are no doubtfully close to his heart, and thus making this a rather educational experience as well as an entertaining one.

Tim Scott is a multi-millionaire Silicon Valley founder of an AI robotics company. He has built a ‘Cobot’ (Companion Robot) to replicate his wife Abbie Cullen-Scott, who disappeared five years before, presumed dead. The story is told from Abbie the robot’s point of view, who had been uploaded the memories of the real Abbie through social media, videos and pictures, and her brain was built in a way which is meant to “fill in the gaps”, by using her deductive AI abilities.

The story shifts between timelines, making narrative not altogether straightforward, and leaving confusion between someone who is telling us the alternate story of Abbie and Tim’s history. The couple also have a ten-year-old autistic son Danny who is the source of much tension and is essential to the development of the plotline. The more we read about Danny’s autism ‘outbreak’ the more we learn about Tim & Abbie’s marriage, which is far from the utopian relationship that everyone imagines.

This is a compelling story, well written by an experienced author. However, there were a lot of problematic points which disturbed me personally, as a critical reader. I‘ll endeavour to point these without giving away too much of the plot:

Abbie disappeared, so the upload of her memories is done from social media etc. If this is the case, how can she remember other events? How can she possibly know all of a sudden what Tim had told her during their wedding in India, as an example. The readers are intelligent, and the author should have sorted this issue, and not just hand the reader a “black hole” of data, expecting us to think nothing of it.

The second main issue lies within the story’s characters: while it is apparent that Tim is more sinister than he seems from the start – his true nature is even worst than you’d suspect. This is revealed only later in the story, which is very implausible, given how intelligent Abbie is. In comparison – while real Abbie is this cool-surfer artist who ‘rebels’ against society’s norms, Cobot Abbie is an eager to please wife. That simply didn’t cut the mustard for me. Besides, these are the only two complex characters in the novel, while everyone else has a sketch of a personality, nothing too deep. This makes it a bit unbelievable as the story reaches its climax, and the necessity of these supporting characters is discovered.

Addressing again the issue of autism. I salute the author of finding a fictional-comparable situation to autism, via AI beings. This was a clear well thought of paradigm, which makes readers who know nothing about autism or mind degenerative syndromes to relate and understand the issues which parents to autistic children face their entire lives. The author himself addresses this in his afterword.

In conclusion, “The Perfect Wife” is a very interesting idea, written well enough, but story-wise its execution did not live up to its promise. There should have been at least 100 more pages to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of how the Abbie-bot was devised, and who are Tim’s friends and staff. Eager to get this out, I think the author missed the target completely. The one silver lining is that the ending as it is, as well as the mortality of the robots and the subject of AI, mean that a sequel may very well be just around the corner. Given the ethical issues that the book slightly touches and the constant technological progress in real life – I can certainly see one in the near future.

I’ve never read a JP Delaney book before, clearly a gifted author. However, this book for me is still a draft that should have been edited more, especially when it comes to the story.

You can order ‘The Perfect Wife’ on Amazon.

Review by: Joni Dee

Joni Dee is the author of “And the Wolf Shall Dwell”, an intense political espionage thriller, that revolves around global terrorism and hits frighteningly close to the truth for a work of fiction. He is a military intelligence veteran and his writing of this murky world is inspired by his life experiences.

His novel can be bought from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Shall-Dwell-Joni-Dee-ebook/dp/B0743B58SM/ in multiple formats and directly from Blue Poppy Publishing’s website https://bluepoppypublishing.co.uk/product/and-the-wolf-shall-dwell/

You can visit his website for a chance to be a character in his next novel “Terror Within” at https://jondbooks.com

Epeolatry Book Review: Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked
Author: Christa Carmen
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Unnerving
Release Date: 21 August 2018
Synopsis: In her debut collection, Christa Carmen combines horror, charm, humor, and social critique to shape thirteen haunting, harrowing narratives of women struggling with both otherworldly and real-world problems. From grief, substance abuse, and mental health disorders, to a post-apocalyptic exodus, a seemingly sinister babysitter with unusual motivations, and a group of pesky ex-boyfriends who won’t stay dead, Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked is a compelling exploration of horrors both supernatural and psychological, and an undeniable affirmation of Carmen’s flair for short fiction.

On the day the water turned to poison, she had done the bad thing again. When her father appeared before her, she was certain it was to scold her for her atrocious, perverted ways. But when her father opened his mouth, a river of red ran out in place of reproach.

One thing Carmen can be credited for, is that no one story is the same from a conceptual standpoint. Spanning several subgenres of horror from the classic to the cosmic, she successfully captures several distinct worlds and ideas that breathe life into every story. Slashers to spectres, darlings to demons, Something Borrowed always manages to present a unique scenario throughout each of its thirteen stories without re-treading over too much tired ground.

Carmen’s prose is eloquently done in many areas. Her narrative voice both garish and ghastly. It weaves together such detailed environments and translates an ordinary sense of dread of a character into something borderline existential, adding a whole new dimension of fear. And it is in these fanciful descriptions, that Carmen’s strengths lie.

Her most notable work in the anthology, Thirsty Creatures, is where this narrative voice truly shines. With no spoken words and just the character’s recounting of a world long since past, while a new cosmic nightmare paving the way for its future, it makes for a dark and introspective piece of how the world came to ruin.

While the ideas behind Carmen’s work are creative and engaging conceptually, it is the execution where most of these narratives tend to suffer. The major issues being that throughout this selection there is a diversity in concepts, but not character.

In defense of Carmen, many scenarios she writes do serve as more homages to classic horror tropes only to serve some form of deconstruction later on, or act to set an intended archetypal tone. The faults in the writing stem from the characters birthed from these plotlines. Many protagonists, especially in the longer-winded stories really come across as one-note, either wildly successful to begin with and are nowhere lower than they were before or left in a victimized state for its entirety. It is understandable that with horror, a grand change in character growth is not always expected to happen and it is more focusing on the circumstances with which the characters are placed, but when these characters reflect many of the same traits and attitudes across all stories, it detracts most of the empathy as these characters feel less unique to their own worlds.

From the more technical side of things, Carmen needs to put more faith in her reader-base, as well as her own ability. Many of these stories are plagued with heavy expository segments, which only serve to bog down the pace of what are already short stories. A lot of the situation tends to be explained from early in the tale to half-way through where it presents the actual conflict, making for a more fragmented reading experience, and a diffusion of tension. Her worlds and premises lay a comprehensive stage and need not be explained further, one can parse her meaning without any further explanation from the characters themselves, which tends to make the worlds feel less authentic.

Above all it’s the dialogue that holds most of this expository behaviour. Characters explaining ad nauseum, which steals from the narrative voice, which Carmen has a knack for telling from. This adds further dissonance on top of the already jarring pace of some of these stories. Many times, characters reference pre-existing material as well in an off-handed referential fashion, which serves the story well if it is acting as a form of homage, but at times appears as an over-reliance, draining the confidence and individuality of the story to where it can’t stand on its own merits.

Something Borrowed, does have an interesting clash of horror stories, from the delightful romps of the B-movie, to the unnerving and rather real qualities of an urban legend. Carmen’s testament to horror is worth looking into, if you have that insatiable love of all things spooky. Though it may not be the greatest example, her descriptions alone do hold something of value for curious readers.

Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked can be found on Amazon!

Pin It on Pinterest