Stolen Away by Kristin Dearborn
I received a free copy of Stolen Away from Erin at Oh, for the Hook of a Book in return for an honest review and as part of the Hook of a Book Stolen Away publicity blog tour in which my blog Scarlet's Web is taking part.
Stolen Away is a hard one for me to review. I did like the story and I wanted to finish it but when I put it down I wasn't compelled to pick it back up. However, when I did pick it back up I slipped easily back into the story so I'm a bit conflicted.
The premise was interesting and different from most books covering this topic, and the characters, although I didn't particularly like them, were well fleshed out. The two main characters have a history together and we learn throughout the book just how much they have been through as a couple and how that history affects the choices they make during the current storyline. Some of their choices annoyed the heck out of me though and there were little things like how Trisha goes from her breasts being painfully engorged and having to express milk to ease the discomfort, to it not being mentioned at all, like she just turned off a tap. Or the interlude chapter for example, it was good by itself but the character it was referring to hadn't felt a part of the story for some time and it wasn't until I was a good bit through it that I realised it was Cherry, then she just disappears again for another long period of time. It pulled me out of the flow of the story. A similar thing happens with Barlows character, not in such an abrupt way as with Cherry but it has the same affect on the flow of the story.
The whole time I was reading I was very aware of everything going on around me, a good book draws you in and drowns that out, it wasn't holding my attention enough to have that effect. I felt at times like I was reading a nastier paranormal romance rather than a full blown horror story, which it shouldn't have because the demon rapes the main character to get her pregnant in the first place. I think it's because of the whole inner dialogue she had going on when she thought about what happened and how she looked at the time, and also the the fact that she refers to him as her demon lover. He raped her, there was nothing lover like about it. Especially after the event itself. I can understand it from the point of view of him playing with them, seducing them and pulling them in but afterwards, after the event itself, he's an abuser not her demon lover.
There were points in the story that I think stood out and were more what I would expect and hope to find in a story like this. The scene with the dog, the exorcisms and Tabatha's character come to mind, these were for me the better parts of the reading experience. Overall there wasn't the level of fear and terror I would expect. There were some nasty events and the characters had their lives turned upside down but I would have liked to have seen the emotional panic, terror and fear ramped up a bit more.
All in all it was on OK read and I'm glad I picked it up but I much preferred Dearborn's previous book Woman in White .
Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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Synopsis for Stolen Away
- Publication Date: June 24, 2016
- Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press
- Publication Length: 220 pages
Trisha will admit she's made a few mistakes in her life but that checkered past is behind her. She loves her kids, even if it's tough being a single mom. But her loyalties are put to the test when her infant son disappears in the middle of the night, and his big sister says a monster took him.
Now Trisha has to face the full truth behind the one-night-stand that produced Brayden in all its scaly torridness – Brayden's father wasn't human and isn't interested in sharing custody. However, even though DEMON has pulled this stunt many times before, he made a mistake when he chose Trisha. The one thing she won't do is give up her son without a fight. Along with her ex-boyfriend, Joel, Trisha is dragged back into the seedy underworld in a desperate fight to reclaim her son, only this time she's got a lot more to lose.About the Cover
The cover was created by Italian artist Daniele Serra. He is a winner of the British Fantasy Award and has worked with companies such as DC Comics, Image Comics, Cemetery Dance, Weird Tales Magazine and PS Publishing. Recently his work was featured as interior art in a scene of Stephen King’s The Cell, with Samuel Jackson looking it over. Visit his web site to see more of his art: http://www.multigrade.it
If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. Kristin has written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out.
She revels in comments like, “But you look so normal…how do you come up with that stuff?” A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!) she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Kristin’s latest DarkFuse release is Woman in White.
Find more about Kristin online at kristindearborn.com or Facebook.
Praise for Kristin Dearbon
“In Stolen Away, Kristin Dearborn writes with a confidence and ferocity that demands you keep turning pages. Where lesser writers would flinch and look away, Dearborn tells the tale the way it should be, with cruelty and fascination for both her characters and the story. Kristin Dearborn isn’t just a writer to watch, she’s a writer to watch out for. If she’s swinging, you might want to duck, because she hits hard!—Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain and Stranded
“Kristin Dearborn’s fast-paced horror thriller, Stolen Away, will possess readers as they strap in for a demonic thrill ride of sin and redemption.”—Stephanie M. Wytovich, author of An Exorcism of Angels
“Gripping nonstop suspense and unsettling horror that blazes the pages from start to finish. You’ll swear Stolen Away was written by a seasoned veteran of best-selling novels. Expect to want more after reading the second novel by Kristin Dearborn, an author whose work will shoot her straight to the top of reading lists.”—Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Evolutionist
“Kristin Dearborn catapults readers into an intricately layered world that is bleak and terrifying but never so damned as to be without hope or redemption. If the devil, so to speak, is in the details, then this book raises hell, exploring not just demons internal as well as external, but also all the beautiful, heart-wrenching, contradictorily complex, powerful little things that define human experience. This book earns a prominent place of the bookshelf of any fan of demonic fiction.” —Mary SanGiovanni, author of The Hollower trilogy and Chills
“Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with a monster I’ll never forget.” —Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards
“Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!” —Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night
“Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure
“Dearborn has a wonderful sense of the macabre, along with the ability to balance the spookier aspects of her work with well-rendered, solid characterizations…Sacrifice Island is a blazing fast read, with engaging characters and a compelling narrative.” —The Maine Edge
“Sacrifice Island is a fresh and interesting take on a tried and true horror setup.” —Examiner
Media, information and review copy provided as part of the Hook of a Book blog tour by Erin Al-Mehairi from Hook of a Book Media & Publicity.
Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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