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review 2018-08-20 18:06
The Nightmare Room Audiobook Review
The Nightmare Room - Chris Sorensen

I liked this book so much I read it twice! This time around I listened to the unabridged audiobook read by the author who just so happens to be a professional narrator himself. Since he's a pro and the material is his, his voice hits all the right notes. He's engaging, pleasant and unnervingly menacing when he needs to be and I recommend it highly! 4 1/2 Stars 

Here's my review of the story:

The Nightmare Room lives up to its title. It is a slowly building creepfest fueled by nightmares for the first half then picks up speed in its later half.

Peter and Hannah need a new start after a devastating loss and move back to Peter’s hometown to help with his ailing parents and to heal themselves. They move into a property that Peter’s dad purchased that is huge, old and in disrepair. Hannah loves the idea of the old home but Peter’s not so sure. 

"Hannah had gotten it wrong. This was not the sort of house featured on her home improvement show; this was every house in every horror movie he’d ever seen."

Despite his misgivings, Peter, who is an audiobook narrator, sets up his studio in the dark, dank basement and soon realizes that he may not be alone down there! Is it real or is he starting to lose his marbles?

I just loved some of the descriptions of the house. It makes me long for an old haunted house of my own.

". . . he was facing a narrow, grey door. A basement door. His vision had steadied and the room no longer moved about him. But the door… It’s breathing."

This is a decent little horror tale that has a lot of layers that reach far beyond the haunted house trappings. It deals with aging, grief and past regrets that come back to haunt. The main characters come across as real and imperfect and as a reader who needs decent characterization I really appreciated this. I did want to learn more about Peter’s birth mother because I’m nosy and have so many questions but perhaps that will happen in a prequel or sequel? I can only hope

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-21 19:02
The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen
The Nightmare Room - Chris Sorensen

The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After a personal tragedy strikes Peter and Hannah Larson, they find themselves picking up their lives and moving house. Said house isn't what it seems - something lurks within, seeming to originate from the dark and gloomy basement. As the presence continues to focus upon the two, its determination only grows, causing obvious and damaging rifts between husband and wife. It appears to already know Peter in some intimate way, and shocking, deeply hidden secrets soon come to light.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Chris Sorensen for giving me the opportunity!

This turned out to be an extremely difficult book for me to form a solid opinion on and subsequently rate. After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that I didn't really consider this one an outright horror novel, at least in regards to my own personal taste. When I instead thought of it as a supernatural tale with some horror elements, it made better sense in my mind. You see, in no way did I at all feel that uncomfortable, yet riveting unease that comes with something that ticks all the right boxes in the scary department. The typical tropes were there; the ghostly encounters, the ominous house, but something also felt missing and I had one hell of a time trying to figure out what. It could've been the absence of a sufficient build up, where time is given to properly establish a sense of dread, or maybe the haunting scenes merely didn't offer anything frightful. Essentially, it wasn't my sort of horror, I'd even go so far to say it was relatively tame in the scheme of things, yet I did appreciate the storytelling - twists included.

Peter and Hannah Larson were the sort of married couple you'd roll your eyes at - they were sickeningly perfect for each other. Their chemistry jumped out from the page, and despite dealing with the anguish of great loss, they found strength. They, of course, had their faults, which became evident throughout, but that only made them more relatable as people. I liked them, and I especially liked what Sorensen did with Peter. What revolved around Peter were secrets heavily linked to his past, and whilst the revelations kept coming, I too shared in Peter's shock. The two other characters that had a significant presence - that being Riggs and Ellen Marx, added a pleasant sprinkle of entertainment. I notably enjoyed Ellen's legitimacy at being an expert; she was no quack. If I could, I'd read a book all about her.

Despite the cleverness of some aspects, I can't deny that I felt that the story dragged at times. For me, there's nothing worse than feeling the onset of boredom, and there were moments that came dangerously close to that. I felt that the first half in particular could've used more time with the couple in the house, and less time in the Blind Rock bar for instance, which is where my interest really waned. I understand such scenes were for the benefit of character development, but my engagement primarily lay with Peter.

Sorensen's imagination certainly took me by surprise as I reached the end of Peter and Hannah's ordeal. Granted, the conclusion was all rather complicated, perhaps a little too complicated to understand right away, but it surely had a distinctive quality. It's rare that I come across an ending that changes everything so drastically, to the point where I need to pause and ponder over what I just read. I applaud the bold approach to implement such a memorable outcome.

In conclusion - Whilst the horror elements didn't do it for me, I mostly liked the story and background. It definitely had its ups and downs, but Sorensen is one author I'll be keeping my eye on.

Notable Scene:

The woman rushed toward him, and for a second he thought she was going to strike him him. Instead, she took his head in both of her hands and pressed her mouth over his. Peter felt her inhale abruptly - a reverse resuscitation.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/21/the-nightmare-room-by-chris-sorensen
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review 2018-04-21 04:24
Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
Her Darkest Nightmare (Dr. Evelyn Talbot Novels) - Brenda Novak

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was pretty good. It wasn't great but it was good. I have been excited about this book since I read the prequel novella Hanover House a couple of years ago. This is the first full length book in the Evelyn Talbot series but I do recommend reading the prequel novella first if at all possible since it really sets up the series well. I had a pretty good time with this book and was eager to learn how everything would work out in the end.

Evelyn Talbot has a lot of experience with psychopaths. As a teenager, her boyfriend killed her friends and almost killed her as well after torturing her for several days. As an adult, she has dedicated her life to learning more about psychopaths. She was the driving force behind opening Hanover House, a facility that houses and studies these individuals.

Sergeant Amarok is the local law enforcement. He is an Alaskan State Trooper and the only real authority in the town. He has to deal with dangerous weather condition and whatever other issues come up in the area. When it appears that a murder has occurred, he is the one tasked with figuring everything out.

This book had a lot of really great elements. It was an exciting story. There was more than a few scenes that really had me worried that things might go poorly for the characters. The mystery was rather complex and kept me guessing until the very end of the book. I liked the romance between Evelyn and Amarok. They really seemed perfect together and I loved how their personalities complimented each other.

There were a few things about the story that seemed a bit off. I did like the romance between Evelyn and Amarok but I didn't care for the way that it seemed to take over the rest of the story at times. The book spends a lot of time in Evelyn's head and she spent so much time thinking about Amarok. I kind of thought she should have been thinking about the murderer running around the town but that is just me. I also thought is was unrealistic that Amarok would have been left to deal with everything on his own. I would think that a murderer on the loose would have been enough to get a few reinforcements sent to his little town.

Therese Plummer did a great job with this book. I found the book to be a pretty quick listen that I really enjoyed. Overall, I think that the narrator did a nice job with the character voices although I did find a couple of the voices to be rather similar at first. I thought she did a great job with adding excitement to the book at just the right moments. I would definitely listen to this talented narrator again in the future.

I do recommend this book to others. This wasn't a perfect book but I had a lot of fun with it. I am really looking forward to finding out what else might threaten Evelyn and Hanover House very soon.

Initial Thoughts
This was good. Not great, but good. Right now I am giving it 3 stars but I may bump it to 4 after I give myself some time to think about it. The book focused on the romantic relationship of Evelyn just as much as the murders and corruption happening all around her. Some parts of the book were unbelievable although entertaining. I thought that the narrator did a good job with the story.

Book source: Audible purchase

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text 2018-04-20 13:16
Nightmare - Joan Lowery Nixon

Joan Lowery Nixon is the author of "Nightmare." Most of her 130+ books are mysteries, including "Nightmare."  She even said, "writing mysteries was even more fun than reading them. From what I read, she is extremely good at writing mysteries, and has gotten tons of awards for them. The Emily, the main character of "Nightmare," likes to be alone, just like Joan when she is writing her novels. The author's life lets me understand the weird plot of the book because Joan is very weird and likes to make her book similar to her experiences.   

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quote 2018-04-16 21:13
"She couldn't trust anyone. Not when she couldn't even trust her own childhood memories, which had been deeply buried behind the truth."
Nightmare - Joan Lowery Nixon

I have finished the book since my last blog post and I enjoyed the book. Anyways, I chose this this quote because I can relate to it a lot. Sometimes I feel like I can't trust anyone. When I do group projects I always want to trust my group, but they are never reliable. One thing that surprised me is the way Emily says it. In the book she usually trusts her friends, but in quote she doesn't even trust one of her best friends.

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