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review 2013-12-21 03:42
Blackbrooke by Emma Silver Review
Blackbrooke - Emma Silver

I was given a review copy by the author for an honest review. 

When I read that this was a Young Adult Horror I was a little skeptical in the beginning. I was rewarded with a wonderfully written story that kept drawing me in further and further until I reached the end. Do not let the label Young Adult fool you, this is a true YA Horror that will leave you speechless. The characters were amazing and I got connected to them early into the book. As I read through the story, following Liberty Connor and what she learns about Blackbrooke with the help of her friends, I was a bucket of emotions up to the last sentence. Emma Silver has created an amazing YA Horror that does not lack in its share of gore or nail biting scenes that have you at the edge of you seat.

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review 2013-06-13 00:00
Blackbrooke II: The Guardian - Emma Silv... Blackbrooke II: The Guardian - Emma Silver Holy shit!
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review 2013-06-06 00:00
Blackbrooke II: The Guardian
Blackbrooke II: The Guardian - Emma Silv... Blackbrooke II: The Guardian - Emma Silver Review to come on/near June 10th. 4.5 stars, rounding up to 5. YOU BROKE MY HEART, MS. SILVER.*********************************4.75 stars and rounding up to 5. This is a sequel obviously as it is titled Blackbrooke II. If you would like to know what I thought of Blackbrooke, please CLICK HERE. Unlike my other reviews, this one is probably going to have spoilers. I will try very hard to edit this over and over to try and eliminate them, but I just don’t know at this point. I just finished reading this. And…Emma Silver – you broke my heart. Please, please tell me that you fix this in book three. PLEASE FIX THIS IN BOOK THREE.This book opens the night of Gemma Jones’s walkout. It’s intense. It’s horrific. I don’t think the Crits are the true monsters; it’s Mr. Jones. He’s a monster. A total, unfeeling bastard of a monster. Reliving Gemma’s death with MORE information (I thought she was lying to her dad to try and garner sympathy but she wasn’t!) was harsh. But even harsher was moving to the Institute and the pain Liberty is going through emotionally, mentally, and physically at the hands of these bastards was just horrifying. Reliving Cassius’ torture at the hands of the Queens. The extreme guilt that Liberty is living with for handing over the boy she has fallen in love with. The claustrophobia torture Carl Evans puts her through. It is just horrifying.The gory attacks of the Crits and Lurkers and Hunters and Queens do not compare to what these human beings are doing to other human beings. It’s disgusting, it’s heart-wrenching, it’s utterly f**ked up. We are along for the ride as Liberty worries over Cassius’s well-being while being interrogated daily, forced to see her ex-boyfriend be all smoochy-face with someone else even though she’s in love with Cassius, it’s still gross and uncomfortable. OKAY! I won’t tell you anymore as you have to read it yourself; I do not want to kill the suspense.4.75 stars, rounding up to 5. If this book kept me up all night reading and I’m telling the author that she broke my heart, then why is it NOT a five star read fully? Really, dudes, just take it as a 5 star. But fine! If you want me to get all critical: My review copy had some grammatical errors here and there that threw me out of reader zone for a brief moment. Hopefully those will get fixed. Yes, I’m one of THOSE readers. And then…the real reason…look. Liberty Connor is a bad-ass heroine, right? For all intents and purposes, she’s a normal, 17 year old girl living in a tiny isolated town that just happens to have a monster problem. This girl decides to DO something about what is going on in her town. She picks up an ax, arms herself with a few friends who end up dying, GIVES THE LOVE OF HER LIFE OVER TO THE DAMN QUEENS, makes it to “the outside” and then is tortured and yet STILL fights again, right? So then…if she’s just learned she can’t trust her family, that Blackbrooke is seriously messed up, if she’s recognizing that she’s being interrogated by a good cop/bad cop routine, why the HELL is she so trusting of Dr Frank and Jeremiah? Why the HELL does she so easily believe that the Quadrangle is not bugged? DAMMIT LIBERTY. USE YOUR BRAIN. I KNOW YOU HAVE ONE…IT IS ONE OF YOUR GOOD QUALITIES. It annoyed me so much that I took a quarter star off. I hate having my heroine be stupid. I don't care if she IS just 17, well 18 years old now. As for breaking my heart, NOOOOOOOO. WHAT THE HELL? NOOOOOOOOOO. (edited a lot out here with specifics re relationships and conversations because you’ll hate me if I leave it in there.)Alright. I need book 3 now. My heart aches. I’m not a writer; there just can’t be a good outcome for this. Can there? PLEASE?I'm thankful that this is only going to be a trilogy. I don't know if my heart can take more.
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review 2013-04-02 00:00
Blackbrooke
Blackbrooke - Emma Silver Blackbrooke - Emma Silver Review to come. I'm a bit upset atm. Will come back to review tonight.******4.75 stars; I'm taking away a quarter star because dammit cliffhanger, now have to wait for the rest of the trilogy. DAMMIT.I am kidding. 5 full stars because dammit this was...just wow. I've been thinking about it all night. First the disclosure - I received this book from the author/publisher after seeing an offer for it. All they asked was that I review it when I'm finished, completely and honestly. As you can see above, I finished this book earlier tonight. I've had it for over a month, sitting in my kindle, but hadn't gotten a chance to read it yet. I am mentally kicking myself for not having read it earlier.I wasn't expecting it to be so...thorough and gruesome (not gory, but rather the ACQUIESCENCE...ARGH) and edge-of-the-seat-don't-talk-to-me-I'm-reading. Other horror books I've read have been scary, but they fizzle in the gore. Ms. Silver keeps the suspense up throughout, fully grasping my attention, inciting that little flare of anger when real life interrupts me from my reading. Blackbrooke, indeed, is like that movie The Village in that it is a sequestered little town surrounded by creepy, dark woods which house horrifying creatures. Blackbrooke citizens live by rules. Emma Silver opens the novel with the rules. There are 10 basic rules that all children learn. 1. No one is permitted outdoors after sunset.2. All blinds must be shut at nightfall, and not opened until the morning klaxon is heard.3. Triple glazing is required in all rooms.4. No one should be invited into your home that you do not know.5. When outdoors, children should be supervised at all times.6. Dark woodland areas are strictly out of bounds.7. Long hair must be worn in a tight bun at all times.8. Young people are not permitted to fornicate until they have been sworn in all of the Rules at age 18.9. Visitors to Blackbrooke must apply for a Vistor Pass and check in at the town border and check out upon exit.10. Any Blackbrooke residents wishing to leave cannot, under any circumstances, return. And after these 10 imposing rules, there are more they will discover at their swearing in day. And that's how the novel begins...I was nervous for Liberty in the flashback to when she was a little girl playing hide and go seek with her best friend, Cassius, hiding on the very edge of the woods. I gasped as she came face to face with a Crit, a Hunter. My brow furrowed in confusion as she wasn't harmed. And the ups and downs of this book began. Liberty, Gemma, Noah, and Gabriel are a tight group of friends, all 17, nearly 18. They've paired off into couples despite the Rules, although Liberty adheres to #8, the fear of breaking the Rules ingrained in her deeply. Her boyfriend, Gabriel, is understanding of this. They talk of their future, of leaving Blackbrooke and of seeing the world together. Gemma & Noah dream of the same, talking about their future, their marriage, and hope. And then the first assembly is called (first for us readers, anyway); a classmate, Cassius's good friend Xiang Li, has "walked out." They don't call it suicide in Blackbrooke; it's just "walking out." After dark, when you are supposed to be behind locked doors, people just "walk out." Yeah, that's creepy. There's sadness, but this horrifying kind of acceptance about it, too. It is SO hard to write this review without giving anything away. I think I must leave it at this: the book is a pageturner, bite your nails, shut up and let me read page turner. The suspense is wonderful, the horror top notch, the gore - well, it's really gross but there isn't an overabundance of it. There are moments of tenderness that just hit you. Moments of pure heartbreak. Just the right, perfect mix of everything. And the ending...holy shiitake the ending. Gabriel may be hot, but I'm totally on Team Cassius. This is Emma Silver's debut novel and part one of a trilogy? Ms. Silver...please, write faster. FASTER. I need to follow this to the end! P.S. If you're on goodreads and read my status update at 74%? Yeah, I totally did.
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review 2012-07-07 00:00
Blackbrooke
Blackbrooke - Emma Silver Blackbrooke - Emma Silver I was pretty blown away by this book. I love a good thriller, but it's hard to find a book with a good balance of real horror, suspense, humor, intrigue, and romance. Blackbrooke really does have it all. I loved it.The town of Blackbrooke is a highly guarded, gated off community that nobody leaves or enters without permission. The humans and Creatures (known as the Crits) in Blackbrooke have learned to live alongside each other. The humans own the daylight and the Crits come out at night. Any human outside at night is fair game for the Crits. Liberty Connor has lived her entire life in Blackbrooke. While it seems nice enough, with most people actually choosing to stay after they turn 18, Libby and her boyfriend, Gabriel, have made plans to leave Blackbrooke and travel the world. But then, Gabriel 'walks out'. A walk out in Blackbrooke is equivilent to suicide, giving yourself up to the Crits. But Libby doesn't believe it. She and Gabriel were happy with plans for a future together. Then more strange things start happening and Libby is determined to find the truth.Blackbrooke is a town where almost nothing is as it seems. Except for the creatures that come out at night. The Crits are definitely real. This makes the setting of Blackbrooke awesome. Everyone knows about the Crits and everyone has seen them. There is even an agreement between the humans and the Crits that has been in place for hundreds of years. The agreement allows humans to be outside during the day and the Crits to be out at night. The agreement is also what lead to the Rules. The Rules are in place to help keep the humans safe. But like all rules, many of them get broken.Liberty Connor is the female protagonist of the story and easily my favorite character. She's brave and smart and doesn't trust anyone but her very close friends. She is fiercely protective of her younger brother, and anyone else she thinks needs protecting. She's also a strict follower of all the Rules of Blackbrooke. Still, she wants to leave the town when she turned 18 and see the world with the boy she loves. But when strange things start happening and her friends start 'walking out', she becomes determined to discover the truth about her town and its history before anyone else 'walks out'.Cassius is Liberty's childhood best friend. He was someone that Libby thought needed protecting. He has Heterochromia and was picked on by the other kids. As they grew up, they grew apart. Libby found new friends who didn't like Cassius and Cassius went his own way, though always kept an eye out for Libby. Cassius grows up to be very tall, very smart, and very suspicious of their community. When they both end up with friends who have 'walked out', they come back together to find the answers to their question. I was definitely a fan of Cassius' throughout the book. The way he protected and supported Libby after Gabriel 'walked out' and the way he tried to deal with his feelings for her. I was also very impressed with his bravery and willingness to help, no matter what that meant for him. I wasn't a big fan of his and Libby's romance, though only because it happened about a week after Gabriel 'walked'. If it hadn't been so soon, I would have been much happier.A few of my other favorite characters included Denzil, Libby's employer and owner of the Blackbrooke Tourist Shop, Gemma, Libby's best friend, and Noah, Gemma's boyfriend. Libby, Gabriel, Gemma, and Noah make up the small group of friends that Libby loves and hangs out with almost exclusively. At first, their relationships seemed a bit shallow and convenient to me, but as the story progressed, it was easy to see how much they all loved and depended on each other. Gemma and Noah are the stereotypical beautiful girl and jock boyfriend. Their relationship seems to be completely based on all things physical, but it's actually much deeper than it that. Gabriel is handsome and quieter than Noah and loves Libby more than anyone. I wish we could have seen more of Gabriel because I really liked him and Libby together. Denzil is the only adult in this group of characters and provides a place for the friends to gather and begin their search for answers. He's quirky and funny and very protective of Libby. All of these secondary characters have much more depth than I thought they would. In the end, I loved them all.Overall, Blackbrooke was awesome. While I wasn't a huge fan of the timing of the romance between Libby and Cassius, there is very little else to be negative about. The story is original, exciting, suspenseful, thrilling, and very creepy. There is also a very shocking ending and a cliffhanger that some might not be too happy about. But it just means there's more Blackbrooke waiting for us! Since I could go on about Blackbrooke all day, I'll just wrap up by saying that if you are a fan of horror or thriller books, you need to check this book out. It will not disappoint.
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