About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fun, Chilling Tale

The Haunted E-book
J. L. Bryan
Smashwords (2011), Mobi format,
Print length, 246 pages
Rated 4 stars of 5 possible

The Haunted E-book is a ghost story and a horror story... and, well, it's just plain spooky. Dee escapes her librarian job and her unfaithful boyfriend by reading romance and fantasy on her Kindle. One day, while looking for something new to read, she discovers The Haunted E-book and downloads a copy to her Kindle.

The author uses a "book within a book" technique to tell the story of Jonah, a 19th century tramp printer, who traveled the rails, taking on printing jobs wherever he went... His ghost awakens every time someone reads a book he created. During our reading of the book, we get to peek inside Dee's book and see just what's going on; and then, Dee discovers that the stories she has been reading are true...

There are a couple of things I really, really liked about this book.  First that Mr. Bryan brought the story into the 21st century by having at least two characters own and interact with a Kindle ereader... and another character has a netbook computer but one character also has an original vellum and leather-bound copy of Jonah's book, with it's eerily spooky origins that are revealed only later in the story. So, technology has it's place in this story, which we don't see often enough these days.

The second thing I really like is that some lesser known bits of real history are brought into the story (the bits about the tramp printer and the books bound in human skin have their basis in fact) which only adds to the fun, creepy feeling of this book; and that makes it a delight for those like me who adore the chilling tales; especially late at night. This also helps with the suspension of disbelief.

And that, of course leads to the one chapter that almost blew this story away for me, and the reason I dropped one star off the rating.  I won't go into too much detail here because I've already got one major spoiler in this review, and I don't like using lots of spoilers, so just let me say... that one chapter - the one that takes place aboard the airplane - not the bit near the end, but earlier in the book, before Dee meets Madison... was just too far off the path of believability.

In all, J. L. Bryan has a talent for sucking the reader deep into his books; and he doesn't let go.  The story is well told and, for the most part, well written, though I did see an error or two as I read through on my Kindle, but I was too wrapped up in the story to stop and make a note of just where the errors are located. They're small things anyway and if you're as wrapped up in the story as I was, the typos likely won't matter.

My standard warning on books like this: Contains some graphic scenes not recommended for younger readers or for people sensitive to the blood and gore that accompanies many horror/thriller type stories. If these kinds of scenes don't bother you, then yes, I highly recommend this book.  The author provided a free mobi format copy of this book upon which I based this review. This review is being simultaneously published on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Dragonviews, LibraryThing and wherever else I can manage to find space for it.

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