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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 01/2020
  • 978-1732388031
  • 259 pages
  • $12.99
Bublish, Inc.
Service Provider
Nightshade's Requiem

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Publish)

Before she died, Cole Nightshade’s grandmother taught him how to keep his demons from coming out of their hiding places and wreaking havoc. But none of Nana’s lessons have prepared him for Saint Edwards Mental Asylum, where he’s landed after a foster-care placement gone wrong. Saint Edwards has a history of abuse and death that makes itself known to Cole in alarming ways. Walls containing the spirits of prior inmates scream in agony. Young women who once ran from monsters, or from their own pain, leap to their deaths again and again.The good news: Cole’s new friends on the pediatric ward believe him when he tells them what he sees. The bad news: they have a bigger problem than ghosts. For years, a creature known as the Creeper has been preying on kids in the asylum. Rumor has it that if you catch a glimpse of him, you die. And someone—or something—has been stalking Cole since his first night at Saint Edwards.
Reviews
Hains (Sleep in the Dust of the Earth) terrifies audiences with this fast-paced horror treat, the first of his Nightshade Chronicles. Cole Nightshade, an abused young boy who can see ghosts, is placed into an asylum after he is kicked out of foster care. Once there, Cole must fight for his sanity, but it’s not just the wailing voices from beyond that threaten to unravel his mind. Saint Edward’s State Asylum is rumored to house the Creeper, a monstrous creature that murders children. When the rumors prove more threatening with each passing night, Cole must battle his own inner demons to gain the strength he needs to survive.

Hains reveals Cole’s journey by pivoting between the present and 1962, the year Cole entered Saint Edward’s. The present-day sections allow readers moments of reflection and a chance to catch their breath, but the heart of the story is in the flashbacks, when Cole must navigate the supernatural as well as the real horrors of asylum life. Hains doesn’t hold back as he depicts the horrendous abuses the children endure at the hands of the staff members nominally employed to keep them safe, and mature themes such as sexual assault and suicide are woven into the characters’ stories, making this an intense reading experience. The villain is particularly gnarly, and readers with sensitive stomachs should steel themselves.

Those wrenching components aside, Cole’s engaging inner journey has the effect of softening the gruesome elements, making him a character readers will champion. The tension is potent from the dynamic opening sentence—“The blood seeping down the back of his throat had slowed considerably, so that crappy taste in his mouth wasn’t as bad anymore”—to a thrilling conclusion that will engross horror readers. Those looking for a chilling tale with a ghastly villain will find themselves locked into this gripping terror.

Takeaway: Horror enthusiasts with no aversion to gore will find themselves riveted by the high drama and dynamic characters in this decades-crossing nail-biter.

Great for fans of: Madeleine Roux, Amy Lukavics’s Nightingale.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 01/2020
  • 978-1732388031
  • 259 pages
  • $12.99

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