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Shroud
Marisa Mohdi, author

Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

A hidden world. A wicked agenda. In 1948, John Sable leaves England and a painful past to start afresh in the Southeast Asian country of Nusantara. He then disappears without a trace in the rainforest behind his new home. After twenty years, John's shocked family finally receives a spine-chilling letter from him explaining what had really happened, and his role in the creation of something horrifying in the murky peat swamp forest.... Then in 1984, unsuspecting 15-year-old Gemma Guthrie and her uncle Norm arrive in Nusantara for what’s supposed to be a short research expedition. They soon find themselves trapped in an astonishing realm hidden deep in the ominous jungle, pursued and tormented by supernatural beings with an evil agenda. When Norm falls ill, Gemma must battle her crushing anxiety disorder and face frightening events alone to fight for their survival. Who is haunting them? What is the connection between John Sable and Gemma? How will Gemma's nightmare end? Find out in Shroud, a dark fantasy that will intrigue you until the very last page.
Reviews
Amazon

Jules Bearsong

5.0 out of 5 stars You won't want to put this book down!

Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2016

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Shroud is one of the most captivating novels that I've gotten a chance to read in a long time. This is definitely the kind of book that you'll pick up and you won't want to put down until you've finished it! Marisa Mohdi creates this incredible village of otherworldly creatures and a frightening lore around them that would make any person want to explore the forests where these creatures live. Unsuspecting Gemma and her uncle stumble into this world that is shrouded in the forest with none of the knowledge of the people that were trapped by it before.

Mohdi gives us the chance to glimpse into the other world through the eyes of those that were enchanted by it before and lost themselves to their desires. This is a story that really reminds you that not everything that glitters is gold. It takes courage, cunning, and bravery to see through the temptations that the people of Mahabayu offer and not everyone is able to fight against it.

Gemma, a 15 year old girl who has nothing in the world but her uncle, takes the reigns in this story. She quickly finds herself trying to understand what these people are, their politics, and their history. In order to save herself and her uncle, she'll have to use all of her wits and strength. There are many twists and turns in this book and you'll love all the surprises that Mohdi throws into this story. There is nothing predictable about Shroud. Prepare to stay on the edge of your seat!

After getting to read this story, I can honestly say that I hope that this becomes a longer series. I'd love to see Gemma come back and see what happens to the next generation that has to face the people called the Beloved.

 

Vermont ReviewerTop Contributor: Cooking

5.0 out of 5 stars Shroud a exciting read. 5 Stars. Well written

Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2016

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The author Marisa Mohdi is very well qualified to write this wonderful story entitled "Shroud." With the disappearance of John Sable in the rain forest, things really get interesting. With his marriage to Leila and the children who are born of them a new civilization comes into being. The world created by Marisa Mohdi is one that certainly goes beyond what we know to be true. The characters are well developed and the storyline is entertaining. Some of my favorite lines from the story. "This is a realm of powerful enchantments Gemma. You only have to believe."

"They were both playing the same game; trying to win each other's affections while harboring ill intentions." The djinn were experts at deception and telling untruths to get what they wanted. Awesome storytelling at its best. I look forward to reading more by this talented author. The reader will find the entrance to a world that is exciting and you will not want to leave until the last word is read. 5 Stars

 

J. Russell

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic novel! I reccomend it!

Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2016

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Wow!! Honestly I wasn't sure if I was going to get into this book but man I sure did! It starts off in a series of letters in 1948 from John to his sister Emily. After mourning the loss of his spouse Marie, John finds himself falling for a woman who people tel him is Djinn. But he can't help it and runs away with her and discovers a whole knew world. It is a terrifying world.

I was hooked from the very first letter. After the letters finish it switches to the point of view of Johns niece Gemma. Will Gemma find herself and her uncle Norm being haunted by the very same world? I seriously couldn't put this book down and read it in a day. It is suspenseful, exciting, and questions right and wrong. Very impressive novel.

 

Jeff Taylor

5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, fluid writing and good plot

Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2017

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Enjoyable book!

Great characters, fluid writing and good plot. Definitely not the boring stereotypical YA fare that seems to be flooding the market. I’m not a young adult and I enjoyed it. Mohdi does a great job developing her characters’ voices. Dark parts of the story are balanced with some amusing moments in other places. John Sable’s fate is horrific and Mohdi’s decision to write his tale in epistolary form makes it more intriguing. When I was done reading the letters I had an oh sh*t moment and had to continue to next part immediately. Gemma is a gutsy heroine with real-life problems that make her likeable and relatable. No mary-sues in this story. Twists and turns made me turn the pages non-stop and the ending was nicely done. I hope there is a sequel to this. I wanna know the fate of the Sables and how far Gemma’s ties to Mahabayu go. Would recommend this book to readers looking for some action from South east asia. Hope Mohdi continues writing.

 

Latoya Brown

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Mystery for the weekend

Reviewed in the United States on May 14, 2016

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I had to reread parts of the book because it went from 1st person to 3rd person narrative. This does not take away from the storyline. It was really good. I read this in 1 day - I tend to be a fast reader. I was disappointed to have it end, as with any good book.

John's journey is an intense one filled with mystery and intrigue. I hope this author will consider a follow up or a series to John's story. It was captivating. The letters from John to his sister seem to be a lot, but they help the story unfold as the mystery gets deeper.

Good reading for a weekend day. You will be in to it and trying to find clues along the way too.

 

Alanna

5.0 out of 5 stars Not One for the Supernatural, but Couldn’t Put It Down!

Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2016

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As a fellow writer, I’m always intrigued by mystery, and this book certainly didn’t leave me wanting more. From page one I was hooked on John’s story, and how his family cared enough to go after him. There are many life lessons contained within Shroud, including family values, how to find your inner strength, and where to turn when you think there is nowhere else to go. Because of the often frightening picture Marisa paints throughout the book, I wouldn’t recommend it to children. Adults looking for a good suspense novel should, however, definitely pick up this book.

 

marcus daniels

5.0 out of 5 stars Beware what lurks in the Rain Forest

Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2016

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Its a great story about Norm's niece 15 year's old named Gemma, and Norm. Gemma tries to figure out the people and there lifestyle and history in order to save herself. This book was full of surprises and twist and turns.It really makes you think about life in general.The world-building was great. I hope you enjoy this as much as i did.

 

Lucidity

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, unpredictable, and suspenseful

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 15, 2016

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I thought that it was very clever how the author set up the foundation for the book by means of an epistolary-novel influenced beginning. The letters sent back and forth from each of the characters helped me visualize and understand their personality types as well as how they each uniquely fit into the overall plot of the story. That being said, I do think that maybe this element would benefit by editing and placing the letters sporadically throughout the story – I think it would work really well with the type of mysterious/always-has-you-guessing type of plot that “Shroud” has. Either way, I still think it adds a lot of substance to the book and it is a big reason of what had me so interested in the beginning.

I dare not give away any spoilers, and I think the summary does an excellent job of giving curious readers just enough information about the story so I won’t comment too much on that. But I will say that I enjoyed the read and I also especially admire the character of Gemma, who I even found myself relating to in a several scenes (which is odd for me as I often have a hard time connecting personally with characters). In summary, “Shroud” has given me a great first impression of author Marisa Mohdi, and it has left me curious to see more of her writing. I hope to see more in the future.

 

Mrs. Y

5.0 out of 5 stars Master level storytelling with villains as scary as Stoker's vampires.

Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2019

Today’s review is on a book about temptation, fate, and trickery. This book has more tricks in it than a box of cereal my friends. So without further adieu, make sure you write to your sister to tell her how you are, don’t go below the floorboards no matter how much you are advised to, and please ease off the Jasmine perfume, it’s intense. It’s time for a review of “Shroud” by Marisa Mohdi.

...I felt the story had a very classical vein of villainy in it and was a beautiful homage to one of the masters of horror novels. “Shroud” was so very Stoker like in how it presents the creatures and world we are coming to. There are aching and longing, mixed with real evil and things that the main characters cannot stop. Seriously, I’m a huge fan of Stoker’s work. I love what he did to make Vampires dangerous and terrifying. I do feel that is what Marisa did here with her antagonists. Not only are they utterly terrifying that there are chilling and vile things going on that make your skin crawl to read. The main antagonist in the story, dare I say, villain, is foul in every form of the word. Every time I read him on the page I shivered, and that’s the sign of excellent writing.

I loved the action sequences in this book. I think the fighting stances, the weaponry used and even the abilities some of the characters had were done with precision. It’s rare that I have the opportunity to glow upon the deep love I have for fighting sequences and action, let alone dance, but it was wonderfully done in “Shroud.” The physical movements, space, taste, smells and touch was expertly detailed. I seriously believe that if you are working on a novel on how to write some sequences, you should read “Shroud” for ideas on how to better scope a fight or series of battles.

Overall, this was a wickedly entertaining novel that is packed with action, magic, mystery, and cautionary tales. I’m a superstitious person by nature, and I have a deep cautious streak. This book pinged every single one of my “No way, don’t go in there” buttons. Like a tourist watching the Scooby Doo bus drive toward the spooky mansion, I was shaking my head in awe at some of the things the main character did to try to bring safety to themselves in the first part of their story.

...There is a twist in this book, but I’m not saying where or how, but it was SO good. It was Kiser Soze levels of good, and it should be applauded. It takes a lot of work for a writer to come up with twists this unexpected, well layered and able to be sprung so nicely.

Goodreads

"Marisa Mohdi describes scenes in chilling details. The story is gripping and one cannot help but want to read on and on. This book is not for the faint-hearted nor is it for anyone with an active imagination. The different chapters will haunt you and play on your mind." Estrelita Grosse, Singapore
"The writer does an excellent job of pulling me in from the very beginning. The plot builds up with much intensity and is captivating. The characters are very realistic and you feel you begin to know them. I had a wonderful ride to the very last page!" Abode, United States
"I enjoyed the read and I also especially admire the character of Gemma, who I even found myself relating to in a several scenes (which is odd for me as I often have a hard time connecting personally with characters). In summary, "Shroud" has given me a great first impression of author Marisa Mohdi, and it has left me curious to see more of her writing. I hope to see more in the future." LCDK, United Kingdom
"A great story full of twists and turns about greed, temptation, despair, resilience and love for family." Rose, United States
"I loved the characters and found them relatable and believable on their own, but I also loved how they interacted with one another.... Besides story, the writing style of Mohdi was also fantastic.... I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves adventure stories, but is looking for something new and exciting." Michelle, United States
"Definitely, a page-turner, an exciting and edge-of-the-seat type of reading experience." Mary, United States
"...kept me spellbound till the end. She manages to plot an exciting mystery..." Esmeralda Soliano, Malaysia
"I especially loved the bits of romantic parts in it. I feel that they add a bit of balance to the whole story, so that it doesn't end up being too overly dark or sinister." Juliana, Malaysia
"5 stars" Catherine C. Benge, United States
"5 stars" Elena Rozario, Belgium
"5 stars" Azian, Malaysia
"5 stars" Sarah, United States

indieBRAG

We are proud to announce that SHROUD by Marisa Mohdi is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!

Readers' Favorite

"Mohdi's tale of an otherworldly realm in the jungle and its strange, dangerous inhabitants is engaging. This is definitely not just YA fiction - mature readers would find it an enjoyable read as well. The essence of Southeast Asia folklore is well-executed.... Shroud is a solid supernatural story." 

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