Book Review: Building 51 – Jennifer L. Place

Preamble

Jennifer L. Place is a native of the Hudson Valley in New York. Her most recent book ‘Building 51‘, is based on a real abandoned asylum, in which the titled ‘Building 51″ is part of.

Building 51 - Jennifer L. Place
Building 51 – Jennifer L. Place

Having grown up in an area with this forgotten hospital Jennifer confesses she’s had an interest in it since childhood. It loomed in the background, and although she’d written 3 other successful books, the time came to invest in her curiosity.

She organised a tour of the sprawling campus and this shows throughout the book. Her knowledge of the grounds enhances the atmosphere of the novel. This is further boosted by accurate historical information displayed throughout. Evidence from the hospitals 140 years of life and beyond provides us with the chilling truth. Nothing that despicable ever dies.

Building 51 - Jennifer Place
Building 51 – Jennifer L. Place

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about the author herself, please feel free to head over to her website which can be found here.

 

 

 

 

The Review

As a lover of the horror genre, my initial approach to any novel within its scope is tentative. Unlike softer genres such as comedy or romance, when horror is bad, it’s awful. Therefore I was delighted to find that this story, while formulated in a classic Building 51 - Jennifer L. Placetrope, has new ideas and scares to offer. The opening shot sets group dynamics of 7 friends. They’re young, carefree, and mischievous, perfectly positioned for pain. Place jumps right into the guts of the matter as they plan to explore the abandoned hospital.

While you may make some predictions, you will not fully guess the ending. We are treated to complex character arcs, without an over indulgencing in flashbacks.  You can tell the author’s imagination is well-developed and her days pondering over the dilapidated hospital is apparent.

*Ahead there be spoilers!!!*

The ‘love’ triangle’ which plagues 3 of the characters adds to the story agreeably. I have often found this tool to be cumbersome, however, without it, the characters may have behaved differently. Place directs her characters and ultimately people break off into groups. Which you should never do in a horror story, don’t they know they’re in a book?! Although Place dips into classic horror analogies there are times the characters poke fun at this and do not make the decisions we would expect them to make.

Another theme I really loved was the classic blood ‘wakes’ the beast. It shows Place really thought about ‘the why’ when she wrote this book. The 7(also a classic horror number) friends are not just attacked because they dare to wander the grounds of the hospital. It’s is an incident where blood is spilled which causes the hospital to rouse from its slumber, and welcome its new guests.

The grandmother’s introduction was seamless and the throwback to her at the end was inspired. I think this is a sensational read and you won’t want to put the book down. So make sure you’re sitting comfortably with your beverage of choice before you embark.

Anything Else?

Yes, you can find Jennifer L. Place on all the usual platforms, and I’ve linked much of her media below. She has other books if horror is not your fancy, as you can see, so go buy one of those. You won’t be disappointed, and once again, thanks for reading Moonlings!

Building 51 - Jennifer Place
Building 51 – Jennifer Place

 

 

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Indie Reviews: Lee Hall

Preamble

Being a writer can be arduous. You have to power through imposter syndrome. Next, you have the fun exercise of convincing your family and friends that you really are a writer. Finally, after all of that, when you’re emotionally and physically exhausted, you need to take on the world.

It is my opinion, that you shouldn’t need to get the word out alone, and authors should support each other. Someone who embodies this wholeheartedly is indie author Lee Hall. If you didn’t know already Lee Hall, who works a day job, while writing awesome books on the side, also manages to read and review fellow indie authors. How he finds all the time for all of this astounds me.

On his website Lee’s Hall of Information, he has a section dedicated to indie reviews which can be found here. So what could be better than to give some of that love back by reviewing both of his books I have read. I also have a third book, so watch this space.

*warning, spoilers lay ahead!*

The Teleporter

We’ve all read the superhero books, and with the war between Marvel and D.C, it’s hard to imagine a place for a new superhero. In the midst of all that Lee Hall manages to slip in Kurt Wiseman. He’s not a regular hero, he’s not even an anti-hero, he’s just a guy.

The Teleporter - Lee Hall
The Teleporter – Lee Hall

He certainly doesn’t scream superhero. He’s a lazy drunk who doesn’t have much going for him. He gets transformed into the Teleporter by falling into a vat of goo at work. This provides him with the handy ability to teleport short distances, once he has been there before.

While he starts out by taunting bouncers who have mistreated a patron, he soon realises that there are more duties involved than simply causing a scene outside of a bar. He finds that his drinking diminishes his power and he nearly gets one of his friends hurt.

We are also offered a strong female character who doesn’t need Wiseman to get her story, she is a journalist extraordinaire. The noir superhero trope is heartily made fun of and we come away feeling refreshed in a world where superheroes are more than often imperious. Wiseman just comes out and says it, sometimes being a superhero sucks.

Here is my review on Amazon:

The Teleporter - Lee Hall
The Teleporter – Lee Hall

Darke Blood

As a fan of vampires and their lore, I always welcome a new story surrounding them. In this intriguing new perspective, you can see Hall’s influences shining through. The classics such as Stoker and the modern such as Whedon (yes you guessed it, BTVS). The story immediately begins with intrigue, and you are hooked by the main character Blake Malone. He is the classic new kind in town, except Malone not only a stranger to everyone in Darke Heath, but to himself as well. He can’t remember anything before he arrived.

Darke Blood - Lee Hall
Darke Blood – Lee Hall

Throughout the book, we are fed a back story from (in my opinion) the true protagonist, Caitlyn. We discover early on that she is a vampire, and although she is happily kicking ‘amp (vampire) ass in Darke Heath, she wasn’t always this pure soul. When we find out how she came to be a vampire along with her sordid past, and we feel very uncomfortable about it.

As the tale unfolds we are introduced to more of the mystery and intrigue. The book is ‘un-put-down-able’ as the reviewers say, and the ending is more than enough to wait for.

Here is my review on Amazon:

Lee Hall - Darke Blood
Lee Hall – Darke Blood

In Conclusion

Could y’all please head over to Lee Hall’s blog and follow him? He’s so close to 200 followers and he really deserves it. He does more for reviewing fellow indie authors than anyone I know. Also he has a new book coming out soon and you won’t want to miss that. He has more than enough books to choose from, and I’m already on my way to reading them all (like Pokémon). All his links are below.

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To quote my favourite musician Zac Brown 'ain't nothin like the real thing' 4 books published before turning 30 is pretty good going, 2 of which came out this year! Now comes the real work, promoting and convincing readers to read them. You've probably noticed I went hard on the promoting side of things recently and that's gonna slow down for a while. It's up to you guys now to spread the word whilst I take on my next project which I'm dramatically staring at in this totally non staged photo. Just what that project is you'll have to wait and see but it's not a book. Let's just say it's more of an adaptation… and remember folks don't ever accept fruit from strangers… #spoliers #cemeteryhouseselfie #bookselfie #bookrelease #paperback #rockandroll #zacbrown #zacbrownband #inspiration #indieauthorsofinstagram #bookinstagram #amwriting #horror #ceneteryhouse #writerslife

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Website:

https://leehallwriter.com/

https://leehallwriter.com/indie-book-reviews/

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071LDYX1L?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1550696734&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref_=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true&sr=8-3

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@this_is_lee_hall

Twitter:

@lhallwriter

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