I’m on a brilliant blog tour today, brought to you by Anne Carter of Random Things Blog Tours. Today I am reviewing The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennet, published by Inkandescent. I feel honoured to be kicking off such a fabulous tour!
Pulped fiction just got a whole lot scarier…
Few books ever become loved. Most linger on undead, their sallow pages labyrinths of old, brittle stories and screeds of forgotten knowledge. And other things besides…
Paper-pale forms that rustle softly through their leaves. Ink-dark shapes swarming in shadow beneath faded type. And an invitation…
Harris delights in collecting the unloved. He wonders if you’d care to to donate. A small something for the odd, pale children no-one has seen. An old book, perchance? Neat is sweet; battered is better.
Broken spine or torn binding, stained or scarred – ugly doesn’t matter. Not a jot. And if you’ve left a little of yourself between the pages – a receipt or ticket, a mislaid letter, a scrawled note or number — that’s just perfect. He might call on you again.
Hangover Square meets Naked Lunch through the lens of a classic M. R. James ghost story. To hell and back again (and again) via Whitby, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your Mobius-trip.
Shops are delightful places. Especially those that sell books. They’re where a sea of endless knowledge gushes over the shelves, customers of all walks of life enthusiastically checking their contents. I feel very comfortable surrounded by books, and I expect the protagonist did too – that is, until he feels a presence beside him.
This quick and clever psychological horror messes with your mind and makes you second-guess everything. This is not your Stephen King-esque novel where literal vampires appear at your window, and scythe wielding children chase after you. Instead, Bennet creates horror and suspense by playing on the reader’s senses and series of events. The atmosphere becomes dark immediately and doesn’t let up. The author has created a fear of the imagination, leaving a strong impression on the reader’s mind.
Don’t let the size of this book fool you. Falling short of just 120 pages, this book is filled with tension, suspense, and an overwhelming feeling of terror. It made me think of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (the book, NOT the Netflix series). Like Jackson, Bennet creates a nightmare based on the subconscious of the reader. Intense emotions rise as you read this story, unsure of where the end will be.
I charged through this frightening tale in one sitting. The fast-paced dramatic narrative provides the reader with an urge to carry on. I couldn’t put it down! I thought that because the narrative is in first person, I was desperately clinging onto the protagonist’s every world. But then – how reliable is the narrator? Tricks of the mind begin to surface and the whimsical world of dread takes over.
I would recommend The Pale Ones for anyone who likes classic horror/terror with a contemporary twist. I think anyone who wants to read something a little bit different would be deeply satisfied by Bennet’s story, and will definitely send shivers down your spine! In summary I would say this book is a master of terror, tricking your senses and playing on your fear… Bennet is definitely one to watch!
How to get your hands on a copy:
Thank you to Anne Carter and Random Things Blog Tours for my place on the tour! Thank you to Inkandescent for my copy of The Pale Ones. I would love to work with you again!
About the author:
Bartholomew Richard Emenike Bennett was born in Leicester, the middle son of
an American father and English mother. He has studied and worked in the US
and New Zealand, and has a First Class Honours degree in Literature from the
University of East Anglia. The Pale Ones is his first published work, although
he has been writing fiction, long-form and short, since 2002.
• compelling parallels to Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected
• novella size perfect to read in one sitting on short journeys
• horror genre of specific interest to those drawn by weird tales and the occult
Thank you also to the author, Bartholomew Bennet.
Join the conversation:
Check out the rest of the tour below!
Feature image: Books Beyond The Story
All other images & about the author: Anne Carter
Happy reading! Lx