Sanctuary (Hell Hare House Short Reads Book Seven) By Michael J. Stiehl Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young man who has grown up in a monastery soon has his world turned upside down after the arrival of a young girl who holds the key to unlocking the secrets of his past and that of the Sanctuary he calls home in author Michael J. Stiehl’s “Sanctuary”, the seventh book in the Hell Hare House Short Reads series.


The Synopsis

Deep in an impenetrable swamp, lies the Sanctuary. Abandoned there as a child, Theobard has lived a quiet life among the Silent Brotherhood, a monastic sect that never speaks.

The arrival of Dellia, a beautiful golden-eyed girl with a secret, will change everything.

Her secret will expose Theobard’s true nature, and that of the Sanctuary, pulling apart the only world he has ever known, leaving nothing the same. 

The Review

The author did an incredible job of crafting a unique and captivating horror story. The tension and heaviness of the setting really captured the isolation and eerie silence that mirrored the monks and their dark secrets. The blending of different sub-genres of horror, from psychological thriller to creature features made this story feel very haunting and kept me on the edge of my seat.

The heart of this narrative however was a unique blend of the rich character dynamics and the chilling atmosphere the author was able to infuse into the narrative. The physical and emotional toll the twists and turns this story took on the protagonist and the connection he made to this new arrival emphasized the harrowing journey they found themselves on, and the atmospheric style of writing really honed in on the horrifying nature of the dark secrets this Sanctuary holds.

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, mesmerizing and entertaining, author Michael J. Stiehl’s “Sanctuary” is the perfect short horror read and the perfect continuation of the Hell Hare House Short Reads series. A brilliant blend of psychological thriller and horror, the fusion of gothic and isolated horror themes really brought the terror and heart-pounding action to life in the best way possible. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Michael J. Stiehl has had a lifelong passion for fiction, in particular horror, comics, adventure and science fiction, and is thrilled to finally be writing some of his own. Michael lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife, two kids and his very silly poodle Jack. When not writing fiction, Michael spends his time riding bikes, camping, reading books, obsessively listening to music and playing D&D with his friends. In short, he hasn’t changed a bit since junior high.


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