Tag Archives: occult horror

Beyond the Stars and Shadows by Kristen Martin Review

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

A young assistant to an astrophysicist finds her world turned upside down after her professor disappears, along with dozens of others around the nation. Soon a mysterious young man working as an assistant to another professor arrives, and her perception of reality changes forever in author Kristen Martin’s “Beyond the Stars and Shadows”. 

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The Synopsis

The night sky holds more mystery than every continent on Earth combined—at least that’s what thirty-three-year-old Elara Friis believes. And why wouldn’t she, when she’s been named after one of Jupiter’s many moons?

A long-time assistant to astrophysicist Professor Haven at the University of Colorado Boulder, Elara’s unexpected change in employment status couldn’t come at a worse time. Even more unnerving is the sudden disappearance of her professor just minutes after their last conversation—not to mention the fact that she’s somehow traveled four days into the future . . . with no recollection of those days’ events.

As more professors begin to go missing and the police begin to ask questions, there’s yet another unexpected development in Elara’s life: one that goes by the name of Xero Sivalla. A fellow assistant at the university, Xero seems to have inside knowledge on not only the growing number of faculty disappearances, but on Elara herself.

As Elara spends more time with Xero, the more she discovers just how wrong her assumptions about life, the cosmos, and existence itself have been. Blurring the lines of reality is one thing, but cracking the entire Universe wide open? She should be so lucky—that is, unless it’s been predestined from the start.

The Review

This was such a compelling and engaging read right from the start. As anyone who knows me can attest, I love a wide variety of books. As such, I was so thrilled when the story I thought I was reading took off in such an exciting new direction. The author’s writing is so inviting and draws the reader into the narrative and the lives of the protagonist with ease. Elara is a truly fantastic character, well-rounded and while many books take their characters through a total evolution in their story, it was refreshing to see the narrative really hinged on the growth of the characters, making her story so much more interesting. 

What really drew me in though as a reader was the subject matter the book dealt in. While much of this book was fictional and truly mind-blowing, anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid fan of the paranormal. A lot of the subject matter the author discusses in the narrative are things that I myself have been researching over the last couple of years. For those who don’t know, I run a paranormal podcast and investigative team and will include a link to all our stuff here. What was so interesting was the inclusion of synchronicities. 

The big reason I got into studying and investigating things like synchronicities, the quantum consciousness, and similar scientific and spiritual theories that somehow connect the paranormal, UFO phenomena, and even cryptids, was because of a show called Hellier. If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll link the show here, but this documentary series has changed my whole perspective on how to treat the paranormal, energy, and the universe as a whole. 

This book really hit me like a synchronicity bomb, from the use of synchronicities to astral projection, the stars and even utilizing the Pleiades, which the blue star is something that comes up in the Hellier case later on. As the story progressed in this direction, I felt drawn further and further into the narrative until I was falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, and I couldn’t have been happier. 

The Verdict

A masterful, beautifully written and thought-provoking tale that blends fiction with the world of spiritual thinking and high strangeness, author Kristen Martin’s “Beyond the Stars and Shadows is a must-read book of 2021, and a contender for book of the year on my site. It really engaged me both as a reader and as a fan of the high strangeness aspect of her narrative, and I highly recommend you guys check this amazing readout for yourselves. Filled with great characters, a strong narrative, and a touch of passion and romance that keeps the readers invested in the protagonist’s story, be sure to grab your copy of this fantastic book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

KRISTEN MARTIN is a self-made creative entrepreneur, content creator, and the Amazon bestselling indie author of personal development books, Be Your Own #Goals and Soulflow, as well as the fiction works, The Alpha Drive and Shadow Crown.

Having worked in the corporate world for almost a decade, Kristen decided to pursue her vision of empowering women through her writing and content creation and, in just two years’ time, has grown what was once her “side hustle” into a full-time 6-figure creative business.

With her work reaching over 60,000 people via her YouTube channel and podcast, That Smart Hustle, Kristen regularly travels to speak and teach at conferences, workshops, and retreats across the globe.

She currently runs her business from her home base in North Houston, Texas.

http://www.kristenmartinbooks.com

LeRoux Manor by Liz Butcher Review

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

A young woman forced to move to a small English town after inheriting a massive manor from her deceased Uncle finds herself digging into the history of her family’s manor, and discovers a web of dark secrets that tie into her own past, present and future in author Liz Butcher’s “LeRoux Manor”. 

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The Synopsis

Camille’s father just inherited the family manor from his estranged uncle, forcing her to leave her friends and city life just before her senior year of high school for the small town of Woodville, England. After seeing a strange old woman lurking on the estate grounds, she embarks on a mission to uncover the history of her new home. What she finds is wilder than she could have imagined—the murder of her ancestor, Caleb LeRoux, on the same day his six-year-old daughter vanished without a trace. And an unforeseen connection to Camille herself, as the only female LeRoux born to the family in over two hundred years. With the help of her new school friends, Camille delves into the secrets of the manor, uncovering an all-encompassing truth that will change the entire course of her life—past, present, and future.

The Review

This was a well-written gothic horror story for young readers. This YA hit occult horror read did an amazing job of hitting readers immediately with a creepy and haunting introduction to a centuries old mystery, then slowly built the tension and the suspense in the modern-day story to keep readers invested throughout. 

The imagery used by author Liz Butcher really highlighted the classic gothic horror element of the story, with LaRoux Manor itself becoming so ingrained in the reader’s mind it became a character in its own right. The pacing and imagery all came together thanks to a strong story and fantastic character growth for protagonist Camille and her family and new friends, as she began to uncover the hidden secrets and haunting past of LeRoux Manor. 

The Verdict

A powerful, gripping YA Horror novel like no other, author Liz Butcher has established a wonderful tale in “LeRoux Manor”. Blending the great atmospheric nature of a good Gothic horror novel with the modern day mystery and suspense element made this story shine, and the shocking final chapter will leave readers reeling as the story concludes. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. She’s a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Liz enjoys road trips, astronomy, music and knitting.

https://lizbutcherauthor.wixsite.com/lizbutcher