The Leak of Madness and The Darkness Within by Alice J. Black #bookreview #fantasy #horror #paranormal #ghosts

Title: The Leak of Madness

Author:  Alice J. Black

Publisher: The Parliament House

Publication Date: April 2, 2018

Page Count: 82

My rating: 3 stars

About the book:

The spirit world has been in touch with Peyton, and it’s more than she can tolerate. Sometimes their messages are loud enough even to pierce beyond the veil of her alcohol-induced stupors.

When she is invited to attend her best friend’s brother’s wedding at The Manor House, Peyton is compelled to stare down memories of her life before it was decimated by fire and tragedy. Continuously topping herself up with alcohol to keep the voices at bay, it becomes clearer and clearer that there are forces at work in the old building…shadows darker than Peyton could have ever imagined.

The Leak of Madness is the beginning of a thrilling, fast-paced series of horror novellas overflowing with intrigue, romance, redemption, and most importantly…ghosts.

Will Peyton find the normal life she could have if only she stops drinking or will the forces of evil drive her mad?

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The Leak of Madness by Alice J. Black is a prequel novella that opens up the Soul Seekers horror/paranormal fantasy series. The main character of the series, Peyton, can communicate with the spirits but this is not an ability that Peyton is a fan of.

This prequel introduces Peyton as struggling with an alcohol addiction that she has had for years to bury the voices of the spirits. Peyton’s best friend has invited her to her brother’s wedding but only asks that Peyton stay sober for the event but when the ghostly voices continue to haunt her Peyton doesn’t know if she can.

This is obviously a very quick read that was just enough to give a look into who Peyton is and a bit of a glimpse into her past. Readers find out that Peyton hides this ability and has for years with thinking others won’t believe her so instead of seeking help she drinks.

On one hand the author gave a bit of depth to Peyton and her issues but on the other I’d like to have found out more too. It seemed as if the book focused a lot on establishing the alcoholism and reasoning but only touched the paranormal/horror side but of course there will only be so much going on in a novella.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

Title: The Darkness Within

Author:  Alice J. Black

Publisher: The Parliament House

Publication Date: April 2, 2018

Page Count: 110

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

About the book:

The dead speak to Peyton. All her adult life, she’s used alcohol to drown out their spectral voices, but enough is enough! Peyton decides to turn her life around and stop drinking with the help of her best friend, Olivia. But without alcohol…the voices are back and they’re louder and more demanding than ever. But what do they want from her? Enlisting the help of local psychic, Sylvia, Peyton discovers that her weird ability…is actually a gift.

Just as she begins to settle in with the idea of accepting her ability, Peyton is thrust into a world of demons. The horror is paralyzing, and it soon becomes clear that it’s not just the voices of the dead that are going to haunt her. Peyton realizes that there is only one way to deal with her fears: facing them head on.

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The Darkness Within by Alice J. Black follows The Leak of Madness in the Soul Seeker horror/paranormal fantasy series. The story picks up with Peyton still drinking away her ability to communicate with the spirits the way we left her after the end of the first prequel novella.

Peyton now however wants to do something about the way her life has gone thus far and decides she needs help figuring out just why she hears the voices of the dead. While she’s concerned about being believed Peyton still breads down and tells her best friends just why she drinks and looks for answers with her help.

Reading the two books back to back did feel a little repetitive with yet another waking after drinking and establishing that character trait again. However, the story seemed to make a bit more progress this time and I did enjoy it a bit more that the opener novella as it didn’t feel as if it were missing the depth it had in the first. There were just questions I’d like to have addressed in that story and this felt a little more solid. It is still a rather short read but these do have an end and not total cliffhanger from one to the next although there’s obviously more for Peyton to expand on in the future.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Alice lives and works in the North East of England with her partner and slightly ferocious cats! Alice has always enjoyed writing from being a child when she used to carry notebooks and write stories no matter where she went. Nothing much has changed and she writes all manner of fiction with a tendency to lean towards the dark side. Most of her work is rooted in darkness, her inspiration coming from a macabre selection of reads as well as the dreams that frequent her sleep.
Her debut novel, The Doors, was released in 2014 and her next novel release, A Shadowed Beginning, the first part in a series of seven, was released in Autumn 2017. She is currently working on the Soul Seekers series. The prequel, The Leak of Madness, was released in Feb 2018 and they will continue to appear every two months. Several of her short stories have been included in anthologies with various presses and she is always working on more. When she’s not writing, she always has a book in her hand and will read from whatever genre suits her that day.

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