Book Review: 12:07 The Sleeping, by L. Sydney Abel

Publisher:  Speaking Volumes     |     Publication date:   7th July 2015

The Sleeping 12:07Is this real life, or is it just fantasy? The Sleeping 12:07 is the point at which the two realms cross-over to create the stuff of nightmares.

It’s a play on psychological fantasy with an element of terror, incorporating a certain character regularly bending over at a filing cabinet in a highly suggestive manner. There’s also the deep and meaningful question of God vs Satan throughout, with a surreal battle of paranormal rivalry on the cards.

The characters include an elderly, sardonic soulless man who just keeps coming back, a enigmatic nun with more than a few odd habits (excuse the pun), two ladies, who I can’t recall whether they were ever fully clothed during the entire episode, then there’s Lance, Mr Night-Terror himself, enjoying himself quite regularly outside bouts of trippy torment. He’s aided by his poor, long suffering wife, who seems to have acquired a firearm during her role in this story. If I were her, I’d have used it to good effect on my cheating husband’s alter ego (James) long before I’d been dragged into his very own personal hell.

Anyway, the thread of it is: this unfortunate chap called Lance Lewisham, despite practicing psychiatry and trying to help other people with their ordeals, is finding he’s got major issues of his own. He’s been waking in a sweat at 12:07 a.m. after being visited by something terrifying called The Sleeping. He’s felt their presence since childhood, namely recalling an early visit by the mysterious Mr Green, who creepily has just moved next door to him and his wife.

Still with me? Good!

It appears that Mr Green’s role is primarily one of mediator between lance and The Sleeping because baby Lance was unwanted and subsequently given away. One of the roles of The Sleeping is to claim ‘the unwanted’. But Lance mustn’t give in no matter how bleak life seems, or he won’t be long for this world.  A spectacular meeting of good vs very, very bad will aim to release him from his miserable existence one way or another.

In principle the story was intriguing and I was curious to know how it all panned out. It involved a continual build-up to a crescendo of a finale. To get to that point, however, I found I was trawling through moments of erotic content that would occur at any given moment. While content of that nature is usually attributed to stories of this genre, personally I’d have liked to have seen the disturbing horror element being expanded upon much, much more.

All-in-all I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity by the author to read his work and I can appreciate the incredibly hard toil that was clearly poured into writing it, particularly as he has suffered from episodes of sleep paralysis himself – all credit to him for having the courage to write this book, as that itself takes some guts.

While it wasn’t quite as horrific as the cover had suggested, if you’re an fan of the ‘strange and unusual’ then it’s certainly worth a look.

Rating: 3/5

(My thanks to the author for generously providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

12:07 THE SLEEPING

THE SLEEPING have always come for The Unwanted… James would fight for his life many times – always winning and yet always fearing that anytime soon, it might be his last.

THE SLEEPING are guardians of the underworld who feed from the tormented souls sent there. In our world, they haunt those whom they believe belong in Hell.

THE SLEEPING enter our realm to claim their victim, until the wrongly-given soul is taken.

When The Custodian of ‘The Room of Truth’ is asked to perform a ritual of worship, loyalty to God and The Messenger are in conflict. The lives of The Unwanted, The Protector, The Messenger and 2 Pretty Things are assembled by divine invitation.

You know when they’re here… you can feel them. Remember; stay awake, because when they come for you and take you, there is no going back. If you give up fighting, then you might as well give up living…
_____________________________________________
The Unwanted – A person not created from want.

The Protector – The shield made from love.

The Custodian – The keeper of sins inside ‘The Room of Truth’.

The Messenger/The Key – Is someone who is at the bidding of The Sleeping. A soul for a soul.

The Pretty Things – Beauties of either gender.

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L Sydney AbelL. Sydney Abel is the pen name of Lawrence Abel. He was born and raised in Kingston upon Hull, England. He is married and has two grown-up children. He has written and illustrated several books for children and young adults, including Timothy Other: the boy who climbed Marzipan Mountain. L. Sydney Abel has recently ventured into the world of adult fiction, where experiences of the supernatural kind have stimulated his imagination.

His latest novel 12:07 The Sleeping, is based on personal experience of Sleep Paralysis or Old Hag Syndrome. This book reveals a creature with human shape, draped in death’s black, shrouding a white skull face; its eyes are hollow depths to hell. Lawrence calls this creature The Sleeping, as it comes for him whilst he sleeps, yet he feels wide-awake.

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Book Review: Alchemy – Turning Silver to Gold, By Chris James (Book 2)

Publisher:  Global Literary  |  Publication date: 14th December 2015  |  This edition:  Kindle

Alchemy 2 My Review

Alchemy turning silver to goldChris James continues Jacob Silver’s demise in the next instalment of ‘Alchemy’ with this surreal and imaginative Victorian world of dastardly deeds and murderous intentions.

In Book One, it was believed that the souls of ladies with certain traits could be captured to create an elixir, which would promise immortality to the person consuming it. Well, following lively courtroom exchanges, Jacob Silver was found guilty of being a wicked serial killer and had been sentenced to death.

Young Lizzie, whom Jacob unknowingly cured of consumption with his potions, never believed the verdict and vowed to clear his name, despite her father’s insistence that she should leave the damned thing alone.

This outing sees the battle to prove immortality exists and to discover the identity and whereabouts of the elusive professor, who coached Jacob in the dark science yet absconded without a trace when the arrests for murder of the ladies were being made. A mysterious, crooked villain is starting to make appearances at the site of many a hideous scene in Book Two. Despite the development of revolutionary techniques to gather evidence, this cloaked figure is one step ahead of the humble authorities, who bumble through the investigation with the lives of many a civilian in their hands.

There’s much more back history in this story. We’re transported hundreds of years into the past to offer an explanation how an Alchemist’s recipe for immortality came into existence and provide more plausibility of the science applied in the early 20th century and, more importantly, the reasons for the specific ingredients that were used.

Turning Silver to Gold is a blend of horror, fantasy, crime and history. It’s gritty and imaginative, and there’s some great character interaction – I loved it when Conan Doyle’s fabulous investigative medical services were called for to address the inexplicable. Then we discover that Queen Victoria isn’t fussed about bending the rules when it suits her, and I don’t think her subjects would be amused!

Although a new love interest is on the cards for Lizzie, knowing whether Jacob is innocent or guilty is always in the forefront of her mind – especially when she discovers his corpse is no longer secured in his coffin. History could easily repeat itself and someone may get away with murder…the question is – whose?

There are some great lines and bizarre occurrences, which it’s best not question, just set reality aside for a while and enjoy. I’d also strongly suggest you read Book One first, as you’ll appreciate Jacob Silver’s predicament much, much more.

Rating: 4/5

(My thanks to the author for providing an advanced copy of his book in exchange for review.)

Alchemy 2 Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

London ~ 1915

A sensational murder trial begins at the Old Bailey, the accused having apparently been hung for similar shocking murders, in 1895.

How had Jacob Silver escaped the hangman? Where was he, these last 20 years?

Lizzie Weston, his only surviving model, was convinced he was innocent the first time. But after the evidence against him unfolds, she’s sure he’s guilty this time.

Jacob Silver, having unravelled an ancient recipe in the old tome: Alchemy, is convinced he is immortal, and that’s how he survived the hanging. Improving his skills over the last 20 years, he now claims he can raise the dead.

The prosecution allege he murdered five more women for their souls ~ as Alchemy, the manual of murder prescribes.

But is anything as it seems?

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Alchemy 2 Author Links

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

A former murder squad detective in England, Chris was often the lead-detective in murder trials. No stranger to murder and the macabre, he was a regular contributor to British True Crime television series. He has maintained an interest in criminology his entire adult life.

In 2006 he moved from England to Mallorca, a beautiful Spanish island in the Mediterranean, where he is a keen yachtsman.

“Alchemy: a story of perfect murder” – is his debut novel, and the first of a trilogy.

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The Devil’s Detective, by Simon Kurt Unsworth

Publisher: Ebury, Del Rey UK  |  Published 12th March 2015  |  Edition: Kindle, via Netgalley

“Welcome to Hell, sir,” Thomas Fool said…

“Welcome?” asked Adam lightly, “No, there is no welcome here, I would hope, but only the opposite, the knowledge of pain and suffering and the distant chance of redemption.”

The Devil's Detective

Even Hell has its laws and the rules have just been broken: Enter, The Devil’s Detective.

Imagine a realm where slithering, foetid demons reside with their subservient humans, and the latter are called upon to provide pleasure and receive pain.

If you can, then welcome to Hell, a vile sadistic place where the sorrowful humans that are fished from the waters of limbo have no memory of their past deeds, or a say in their future – they merely ‘exist’ in fear. They are set to work as labourers in the fields to harvest rotten food, or are made available in the brothels to satisfy the demons’ desires.

There are frequent attacks on the humans, yet the patrols of The Information Men are seemingly powerless to prevent them all. Thomas Fool is one of those men, receiving reports of new crimes. Most of which are stamped as “DNI” (do not investigate). This is a practice that is widely accepted as the norm, as there are too many crimes care about – and after all, isn’t Hell all about sufferance anyway..?

As part of his duties, Thomas meets and greets four of Heaven’s delegates, a host of Angels. They are powerful and intimidating creatures, who arrive for a meeting with the council to grant Elevation from Hell to the chosen few.

The Devils Detective DEL REY

JUST LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES: Photo courtesy of Twitter: Via @DelReyUK

During their stay, the delegates discuss the names of the humans who may be released from their torment. As their negotiations are taking place, a heinous crime (even more heinous than normal) is committed. As an Information Man, Thomas is sent to investigate and gather more details. But he soon discovers that the crime committed against this human is more savage than anything he has witnessed before – and it’s not a case he can simply dismiss as a “DNI”.

As more murders are committed, the council set Thomas Fool the task of catching the culprit responsible. But no one is talking. Demons never tell the truth and humans fear for their lives. Soon he believes he’s being led a merry dance, or convinced he’s living up to his own name…

Being forced to grope in the dark to solve the murders I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, as he berates himself constantly. He affirms his lack of investigative experience in his own lowly and pathetic voice throughout the pages, you’ll often hear him think: ‘stupid little Fool’ and other similar insults, which he mutters to himself when he realises he’s getting either too confident, or just might be achieving something – either way it’s wrong to have positive thoughts in Hell, as suffering always comes first, doesn’t it?

The investigation progresses slowly, but he realises that something in this hellish place is beginning to shift, a shift that could affect them all, including Hell’s own ‘Fool’. The sorrowful, the collective name for the humans who dwell there, also feel this ripple of change, right down to the lowliest member of their condemned community.

This hellish crime story is told in four parts, which I devoured in two sittings (only because I HAD to sleep, or risk passing out).  There’s a generous helping of gore and horror, but not as much as I’d expected. And of course there’s a shed load of demonic entities roaming about for good measure. But come on, it is set in Hell after all and the writer’s done such a fine job of painting a wicked landscape for us to look at…

Will we hear more from The Devil’s Detective? I hope so, and SOON.

Rating: 4/5

(Many thanks to the publisher for providing the Kindle copy for review, via Netgalley (I’ve been waiting to read this book for sooooo long!)


You can follow the author on Twitter: @skunsworth | Publisher: @DelReyUK