**Review** That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White & Zombies by Rob E. Boley

That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White & Zombies (Scary Tales, #1)

That Risen Snow has a twist on the Snow White fairytale and is to be read as a sequel to the original, albeit adult readers only (17yrs+). Complete with Snow White, the seven dwarves, the prince and the evil Queen it is a quirky horror story that will certainly be a treat for Halloween!! This is  Rob Boley’s debut novel, published earlier in 2014 by StoneGate Ink. And the first in The Scary Tales series.

BLURB: The zombie sequel to Snow White begins where the classic fairy tale ends, with the Prince’s kiss waking Snow from her cursed slumber. Snow wakes up, but she doesn’t wake up right.

Now a deranged zombie, Snow infects both the Prince and the seven dwarfs’ leader. That leaves the young dwarf Grouchy, who is secretly in love with Snow, to find a cure for her malicious curse. So begins an epic journey that pits the lovesick Grouchy against dwarf-hating human soldiers, Snow’s ever-growing zombie horde, and his own bad temper. But when Grouchy and his motley crew of survivors escape Snow’s clutches and seek refuge in a nearby human village, he soon finds that her affliction has spread faster and further then he ever could have imagined. Snow is hell-bent on spreading her horrid curse across the land, and it’s up to Grouchy to stop her before it’s too late.

So begins THE SCARY TALES, a dark fantasy series featuring mash-ups of traditional fairy tale characters and classic horror monsters.

REVIEW

Trick or treat? That Risen Snow is a brilliant combination of horror, quirkiness and fairytale, although certainly for the adult reader! It is definitely a ‘treat’ in my opinion. I imagined the dwarves to be scared for their life in a truly dark, life threatening and terrifying horror, filled with blood, guts and gore. Although this was a part of the story, what really surprised me was the fun and humour content as well as the heart-warming feelings that Grouchy has for Snow White.

The dwarves are like you have never imagined, with bad language and sarcasm, but these moments add another element. They are not typical of the dwarves we are familiar with, but in fact have characteristics of real people, which I loved. Even Snow White wasn’t as graceful and elegant as one would think!

The layout of the story is interesting too, with chapters written from the different character’s perspectives. The reader learns what is happening with each character which keeps the reader informed and able to see where the author is going, and suspense can be built-up from this. Another area of the story which fascinated me were the flashbacks. The flashbacks were mostly Grouchy’s personal thoughts and feelings towards Snow since she came to their cottage. The reader feels the growth of affection that Grouchy has for Snow and begins to understand why he wants to find a cure for her curse, rather than just be rid of her and the undead.

After reading this you will certainly feel that you know the dwarves more personally than ever before. From the past thoughts and dialogue between the dwarves we are made aware that they have all been having private discussions with their leader, Bones. Each dwarf has their own problem and obstacle that they need to overcome and Bones was helping them with this. Merry’s story was one that touched me, as we learn that he longed to be trusted and respected by the others. Bones gave him tasks to do to make him feel worthy and needed, but once their life changes and they are being chased by the undead Grouchy tells Merry how it really is. It is then up to Merry to either pity himself or do something about it.

Battson, a dwarf-hating human soldier working with the Prince, is, initially, an unlikeable character who would prefer to see the dwarves harmed in a typical encounter. Yet, as the story unfolds and continues into a survival story, the war between human soldiers and dwarves is swept aside as they begin to work together to keep the remaining survivors alive and hopefully find a cure for this disease that their friends are suffering from. Battson does begin to slowly show a quiet, heroic side which changes the readers opinion into respecting and admiring him for his new-found quality.

Although an extremely trying time of desperation, hardship and fear, the reader does not be given many opportunities to feel the tragedy and terror due to the humour and fun way in which it That Risen Snow is written. However, as the story continues, and more dwarves and soldiers are turning, it does become a little more serious and desperate for the remaining survivors. The reader is left on a hanger at the end, and I for one really want to know the outcome in the sequel, That Wicked Apple! Grouchy has come so far, and for the reader to walk away at this point would be like leaving him there for the curse to take him too!!

A copy of That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White & Zombies was provided by the author, Rob E. Boley, for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

You can check out our SPOLIGHT for That Risen Snow with author bio for Rob E. Boley, along with extracts of more reviews here.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

‘Control (The Soul of Voodoo #1)’ by M.C. Lavocat

Control (The Soul of Voodoo, #1)If you like to be up close and personal to the characters in a saucy sort of way, as well as have the added bonus of some fun, quirky comedy and dark paranormal goings on, then this is definitely a great book for you! Things are not always as they seem at the beginning of ‘Control’, as the reader and the characters become more and more drawn to darker sides – leaving us baffled, scared and tense. ‘Control’ is packed with romance, fun and horror as it opens up to reveal a deep, dark paranormal entity. Due to the passion and horror I would recommend this novel as a more adult read, possibly 16 years+.

The main focus is on Cecelia Milonas.  Studying neuroscience for her doctoral program, Cecilia also revelled in a social life and yet was still able to maintain good grades. Many were jealous of her and she had just about had enough of studying and dealing with her fellow students and so decided to leave. However, there is more to Cecilia as she is a ‘Foxy Lady’ as Jimi Hendrix would say. She has curves in all the right places that any woman would be jealous of and any man would admire.

It isn’t too long after leaving her doctoral program that Cecilia begins a hot and saucy, lustful relationship with her landlord, boss and panty-melter, Andre St. Clair. This is a guy she has yearned for but has never thought that anything would become of her feelings for him. Andre was her friend but he didn’t date anyone. His mind was in his business. As their relationship grows it becomes more and more intense and passionate and Andre in particular is becoming addicted and obsessed with Cecilia – he is burning for her. It is the intensity and passion here that reminded me a little of Fifty Shades of Grey! Hot! Hot! Hot!

And then there is Lance Bradley.  Aside from Cecilia, Lance is my favourite character. Whether it be destiny or a curse, Lance is drawn to Cecilia in ways that he cannot explain. His first introduction with her was so slight and yet he couldn’t remove her from his mind and had to follow his instinct to find a way to be with her. He would not force the issue but he was around enough to remind her of him to the point that at times she could not forget about him. (Whereas Andre is the tall, dark handsome type, who appears quite slick and smooth, Lance is very masculine and rugged with an athletic/muscular body.)

James is Cecilia’s best friend and in many ways he reminds me of the character Lafayette in True Blood. His character provides a great deal of the comedy, especially when mixed with Cecilia and/or Lance. James could quite easily be your best friend as he is very jovial. He knows how to lighten the mood and creates a good vibe. His friendship with Cecilia is so close that he is aware of her emotions and can sense the atmosphere/mood she is in and when something is up with her. However, these senses become a much deeper aspect the further the story goes on.

The story is written from Cecilia’s point of view and from Lance’s. I love this as the reader can connect to both characters from early on and understand their feelings and decisions. The relationship of Cecilia and Lance is magnetic and whether they want to or not it is almost inevitable that something could possibly happen between them. However, Cecilia is with Andre and even though their relationship can be tense at times she still wants to make it work with him, after all he is the panty-melter and the guy she has been wanting for three whole years.

In many ways the first part of ‘Control’ can appear to be a romantic love triangle situation but as the reader gets sucked in too, by the spell, we realise that it is so much more; where lives are at stake, time is not as it seems and people’s destiny’s are affected! There is nothing we can do to prevent it – or so it seems – but we have to find a way! A curse, a spell, voodoo even is considered when darker events take place and the ‘control’ or lack of it goes to a complete extreme. This is a must-read for those that love dark, paranormal horror, mixed with comedy and romance!

The second novel of the series, ‘Power’ will be released in the near future and as ‘Control’ has left me on tenterhooks at the edge of my seat, I simply need to know how the story can move forward.

For more information on M.C. Lavocat and/or ‘The Soul of Voodoo series please visit www.soulofvoodoo.wordpress.com

Cover artwork by Sugar Magnolia Photography

‘Control (The Soul of Voodoo #1)’ was received by myself gratefully, from M.C. Lavocat, in return for an honest and fair review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker