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The Haunted E-Book

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended-Hauntingly great!

    Wow. Just Wow...I somehow found my way to J.L.'s Blog the other day, where I read about this book's blog tour. I checked out a couple of links, reading interviews and such, and I found myself liking the hilarious interviews and just the general banter that the author supplied. Though it isn't true for all books, typically when I like the flow the author has in real life I like the way they write as well. This was no exception.

    The haunted e-book was everything you wan in a horror book. There was suspense, blood, gore, all that good stuff. But there was also a very good, intricately woven plot, something I find missing in many books lately. In addition,the story played on natural fears that many of us have, from the monster literally hiding under your bed, to the fear of being forgotten.

    The diction in the book bears notes of Stephen King-ism without being quite so graphic, though believe me, the book has its share of disturbing imagery. All together the creepy and disturbing air of the book lends itself to the plot, and the characterization of the villain Jonah. Definitely something you should pick up if you aren't afraid of spending a few nights staring into the dark for Jonah over your shoulder.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Good pulp horror from J.L. Bryan

    THE HAUNTED EBOOK by J.L. Bryan presents an interesting conundrum for the average reader. On the one hand, the plot is not much deeper than the average Nightmare On Elm Street movie, or at least the first installment of that series. We get the origin of Jonah and establish his modus operandi.

    We also get the Exceptional Female Heroine, who is just a bit brighter than Jonah's average victims and will present a challenge worthy of taking him out of his killing ways. So from a plot structure standpoint, THE HAUNTED EBOOK is not that dazzling. In fact, it could easily be considered pulp horror.

    However, there's bad pulp horror, and there's good pulp horror. One tends to forget that some of the finest voices in horror and science fiction of the 1940s and 1950s got their start in the classic pulp magazines of the day. Ray Bradbury, Issac Asimov, Richard Matheson and countless others.

    In that classic spirit, THE HAUNTED EBOOK is an example of good pulp horror. The prose is well-written, the plot and character development deftly handled, and the narrative contains an energy and verve that keeps the reader moving forward in a way that elevated the book above its pulpish structure.

    There already exists significant proof Bryan's voice is one that will be up to the challenge of taking on more challenging plot structures in the future. His books JENNY POX and TOMMY NIGHTMARE are prime examples of what he can and has achieved so far.

    That is the sense one gets when reading the "good pulp horror" that is THE HAUNTED EBOOK. That beneath the veneer of a rather standard plot structure lurks the heart of an outstanding genre writer, just yearning to break free.

    As such, while THE HAUNTED EBOOK isn't J.L. Bryan's best work, it's most certainly engaging, and is the work where you can detect him sharpening his skills for the greater works to come. Recommended.

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    Not worth your time

    I recently won an electronic copy or J. L. Bryan's The Haunted E-Book in exchange for a review. I have been a fan of horror since my first encounter at the age of nine, when my parents bought me The Complete Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe. Alongside Poe, I grew up with Stephen King, Peter Straub, and John Saul. I've never really been actually scared but the deep psychological thrillers always seemed to pique my interest. I hadn't been reading horror for quite some time now as Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and children's books have been capturing my attention lately.

    When I read the synopsis of the book I thought it might be intriguing. So, I began reading. Unfortunately, the synopsis was better written than the book. I only finished because I was obligated to write a review.

    You are introduced to the main character, Dee, in the first chapter but are not given enough time to get to know her, or connect with her before you are thrown into the book she is reading. You are hopelessly lost to find out who you are supposed to be rooting for here. Although, it is interesting that he tied them all together. The logic is not quite there.

    This leads me to the next issue of reading a book within a book, within a book. It was an interesting concept to be reading a book within a book. However, Bryan does not pass this off well enough. There is too much jumping between the books. To have each book titled the same as the main book with just different chapter numbers separating them is very trying just to keep those books straight. It is very confusing to keep the people, story, and characters straight.

    I was very disappointed with the lack of warning this book had in regards to the language and scenes. There were many adult oriented scenes that really had no place in the book. I understand, this is a "horror" book, but sex does not have to be a part of it. And the gore, well, I could see his descriptions of the "horror" scenes as nothing more than the "in your face kind of gore" you get with today's horror movies. Whatever happened to the ones that make you THINK? I mean, those are the TRUE horror!

    Bryan is not very colorful with his writing. He lacks the imagery necessary to keep the reader engaged. Most of his adjectives are repetitive and mundane. He also seems to lack the visionary of an editor. This does not even begin to touch on the fact that there are so many grammatical and spelling errors throughout this book. I feel it was poorly written and Bryan hurried to get it out in print, bypassing any editing process.

    My impression of this book is very poor. I can see this book as nothing more than Bryan's attempt at a novel during the NaNoWriMo challenge in November, where a writer challenges himself to produce a novel of 50,000 words in the span of thirty days. Just because you have accomplished writing 50,000 words does not mean that you've completed the task of writing a novel and it's ready for readers.

    I did a little research, as well. I found out that this book was published using "CreateSpace", which is a self-publishing tool. This leads me to the conclusion that my gut instincts were right. He has bypassed the whole editing/publishing process just so he could get his name and book in print. There are reasons we have editors. They help eliminate the grammatical and typographical errors this book is riddled with. There are also reasons why we have publishers. They help weed out nonsensical and poorly written stories. They know

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lilac Wolf and Stuff Review

    First off let me say this book is available on paperback, but come on, you have to read it electronically to get the full fear-factor!

    This book will take you on a ride. It jumps around with stories, within stories within stories. It's a mirrored effect of people reading about people reading the book. Dee is the main character, living in a small town with a loser boyfriend. She works as a librarian but is held back by a mixture of her color and being an outsider in town. She moved there because of a...very good friend of hers who died there.

    So she downloads this e-book and it takes over her life. The ghost in the book is all about murder and having his story be read. We move onto 4 other readers, but 2 of them are very short lived. After her boyfriend is believed murdered, she runs to find the other readers, to try and stop him. She first teams up with Elaine where she finds one of the original haunted books, The Story of Annabelle, and then she finds Madison. Will they finally stop him before it's too late?

    It does jump around but it isn't hard to follow. He plays with fonts and bold to show different chapters, if it's the regular chapter or the inside chapters. If you like a scary story, then download this bad-boy and leave the lights on.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    Fun, Chilling Tale

    The Haunted E-book is a ghost story and a horror story... and, well, it's just plain spooky. Dee escapes her librarian job and her unfaithful boyfriend by reading romance and fantasy on her Kindle. One day, while looking for something new to read, she discovers The Haunted E-book and downloads a copy to her Kindle. The author uses a "book within a book" technique to tell the story of Jonah, a 19th century tramp printer, who traveled the rails, taking on printing jobs wherever he went... His ghost awakens every time someone reads a book he created. During our reading of the book, we get to peek inside Dee's book and see just what's going on; and then, Dee discovers that the stories she has been reading are true...

    There are a couple of things I really, really liked about this book. First that Mr. Bryan brought the story into the 21st century by having at least two characters own and interact with a Kindle ereader... and another character has a netbook computer but one character also has an original vellum and leather-bound copy of Jonah's book, with it's eerily spooky origins that are revealed only later in the story. So, technology has it's place in this story, which we don't see often enough these days.

    The second thing I really like is that some lesser known bits of real history are brought into the story (the bits about the tramp printer and the books bound in human skin have their basis in fact) which only adds to the fun, creepy feeling of this book; and that makes it a delight for those like me who adore the chilling tales; especially late at night. This also helps with the suspension of disbelief.

    And that, of course leads to the one chapter that almost blew this story away for me, and the reason I dropped one star off the rating. I won't go into too much detail here because I've already got one major spoiler in this review, and I don't like using lots of spoilers, so just let me say... that one chapter - the one that takes place aboard the airplane - not the bit near the end, but earlier in the book, before Dee meets Madison... was just too far off the path of believability.

    In all, J. L. Bryan has a talent for sucking the reader deep into his books; and he doesn't let go. The story is well told and, for the most part, well written, though I did see an error or two as I read through on my Kindle, but I was too wrapped up in the story to stop and make a note of just where the errors are located. They're small things anyway and if you're as wrapped up in the story as I was, the typos likely won't matter.

    My standard warning on books like this: Contains some graphic scenes not recommended for younger readers or for people sensitive to the blood and gore that accompanies many horror/thriller type stories. If these kinds of scenes don't bother you, then yes, I highly recommend this book. The author provided a free mobi format copy of this book upon which I based this review. This review is being simultaneously published on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Dragonviews, LibraryThing and wherever else I can manage to find space for it.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Very Scary!

    This book isn't for the faint of heart. It's very creepy and has a very scary character that terrorizes the others. This is almost like a book within a book within a book. Even with the twists in this novel, it's still easy for the reader to follow what's going on. This is a great story and will keep you reading into the dead of night...if you dare.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A must read horror novel!

    For most of us, delving into a book is an escape, a temporary break from the mundane things that make up our reality. It can be a trip to another time, another place, another dimension, another reality. But can it also be something more? Can something as innocent as reading truly unleash an evil, unlike anything you could possibly imagine? If asked, I would say no, that reading is simply a journey from life. But after reading The Haunted E-book? I would have to question that answer. I love a book that spooks me that much!

    The Haunted E-book is easily the creepies and scariest book I have read in a very long time. It has all the components of a classically great horror novel,... blood, gore, suspense, and terror. The imagery is graphic and disturbing and lends itself perfectly to the overall horror of the plot. The multilayer plot was a creative technique, and extremely well done. There was not only the basic "story within a story", but several linear stories within the story, too. They were intricately woven together to form the whole of the novel, and could have muddied the flow of the story and the development of the plot. Instead, those layers added many layers of interest and texture to the overall story.

    Bryan is masterful at the development of his characters as real and believable people, and the characters in this novel were no exception. Jonah was the quintessential evildoer, ranging from quietly and coldly evil to violently and psychotically evil. He was equally as scary on either end of the spectrum, leaving you to never know which Jonah was going to manifest next. The readers of Jonah's story were also extremely well-developed, given the innate fears and problems that so many of us have in our own lives. They became real people, which give them an air of believability that completely sucks in the reader. That added to the delicious creepiness of the novel, making you, the reader, a part of the story. That in and of itself made the entire theme of the story all that much more believable, that much more possible.

    I also love that the ending wasn't perfectly wrapped in a bow for the reader. Questions were answered, loose ends brought together, but there wasn't the stereotypical, "the sun has come out again" conclusion for all of the main characters. That definately added to the edgy, creepy feel to the book.

    The combination of the graphic imagery and the expert building of the suspense is what made the book for me. Bryan's descriptive writing dragged me into the story, made it real for me. I felt the horror, the pain, the fear of the characters and I truly love a book that has the ability to do that for me. Key pieces to the mystery of the story were given in small doses, building the suspense and keeping the story engaging.

    NOTE: I would recommend this book to more mature audiences with a strong heart! The imagery, and some of the content, might not be appropriate to younger readers. I also recommend a light and the stuffed animal of your choice for comfort!!

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