Thursday, 2 April 2015

Flesh and Blood (Red Eye Series #3) - Simon Cheshire; Review

Book Details:
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Stripes Publishing (2nd Mar 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1847154565
ISBN-13: 978-1847154569
Source: Purchased/Review/Gift


I must record the facts that have led me to where I am now. So that, when someone reads this, they understand. Sam Hunter's neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they're liars too. The Greenhills are hiding something and Sam's determined to find out what it is. As his investigation unfolds, he realizes the lies reach further than he ever imagined - is there anyone he can trust? Uncovering the horror is one thing ...escaping is another. 

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Todays review, after a much dreaded reading slump that has put me out of reviewing action, comes in the form of Flesh and Blood, by Simon Cheshire. This book is the third instalment in the Red Eye horror series by Stripes Publishing, in an effort to revive the love for the horror genre. The review for the first two books, Frozen Charlotte and Sleepless, can be found here and here. The final book, Bad Bones, by Graham Marks, will venture forth in May 2015. Here’s the perfect excerpt to define what this Red Eye series truly means: 

“Red Eye is the killer new YA series from Stripes Publishing. A fusion of pop culture, violence and technology, Red Eye gives horror a frighteningly contemporary makeover that teen readers will love. For fans of all things gruesome and ghastly – prepare to be scared out of your wits…

Thank you as always to Stripes Publishing team for letting me be a part of this series! Now, on to the review we go go go!

Flesh and Blood is narrated by 17 year old Sam, who moves into the quite suburban area of London with his parents. Let the typical London area setting drift in to your minds. As the family and he settle in to their new home and new school, things turn a take for the nasty when on the first day of school, there’s a dead body found at the school gates. Not the most inviting of entrances but I feel like that scene set the tone for me for the rest of the story. Told in flashbacks and editorialised writing from Sam, who’s ambitions of being a journalist can be seen in influencing his account of events, I found the narrative to be engaging and  reflective of Sam’s personality. A nice touch to engage the reader with the characters. Though Sam is pensive, smart, a good boy with good grades who makes friends fast, I felt something lacking in depth about his character overall. 

At times the story felt quite slow, but nearing the final third of the book, it really picked up pace, and the ending, I can only say, will be a love hate thing for readers. For me, I loved it, since it has been a while since I’ve read a book that took a turn down that road. It leaves me with a bittersweet feeling and somehow, just somehow, I figured that’s how things would end up because I felt like the alternatives wouldn’t be good enough to conclude the story. 

The statutory warning - “not for the faint hearted” that comes with the Red Eye series applies heavily to Flesh and Blood, and it isn’t something to be taken lightly. There’s a lot of gory moments in this book, which may make you squeamish. But then again, could you expect anything less from a horror story that’s aptly titled “Flesh and Blood”? 

Cheshire’s written a commendable and enjoyable piece with this book, and though I didn’t enjoy it as much as Frozen Charlotte, I will say all the right elements were present in Flesh and Blood to entice all other readers. The subtle air of paranoia, claustrophobia that was created within the community thanks to the Greenhills, was great to read and it really let the horror seep in to the story. A good read and a worthy addition to the Red Eye series which you all need to pick up now now now now now.

The next book in the series, Bad Bones, by Graham Marks will be coming out in May, followed by the final book in the series, Dark Room by Tom Becker, in September. As always, stay tuned to see reviews on those in due time. 

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