TITLE : The Apparition Phase
AUTHOR : Will Maclean
GENRE : Horror, Gothic, Historical Fiction
FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐⭐( 4 Stars)
DATE OF PUBLISHING : 15 Oct 2020
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for providing me with a review copy of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
The Apparition Phase by Will Maclean is gothic horror fiction. I am not a big fan of horror in general because I am a wimp when it comes to the genre. But for some reason, I wanted to read this one when I saw it on NetGalley. It had similar themes to Girls Of Brackenhill and Home Before Dark. The secluded gothic-looking mansion in the countryside, surrounded by forest, ghosts, and supernatural events…Ring any bells?? So it is safe to say I was intrigued. It was spooky and dark!!
The story is about Tim and Abi, two teenage twins obsessed with ghosts, hauntings, folklore, and supernatural events. They love spending their evenings reading everything on these topics. The two of them were inseparable and always preferred each other’s company over others. One day, Abi and Tim decide to fake a ghost photograph and show it to one of their classmates. This unravels a chain of events that changes both of their fates in unfathomable ways. What started out as a fun and careless prank brings dangers into their lives.
The story setting and the writing was very atmospheric and eerie. The gothic vibe was ever-present throughout the book. The dark and creepy, hair-rising moments felt very real to me, and I loved the pacing, as well. It wasn’t too slow or too fast. I found that it was the right speed for a book like this. The attic, the mansion all added to the story very well. The prophecies, background ghost stories were all amazing to read about. I also loved how seances, ghost hunting exercises, spooky, and strange noises made it very real. The real-life stories included in the book were a marvelous addition to the novel, making it even more fascinating.
Tim is lost, and his journey forward shows his desperation to find answers to the strange occurrences around him. He wanted to know if the experiences are just a figment of his imagination or if they were real. During this quest to answer these questions, he finds himself pulled into the deep end of mysterious events. The story also urges the readers to ask ourselves what’s real and what’s created by our fear. Can the events be a part of darker elements at play, or is it a well-planned fraud to create hysteria in the people of the house? The supernatural occurrences or what seemed to be part of it did keep me on the edge of my seat, and I was intrigued by the whole story. The epilogue was alone enough to unsettle me.
Overall I had a great time reading this. It was engaging, entertaining, creepy, and unsettling all in one go. The disturbing sequences of events will make you question what’s real and what’s a product of imagination. If you love horror stories, with creepy houses, atmospheric writing, and unnerving instances that cannot be explained by science you might want to give this a try. I gave the book 4 stars. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s not a scary book, but a macabre and engrossing one.
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An atmospheric and stunning literary debut, reminiscent of the gothic suspense of Shirley Jackson and the ghost stories of MR James.
Tim and Abi have always been different from their peers. Precociously bright, they spend their evenings in their parents’ attic discussing the macabre and unexplained, zealously rereading books on folklore, hauntings and the supernatural. In particular, they are obsessed with photographs of ghostly apparitions and the mix of terror and delight they provoke in their otherwise boring and safe childhoods.
But when Tim and Abi decide to fake a photo of a ghost to frighten an unpopular school friend, they set in motion a deadly and terrifying chain of events that neither of them could have predicted, and are forced to confront the possibility that what began as a callous prank might well have taken on a malevolent life of its own.