@UnRealms #bookreview #mystery #crimefiction #psychologicalthriller @JenniferHillier

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

Cathrina's Review

Listening to the audio book, I cringed many times. I was terribly disturbed by the story. The author, Jennifer Hillier held nothing back, painting a horrific picture of murder, death, and the main characters stint in prison.

However, the enticing narrator had me on page one. And while the story was alarming, I couldn't put it down. Every blunt detail crawled under my skin and grabbed me.

I've read many reviews, and disagree with those readers complaining about the rushed ending. It was excellent. I couldn't have written a better ending. Throughout all the pulsating trauma, I could breathe again, and found a smile on my face.


The Importance of Book Reviews Especially For Speculative Fiction Tales


I'm sure you've heard authors pleading for reviews, and while they are important for all writers, they're even more so for speculative fiction. Romance books get a lot of ratings, and that's followed closely by crime and thrillers. Fantasy/sci-fi/steampunk and everything hard to categorize in speculative fiction are lowest on the list when it comes to reviews.

Why is this? It may be readers feel they can't review something that isn't so easily slipped into a definite genre slot or they're timid about sharing their thoughts on world-building or societal issues. They might be intimidated by what they believe are intellectual books, and there are others who consider speculative fiction "lazy intellectualism." No matter what movies and shows we see in the media, readers still shy away from fantasy and sci-fi books.

No matter the genre though, reviews are beneficial to both the authors and readers.

For authors:
- reviews help them see what readers like and what they don't like.
- they can help motivate authors.
- the more reviews a book has, the more visible it is to other readers.
- reviews help authors and readers connect.

Reviews are even more important to readers. The number one reason a reader buys a book is because they know and like and an author. Yet to gain new readers, the best way to do so is through word of mouth, and that is done primarily through reviews. Over fifty percent of readers state they read reviews before they consider buying a book from an author they don't know.

Sometimes speculative fiction can be hard to categorize, but readers shouldn't feel the need to do so. Reviews can be simple. Something along the lines of: "I liked that there were fairies in a steampunk world flying on airships and using magical cannons." This tells potential readers this is a mix of genres, and even if they are attracted to one aspect of that statement, they may like it as a whole.

While some people may fear one and two star reviews, those can also be very helpful. A person might say: "I hated it. Too much elf politics." Another reader may enjoy politics in a book and be happy to discover there is a lot of it in the story. Not every reader is going to like a book.

Writing a review doesn't need to be complicated. The star rating is easy to follow. Don't feel bad if you give a book three or two stars while saying: "I liked Fred. He made me laugh. I didn't like annoying Marcy." It's not an insult as long as it's an honest review.

Speculative fiction is a great big melting pot of characters, worlds, and ideas. It may intimidate readers who might want to venture into the genre, but reviews will greatly help bring in those readers. I tell myself that writing reviews is like a super power as a voracious reader who wants other readers to like fantasy and sci-fi as much as I do. A super power which you, too, can have if you put the reviewer cape for a minute or two after finishing a book.