BOOKS CAN BE DEADLY
From the bestselling author of Come with Me, four standalone horror novellas set in a shared universe!
In The Skin of Her Teeth, a cursed novel drives people to their deaths.
A delivery job turns deadly in The Dark Brothers’ Last Ride.
In This Book Belongs to Olo, a lonely child has dangerous control over an usual pop-up book.
A choose-your-own adventure game spirals into an uncanny reality in The Story.
Author: Ronald Malfi
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 4th October 2022
My Chosen Format: Paperback
My Rating of ‘Ghostwritten’: 4 out of 5
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Before picking this up, I’d never read anything by the author but was looking for a new voice in horror. Personally, I like Malfi’s writing style and, despite the fact I’m not usually one who goes in for collections, I enjoyed the way all four books were set in the same universe with little nods to each other throughout. I think the sense of them being connected, no matter how slight, made it more enjoyable than if it had just been four random novellas based on cursed books.
As much as I enjoyed reading this, I didn’t think it perfect by any means. For me, ‘The Dark Brother’s Last Ride’ was head and shoulders above the other three books in this collection. ‘The Story’ came second and, admittedly, felt a bit jarring at parts but ended very nicely. I thought ‘The Skin of Her Teeth’ started well, got weird and then ended well, so I’d rank that as my third favourite. ‘This Book Belongs to Olo’ was just weird. Weird in ways that had me losing interest so fast I just didn’t want to read the book any more. It took me weeks to finish as my enthusiasm for this story in particular was just not there. A shame as, on paper (I see what I did there with the book-based pun), I felt it had one of the stronger concepts.
Overall I felt the characters were a mixed bag. ‘The Dark Brother’s Last Ride’ and ‘The Skin of Her Teeth’ had very strong characters where the others were just not quite there for me. The overall story-telling was very good and, despite it getting a tad odd/weird in parts it was told in such a way that it never strayed overly far from the beaten path Malfi had tried to lay out … except in Olo’s story. But, as I said, before, I may be a tad biased on that due to my interest just not being there at all.
I’ll certainly give more of Malfi’s work a try in the future as he’s definitely an author that knows his way around this whole storytelling business.