The Black Slide – Book Review

The Black Slide by: J.W. Ocker
Published on: August 12, 2022
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 272

Description

An ominous new slide on the playground leads to a world of fear in The Smashed Man of Dread End author J.W. Ocker’s latest middle grade horror, perfect for fans of R.L. Stine and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Griffin Birch isn’t known for being brave, but there’s something about the new black slide on the elementary school playground that’s made him curious. Against his better judgement, he just has to follow his best friend Laila down.

But the Black Slide is no ordinary piece of playground equipment. What Griffin and Laila find at the other end of this strange portal is a cruel world, populated by bloodthirsty creatures on a quest to become immortal.

And it’s up to Griffin to save himself, his best friend–and the future of earth itself.

Fans of classic horror will devour this creepy adventure packed with more twists and turns than the ominous black slide itself.

Review

I adore middle grade horror. So a book that promises that the ‘playground isn’t fun anymore’ sounded right up my alley. Not to mention that the cover is absolutely awesome and made me wonder what happens when the kids slide down it. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

The story starts off terrific. There’s a torture chamber (classroom) that looks out onto the playground where a new black slide has been put in. But there is something ominous about this slide. Every kid can feel it and no one wants to go on it. But eventually someone does – Griffin, our main character, when he is bullied into sliding down it and that’s where the horror and mystery really starts.

But then I found the next sections a little too slow, which was a shame. The kids are in a nightmare-type world, but it was more of them going or running to places and I never felt the same dramatic tension that I did when the slide was first being introduced. The nightmare world gets to described to us, but I never felt the kids fear and as a result I didn’t feel any fear on their behalf. The creepiest part to me ended up being how one of the kids, a girl, seemingly accepted the pain and the nightmare, as if it were inevitable. She didn’t want to be free or maybe she did, but felt she had to experience pain first. The action picks up in the second half of the book when the kids start interacting with those in the nightmare world. The plot progresses a little faster and I enjoyed it more at that point.

All in all, there were parts I most definitely enjoyed, but there were parts that were a little slow for me. So, a mixed bag. But, then there is the ending, which I loved. Perfect for a horror book.

Thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

Doll Bones – Audio Book Review

By Holly Black
Published on: April 14, 2015

This is a 2014 Newberry Honor winner. For whatever reason Newberry selections aren’t typically books I enjoy, but I didn’t know that it was a Newberry Honor story when I selected the audio book from the library. I was just looking for another potentially spooky book since this is October and Halloween is around the corner and a doll with actual bones definitely sounds like it falls within the creepy category.

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Camp Red Moon – Audio Book Review

Audible Original By: R.L. Stine
Published: October 3, 2019
Length: 4 hrs. 32 min

This full-ensemble audio book has some seriously creepy moments in it. Some of it is fun-creepy and then other times it is just creepy-creepy. But overall, I have one major question – what kind of non-real parents are sending their kids to Camp Red Moon? Out of all the youth camps in the world they are choosing to send their precious babies to a camp where robots take over and tragic deaths occur – not to mention werewolves, ghosts, and other monsters.

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The Whispered Tales of Graves Grove

An Anthology Edited by: J.S. Bailey and Kelsey Keating
Published on: October 10, 2017

In April of 1880, Samuel Graves and his followers arrived in British Columbia, where they established the town known as Graves Grove.  However, most of his followers probably didn’t know that Samuel was dedicating this town a being called Talakoth.  This collection of short stories tells of only some of the events that occurred there.

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Watch for the Lights – Short Story Review

by KBrillWriting on WattPad

I can’t think of any genre better suited for short stories than science fiction.   The endless possibilities of where a story can go are only limited by what the author can think up.  However, I think my personal favorite type of science fiction short story is when there is something eerie and unexplained going on. Watch for the Lights is just one example of this genre and I absolutely loved it.

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