The Carnival Keepers
by Amber Gulley
My rating: 4 stars
Publisher: World Castle Publishing, LLC (October 10, 2016)
Publication Date: October 10, 2016
Genre: Horror | Occult
Print Length: 245 pages
Available from: Amazon
It's 1879, and James, a time-wasting escapist, is trying to win a bet. His challenges include purchasing a lighthouse, hosting a séance, and spending the night with his father's prize-winning stallion in a notoriously haunted attic. But the Carnival is in town for the All Hallows' Eve celebrations, and the London fog has other ideas for James. Something vicious is waiting to pounce and lead him unwittingly towards a destiny he could never have imagined.
The Carnival Keepers by Amber GulleyPage one and it’s clear that author Amber Gulley knows how to set a tone with well-chosen words as a desolate man reminisces his past mistakes, and all that they cost him. Was it his privileged yet abusive upbringing that created a wastrel of a man filled with bouts of dark rage? Was it his lack of direction that caused him to accept a challenge of foolish proportions that led him through the London streets, the deepest of fogs and into a world of horror, the unimaginable and the unreal?
The Carnival has come to town as part of the All Hallows’ Eve celebrations, but is it truly a carnival filled with joyous laughter, bright lights and joy or is it something darker and more sinister, otherworldly and horrific?
James’ nightmare began on Cat’s Hole Lane, in Mr. Scrap’s curiosity shop in a cloud of dust and color…with the purchase of a snow globe, but was it just a snow globe?
Amber Gulley brings the atmosphere and feeling of a long gone era in London, where streets were dark, alleys even darker and there were places the gentry never went to. Throughout this dark tale, there is a feeling of “wrongness,” of an unnatural darkness and the chaos of each event is like being unable to emerge from a terrible nightmare as jagged puzzle pieces fail to be forced into their proper places well enough to make sense of each terrifying situation.
The Carnival Keepers is a short read that is filled to the brim with conflict, both inner and of the physical kind. Probably not for a middle-of-the-road reader, this webbed maze of horror is definitely worth the read, either for entertainment of those who seek an inner meaning to what is going on! Chaotic, dark and intriguing, Ms. Gulley has a wonderful way of setting up and maintaining the darkness of this story with her pen.
I received an ARC edition from Amber Gulley in exchange for my honest review.