First off; I've got to address the title - I Simply love it. Add to that, the cover is just perfect and captures one of the key elements of the story. I'm big on first impressions (I DO judge a book by its cover - at least when trying something new that catches my eye) and INTO BONES LIKE OIL by Australian horror scribe Kaaron Warren certainly makes a great first impression.
Also - a big tick for me is the fact that Kaaron Warren is a fellow Aussie; I've been wanting to branch out into reading more horror from my home country (see ROO by Alan Baxter); the stage was set high from the get-go.
Luckily, this novella doesn't disappoint.
INTO BONES LIKE OIL is moody, atmospheric, and full of emotion. In the short span of 81 pages, the characters shine through just as much as the creepy and overt ghostly themes which spread their cold caress across the page.
Set in a haunted rooming house near the beach, the occupants, past and present, share a deep connection with the ghosts of a shipwreck. No only can the rooming house inhabitants see their ghostly neighbors but, when asleep, they can become the vessel to which these ghosts communicate with the living. Pretty creepy stuff.
Ghosts aside, it the character's unique and depressing backstories which capture the emotion and provide depth to the story. Sure the apparitions and voices of the dead are highlights, but I like my horror with some humanity - and this has it.
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