#Book Review – Followers; C. Bergling

Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Followers, a horror novel written by Christina Bergling.

First thing first, let me thank the author and the publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip* 

MEET THE BOOK

Sidney, a single mother with a menial day job, has big dreams of becoming a full-time horror reviewer and risqué gore model. She’s determined to make her website a success, and if her growing pool of online followers is any indication, things are looking good for her Elvira-esque aspirations. In fact, Sidney has so many followers that chatting with them is getting to be a job in itself. More than a job, it might be getting a risky….

When Sidney is attacked on a dark trail late one night, it becomes clear that the horror she loves is bleeding into her real life. She learns that real-life horror is not a game, and being stalked isn’t flattering—it’s terrifying, and it could get her killed.

Sidney—and her loved ones—are now in serious danger. This follower isn’t just another online fan: he knows her movements, and he knows her routine. In fact, he’s right behind her… and when he gets close enough, he won’t take no for an answer.

298 pages
Horror
Crystal Lake Publishing
Publication date: 24/09/21
Purchase links

Amazon.com
B&N

READ MY REVIEW

Cover: It gives out a creepy feeling, yes. The issue is that I don’t dig it at all.

I’m very picky when it comes to horror—I’m very picky when it comes to anything, but that’s neither here nor there—for one reason: horror doesn’t just mean blood and gore thrown around, at least on paper. It needs a subtler element too in order to creep readers out. Followers has that element.

Sydney, the MC, is unsympathetic. This is a big bonus, because unsympathetic MCs offer new perspectives. Rooting for them is possible, but harder than usual; I don’t agree with her on many things and while reading, I tried (and failed) to see things from her perspective. Still, I gasped in horror when a certain episode happened and I said ‘Oh my God, no!’ out loud after another scene. All in all, well-done.

Her arc is interesting, too. The spiraling in slow-mo into PTSD gives her an additional depth, plus it’s believable and realistic. The cast of supporting characters is less poignant, instead. Some, like Kendra or Aiden, have a clear, distinct voice, while others tend to blend more into the background. Light and shadows. The villain has been disguised in a clever way; I had my suspicious about them, and I was about 60% right 😀 kudos to Bergling for tricking me!

On a technical level, Bergling hits all the right notes. Impeccable rhythm and flow, a crescendo of tension with small breaks to give the reader some respite, and an engaging prose. No grammar mistakes I could find, which is always a huge plus. The third limited POV (I found one! At long last!) adds to the plot: the reader gets to see the world through Sydney’s eyes and feel what she feels, with no distraction.

This is how you write a good story. *points*

4 stars on GR.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Christina Bergling has been writing since childhood. She has written a variety of styles. A blog from Iraq, software user guides for software, articles for a numismatist magazine. More than anything, she is a horror author.

Crystal Lake released her latest novel, Followers. Limitless Publishing published her novel The Rest Will Come. HellBound Books published her two novellas, Savages and The Waning. She co-wrote Screechers with Kevin J. Kennedy. She is also featured in numerous anthologies, including Collected Christmas Horror Shorts, Demonic Wildlife, Colorado’s Emerging Authors, and Graveyard Girls.

Bergling lives with her family in Colorado and spends her non-writing time working in IT, hiking mountains, dancing, and sucking all the marrow out of life.

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