inside by d m siciliano - ARC Book Review: Inside by D.M. SicilianoInside by D.M. Siciliano
Published by The Parliament House via PublishDrive on October 15, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Supernatural, Suspense, Psychological
Pages: 350
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
four stars - ARC Book Review: Inside by D.M. Siciliano

“Inside is a gripping, page-turning novel from a promising new horror writer.” -April A Taylor, award-winning author of The Haunting of Cabin Green and Sinkhole

1987 “Does it burn in the dark?”Reid is a bully, but he’s still Alex’s best friend. When Reid pushes Alex and their friends into invading a historically haunted Massachusetts house, Alex knows it’s a terrible idea, but indulges his friend. What could go wrong?Inside, a mysterious Shadow looms in the darkness. The door to the house vanishes, leaving them trapped. The group flees through the tiny, one-roomed house that defies logic, constantly shifting, presenting them with new doors, hallways, and rooms that seem to be plucked from their memories and fears. One by one, the Shadow hunts them, intent on burning them all from within.Is there any way to escape? Or will they be burned from the inside out?

I hope you are all ready to sit in the corner and rock your way through this review.  Inside, looked like the poster for the latest horror movie – this apt title hides the deeper meaning to the story.  Huge revelations, relationships pulled so taut that they threaten to snap.  This book has you standing on the precipice of hell, the flames threatening to lick at your heels, the heat seducing you within.  A house is just bricks and mortar, right?  Ha! the house was built with the devils’ hands, each brick more evil than the last.  The house embodies a threatening shadow using your fears to destroy and weaken you.  Don’t rely on your Nike’ because you can’t outrun hell. 

Reid one of our five protagonists has the bright idea of breaking into a haunted house.  He bullies his friends into joining him.  The whole town know the house is evil, they don’t know what haunts it or why – they just know its hell personified.  The premise of the house emitting an extreme heat – like hells own personal gateway.  The awful truth of what lies within had me scared right from the start.  The reader doesn’t have time to ponder the what’s before it all goes sideways.  The evil and the fear instantly make itself known like being thrown into the eye of the storm. Can they weather it?

Not one of the protagonists wants to back out.  They want to prove their worth, their courage and Reid uses all the bully-boy tactics in the book.  It becomes very clear that they aren’t going to get out of this easily.  They are faced with shifting walls and windows and the main exit disappearing. Interesting premise, right?  The house becomes a living and breathing entity.  Fear and loathing become king.  These initial scenes gave me such a palpable sense of dread, the words came to life and threatened to choke the life out of me. 

The Protagonists have no clue to what lurks in the dark but boy oh boy does the author know!  This made me check my shoulder and windows whilst I was reading.  My chest felt like it had been pumped full of icy cold dread and I was completely here for it.  The story encapsulates teenager’s innocence and stamping all over it. 

How long can five friends stay strong for one another? The evil picks apart their psyche, taps into their biggest fears and it plays them off against each other.  Its creeping presence hunts the characters one by one and breaks them down so that their mind is broken, but also with the intention of breaking their physical form too.  Would anyone survive the ordeal? 

The narrative was explosive.  The book, from the very first page was pulse pounding – to the point I thought my skin was going to tear and blood spurting from within.  Childhood was forever destroyed but the author also brought to the forefront the dark and deep nature of traumatised upbringings.  The storytelling was irresistible to the horror lovers.  The author has brought together two frightening narratives spanning the evil within the house and deep nature of childhood.  This is a book that runs parallel with the essence of childhood – some don’t make it out alive. 

The moment I closed this book it has been haunting me…it reminds so much of Stephen King’s earlier work.  It was so gripping; the tension was ratcheted up with a cold dread that had me questioning whether I needed to turn the heating up.  If this is a debut…well the author is going to have a very successful career ahead of her.   

four stars - ARC Book Review: Inside by D.M. Siciliano