I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Static Screams by Nico Bell
Published by Self Published on 2024
Format: ARC, eBook
Carmen Franco’s untethered mind twists reality into a nightmare filled with relentless hallucinations.
Carmen’s greatest desire is a peaceful life, but despite countless doctors and swallowing a pharmacy’s worth of pills, Carmen can’t escape her disturbing delusions brought forth from a past tragedy.
Enter Dr. Barbara MacDonald, a brilliant psychologist proposing an innovative and experimental treatment program. Barbara ignites a flicker of hope, but Carmen quickly realizes the doctor’s motives aren’t exactly pure. Carmen holds the key to the one thing Barbara covets most in the world, and the determined psychologist intends to obtain it by any means necessary.
Now, Carmen races against the clock to save herself as madness and deception converge. Will she unravel Barbara’s menacing motives before time runs out or will Carmen fall prey to the dark abyss pulling her in?
Static Screams is poised to be one of the best horror novellas set for release in 2024! This is something truly special!
Nico Bell has crafted a sublime mashup that you didn’t know you needed, blending horror and sci-fi, which both spring from the same wound but leave distinct tastes in the mouth. Open this book, and you will experience an almost sixth sense x Carrie type scenario. Time will cease to matter, and the housework will become unimportant. The only need you have to cater to is finding out where this story goes; the need for food will fade into the background.
The title and gorgeous cover hooked me. Although I mentioned above that the protagonist, Carmen Franco, sees dead people, it’s not in the hit movie ‘I see dead people’ kind of way. No, this is far more refined and intelligent. “Static Screams” transforms the tragic event of Carmen’s mother passing away into a terrifying scenario where Carmen becomes the subject of illegal scientific experiments.
I developed a liking for Carmen Franco, a nineteen-year-old girl, struggling in the aftermath of her mother’s death. She believes she’s going insane, seeing black dots in her vision every time she closes her eyes. She can barely cope with it anymore. When Carmen and her aunt experience a car crash, they encounter the shady Dr. Barbara MacDonald. Driven by her own unhealthy grief, Dr. MacDonald sees Carmen as the key to both her career advancement and a connection to her deceased daughter. Carmen Franco proves to be one spunky young adult, and I couldn’t help but root for her!
The author skillfully unfolds the story, carefully developing the plot with surprising twists and turns that delighted me. I didn’t anticipate the narrative taking the direction it did, but I am thrilled that it did!
Getting an early opportunity to read this one delighted me, as Nico Bell proves to be an extremely strong voice in female-led horror.Her stories never have a wasted word, with each one leading up to its crushing conclusion. I absolutely loved this story!
Nico is the author of Beyond the Creek and Food Fright.
Nico started her writing career as a inspirational romance fiction writer under a different name. She was a semi-finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer Genesis Contest (ACFW), a finalist in the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Music City Melody of Love Contest, a finalist in the Splickety and My Book Therapy Flash Fiction contest, and a finalist in the RWA Great Beginnings Contest.
Her love of dark characters, sinister plots, and delicious mayhem led Nico towards her true passion: horror. Her debut horror book Food Fright was released in 2020 and was a semi-finalist in the 2020 Bookish Jazz Awards, Adult Fiction Category for Horror. She is the editor and publisher of Shiver: A Chilling Horror Anthology and the co-editor of Diet Riot: A Fatterpunk Anthology and Mine: A Body Autonomy Horror Collection. Her stories have been published in several collections including Under Her Skin, Chlorophobia: An Eco Horror Anthology, and Bone & Blood.