A Superior Spectre – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
“A brilliant, deeply unsettling work.” Books + Publishing
Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with shame, he runs away to a remote part of Scotland with a piece of beta tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.
In the late 1860s, Leonora lives in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature. Contemplating the social conventions that bind her, her contented life and a secret romantic friendship with the local laird are interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh. But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions.
A Superior Spectre is a novel about curiosity, entitlement and manipulation. It reminds us that the scariest ghosts aren’t the ones that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.

Book Information:
By: Angela Meyer
Published by: Saraband Books
Publication Date: August 15, 2019
Price: £8.99
GoodReads

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

Content/Trigger Warnings: [My apologies on slacking on these lately] This has molestation & child molestation, abuse, thoughts of pedophilia, death and brief suicidal thoughts and a rough view of mental illnesses due to institutional care available in the Victorian era.

This is a book that is chilling and haunting in the most unexpected ways. Firstly it’s truly a blend of genres. It is a sci-fi yet also a historical fiction, and at the same time a horror/thriller in its own right. And while this may sound like a mess, it’s done SO well that it doesn’t feel like they’re all jumbled together.

Please bear in mind this is quite a heavy read due to its content but it’s actual length is not.

The two protagonists are completely different and though there’s not much to like about Jeff, it is possible to see why he has dipped into Leonora’s mind repeatedly.

Leonora is certainly the more sympathetic of the two characters, an unwilling host to a man whose thoughts have no place in her mind. She’s a woman who has loved animals and had a curiosity of sciences and anatomy, a woman that like many during her time, were ‘progressive’ in their wants knowledge. Still, she enjoys the simple life she’s had at her Father’s home and though Edinburgh has some interesting aspects, it’s still home she yearns for.

With everything she goes through, you truly want her to be free in every sense of the word, from Jeff, from expectations, from her family’s desires, and it’s her that I cheered for while reading.

The difficult premise though was put in a tasteful manner, because, unfortunately people like Jeff [and people much worse than Jeff] are a reality. I thought his story’s ending was completely fitting for him, and I didn’t hate him, but I certainly had a hard time sympathizing with him. That being said, the choices he made were in attempt to be something different than what he was and that was something to think about.

One of my favorite things Meyer did was to make this a spine tingling read, you felt like there was something always just out of sight, and it’s the sort of tension I like in a ‘scarier’ book.

A great read, but again, a heavy one. I give it four cups of coffee and if you think you can handle the premise, I recommend it, especially with October approaching if you want a spooky read.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review

 

About the Author

 

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Angela Meyer’s Joan Smokes won the inaugural Mslexia Novella Competition in 2019. Her short fiction has been widely published, including in Best Australian Stories, Island, The Big Issue, The Australian, The Lifted Brow and Killings. By day she works as a publisher for Echo Publishing, an Australian imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and in this role has discovered and developed a range of award-winning, globally published and bestselling talent, including global number one bestselling author Heather Morris. A Superior Spectre, Angela’s debut novel, is already shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards.

 

The Rest of the Tour

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Content/Trigger Warnings

This really isn’t a post to rant or to discuss if they’re needed or not.

I’m not here to stir the pot as they say.

I just want to say that I think it’s ludicrous to even argue about it.

Have you ever picked up a movie?

What does a movie typically have on its cover? Rating, right? PG, 15, all that, and what happens when it has those ratings above G?

They tell you why you should consider letting a person younger than the rating watch it, but also, does it not tell you if you’re going to encounter drugs, violence, sexual content? Especially if it’s a 15?

I have a point, I promise.

So we have these movie ratings, and I’m not saying books need to be rated but it’s almost like the ratings are used as warnings. Not for triggers, but, it can help those looking for a trigger warning, and it’s definitely a content warning. ‘Hey, this movie’s gonna have someone doing crack out of a hooker’s butt crack, think about that before letting your ten year old or yourself watch it’ [Wolf of Wall Street, btw, I’m not just making shit up as I go…this time]

And what happens if you really want to see a movie and don’t care? You ignore the rating, right? You ignore the warnings of what the film will contain.

So.

What if we put trigger/content warnings on books and then, if you don’t care about them you just….don’t read them? Wouldn’t that be easier than someone stumbling onto something that can be unfortunate for them? I’m not necessarily saying ‘oh thrillers should come with warnings about violence and possible gore’ [Though there’s absolutely nothing wrong in stating that] I’m talking about books that may appeal to YA audiences and ARE meant for YA but hey, there’s going to drug use, or hey this person encounters abuse, all that jazz.

I don’t put content/trigger warnings on all of my reviews but I at least try to be mindful, because it feels rather silly to only think of myself if I’m writing a review on my blog for readers, it’s a bit different in other circumstances, but that’s my PERSONAL choice on other review things, on my blog I am trying to go back and add content/trigger warnings to things I can remember. Why? Because I don’t want to throw someone through a loop and hurt them.

Also.

I read a book last night, and I was so enraged that it did not have any sort of warning to the last chapter which just seemed to come from left field that I was sitting there and thinking ‘this, this is a really good example of why trigger warnings are needed.’ Needless to say, if I decide to review that one on my blog, I’ll make sure to warn you all, so that you’re not left feeling gross and in shock, like myself.

Content/Trigger warnings, they aren’t there to ruin books, they’re there to help, just like film ratings and warnings.

I’m not here to yank anyone’s chain, this is just my opinion on the matter.

Please feel free to tell me what you think down below in the comments, but, please, be mindful of others! ❤