#AUSReadingMonth Aurealis Award Best Horror Novel 2018
- Author Kaaron Warren
- Title: Tide of Stone
- Genre: Speculative fiction (horror)
- Published: 2018
- List of Challenges 2019
- Monthly plan
- #AusReadingMonth @Brona’s Books
- Trivia: 2018 Winner Aurealis Award Best Horror Novel
- Once again I am leaving my comfort zone.
- Will this book leave me white-kunckled
- ….cringing in fear with
- …heightened pulse, sweaty palms and a
- sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
- I am about to find out!
- Imagine the worst criminals in history, not executed for their crimes
- but condemned to preservation and imprisonment.
- A life sentence, and then some.
- Execution or eternal life? Which is worse? Which is better?
- Phillipa is a nurses aide in a home
- for the elderly (all….dementia patients).
- She is leaving for a 1 year internship in The Time Ball Tower.
- Phillippa: ” The tower never left me.
- I’d dream about it, hallucinate it when I was away.
- It calls to the best of us, they say.”
- Cover: The Time Ball Tower
- Symbolism: Ball dropping every day, keeping time
- Setting: small town in Australia, Tempuston (tempus; Latin for time)
- Motif: camera.…Phillipa is constantly taking photographs!
- Chapter 1: Phillipa Muskett
- This must be the longest first chapter
- …I ever read! (reading time: 2 hours!)
- But Kaaron Warren is setting the scene
- ...leaving a path ‘hooks, moments of tension’
- …that overwhelmed this reader.
- …I noted at least 24 moments of reflection by Phillipa
- giving the reader a good impression about
- her wants (be famous), fears and hopes for the future.
- Many characters stop to give her advice before she
- leaves for a year in The Time Ball Tower
- Burnett (suffers from dementia, was keeper in 1868!)
- ….is still patient in elderly home! (time travel?, ghost?)
- BFF Renata (grandmother is a witch!)
- Phillipa’s Grandmother (Frances Styles, keeper 1938)
- Photography teacher
- and especially Kate Hoff (keeper 2010)
- She gives Philippa the most important advice:.
- how to act with the prisoners
- because they can
- …“Smell of a woman…makes them difficult.”
- Kate also give Phillipa all the report files
- …written by keepers who have served
- in The Tower in the past!
- I am sitting on the edge of my seat because
- …Philippa is about to read them all!
- I expect a lot of ‘shock and awe” in this book!
- After an exciting first chapter (18 % of the book)
- we read the ‘secret files’ from the Tower keepers.
- Quirky, repetitive…but not scary at all! (44 % of the book).
- Warren often refers to a personage from history
- Hess, Jacob H. Smith, Baron von Sternberg
- …and you have to consult Wikipedia to learn more about
- some unfamiliar names.
- Every file ends in a report that is identical for all keepers
- with an exception for Frances Styles, an a few mention that
- the prisoner does not need a bath.
- This just felt gimmicky.
- It does not add to the horror element of the book.
Strong or weak point?
- Palpable sexually oriented glaze over many elements
- of the story when Phillippa
- …is finally the keeper in The Tower. (62 % of the book)
- Does this increase the ‘horror element”
- …or is it good for book sales?
- You decide.
- Personally…I wish Warren was
- a more creative writer
- …rather than use the pornographic angle.
- There isn’t very much tension in the last section
- Phillipa as keeper.
- Prisoners babble on and on…nothing we haven’t
- heard before in the book.
- I try to keep engaged by noting how Phillipa
- is changing from the first day as keep….until her last.
- That is the only real interesting part at this point
- Where’s the horror?
- I’m not seeing it!
- I expected much more from a
- an Aurealis Awards prize
- …Best Horror book of 2018!
- Well, I did not find the shock and awe
- …I expected in this book
- Warren gives the reader and ‘information dump’ in chapter 1
- ….and now you have to try to connect that information with
- the individual keepers who have written reports.
- This involved flipping back and forth to chapter one.
- This is one way to structure a book
- …but I found it ruined the flow of the narrative.
- It became irritating.
- Honestly, I enjoyed Warren’s book (2017)
- The Grief Hole much more than this book!
- 44% of the book was ‘filling” – keeper’s files.
- Plot twists with a bit of tension started
- on page 346…..91% of the book!
- I was expecting lightning in a bottle
- …and only I got static electricity on the rug!
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