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As another reviewer said, it's a psychological horror rather than a gruesome horror- this is very true. Fast paced right from the beginning and doesn't let you go until the last page. Wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I was pleasantly pleased - there's a good underlying lesson within the story, even if it is executed quite brutally (similar to the Saw films, in my opinion).
Enjoyed this a lot and looking forward to reading "Making Jake" and others from Mike
This is psychological horror rather than gruesome horror, and to say it doesn't turn out as you might expect would be an understatement! I thought I was in for... ah no... mustn't give away the plot! Mike Duke has a way with words and it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary horror story as you will find out. This is a very short novella and a fast, gripping read. I shot through it and never paused once...very interesting concept...thought provoking and well worth a read! Well done Mike Duke!
Mike Duke doesn't disappoint with this short book. You are pulled into the story from the beginning, the pace is fast and the characters are well written. The ending was surprising and brilliant. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy
Great story with a really unexpected twist (actually twists ), attention to detail was superb, research has been done very well and makes the plot come across as very plausible in the situation the main characters find themselves in. without giving any thing away one question remained unanswered but maybe that could be a core for a squeal. Would make a great short film look forward to reading more of Mr Duke's story's.
What an amazing read! A fast paced book that at first leads you one way and you end up in a totally different direction. I'm not one for giving away plots so just read and enjoy. You won't be disappointed
When I first read the synopsis for Ashley’s Tale, I was not terribly moved. In fact, I was a tad disappointed. They synopsis gave me the impression that this story was similar to a hundred other stories about the kidnapped abuse victim. I put off reading it for that reason. I have never read such a story that really got it, got what it is like to be an abuse victim, got what it is like to be trapped in a second horrifying situation. I had not found one. Until now. Ashley’s Tale is that story.
So, that being said, we must start out with a warning. While this is far from the most graphic or horrific story I have ever read, it is the most realistic for the subject matter. Much like other reviewers have said, Ashley’s Tale is like a punch to the gut. The realism is gruesome and moving and very, very disturbing. It is terribly, wonderfully frightening in that regard.
Now, realistic traumatic read aside, it truly is a gripping tale. It grabs you from the very beginning and drags you along against your will with each word, each page. Although I did have to put it down and step away for a few hours, I knew I just had to know what happened next. The writing is just brilliant.
The characters… ah the characters. I believe we have discussed realism. The characters come to life in a frighteningly believable way. The personality and psychology is well presented and consistent as the story progresses. There is not disappointment in the characterization to be found.
This is a psychological horror story, let’s be clear on that. But it is not without it’s shocking scenes, let’s also be clear on that. It is fast paced without being rushed, full of action and suspense, and progresses to a breath stealing twist. Then it drops you to the floor and inflicts an emotional ending on you like a final kick to the kidney.
The biggest complaints in fiction to date (whether it’s horror, romance, action, sci-fi, etc.) are stories lacking a “strong female character”. At some point readers have gotten so sick of the stereotypical damsel in distress, that strong female characters have actually started to dominate fiction as of late. In Ashley’s Tale, Mike Duke has crafted a character in Ashley that begins as a weak character and develops into a strong lead by the end of the book, overcoming her fears and shortcomings for better or worse. Ashley is put into the worst abduction situation imaginable where she is forced to decide what kind of person she should ultimately become. What I love about this is that Mike Duke has turned the average abduction story on its head and created a tale that challenges everything you’ve come to expect from this type of fiction. It made me question motives of each character every step of the way and had me guessing up until the end. This is what good fiction is all about. Will Ashley survive? Will the decisions she makes be the best for her as a person or will her world turn sour with her new found strengths? If you like character driven fiction that breaks the mold of cookie cutter formulas, Ashley’s Tale is a must read.
I am quickly becoming a big fan of Mr. Duke's. Its hard to review this book without giving too much away. I'll do my best not to spoil anything. Ashley's Tale had a different ending then I thought. My mind went several different ways and none were correct but Mike Duke's ending could not have been more perfect. Ashley's Tale is like a dark abandoned graffiti filled house that filters light through the broken boarded up windows giving hope, strength and a desire to survive. I had no idea where this short story was going but I was happy to be along for the ride. My review might not make any sense until you read Ashley's Tale for yourself, I think you will be surprised as much as I was.
This is an intense thrill ride of a novella. The author thrusts us into the action straight away, and keeps us on the edge of our seats until the very end.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out this was not a typical rape and torture tale. In fact, not a rape and torture tale at all, but one of healing and survival. There is a twisted strength in this oddly uplifting story. The writing is smooth and meticulous, and the crafting of the action is meticulous. Loving this author's voice and style, and the unique story he tells. Can't wait read more from Duke.