Review: The Haunted E-Book by JL Bryan

Posted 2 March, 2011 by Danny in / 2 Comments

by J.L. Bryan
Published: January 1, 2011
Links: Amazon (available as Kindle edition)
eBook provided by author for fair review
Synopsis from Goodreads

Dee escapes her dreary librarian job and unfaithful boyfriend by reading romance and fantasy on her Kindle.

She tries The Haunted E-book, the story of a 19th century tramp printer whose ghost awakens whenever someone reads a book he created. The ghost stalks his readers and threatens them with death if they stop reading the book. Though she doesn’t usually like ghost stories, Dee can’t stop herself from reading it.

Then Dee learns the stories in the books are true, the malevolent ghost is real, and Dee might be the next character to die.


Pushy: So I think I’ve admitted to this before but I’m an enormous scaredy cat. It’s true. I used to read Stephen King books all night long and never break a sweat but somewhere between having kids and staring down the barrel of mid-life I started jumping at the noises that go bump in the night. So it’s always with a bit of trepidation that I start a “scary” book. But when JL Bryan told us he had a new book coming out, I knew I had to read it!

What I particularly loved was the premise of the book: a girl starts to read a book on her Kindle…and she finds she’s reading about another girl who is also reading a book on her Kindle, one that is a little too true. And the only thing that can keep the reader safe is to keep reading. At first I thought, “Oh, clever premise,” and then I met the villian, Jonah, and things took a turn for the crazy.

Things get bloody and scary and they get that way FAST! My heart was beating a mile a minute while I read this book and I could scarcely put it down. Even after I finished the book, I still shudder as I walk down the unlit front stairs in my house, waiting for them to shift into something far more nefarious and suck me into Jonah’s horrifyingly scary world.

This book will get under your skin and fast and you’ll find that whether you believe the implied threat that to stop reading is to invite death, you just can’t leave this story alone.

Heather: Unlike Pushy, I don’t get creeped out by horror novels or movies. Blood and guts? Serial killers and zombies galore? Snore. When I read the book description, I first thought it sounded like that movie where if you watch the videotape some creepy, dirty chick comes out of your television to kill you. After I read about a quarter of The Haunted E-Book, I knew this story was nothing like that craptastic movie.

The main character is Dee, a librarian in a small town library in the south. She knows that her boyfriend is cheating on her, so she reads to escape reality. Once she starts reading The Haunted E-Book on her Kindle, strange things start to happen around her and she is drawn deeper into the other people’s lives that are playing out in the ever-morphing text of the ebook. If she tries to put the Kindle down and stop reading, a hygiene deficient, sadistic killer stalks you and forces you to keep reading.

Pushy: Truly, this book scared the bejebus out of me!

Heather: Haha! Great scare for people who aren’t as warped to be immune to literature violence as I am!

Bottom Line

Pushy: With equal parts excellent characters, fantastic writing and creep-tacular Saw-like horror flick genius, this book flies by, taking the reader on a race that will leave your heart lurching every time you hear the phrase, “Read any good books lately?” *shudder*

Heather: You really root for Dee as she tries to find out if what she is reading is true, and as she tries to find a way to stop the madness before Jonah makes her his next victim. There’s plenty of blood and guts, but there’s also an abundance of great characters and a truly sadistic madman at the root of it all.

Plus you get an insider’s view of what it’s like to live in the South, which JL Bryan has proven to be an expert on this topic in his previous work.

We give it 5 out of 5 books!

Final Notes

JL Bryan will be here next Friday on his blog tour for this book. As part of that tour he’s giving away some AWESOMETASTIC PRIZES!!!! Like….

Yeah, we know! Pretty cool, hunh? And all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on his blog post next week. Want extra entries? Leave a comment on any of his other blog stops along the tour (within 7 days of their posting). There are even more chances to win, and you can find out about all of it here.

He’s running a super exciting promotion
which you can read all about at
Not Really Southern Vamp Chick
but here’s the gist:

J.L. Bryan will be gifting
(yes, free of charge!)
20 Kindle copies of The Haunted E-Book.
Want to get your free copy?
Tweet about The Haunted E-Book and include the following text: #hauntedebook

Do that and leave your tweet in a comment on today’s post at
Not Really Southern Vamp Chick
before 9PM EST today and you’ll be entered
for a chance at one of 20 free copies!

So send out your tweets
and log them at Not Really Southern Vamp Chick
so you can start reading this awesome book TONIGHT!

Now go and get lost…in a book!

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