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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt: Inside Evil Series Books 1-4 by Geoffrey Wakeling

Inside Evil is a paranormal mystery set in a small town on the borders of England and Scotland. Like so many similar places, its residents cannot help but be drawn into each other’s lives, as they rarely venture from their seclusion. But, with such isolation comes danger, and whilst the world is blissfully unaware, an ancient terror is preparing for murder.


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Geoff Wakeling lives in London and escapes the smog of the city through his writing. The Inside Evil, even though being dark and mysterious, was a way to escape the drudgery of every day life and indulge in something a little more fantastical.
With a degree in Zoology, Wakeling is animal mad and has three cats, fish and five chickens in his London home. He is a keen gardener and conservationist. He is also still awaiting the arrival of his Hogwart’s Owl!




Life in the secluded town of Ridgewood is charming, simple, safe – isn’t it? The bubble that isolates the hamlet protects, or so the eclectic residents believe. Lurking in the background of everyday life is a curse that comes in cycles and picks off the innocent as it pleases. But this time there’s something different, this time the curse wants more.
Inside Evil 1

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Roberta Arlington’s life changes the moment she finds one of her pupils, pale, frozen, DEAD. Her mind is filled with uncharacteristic thoughts, dreams and visions create bizarre scenes, and her blood boils as she lashes out at those she loves. Amidst her turmoil there are friends, and enemies, who come to her aid, piecing together the puzzle laid before them.But with the ancient evil having struck down so many through the centuries, Roberta will have to muster every ounce of strength she has to survive. An entire world, a strange land, has unveiled itself. If Roberta knows one thing for sure, it’s that she alone won’t be able to escape as death comes calling…


Tower of Souls - Inside Evil 2


When you conquer a curse, there’s always going to be repercussions.Roberta has battled ancient and evil forces before, but after rising above her latest demon, she’d always thought that life could finally get back to normal. However, after surviving the terror lurking in Ridgewood’s forest, she comes to discover that her troubles have only just begun.Removed from the friends who aided her quest before, Roberta is now alone in a foreign world with no idea how to escape. Familiar faces are everywhere, but behind every friend lays a stranger waiting to kill her, or worse…turn her over to her greatest nemesis.Whilst she may have fought a curse before, this time it’s worse. This time her enemy knows Roberta inside and out, and if there’s any hope of survival, she’ll have to go against every instinct she has.


Spirits of the Middlelands - Inside Evil 3


Having escaped Gathin’s clutches, Roberta is on the run with the child she stole from her nemesis. In this case, the best way to avoid a war is to run, hide and never look back. But it soon becomes apparent that leaving Ridgewood behind may have not been in Roberta and her friends’ best interests, for things are happening in the tiny town that, once again, cannot be explained.Spirits of the Middlelands is the third book from the Inside Evil series. Despite battling a curse that descends upon Ridgewood on a 10 yearly cycle, Roberta seems to have become entangled in a world of mystery, danger and doppelgängers. There’s a war coming, and though she and her fellow gatekeepers’ believed they could prevent it, they’re now realising that they’ll need to use all their skills to stop the plague from Gathin reaping destruction.


New Alliances - Inside Evil 4


When Roberta was infected with a curse, she never realised the hidden world that was waiting for her. Ridgewood was a quiet and slumbering town, but it seemed there was a great menace waiting in every shadow. With the initial horror having been abated, Roberta’s been cast into an alternate reality where it’s quickly apparent forces of doppelgangers are waiting to break through to Earth.But Roberta’s not alone, and there are many friends left behind who are still fighting. Whilst the gatekeepers fight to uncover secrets and develop a plan to protect themselves, new alliances are forged. And, with new and unexpected allegiances created, the protectors of Earth are finally realising that they’re not defending themselves against a one-sided war.


Review
Inside Evil Series, Books 1-4 by Geoffrey Wakeling
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Highly Recommended


I may be a latecomer to Geoffrey Wakeling's paranormal Inside Evil series, but I would want to be first in line when Book 5 comes out. These fast-paced, thrilling novels are ones that refuse to let you go until you've reached the very last page then still have their claws in you when you're done.

Sleepy Ridgewood and its residents have vague memories of flurries of death that descend upon them approximately every decade. While the death rate does seem to spike at regular periods in time, it simply seems to be part of a normal, although depressing, cycle. Or is it?

A teacher at a local high school, Roberta, finds her student dead one evening and promptly passes out. Apart from having an identical burn to her left foot when she comes to, there seems to be nothing untoward with the death. Or so she thinks, until she starts hearing whispers in a strange language and seeing people who shouldn't be there at all.

Soon it becomes clear that there is more to the string of deaths than anyone thought and Roberta finds herself between worlds to battle doppelgängers in an alternate dimension. Can she kill ruthlessly and topple a regime of evil or is she being manipulated into a position that will merge both worlds and result in hers being overcome?

This is a beautifully written, thought provoking series that brings you to the edge of your seat and throws you in directions that you would never expect. Nothing about what you think in the beginning is right and even with the fourth book read, I still have no idea where this is going to end up! Or, if there will be a happy ending. Will there? At this point, I can't even hazard a guess. And I love it!

Of course, there were little bits about the characters that I couldn't stand, like how gullible Roberta was in the beginning or how complacent Sam became about the entire incident. And Karl! I could cheerfully strangle him. Really. What I hated the most? How that poor cat was killed! It was distressing for me (in such a short passage) since my own baby Monster was hurt in exactly that way when he was a week old kitten - but attacked by a rat. While he did survive, the touch-and-go angst of the couple of weeks when he underwent a series of surgeries and was struggling to live rushed back in full. Which gives the new reader a hint of exactly how detailed and graphic this story is!

Inside Evil is a series that I will gladly follow to the end then read and reread for years to come. Geoffrey Wakeling has again dazzled me and I'm so happy he did.


Excerpt

It glistened in front of her, the edges finding the light on their own accord and creating a silvery glow. It had been this way for months now, the thin veil between worlds shimmering like a moth’s wing under the moon. The size of the portal between worlds hadn’t changed since Roberta, Barry and the girl had walked back into her cellar during the past winter, but the scene on the other side shifted. There were days when the gap was almost opaque and mirror-like so that nothing could be seen but one’s own faded and distorted reflection. At other times translucency returned, and they could see that construction on the other side of the rift had grown. The tiny crevasse through which Roberta and the others had squeezed had been blown apart, leaving a huge cavern leading from the catacombs to the other side of the portal. One of the gatekeepers would descend on the creaking metal ladder and catch movement out of the corner of their eye, only to peer into the darkness and find that it was devoid of life. 
They called themselves that now; gatekeepers. Even though Martha was the only legitimate one amongst them, all those who quite literally guarded the gate carried the name now. And after having once glimpsed the Queen, they felt the dread of her survival. Her plans were covered quickly with a cloth or barrier closing off vision into her world, and now the group of gatekeepers feared the worst.

*********

Another scream rang out in the darkness and Roberta pushed her hands tighter over her ears. The torturing had been going on for hours. The cries had been sharp and prolonged at first, until they gradually quietened to a muffled and dull whimper. Then they’d stopped, and she’d been relieved the horrendous sounds were no longer eviscerating her ears. But it seemed the victim had only been given a slight respite, for another painful onslaught was soon brought upon them.
Roberta had quickly realised just where in Gathin she’d been thrust into. Through the opening at the top of the tall cylindrical tomb a light shone down upon her. But it was not the blue sky she originally thought, but a mural painted on a ceiling far above. The drop from the high room to where she lay now was vast. As someone had been dragged across the floor and propped into the chair that now covered the small spherical opening above her, Roberta had realised she was in Gathin’s central tower. It was the windowless pillar that rose out of the ground in the heart of the Queen’s domain. Above her was the room where she’d fought off the Queen of the North Realms, where she’d attempted to throw the doppelgänger to her death. The small opening was covered with an iron grate; the only barrier that kept the seat from dropping into the chasm below. As Roberta had surveyed the room, she’d realised that things, creatures…..people, were dropped from that height, for there was a mound of corpses in the room in which she was now trapped. They rose towards the middle like a newly forming mountain, the peak of which was directly beneath the opening above. 




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