Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a serial killer thriller that hit the mark and a sci-fi horror read that sadly failed to impress.

Title: UNSUB
(UNSUB #1)
Author: Meg Gardiner

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: June 27th 2017
Publisher: Dutton
Finished reading: October 31st 2022
Pages: 384

“There were seven million lives around her. And a ghost was loose among them, hunting.”


It’s no secret that I love a good serial killer thriller, and this series has been on my radar ever since the first book was published back in 2017. I’m still not sure why it took me five! years to actually pick up UNSUB though, and I’m definitely kicking myself for waiting this long now. This is exactly the kind of dark, twisted and gruesome detective slash serial killer thriller I don’t mind sinking my teeth in, and I ended up having an excellent time reading this story. Sure, I did feel the story was a tad overlong, which affected the pace in parts, but as a whole UNSUB delivered. This is not a story for those with a weak stomach though, because the details of the murders are gruesome and make this story dip its toe in the horror genre. I do wonder how credible it is that nobody ever picked up on the big twist and inspiration behind what the Prophet was/is doing, because I thought it was pretty obvious… Either way, make sure to brace yourself for an intense ride, because both the plot and the Prophet will play with your mind. Lots of danger, plot twists and new angles too keep you busy along the way! And the ending definitely left me wanting to know what happens next.

Title: Dead Silence
Author: S.A. Barnes

Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
First published: February 8th 2022
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Finished reading: November 6th 2022
Pages: 343

“When the odds are stacked this high against you, you take the peace you can find.”


I know that science fiction isn’t my usual genre, but there was something about the blurb of Dead Silence and the ‘Titanic meets The Shining‘ mention that had me intrigued. Nothing like a bit of horror to sweeten the deal of a space setting and a mysteriously disappeared space-liner! I fully expected to have a great time with this story, but unfortunately I ended up having mixed thoughts instead… And it didn’t end up being the exciting (and terrifying) experience I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, the premise is fantastic and I loved the space setting and the mystery around what happened and what is still happening on the Aurora. That definitely wasn’t the problem here; I had major issues with the characters instead. Not only did I hate having to spend the entire book inside main character Claire’s head, but I also found none of the characters particularly memorable nor likeable. Basically, I didn’t care at all what was happening to them, and Claire is your cardboard unreliable narrator with HUGE mental issues. The pace was also all over the place, and the story itself was surprisingly dull for such an exciting premise. I expected Dead Silence to be properly chill-you-to-the-bone scary, but somehow despite quite a few graphic scenes the actual creep factor was surprisingly low. I also wondered why on earth the whole romance angle had to be added to the plot; it only distracted and made me enjoy the story even less. All in all there is no doubt that Dead Silence has a fantastic premise, but the execution fell rather flat for me and especially the final part was too convenient and neatly wrapped up to be credible.

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