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Blackstone Towers is a horror novel, told from the perspective of multiple characters across one night. I’d describe it, not quite as comedy horror, but it’s certainly written with a lighter tone and in places reminded me very much of Shaun of the Dead.
Like Ashley’s other work that I’ve read, it’s enjoyable. Even when the more horrifying events are unfolding there’s a light style to the writing that prevented me from getting too ‘stuck’ in the scene.
Because of the timeframe (one night) and the different character perspectives, it almost feels like a 360-degree panoramic shot and I really enjoyed this — it’s different from a lot of my recent reading in that the compressed timeframe makes it easier to read in one sitting and take it all in.
Some of the characters are verging on stereotype, stopping very slightly short of that and in a novel, I wish there wasn’t such a reliance on the easy option. There should have been more space for character development. Maybe the number of characters versus the word count made this impractical, I don’t know.
That said, both the male and female characters were treated equally with regards to how they were described, how their subplot developed and how their arc was completed.
And talking of completion, this is a standalone novel. The ending is satisfying although didn’t finish in quite the way I expected. Nonetheless, I don’t feel there are loose ends and from the number of characters and subplots, this was no mean feat.
The talismans of the magi control seven realms of the mortal world. One can grant the bearer immortality; another gives its owner unfathomable wealth; a third gives the holder unerring foresight. There is a talisman to control reality, success, the deliberate and the accidental, and a talisman that governs the balance between love and hate.
The planets are now aligning, and one worldly resident of Blackstone Towers knows the talismans urgently need collecting and destroying before they fall into the wrong hands.
The only problem is establishing whose hands are the wrong ones.