Palace Of Ghosts – Thomas S. Flowers
Reviewed by Steve Stred
Ok –this review is going to start a bit differently.
I’m taking this time to fully, publically apologize to Thomas & to Erin Sweet Al-Mahairi. I was sent a digital eARCfor this release about a month before its official launch. That was a little over a year ago. Recently, Thomas had posted on Facebook a friendly reminder that if you’ve read it to please review. It clicked something and I looked at my Kindle docs and sure enough –there it sat.
So, my most sincere apologies to both of you. It was unacceptable that I somehow missed getting to this. I try and read all digital ARC’s within at least three months of receiving them –either from Gavin here at KR or if someone has reached out. I apologized on FB, but I’m adding that apology here in a larger forum (KR/Goodreads/Amazon/Bookbub).
‘Palace of Ghosts’ is just that. We follow a psychologist who has gathered four former military members struggling with PTSD and brings them to Amon Palace, a supposedly haunted house. Dr. Peters wants to try and force their fears to come to the surface and by confronting them, they can successfully move on from them.
Rumours have swirled about Amon Palace for years; that it’s haunted, that evil resides there and so on. Dr. Peters is on the fence, more concerned with achieving a breakthrough for his research than if the place is actually haunted or not.
We get to revisit each members background, find out just what caused their PTSD and you can feel and relate to each character, knowing how much they are struggling.
There are strict rules about their being at Amon Palace and I found this was a great way to focus individually on each character. Saying that –it also really minimized just how much of Amon Palace Flowers gives the readers access too. I would have loved to have learned more and more about this location, but because the characters can’t visit certain areas we lose out.
Additionally, the caretakers are afterthoughts –so when they show up and are interacted with, it loses some of its power.
As things play out, Flowers does a great job of building tension and ultimately creating a completely unhinged environment.
The frequent odes and homages to ‘Who Goes There?’ were never distracting, but if you are a big fan of that book and/or the movie that was made based on it, I think it gives away a bit of the ending too early.
Overall –I really had fun with this one. Good characters, good setting and a great narrative. Definitely one that people should check out!
Palace Of Ghosts
Four veterans of the Iraq War seeking a cure for Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder arrive at a notoriously haunted house in the bogs of Galveston Island called Amon Palace.
Samantha Green, a friendless former Army K-9 handler looking for a way to put her loss behind her.
Brad Myers, a lighthearted former Military Police Officer severally wounded in war wanting nothing more than a good nights sleep.
Andy Lovejoy, an overweight light spoken drone operator who once watched the war from above now questions who he has become.
Marcus Pangborn, a headstrong Marine who desperately wants a dead friend’s forgiveness.
The group joins Doctor Frederick Peters, an experimental psychologist looking to prove his exposure theory hypothesis, and his two assistants, Tiffany Burgess and Dexter Reid.
At first, their stay seems to conjure nothing more than spooky encounters with inexplicable phenomena. But Amon Palace is gathering its powers—and soon it will reveal that these veterans are not who they seem.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here