Bottled: Stephanie Ellis
Reviewed By Miranda Crites
As a child, Tyler spends a great deal of time at his granddad’s house. His father has disappeared, and his mother never realizes the torment and abuse Tyler receives while visiting his granddad, as she never sets foot inside the house.
In a special room, Tyler’s granddad builds “worlds” inside of crystal bottles. Once uncapped, Tyler spends hours of entrancement inside those worlds; it’s almost as if the bottles contain hallucinogens. The housekeeper, Mrs. Waites, shows him no mercy and leaves him with plenty of bruises.
Now grown, Tyler’s granddad has passed away, leaving the house to him. Of course, Tyler wants nothing to do with the house that held him captive and tormented him during his childhood, and he certainly doesn’t want his own son near the dark and dreary house or Mrs. Waites. But there are stipulations, and, unfortunately, Tyler must return to the house one last time.
The bleak house, as well as the dreadful housekeeper and the bottles, awaits Tyler’s homecoming. He has spent a lot of agonizing time here over the years, but he knows after the next twenty-four hours are behind him, he will be able to wash his hands of this hateful dwelling forever. He knows he can resist the temptations and save himself and his family from any further torment of the house, but the bottles sparkle under the lights, revealing secrets, calling for him, calling him home…
I really enjoyed “Bottled.” I love haunted house stories, so this was a treat for me, although this isn’t merely a haunted house story. Granddad and Mrs. Waites are both creepy characters. Tyler is strong, has left his demons in the past, and he knows the steps he needs to take. The house and bottles hold secrets that I was excited to uncover. I loved that the book was fast-paced for me. So much anticipation! It really picked up speed at the end. I envisioned myself walking down the dark halls of the house, and I could almost taste the stinking, gristly stew meat for dinner. Not too long and not too short. This book hit all the right spots for me.
Thanks to Silver Shamrock Publishing for providing me with an eARC of this book.
The house was his, an unwanted and unwelcome inheritance. As a child, Tyler Vitrum spent many miserable hours beneath its roof, hating his grandfather and the man’s housekeeper, Mrs. Waites. His only escape during those visits had been via the impossible bottles created by his granddad; bottles holding miniature worlds in which he could lose himself for hours. Sometimes however, he sensed something else living in the house and in the bottles and when he returned home, he took the nightmares with him. Now an adult, Tyler decides one last visit can do no harm, allow him to finally shake off his nightmares. The bottles however, are waiting—and so is Mrs. Waites. As both house and bottles gradually yield up their secrets, it is made clear to Tyler what is expected of him and what will happen should he fail.Is Tyler master or servant of the house?
Miranda Crites is a reader, writer, book reviewer, photographer, and lover of horror from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia.
The writing bug bit Miranda at a very early age. She was pretty much born with a pen and a camera in her hands. She won the young writers’ contest in first grade and received her first camera as a gift when she was nine years old.
When not writing, Miranda enjoys spending time with her family. She and her family spend a lot of time off the grid where they are building a cabin in the supposedly haunted woods.
Miranda is self-employed. She and her husband create large and small vinyl decals, t-shirts, signs, and a plethora of creative customized items.
Some of her many hobbies when time allows are: making unique crafts and artwork, painting, hiking, and, of course, photography.
She has a diploma for Writing for Children and Teenagers although most of her current work is horror fiction and poetry.
Miranda is a member of Team Kendall Reviews at www.KendallReviews.com where you can find her horror book reviews and her monthly feature, Miranda Snaps, which generally contains horror fiction and photography.
Miranda is one of “The Thirty,” which is a group of thirty authors who are each taking a turn in writing a chapter of an in-progress horror novel.
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