#BookReview Saint’s Vigil by Bryan Phoenix


Saint’s Vigil by Bryan Phoenix

This horror/thriller was a read that was on my bookshelf for quite a long time. I tried picking it up a few times but it wasn’t doing it for me. Finally, I forced myself to sit down and finish it – and it was quite the treat. It just took a little bit to get starter.

This book is brutal (in a good way, I guess? It’s meant to be). It’s not lighthearted, and I dare say it deserved an NC17 or R rating if it was rating through the MPAA. There’s lots of pain and loss within the story, but I wouldn’t say this horror lives up to a Stephen King kind of horror. This kind of horror was very brutal, bloody and cruel. It’s not a scare you psychologically, it’s more of a realistic, disgusting kind of horror. Some people like that, I personally don’t. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good horror novel that scares me, but this one seemed more wrong than scary. There’s corpses and mutilation and things you don’t typically see in books (or I’m reading all the wrong ones…or right ones? I guess…)

The style of this book flows smoothly, and it keeps moving at a relatively medium-pace the entire novel. I thought it could have moved a bit faster (due to how large this book is) but it was okay.

I found the characters kind of dull. I didn’t connect with them like I do other characters (villainous and heroes/antiheroes alike). Within this story, these characters could have been real winners – the brutal nature of this story leaves so much room for characters with real motives and crazy storylines, but it didn’t hit it out of the park for me.

Overall, this book has good themes but wasn’t my top novel of the year. It’s a good read for someone who wants something brutal and “disgusting” (in a good way, I promise!! Like a brutal Quenten Tarantino sort of book).

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.



Check out Bryan on Goodreads! Bryan Phoenix on Goodreads

Or check out his website! Bryan Phoenix.com

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or follow me on Twitter! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter


#BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt



This book was written in Nova Scotia, and as a Canadian I AM SO HAPPY I AM READING A CANADIAN BOOK. That cannot be understated – I love helping other Canadian authors out. It’s so near and dear to my heart.

Rebecca McNutt’s novel Bittersweet Symphony was an addicting read for me. Her descriptions and tone in her writing was something that just clicked with me. Her tone was somewhat professional, yet it worked so well within this novel. It almost sounded like the perfection my English teachers in high school wanted us to achieve, but never could. The level of how descriptive her writing is made me feel like I was there with the characters. I could see this being “too much” for some readers, but I love description when it’s paired with a good story (and it’s not just one hundred pages describing how the characters look).

I like how the story is essentially an allusion for real events, and the little splash of ghosts thrown in as well. It makes it real yet not real, believable yet not believable all wrapped up into one. This book is in it’s own little corner, AND I LOVE IT.

I would say this book has some “mature” themes, revolving around language and some things that are referenced (without spoiling). Although, that doesn’t mean you have to be 18+ to read it. The book isn’t to graphic, so I think teenagers could easily read this book and relate to it.

1. Unique story telling – Rebecca doesn’t follow your stereotypical, simple writing style. It’s hard to explain, but it’s different. I like the term “gothic” for it, but that’s not 100% on point with how she writes. Essentially, I love an author that writes in their own style and doesn’t follow a norm so I REALLY liked this book.

2. Short and Sweet – This book isn’t 1000 pages long. This book reminded me of the original Star Wars trilogy: the information that needed to be there, was there. There was no fluff, it got to the point and made an effective story.

3. “Black as the ace of spades” – The language is BEAUTIFUL in this book. I’m obsessed with it. Can Rebecca McNutt write my life story while she’s at it?

4. Interconnecting Stories – I’m obsessed with Cloud Atlas (one of my all time faves of interconnecting stories) so it seems fitting that I’d enjoy another book that interconnects everything. Bravo!!

5. Relatable – This book was relatable on so many levels. Just reading how the lawyer says that they are snakes until someone needs their help, and then suddenly they are their best friend – yeah, that one hit me where it hurts. It’s so honest, and so true.

6. Shocking Twists and Turns – Some of this book you don’t see coming, and I can respect an author that can actually make that work in a novel.

1. Dialogue – The dialogue can appear “rigid” or “stiff” to some readers. For me, it worked within the story and how Rebecca was telling her story, but that might turn off other readers.

2. Personal con: Madson. I keep wanting to call it “Madison” or anything but Madson. It was driving me insane as I was reading it because my brain didn’t want to comprehend the name. Major personal con here (and an amusing con at that).

I’m amazed that people are saying Rebecca McNutt was 19 when she wrote this. That’s a lot of talent for that age, so I can only imagine Rebecca getting better the more she writes and the more time she has to practice. This book doesn’t seem like it’s written by a 19 year old – it’s incredibly mature.

Overall, this unique book had me hooked and addicted from it’s first page. I’m so glad I read it, because I haven’t read a book so unique and actually good for a very long time!

Five out of five stars.

I received a copy of this book from the author Rebecca McNutt in exchange for an honest review. Everything here is my own, honest opinion.

Side notes: If you want to read this book, the author posted her own “review” offering copies out. It’s a great opportunity to read and review an awesome book. Not many authors offer opportunities like this, so hop on it if it’s still available!!!


Will you be reading this book? Or do you have a book recommendation? Comment below!

Check Rebecca McNutt out on Goodreads! Rebecca McNutt on Goodreads

Once you’ve read this review, hit me up on Twitter and tell me what you thought of it! @ReviewAlholic
If you enjoyed this review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

#BookReview Manchester Vice by Jack Strange


*Arc given by the author, Jack Strange, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

Warning: Spoilers below.

Jack Strange’s books are of an interesting variety – when reading the synopsis I always get this very melancholy or “yeah, yeah” feeling, but when I pick up the book I’m blown away by the sheer excellence of his writing skills. Truly, the synopsis of anyone of his books don’t do the novels justice.

If I had to describe this book in one sentence, it would be “what the eff”. Now, that might sound rude, but I mean it in the nicest way possible. This book is all kinds of messed up, and truly memorizing. It gives me Dexter-like vibes in every way, in every good way. If you’re into severely messed up crime, this book is for you. It’ll blow your mind with how crazy, surreal and descriptive a novel like this can be.

I’m honestly surprised that Jack isn’t a more popular author than he is. I could see people lining up for these books in my local book shops, but they aren’t. It really boggles my mind how some really talented people aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.


1. Excellent story telling – Jack Strange has true talent with how he weaves his narrative together. You don’t know what’s real or not until the very end – and that’s just how I love a good quality crime novel!

2. Unique descriptions – This man has a way with words, as I already said. But not only is his story telling fascinating, but his word choice enhances this novel to another level.

3. I find it interesting that most crime novels that feature a murderer don’t delve into the actual feelings they have (why they murder, what they feel after, etc) but Jack finally did. It’s a nice change, because I always wondered if the murderers felt anything at all or if they were just emotionless monsters.

4. The arc of the storyline was intriguing and followed every note I hoped it would hit. Some of it is easily guessed, but I’m glad Jack took the route he did (trying to explain this without any major spoilers is tougher than I thought it would be…). In a world like today where Big Brother is always watching us and social media is king of all, it was nice to see this book accept this fact and play along with it.

5. The King Lear references about tragedy being brought on by the character’s themselves is a very nice addition.


1. Drugging a cat annoyed me as a cat lover, I won’t lie. That’s a major con for me.

2. My personal con/questions: I would have liked to know what swung Brian into being the bad guy that he is. Was he always this bad? Was it just a situation that led him to this? I have lots of questions as to how someone could be so easily swayed into the life/choices they made. But that’s just me and my over active imagination/thoughts. It’s not necessarily a con against the book, it’s my personal thoughts/loose ends that didn’t get tied up for me.

3. I found that at some points of this book it got a little boring/slow. I get bored very quickly with books that don’t interest me 99% of the time, so that’s a “me” con.

4. The ending is ridiculously obvious if you paid attention while reading the book. Just saying.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s a great read that can be easily devoured in one sitting.

Four out of five stars.


Check out Jack Strange on Goodreads! Jack Strange on Goodreads

Or visit his website: Jack-Strange.co.uk

Why not give one of us a shout out on Twitter?! @JackStrange11 or @ReviewAlholic

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange



In honor of the new released of FNAF: The Twisted Ones, here is my review of the first book in this fantastical series, FNAF: The Silver Eyes.

Five Night’s at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes was an incredible read that gives an insider view into the FNAF lore and world Scott Cawthon has created in the games.

The worst part about this book (yes I’m starting with the worst) is that Scott Cawthon made it clear that this book is not completely canon and does not align up with the video games. Once you finally connect all these dots and think you solve the story, Scott has to go and switch up his lore! But that doesn’t ruin this book at all, if anything it makes you try to connect little dots here and there to match up with the video game universe lore.

This book was a great addition to the FNAF world. I really enjoyed reading this story from another point of view. It gave great visual cues and was one of the few “horror YA” novels that I could actually get into.

For those who are into horror, and carnivals or old childhood tales, this book is definitely for you! It gives you a creepy, Chuck E Cheese vibe (if you haven’t heard or read about FNAF before). These scary animatronics are attacking children and have even killed in the past. Or so they thought…

The lore is expanded so beautifully that I deem it an absolute must read for YA lovers, horror enthusiasts or FNAF fans.

There are bits and pieces that seem out of place, like specific markings on floorings being described or old childhood memories that seem to appear out of nowhere, but I know Scott Cawthon – everything is important. Perhaps in the next book these silly, little descriptions and features of this book will change the way we look at FNAF forever.

I am incredibly excited to see Charlie’s story continue in the next novel (which HAS been announced! Yay!) and hopefully we might see her hinted at in any future FNAF games? Hopefully!!

Five out of five stars!

Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange


Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange


I’m not quite sure what I think about this story. It is definitely a unique read – I can’t say I’ve read anything like it before. For me, I found the introduction to be…well, interesting. It didn’t hook me onto every word, but at the same time it didn’t defer me.

I would say this book is more of a niche book. You either will love it, or you won’t. It’s a very special type of humor and writing style that not everyone will love. With saying that, it is definitely a good book. Jack Strange put a lot of effort into it and you can tell. It’s well written and it’s well versed, but the audience needs to be away it’s not for EVERYBODY.

I definitely wouldn’t suggest this to someone looking for an epic adventure, a long lost romance, or just some good old crime story. It’s in it’s own little category – the niche, crime/killer/thriller novel section.

If I’m comparing it to anything, I’d like to think it’s kind of a splash of Dexter (television show) meets Kingsmen: The Secret Service Movie, and tie in a few serial killer stories as well.

The more you go into it, the “confessions” themselves are unique and telling. Somehow you like Lawrence (our main character) throughout the story despite him being pretty shady – which says a lot about Jack Strange. If he can make us like this “dislikable” character so much, he definitely has talent.

If I were to critique this novel or say something I disliked, the only thing I might have wanted was more action sooner. I found the first few chapters a little slow, but it picks up once you’re one or two chapters in.

Overall, this book wasn’t made for me. I did think it was fantastic, but it’s not the type of book that I’m personally seeking out. I would love to read more by Jack Strange because his style is by far one of the most unique I’ve ever seen, especially lately.

Four out of five stars.

Quick Book Review: Mania (The Night Walkers #3) by JR Johansson


Photo via Goodreads.

Mania is a great fantasy, young adult novel for any reader.

To start out with, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read the previous books before starting this one. I did not, since I got this as a review novel, and boy was I confused for 75% of this book. That’s not to say this book isn’t highly addicting and incredibly interesting as a “standalone”, but having the background information from the other novels would have made this book so much better!

As a standalone, (or as I call it, Bri-anna the reviewer couldn’t find the other novels and couldn’t afford to buy them), the book was great! The author does back track and explain some of the content of the previous novels to aid the readers. So, I had a basic understanding of what was going on throughout the book.

In short, this book follows some teenagers and young adults through a sort of post apocalyptic / dystopian world. There is a virus that is going around, that makes people similar to zombies – some of them can’t sleep and don’t read, which leads them to not living long. Our main characters, half brothers Jack and Parker, are trying to find the cure which their Father left behind (but is no longer with them). Together with their friends, they must face a rivaling group bent on evil and cure this disease to aid the world.

I wish I would have read the previous books so I would have more feelings towards the characters. These characters are beautifully written, but since I didn’t know their previous relationships and personalities, I felt like I was at a loss. JR Johansson did so great building these characters in just this book, that I can’t help but wonder what happened in the two previous!

Overall, this book was great! The plot was summed up, the characters were built well, and it was an original story and plot I hadn’t heard often – it was a great spin on what could have been a very typical plot.

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn


Photo via Goodreads.

I love Gillian Flynn and her writing story! I decided to read this novel after I became obsessed with all things Gone Girl.

This novel, from my understanding, was the first one she had ever written that was published. Even for a first novel, it was amazingly thought out and had me hooked at every word. I found it to be a little short and I saw the ending coming, but I still found the book addicting and well planned.

There’s not much wrong that I can critique about the book, other than wanting more action to happen or the book to be longer (but I think that’s because I adore Gillian Flynn and I just want more books and writing by her out right now). I did see the ending coming from the very beginning, but that might be due to the part that I read and watch a lot of books and television shows about crime.

I found this book not to be as good as Gone Girl, but still an amazing read. For me, the book was a five out of five stars. A good crime novel mystery that made me want more out of Gillian Flynn immediately.

Wonderful novel! 5 out of 5 stars!