Zoe Lee O’Farrell (@zooloo2008)
Reviewed by Matt @Cleric20 Adcock
“Jon went back into his room, grabbed his phone and opened WhatsApp. He found the group chat, and quickly typed,
Guys, dunno bout you, but weird stuff has happened! Sum1 is trying 2 spk 2 me!!!!!!!!
He hoped someone would be online so they could all talk about it, but no answer came.”
Very little can prepare you for Zoe Lee O’Farrell’s grim debut novel. You might know the old adage - don’t play with Ouija boards cos bad things will happen, but you really haven’t witnessed anything quite like this…
O’Farrell writes with an immediacy and winning style, her suspense-laden tale might seem familiar but it’s wall-to-wall nerve-jangling which will delight those looking for a sinister thrill ride! Meet a likable bunch of teens who decide to try a Ouija board in a supposedly haunted school - itself the site of a massacre… What’s the worst that could happen huh?
What follows is a nightmare for all of them, the characters are believable and O’Farrell is obviously fluent in ‘teen text banter’ - the group is riddled with exactly the sort of relationship tension, drama, and showboating that young people have been engaging in forever.
As a demonic entity is unleashed and the body count rises, the question begins to form ‘who will survive - and what will be left of them?’ This isn’t a book for the faint of heart.
If you needed a reason not to dabble with a Ouija board - this book will do the job with its deliciously dark plot that contains some seriously disturbing scenes - the type that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it.
So, is Zoe an absolute psycho? I don’t think so, as I had the joy of bumping into her at a writers' event and we seemed to hit it off ok, apart from very differing views of football… Here are her answers to the Darkmatters questions - which are some of my favs since I started doing this (respect on the Arnie answer) - so you can get to know her a bit more too:
Matt: If you were a superhero – what powers would you have and who or what would be your nemesis?
Zoe: Gosh start with a hard question why don't you!!!! Erm.....I mean do I even want to be a hero, why not a villain? It's always the hero that wins out....ok will think about this......thinking................ thinking................... thinking.......... I think I would want to be able to create more time in the day for me to get what I want done whether it be spend time with my mini me, reading, gaming or building my business. My nemesis, easy, all the asses that take up too much for my time for negative reasons......
Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre?
Zoe: I heard about that Human Centipede film, which I have avoided. I get a bit creeped out more with the way things are filmed, like when they do that twitchy shit on the Ring for example. But I had to turn off Old People the other day, it was just a bit too unsettling for me and it takes A LOT to unsettle me!
Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?
Zoe: I am going to go crazy, I would have an Arnold Schwarzenegger parade, try and get the main man there! There would be Arnie quotes on the floats. His films would be showcased in order of best to....well best (but ignoring that shite Terminator film which has no right to be there). Oh, come on you know it was going to happen!
Matt: You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to…
Zoe: Sorry you don't have the security clearance for that
Matt: Who inspires you most (can be living or dead)?
Zoe: There are many people in, in the book world there are a couple of authors who I adore, but my main champion is an author called Carol Wyer, she inspires me daily and her stories keep me going. She is a rock star.
In life, my dad did, life wasn't always easy for him or us, but he grafted and he always looked for the best in people.
Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely
to be under the mask?
Zoe: How long have you got?
Matt: What is the meaning of life?
Zoe: To appreciate what you have and who you have.
Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Zoe: Well I am going to be really cheesy and say my mini me, but then it is like arguing with a mini me at the same time. LOL, so depends on what day you ask me - JOKING!
Aside from the beautiful creation, I think the best gift (and again I am going full power of cheese) I was given was by my Nan, the first book I remember - Lord of The Rings - The Fellowship, as that sparked my love of reading - I was about 6......
Matt: If you could have a demon servant – what would you get it to do for you?
Zoe: Well to be honest, the mood I am in while I write this I think I would go pretty dark and pull a Hellraiser, and get them to bring the freaky deaky chains from nowhere..... bit dark?
Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?
Matt: Any final words you like to add...
Zoe: Thank you so much to everyone who has read my book and this Q&A!
Here's the 'official' Author Bio for Zoe:
Zoé O’Farrell grew up in Watford but left the town life to live by the sea down at the White Cliffs
of Dover. She spends her days working with numbers before escaping in the evening to the world of words
and movies. Her go-to relaxation is watching a scary movie or reading a terrifying book!
She is a book blogger and tour organiser just to keep her extra busy. When she is not reading or
writing, you can usually find her watching Watford FC or at a gig. Failing that she can be found
rolling her eyes at her husband as he acts the same age as her spitfire of a Mini-Me whilst
separating her two cats.
Ouija is her debut novel.
Follow her at:
Website : https://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/
Buy OUIJA here
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