Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘ Amethyst’ by Jesse Nolan Bailey organised by Storytellers on Tour, a book I leapt at the chance to read after falling in love with the Jealousy of Jalice which was the author’s debut earlier this year . I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’
Rashell’s brother has vanished. When the local villagers express no concern, she enlists the help of a stranger from a faraway city to find Teth.
Investigator Derrik discovers the people worship a massive stone known as the Amethyst. Even more bizarre, an ancient relic of a mummy fuels their reverence.
Given limited time, Rashell and Derrik confront these mysterious elements at play, all the while striving to uncover what happened to Rashell’s brother.
Hot on the heels of his debut The Jealousy of Jalice which is one of my favourite books of 2020, comes Amethyst, a fantasy novella that is quite different and yet still showcases Jesse Nolan Bailey’s ability to weave a gripping story, even within the tight confines of 133 pages.
I love stories that explore the idea that humans are just as terrifying or ‘evil’ (depending on your point of view of course) as the monsters lurking in the shadows, I especially loved them when they’re done like this. With one of the most malevolent atmospheres I’ve felt from a book in a while, this wasn’t just a creepy backdrop to the story and characters, it was practically a present in and of itself, and it was absolutely fantastic. Especially, when it was crafted and held on a razor edge in a shorter book where everything had to be focused within a short space, and Amethyst packs a lot into that space while maintaining that atmosphere and the careful balance between breadth of story and the limitations of a novella (and leaving you both satisfied and wanting way more, of this book and of the author’s writing).
The worldbuilding and characterisation are a little more limited by the length of the book, and yet it still shines through, and while we may not spend enough time with the characters – I want to spend more time with Kerr even if he makes my skin crawl – the time we have with them is well spent. This is a beautifully realised world, that feels real and weird and creepy in equal measure and pulls you well and truly into its pace. Everything from the characters, to the village and the cult, is woven together so that each one is part of the other, strengthening the atmosphere – because the villagers are as ominous as the world they inhabit, and the interactions with them, only helped to build the tension and the atmosphere.
Once again, I find myself in love with Jesse Nolan Bailey’s writing, it’s visceral and beautiful, and really lifts Amethyst to a whole other level, and a couple of scenes had me well and truly on edge because of that, and there were twists that I didn’t see coming, but were perfectly executed for maximum impact. Amethyst was a brilliant, horrifying read that I would recommend to anyone who loves fantasy/horror, especially if they’re looking for a shorter read that packs a punch. This book has well and truly cemented that he will be an instant buy author for me for the foreseeable future.
About the Author:
Enthralled by the magic that written stories contain, Jesse Nolan Bailey has always wanted to be an author. With his debut novel, THE JEALOUSY OF JALICE, and his shorter fiction, AMETHYST, released to the masses, he can now claim such title with relief. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, where he has embraced the equally-gratifying lifework of hosting a trio of spoiled cats and two mini-aussies.
Amethyst – Jesse Nolan Bailey – ***** (5/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.