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Book Reviews: The Red Tree + Terra Insegura

The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Sarah Crowe leaves her home and the ruins of a relationship to live in an old house deep in the countryside. While exploring the house’s vast cellar, she finds an unfinished manuscript written by the house’s former tenant.

The manuscript tells the tale of myths and legends associated with the ancient oak tree growing on the property. As time passes Sarah becomes more and more obsessed with the ancient tree and its bloody history. Sarah feverishly writes in her journal as her mind crumbles under the weight of her obsession.

This is a creepy page turner full of eerie intimations of something just beyond the corner of your eye. It brims with potent atmosphere and foreboding tension. As Sarah tries to fathom the unknowable, the more apparent her incipient madness becomes. If you want a compelling tale of sustained dread, you mustn’t miss this.

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Terra Insegura by Edward Willett

The sequel to ‘Marseguro’. The plague created on Marseguro to end Earth’s invasion has been carried to the mother planet. To avert this unintentional genocide, Richard Hansen and a crew of selkies and humans from Marseguro head to Earth with a vaccine.

But once on Earth, several things become apparent. Richard has the tactical skills of a tomato plant, the alternately revered and despised Victor Hansen turns out to have had a lot of skeletons in his closet and arch traitor Chris Keating is annoying. Really annoying, ‘Gilmore Girls’ annoying.

This is an okay read with plenty of action, reversals of fortune, cunning plans and Richard brooding. There are hints that there could be a third volume in the series which would be nice.
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