C.M. Saunders “Out of Time” Review

Posted: January 11, 2015 in Reviews, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,


Length: 91 Pages

Publisher: DeadPixel Publications

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

C.M. Saunders latest novella tells the story of Joe Dawson, a writer who enjoys modest success from his Joshua Wyrdd series that follows a young teen who uses an ancient time travelling device to solve ancient mysteries and helping those in need. He begins to feel pressure as his ideas begin drying up and finds himself in danger of being dropped by his publisher unless his new book is a massive success, so he decides to visit Rhyl, a small beach town in north Wales. He heard his mother talk about it a lot before her death, and he figures the seaside town may just offer him the chance to shake off his writers block.

When he arrives to the town, he sees the town’s glory has long since faded and the hotel he has decided to stay at is horribly old-fashioned. He is plagued by a sense that something is familiar about the woman who works the front desk, despite the fact he has never stayed there before. Dawson’s stay starts out normal enough, but when he awakes the next morning after a late-night marathon session of writing, he discovers there is something horribly wrong. He notices that there are no Wi-Fi networks available when he attempts to check his email. He thinks nothing of it, even though in this day in age there is usually always a Wi-Fi hotspot around, even if it is password protected. He turns on the TV to only find three channels. Slightly confused, Joe decides to venture out into town in search of food and is shocked to find the once desolate town of Rhyl thriving with life. Though he can’t quite place his finger on it, Joe realizes something is wrong but chooses to ignore the odd turn of events.

Joe quickly discovers that he was right about Rhyl, that there is something strange going on. Rather than feel lost and frantic, he finds that the discovery invigorates his writing and counts his discovery as a sort of blessing. Previously content with working out details for his latest Joshua Wyrdd book, Joe is quickly overwhelmed with thoughts of his Special Project – a work that he feels will cement him as a celebrity and make his dreams of fame and fortune a reality. However, his ongoing project is entwined with a dark secret that Joe has been harboring for years. As Joe resumes planning out his Special Project, he finds himself plagued by horrific nightmares that get increasingly worse every night. As Joe’s grip on reality and sanity slowly slip away, he makes a shocking discovery that explains his nightmares and the source of the strange occurrences he experienced in Rhyl.

C.M. Saunders’ Out of Time is an entertaining novella that has a pretty interesting twist that comes at the conclusion of the story. The only thing that hinders the novella is a lot of time is spent detailing the inner monologues Joe has with himself and the nature of his work and by the time all of the various threads of the plot come together, they seem a bit rushed. Saunders does an excellent job of wrapping up the different narrative threads in a tidy package, but I would have loved to see the explosive revelations given a little more detail.

Considering how much I enjoyed this novella and Saunders’ excellent “The Elementals and I” that appeared in Grey Matter Press’ Dark Visions Vol. 2, it is evident that C.M. Saunders is an exceptional writer capable of crafting engaging horror tales that rely on atmosphere over traditional scares. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what else he has planned and I hope that Saunders expands into full-length novels in the future.

Rating: 4/5


C.M. Saunders’ Official Website

DeadPixel Publications Official Website

Purchase Out of Time on Amazon

  1. […] – The Horror Bookshelf […]

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