Published 12th March 2015 by RED EYE (Stripes Publishing).
Goodreads Synopsis: I must record the facts that have led me to where I am now. So that, when someone reads this, they understand. Sam Hunter’s neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they’re liars too. The Greenhills are hiding something and Sam’s determined to find out what it is. As his investigation unfolds, he realizes the lies reach further than he ever imagined – is there anyone he can trust? Uncovering the horror is one thing …escaping is another. A chilling new story in the Red Eye series.
My Review: No exaggeration, I jumped up and down for a while when I heard about Stripes Publishing’s new imprint – RED EYE – a series of new horror YA novels, starting this year. I haven’t gotten around to reading the first two in the series yet, but was very excited when I was able to read this instalment!
Flesh and Blood centres around Sam Hunter, who moves to a nicer and seemingly perfect neighbourhood after his dad’s success. Everything seems dreamily brilliant until he stumbles across the first horror, and then notices some strange traits in his neighbours… Then begins to search for the horrifying, shocking truth behind the Greenhills.
I was absorbed in the story straight away and loved the format it was written in: Sam’s narration felt really honest and I liked how it was written as a report, stating the facts with occasional present-tense comments about what had happened. Sam is a very three-dimensional feeling character. The decisions he makes in this book are bound to drive people crazy… But in a weird way, I understood him because it was just realistic.
Despite the suggestive cover image and the title Flesh and Blood, it was a lot gorier and freaky than I’d assumed – and it got freaky and gory very quickly. I’d read on the press release that this book wasn’t for the “faint hearted” and… Well, I can’t emphasise that enough… I got pretty squeamish at a lot of points! The story is pretty brutal. The plot was really great and felt like a classic horror story, yet refreshing – but the themes were just unnerving.
I don’t even know how to talk about the ending. No words will do it justice! It’s twisted, horrific, and makes you question everything you knew about the main character – though I think it gave him more depth. It’s safe to say the last pages will be stuck in your head for days. I’m still wishing I knew what happened next – but in a good way. The cliffhanger-feeling is pretty epic in this.
Overall, I was really blown away by my firs RED EYE read, and I will definitely be seeking out the other books from the imprint as they’re released. It was riveting: The story is definitely one of the most grim things I’ve come across – some points I got real chills. Definitely recommended, though only if you can handle its creepy contents. I’m now apprehensive about going to the doctor’s.
I received a copy of Flesh and Blood from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.