All The Right Reads

Fiction Recommendation Experts

2023 Book Review: Open Wound

by Shane Blackheart 

A Horror, Independently Published in 2023, 234 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • I read this as a review request without reading book 1. This is something I do all the time as the kind of reader who can fill in gaps and get immersed in a world. This was an attempt to see if this book can stand alone or needs the first one to provide context. If you like to know what’s going on instead of assuming things, you’ll need the first one. I had to make a lot of assumptions right up front that may or may not have been right. This won’t affect my review. 
  • The entire set up of the book feels uncomfortably dark. The author does a good job of fading to black for some moments, but it still feels dark. Use this as a content warning if you must (there is an actual content warning on the opening pages though). 
  • The plot elements feel like an afterthought. The characters are explored, the concept is developed, but the plot isn’t a focus and it shows. It’s difficult to pin down what this book is actually about. 

What I Did Like:

  • The idea of exploring your dark desires in order to overcome anxieties or trauma was interesting. The idea of using (imaginary friends? Other parts of yourself? Actual angels and demons?) to do so was even more interesting. 
  • The explorations in the void were well written. It attaches an imagery to the psychological work being done in a way that works.

Who Should Read This One:

  • If the vibe you’re after is a dark book about monsters within reflecting the darkness of a psyche, this may be your book.

My Rating: 2 Stars

  • I wanted more plot than vibes so, for me, this one was problematic.

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