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The only thing scarier than being alone in the dark, is not being alone in the dark.
Alice had always been good at keeping secrets. However, when a young man mysteriously disappears, a catastrophic series of events are triggered, threatening to upend Alice’s seemingly quiet life. Haunting memories of her past threaten to make themselves known. A childhood protector turns predator, threatening to defend her from all threats – No matter the cost.
Can she navigate the dangers of the unpredictable present? More importantly, is her secret worth dying for?
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Comfort Blanket is labelled as a horror story, but in my personal opinion, it isn't one. A more fitting description would be a supernatural thriller instead, which I believe is (at least to me) a separate genre. Where horrors try to hammer you down with the pure shock factor, thrillers work with a thick atmosphere and slow build-up of tension up until their very finale when everything comes down in some spectacular fashion.
As a result, the story has quite a slow progression and demands a certain level of patience and attention from the reader to keep rolling, which is always a challenge for the written medium where you don’t have good acting to carry it through as movies and audiobooks would have. Comfort Blanket still remains a captivating and suspenseful story, even though I must admit I find the ending a little bit disappointing as I expected a little bit more to happen. There isn’t anything missing per se, and I think if I imagine it in some movie adaptation, it would most likely work, but still … I would wish there is more. However, I don’t really think that wanting more is a flaw, hence score remains high here.
Grammar received a 5-star score by default as I don't dare criticize anyone for grammar when my 1st language isn’t English.
The only category where the score would drop below the 5-star maximum is the character as I don't feel they are particularly complex or developed, but they don't necessarily need to be for this kind of story to actually work. But rating it down would imply that this story isn't doing what it is expected to do - and that's not true, it is a fine thriller. And I feel somewhat guilty for giving it a low rating at the circumstances, so I'll go with a perfect score, but if you feel particularly nitpicky you can imagine an average rating in this regard.
Overall, a very good story, for the people who want to read the thiller, even though may feel a little slow for everyone else. Alternatively, people who liked the story may end up wanting more, almost like there was always supposed to be a sequel that wasn’t done yet
If you are a fan of books that rely on the overall atmosphere or aren't bothered with a slowly advancing story, give Confort Blanket a chance.
Sometimes, you came across a story that clearly has an exciting premise and a massive world to explore, but you may find yourself suffering from disorientation as they shove so many details into your brain. Like your friend trying to help you absorb a semester’s worth of material for that final you procrastinated studying for several weeks.
“Subtlety” is a keyword that authors should abide by. And this author didn’t miss that memo. Good for them. No need for obvious foreshadowing or obnoxious hinting at something far bigger coming in the future.
Incongruous to the short spiel I started this review with—no—this isn’t an epic fantasy story, and I am not critiquing it as such. This is a slow-burning, character-focused story with an eerie, palpable presence looming over the events that’ll keep you questioning what is going on as you read.
This story knows exactly what it is and it owns it. I live for mystery. What can I say? I like being confused.
Impressively, the author maintained the word count of each chapter in a way where they end abruptly (but gracefully) and leave you curious to see what happens next.
The fear factor manifests in the form of rising tension that may leave you clenching a muscle or two. It keeps me very intrigued!
Let’s start with style. At times it has some fun wordplay and doesn’t always take itself too seriously, which is something I greatly appreciate giving it personality—making way to the formation of its own identity. Although, some phrases used in the narration may be cliched, but nothing worth docking off points for.
Characters are difficult to make a comment on. I do enjoy the protagonist and seeing her struggles and the moldering of her mental state from an early age is great character building to me. It is easy to connect with the character. The rest of the cast, however, seems a bit underwhelming for now, but I do think saying that is unfair because it is fully possible, I haven’t read enough to see enough of them (As of now I am on chapter 10), so take this with a large plate of salt.
Grammar looks good to me, professional even. A typo or missing word that you’ll see rarely and shrug as they aren’t really significant. Nothing that grinds you to a halt.
TL;DR, if you are looking for something different and easy to digest. Grab your comfort blanket and have a read. Your curiosity will do the rest from there. You’ll be surprised by how it goes from “simple” to… well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
It is like a bag of delicious snacks.
They are great.
You gulp up the entire pack and then realize they left a strange aftertaste in your mouth.
The author clearly took heavy inspiration from cinematography here. The story is structured similar to the movie. No, it’s not a script, the format is normal prose, but the composition doesn’t feel like one. Instead, like the movie, it relies on a series of emotive scenes to set the viewers-readers into the right mood, with the most impressive of this left to be the finale followed by the closing scene that gives a certain hope for the sequel for those who were hooked in by the feeling.
All and all, that’s probably good storytelling, for a movie, but I am not entirely certain it makes a great book. That’s the reason I rate the story overall 5/5, with the same rating given in both style and grammar categories.
The story and character, however, aren’t that great. At least, for the book. With the right actresses and good directors, it would be an excellent movie. You see, movies don’t have time to bother with worldbuilding and narration, while characterization is mostly delegated to actors and actresses doing their job, everything must fit into roughly two hours max. (special director cuts not included) so they need to be brief.
Books however have the space, they can have all the worldbuilding movies can't never have.
Except, there isn’t any. Practically nothing is explained, not during the story, and not even in the end, leaving us wondering what the hell was this really about. The movie doesn’t need this, they need to impress the viewer with the scene, and this story does it 100%, but otherwise … no, it simply doesn’t feel right in text format I wish the story was longer and revealed more.
The characters are also quite flat. I don’t know who the protagonist is. Alice, the protagonist, feels like the little girl during the story even though the first chapter clearly establishes she is an adult woman, and I am not entirely sure what kind of person she is. With a good actress, in the movie adaptation, it would work. But a book? I don’t know, just a story, it doesn’t feel right.
I will not discourage anyone from reading it.
Go on, read it, it’s short, but I feel a little disappointed by it. It should have been longer.
An excellent job done by the author Astrille.
This story has a nice touch of horror, blended beautifully with a depiction of real life.
Alice's story is engaging, and draws in the reader. Her life and her family background are clearly depicted, so that she has a strong sense of reality. We can understand the fears of a young girl in the dark. And she has found a good friend and companion to protect her...
The story is good, and the writing is good. In a short piece, we easily understand what is happening in her family home, and in her aunt and uncle's house. The characters are developed, and make sense, and the events are well-described
It was my first taste of writing by Astrille, and I was impressed. I'll read other fiction by this writer.
Written in the style of a comment to the author. You have been warned.
Read this one as well. Pretty short for now, but I won't mind making an advanced review when this gets a bit longer. I am enjoying what I see if you catch my drift. Sure, this isn't truly my usual reading choice, but it does cause some amount of interest. While I wouldn't exactly call it an S-tier, I wouldn't mind giving it a solid B- Good enough to read while on break, but not enough that it puts Hamlet to shame. The premise is fun, and I am sure that it will be that much later on.
Though, I do have the same ideas about conversation as your other fiction. It feels a bit rusty. While this fiction might not heavily rely on dialogue, I can still see some faults in the realism of their talking. Not anything truly serious, but I could still see it.
Overall, I will be giving this a 4.5. Better than the author's other works, though it might just prove to be much better soon.