The follow-up to Haunting Melissa

Haunting Melissa has returned with a sequel, Dark Hearts. Director Neal Edelstein changed the way we consume digital storytelling, especially on the iPad. He crafted such an intriguing canvas. An experimental horror, and succeeded. Now comes Dark Hearts.

After having experienced the earlier chapters of DARK HEARTS, the intensity has been elevated. A special mention to Neal and the team of #HauntingMelissa. Neal’s sense of direction is potent, dark with intrigue. The long shots are captured effectively as you step into each chapter with trepidation, I mean that as a compliment. It reminds me of William Friedkin or Alfonso Cuarón.

The series heads into a darker territory. A must experience.

5/5

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Who is Neal Edelstein?

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. . .

Neal Edelstein the producer of Mulholland Drive, The Ring, The Invisible, The Straight Story.
Director & creator of #HauntingMelissa & it’s sequel.

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Siren Suicides Bk. 2; My Sisters In Death REVIEW — Spoilers

Ksenia Anske—the new breed of emerging authors— returns with the second installment in the Siren Suicides trilogy. Along with Ailen Bright, the once troubled teenager-now-turned soulless siren. If you’ve read the first book, which you need to by the way, it picks up right after the finale. Ailen is desperately struggling to come to terms from her siren transformation, emotionally, but physically, she’s a whole lot stronger. Superhuman.

Surprisingly, Canosa, the siren leader of the group has been teaching Ailen siren-hunting skills. How to harness her untapped powers. Being a siren is menacingly exciting it seems. Ailen’s ability to consume a string of souls, that call out to her in a melody, each distinguished by its timbre and sound waves and tone. It’s like food, souls taste sweet, sour, or even worse. Food is something that is constantly on her mind, one soul at a time. It keeps her rejuvenated. I found this to be one of the most intriguing ideas elaborated throughout the narrative.

But could Ailen really trust Canosa? After learning the truth concealed within her past, but now revealed to her by Canosa, Ailen finds herself in a strange dilemma. She fears Canosa but also confines into her like she were her big sister. And even saved her siren form, but does that qualify enough to trust her.

But all does not seem well with Ailen once again, she’s also learnt of her Papa’s secret agenda. It turns out that he’s a siren hunter afterall. But without a soul, Ailen cannot sense or detect sound waves from him. She can easily detect food souls, but not her menacingly mocking Papa. And there’s a secret to this too, which once again connects to Canosa, and Ailen’s pot-smoking buddy, Hunter. As she finds herself escaping from confronting her tormenting-but-now-known-to-be-siren-hunter father, welding a sonic gun and a whip, she is accompanied by Hunter. Who despite having feelings towards Ailen, has actually been hired to kill her. Agreeing to do so, due to his personal and financial conditions. Within this exploding chaos, Ailen Bright battles to keep herself sane, with new waves of questions and choices. Who can she confine into, or trust? This is for the readers to find out.

As with the first, Ksenia has crafted some of the most amazing and original ideas. She takes Ailen’s spiralling journey even deeper. Ailen’s willpower to survive or surrender in the face of death is heartily enduring. Her transformation was only the tip of the iceberg. Ailen is changing, she can feel within stem from inside, transforming into a true siren, and in the process, about to or has lost her real self. It frees her but also haunts her at the same time. A cold-blooded siren with glowing skin, her realisation that she’s turning into a horrific monster. A body of seawater. Questioning her existence once again, and this time, being a siren is never going to change her back.

Humming to water calms her, de-cluttering a constant flood of thoughts. Some of the most impressive display of Ailen’s powers add freshness and originality to this book. When she hums to the sea and on one occasion creates towering waves of tsunami. Converting rain particles into a wave of raining crystals. Did I mention boat-racing, only Ailen pilots it lying in a plank position, only by humming. Some of the few examples of her learnt extraordinary powers. If you read this, you’ll also learn a siren’s weakest point of pain, Canosa has experienced this twice.

Ailen Bright is fighting to embrace herself as a siren, but within which, their still remains a trapped troubled, lonely and suicidal teenager. She yearns to be human again. It makes her even more relatable. And like her, Hunter — a polar opposite— is faced with the same circumstances. Vulnerable human beings destined to be converted to sirens or siren hunters, with supernatural attributes.

Ksenia reminds the reader throughout the narrative that is a personal, human story of survival. And the importance of our existence. Especially Ailens, and the difficult choices she has to make. Including her confrontational, humiliating, degrading showdowns with her father. Papa knows how to pull at her heartstrings at the exact times, like she were his puppet. Pulling at her strings like he were playing a piano, metaphorically speaking. Ailen finds her emotions being manipulated.

Ksenia effectively plants a narrative that stays with you after you’ve read it. The readers get to know and learn more about every character. There is a beautiful moment when Ksenia shares with the readers —in the previous book we learn only that Ailen’s mother had committed suicide by leaping off the Aurora Bridge six years ago— but here Ailen shares a beautiful memory of her mother that stayed with her when she was a child. It taps into you, emotionally. Ksenia Anske’s strength as an emerging author deserves great praise.

Like the first, illustrations have been crafted by Ksenia’s daughter, Anna Milioutina, brilliantly. Editing by Colleen M. Alberts, is truly amazing, you are glued. Beautifully written, the effective use of metaphors sound like lyrics of poetry. The series deserves to be adapted in the style of Day Watch, it’s very imaginative, in the minds eye. Quite cinematic. Emotionally driven, Ailen Bright is one of the finest characters ever devised in modern literature. Not to be missed.

Spellbinding. 5/5

. . .

Who is Ksenia Anske?

Ksenia Anske has been a full-time writer for 2 years now. Her very first fiction, Siren Suicides gained her a huge popularity and a surge of fan followers around the globe. A true inspiration for readers and emerging writers. She has offered free digital version of the books, via Kindle and iBooks.

Her works include, the SIREN SUICIDES trilogy, ROSEHEAD, and work in progress, IRKADURA.

http://www.kseniaanske.com

. . .

The cover image has been taken from the following link below. A fantastic and highly imaginative emerging artist Rosie Hardy. In great praise of her work. Represents what Ailen Bright would look like. Selected by Ksenia.

http://www.rosiehardy.com/1147-main-gallery

Siren Suicides Bk. 1; I Chose to Die REVIEW

Who is Ksenia Anske? She’s the author of the Siren Suicides trilogy. I was introduced to a fascinating character, Ailen Bright, when the series was in development. I met Ksenia, a dear friend, on Twitter and when I asked about Siren Suicides, she directed me to her YouTube channel, where she read the first early chapters. I was completely glued. This was back in late 2012. But it has taken me this long, because I myself had been developing and writing works of my own. Ksenia has become a true inspiration to me and many around the globe.

So, I began reading the first book in the series, I Chose to Die. What are my thoughts on it? It’s truly one of the finest pieces of fiction writing I have ever read. Call it a modern masterpiece. It begins with Ailen, attempting to drown herself, in a bathtub full of water. Add to that, she’d been smoking weed. Her mind adrift, she soon realises she’s experiencing a bad trip. Her thoughts consumed by the death of her mother, who leaped off the Aurora Bridge six years ago. Ever since then, the loss of her mother has haunted her like a series of endless nightmares.

The only comfort she finds is in the hallucinatory company of her sisters, not related, but who later through the pace of the narrative, turn out to be real sirens. Who with their beauty and mesmerising vocals sing the soul out of you. And you know what? You’re so dead, but you were smiling, like you were in euphoria, stoned. Ailen Bright confines into them, because they truly understand her pain.

She questions her existence, because her father never really wanted her, for him, he hoped for a son. And so, over the length of her life, he continues to degrade her, humiliate her, and with physical aggression. His repeated preachings about woman and their real purpose in life. His fears that Ailen should shape up to be different. Even if it means landing three slaps to her cheeks, after which, Papa has made his point.

Things don’t end just here, Ailen Bright makes the courageous attempt to escape from the crutches of her tormenting father. To take the same leap her mother had made. To erase her existence by diving into the depths of Aurora Bridge, and never be found. To disappear from the face of this planet. Hoping in her heart to meet her mother once again, in death. It is here, that the readers are introduced to a group of real sirens, each distinct from the other, but the menacing kind, who in return question your loyalty. Prove to them that you are of their own, by requesting a sacrifice in order to learn the truth about Alien’s past. But it comes only if, at the cost of sucking the soul out of a dear one. Ailen is also accompanied by her friend, Hunter, her pot-smoking buddy who tells her stories of sirens whenever Ailen is with him. But carries an secret agenda of his own.

Ailen Bright’s spiralling journey is a true experience of self-discovery, transformation, regret, learning the truth that had been kept away from her for such a long time. Uncovering a string of startling revelations. All at the cost of a series of personal battles.

Ailen Bright is a phenomenal being, she’s vulnerable to the core, and yet, equally powerful. It’s a mesmerising adventure about her plea to surrender herself to death, commit suicide so that she can be transformed into a soulless siren, who believes she will be accepted as their own. Undead And yet still, strangely alive. She relates to herself to a sea fish, her body filled with only seawater. Water becomes her source of energy but also her calming effect. It soothes her, like it were listening to her as if they were a whole. Despite such transformation, which offers her with superhuman powers, does it really change everything for Ailen?

Ksenia crafts a narrative that also examines the depths of suicide and loneliness. Do you deserve to live when you are unwanted? It’s also an extremely emotional and original journey. With added humour where required.

Think Stephen King and Carrie. I am reminded of the Russian dark fantasy, Day Watch, the action scenes driven with heart racing adrenaline, and blazing sonic blasts. I feel Ailen is the female version of Anton Gorodetsky from the film. Each character is fully fleshed out, with great depth and detail. Each chapter is provided with illustrations crafted by Ksenia’s daughter, Anna Milioutina, who has done a fantastic job of projecting the feel of the narrative. The editing is slick and tighter which keeps Ailen’s story gripping from one moment to the next, commendably by Colleen M. Alberts.

A real gem that not just deserves to be highly praised by the readers, but also deserves to be converted to film. Hopefully, someday, it will. Many books adapted to films have been, in recent times, about vampires, werewolves or witches, but Ksenia introduces a strong sense of freshness to such a story centred around sirens. Beautifully written, this is not to be missed. A must read.

Phenomenal. 5/5

. . .

‘There are only three things I do. I read. I write. And I fart glitter.”

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“Writing books is my motor, and reading is my fuel.”

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Ksenia Anske has been a full-time writer for 2 years now. Her very first fiction, Siren Suicides gained her a huge popularity and a surge of fan followers around the globe. A true inspiration for readers and emerging writers. She has offered free digital version of the books, via Kindle and iBooks.

Her works include, the SIREN SUICIDES trilogy, BLUESPARROW, ROSEHEAD, and work in progress, IRKADURA.

http://www.kseniaanske.com

Siren Story NUMBER 8

By Laura Morrigan

Absolutely powerful. It almost left me spechless. Liked how the narrative developed into a personal, imaginative experience.

It intensified leading to an exciting, engaging climax.

One that is deeply, emotionally & tragic. Sirens could protect the humankind here.

The last installment in the Siren Surge series is a personal time-travel journey into the unknown. Gripping stuff from Laura Morrigan.

Loved it.

Siren Story NUMBER 7

By J.R. Murdock 

 With engaging characters, Bobby & Jimmy Joe reminded of Stephen King kind of characters. You relate to them in an instant.

It’s effectively gripping, once the wharling cries of the baby are introduced, you’re in for a drowning treat.

Very absorbing material by J. R. Murdock. Worse than gators, Sirens will consume you.

The Other Side of The Mirror

Chapter One: The Mirror By Caroline Rainbow

Just read the 1st chapter sample, thoroughly enjoyed reading this chapter.

It was mesmerising stuff. Powerful. Potent and highly effective writing. There was an extreme surge of excitement as I read, moving from one paragraph to the next.

Your work is amazing! All the very best my good person.

Siren Story NUMBER 6

Harper’s Cath In Virture By Franza Dirnberger 

Spellbinding. Completely! After reading the previous Siren Surge installment, I actually felt, Harper was gone.

This Siren would turn nasty, frighteningly. But, that didn’t happen. Liked this change in the series.

Franza Dirnberger grabs hold of your attention, her metaphors refuse to let you go, in an exciting, praising sense.

Powerful stuff.

Siren Story NUMBER 4

By Kasten Hidalgo

Liked the twist at the very end, when she echoes back to her.

A very different kind of Siren, one that captures the protagonist’s point of view, effectively expressing her sense of vulnerability.

What takes you by surprise is the addition or secret of the collar. Potent use of metaphors by Kasten H.

Siren Story NUMBER 3

Zombie Siren By Caroline Rainbow

The third Siren Story Surge installment kept me on the edge of my seat. Caroline Rainbow is extremely talented.

She’s provided a gripping narrative from the Siren’s point of view.

Effectively potent. The background behind the Siren is an attention-grab. Excellent! Loved it! Caroline R, you rock!