Review: Alice J Black – The Leak of Madness: Soul Seekers Series: The Prequel

Review: Alice J Black – The Leak of Madness: Soul Seekers Series: The Prequel


Genre: Horror
Publisher: The Parliament House
Publication Date: 6th February 2018
Pages: 82




A copy of The Leak of Madness (Soul Seekers, #1) was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Alice J Black, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by The Parliament House.

Alice J Black is an author I have been aware of for a while. I have read a couple of her short stories in a few anthologies from Dark Chapter Press. One of them was an introduction to the characters in The Leak of Madness. I have enjoyed all of the stories she has written so far. They have varied from little girls burying bodies in their back gardens, to a new ghost hunting agency. They have also varied in their levels of horror. Reviewing this after reading the earlier stories was a bit of a no brainer.

This is what I thought.

Peyton and Olivia have been friends since they were kids. They have both had their fair share of troubles in their past but only one of them is keeping a secret.

Peyton has been able to communicate with spirits her entire life but has always tried to block them out. Her method for doing this, and getting on with her life, is somewhat unorthodox, but it works. She drinks to block the signals. Olivia also has no idea of her gift.

When they attend Olivia’s’ brother’s wedding at The Manor House, someone from the other side wants to talk to Peyton. When Olivia orders her to not drink alcohol, she struggles to keep the voices out and soon discovers that everyone there is in grave danger.

In terms of characters in this one, the story centres on Peyton and Olivia. Peyton is one of those characters that it takes a while to warm to. You know she has demons and problems that she can’t really help, but you also can’t help but dislike her a bit for not admitting to things. Underneath it all though, she seems to be a really nice girl. Olivia is a bit annoying because she seems to be a bit too wholesome and goody goody. On the other hand, she also seems like a nice girl. Maybe it’s just the circumstances that have her this way.

One other character that gets in on the act is the barman, Jake. He doesn’t know what is about to hit him because he only has one thing on his mind. Getting to know Peyton better.

One person that everyone should fear is Patrick Smith, but I can’t really tell you about him.

The plot is simple-ish. Peyton and Olivia go to the wedding reception and Peyton hears sinister voices. She can’t use her normal methods to block them out and soon realises the danger everyone is in because of this.

So, what was it like. I enjoyed it a lot. Alice J Black confirmed for me that her style of writing is definitely consistent. Her writing is very easy to get along with. Nothing is complicated. Everything flows very well. Pacing is just right.

In the earlier story I read about Peyton and Olivia, I think it was more horror orientated and thus a bit scarier. This one had a little bit of a romance edge to it and this wound me up. It even had that one thing in it that I absolutely detest; sex in a horror book. Oh Alice (or any other horror author for that matter) there is no need for it in horror. Characters who know they are in grave danger, getting down and dirty just doesn’t sit well with me. If I knew I was in trouble from ghosts, the last thing I would want to do is get naked.

I understand that this is a personal opinion of mine and loads of people love it, but, to me, it softens the horror element of the story and turns it into something like one of the more commercial horror titles that I daren’t even speak of.

However, the writing and the intrigue in the rest of the story means it only loses one star for this. If the writing hadn’t been as good as it was, I probably would have closed the book down at the naughty bit.

I will definitely read the rest of the planned books in this series. I just hope that Ms Black sticks with the real horror writing talent that I know she possesses and makes this series as dark as her mind will let her.


General rating:
☆☆☆☆ nearly there.

Horror rating:
☆☆☆.5 series has potential.


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Book Synopsis:

The spirit world has been in touch with Peyton, and it’s more than she can tolerate. Sometimes their messages are loud enough even to pierce beyond the veil of her alcohol-induced stupors.

When she is invited to attend her best friend’s brother’s wedding at The Manor House, Peyton is compelled to stare down memories of her life before it was decimated by fire and tragedy. Continuously topping herself up with alcohol to keep the voices at bay, it becomes clearer and clearer that there are forces at work in the old building…shadows darker than Peyton could have ever imagined.

The Leak of Madness is the beginning of a thrilling, fast-paced series of horror novellas overflowing with intrigue, romance, redemption, and most importantly…ghosts.

Will Peyton find the normal life she could have if only she stops drinking or will the forces of evil drive her mad?


Alice lives and works in the North East of England with her partner and slightly ferocious cats! Alice has always enjoyed writing from being a child when she used to carry notebooks and write stories no matter where she went. Nothing much has changed, and she writes all manner of fiction with a tendency to lean towards the dark side. Most of her work is rooted in darkness, her inspiration coming from a macabre selection of reads as well as the dreams that frequent her sleep.

Her debut novel, The Doors, was released three years ago and her next novel release, A Shadowed Beginning, the first part in a series of seven, was released in autumn.

Several of her short stories have been included in anthologies with various presses and she is always working on more. When she’s not writing, she always has a book in her hand and will read from whatever genre suits her that day.

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