Ouija by Zoé-Lee O’Farrell

It is my absolute pleasure to share my thoughts on the debut book from my little ‘blog-sis’, Zoé-Lee O’Farrell. Ouija is the second book in the Question Mark Horror YA Horror Novella series. My thanks to the publisher for the tour invite and providing an advance copy of the book for review. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Advance REader Copy
Release Date: 30 August 2021
Publisher: Question Mark Horror

About the Book

The only thing for certain is the deaths were no accident.

Rayner High School once a prestigious school stands in ruins after such a terrible event.

A year later, a group of friends return to the abandoned school and their nightmare begins.

Something wants to get out and won’t take NO for an answer…

Ouija is Book 2 in a new series brought to you by Question Mark Horror. For fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike & Nicholas Pine.

My Thoughts

Ouija may be Zoe Lee O’Farrell’s debut novel, but it really doesn’t show. Book two in the Question Mark Horror YA series, this book is packed with chills and thrills right from the very start. You can feel the tension and the fear building in a book that will have you jumping at shadows and eyeing your friends and family’s strange porcelain doll and figurine collections with great suspicion.

This is the story of a group of friends who decide it will be a fun idea to play around with the powers of a Ouija board in an abandoned school which was the site of a really horrific tragedy. Yep – all the alarm bells ringing loud and clear right there. Everyone who is everyone knows that the powers of a ouija board should never be underestimated, so why would you invite trouble by playing in such a dark and dangerous location? Why? Well, because that’s where the fun’s at. At least it is if you are Jon, the ring leader in this particularly daft scheme. Less so if you are Lara, the stories only real desenter who, quite logically, has the screaming heebie-jeebies about the whole idea. Guess which one of the two is proven to be right?

Zoe-Lee O’Farrell has done a brilliant job of instilling the fear into the novella, getting the balance just right. There is a tension between the friends and yet a closeness which has a really authentic vibe to it, but it is nothing compared to those creeping shadows, adrenalin pumping, shock moments that are dripped into the story. For me it had a real ‘Final Desitination’ feel to it, that sense of something dark, some unseeable force, lurking in the dark corners, just out of your line of sight, but waiting to pounce, to make the ultimate move against the group of friends who dared to provoke the dark spirits. Even before they begin their little game the short sharp shocks start to occur, so much so you have to wonder who in their right mind would continue into the school and not just run for the hills already. Yeah – I know. The perfect horror story set up. They stay, they pay. And pay they do.

There is a brilliant blend of character, story and special horror based vibes within this novella that keep you hooked and powering through the story, I read it in an evening but even as a roughty toughty adult who was routinely watching Halloween every October 31st from an obscenely young age there were parts that gave me chills and kept me on edge, so caution advised for the lower end of the reading age unless they are hard core horror nuts. That said, this is a very teen based story, with text speak and lingo these ageing eyes could just about decipher and a perfect set of characters I both wanted to champion and slap at varying stages of the story. Luckily there was a very dark and chilling presence quite happy to take on the aggressor role on my behalf 😉.

A very impressive debut YA shocker and I’m looking forward to reading more from my little blog buddy in the future. She seems so nice. Who knew she had such a dark and twisted streak?

About the Author

Zoé O’Farrell grew up in Watford but left the town life to live by the sea down at the White Cliffs of Dover.
She spends her days working with numbers before escaping in the evening to the world of words and movies. Her go-to relaxation is watching a scary movie or reading a terrifying book!

She is a book blogger and tour organiser just to keep her extra busy. When she is not reading or writing, you can usually find her watching Watford FC or at a gig. Failing that she can be found rolling her eyes at her husband as he acts the same age as her spitfire of a Mini-Me whilst separating her two cats.

Ouija is her debut novel.

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