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Into Bones like Oil

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  72 reviews
"A tale of creeping dread … Recommended." —Tade Thompson, author of Rosewater and The Murders of Molly Southbourne

"Dark, disturbing, visceral" (5 stars) —NB Magazine

In this gothic-styled ghost story that simmers with strange, Warren shows once again her flair for exploring the mundane—themes of love, loss, grief, and guilt manifest in a way that is both hauntingly famili
Paperback, 90 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Meerkat Shorts
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Kaaron Warren Thanks for the question! It's geared towards Adult readers, but I think it would be okay for mature young adult readers. There are sex scenes, and dep…moreThanks for the question! It's geared towards Adult readers, but I think it would be okay for mature young adult readers. There are sex scenes, and depictions of violence as well as some drug-use, and of course I'm exploring some really dark themes in it.
Hope you enjoy it!(less)

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Average rating 3.32  · 
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Michael Hicks
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
My review of INTO BONES LIKE OIL can be found at High Fever Books.

Into Bones Like Oil is a tough nut to crack. Kaaron Warren’s latest features some neat concepts that I dug as individual ideas, but which failed to add up to a compelling narrative for me. I suppose I should have braced myself for this book a bit more given that the synopsis sells this story as mundane, even if it tries to cast that as a feature rather than a bug. As it turns out, mundane is actually a pretty good word here. Altho
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
INTO BONES LIKE OIL is moody, atmospheric, and full of emotion. In the short span of 81 pages, the characters shine through just as much as the creepy and overt ghostly themes which spread their cold caress across the page.

Set in a haunted rooming house near the beach, the occupants, past and present, share a deep connection with the ghosts of a shipwreck. No only can the rooming house inhabitants see their ghostly neighbors but, when asleep, they can become the vessel to which these ghosts com
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Into Bones Like Oil" is a horror novella that, in my eyes, embodies perfectly Kaaron Warren's universe. Starting as a classic situation - a woman seeks shelter in a strange house -, it very quickly becomes a gripping and idiosyncratic story of horror and redemption through the discovery of the pain of others. What I love about Kaaron Warren's writing, is that the uncanny is actually the normality, and what we call "normality" is actually the real horror. Her characters are all wrecks, broken do ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, weird
I like that there is an intelligible plot, a likable protagonist, and an interesting premise. A woman has died but finds herself in some kind of purgatory, I believe, in order to come to terms with what happened to her two children. The frustrating aspect of the story is that it never really resolves the issues it raises, and we don't know what ultimately happened to the protagonist. All this is just hinted at.

The parameters under which the protagonist operates were never quite made clear, which
Well Read Beard
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
3.5 Stars

"Creeping dread, unsettling, beautifully written, profoundly disturbing, disorientating." That is a combination of blurbs from the cover, that's what other people have said about this novella by Kaaron Warren.

This book tells a story of the Angelsea, a boarding house on the sea. A dark gray, cloud-covered story. One to be read in a woolen sweater and warm fuzzy socks. The atmosphere is the most special thing about this book in my opinion. It's brisk outside, you can smell the salt from t
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A strange and compelling novella that plays with the reader's expectations, bending the narrative and its themes until its thought-provoking final page.

Dora has lost everything a mother and wife could lose. She blames herself for these tragedies, and her low self-esteem and lack of confidence has turned her into a shell of a person. We meet Dora as she checks into the Angelsea, a rooming house in a nameless watefront town with almost no belongings, money, or purpose. The Angelsea is dilapidated
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The protagonist, Dora, has come to The Angelsea, as the description relates, because she is in grief over what happened to her daughters. It is is a rooming house close to the beach that seems inauspicious enough. People come here because they’re meant to be able to sleep very well and sort through psychological troubles. Dora wants to get away from reality. Too bad the place she has chosen is haunted. There are stories Dora hears about former residents that give her chills. Ghosts abound. Dream ...more
Renee Godding
Jul 31, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Title: 5/5 stars
Writing style: 4/5 stars
Actual story as a whole: 2/5 stars
Andy Weston
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novella, horror
Kaaron Warren, is an Australian author that came to my attention as she has won the Shirley Jackson Award (in 2012).

From her biography About The Author, this is of interest..
She’s taught workshops in haunted asylums, old morgues and second hand clothing shops..

Into Bones Like Oil is her most recent novella, and is compelling and splendidly ‘off-the-wall’, a really interesting take on the ghost story that plays with the reader’s expectations until it’s surprisingly powerful climax.
Dora is grievi
Crystal Zavala
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: meerkat-press
Into Bones Like Oil is a gothic novella about Dora who goes to the Angelsea to get some rest after her daughters are murdered. The Angelsea sit on the coastline above a haunted shipwreck. Roy is the creepy proprietor of The Angelsea who is constantly searching for treasure and looting the shipwreck. When Dora learns that Roy speaks to ghosts while the residents of the Angelsea sleep, she is conflicted by Roy's intentions and the possibility that she might be able to speak to her daughters.

Into B
Eddie Generous
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unnerving Magazine Review

Listen to my conversation with the author here:

Memories and the ghosts they drudge up…metaphorically and physically. The cast Warren builds in these 90 or so pages are so explored and rounded that they’d likely present well in a much longer work, that said, she does this in a concise and impactful manner, which then adds layer to the impending, mounting dread. Day and night, the sense that something is off and that something is co
julia ☆ [owls reads]
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, novellas
Into Bones Like Oil is a creepy little novella with a very unique and intriguing premise and great writing.

The plot is engaging and very well executed, as it slowly builds up tension until the very final sentence, and present quite a few eerie scenes. The setting is an interesting choice and it serves as the perfect backdrop for hauntings and ghosts. The characters are also just as strange and creepy as the plot and they make up for a fascinating cast of people to read about.

The way Warren uses
Rebecca Fraser
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read this novella in two sittings, and, like all Kaaron’s stories, I found myself thinking about it afterwards. It is this lingering resonance that captivates me most about Kaaron’s distinctive style. The skill to quietly get under one’s skin…for me, more so in the consequence of reading than the time of reading. Her characters are complex and multi-flawed, caged by their grim realities, vulnerable, and often seemingly without hope. Into Bones Like Oil taps into its characters’ varying miserie ...more
Janet Martin
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A strange little ghost story, that slowly unveils a bereaved main character. Dory leaves her home and checks into a haunted boarding house filled with a strange and damaged cast of characters who share goals of trying to reach peace. Compelling and thought provoking
Catherine McCarthy
I read this novella in two sittings, purely because I was unable to put it down. I would categorize this as weird fiction, alongside horror fiction. I think it’s going to be a Marmite book – you’ll either love it, or hate it. I loved it.
So what are its strengths? First and foremost, I loved the surreal feeling it provided. The opening feels as if it belongs in the ‘real world,’ yet it doesn’t take long to realize that things are not what they seem. The dream-like quality throughout is cleverly
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: stand-alone
Interesting and fast to read, definitely the perfect read if you’re travelling, which is my case. I think I’d like to read more books from this author.

“We don’t think about that. There’s only now, who’s there now. Otherwise we’re all living in the shadow of others.”

Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dora in a new room, Tuesday by the coast, onwards through days and a need for sleep after bad things surpassed. Once a mother now some space needed to clear within, unsettled and unfinished business, loss and ghosts to meddle with in this hauntingly tender tale incorporating grief and finding solace. There will be no high fear factor ghosts of terror but the melancholy slow kind and the channeling that can work too in a tale.

“You know it’s more than a rooming house. You wouldn’t have come, other
Angela Maher
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
An intriguing and absorbing tale. Haunting (in more than one sense) and evocative, it's a shorter read but certainly a memorable one. ...more
Suzy Michael
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.*

Into Bones like Oil by Kaaron Warren is a compelling and interesting read that is one part grief and one part fear. A profound tale, reminiscent of Chad Lutzke, on sorrow and loss, with ghosts mixed in.

Into Bones like Oil follows insomniac Dora, mourning the death of her two young daughters, goes to Angelsea, a beach side rooming house, to escape her troubled life- but Angelsea is anything but a peaceful
Jessica Belmont
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay, Kaaron Warren has written this little novella called Into Bones Like Oil. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would be as this is my first read from this author, but the premise was intriguing. HOLY CROW! What a read! It’s creepy, it gets right under your skin and stays with you long after you set the book down.

The plot instantly hooked me. The slow build tension is perfect for this type of story. I could feel the dread and eeriness as each scene presented itself. The setting is super intriguing
Eugen Bacon
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Accomplished story, unsettling.
Kyle Richardson
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As soon as you start reading Into Bones Like Oil, you're in it, right alongside Dora as she navigates a seaside boarding house for the first time. And just like you, Dora is both curious and guarded, unsure about what to expect from The Angelsea—a shadowy, rickety, shoddily rebuilt home near a tragic coastline, a place that smells of brine and feels like it *could* be haunted ... or maybe you (and Dora) are just being paranoid.

Kaaron brings The Angelsea to life on the page much like one of its m
Heather Gadd
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Just a small taste of an extremely talented and renowned author. The entire tale is heavy with dread and death, but its characters are very much alive. It’s tragic and creepy, so incredibly written that I didn’t want to be in that headspace but was compelled to finish. I will be reading more of her stuff in the near future.
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is SO far out of my usual reading box - it has been *decades* since the last time I read a "horror" novel! But something about the review I read pulled me into this award winning, Aussie horror and suspernatural writer.
Nice homage to RL Stevenson (who I have begun to reread, also after decades).
The characters are contemporary, 3 dimensional, and appear real.
The ending seemed a bit sudden, but then it was a novella.
I enjoyed this read enough to purchase a couple of her collections as eboo
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
If you're one of those people who can never remember your dreams, then reading Kaaron Warren, or at least this particular novella, should give you a good idea of what dreaming is like. There is both a storyline and a distinct protagonist, but these don't ever feel as if they dominate the odd string of interactions and events.

If I had to pick a genre, this tastes a lot more of weird than of horror, despite all the ghosts, wrecked ships, and occasional gross detail described. This is all dream lo
Carlton Phelps
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another dark book that may not be for everyone. It seems a small gathering of lost souls end up in the same boarding house that is full of ghost from a shipwreck that happened when pirates roamed the coast.
Everyone who lives there have problems with sleep but there is a Dr. who can help with that. The problem is that is when the ghost come alive to the sleeping subject. And while they sleep the landlord sits with you and questions the ghost looking for clues about lost treasure.
An odd grouping o
Donald Armfield
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, ebooks-kindle
Into Bones Like Oil is a supernatural calling where the dead inhabitant the sleep schedules of tenants of a small cramped, dilapidated rooming house. Whatever comes or whoever comes from the wreckage has a story to tell. Dora tries to find a comfortable place to hide from her faults, but gets a little more then she bargained for.
Nightmare on Elm Street meets Beetlejuice and the cursed garments fit into bones like oil.

Recommended for all those readers who want ghost stories that will “Help you sl
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book ended and I did not want it to. Written with a hypnotic force, images are somehow superimposed and blur and then sharpen into startling vividness, all in the service of profoundest grief. I’ll be okay in a few days.
Alan Baxter
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Warren does it again. Genuinely one of the best writers working today.
Ni Car Hel
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well this is an intriguing one. It's sad, weird and surprisingly creepy. Surprising because I wasn't exactly creeped out while reading it, but once it was over the ghosts of these lost souls popped into my mind (and dare I say the edges of my vision) at some inopportune times. It's been a while since that happened.

Imagine the cast of characters from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest* took up residence in The Overlook Hotel, and they weren't exactly concerned about what was happening there, but rat
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Weird Fiction: Buddy Read for Kaaron Warren's Latest Book 9 15 Jun 05, 2020 11:53PM  

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I wanted to be a writer from a very young age, and wrote my first proper short story at 14. I also wrote a novel that year, called “Skin Deep”‘, which I really need to type up.

I started sending stories out when I was about 23, and sold my first one, “White Bed”", in 1993. Since then I’ve sold about 70 short stories, two short story collections and three novels.

I’m an avid and broad reader but I al

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