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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Mara is a Japanese-American girl with a history of personal tragedy. Though she still cuts to quell the pain, she thought she had left the worst behind her. But her boyfriend's sudden death and a visit to one of the most haunted places in Washington State send her into a spiral of madness that lands her in a psychiatric ward.

Already suffering from dreams of a strange, ghos
Paperback, 98 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Lvp Publications (first published September 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
A Rorschach of electromagnetic waves, nothing more than than pareidolia despite their determination to resolve into faces, into whispers, Raudive voices riding the electronic spectrum. And if she stared long enough, she could almost see....
Not that one. Please, not that.

This was a freaky little book. It's unbelievable how much the author packed into just a few short pages!
It reminded me of the tone of the Ring movie but it's completely fresh and new.
One thing though, don't read it at night w
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This was my first read by Jennifer Loring, and I was NOT disappointed. This is the story of Mara, a Japanese-American who finds herself dealing with the recent death of her boyfriend. As the lines between reality and dreams become increasingly blurred, Loring fills us in on more of Mara's past--who she is, and what she has been exposed to.

The story is filled with incredible imagery, and the surreal progression really takes ahold of you, drawing you deeper into the storyline. Before I re
Paul Nelson
If you’re planning on reading Conduits by Jennifer Loring then I have some words of advice, lock yourself away, somewhere where you can’t be disturbed, somewhere you can give it your full attention, savour every word, don't miss even a single word because this is a story you need to appreciate in its full entirety.

Jennifer Loring writes with a style and prose that had me mentally awestruck at times, I don’t say this often but I’m going to read this again and soon because it was an absolute joy a
Edward Lorn
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Lanterns burned at each end of the hall, where smokelike smudges resembling human shadows blackened the walls."

If you dig that line, you will love Jennifer Loring's CONDUITS. Loring writes with a unique flair and love for language. You will find no boring repetition or meandering descriptions here. This author knows what she's doing, and does so with aplomb.

I'm a huge fan of Japanese culture. I'm also a big fan of Japanese horror. I get it from my grandmother, whose home was always decorated
Frank Errington
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy

Jennifer Loring has written a beautiful book looking out from inside the mind of a woman who is hopelessly lost in her own world.

In Conduits, Mara Okubo, is a young woman with a tragic past. Already dealing with the death of her older sister, at her own hands, now, years later, she is faced with the loss of her boyfriend. To make matters even worse, Mara is a cutter.

Her friend, Andrea, has had her committed for her own safety.

"Self-mutilation. Paranoia. Persistent delusions. Possible
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
OH this novella kinda got to me. A close friend of mine is going through grief and so this part of the novel really shook me as it just added to my already soft feelings towards anyone who unfortunately has to go through this (and we all do at some point).

But then we go into this head space where we have no idea if Mara is insane, imagining things or WHAT, and she doesn't seem to know either! I'm not entirely sure what was going on most of the time but I loved the vivid imagery, the creepy fact
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Mara is struggling with the sudden death of her boyfriend and after visiting a haunted forest her psyche breaks down completely, leading her to be committed for psychiatric evaluation. She must now confront her role in past tragic events as her mind begins to unlock dark memories. Is she imagining the ghostly events that haunt her or is there a purpose to these interactions.

Jennifer Loring writes beautifully, the story flows fluidly even though at times I found it difficult to keep up with the c
Mara is a Japanese-American with a history of emotional turmoil.  Recovering from the sudden death of her boyfriend, Jason, we are given glimpses into Mara’s personal life.  We see how she deals with mental pain in her own, unique, way.  We are also shown throughout this riveting novella, scenes from Mara’s childhood and visits to Japan when she still had family living there.
The question this book brings to the forefront is; if reality is what you perceive, who is to say what is REAL?
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads, horror, arcs
Metaphysical horror.

I was reminded of study sessions in college for a philosophy seminar dealing with Descartes in which it we discovered that it is impossible to conclusively prove your own existence to another person. (Although beer helps) We can only be convinced ourselves that we (by virtue of the fact that we perceive that we are, in fact, thinking) exist. Everything and everyone else could be a dream.

Although they come from two entirely different schools of thought, both Quantum Physics
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Because if one cannot reliably distinguish between sleeping and waking, one cannot reliably distinguish between being alive and being dead.”

Mara is struggling with the recent death of her boyfriend and finds herself locked up in the nut house. They call it Primary Depersonalization Disorder. Mara calls it her dreaming reality. Her life has become fragmented. She can’t exactly tell if she is alive or dead, dreaming or awake. She is being summoned by forces she cannot understand to a house where
An extremely well written novella.

Dark, rich, engaging and some beautiful language.

A fantastic read.
Andi Rawson
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Loring is an author that you won't soon forget. The story is very well written and spellbinding. I probably enjoy books touching on mental illness more than I should so I may be a little bias but this story is more than that. Is it supernatural or just a brain that is set to self-destruct? It will leave you questioning not only Mara's (the main character) sanity but also your own.

I loved the first 3/4 of this novella. The last part was a little much for me. Overall it was a good read an
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, darkfuse
I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my unbiased review.

Who's crazy here? That's what you'll ask yourself while reading this new novella from Jennifer Loring. Ever wondered what's really real - your dreams or the waking world? This is just one of the the questions Loring explores as her protagonist takes a pain-filled journey through the death of a sister and boyfriend and spends time in a mental institution.

The only monsters here are your own. Highly recommended.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book I have read by Jennifer Loring. The main character in the story is Mara. Her boyfriend Jason has just died recently. Her and her best friend Andrea are roommates. Mara starts having these strange dreams about this huge spooky estate and Jason on the steps vanishing into the house. Mara has been cutting herself to deal with the loss of her sister and now Jason. Andrea asked Mara if she wants to come with her & Nick and his friend Chris to this house in a forest around Moun ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, 2014-netgalley
This was an interesting rather dark novella that concerned a girl dealing with grief. It was heart wrenching at times just reading what she was going through. The dreams she was having were creepy indeed. But I didn't consider this a horror story to really scare me.

The cover was great and I expected it to be something I wouldn't want to read at night. It was good but I honestly didn't love it. I would definitely give the author another try though. Maybe this just wasn't the story for me at the
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some nice prose here expounding some fascinating subject matter, but from a certain point the characters ended up feeling more like chess pieces than people. I just didn't feel the stakes were that high. Loring certainly is a skilled writer, but Conduits is one of those novellas I think might work better as a novel. Even so, some of the images in here will stick with me.
Sara Tantlinger
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Intriguing and haunting -- Loring's beautiful command of prose conjures up a poignant novella that will quickly suck you into its world where reality may not be all it seems.
Erin Al-Mehairi
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was re-published in spring of 2019 but I had never had a chance to read it. I was drawn to it as I love Japanese literature and horror and it was in shorter form (love short form horror). I initially was unsure when it started but it quickly sent my mind into circles. A literary dreamscape of a piece not unlike horror you’d watch on Channel Zero. It’s its own shard of glass in an otherwise cookie cutter world. It may need a second read to fully grasp every component and nuance but it certai ...more
Tanja L
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
This was sort of a confusing read, it's really dense, you really have to pay attention to every word. It's hard to tell what's real and what's not and whether what happened at the end was really necessary or not, whether the stakes were really that high or not.
Paul Ataua
I enjoyed reading it. The story was interesting enough, and the author managed to create an eerie atmosphere at times. It was good, nearly very good, but not quite there. The ending nearly came off, but just wasn’t powerful enough. Having said that, I enjoyed it and will read more of her work in the future.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This novella starts off okay but goes straight downhill once we visit a mental hospital, and I find the plethora of rave reviews on here baffling. Adolescent angst with zero scares and little plot or characterization, while cramming pseudo-philosphy and Japanese folklore into the plot as an attempt to force a resolution that's meant to be heartbreaking and creepy yet falls completely flat. This book features ridiculous lines like:

"He welcomed death. He sought it out, teased it until it outwitted
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5/5 Stars

I must say that I enjoyed the ending of this story versus the ride to get to it. I found that the story was a tad superficial for what it could have been. Even with the novella format, I have found competitors to be concise, yet the characters well developed. This is an absolute must for novellas. I found that lacking in this story. Furthermore, there were aspects to it that had an "and then" feeling to it. I use this term when it feels like the story is being strung together vs. a st
Glenn Rolfe
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I really dug this one. It started off a bit dull for me, but once Mara is brought to the hospital and her mind begins to unfurl, the story begins to make sense and comes together very well.
Some great pieces of writing in here:
"Dreams are the portal, and her mansion of the soul is as haunted as any abandoned house in the woods."

That was probably my favorite. Just amazingly beautiful and haunting.
I give this one more like a 4.2 or 4.5 stars.
Nick Cato
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Review coming soon at THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW)
Josef Hernandez
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful novella that will haunt you after the last word is read

For a full review, please go to and follow me on Twitter @josenher
Querus Abuttu
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Craft and Style Description: What do you get when you cross the stylistic prose of Shirley Jackson and Sylvia Plath, and then sprinkle it with chilling flavors from stories like of Sebastian Gutierrez’s Gothika? Let me tell you. You get Jennifer Loring’s “Conduits.” And yes, if you love a dark, psychological tale where the canvas of a story uses poetic language in both large and subtle brushstrokes, you won’t be able to help yourself–you’ll totally dig this novella.

Experience of the Tale: Just s
Ray Palen
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The term 'conduit' has been used throughout horror/supernatural literature and films. Most recently, the films based on the possessed doll that was correctly identified as a mere 'conduit' that allows for other beings (mostly evil or demonic) to use her to enter our world and do their evil best.

In Jennifer Loring's thought-provoking novella entitled CONDUITS, refers to the central character, Mara. Mara has suffered severe personal loss and this has opened her mind to different spirits, many of w
“Conduits” is a short novella by Jennifer Loring. The story is a psychological ghost story that concerns a young college graduate named Mara. Mara is of Japanese ancestry and the history of her family is cleverly woven into the story. Mara’s boyfriend has recently died and Mara has no ability to cope with this tragic event. Mara is also a cutter. Glass is the tool of her choice.

Mara’s best friend convinces her to visit a haunted house deep in the Seattle woods where she has a breakdown. Mara’s f
Ashley Hedden
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conduits was a good quick read by Jennifer Loring. Mara has lived a very tragic life. She thought the bad days were behind her, even though she continues to cut herself to take away the internal pain. Her boyfriend had a very sudden death. Little did she know that a visit to the most haunted place in Washington state would land her in a psych ward. She has been questioning reality due to strange dreams that she has had. She must find out why the ghosts have chosen her as a conduit. This was a go ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part ghost story, part psycho-drama, part something else entirely, this haunting story of a young woman haunted by the losses in her life is lyrical, beautiful, terrifying and completely mesmerizing. Mara, the enigmatic heroine is a tortured soul and a profound mystery, and just when you think you might understand her, Loring throws you a new curve and nothing is what it appeared to.
Psychological drama meets Eastern mythology meets paranormal thriller. A delightful read.
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Jennifer Loring's short fiction has been widely published by DarkFuse, Crystal Lake Publishing, and many others. In May 2015, her debut novel, Those of My Kind, was published by Omnium Gatherum.

Jennifer received her MFA from Seton Hill University’s program in Writing Popular Fiction, with a concentration in horror. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Mercyhurst University. She received an honorab

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