Jules's Reviews > SIGN

SIGN by Lou Rera
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Oct 30, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads

This is a great supernatural horror thriller. It seems to be marketed as a thriller, but there is a definite horror feel to this novel too. This novel is a great combination of supernatural, horror, crime and thriller, so should appeal to fans of all those genres, as there is something for everyone in this novel.

As this is Lou Rera’s debut novel, I really didn’t know what to expect. This is a surprisingly well-written, edited and structured story for a first novel.

I don’t really want to say too much about the story or give too much away. The overall gist is that it is about a married couple, Jim and Deirdre, who decide to go away to try and sort out some issues in their marriage. Little does Deirdre know that these issues are due to Jim carrying a secret about something bad that happened the year previously.

The story progresses along two different paths. Firstly, the very sinister supernatural ‘Twilight Zone’ horror, that Jim and Deirdre go through when their trip away turns into something terrifying. I found this part of the story surprisingly eerie and scary. I’ve seen far too many American horror films to feel calm about any isolated petrol stations in the country, but this almost tipped me over the edge on a couple of occasions.

The other path this story takes, is the more crime thriller aspect, which focuses on a police investigation, which is also linked to the secret Jim is hiding from his wife.

I felt these two very separate, yet connected aspects of the story worked well. Sometimes the sinister part of the story was rather intense, so the crime investigation aspect worked almost as light relief on occasions and helped to bring a sense of realism to the story.

There was good character development for the main characters, Jim & Deirdre. I found I connected with Deirdre more, especially upon discovering her fears after a past attack:

“Deirdre could not shake the fear that it could happen again, that she might not be lucky a second time, that it could be anywhere at anytime.”

I did also briefly connect with Jim, when I discovered he suffered with insomnia and also had a dream about a creepy clown, as I have insomnia and used to have a reoccurring dream about a creepy clown when I was a young child.

Other than for Detective Frank Gibbons, I felt most of the other characters connected with the crime investigation, were somewhat shallow and one-dimensional. However, this wasn’t really a problem for me. In a strange way, it kind of worked, that the characters in the surreal surroundings felt like the more real characters and vice versa.

This was a descriptive novel and I loved the occasional references to other films or novels, such as A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. As a huge fan of Clive Barker, it was of course great to see a little reference to him too:

“It wasn’t some mystical puzzle box from the mind of Clive Barker.”

By combining genres, this novel felt it had a good level of depth and diversity. Covering topics such as secrets, lies, lust, revenge, fear, murder and a good dose of supernatural.

I recommend this novel to fans of any of the genres I’ve mentioned in my review, as I do not think you will be disappointed.

I wish Lou Rera great success with his debut novel and look forward to reading more by him in the future.

I received this book through Goodreads Giveaways First Reads in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

October 30, 2014 – Shelved
October 30, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 19, 2014 – Shelved as: first-reads
January 28, 2015 – Started Reading
January 30, 2015 –
page 62
27.19% "Enjoying this so far. It's really rather eerie! Part of me is dying to read more, while another part of me is consumed with a feeling of trepidation. Do I really want to know what happens next?! I'm so glad I'm not home alone this weekend."
February 1, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party "I’ve seen far too many American horror films to feel calm about any isolated petrol stations in the country" - heh heh, our filmmakers do tend to fall back on those tired old cliches, don't they! ;)

Amazing review, Jules! You've convinced me to check this one out! :D


Jules David "proud member of Branwen's adventuring party" wrote: ""I’ve seen far too many American horror films to feel calm about any isolated petrol stations in the country" - heh heh, our filmmakers do tend to fall back on those tired old cliches, don't they! ..."

We live out in the country here (thankfully, not as isolated as the American horror films I'm thinking of). There's a creepy petrol station not far from us, and every time we drive by it, I think 'Please don't let us break down here', lol :-)

Glad you liked to review too :-) xxx


message 3: by Stefanie (new) - added it

Stefanie Jules this was a great review Don't know how I missed this one of your! So descriptive , I hated clowns ever since I saw IT as a kid, no movies ever really "scare" me even as a child but the creepy clown thing stuck with me! Amazing review one of the best I've read thanks


message 4: by Stefanie (new) - added it

Stefanie Jules this was a great review Don't know how I missed this one of your! So descriptive , I hated clowns ever since I saw IT as a kid, no movies ever really "scare" me even as a child but the creepy clown thing stuck with me! Amazing review one of the best I've read thanks


Jules Stefanie wrote: "Jules this was a great review Don't know how I missed this one of your! So descriptive , I hated clowns ever since I saw IT as a kid, no movies ever really "scare" me even as a child but the creepy..."

I think this is probably my longest review ever, lol :-)

I've only won 2 Goodreads Giveaways, and this was the second book I won. I'm so pleased I stumbled across it under the Giveaways, as I very rarely enter them, so could have so easily missed this.

I really enjoyed this book, and can't wait to see what the author comes up with next :-)


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