Review: Bottled by Stephanie Ellis

The house was his, an unwanted and unwelcome inheritance. As a child, Tyler Torrence spent many miserable hours beneath its roof, hating his grandfather and the man’s housekeeper, Mrs. Waites. His only escape during those visits had been via the impossible bottles created by his granddad; bottles holding miniature worlds in which he could lose himself for hours. Sometimes however, he sensed something else living in the house and in the bottles and when he returned home, he took the nightmares with him.Now an adult, Tyler decides one last visit can do no harm, allow him to finally shake off his nightmares. The bottles however, are waiting—and so is Mrs. Waites. As both house and bottles gradually yield up their secrets, it is made clear to Tyler what is expected of him and what will happen should he fail.Is Tyler master or servant of the house?

Bottled by Stephanie Ellis. Published by Silver Shamrock Publishing in 2020. Novella with a total of 137 pages.

*Possible triggers: Child abuse

This was a very creepy little book. I don’t even know where to begin!

I loved it. The plot was so unique. So creative! Those touristy bottles with things inside them… their own little worlds. Ugh I can’t say too much about this book without giving little spoilers, so this review will be a little shorter then normal.

The author really did a fantastic job of capturing emotions. First we have the creepy atmosphere, which gives you a lot of dread. This…. this is a horrible house. Normally when I’m reading a gothic horror or a haunted house story, the houses are not good, but this is the first time that the house was just horrible straight away. There is nothing redeeming here. You could not have paid me to even step with in that front yard gate!

Then we have all the emotions from the characters. The mom and the ex-wife are just filled with transparent greed. You can feel the wishful hope from Paul, wanting his parents to get back together. Most of the emotion comes from Tyler. The anxiety and fear is just off the charts. The author does such a nice job capturing this, as well as how Tyler tries to cope with these feelings. Again, you could not have paid me to go in this house. That is a hard NOPE for me! I wanted to leave the lights on just READING about all the dark and scary locations. Then you add the bugs…. and the garden…. nope, nope and nope! Burn it down, Tyler… should have burned it down….

I really enjoyed this unique story. Very quick read with a real WTF ending. Plenty of enjoyable creepy feels. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a nice and spooky read. I look forward to reading other things by this author in the future. 🙂

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