Friday, May 3, 2013

Nightmare Ballad - by Benjamin Kane Etheridge

3 of 5 Stars      Review Copy

I wanted to like Nightmare Ballad, and I did in some ways, but I found the overall experience to be mind numbing.  Multiple characters drawn into a dream world where nightmares blend with reality was all a bit much for me.  I found myself struggling to comprehend what was really going on.

Ethridge is a capable writer and I've enjoyed some of his other stories and I'm sure some people will like the esoteric nature of Nightmare Ballad, I just don't happen to be one of them.

I will say, Nightmare Ballad is an apt title, as nightmares and an elusive ballad are integral to the story.  Luke Rhodes hears a strange ballad, one day, while instructing a swim class.  A ballad which twists reality, leading to the death of both a number of pool-goers and several frogmen.  The authorities don't seem too concerned as this is what frogmen do.  And then things start to get very strange. 

Joined by Luke's two "wives" and his friend Johnny Cruz, they resolve to discover the source of these "Lifemares," and, more importantly, how to escape them.

The official release date for Nightmare Ballad is May 17th, but it seems to be available now from  There is a sequel in the works, maybe Nightmare Serenade will add some closure to the story and I'll have a better feeling about the whole experience after I read that.

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