Publisher: Red Escape Publishing
Date of publication: March 1st, 2021
Purchase Links: Amazon
Whatcha crying for, sissy? Why don’t you grow a pair?’ Rosie says to her mother…‘Send me to school and I’ll rip off your arm! Beat you with the stump.’
Abandoned by her terrorised mother at the age of six, Rosie Shadow will do anything to win the affection of her father Archie, an undead cannibal in charge of Her Majesty’s Prison Shortbury, now operating as a visitor attraction.
Clare is sent reeling into Archie’s arms with the grief of losing her boyfriend in a mysterious car accident when he collides with an ancient yew tree.
The secrets in the Medieval dungeon beneath the prison are under threat when Clare becomes suspicious of Archie’s true identity and his progeny.
Rosie Shadow is Book I in The Black Tongue Series.
At dawn, blackbirds and sparrows sing a love song to celebrate life from the top of the yew tree.Rosie Shadow by Louise Worthington
Rosie Shadow was a different type of zombie/horror book than I have read. Not saying that I didn’t enjoy it (I did), but it wasn’t typical of the genre.
Rosie Shadow has two distinct storylines. The first storyline centers around Clare, the death of her boyfriend Lenny, her job at a prison made tourist attraction, and her relationship with her boss, Archie. The second storyline centers around Rosie, Elly (her mother), and various social workers brought to help Elly with Rosie. Both storylines are somewhat merged by the end of the book. I say somewhat because Rosie never physically meets Clare or Archie (even though she communicates telepathically with him).
Clare had my sympathy for the entire book. She was dealing with the death of her boyfriend, her school studies, and having a not-so-great relationship with her father. I was in awe over how she dealt with everything. I would have been a freaking mess, but she wasn’t. The only thing that showed that she was internally freaking out was her smoking and her relationship with Archie. But, I think her calmness helped her when everything went to crap at the end of the book. She was the one who kept her head. She was the one who was able to think on her feet with Archie. She was the one who was able to help Beth.
Archie’s character was different. Yes, he was an undead cannibal (or a zombie), but he didn’t act like your typical zombie. He held a job at the former prison. He didn’t crave brains. Instead, he needed to eat a young woman’s flesh to stay alive (for lack of a better term). I wish the author had given more background on him, but I did like what was provided. He was a former prison inmate who died (and was resurrected ?) there. While eating flesh kept him alive, sex was better, and he thought he had found a willing partner in Clare. He wasn’t necessarily evil, but he wasn’t good either. If I had to put a finger on it, he was chaotic neutral with leanings toward evil.
Rosie scared me. She was the evilest, twisted 6-year-old that I have read about in a while. She terrorized her mother, ate raw animals (which disgusted me), loved playing with animal corpses, lying in dirt graves, and generally scared people. I didn’t understand why she was the way she was until the connection to Archie was made (the scene where she killed her social worker and fed her to the yew tree to give to Archie). She sent chills up my spine every time she appeared in the book. When she went to the respite fosterer, I knew that a showdown was coming. And the author didn’t disappoint with that.
The author very well wrote the horror angle of Rosie Shadow. I am not easily scared or even disgusted while reading this genre, and the author succeeded in doing both. The last half of the book that detailed the life-or-death fight scenes between Clare and Archie/Rosie and Annie gave me nightmares.
The paranormal aspect of the book was also very well written. I wish the author had given more detail about Archie’s turning (it interested me a lot), but other than that, I was pretty satisfied with what I read.
The end of Rosie Shadow made me wonder if or when Rosie/Archie would reappear. I know this is book 1 of a series, and I am very interested in reading what book two will bring.
I would recommend Rosie Shadow to anyone over 21. This is language, extreme violence, gore, and somewhat graphic sexual situations.