I read Unknown Sender last weekend, but I am only just getting around to reviewing it so I am very sorry about that, but it is here now! Ryan runs A Writers Path as well as The Book Review Directory and has just published a novelette sized horror book that I received in exchange for an honest review. I’m not usually a fan of horror, but after reading a bit more into it, and seeing as it was only short, I thought I would give it a go.
*This is a review of the first copy of the book. There has since been and updated version which I have not read*
Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description:
About The Book
‘Unknown Sender’ by Ryan Lanz
Jessica’s world revolves around studying at college and affording prepackaged meals, which leaves little time for socializing. In fact, she is quite content without being noticed, which only makes the attention of a mystery texter all the more unwanted.
She isn’t unfamiliar with strange advances, but this is something entirely different. This person knows things about her. Things beyond just an average stalker.
Even after all that, Jessica would be much more content to forget than discover who is chasing her, electronically or otherwise. Eventually, she finds out that she can’t outrun her past.
I was a bit skeptical at first about reading this, because it’s a genre I wouldn’t usually read, but I am really glad I took the hour to really get into it and read the whole story. There was so much packed into very few pages I didn’t really have a chance to stop and try and figure out how it was going too end. It was very unexpected and that is what I really liked about it.
Unknown Sender is set in America where Jessica is working through her educational degree. She starts to get strange texts from a blocked number, and so her and her friend decide to take a trip where she is unable to get phone service, yet she continues to receive these strange texts. The events that happen in this novelette are shown to us as they happen to the characters, which is part of the reason it is so unpredictable; it is like we are the characters. The plot was extremely fast paced, things started happening from the moment the book started, which I guess has to be so due to the short number of pages. It was such a page turner as well, and I finished within the hour. The hair on my arms were standing on end the whole time I was reading and the ending gave me goosebumps!
Despite the minimal amount of pages, the character development was extremely good, and packed full of description of emotion and personality, as well as unfolding the story quickly and effortlessly. I felt like, up until the very shocking end, the characters and the story both could have been very real, and could happen to anyone. When you actually find out what happens in the end the paranormal sets in and the story gets that edge and unexpectedness that readers like. The whole story was a constant guessing game from beginning to end, having the reader constantly trying to figure out who the unknown sender is and why they are after Jessica, until all is revealed…
I loved the scene where Jessica and Aubrey were relaxing in the garden of their getaway cabin and Jessica starts to get the texts, even though there is no signal whatsoever. It gave me chills and had me jumping when I got a text message on my own phone whilst reading! I think it is so difficult to find a part in the book to pick out as particularly well written, because it is so short, and so well written throughout the whole story. As I have already mentioned, it was such a page turner, and I would definitely read it again to properly look for foreshadowing of the end and really get to grips with the story. The only thing I would say would be that it could be a little bit longer, it was over too quickly!
It is hard to compare Unknown Sender to any other book, because it was so short and unique, I’ve never read a book like it. I wouldn’t recommend to younger readers or people who get scared easily, because it shakes your nerves at the end and had me on the edge of my seat!
My Rating: 4 Muffins out of 5
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)