REVIEW: Alive, by Sean Kerr

Title: Alive
Series: Dark Universe
Author: Sean Kerr
Genre: Horror
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
Publisher: SGK Publications 
Pages: 214
Reviewer: Maryann

Get it On Amazon US | Amazon Universal Link

About the Book

James has seen some big changes in his life of late. First, he was dealing with a debilitating illness, the consequence of which would leave him scarred for life. Then he split up from his girlfriend, who also happened to be his boss. To top things off, he fell for his doctor, a certain Jack Thesiger, a man destined to change the course of his life forever.

When a series of strange manuscripts fall into James’s possession, he finds himself drawn into an enchanting love story two hundred years in the making. It is the story of two young men who fall hopelessly in love, but as James sinks deeper into their tale, his growing obsession takes on a sinister dimension.

Someone is following him, a tall ominous stranger who seems to be connected to the manuscripts somehow. No matter where James goes, the stranger is never far behind, haunting his every waking moment until James starts to doubt his own sanity.

As illness once again ravages his body, Jack decides to take James away to Scotland so they can spend some quiet time together. It is there where the mystery really intensifies, and James finds himself plunged into a living nightmare where nothing is as it seems.

You know what they say when it comes to relationships. Love is what you make it.

The Review

At the age of twenty-eight, James Godwin a successful writer/script editor that unfortunately deals with Buergers disease. He’s already lost his leg and now has “Steve”.  He also seems to be plagued by some type of “large dark shadow”.  He at one time was having a relationship with his boss, Sara.  When James had his first appointment with with Doctor Thesiger, it seems that Sara doesn’t have any compassion for James’ situation.  

Doctor Jack Thesiger specializes in nerve pain, limb and prosthetics.  He in fact invented “Steve” and is the doctor that diagnosed James’ condition correctly. With James’ first appointment a steamy love affair springs to life with Jack.

James receives a manuscript from Carl Beaufort and as James starts to read, it’s not something he really finds to his liking. He plans not to read anymore until he receives a second manuscript and letter from Beaufort.  James starts to realize the manuscript is like a diary, set in 1788 about Henry Clerval, his young brother William and the man Henry is in love with but only the initials V.V.F are revealed.

As James’ struggles with Buergers disease the “large dark shadow” becomes more of a danger.  To get away from the stressful situation, Jack takes James to his home in Stromness, Scotland a very remote town.  Jacks home is mysterious and fabulous and James is overwhelmed.  When he ventures out to see the “Ring of Brodgar” he finds himself, again and this time at the mercy of the dark shadow. What can James do?  He can’t believe what he’s seeing and the insanity drives him to the edge of desperation.

Sean Kerr is a new author for me and I have to say he didn’t disappoint.  Kerr melds old classic/modern day horror with riveting shock and suspense.  

The story opens up with a gruesome dream scene from 1788 in the Jura Mountains, then switches to current times.  As the story went on it just seemed to keep me a little off kilter, especially when James and Jack are brought into it.  Then later, how their relationship came about is revealed and in-between the story of Clerval and his mysterious lover starts to develop.  Along with the mystery of the dark shadow that plagues James, the story is dark and at times the language, dreams and intimate scenes are very erotic.  There are some very shocking moments that kept me on edge and I had to find out what would happen to James.  Kerr brings a lot of emotion and urgency to James’ story as he has to face the inevitable with Buergers disease.  

“Love is what you make it”, is a clue and I get it!! I highly recommend “Alive” it’s was a page-turner for me!  Sean Kerr is right up there with the best writers of horror!  I’m totally hooked, I finally saw the cover art and video for this novel and now I can’t wait for a sequel!  

The Reviewer

About Maryann: Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights.  Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.  I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors. My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me.  But if a blurb peaks my interest I will read the book. My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading. I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre.   Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.  But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Alive, by Sean Kerr”

  1. I am so very grateful to you for this wonderful review! It’s not often I’m left speechless, but you have done that to me with this review! Thank you so so much for your generous and very kind words, they are truly appreciated zzzz

  2. Awesome Review and explains the book so well, I admire you as a Reviewer to be able to describe exactly what I would like to write. I have read this book and am always in awe of Sean’s capability to draw the reader in with his descriptive writings making one feel that they are actually there experiencing the adventure or torture in this case.

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