The Slaughter Man

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Member Reviews

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This book was appropriately creepy. Although from the synopsis it seemed like the slaughter man would be some sort of actual nightmarish/paranormal entity, I still thought parts of the book were disturbing. I liked the dream sequences, and I was surprised a few times by the brutality of the story, especially concerning Luke's traumatic past and Willow's self-harm scene.  They honestly took me aback, although I think in the end they did contribute to the story. 

The ending was ambiguous, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I do like that there's no clear ending for Willow. It did seem as if she was on her way to recovery, and her assumptions about the slaughter man could finally be put to rest. On the other hand...who knows for sure? I really didn't like the relationship between Luke and Willow, though. It seemed like the author was sort of pairing them together, and then other times it didn't seem likely. Luke's behavior was textbook abusive and honestly alarming, so I really didn't understand why Willow should be in a relationship with someone who was so obviously unhinged, and this romantic (ish?) aspect took away from the story, for me. But overall I did enjoy the book, and the author's writing was really phenomenal!
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All I can say is WOW. This book caught my attention right away and attached me right to the main character. It's nice to be able to have a character that you can relate to on some level and Cassandra Parkin does just that. The book is written in a way that you never really see what is coming and it pulls at you after each chapter. The Slaughter Man really keeps you on your toes! Highly recommend.
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This book made me cry. It's so raw, heartfelt and poignant as it lets you inside the mind of Willow, a young girl suffering with extreme grief. She's lost her sister. This is a tough read. A lyrical one and the writing is beautiful even if at times I thought it was a YA read. VERY emotional. A bit too much emotion about grief and death for me I'm afraid. I struggled to read it as it touched too many nerves. That should perhaps warrant a high score but I can't say I loved a book that made me feel so down. A powerful read though!
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This book woo’ed me - I practically devoured it in one session I thought it was going to be completely different from what it actually turned out to be.
The Slaughter Man is a beautifully written, intense, heartbreaking solid read.

Essentially it’s about grief, that of Willow the main character whose twin sister Laurel has recently died.
Through grief - Willow can no longer speak and her family, her mother and father are struggling with their own loss, decide that a change of scenery and location - staying with her uncle Joe might help her to open up and be a teenager again.

As Willow has stopped speaking, the reader is the only person who can actually understand what’s going on in Willows head, what she imagines saying if her voice was not closed because of emotion is narrated on paper.

Once she has unpacked at her Uncles she goes to explore through her bedroom door which leads directly to the outside. There are signs everywhere “No Trespassing” “Private Property” - clearly wanting to feel something to alleviate the numbness of grief she ignores them - of course she does and hides away as the Slaughter Man shows himself.

I can’t tell you much more about him without spoiling it for you.

She also meets Luca another troubled soul who is staying at the nearby farmhouse - he immediately tells her in his own words he is dangerous and as their friendships grow - so did their stories.

When the reveal came at the end re Luca’s issues I hadn’t guessed correctly and was hoping more to unravel - now they had connected. We simply ran out of book.

As the novel progresses Willows real life and her dreams are her minds attempts to deal with grief, the unsaid, the unfinished. The dreams are in her head very real and can be disturbing. They are vivid and leave you totally drawn into the scene.

With the subject matter of intense grief you would think it’s a difficult read but somehow it isn’t and leaves you feeling for the characters as they retract into their own darkness.

What a writer Cassandra Parkin is - unique, excellent, well paced and definitely up there with my favorites this year.

It’s a emotion filled book that grabbed my attention when I was least expecting it. Such a different style of writing creating a story that stays in your head for days afterwards.
I highly recommend this author and book.

Thank you Net Galley for this advanced review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I loved this book. The raw, poignant unapologetic struggle and pain  in most of the characters was beautifully written. I was not expecting the ending at all but it really added another layer to the way I viewed Willow’s grief and mental state. A really special book.
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Cassandra Parkin is a new author (to me) and I was intrigued by the premise of this book as soon as I read the blurb.  There is no doubt that this book is beautifully written, yet it wasn’t quite the creepy read I was expecting; there is an underlying sadness and morose mood throughout.

The book is peppered with dream sequences which I found both fascinating and disturbing; quite a novel way to tell a story, making it both eery and heartbreaking.

I enjoyed getting to know Willow, the main protagonist.  I found her situation with the death of her twin to be utterly devastating.  At times, I found this to be quite a difficult read; mature themes are dealt with throughout and there is also some graphic description of self harming.  That said, Parkin dealt with each of these themes sensitively and managed to tell a haunting yet hopeful tale.

The Slaughter Man, is a gripping read but definitely not one for the faint hearted!
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The Slaughter Man by Cassandra Parkin was a beautifully written book and portrays grief in such a raw and powerful way that will touch your heart. I have never read anything from this author and it wont be my last. I will be looking out for her books now......Just Beautiful!
Willow is seventeen and loses the most important person in her life who she loves dearly, her twin sister Laurel. Every night she has nightmares that haunt her and has to learn how to cope to live with out her rock and soul sister by her side. Willow's uncle Joe is worried about her and offers her a change of scenery. He offers to to take her away and stay in a cottage away from everything around her. Uncle Joe's cottage is beautiful and has forest all around it. However, the forest is full of secrets. 

What is Uncle Joe hiding from Willow?

Can Willow handle all the secrets she will find?

Then, Lucas arrives in her life – troubled, angry and with a dangerous past. 

Who is he?

What events have brought Lucas to her door? 

And who is the Slaughter Man who steals through Willow’s sleep?

WoW, what a book....I just loved it and didn't want it to end.

Big Thank you to Legend Press for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
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Having read and enjoyed most of this author's other books, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to sample The Slaughterman. Sadly, I really struggled to engage with this particular storyline. Yes, it was beautifully written once again but the plot seemed muddled and lacked direction so that I very quickly lost interest.
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I’ve read all this author’s books and enjoyed them, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
I found it a bit slow but I will look out for the author’s future books.
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On this the interesting side this story shows the grief you have at the loss of a very close on in its rawest form. It's got more of a snoozefest side......slow paced and confusing.
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I wasn’t sure to start as I got a bit confused but ended up enjoying it.. nicely written and a goo story

Would definitely read more from this author
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This book went in a complete different direction that what I'd expected but I'm not mad at it. It was FULL of eye-opening, heart wrenching grief and pain and every character appeared to be battling their own demons. Mental health is a huge part of this book and I personally feel that Cassandra Parkin portrayed the every day struggles and pain that grief can unleash onto people. Raw emotions lay out left right and center to get cought up in.

I do however wish that the Slaughter Man played more of a role in this book. The actual, physical Slaughter Man that is. I finished this book feeling quite confused as to his role in the book and who he actually is as a person. I also had a few issues with Lucas too, he's such a complex character and I'm so glad he has a story to be told towards the end of the book because for quite a while I was just getting slightly agitated with his back and forth ways and the repetitiveness in the Alpha male illusion he wanted people to see of him. I just didn't understand him so again, I'm super glad his story is eventually told.

I loved Uncle Joe, I mean.. Don't get me wrong damn was he sloppy when it came to Willow and her safety and I will say that some of his life choices were definitely questionable... But he tried bless him and it was hard not to feel awkward for him every time he said/did something he instantly went on to regret. I am always a sucker for a good family dynamic in books so it was refreshing to have the relationship build up between Willow and Joe added in here.

All in all, I did really enjoy this book. Parkin managed to break my heart AND still have me on edge at times and although I didn't fully get the outcome I'd been desperate for throughout the entire book, she still gave me JUST enough hope to grasp on to and be left satisfied.
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Let me start by saying that I absolutely loved Parkin's previous books, and was very excited to get my hands on this one! Sadly, it wasn't a good fit for me. Whilst it started out strong and I found Willow's grief very touching and well portrayed, which invested me immediately in the story and her character, it all fell apart for me when Luca made an appearance. His character was such an odd fit! I felt like the interactions between Willow and Luca were stilted and sometimes even made me cringe, and the whole story took on the style of a YA novel. I felt at this point that my interest was slipping. Even though the slaughter man had me intrigued at first, he became like a marginal character in the Willow and Luca show, rather than the creepy figure he could have been.

I concede that this story just wasn't for me at this time, but look forward to reading more from the author in future. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I'm surprised by the amount of negative reviews this easy to read thriller novel had received because it really wasn't all that bad. Sure it's not great since there were a little more than a few flaws that I disliked but the authors writing style allowed the story to run smoothly and emotionally driven storyline that showcased the reality of grief impressed me greatly. I loved the dynamic between Lucas and Willow, and how he pushed her towards the end. I will notate that I wasn't exactly impressed with the ending which left me with a lot of unanswered questions but despite that, it was an overall decent mystery thriller.
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After starting this and reading other negative reviews, I’ve decided to skip this one and move on to other books that appeal to me more.
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This was a surprisingly great read.  I thought it was going to be only ok, but it actually had a lot of emotional depth and kept me engaged.  I highly recommend it!
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The book itself an easy to read thriller. Which is why I've given it a 3.5/5, as this is my favorite type of book to read. I started it around 9 AM and it took me a solid 5 hours of dedicated reading time to finish.

There were moments where moments where I had chills run down my back with anticipation of what would happen. The main character, Willow, got herself into quite a situations (in her dreams and in her real life) that lead me to keep reading in anticipation. I liked that it wasn't full throttle thriller, and it gave you breaks in between to wrap your head around what had happened. 

Additionally, the format of the story was interesting as chapters skipped in and out of reality. I found this to be a good way to keep the story progressing, without bogging us down in the details. It really let us know just how much Willow was suffering internally. In her waking self we saw SOME of Willow's struggles, but the dreams drove the point home overall. 

The reason I only gave it 3.5/5 stars was the resolution to the story. We had a lot of build up to the  The Slaughter Man only to have the main characters break into his house TWICE, and get no REAL consequences. When he locks him in the house at the end, I figured we'd get more resolution but it just doesn't come. We get a long story from Luca that seems to open the main character up to another persons sadness and thus help push her through her own stuff. But we never get resolution with the fact that they're locked in the spooky mans house?

If anything the slaughter man plot points feel like an after thought. While I liked the tension of her dreams, and being in the woods and the crows, I could have done without the scary man who lives at the end of the lane. Seems like it just didnt belong.
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Willow is a young 17 year old girl who is a survivor, having lost her identical twin sister, Laurel.  Willow is plagued by frightening dreams and wets the bed as a result of her immersion in the scary night time worlds. During the day, she cannot speak (or express herself in many ways at all) as she has become non-verbal since the death of her sister.  

Her parents, Rose and Stephen, are desperate to try to help Willow to recover and so they send her on a trip to stay with Willow’s long lost Uncle Joe who lives in the country, away from the congested urban environment and the daily pressures of Willow’s college life, which are potentially hampering her recovery.  

Next door to Joe’s country home lives Katherine, who owns a smallholding farm. Luca lives on the farm and helps out with the animal care.  There are lots of quiet, isolated places for Willow to explore and forbidden places in the woods where she is most definitely not permitted to go, for her own safety.  The Slaughter Man lives in the woods.  

Eventually Willow meets Luca, the boy next door, and the book follows their adventure which takes place on the farm, in Uncle Joe’s home and the woods beyond.  There are plenty of dark, disturbing dreams to lose yourself in and to counterbalance this, lots of cute animals to make everything seem a little kinder -  kittens in hay bales, baby goats in bedrooms.  However, nature itself can be cruel and sometimes the goats have frightening stares which unsettle even the most angst ridden teenage boy.  

This is a story about love, loss, sexuality and sexual orientation as well as being dark and filled with menace and mystery.  The portrayal of acute grief disorder interested me as I personally have experience of this, following the traumatic death of my late mother.  And I do feel that the writer did justice to the reality of severe trauma when associated with the death of a much loved relative; it can be utterly profound and surely nothing is more so than the loss of the ability to express yourself, vocally or otherwise. 

I found this book very easy to read and finished it in one sitting. My only criticism is that I didn’t expect it to end the way it did.  That said, the story does come to its own logical conclusion even if it wasn’t my dream ending, hence I’m being a touch conservative in my rating!  

The Slaughter Man gets 3 / 5 stars from me
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The Slaughter Man is an intense, beautifully written novel about grief, in this case the peculiar grief following the loss of part of you as Willow goes on a very personal and difficult journey after the death of her identical twin sister.

In fact The Slaughter Man is a novel of identity, of readjusting to a new reality and it is told through a dreamlike quality of prose and an emotionally resonant point of view. The Slaughter Man at the heart of the novel is a person both real and imagined, Willow silent in life, yet talking in other ways leads us down dark and difficult paths. Informed more and more by those around her, including Luca, a damaged soul, her Uncle who is struggling with demons of his own and, of course, the evocative Slaughter Man, slowly but surely Willow works out her pain.

The setting is melancholy and gorgeous, the realities insightful, The Slaughter Man is a very personal, very human tale and I fell into it, a literary gem that holds you in its quirky, heartfelt grip from first page to last.

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At seventeen, Willow loses the most important person in her life: her twin sister, Laurel. Now, with nightmares haunting her every night and her life a complete mess, she has to learn how to cope without her soul sister. When things get incredibly rough, her uncle will take her away for a change of scenery. But in a cottage, away from the largest part of civilization, can Willow handle the secrets she will find?

Being a big fan of Cassandra Parkin's previous books, I had high expectations for The Slaughter Man. And, although some parts of the story were incredibly depicted and narrating (like the pain and loss Willow feels without her sister, or her road to recovery), this story felt quite disappointing. First of all, the title makes you expect something that doesn't quite come. For spoiler reasons, I won't get in depth on that. Willow's story built up my expectation as I kept reading. Instead of a crescendo, it offered me a disappointing ending that had little to show compared to the rest of the story. 

Willow's character was very well constructed and the in-depth depiction of her thoughts and dreams was marvelous. But other than her, the characters were shallow and lacking. All in all, it wasn't a book that left a great impression on me.
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