Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: "Remnants of the Damned" (Abyssal Sanctuary #1) by Gavin Hetherington

About The Book


Title: Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned
Author:  Gavin Hetherington
Genre: Horror/Suspense

Pages:  285
Publication Date: October 9, 2013


Witness the Birth of Fear.

There has always been something wrong with the sinister and secluded town of Lakefield View. For one, people get murdered on the streets and nobody does anything about it. Even if they hear their screams curse the night skies, the number of saints has diminished. But it isn't the sick and twisted residents of Lakefield View that are the ones who you should avoid... it's the killers, the psychopaths, the witches and the monsters you should watch out for.

Five unsuspecting workers of a picturesque café get the shock of their lives when a family member is killed before their eyes. A chain of events ensue and they are all catapulted down a spiralling road of mystery and magic, each struggling to overcome constant obstacles that threaten their lives and the safety of their families. As the mystery progresses and the secrets get darker, the friends find it harder and harder to keep their heads above water.

The only thing worse than being alone in the dark, is finding out you're not!

A prism of genres, Remnants of the Damned promises to be a truly different approach of a series of novels with one of the main characters being gay – a rare occurrence in a mainstream piece of literature in this kind of genre.

7277642About Gavin Hetherington

Gavin Hetherington, born 7 May 1992, currently resides in the town of Gateshead in the United Kingdom. A literature fanatic of fantasy, Gavin began writing stories when he was young, mainly about witches and the supernatural. 

In 2006, Gavin’s short story, titled “Vanquished” won a nationwide competition to be included in a children’s anthology of short stories. The book, Telling T.A.L.E.S. Adventure into Fiction, Vol. 1, was published on 30 November 2006. 

Gavin is gay and has never had a boyfriend, which he is grateful for as he wants his first boyfriend to be “the one”. Call it fictional but it’s true. Gavin loves film and scripted American television shows. His favourite films include the Harry Potter series, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Titanic and more. Almost every Disney animated classic and Pixar film, Gavin loves. His favourite television shows include Charmed, Desperate Housewives, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, The Walking Dead and many more. 

While writing, Gavin also has a part-time job at Greggs the Bakers in Gateshead. Gavin attended Gateshead College from 2008 to 2009 before dropping out after feeling lost during a course change in the second year. Gavin returned to learning in September 2013 when he enrolled at Newcastle City Learning and will attend University in Fall 2014.


What is WRONG with me?! I don't like to be frightened or trembling in my boots when I read a book. Creepy is good... scary... no thank you. So why I assumed Gavin Hetherington's book was just going to be just a "wee bit creepy" I have NO IDEA. 

Horror fans everywhere will appreciate Gavin's attention to detail and his touching upon multiple well known (and well loved) horror norms. All with a new little something added. New skin, if you will. (Ugh. Okay. Hold on. Just grossed myself out). 
The lives of 5 friends are thrown into turmoil (chaos, mayhem, hell, nightmare, you know... all those great adjectives) when someone close to them is murdered right before their very eyes at an otherwise unassuming local cafe. Cue the slew of horrifying events that follow, carrying each of them through their own personal horror-house of events. 
Gavin navigated multiple points of view with ease, and set the stage for his chilling tale with masterful descriptions and set-ups for the jumpy-creepy-down-right-scary parts. Within the first couple of pages I was already feeling that "cover your eyes but peek through your fingers" feeling... you know, where you're kind of like crouched in your chair ready to spring into a run or slam the book shut as soon as it gets too scary. As soon as that stupid person goes to open the door. Just as you KNOW that monster is going to get the girl running screaming down the street. 
There's plenty of mystery to keep you reading, and honestly the reader is just as confused as the characters as to what's going on and WHY half the time. Just as you feel like you might be figuring something out the book end abruptly and you realize around the last 30 pages that there's NO time for resolution or closer. Surprise! Cliffhanger and an opening for book #2.  
I only had a bit of criticism for this work. The writing style in the beginning is a bit difficult to get through. The flow is somewhat choppy and the reader may find themselves stumbling along a little bit. A bit of tough editing in this area would fix this problem. The reader will get the flow, find their bearings, and be able to navigate the book just fine from there. 

Mr. Hetherington has presented a fantastic first book to a horror-genre series that will have horror fans and non-horror fans alike screeching for more.

Until Next Blog, 

Read On!


  1. Thank you for the fantastic review Auggie! I really appreciate it :D I am so glad you enjoyed it, and I agree with the criticism ;) Thanks for such an honest, great review.

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