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The Unseen

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For Allison Cook, the weekend trip to a horror convention in Virginia is a fun break from work and humdrum reality. Then she meets a guy who shows her a movie that shouldn’t exist, one that upends everything she thinks she knows about reality itself. The movie on the old VHS tape is an unseen and unknown installment of a legendary slasher franchise she’s loved since the da For Allison Cook, the weekend trip to a horror convention in Virginia is a fun break from work and humdrum reality. Then she meets a guy who shows her a movie that shouldn’t exist, one that upends everything she thinks she knows about reality itself. The movie on the old VHS tape is an unseen and unknown installment of a legendary slasher franchise she’s loved since the dark days of her unhappy adolescence. As soon as she sees it, she knows the movie is the real deal, not a fake or a fan film. She can only come to one impossible conclusion—the movie is from some other alternate reality. It is not of this world. And she knows one other thing. She must have it. At all costs. And by any means necessary. But unknown to Allison, possession of the tape comes at a higher price than she ever could have imagined.


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For Allison Cook, the weekend trip to a horror convention in Virginia is a fun break from work and humdrum reality. Then she meets a guy who shows her a movie that shouldn’t exist, one that upends everything she thinks she knows about reality itself. The movie on the old VHS tape is an unseen and unknown installment of a legendary slasher franchise she’s loved since the da For Allison Cook, the weekend trip to a horror convention in Virginia is a fun break from work and humdrum reality. Then she meets a guy who shows her a movie that shouldn’t exist, one that upends everything she thinks she knows about reality itself. The movie on the old VHS tape is an unseen and unknown installment of a legendary slasher franchise she’s loved since the dark days of her unhappy adolescence. As soon as she sees it, she knows the movie is the real deal, not a fake or a fan film. She can only come to one impossible conclusion—the movie is from some other alternate reality. It is not of this world. And she knows one other thing. She must have it. At all costs. And by any means necessary. But unknown to Allison, possession of the tape comes at a higher price than she ever could have imagined.

30 review for The Unseen

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Martin

    Bryan Smith is one of a very small handful of horror authors who I will drop everything for whenever they have a new release, and bump them straight to the top of my ‘to be read’ pile. With well over 40 books published to date, you know that anything Smith writes is going to be a grindhouse-style epic of pure horror entertainment. His latest novel is no exception, but as with his last release (Invitation to Murder) he offers his readers something a little different with ‘The Unseen’. Allison is t Bryan Smith is one of a very small handful of horror authors who I will drop everything for whenever they have a new release, and bump them straight to the top of my ‘to be read’ pile. With well over 40 books published to date, you know that anything Smith writes is going to be a grindhouse-style epic of pure horror entertainment. His latest novel is no exception, but as with his last release (Invitation to Murder) he offers his readers something a little different with ‘The Unseen’. Allison is the biggest horror fan you’re ever likely to meet. She is an avid collector and horror movie connoisseur but her absolute favourite is the Friday the 13th franchise. When she is approached by a guy at a horror convention who boasts he has a copy of an unseen Friday the 13th entry she is sceptical at first, assuming it to be a fan film or a fake. What she sees, however, cannot be explained away so easily. By viewing the movie that should not exist, she sets in motion a series of events that are beyond explanation. The movie she saw is not of this world and the consequences for viewing it, both for her and anyone around her, are more than she ever dared imagine. What I wasn’t expecting when I picked up this book was a slow burn. Bryan Smith books tend to start off with a bang and build from there, but ‘The Unseen’ took its time to introduce characters, set up an intriguing premise, and ratcheted up the tension until things take off midway through the book. It is a lot more tense and atmospheric than I’ve come to expect from the author and turns out he is very good at it. I particularly enjoyed the hints at, and the eventual reveal of, The Visitor, who is a disturbing figure and not one we get all that much info on, which makes him all the more interesting. While ‘The Unseen’ is by no means tame (it certainly has an impressive body count and more than its fair share of slasher inspired kills) don’t go in expecting a ‘Depraved’ level of gore or extreme content. The Unseen is a little more restrained and, at times, very creepy in comparison to some of Smiths more bombastic outings. What with his recent take on the classic murder mystery, this latest supernatural slasher, and an upcoming horror western, he seems to be experimenting outside of his usual wheelhouse at the moment and I’m very much enjoying the results. The Unseen gives the reader plenty of what we love about Bryan Smith’s work. Strong female characters, unpredictability and inventive death scenes abound, but this latest novel is also a much slower burn than his typical action-packed offerings, building up the tension effectively and introducing an intriguing and genuinely scary new antagonist that I very much hope makes future appearances in his books. As someone who is a big Bryan Smith fan and has read the majority of his work, it is no small praise when I say ‘The Unseen’ is one of his best novels to date.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bianca (Belladonnabooks)

    This was such a fun little mash up of slasher pop culture nostalgia and other world horror. The Unseen shows what happens when a love for horror tips over into obsession. Allison is a horror fanatic and absolutely loves anything that revolves around Friday the 13th. She meets a guy at a horror convention who shows her an alternative Friday the 13th film but it seems far too realistic to be fake. Instantly obsessed, Allison steals the film and the events which unfold from there are safe to say no This was such a fun little mash up of slasher pop culture nostalgia and other world horror. The Unseen shows what happens when a love for horror tips over into obsession. Allison is a horror fanatic and absolutely loves anything that revolves around Friday the 13th. She meets a guy at a horror convention who shows her an alternative Friday the 13th film but it seems far too realistic to be fake. Instantly obsessed, Allison steals the film and the events which unfold from there are safe to say not what she expected. This is a short book but Bryan Smith packs a lot into it. It takes a very unique spin on slashers whilst drawing upon well known pop culture references which horror fans will love. For how short it was, it didn't feel rushed and the pace was perfect, leading to a satisfying ending. The creepiest aspect to this for me was the entity known in the story as 'the visitor.' I have only read one other of Bryan's books - Merciless and in terms of comparison, The Unseen was far more tame. Less gore, less violence and less extreme in general. What they did share though was great writing. Bryan is quickly becoming one of my favourite writers in the extreme horror realm. He fleshes out his characters which makes the narrative feel so much more real. Both The Unseen and Merciless contain strong female characters which I appreciate. *Instantly buys more Bryan Smith books.*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Uptown Horror Reviews

    Imagine if there was an interdimensional entity who could give you movies, books and video games that don't exist in our world. It could be a sequel to your favorite film that never came out. It could be a highly anticipated video game that isnt scheduled to be released for another 5 years. It could be your favorite authors magnum opus that he never got to write or publish. "The Visitor" can provide you with all of these things, but in return be wants a piece of your soul and he wants you to vow Imagine if there was an interdimensional entity who could give you movies, books and video games that don't exist in our world. It could be a sequel to your favorite film that never came out. It could be a highly anticipated video game that isnt scheduled to be released for another 5 years. It could be your favorite authors magnum opus that he never got to write or publish. "The Visitor" can provide you with all of these things, but in return be wants a piece of your soul and he wants you to vow to never share these "gifts" with anyone. The book follows a young guy as he loses one of these "gifts" and its now up to him to retrieve it at all costs in an attempt to escape The Visitors wrath. This was a great book with a great premise and great characters (who I all hated btw). I feel like Bryan Smith has been trying to experiment with different types of stories as of late, and he knocked it out the park with this one. Im giving this book 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Tucker

    I loved the premise but the story just didnt go anywhere other than people being horrible to each other. The Visitor was not fleshed out at all and I didnt care about any of the characters. Not my cup of tea I guess.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lola Brown

    Stay Away From the Janky VHS Tapes From start to finish, this novel had me turning the pages like my life depended on it. As weird and original as it is twisted and horrifying. A truly bizarre tale as only Bryan Smith could tell it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Niklas Lübkemann

    a fast paced story with twist and turns. Allison stole an old VHS tape from a mysterious guy which she met at a horror convention. Now she lives in danger because he want the tape back. But not only the man would kill to get it. The book contains some murders and dark humour. With only 150 pages you’ll read it in just one oder two sittings. It’s a homage to Friday the 13ths and is dealing with real life topics.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mylene

    My Guilty Pleasure Have always loved Bryan Smith stories. They are exciting, brutal, and so so entertaining. This story follows the usual Smith themes and character-types. If you have read “The Killing Kind” series, this fits right in. Bryan Smith is a certified OG Splaterpunk author!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve Clark

    Bryan Smith has done it again. A video tape that shouldn’t exist sets off a blood soaked chain of events leading to betrayal and murder. The set up is a delight to fans of slasher movies. With every release, Bryan Smith solidifies himself as one of the best horror writers in the business.

  9. 4 out of 5

    beach horrorreader

    Surprisingly good. I only wish I knew more about the gifts in Mark’s collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  12. 4 out of 5

    Norm

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark Ko

  14. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  16. 5 out of 5

    Whoami

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Yates

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brian Repinski

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tom Duffy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Drifter

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike Lazur

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Carroll

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt Huston

  26. 4 out of 5

    Peter Schwotzer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Myett

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

  29. 4 out of 5

    C.V. Hunt

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam Wilson

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