Book Reviews


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{Review} PRINCE OF NIGHTMARES, John McNeeby John McNee
Published by Blood Bound Books on January 1, 2016
Genres: Dark Fiction, Extreme Horror, Horror, Supernatural
Pages: 189
Format: eBook
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“McNee has taken the dream spectrum and contorted it into an unrelenting haven of fear.”- K. Trap Jones, Author of THE DRUNKEN EXORCIST and THE CHARM HUNTER

Welcome to the Ballador Country House Hotel. Nestled in the highlands of Scotland, it is unlike any other lodging. Guests can expect wonderful scenery, gourmet food, and horrifying nightmares—guaranteed. Daring travelers pay thousands to stay within the Ballador’s infamous rooms because of the vivid and frightening dreams the accommodations inspire.

Before Josephine Teversham committed suicide, she made a reservation at the hotel for her husband, Australian magnate Victor Teversham. Once he arrives at the hotel, Victor finds himself the target of malevolent forces, revealing the nightmares—and their purpose—to be more strange, personal, and deadly than anyone could have guessed.

PRINCE OF NIGHTMARES is the first book I’ve read by author John McNee.  In this, I’ve discovered a writer with a great deal of talent, that I will be keeping an eye out for in the future.

Very little about this novel struck me as “typical”.  Our main character, Victor Teversham, is an elderly billionaire tycoon, who got to where he was by stepping on, and using everything and everyone around him.  A man who thought little of anyone except himself, with very few–if any–redeeming qualities, and yet somehow managed to completely captivate me from the start.

Mere hours before her suicide, Josie Teversham  booked a reservation for her husband at the Ballador Country House Hotel in Scotland–a place which boasted “guaranteed realistic nightmares” to anyone sleeping in one of their main rooms.

“….a great many focused on the theme of ‘nostalgia.’  More specifically, it was the nostalgia of terror.”

Victor decides to go, searching for a clue as to why his late wife did this, and then followed up by killing herself.

What he finds, however, defies every attempt at rationalization.  “Fear.  It all came back to fear.”

For these “nightmares” are held in check by a very thin boundary, and that boundary can be breached . . .

The descriptions of the horrors and mutilations are so expertly written, that I could practically “see” the atrocities before me!  “They made knots of her limbs, fracturing the bones in a hundred places and forcing them into gruesome loops.”  While I can’t say that I honestly cared much about any of the characters, sufficient information was given on each to enable them to play their roles most effectively.  Although I expected to be reading another average haunted house tale, what I got instead was something much more fresh and distinctive.  McNee’s writing style practically floats you along from page to page.

My only two minute criticisms were that 1.) there were those annoying times when I (along with the characters) had to wonder if we were in a dream, or reality; and 2.) I would have liked a little more depth into the background information of the Ballador Hotel presented, as I found this a very fascinating part of the tale that McNee could have capitalized more on with an added scene or two.

Overall, I was highly impressed by this unique story and the writing style, in general.  There are some scenes in particular that were painted so vividly that they may, in fact, permeate even the reader’s nightmares . . .   “Evil isn’t an alien thing.  It exists in the minds of every man and woman.”

Highly recommended!

About John McNee

John McNee is a writer of strange and disturbing horror stories, published in a variety of strange and disturbing anthologies, as well as the novel ‘Prince of Nightmares’.

He is also the author of ‘GrudgePunk’, probably the only dieselpunk-bizarro-horror-noir anthology around.

He lives on the west coast of Scotland, where he works for a trade magazine.


I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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