Reader Reviews


Popular online magazine ‘Crime Fiction Lover’ featured distinctive, ambitious thriller Slaughterhouse in their ‘New Talent November – Top Ten To Taste’ section. The book was also nominated for the International Thrillers Award 2013. Here are some sample reader reviews to check out before you buy the book.

(NB: Slaughterhouse was published under Carla’s pen name, Amaya Ellman).

K. Stokoe, Amazon Verified Purchaser: “This book represents a couple of “firsts” for me. It is the first book I’ve read by author Amaya Ellman, it’s also the first book that I bought from Amazon and read on the kindle that I got for my birthday yesterday and what a way to start my kindle/ebook adventure. To be honest I knew nothing of the book or the author until I got a message from her inviting me to check out her work and I’m glad that I did. I started reading this around 4am when my usual insomnia had kicked in and I pretty much read the whole thing in one go, even when I got tired I found I wanted to press on and read some more just to find out what happened next to the protagonist Kris.

I won’t give away any of the details, as I hate spoilers, but I will say that this is a fun if slightly twisted read and at just over 70 pages long it is nicely paced and keeps you wanting to read it, unlike some books, by more established authors, where I just want a chapter to be over as it drags on and on. I’ve seen a few reviews make a comparison of this book to “Misery” by Stephen King but personally I felt it owed more to the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movie as I drew a few similarities between the two. All in all an enjoyable read, with a few moments of psychological as well as traditional horror thrown in to the mix and I look forward to reading more of Amaya’s work.”

Janet, Goodreads: “As someone who has read this type of genre for 20 years or so, I think I’m fairly confident in saying I know what I like! This was a good little number (70 pages approx I think!). It starts well and draws you in fairly early on, ratcheting up the tension quite nicely and culminating to a satisfying end. If you have an hour or so to spare you could do a lot worse. Would recommend!”

Markie-Mark, Goodreads: Another book that’s got far too few reviews for its quality. My wife let me try this as an e-book guessing I would enjoy it. She hates anything with even a small amount of blood, so this was a little too much for her, although it is NOT a gory book at all. Basically, if you’re delicate like that, you may struggle with a few parts of the story. However, it’s well constructed, intense and has a gripping ending.

I’m not mad into CID stuff, so I was glad it didn’t have the usual inspector popping up solving anything. I like the gritty pace and simple style.

Mary-Ann, Goodreads Fan: “A dark, menacing short book full of tension. It’s got a real undercurrent. If you’re looking for a detective thriller with a huge plot, lots of characters and a mystery to solve, this is not for you. If you want a psychological mind-ride with a tense, unforgiving atmosphere, you cannot go wrong – and the ending is seriously nail-biting.
For a 90 page book, the characters are well-defined and the pace is excellent. I enjoyed the way I started to really feel for the protagonist and that feeling developed as the story unfolded. Also liked the descriptions a lot.
All in all, a disturbing, addictive read.”

Doug Chambers, Goodreads Fan: “Really enjoyed this book. I was told about it by a friend who noticed it on a US thriller award list. It’s a short psychological thriller/horror novel set in Fort Worth, TX and it really was very mysterious and gripping. One of the best endings I’ve read, especially when you realise it’s from a relatively unknown author – although she has fans in the UK. Just goes to show, the big names don’t always deliver the goods! Well worth it.”

Carrie Cooper, Goodreads Fan: “A friend suggested this to me and I’m pleased they did. I enjoyed the book a lot. It’s dark, well-paced and psychologically harrowing. Set in Fort Worth, Texas, it’s about a young man called Kris Kartofski who goes on a date with a woman he doesn’t know too well with, shall we say, alarming consequences . . .
It’s quick to read – took about two hours – and it is engrossing to say the least. I was screwed right up until the end with tension. The author is British, but she writes like a true Texan.
Highly recommend.”

Thomas, Amazon Verified Purchaser: “I had never heard of this author before, however this book is a little gem. The tension builds up throughout the story until the killer climax. Definately worth a read.”

Macca, Amazon Verified Purchaser: “Full of twists and turns. A psychological thriller of unusual events and disturbing circumstances taken to chilling extremes. A great read.”

Phil, Amazon Verified Purchaser: “I sat down on a Monday night to start reading Slaughterhouse, and 2 and a half hours later picked my head up when I got to the end! It started off funny and quirky, but then descended into something psychologically harrowing! It was one of those where you almost don’t want to read the next paragraph, but just can’t help yourself! Several sections had me gripped with anticipation. The setting was subtly created throughout, so by the end you have crafted a very vivid image of what the area is like, without wading through paragraphs of description. Good length too I found. It flowed really nicely, didn’t labour, but also didn’t feel rushed. Very well paced read, brilliantly written. Would definitely recommend!”

Doug Chambers, Goodreads Fan: “Really enjoyed this book. I was told about it by a friend who noticed it on a US thriller award list. It’s a short psychological thriller/horror novel set in Fort Worth, TX and it really was very mysterious and gripping. One of the best endings I’ve read, especially when you realise it’s from a relatively unknown author – although she has fans in the UK. Just goes to show, the big names don’t always deliver the goods! Well worth it.”

James, Goodreads: “This is a well-crafted, crazy book. Short compared to most novels, but packs a real punch. It’s length is actually a plus-point in my eyes. I was hooked from the first chapter and just kept going right to the end. The descriptions are fantastic. The characters are not deeply developed, but then it’s not a detective mystery.
In one word: INTENSE.
Needless to say, I’m a horror/thriller junkie, so I’m already looking forward to more! When will I learn . . .”

Jared, Goodreads: “The beginning of a very interesting story. I must admit that I’m securely hooked and can’t wait to read the rest of it! I like ‘Janis’ as a character’s name. I just can’t hardly wait to see what the stepmother and aunt have in store for our humble hero. I just don’t trust ‘em.”

Christy, Amazon US Verified Purchaser: “Someone suggested this book based on my interests in all things thriller, suspense & paranormal (to name a few) and I found it very interesting and quite a page turner. I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy suspense. Makes you think twice about online dating!”

Arry, Amazon Verified Purchaser: “This short story is excellent. The plot moves at a good pace without being rushed. Reminded me of Misery / The Shining by Steven king. Would definitely recommend, looking forward to starting her other books! Well worth the price – buy it now you won’t be disappointed!”

Hobbit, Amazon Verified Purchaser: “This is the first book I downloaded and read on my phone Kindle app. I was not disappointed, what a gripping story once I started reading I had to read all the way to the end. The story builds up a feeling of dread as each page is turned and ends with…oh no, will not spoil it for you,this book is well worth the very small asking price. I have now bought a Kindle to better read the next book this auther has written, which I have now downloaded, all I need now is to make sure I have the time to read it in one sitting.”

On A Needle To Know Basis


(NB: This book is currently unavailable).

K. Stokoe, Amazon Verified Purchaser: “I enjoyed Amaya’s “Slaughterhouse” and so wanted to check out the other works that she had available and of the two on Amazon the title of this one intrigued me the most and so I decided to go with it first, and at only 36 pages it doesn’t take long to read at all.

If you’ve read any of my reviews before then you’ll know that I don’t like spoilers in any way, shape or form so I will rarely tell you what the book is about and to be honest I rarely ever read the “blurb” about a book or a story before I start it, I prefer to just dive in and see where the author decides to take me, life is always much more fun I find if you don’t know what’s around the corner, and when reading Amaya’s work so far I can honestly say that you never know what is around the corner.

One thing that did stand out on a personal level and took me back to childhood was the mention of a pomander. I used to make them back when I was probably 6 or 7 tears old at school and had pretty much forgotten all about them, just the mention of them took me back and was quite unexpected.

Obviously this falls more into the short story rather than book category and as such there is no deep character development but to be honest I don’t think it needs it anyway, you get introduced to characters and, pretty much from the beginning you’re off and running with the story and curious to see just where it takes you next as the mystery surrounding them unravels.

And the best part of all, it’s only £0.77 on Amazon. I mean come on what else will 77p buy you these days, pretty much nothing right? But in this instance it bought me an enjoyable way to spend half an hour or so, and who wouldn’t want to pay 77p just for the title alone?

As I said in my review of Slaughterhouse, I’ve read a lot worse by far more “established” authors and so far Amaya is 2 for 2 as far as I’m concerned, I’ve enjoyed both things I’ve read and look forward to seeing what journey she’s going to take me on when I read Broken Shells. If you’re reading this you should check out her work, don’t just stick to authors that you know or love..take a chance, dive in head first and see where you end up.”

James, Goodreads: “Good fun short story that gives an insight into Amaya’s style. The characters are really funny. It’s a fast moving storyline, too.”

Jackie, Goodreads: Rated the story 4 stars.

Broken Shells

Click to see full description & synopsis

(NB: This book is currently unavailable).

James, Goodreads: “Broken Shells is a half length novel set in the Iranian desert. You follow lone traveller Aref as he comes to terms with how his people, country and customs will be affected by a fictional conflict with the West. Aref’s personal story is very emotional. He’s a great character because he’s so understanding and selfless – unlike Freeman, the female soldier he finds. She’s been left unconscious and he decides to help her.

This is not about the military – only a short section at the start looks at the fighter pilots flying overhead the landscapes to set the scene. when you focus in on the quiet nomads, that’s when the beauty and the substance of the book really starts. Impressive for a first publication.”

Tim, Amazon Purchaser: “I read Amaya Ellman’s Broken Shells, and found it to be haunting and well written, particularly her work describing life in the Mideast wilderness.”

Phil, Goodreads & Amazon: Rated the book 4 stars.

One thought on “Reader Reviews

  1. Pingback: Get Thrilled Update – Announcing The Stunning New Slaughterhouse Cover « Amaya Ellman

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