Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

Greg Owens has been crippled with back pain ever since falling from a roof. In desperation he turns to experimental treatment aimed at eliminating the physical pain. Patients feel amazing afterwards but there is a terrible price for curing their suffering.
Dog lovers might find the opening pages unsettling and some parts are pretty bloodthirsty. If you make it past that then be warned you wont have time to relax.
Reading this gave me a creepy sick feeling and in an odd way that's a compliment. Although the ending wasn't what I was expecting it was good to be taken by surprise.
A definite read for horror fans with a strong stomach
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free digital copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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This book made me cringe more than any other book I've read. The premise, a group of people living with chronic pain who sign up for an experimental treatment, sucked me right in. The multiple perspectives from members of the test group made the chapters fly by. Seriously, though, this book is not for the squeamish as it's totally disgusting (and awesome, if you like horror, which I do).
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I’m new to the horror genre (in its strictest sense). So I have no idea what it takes to make a good read in this genre. My review will be as a newcomer’s perspective.

The novel starts with a scene that demands the following reaction from readers: a widening of disbelief-filled eyes and mouth-covering. The book opens with a surgical procedure masterminded by Dr Dante Menta. D Menta. Dementa (Get it?). This procedure is used to remove pain altogether and the test subject in the scene was an injured dog. Let me put it this way – it involves some bone crushing and scalpel twisting.

Our main character is one of the patients undergoing this clinical trial. The patients are eager to undergo the procedure that will supposedly help them manage and even get rid of their pains. All these patients suffer from life-crippling pains that make normal life elusive, including lupus, severe back pain, and head-crushing migraines. However, their eagerness is short-lived when (of course) something goes wrong with the first few patients who underwent the procedure.

I loved that the author used tell-tale signs of depression and anxiety to populate the thought patterns of our characters who are also test-subjects in the human clinical trial.

I have no idea whatsoever if the detail of gore in this book is of high standards according to horror book fans. I can say for sure that it does get gory. So, if you’re in the mood for some blood and gore, I’d say give this book a go.

Trigger warning(s): Detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, gore, and violence.
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Good? Bad? I don't know 😲
"For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.
Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life's obsession."
can a book be both good and bad at the same time? Cause I'm on both sides of the fence with this book. I found the beginning very difficult to understand and to follow. but I found the premise of the book very intriguing. I found issues with the writing as in grammatical and spelling errors and yet the descriptive powers of the author when describing the physical torture that the characters put themselves through is unprecedented. Like it literally makes your skin crawl and makes you want to gag! I honestly just don't know what to make of this book. I'm so confused it is difficult for me to even write a review for it.
I guess I wish the editing would have been done better. That would definitely have made it more readable for me because when I find grammatical, and especially spelling, errors it's like nails on a chalkboard for me. 😖 I also wish that the writing style was a little more intriguing like the story itself was intriguing. I found the writing style to be very dull and as I stated before difficult to read and understand what is going on.
I wanted to like this book, and I did in some ways, but as with any book that I find editing errors with I cannot recommend it until the errors are fixed.
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This was a decently quick read for me, but I really felt like the gore was over the top and that the same story could have been told without using all that gore. Sometimes stories are even better without it, in my opinion. Overall, I did like the characters and that it wasn't some big supernatural monster causing all the worry.
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Greg Owens has been suffering from excruciating back pains for years. So, when a new clinical trial is available, he jumps at the chance. Little does he know that, although his back pain will go away, other things will start going wrong. Depression and strange thoughts and urges are only the beginning. What follows is even worse.

A horror story with a very interesting plot, Painless is a book all horror fans will appreciate. Its concept is unique and the writing thrilling enough to keep you reading to the end. There were definitely pints in the book that were too detailed, but that is just a point of personal preference. Painless is a pleasant, fast read.
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Very original and suspenseful book. I enjoyed reading this and found myself mesmerized by the story. This was unlike any books I’ve read before. I would recommend.
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Painless is a book that has a great premise and some interesting characters but doesn’t always play off to the best of effect.  The plotting is a bit maniacal in that it has a slow build that erupts in full out body horror with interludes of an odd narrative that sometimes halts the action.  Keeping this in mind, it is a fascinating subject matter that plays overall, reasonably well.

We start out with Greg, a man who is in diabolical pain which ruins his world to the point where he is desperate for relief and getting his life back on track.  He has been invited to join a trial to become pain free.  This is where the story then starts to pick up a little bit of pace with the ensemble cast that sometimes gets muffled from individuality and often work like a hive effect.  Hard to distinguish one from another.  The only time the reader can really differentiate the characters is when the gore and horror start taking root.  

The interesting characters of the two doctors and two nurses are somewhat side-lined and the person we start the adventure with becomes a shadow of himself.  He basically gets lost in the shuffle.  This is a shame because of all the characters, we enter the world through his eyes and when he gets pushed to the side, the reader does as well.

The science is really well handled and admit that in the beginning the author masterfully crafted those segments exceedingly well.  Unfortunately, when things spiral out of control, the science is missing with no rhyme or reason why the psychological state of being is amplified.  The story could have used a little exposition to help found it out a little.

This is an interesting book and it does stay with you after putting it down.   It does raise questions about medical trials and chronic pain.  There was a conscious revelation about medications and disease which stands out to great effect.  The violence is very realistic which will probably lend some problems for some readers.  To put it artistically, it will get under your skin to the point that your mind will squirm.  This is not a flaw in the writing but shows that Thornley maybe too good at his craft.

Overall, this is an interesting read and one that I would mildly suggest to the right reader.  The subject matter and characters are interesting though plotting sometimes forced me to push my way through.  It raises the right questions but due to lack of answers, tends to leave the reader a bit cold.  The grand finale for me did not reward me with either a great payoff or a since of mythos.  Saying this, it will certainly stay a memorable piece of literature as a lot of images are still trapped in my cortex.
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This book is about a clinical trial for relieving chronic pain. The author must either have (or be close to someone who has) severe chronic pain or put in some serious time researching it. The descriptions of what the patients felt and thought were very accurate and realistic. As a chronic pain sufferer myself, I could relate to the willingness to go through almost anything to be rid of the pain. 

I was caught by surprise when the book went from zero to utterly revolting in one page. In a good way, of course. It does get pretty gruesome and I'm sure some will be turned off by that but, I think, most will love it.  I did cringe here and there but kept reading as I was already hooked on the book.

I would have liked more of an explanation of the things that went wrong. It was left a bit unclear as to why the patients reacted as they did. 

I recommend this book to horror fans with strong stomachs!
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In this day and age of drug addiction, what a timely story. How to cure chronic pain with a simple surgery? I live how the author delved into each persons pain and what it represented in their lives. I really connected with Greg, his struggle to end his pain and addiction to win back visitations with his child. The “side effects” of this surgery are lovely. Great novel, I would like to read more from this author.
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2.5 Stars

I really liked the idea behind this. However it seemed to drag and just over half way though I had to give up. It is a little too gruesome for me.
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Sweet baby llamas, this book made me uncomfortable. I had to take breaks just to wince in disgust at some of the scenes….

So it goes without saying, it was a marvellous book.

The premise of the book is a medical trial, where patients suffering from chronic pain can undergo a procedure that will cure them forever. Of course, nothing’s ever that simple and it all goes a bit gross from there…

The author is a genius, using chronic pain as an evil. Describing the hopelessness these patients feel when there doesn’t seem to be a way out of their suffering, it’s extra horrible when you know that many people feel this way day in day out and don’t have the hope of a medical trial that might solve all their problems. This builds up the tension in the book wonderfully, you feel huge sympathy for all of the patients and genuinely hope that they trial will work for them – which then makes the rest of the book so much more horrendous.

There’s a great mix of characters, all suffering from chronic pain for a variety of reasons and have their own unique responses to their situations.

This is body horror and abnormal psychology at its best, it’s a fairly simple premise but beautifully written and straight up traumatising to read.

I would heartily recommend this book to all fans of gory horror and anyone who really wants to have nightmares for a week.
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3.5 stars for a fast-paced, gruesome read with a great concept.

I wasn't surprised to read that the author originally wrote this as a screenplay; I could absolutely envision this book as a movie, and I would be first in line to see it!

"""For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.

Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them..."""

The first half of the book is mostly set-up as it builds toward the inevitable carnage in the second half; we already know that this experiment is going off the rails, we just don't know how exactly, and that's where the delicious trepidation comes from. When the gory descent did begin it was almost a bit of a let down after being kept in suspense for so long - but perhaps it speaks more to my own desensitization that I didn't find anything too horrific to handle. There are definitely gruesome things happening here, so I absolutely would not recommend this for the faint-of-heart!

The writing is simple and easy to read and the narrative constantly shifts between the perspectives of a large cast of characters, which keeps the pace fast throughout. I thought the author did a great job of fleshing out the characters a serviceable amount within a short space of time, so they all felt distinctive to me. I can't say they were really deep enough to connect with, but they had enough to them that I was interested in them. I had an insight into each of their personalities and, perhaps more importantly, their unique kinds of pain.

In terms of criticisms, I would have liked the writing to be a little more descriptive and would have appreciated some answers to the questions burning in my mind about WHY these crazy things were happening. Also, the book could really do with another go-over by an editor to fix up some of the grammatical errors and missed/repeated words I spotted here and there.

In conclusion, this is a super fun story for horror fans, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fast-paced read with a wonderfully gruesome concept at its core.
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WOWWWWWWWWWW!!! This book right, gore, is all here. What a look at people with chronic pain and what they will do to find relieve. I will be looking for more from this author. Good read!!!! Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book. Although I received the book in this manner, it did not affect my opinion of this book nor my review.
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A unique and extremely creepy horror thriller. Guts and gore abound will make you cringe (but in a good way!).
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I found this to be a great read. It has its creepy moments, and that is what I loved about it. I really enjoyed the plot, going to do an experimental surgery in order to remove all pain from your body, no that doesnt sound like something that would go wrong in any way?!!?!? There is plenty of gore and guts and if that's what you are into I highly recommend this book!
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Painless captured what it was like to live with chronic pain and the desperate need and want to feel "normal" again. As a person that struggles daily with chronic pain, it nailed the sear desperation and lengths that a person would go through to feel "normal" and pain-free again.

This book is not like anything I had ever read before.  Painless will make you cringe throughout the course of the book. It's twisted and gruesome. As each event happens, it is if you are right there in the room with the character. The vivid details are not for the faint of heart.

This book didn't disappoint.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book! This book! I could not put it down! Such a good read!!
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Painless is about a clinical trial gone horribly wrong, let's just say I'll never be first in line for a clinical trial after reading this book!

I was hesitant to read this book at first, mainly because the cover creeped me out, and I don't usually read horror stories. I'm very glad that I read it though. It was an intense book with very gory descriptions, but that description is what made the book so good. The way the author describes the pain Greg goes through, it makes you feel it too.

It was a quick read and a page turner, I highly suggest picking this terrifyingly good book up!

I was lucky enough to receive #Painless by Marty Thornley from #NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Greg has suffered with chronic back pain ever since he fell off a ladder at work – his mental health, his marriage and his quality of life have all suffered. However, when he joins an experimental medical trial led by Dr Dante Menta he starts to have reservations about a cure being worth it's side effects…

Painless starts as a slow build, introducing quite a large mix of characters – both patients and nurses/doctors alike and their backstories. This slow start did put me off the book a little at the beginning and I found it hard to get into. The chapters jump narrative perspectives quite often which doesn’t really help for you to get to know each character particularly well. I did feel that because of the amount of characters and how similarly they are written I started losing track of who was who. This even happened later in the story where I was having to guess whose perspective parts of the chapters were written in as their name wasn’t explicitly stated.

Painless builds up to quite a gruesome and gory finish, with a lot of descriptions making me physically cringe. This part of the book is well written and faster paced. However, there were a lot of plot holes and unanswered questions which I can’t really go into much detail about because of spoilers but that ruined the believability of the book. I think the biggest one is the cure itself – it never really went into detail how it worked and I found it very difficult to believe that what it was could cause any of the side effects that are stated. It would have been more believable if it was just a ‘magic’ pill with no ingredients listed.

Overall Painless is a gory read but has a slow start, lacks character depth and has more than a few plot holes that hold it back. Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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