Cover Image: The Apparition Phase

The Apparition Phase

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Member Reviews

Omg, I loved this one, like, seriously. I don’t remember the last time I read a YA gothic horror and enjoyed it so much. There is no gore, blood, or cringe romance. Very reminiscent of the period, and so atmospheric. I literally got chills reading it, and that last line gave me shudders, not even kidding, and I’m so used to reading horror. Super awesome! A bit slow in the beginning but so good once it gets going, I could not put it down. This read like a very clever, intellectual read, and I can’t say the same about any of the YA, or horror books that I’ve read before. I’m gonna go and check out all the books by this author! Y’all seriously need to check it out!

Thanks so much to Netgalley, author, and publisher for the DRC. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed the first half of this book, the twins story and their relationship and there were a couple of creepy moments.  Unfortunately my attention started to fade a bit about 3 quarters of the way through. Only because I found the parts set in the Yearlings to drag on a little. I would say the blurb is a very small part of the story and I really wanted more of that part. 
The characters are well written and I think the grief Tim's parents are going through was really well portrayed. 
I would definitely be interested in reading this authors future books as I did enjoy his writing style.
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A fitting addition  to the likes of  The Haunting Of Hill House  and  The Turn Of The Screw.
This is a genuinely creepy paranormal story that includes a  nostalgic look at seventies.  culture.
An isolated old house, a malevolent spirit, seances, unexplained happenings and  personal  antipathy combine to  make this a classic  psychological  thriller where you are never quite sure  what is happening.

The story begins  with Tim  and Abigail, twins, who already have an unhealthy interest in the occult, and left to their own devices by their parents the interest grows.  After receiving  a camera for their birthday they decide to create  a  ghostly image to try and fool a gullible  classmate..Things do not go according to  plan and a train of events is set in motion that will have profound consequences for all. Not long after his sister disappears and Tim goes off the rails, convinced the disappearance has a  supernatural cause..

In a misguided attempt to help him get over this obsession, his therapist involves him in a study in a reportedly haunted house. The story develops when  he meets the other people  taking part in the experiment, some who appear to have  had previous history. 

In the end you will  have to make up your own mind. as to what is  actually going on and  who to believe. A cracking read.
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This is a new author for me. The Apparition Phase is a terrific read, an unsettling urban ghost story. I thought it was great and would read more from the author. I knew I was going to enjoy the book within a few pages. The book starts innocently enough with Tim and Abi deciding to fake a ghost photograph and they use it to frighten a classmate which works a bit too well when the terrified girl refuses to believe it was a fake and insists they have summoned a real ghost. This is when things get darker and darker. Abi vanishes and Tim is left bereft without his twin wondering what’s happened to her and if it has anything to do with the prank. Time passes and Tim, still searching for his sister becomes embroiled with so-called ghost hunters conducting an experiment in a creepy house. Things get freaky and point to an actual haunting but is something else going on?
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This was a mystery/paranormal book with a focus on ghosts/hauntings that did a lot of things right! It was fast paced with well written characters and a beginning that captivates you straight away. It is another book where it is hard to review as I don't want to give too much away. This did not feel like a debut book and I look forward to readying more from this author.
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A book with much more to it than the blurb suggests. Narrated by Tim from a much later point in his life as he looks back on his even-more-than-average tumultuous teenage years. Set in England in the 1970s, Tim gets caught up in an experiment to find a ghost at an aged country house in Suffolk with some explosive consequences.

The prose and pacing are both excellent from Maclean and here he has produced a great haunted house tale with a twist. Without giving too much more away, this is a great read and - as a debut - a definite indicator a talent  I will be keeping an eye on!
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The Apparition Phase is the eerie debut novel by television scriptwriter Will Maclean. It is both beautifully written and haunting, with wonderfully diverse characters and chilling storyline.

Tim and his twin sister Abi, are obsessed with everything macabre and unexplained. They spend hours each evening reading old books on ancient folklore and the supernatural and pondering photographs of suspected apparitions.
When Tim and Abi decide to prank a timid young girl at school, it sets off a ripple effect which will change their lives forever. Using chalk and chanting an unnerving poem, which Abi wrote, the twins create their own paranormal photograph. The question they are left with, did they conjure up a malevolent being in their pursuit of a twisted prank?

Will Maclean has created ominous atmosphere, with phantasmal events that leave the reader guessing. 
The author has also included references to published investigations, suspected hauntings and real life paranormal photographs, which definitely sparks some interest.
I very much enjoyed reading this book, it kept me fully engaged from the first page right through to the spine chilling end.
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Twins, Tim and Abi, form a self-contained unit. Their gifted brilliance, their snarky humour, and, most importantly, their interests in the occult, also mark them as different from their peers. This last point is what so closely bonds them but will soon also be the thing that forevermore drives them apart.

I was immediately invested in the story of these twin teens. Tim provides the reader with his insight into their relationship and also the events that occur after this bond is shattered. It was, therefore, a far more emotional read than anticipated and I thought Maclean harrowingly rendered the different human responses to grief.

Predominately however, this remained a haunting tale. I was immediately granted dreadful premonitions and spine-tingling chills, which is exactly what I desire from the horror fiction I read. Later events only proved to become more focused on the supernatural, with an abundance of scenes directly focused on conversing with the dead, ensuring these feelings continued throughout. I did guess some of the twists that occurred but not the final one, which guaranteed I was gripped throughout and left desperately yearning for more after the sinister open-ended conclusion.
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An intriguing and spooky story about highly intelligent 13 year old twins Tim and Abi, who have an almost unheatlhy obsession with the paranormal. For fun, they fake a ghost photo and show it to a schoolmate, who believes that it's real. What does she say and do when she finds out it's not?  Read the story!

Chilling in parts, well written and keeps you absorbed and interested.

In my  opinion, this book is best aimed at the young adult audience.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but parts of it seemed to be more suited for late teen years than for an old codger like me!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and gripping story.
I loved how the author mixes ghost stories with thriller and it kept me hooked till the end.
Excellent storytelling, world building and character development. It has the right spooky factor to keep you on the  edge.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Ever since October I have been looking for a really enjoyable paranormal book with a focus on ghosts/hauntings. This book fit the bill perfectly and I am so glad I have been able to read it. 

The Apparition Phase follows Tim, after he and his sister Abi create a fake ghost picture. Showing this picture to a classmate causes a spiralling of events with life becoming darker and more out of control. Did they manage to create a dark entity?

I really enjoyed the plot of this book, it had so many of the elements I look for in a mystery/horror/thriller. It was fast paced, and made my heart race. The scenery was vividly portrayed, at times I often felt like I was truly in an old stately home. In fact, the imagery was so well portrayed, I wouldn't necessarily recommend reading this at night time. It certainly made me a bit nervous when I made that mistake myself!

I really enjoyed the characterisation, they all had their own personalities and struggles. There was love and hate displayed between the different characters as their secrets came to light. The ending was refreshing. Maclean wasn't trying to tie everything up in a happy bow. It was an ending that was both fitting and daring. Chills ran down my body as I read the remaining sentences of the last page, it was a truly heart stopping moment.


I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and author for allowing me to read a copy of this book so that I can give my honest opinion. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves thrillers/horrors. It would be an excellent one to read to set the mood at Halloween!
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trigger warning
<spoiler> child disappearance, child death, mention of miscarriage, mention of abortion, drug addiction, trauma, grief </spoiler>

Simply because they can, twins Abi and Tim fake a ghost photograph and enjoy themselves immensly, not knowing that they might have invited something.

Yes, vague description, but believe me, if I tell you more you'd be disappointed. This is about finding out what happens - and I was here for it. After inititally only reading about 30 pages, I woke in the middle of the night, couldn't go back to sleep, picked it up again and now the sun has risen and the birds chirp. About 300 pages in one go. 
Mind, I am not saying this novel is without fault. It was just the right thing for me at the right time, and I've liked this hodgepodge of things a lot.

We start off with the twins, who are a unit, self contained - so much so that their parents feel the need to force them apart to teach them social skills. There are stupid decisions teenagers make, but the author shows you what happens and then let's you draw your own conclusions instead of telling you what to think about it. 
Again, something I am always here for.

There appears a nagging feeling in your head that you know what this all might be about and how it'll go on, but at least for me, I read on, hoping on one side I was wrong - for the character's sake - and on the other hand I was right, because I have a huge dislike for books that seem to promise ghosts only to tell you it's all fake, or a misunderstanding, or an unreliable narrator.
Some things I did expect, others not.

Listen, I had spooky fun, and that is exactly what I came here for.
The arc was provided by the publisher.
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It is the 1970's. Abi & Tim are obsessed with all things paranormal. They are into folklore, standing stones & are particularly ghosts. They work out how they can fake a photo of a ghost. The photo is enough to scare a fellow school mate to have a seizure! Time goes on. Tim is seeing a psychotherapist who takes him on a trip to Yearlings, an old house, to try & convince him that all this supernatural stuff is rubbish. There is an experiment going on there. Instead of debunking things it makes Tim even more obsessed & he ends up participating in the experiment.

I really liked the start of this book. It was creepy, atmospheric & captured the time frame. However although there ware some scary moments I began lose interest & was quite pleased to finish it. I'm sure many will love the whole thing, but it wasn't really a book for me. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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The Apparition Phase is a fun, interesting take on ghost manifestation and haunted places. I was immediately drawn in by references to things that I myself was mystified by as a teenager; reading about places like Borley Rectory and poring over photographs of spirits on stairs probably informs my interest in the horror genre to this day. I really appreciated that there are some truly chilling moments sprinkled throughout the book, though maybe because of the time period the characters do occasionally trend into Famous Five territory. Although the epilogue felt a little forced and for me the ending was too on the nose I did enjoy almost everything leading up to that point. The author can be forgiven, even Stephen King himself struggles at tying up loose ends. Recommended.
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This novel didnt quite go the route I was expecting from the blurb and the initial chapter, I was expecting more of the twins before the disappearance occurred, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this.

I felt Maclean succeeded in drawing together the ghost story, mystery, haunted house story and 70s nostalgia into a creepy, clever package that poses a lot of questions about sanity/mental illness and the devastating effect of grief. 

I was very happy with the ambiguity surrounding what was real/fake, what was hysteria and what was supernatural. Deliciously unsettling. I can see myself returning for a reread.
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The first third of this book is spectacular - we follow Tim and his twin sister Abi through their childhood obsession with all things spooky and mysterious and watch as this manifests into a faked ghost photo prank that they play on their schoolmate. This section of the book sets up for an intriguing ghost story, and is scary and foreboding, which is not always an easy atmosphere to create in a novel. To start with, I couldn't put the book down. 
However, I was disappointed in how the book progresses. It feels like nothing really comes from this prank - the girl whom they scare with the photograph, a character who seemingly holds some answers as to what haunts them, just disappears. Tim's adventures at Yarlings potentially promise some intriguing moments, but these too have no satisfying resolution, in fact being revealed to be a hoax. There is also a romantic element during this section, but it is childishly presented, despite the fact that this story is being related from the point of view of a now grown, adult TIm. It feels aimed at a young audience rather than its supposed adult demographic.
The final section of the book answers none of the supposed 'hauntings' that have occurred throughout the book, and leaves all of the mysteries disappointingly unsolved. It simply feels like the book has run out of steam and cannot bring itself to finish the ghost story that seemed so promising in the early chapters.
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Maclean’s trope-infused ghost story is a great read for our winter months. It’s largely set in the 1970s, and starts in suburban southern England, in the teenage lives of twins, Abi and Tim.

The twins have a strong interest in ghosts - their parents’ attic is dedicated to such endeavours, and it’s a key part of their life. When Janice Tupp, a girl from school, is invited over, things take a disturbing turn - and when Abi doesn’t return home from school one day, it becomes very clear that sinister forces are at work.

Much of the novel takes place at a supposed haunted house in Suffolk a good few years after Abi’s disappearance. A group of young people are invited to be part of a research group and Tim, unadvisedly, becomes part of the group. Despite it seeming as if the strange goings on are part of an organised hoax, it becomes clear that there is much more to the story.

I really enjoyed The Apparition Phase. So, what holds me back from 5*? Mainly, I’d say, the fact it seems a bit rushed towards the end - and even though Tim, who narrates the story, is very aware of the apparition troubling him, it seems that such knowledge escapes him in the book’s latter pages. But, aside from this somewhat incongruous element, this is a perfect winter read, evocative and creepy.
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I really enjoyed this creepy, Gothic story about twins obsessed with all things supernatural.  A wonderful new novel with the feel of the old, well loved  classics.  Highly recommended.
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This was so excellent. A really effective and evocative ghost story with wonderful characters and relationships. I will be recommending it far and wide!
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Interesting story, well-constructed characters, but lacks pace.

I went into this book thirsty for the story it offered - the beginning was addictive, kept me glued to pages, and I simply couldn't put it down. But as the story moved on, it changed into something so unstable that I wasn't that hungry for this story anymore. 

Although the build-up is nice, and Will Maclean constructs great characters with a great plot, this book has a terrible problem with its rhythm. It's very unstable and pushed me away too many times. I'm sad to say that this didn't happen one time -- but too many to count after we reached 40/50% of the book. 

That said, I can't deny that the ending was satisfying, even though I expected more. As a horror book, it left me wanting more. It isn't scary at all. It's a good book, not worth the hype.
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