Cover Image: The  Liar of Red Valley

The Liar of Red Valley

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Member Reviews

Weird and unexpectedly engaging, The Liar of Red Valley is an Urban Fantasy Fiction novel with all the right ingredients. Gothic horror, magic, mystery and plenty of mayhem.
Mr Goodwater has bent and twisted quite a few tried and practised laws whilst writing this weird and visionary novel. A Liar having power (no change there then, we have 650 members of parliament, and that is just for a start) makes for an unpredictable reading. 
I am reminded of a quote from Terry Pratchett, The Truth - “A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”
It is clear that poor old Sadie knew some of what her mother did, but it came as a complete shock to the system to discover all the facts. It also came as a shock that her mother was able to hide the truth of her illness. Then again, she was a superb liar, but apparently not enough of a liar to save her own skin.
It was nice that although there was a lot of serious stuff going on in the neighbourhood, that there was still time for some humour. Books like this need to have lighter moments. Especially when it has blood and thunder for a while.
There were plenty of visual effects and various creatures written into the narrative that will give any future television or film special effects crew apoplexy.
As the story progresses, Sadie, the main character becomes more agreeable and has more depth to her character, which cannot be said for the others. These include the Undersheriff Hassler, who obviously has not been to charm school.
The author has created an evocative and extraordinary novel. Designed to awaken the imagination and stir the soul. Thought-provoking and emotionally draining.
Characters that leap off the page and a narrative with twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing to the very end. The book surprises you at every turn and dismisses any preconceived ideas the reader may have had about Fantasy fiction.
I think this is going to be one of those books you are going to love or hate. It is right at the tipping point of Lovecraftian style ( the Cthulhu Mythos) and general Fantasy horror. I am going with Fantasy Horror because of the unusual and original ideas in The Liar of Red Valley.
Fans of horror, fantasy fiction thrillers will enjoy this, as did I.
Thank you, NetGalley and Rebellion/Solaris, for the ARC of the book.
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I found this read incredibly disappointing based on the potential of the premise. Poor pacing, writing, and two-dimensional characters muddled what was a very interesting concept in Sadie's journey becoming the Liar of Red Valley.

I feel like Goodwater bit off more than he could chew fitting so many elements, characters, and magical entities into this bo0k, and a scaled-back approach would have been much more readable.
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I don't read many horror stories 
But this one intrigued me 
This is full of mystery and magic
With twists and turns which are unpredictable
I liked the main characters and how they fit together
The story flows so well it's really hard to put it down 

If you like horrors and fantasy this is for you 

Thank you netgalley, Walter Goodwater and rebellion for allowing me to read this book
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The characters and the plot were very good. The story telling was really good too. For me I would only read it once because I’m trying to branch out more but for someone else, they could easy read this more times if they love this kind of book.
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Someone hold my purse; I am in shock: this book is so good that I am shaking. Seriously, I loved this so much. 

Before I give my detailed review, I'd just like to mention that English is NOT my first language, therefore I apologize in advance for any typo, grammar error or any kind of mistake in my writing. But as the book is not yet planned to be translated in my language (I think), I have the solemn duty to convince English-speaking people to read this book, talk about this book and love this book, so one day my country will want it too. Because I sure need this book in Portuguese.

Anyway. About the book: I took an interest for it because I thought it was a dystopian fantasy, maybe even sci-fi. I was NOT expecting it to be what it is. But that's not a bad thing, I love it when books are not what I expect, because expectations are ordinary. Surprises are nice. As soon as I started reading it, I felt like I was reading one of those reaaaaaally good creepy pastas. The ones that send creeps down your spine and make you shudder at every gush of air. The ones that make you feel scared to leave your room after sundown.

That's Red Valley. That's what Red Valley made me feel while reading. I felt anxious, but in a good way, and I felt scared, but also in a good way. The writing and the main character make you feel like you're there, right by her side, watching her go about her mission, talking to these people, fighting the evil ones and slapping that damned sheriff and anyone who tries to get in her way.

The Laughing Boys have me the real creeps, more than any other creature. The dudes at the bar too. There was something about them. And River... wow. I want so much to know more about them all, but at the same time, what makes them so special is how little we know about them. It's what makes them scary. The more we know about things that scare us, the less we feel scared, right?

The plot twists were... wow. I cursed at least twice. Out loud. I was- I don't even have words for what I was. But I was so shocked at them. I really did NOT see them coming. And the ending was amazing. That lady, that entity... I have a feeling about her, but I shall not share it. 

Man, there was never a moment of boredom in this book. Things just kept happening. And I didn't feel like it was rushed, either. It was just the right pacing to make us feel like Sadie - like there was never a moment of peace -, while at the same time we could digest the things happening. 

I loved this book so much. I loved Sadie, but most of all, I loved Beto. I know, there are a lot of great characters in there, but Beto was IT for me. That dude deserves a spin-off. 

I'm not sure my review helped, since I mostly said only good things. But if I found any bad stuff while reading, I didn't bother to take notes, because all the good things are just way bigger. In the great scheme of things, this book is pure and simply GREAT. I do not give 5 stars lightly, but man did I give them to this one as fast as light.

Thank you so much, Rebellion and Net Galley, for the opportunity to read this. And thank you, Walter Woodwater, for writing this.

p.s.: On my blog and social media, I shall post a translated version of this very same review, somewhere in August. If you don't mind.
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After Sadie’s mother’s dies she becomes the new Red Valley’s Liar - someone who keeps people’s secrets and can cover up everyone’s lies. Every cover up comes with a cost. Red Valley is ruled by The King and his men - a mysterious and dangerous force. 

This was an interesting and inventive book. Different to what I’ve read before. Different to what I expected. Mysterious. I loved reading about what sort of truths people wanted changing. 

I wasn’t sure what was going on at first but it all makes sense as the book goes on. I did find it somewhat difficult to get into at first. A little hard to follow at times, however the pace was fast. 
 I finally was about to immerse myself into the story around 25% of the way in. I’m glad I stuck it out, though, because it got so good and interesting, especially when Sadie began digging into her family history. The pace and my interest waxed and waned and I was a little bored, especially in the middle. 

I struggled to place the genre. It’s like a mix of magical realism and a psychological thriller. There were supernatural aspects with magic and thrills. 

 I felt connected to Sadie and felt like I was reading through her eyes, however I couldn’t connect to any of the other characters. It was just like they were vessels to tell the story. The twist near the end was amazing - I didn’t suspect a thing. 

Thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for a chance to read and review this book.
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Let me start by saying that this is my first adult horror book. Actually... aside from the few Goosebumps books I read as a kid that gave me nightmares for week, I'm fairly positive this is my first horror book EVER. (If you're wondering, yes I was scarred from the 2008 animated movie Monster House, and yes, I did make my mom leave the theatre with me 30 minutes in to Paranormal Activity 4. I was 14.) So I went in to reading this with A LOT of apprehension. Usually people stick to the genre they love, but I was so caught by the cover and synopsis that I decided it was time for me to venture out and culture myself of the adult horror genre at the ripe age of 21.

Well, I gotta give a hats off to Walter Goodwater, because he blew my expectations (and hesitations) completely away. I think the reason why I enjoyed it so much is because it read more of a sci-fi adventure, where I was so invested into figuring out the big mystery of Red Valley and tearing apart the characters true intentions. Like any unexpecting heroin, Sadie is thrown into a position she doesn't necessarily want; even though it comes with the power of dominating her entire town. Unlike other characters I've read, where it takes me a moment to connect or even root for them, I found the opposite happening with Sadie. I liked her right from the get go, and she often reminded me of a 21st century Nancy Drew (if Nancy were in the Supernatural universe).

The ONLY reason I couldn't give it five stars is because I felt some areas lagged in the book. I found the plot wasn't evenly spread out, or didn't keep me going from devouring this book. At parts, I felt I was reading a filler chapter, which is definitely okay; I think I just expected more of fast paced action from adult horror. BUT that might also be my pre-determined opinions about the genre and my VERY novice experience in it. Overall, I truly enjoyed The Liar of Red Valley, and I've already recommended it to several of my friends who are totally into this type of genre.
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I hate when I DNF books so I powered through this one even though it was a bit rough for me. 

Things liked: I really liked the main character and her development. Sadie is left behind as her mother dies and has to pick up the pieces. I thought her character growth was well executed. I also enjoyed this idea of a "liar" and the magic that they hold. It was an interesting concept and I thought it was neat.

Things I did not like: Overall I just felt that this book lacked plot development and that was my biggest reason for the 2/5 stars. I felt like there was so much opportunity for more development that just did not happen. The ending also for me was very abrupt and did not conclude much.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review!
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It's hard to find words how good this book is! The writing style is perfect, the story flows and you won't even notice when a few hours passed and you're finishing the book. 

Sadie's mum was a Liar, her power was created by a King who runs Red Valley even though no one ever saw him. She would help people by writing a lie in her book, and even though the lies have a price - time taken from people's lives, customers kept coming. For generations Liars family told thousands of lies. A small ones, and a dangerous ones. Some people were ready to kill to protect their lies... 

Sadie is lost, not only her mother didn't pass any Liar's knowledge to her, but she also died unexpectedly never telling Sadie that she has cancer. The girls' world is turned by 180' overnight, from having a relatively normal life to talking with her dead for hundreds of years ancestors, fighting with a crazy police undersheriff on a crusade, and running away from demons. 

I loved the characters. I'd love to see them on the big screen. The bear-killers, Laughing and Crying Boys, the King himself, they're all fantastic creations. 

The story flows, I couldn't stop reading it and if I've started during the weekend, I'm certain I'd finish it in one sitting. Extremely engaging and very entertaining. It has a great heroine, a fantasy, a horror and a mystery. I couldn't ask for more in a book. 

Well deserved 5 stars and I can't wait to read more books by the author.
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This book was bloody amazing! HP Lovecraft meets Neil Gaiman meets Stephen King. So frigging good! Less than 25% of the way in, I was looking up the publisher and was thrilled to get to buy a signed hardcover copy with sprayed edges. Hell yes! 

The things that made this book hard to put down: the sweet main character Sadie (when I say sweet, I mean sweet as in cool, gnarly, hella good, dope, Gucci, GOAT, POG, lit, phat, radical...), DARK THINGS, the plot twists. I just had to find out what was going to happen. The ending was a very nice mirror to the beginning. 

If I could offer any bit of regret, it would be that it didn't quite get dark enough for my tastes.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book.

This is, without a doubt, the most creative book I’ve read all year. There’s magic, a King, and a Liar, but there’s also a town in California that’s set in the modern day. This book will send you on a rollercoaster ride that’s a mixture of horror and fantasy. One of this year’s truly great books.
I loved the lore and magic in it. And I especially loved the main character, Sadie. She has fire and is a force to be reckoned with. The plot is rich and the villains and side characters are wonderful to read about. Definitely recommend.
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“Do not trust the Liar, Do not go in the River, and do not cross the King." This was one of the better genre-splicing horror/fantasy novels I've read recently. The story is addictive and I loved the way this mysterious, fantastical story moves in unexpected, bizarre directions while retaining a link to the real world.. There were creepy moments, like the Laughing Boys, witty parts, and some political commentary that didn't feel forced, just fresh.
Perhaps some of the character development could've been a little deeper, but really, it's the plot and it's many twists that made this such an enjoyable read. Great fun all around!
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3.5 stars rounded up for this C H A O T I C book! 

I think I'm going to need to sit with this one for a few days before I can conclusively decide whether or not I liked it!

What I really enjoyed: The fascinating blend between real and fantasy --- while there were things happening in Red Valley that were decidedly magical (like the Liar's ledgers and the reconnecting with the dead) there were also parts that were very grounded in reality (like police brutality and abuse of power). 

What I wanted more of: there were SO many elements going on in this book sometimes it felt a little all over the place! I think if we had stronger character development from Sadie throughout that would have done a better job connecting the dots of the fast-paced plot. 

I will say this is unlike any other books I've read recently, and that is a rare gift!
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Do not cross the King. Never, ever go in the river. Don’t trust the liar. 

The Liar of Red Valley written by Walter Goodwater  is a stunning and incredibly gripping horror & urban fantasy novel. I'm not a frequent reader of the horror genre, but I devoured this book. 

After her mother, the town's Liar passes away, it is assumed that her daughter Sadie will take up the role. Sadie over the course of the novel has to learn the cost of these powers and figure out who lies and who can be trusted. 

I thought the characters were well written, and I loved following Sadie on her journey. The side characters definitely shined as well. 

If you're a fan of horrors/thrillers, definitely pick up this book! I give The Liar of Red Valley 4 stars. Thank you so much to Solaris and NetGalley for the eARC, I appreciate it.
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This book isn't my usual genre, but ai enjoyed it.  It is what I would call magical fantasy.   There are monsters and lots of lies.   Uncovering the lies in ",The Liar of Red Valley" is part of the challenge of reading this novel.  As someone who enjoys suspense novels, this novel doesn't disappoint.
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Wow, read this in like 2 days and really enjoyed it. So many striata and turns. I loved Sadie and Beto I thought they were dynamic characters. Would recommend this to a friend.
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Thank you so much to Rebellion Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC; it is greatly appreciated. 

This books brings us into the modern world, but with a magical twist to it. The setting was one of my favorite aspects of the book, as we had everything from creatures trying to fit in to Old God-esque beings. I would love to read more stories about this world, and if there are other towns similiar to Red Valley. 

I found the writing style to be average. There isn't anything spectacular about it, but the situations, characters, and universe held my interest to where I didn't want to put the tablet down. This story has quite a cast of characters, but it never feels overwhelming, and it's easy to follow. 

The character design is absolutely fantastic. I would love to see art of the creatures in this story, because some of them would be terrifying. I think the descriptions of them gave great visuals, and everything really felt like it had it's own voice. 

This book reads like a quest, and really reminded me of RPG video games. The main character, Sadie, travels to different areas to gather what she needs to complete a goal, and then repeat that until the end of the book essentially.  I think this setup makes it a great pick to be adapted as a movie or mini-series. 

The climax of the story is actually my least favorite part of the story. I was surprised at how quick it was, and it just wasn't as epic of a conclusion as I was hoping for. There was also a character that seemed extremely ominous, but ended up being totally useless in the end. It was strange compared to everything leading up to it, and in this case the journey was way better than the destination.
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4.5 out of 5. A really great book, one of the best I read this year! The main character and side characters were interesting, the book was very fast paced, and the plot was gripping and smooth-flowing, so much so that I finished the book in three sittings. That may sound slow, but I am a very slow reader and reading something similar in volume to this may take me a week or two if it is not interesting. The book starts off on a low note, Red Valley feels like any other small town, but as the plot progresses, the book reveals more and more of its secrets to you, and it hooks you to the town and it's people.
This can very well be the start of a new urban fantasy series, and I hope there are sequels planned, as the book felt very short for what it is. I'd really love to read more of this town and its people!
All the good things out of the way, I'll now list some of the shortcomings of this book. Although they are very sparse and spread out too far apart, there are a few pacing issues in the book. Like in one of the scenes, when a huge plot point about the mc is revealed, it doesn't take her very long to come in terms with it, which I felt was unnatural, seeing how her character reacts to other situations. Other than this, and some slight issues I have with character development, I can not find any flaws with this book. It is only issues like these that made me take half a star away from an otherwise great book. This can very well become one of the top urban fantasy books of this year upon release!
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Thank you to the author, publishers Rebellion Publishing and NetGalley UK for access to this as an advance reader’s ebook. This is an honest and voluntary review.

Fantastic world building delivers a wholly engrossing fantasy adventure which will appeal to fans of horror, magical realism, dystopian thrillers and more.

Sadie’s mum is the Liar. Within the borders of the town of Red Valley whatever lie she writes in her ledger instantly becomes true. Sadie knows what her mum is, but she doesn’t know she has cancer, not until the hospital calls to say Sadie’s mum has hours to live.

Now everyone seems to expect Sadie to be the new Liar, particularly the King of Red Valley - a being of immense power who lives under the town and grants protection to those who live within the borders from the monsters in the world.

In this epic adventure Sadie has to discover the power of a lie and keeping other people’s secrets.

I loved this book. There is some truly epic world building to create the context in which Sadie lives and how her powers work, but it never gets in the way of the plot. Sadie herself is a really engaging character and it’s easy to be on her side and cheer her on as she faces down demons and monsters and deals with traumatic revelations about her own life. 

As far as I can tell this is intended to be a standalone and not part of a series, which is a shame. I’d love to read more about Sadie and her friends. While this is an entirely satisfying self-enclosed story I’d happily travel back to Red Valley anytime.
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The Liar of Red Valley is my kind of book!

Supernatural fantasy with a little twist of horror. Sadie is a great character, she is moody and grumpy but very much human. There is a twist near the end that I did not see coming at all, but I loved it so much!
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