Cover Image: The  Liar of Red Valley

The Liar of Red Valley

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Member Reviews

This is one of those books where leaving it to go be an adult with responsibilities, only resulted in me not being able to stop thinking about it.

I have received this book in exchange of an honest review, thank you to NetGalley and
Rebellion/Solaris for the opportunity.

I have my own blog now (, so please do give it a visit if you're interested in my other reviews :)


This is one of the more unique reads of 2021 for me, and the best part of this experience is that it grabbed hold from the first few pages and refused to let go till the very end. Every time I would go and try to be productive, I'll find myself thinking of it and that's for sure one of the markings of a great experience.

The starting premise of the book is intriguing enough with the Liar of Red Valley having the ability to make any lie come to life for a price, and it's made insanely entertaining with the amount of elements the author decided to add to it to really give it that magical realism or urban fantasy feel to it with the inclusion of weird phenomena, gods, monsters and of course, magic.

Like Sadie, I only learn the very basic elements of what makes the Liar who they are before the adventuring begins, but it's done in a way that doesn't make it feel like the information is withheld because the author wants it to, but more so on the gradual learning curve of learning it with the protagonist. The reason I say this is because, when the information is available to be learned; Sadie is going to learn it right then and there with me alongside her, without a need for a part of that specific information to be kept secret and that's something I appreciated so much.

The power of the Liar, the rules, the different entities I mentioned earlier and their abilities, special locations, the lies themselves and of course, Red Valley all have secrets or something to be learned about them so not being hindered when I needed it to understand before moving forward was brilliant.

There are a lot of things to go through in this book, and getting a question cleared before moving on to the next one kept it fun, engaging and appropriately fast paced to also incorporate the horror elements surrounding Red Valley. There is a very specific structure to the town and trying to change or challenge that isn't exactly going to go through without bloody or deadly results, so having a protagonist who is stuck in the middle of all of this conflict, was incredibly fun to read about.

I do have to add a nitpick here even though I had a ton of fun and it's in regards to a discussed rule, that gets followed up by a big reveal; mainly because it makes that reveal feel akin to a plot hole. I spent a long time thinking about how it could work out, and with the established information it sort of doesn't at all, but maybe it depends on the "object" in question? Maybe, but I am still not totally convinced of that.

That being said though, it's technically minimal to the book as a whole and it doesn't affect the fun whatsoever, so in the end, it's still a winner in my books.

I do believe that what made it as fun, happens to be Sadie herself. I personally, won't say that she changed a lot from the start of the book till the end of it, if at all, but even then it doesn't really hurt the book in any way. She's headstrong, resourceful, smart and isn't exactly afraid of a confrontation nor was she gullible. She does of course, end up in messy situations all over the book, and is in danger for the duration of it, but she still ended up being an enjoyable character to be around.

There are several characters and entities that I got to meet over the course of the book and they all ended up bringing something to this book to make it more entertaining. I'm not going to go into details about any of them as almost half of them have some hidden secret that I think should be discovered through reading it, but I will say that this book added something that a lot of books seemingly neglect to have when including a female protagonist, which is a healthy friendship with another female of a simialr age. I mainly read fantasy so it might be the genre I'm reading that isn't as great in including this, but still, it can be better in this regard and I enjoyed it in the book.

The author is thankfully not stingy with the battle prowess of the characters and creatures he created in this world, which ends up giving me a huge chance to see the differences in abilities and them in action before everything gets wrapped up. Because of how many things end up happening in it, I got the feeling that the journey was longer than it actually was, but I enjoyed myself immensely for that to ever feel like a bad thing.

I think it's pretty clear that I enjoyed it a lot and I would really love to visit this world again in some other way assuming the Liar's story is finished, depending on where exactly, it could end up being another fantastic experience.
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Book review: The Liar of Red Valley by Walter Goodman 4/5
*I received an e-arc via Netgalley for an honest review* and am so excited I got to read this book before it comes out next month. Because this gives me the opportunity to reccommend you the perfect fall read!

We follow Sadie our main character in Red Valley, a creepy gothic small town in California. That is filled with paranormal vibes. Everyone growing up in the town learns three rules:
- Don't trust the Liar
- Don't go in the river
- Don't cross the king

This sets for a very disturbing atmosphere as you want to find out what it all means!! Sadie's mother is the Liar as the previous women in her family were. This means that people come to her for magical deals with the "devil" (king). She writes the lies for these people in her diary and seals the deal with blood. These lies can be very small things like changing appearances, but also very big disturbing things like forgetting loved ones. And it all comes with a price. However in the end it is still a lie. "A lie can do a lot of things, but it can't make cancer go away".
When Sadie's mother passes away, she becomes the new Liar and is keen on finding out what the three rules mean so she goes confront the king. Who is defenitly not a person, let's keep it at that. On this journey Sadie is being hunted by people and magical creatues (very scary ones) for the Liars' diaries since everyone wants to protect their lies. Luckily she does not have to fight this battle alone since she has her best friend and brujo brother to fight with her for the truth.

This book was amazing I flew through it the author did an amazing job of combining magical elements, with fantastical creatures, philosophical ideas and racisim. 
I loved this books so much that I already preordered the limited signed edition with sprayed edges from Rebellion. You should do to!!
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Free Netgalley book for review~. 3.5. Wow it’s been a long time since I disliked a main character so strongly.  I suspect she’s meant to be sympathetic but she managed to make me feel seriously uncomfortable.  Also when the heck does she sleep??

Still, this book is a FAST read, and it’s highly entertaining and a page turner.  I wanted her to get to a safe place, and there were some creepy villains stacked up against her.  I also found some of the plot twists surprising and that was nice. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to a sensitive reader at all, and as a more conservative reader, it’s pushing MY limits.  Among other things there’s a lot of horror and blood/gore and police brutality.  However if you’re anti religion (Christianity in specific) and lgbtq + friendly, you’ll probably love it and Sadie herself.

The grammar and writing is serviceable but nothing fancy, and when it switches povs from Sadie or hits an action scene the grammar really suffers.  Maybe that’ll be edited some more before publishing.  

I’ll probably hesitate before picking up the next book this author publishes though.
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Mother of god, this book was shockingly fantastic! I hoped it would be a great small town horror read, and it is, but it FAR exceeded my expectations. I adored the small town, I loved main character Sadie, and I deeply appreciated the way that, despite all of the cosmic/ancient evil that's messing around with this world, one of the major threats remained the white cop. (Content warning for police brutality in addition to parental loss, cancer, gore, extreme violence, monsters, etc.) This book works terrifically on its own terms, but it also works as a really phenomenal allegory for modern times. Also, I deeply hope that this will become a series--I NEED more of this world!!
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e-arc provided by netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

"the rules of red valley said not to trust the liar. well, sadie was going to amend that rule: don't fuck with the liar."

i'm not entirely sure what to classify this book as. you've got gothic horror, you've got some fantasy, you've got a few overlapping mysteries and cosmic terror to boot. kind of like night vale, if night vale and every strange creature in it wanted to kill you. a pretty stellar combination, if you ask me.

anyway this book was so good it's ridiculous. there's a twist about every other page, and they get really juicy once you get a look into the previous liars' ledgers. who knew that a town held together by a patchwork of lies could be so secretive wow. the monsters (and other not-quite-ordinary characters) were unlike anything i've seen before, so if you've grown tired of your run-of-the-mill vampires and magicians and what have you, i'd like to introduce you to a few bear-killers and laughing boys and see where that leaves you.

every character was so well crafted they felt like real people i could point out on the street after about two lines of dialogue, but i've got to give a special shout out to thomas and charles. their story was so bittersweet, but they truly embodied the mundane weirdness of red valley and its history. i'd honestly read a spinoff novel about their day-to-decade life.

the life of a liar isn't easy, but i'm glad i got the chance to follow along for a bit. everything from the prose to the imagery was so saturated i didn't want to leave red valley even though, by all accounts, it's a pretty shit town. but there's beauty even in those, isn't there?
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Sadie is the daughter of the Liar of Red Valley. Her mother collects lies in her ledger, lies like that the teller wants to become truth. To do this they must pay a price, sealing the lie in the book with a drop of blood and accepting the price, both financial and to their lives. Sadie knows that it’s going on but not the details and doesn’t really expect to become the liar herself. The book follows her actions when, unexpectedly, she becomes the new Liar.
Red Valley is ruled by a mysterious being called the King whose men keep the Valley safe from outside forces but the under sheriff has decided that the power of the King must be removed and the new Liar must help him. Meanwhile other forces outside are waiting to attack the King, to seek revenge. How will Sadie cope faced by these problems?
The Liar of Red Valley is a story of lies, but also a coming of age novel of a young woman who must face the truth concealed by the lies with the help of her friends. An interesting story with many twists. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Review based on anARC copy of the book supplied by NetGalley.
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This is one of the weirdest novels to come across my desk in some time, but it is strangely compelling, an allegory for our times, perhaps, or simply an exercise in surrealism . It takes place in Red Valley, a kind of reverse Brigadoon in California, a town where benevolent and terrifying magic wielded by a mysterious King keeps the population mostly in line and people's Sims and secrets can be wished away for a blood token paid to the Liar. Want to erase the pain and grief of losing a child? Tell the List, give her her due, and his memory will be erased from your mind as if he never lived. As the story opens, the Liar had just died, leaving her daughter Sadie to take over a task and role she never sought , doesn't want, and had no clue how to do it . What she does know is that enemies she never knew she had want her mother's ledgers, the journals that recorded everyone's secrets - including the King's 
This novel takes a willing suspension of disbelief and a strong stomach for the tortures the monsters visit on the town once their will is thwarted  Somewhere between fantasy, dystopian sci Fi and horror - if you're a fan of those genes, this book's for you .
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An readable read. Good opening storyline which flowed  through and made sense until about three quarters of the way into the  story. To me the ending was too far fetched with all manner of creatures, monsters, laughing men and  the sheriffs department all fighting a mystical king with great powers. Even the local river had magical powers that helped to win the battle. I read and enjoyed much of the book but was disappointed with the ending.
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Red Valley is a fictional Californian Town that has a creepy, haunted, abandoned aesthetic to it that really helps to set the scene. This darkness is echoed by the three simple rules the inhabitants are expected to follow in order to survive. 

The three constants; the Liar, the River and the King affects every aspect of this incredible read. Even our protagonist cannot escape her fate.  Forced to accept her new reality as the town's Liar after the tragic death of her mother, Sadie is left searching for answers. 

I found it hard to gather my thoughts regarding the narrative as it flips back and forth from plot twist to plot twist. It truly is like a rollercoaster ride full of thought-provoking ideas, high stakes and more. Making this book a real page-turner. 

The characters themselves were not the most fleshed out in my opinion. There was a two-dimensionality to them that left me feeling cheated. There was so much Walter Goodwater could have done with his characters but it was obvious that his main focus was on the King, his plans for Red Valley and Sadie's self-discovery.

I enjoyed what I read but would I read The Liar of Red Valley again? Probably not. The premise behind this book has so much promise, such as Sadie's ability to hide the secrets of the townsfolk, her family history and her blossoming friendship with Thomas and Charles Gray. I found I was much more interested in why the Grays were both present and absent at the same time, and why it was that Charles appeared weak and frail as opposed to the battle for control over Red Valley. 

Another theme that I felt could have been done with a bit more investigation was Walter Goodwater's take on drug addiction. Unlike your average addicts, Red Valley is plagued by a group of people who are so desperate to chase the ultimate high that they invite demons into their minds. It would have been nice to see just <em>one </em>of these people trying to fight their addiction, rather than just accepting their "new companion" as their new normality. Even if it ends up being yet another lie in Sadie's ledger. 

I can definitely see this book being something that is either loved by people or hated. To me, this was a fun, fast-paced read that definitely leaves you spinning.
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Sadie's mum is the Liar of Red Valley. People visit her and put their blood in her ledger and she makes the Lie they want to tell seem like truth - as long as they're willing to pay the Liar's Price. Red Valley is protected by an ominous King who no one has ever seen, but his creepy henchmen rule the place. Suddenly Sadie is thrust into the role of the Liar, and is drawn into a web of secrets and creepy creatures. Why is everyone after her? What is the actual deal with this King bloke? Can the town of Red Valley be saved from nefarious forces??

This is such an odd little book. I don't even know how to categorise it - a kind of urban paranormal dark fairytale? It was listed as "horror" on Netgalley but I'm a massive wuss and I never really felt creeped out, even with the weird creatures.

This was a kind of interesting and unique story, and I've certainly never read anything like it. Somehow there was just something... missing for me. It read a bit younger than I was maybe expecting, and less creepy. It's basically a "the 19 year old girl has to save the day" kind of story. There's a good little twist in there, that did get me.

I think one of my biggest issues is that it never really made sense for the people to stay in the town and defend it. The world outside the town is vaguely described as existing so like... why not just leave? Why risk your life for some random little valley when you could just.... Go somewhere else and just not?? Although this was discussed in the story, the reasons for staying never made any sense to me.

After a lot of interesting build up and complexity, the resolution felt a little too easy. This winged darkness guy has been around for literal eons and Sadie wipes him out in a matter of paragraphs? Just didn't ring true and felt pretty unsatisfying. Not to mention the resolution of the King, which was way too easy and barely even "on screen".

I just can't figure out how to place this one. It was okay and kind of interesting, but I didn't love it or feel excited about it. Fairly solid 3.5/5 for me.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Rebel Publishing for the opportunity to review this book

Don’t trust the Liar.

Don’t go in the River.

Do not cross the King

I'm rating this story for now, Until I'm able to process everything but here we go. 

The story takes place on a mysterious town of Red Valley, where the King and The Liar Rule over  the small town and I tell ya no one there is really normal, the story with Sadie having flashbacks of her childhood while her mom welcomed many to create lies and for a great cost, Sadie is looking to know what happened and why now The kings wants with her.  I can continue to write about the story without spoiling you, however if you like gothic settings this is a book for you.

this is my first Contemporary Gothic Novel and liked it a lot will be getting a copy soon.
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I absolutely enjoyed this book as the best horror fiction I ever read. So if you are a horror-reader, then  The Liar of Red Valley is the right fit for your taste.
It has the right amount of suspense, fear, excitement and dread.

Mark the date: September 28, 2021

The book is yet to release on the said day and trust me you’ll love every bit of it!😊 

Oh, and once again thanks to @rebellionpublishing  for sending the ARC of the book. Looking forward to read more books from you!✨
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There are three rules you must follow in Red Valley, California: do not trust the Liar, do not go in the River, do not cross the King.
When Sadie’s mother unexpectedly dies, the young woman suddenly becomes the Liar of Red Valley. Now, she has to deal not only with her grief, but also with the threats due to this new role.

The Liar of Red Valley is a good book with a quite original plot. It is well written and Walter Goodwater’s pen grips you into the story. Through the path he has created, he is able to make you feel lost enough that you can’t guess the way he is leading you in the course of the story.

However, I would have liked to have a map sometimes. I felt like I read the beginning of a great story and the end of another great story while I don’t really know how I passed from a story to another. Perhaps I would have liked to know more about the Liar and her power. I would also have liked more character development.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it.

Thanks to NetGalley, Rebellion Publishing and Walter Goodwater for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This book was absolutely thrilling. 

Red Valley is a place infused with magical power that attracted all kind of creatures, good and bad. That's also a place where demons roaming free and can live inside someone's head. 
One day something was wrong and Red Valley's fate laid in the hand of a girl named Sadie (TBH, by the moment I opened the first page and saw her name, I was all excited about this book because of personal reason). And so Sadie's adventure began. She was brave, determined, smart, and cunning. In sums: heroine material.
The setting was simple yet brilliant, and very much enjoyable. The pace was somehow felt just right, not too fast or too slow. Overall, I like this book! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review, and thank you Walter Goodwater for writing this✨
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Oh this one was wildly entertaining I loved it. I'm not really sure how to describe it - a gothic horror tale with a contemporary twist, featuring more monsters than you can shake a stick at (although I'd recommend running away rather than the whole stick idea) and a main protagonist with a darkly strange gift who may hold the answer to saving a town on the edge of disaster.

Some excellent world building and terrific writing seals the deal, this is clever, immersive and twisted as you like.

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A gripping Southern California gothic about a young woman reluctantly tied to dying, demonic town. This reminded me a lot of Robert Jackson Bennett’s American Elsewhere with a touch of Welcome to Nightvale, though it didn’t dig as deeply as it could have into the electrifying supernatural elements. Most of the magic was very unique: between the concept of the liar and the Liar’s Price, drugs that allow laughing demons to consume minds, and a delightful duo of time-traveling queer Victorian men. Goodwater is clearly a talented writer of thrillers: several chapters had me chewing on my nails in distress as Sadie faced danger after danger with little hope of escape. 

However, the plot is scattered and the conflict contrived. The central drama is twofold: the King of Red Valley and a dangerous lie that Sadie’s mom told on his behalf, and an odious undersheriff who wants to drive the supernatural elements out of town. Both problems were resolved incredibly quickly and disappointingly without too much effort on the side of our protagonist. Furthermore, there is a lot of time spent talking about the King’s enemies and building up to a final battle that never comes to a satisfying fruition. Overall, I wish that either more time had been spent digging into the interesting magical elements (I could have read a whole book about Charles and Thomas) or that the focus of the story had been narrowed, allowing more complexity to evolve within the antagonists.
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This was so good and such an impressing and interesting premise. It really makes you think about how one lie can make a world of difference both for good and bad. I haven't read anything like this before and it was very refreshing and keep me wanting more. This had some good and interesting plot twists that I didn't see coming and kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more. highly impressed with this author and can't wait to see what else he brings us next.
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impossible to predict, dark and tense and full of things that lurk in the dark, this book kept me on my toes until the very end. however there were also lighter moments, heartwarming moments, funny moments. an action-packed fantasy read that i absolutely adored.

random rants:
-absolutely cackled at the police officer being called Hassle
-the freaking PLOT TWISTS why was it so twisty
-the portrayal of loneliness was absolutely stunning
-honestly might go back and give it five stars its so good aaaah
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To survive in the magical town of Red Valley, you must follow three rules: Do not trust the Liar. Do not go in the River. Do not cross the King.

But there's more than meets the eye in this town. There's a powerful King who oversees the land, a sheriff who's determined to bring down the King, mysterious creatures lurking amongst humans, and the Liar—who guards the town's secrets and has the power to reshape the world.

Sadie is Red Valley's newest Liar. She inherited her mother's powers after she unexpectedly passes away. The story evolves as Sadie struggles to accept her mother's passing and comes to terms with her new responsibilities as the Liar.

As Sadie learns more about what it means to be the town’s newest Liar, Red Valley erupts into chaos. It's up to Sadie to get to the heart of Red Valley's secrets and try to restore order.

I was drawn into this story from the very beginning. I was thoroughly immersed in this magical world and didn’t want the story to end. This story was action-packed, creative, and fast-paced— everything I look for in a great novel!

I felt an immediate connection with Sadie. She’s such a strong and independent character which I found to be very refreshing!

Throughout the book, there are several surprising twists that I did not see coming. This helped to keep the pacing feel fast and fresh. I would love to see this novel turn into a movie or TV series. I’d be the first to watch!

Add this to your TBR pile if you love fantasy and mysteries!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Rebellion/Solaris for providing an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a advanced copy for an honest review.
II was so surprised when I finished this book because I couldn't stop thinking about the story and the characters!. The story is so differerent to all the stories I read before.  At the beggining I thougt it was a thriller but when you passed the pages I realized It was fantasy, I really like that was fantasy but with a touch of scary story.
Saddie, the principal character was someone who you will see growing in all the book. She started as a sad little teenager but at the end she was such a strong girl who even soesn't know how she will live but she stopped to feel scared.
It was not only one bad guy in this book. It were a lot of evil character that will hunt your dreams even when you finished the story.
For not even one second I felt bored or wanted to skipped pages. The plot, the end was something I never think about it, It got me so surprised.
You should read it,you will feel scared for momments but you will enjoyed.
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