Cover Image: The  Liar of Red Valley

The Liar of Red Valley

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Member Reviews

Sadie's mom is The Liar.  Sadie knows a bit about what her mom does, but when Sadie finds she's inherited the title after her mother's death, she finds she has a lot to learn.  A lot to learn about being the Liar, about the King, about her mother, and about herself.  
The Liar of Red Valley is a great mix of horror, suspense, monsters, magic...and friendship.  It had me hooked from the beginning!  It's a real page-turner.

#TheLiarofRedValley #NetGalley
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3.5 stars!

I really liked what Walter has done with this story. He has created a really unique and believable concept and added in some very out there fantasy ideas. Everything works well and there is nothing out of place in the story.

I think this is a story that makes you ask questions, makes you fill in the blanks and that’s a great story to read. I just wanted more character development for Sadie!
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A crazily creative tale or myth, The Liar of Red Valley is magical!

Like all mythical tales, the fate of the people of the town of Red Valley are in the hands of the  Evil King.  We learn  quickly that the the Liar, mother of Sadie, is dying, and Sadie is fated to take on the mantle of the King's liar. It is certainly not a popular role and one that Sadie does her best to reject. But one of the governing rules of Red Valley is that you do not cross the King!

For me, I wanted more character development. It was hard for me to emphasize with the characters. I think this is  a great book for lovers of magical realism, horror and fantasy.
It is a fast paced book that may occasionally lose you in the story lines that take absurd plot twists.
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Talk about twists and turns. Just when you think one thing it goes the opposite way! Was a very interesting read. 

Thank you to publisher for allowing me to read this book!
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In Red Valley, lies are costly, because if you are willing to pay the Liar's Price, the lie becomes the truth. You tell the Liar your lie, she writes it in her ledger, you pay the monetary fee, and you seal it with your blood (and also some unknown portion of your life -- the bigger the lie, the more of your future life -- hours, days, week, and years -- you forfeit).  As the repository of the town's secrets, the Liar is despised.  Until today, the Liar of Red Valley had been Sadie's mother.  However, she had died of cancer that practically no-one, including Sadie, knew she had; some things even a Lie cannot erase. 

The Liar's power comes from the King, who protects Red Valley from the things that want to harm the residents.  No one in living memory has seen the King, only his emissaries, the King's Men, who express his wishes and enforce his rules.  The Rules of Red Valley are simple:  Do not Cross the King. Never, ever go in the River. Don't trust the Liar.

As Sadie is leaving the hospital following her mother's passing, she is confronted by a King's Man, who passes along the condolences of the King and informs Sadie that she is now the Liar and it is her job to protect her mother's ledgers and the ledgers of the previous Liars and the secrets they held.

However, Sadie's tenure as the Liar is off to an inauspicious start.  Sadie's mother never taught her how to be the Liar, so her knowledge of what she can do and is supposed to do basically is limited to the mechanics of recording the Lie in the ledger and collecting the Liar's Price.  She has been told to safeguard the ledgers, but she cannot find her mother's ledger and did not know that other ledgers existed.  More ominously, she arrives home to find a Laughing Boy in the house, looking for her mom's ledger.  A Laughing Boy is someone who has invited a demon to reside in them, providing a high greater than any drugs, but bringing with it the ever-present audible laughter of the demon.  The following morning brings another unwanted guest -- Undersheriff Hassler, who wants to take down the King and enforce order in Red Valley -- demanding that she turn over the ledgers to him.  

Obtaining the answers she needs requires Sadie to take dangerous and prohibited actions and forces her into a situation where, in order to protect her friends, she has to reveal the biggest secret in the ledgers, and break the first Rule.  The consequences of her actions will be profound for her and the other residents of Red Valley.  Her efforts to rectify her mistakes will reveal to her much greater secrets and much greater threats. 

The nature of Red Valley and its human and inhuman residents is quite creative; and more imaginative and complex than I had expected.  The secrets that are revealed early in the story are quite significant, but the author has some monumental surprises awaiting the reader later in the story. There are some major twists that  I certainly never expected.  Be sure to set aside plenty of time to read this book, because once the story has you hooked, you will not want to stop reading until all the secrets are revealed.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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I went into this book thinking it'd be one thing but nope, this is a seriously unique story everytime I thought I knew what was going to happen it twisted in a whole other direction.
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Such a great and creative book. You think it will go somewhere but it completely changes paths and directions. Really really great read.
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“People spend too much time fearing death when they should fear what comes after.”

The Liar of Red Valley is Rebellion Publishing lead title for fall 2021, so when I got an arc of this book, I was incredibly excited. I haven’t read many ‘American Gothic’ novels, so I did not know what to expect when picking up this book. So what did I think about it?

This book takes place in the mysterious Red Valley, where nothing is as you would expect. Red Valley has for 200 years been ruled by The King and The Liar. The Liar has the ability to remake the world, by covering up lies. However, each lie comes at a great cost.

I have been having a difficult time summarising how I feel about this book due to it being absolutely insane, yet so addictive. The Liar of Red Valley follows Sadie, which is the daughter of The Liar. As the story progresses, the reader starts to learn more about the mysterious King, the powerful Liar and the haunting River. Everyone in Red Valley follows three simple rules which are: “Do not trust the Liar, Do Not go in the River and Do not Cross the King.”

The main highlight of this book is the concept of The Liar. It is fascinating to learn about which lies people are covering, and how these lies are shaping people’s future and the history and fate of Red Valley. Moreover, Walter Goodwater blends philosophical ideas, magical realism and fantastical creatures together, making the reading experience truly memorable. Reading this book reminded me of the movie The Cabin in the Woods.

The Liar of Red Valley is at times utterly absurd, but its relentless pace and plot twists will hook the reader. Goodwater creatively uses the concept of The Liar to set up some weird but entertaining plotlines. The Liar of Red Valley is an absurd action-packed work-of-art, with thought-provoking ideas, shocking plot twists and high stakes, making this book a page-turner!

Some readers will find the characters to be lacking depth. Goodwater is clearly prioritising exploring the ideas and concepts in this world. If you are looking for a book with beautiful relationships or complex and fleshed out characters, then you won’t find it in this book. Moreover, the absurdity of Red Valley will probably not be appreciated by all readers. 

The Liar of Red Valley is one of my most memorable reads of 2021. It is absurd, fun and addictive, but it is clearly not for everyone. I had a really great time reading this book, which is why I will give this book a high rating. However, I can imagine that this book is a bit like marmite, either you absolutely hate it or you will think it is brilliant. 

4 / 5 stars

A special thanks to Rebellion Publishing for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved it, and the sceptic in me was surprised I did. Extremely well written, and it just flowed. Yes its, fantasy, horror, occult, demonic, all set in the "real" world , but even though that was the case it still felt more realistic than some other books I have read. That is down to the writers ability to paint characters, in particular Sadie, who you just became invested in right from the start. There were a couple of areas I thought could have been further developed, but they didn't distract from my enjoyment of this book. Top marks Mr Goodwater.
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This book is not what you think it is.  You start down one path, and soon you are lost in the forest of twists and turns that leaves you both eager and searching for more.  I loved the concept, the easy flowing writing of the author, and the plot as it leads you to its destination.  There are many surprises along the way that you just dont see coming.

A great book, I can not wait for more!
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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. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.
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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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So, I was in the middle of a reading slump when I received the approval to this book on NetGalley, and THANK GOD I was approved, it save me from my slump!!
I read the entire book in just a couple of days and I loved it. 
The story has this magical feeling to it that makes the reading so pleasing, even with this weird sense of "WTF is happening in this little town?".
I did a full portuguese review for this one, it deserves to be know. 

I wish this is the start of a series about Red Valley, because is too short of a book to be a one time deal. 

Fragment of the review in portuguese: "The book may seem rushed at times. When Sadie finally discovers the big lie that her mother told before she died, it takes no more than a few paragraphs for her to internalize and overcome, continuing her mission. For some readers this may seem rushed, but I was grateful: if it had a hundred pages of her dealing with an existential crisis, I would not have liked the book so much".
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I've never read a story like this before and I really enjoyed it! Part horror, part thriller, all entertaining. I genuinely didn't see the ending coming! The side characters are just as interesting as the main characters, and you don't see that very often.
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Great suspense and found myself second guessing every thought I had continuously.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.
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This book was unexpected.
I loved the concept of this book from the beginning. Real world mixed with fantasy all tied up in a horror type setting. 

Red valley lives by its own rules, the kings rules, and there are ‘things’ in red valley that aren’t human. Sadie our main character inherits her mothers job when she dies, she becomes the liar of red valley. The people of red valley come to the Liar for help. The liar writes lies in there ledger and they become true. 
What Sadie finds out when her mother dies is that her mother told a big lie but she doesn’t know what since her mother’s ledger is missing. 
Since her mother’s death she has been hunted down by the sherif and the king and all manor of other things and she needs to find out why. 

This book really manages to merge magic into the real world seamlessly. As strange as some things were, like the laughing and crying boys,which sound terrifying, they work really well to paint a picture of how unusual red valley is. It’s something everyone has grown up with and accepts. Like how we are told you should never enter the river. It’s like the fairytales your parents told you so you’d behave, but in this book they are true. 

This book touches briefly on issues of racism and abuse of police power which is something that is prevalent in life currently and as terrible as it is it was nice that it wasn’t passed over. I’m sure this will connect with a lot of readers. 

I really did not expect the twist that came at the end of this book regarding her mother’s journal or the lie. It’s refreshing not to have been able to guess what was coming at the end.
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A dark, twisted, novel with uncommon themes. Haunting characters that have you thinking about them love after you put this read down.
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Wow. This book is mysterious and dark and gorgeous. It seamlessly blends magic and realism into a beautiful piece of horror. I enjoyed Sadie's character and the grim, realistic elements of her life in Red Valley. The fantasy world of Red Valley incorporates parts of real life, including police violence, abuses of power, and doesn't glorify or gloss over the gritty areas.
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I really liked the concept from the beginning with the Liar idea and her abilities she inherited,. Sadie had suddenly to become the Liar and keep secrets of everyone  making her the biggest target in town. Everyone wants to know those secrets. There was a lot of different villains,  all completely different and were all compelling enough, I really loved the Laughing Boys especially, they could creep me out. honestly with those demons on their head. All magical character were very interesting there was no one left out.

Also this gay couple out of time! I need more of them, they seem to have an amazing story to tell
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This was one of the most unique stories I've read in a long time. The Liar is a job role, an ancient and protected role that Sadie's mum has been working until she dies of cancer.
Sadie takes over and we're thrown into the world she knows nothing off and we travel along with her as she works out what to do and how to handle the responsibility.
I love the mixture of magical creatures and modern story telling and hope to read more from this author. Refreshing
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