Cover Image: Never Dead: A Novel

Never Dead: A Novel

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I could not connect with Never Dead by Joe Scipione. It is basically Frankenstein in the 1920's USA with a journalist intent on solving the case of the missing bodies. It's dark and deary and the experiments are horrifying but the story is not keeping my interest. I DNF'ed it at 70% so maybe the ending is better. I just could get into it enough to stay interested.

Thanks to NetGalley and Wicked House Publishing for the advanced copy. The opinions are my own.

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This one was a bit difficult for me to get into. Set in the 1920s, this is a story about what happens when wealth and privilege lead to wanting the impossible, to never die. In the process in an alternating perspective between al Clyde, the servant, Creighton the wealthy mogul and a tenacious Chicago newspaper writer, Michael Jacobs, the story unfolds in a Frankenstein kind of way with a lot of gothic atmosphere and its fun and dark but a bit ponderous and hard to get through. Good horror read.

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" It's amazing what time, confinement and extended period of time can do to a relationship between two humans."

Thank you Netgalley and wicked house publishing for ARC in exchange of an honest review.

Never dead did not work for me because of my doctor brains would not let me allow accept the flawed plot in the story. It just didn't make sense. The device, the brain work, the electric signal. Nope. But even then I was adamant to see where the story goes. I really wasn't interested in first 30-40 % and then twist came I was intrigued. But first 60% of book just felt dry to my liking and then it got little better. But yet it left me with many unanswered questions.

The turn towards the end, I did not see that coming. I actually was invested into the whole idea again. In the end thought, I honestly felt it was just okay.

The whole idea felt absurd to me especially when I read the whole book. Maybe it's just how my brain works that I couldn't really like it because lot many people have given it 5 stars. This book just wasn't for me.

Rating -2.5 stars

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Based on the book summary of this novel, I anticipated a horror mystery. Now that I have finished this, I would say it's more accurate to classify this as a slow burn horror thriller where you are not reading for the big reveal.

We do follow Michael, but the opening chapter follows Clyde and shows his involvement with the unsolved crimes. Each chapter tends to switch POVs, and you get to see the motivations of each MC and the eventual pathways that lead them together. I loved how the story began since it added to the creepy atmosphere. Scipione did a tremendous job with alternating Clyde, Creighton, and Michael Jacobs’ POVs. Each character had their own unique and distinct voice.

I did love how the premise was Frankenstein like but had a unique twist. It was honestly terrifying to think about some of these experiments. Despite this, I did have issues with how the secret society acted. I never saw Creighton as charismatic as he is written so it was difficult for me to believe he had that much sway with the people who followed him.

Reading Never Dead, I couldn’t help but think of Frankenstein for the first half of the book. However, as you continue reading you see how the author added his own unique spin to make the story feel fresh. Some sections dragged in the later half or felt repetitive since I didn’t see it necessary to show the same scene from a different perspective.

Overall, I would recommend this to horror fans who enjoy existential stories set in a historical setting.

Many thanks to the author, NetGalley, and Wicked House Publishing for providing this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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What a story! Beginning in the 1920s to the present day, Never Dead is an interesting horror/sci-fi novel that blends Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with Lovecraftian lore. At the beginning, I wasn't sure, but I'm glad I continued as it was an intriguing, suspenseful story with a diverse cast of characters (some are cliche, I'll admit) and a gothic landscape of a 1920s home with secrets the world never knew.

Overall, Never Dead was an enjoyable read that I recommend to any horror or sci-fi fans.

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A huge thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Wicked House Publishing for providing this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A creepy horror that takes you further into the dark than even your darkest fears will expect.

I started this book expecting strictly a story about grave robbers - and instead was given something much more intriguing and in-depth. Yes, this story is about graverobbing, but that’s only the beginning to the events that eventually unfold.

We begin this book with the aforementioned graverobbing - complete with some grisly descriptions about the corpse’s smell and appearance. But it’s what happens with the newly deceased during these experiments in the wealthy Mr. Creighton’s basement where this story really takes off. Eventually hearing about this spat of grave robberies, Chicago reporter Michael Jacobs winds up investigating the case for a story. But when he thinks he’s solved it - suddenly he’s entangled more than he could have ever expected.

Something I think this book does exceptionally well is with existential horror. I won’t spoil anything, but there’s a character (or characters) who become essentially “trapped” in their own bodies, who can no longer move as quickly as they can think. Ever. And in my honest opinion, that part of this novel was the scariest part. (Yes, there were other rather shockingly scary parts - but being trapped in your own body is a particular fear of mine and this book captures that feeling PERFECTLY.)

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys horror, with some mystery, as well as some rather fun and gory descriptions - as well as a possibly ambiguous ending. Once I began reading this book I had to finish it, and the story took a few significant turns that I was not expecting.

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I was not familiar with Joe Scipione's writing prior to this book, so this is a new-to-me author that I was gratefully able to experience thanks to Netgalley, Wicked House Publishing, and of course the author.

"Never Dead" is a 1920's graverobbing thriller, about a super-rich real estate mogul who wants to cheat death, and the investigative reporter from the big Chicago newspaper who's hot on his case. There are lots of small, personal details that seem to bring the story to life and lend credence to the prohibition era backdrop. This half of the book was probably my favorite part. There was also a riveting scene towards the end, which shall remain unmentioned to avoid spoilers, that really struck my fancy. Overall I thought this was a great read that captured my attention and kept me glued to the book. In some places the story dragged, and I wished the author had chopped about 50 pages or so.

A good read. Kudos!

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The year is 1926 and the Elk Hills Research Society is hiding a terrifying secret, one of grave robbing and experimentations on human test subjects. This rich society is willing to risk everything for fame and fortune as they begin their morbid procedures on freshly dead specimens. However, when a reporter is willing to risk everything to uncover the truth, the concept of what was once dead and now alive, is a shocking reality.

Joe Scipione is a master at creating unique concepts of horror, Never Dead is no exception. If not his best work yet, Scipione has written his strongest contender of perfection. Building a facade of scientific experimentation and bizarre theories of bringing the dead back to life, this full length novel explores uncharted territories of irrational monstrosities. These unusual “Herbert West Re-animator” aspects are concepts that Lovecraft himself would be proud of.

The underground immortal horrors that take place within these pages are profound perversions of what shapes Never Dead into an ultimate feeling of fear. The author has written a depraved storyline that coexists at an appalling price. This novel offers something disturbingly special that readers will be remembering and talking about for a time to come.

Just thinking about another chance at life raises many thought provoking questions such as…Is there life after death? Can you continue living for longer than nature intended? Would you want to live forever? And of course the most controversial question of them all…is this an angelic miracle or the work of the devil? Author Joe Scipione answers all these controversial queries and more in this five star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Horror Bookworm Recommendation.

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Michael Jacobs is a reporter in the 1920's, following the threads of an investigation into a series of grave robberies. But if he's not careful, he may soon be counted among the dead himself. Part detective story, part horror, and even a tiny bit science fiction, this novel is full of thrills and chills. It's very atmospheric, you find yourself right between our two main characters are they continue on a collision course with one another. Ultimately, this is a rather unique riff on the Frankenstein story and I loved it!

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily and all views expressed are my own.

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Many thanks to Wicked House Publishing, Joe Scipione and Netgalley.
I thought this little horror novel was going to be one thing but it turned out to be something completely different. It starts out with graverobbing, and a reporter who tries to find out who is stealing corpses. We also know that some wealthy, influential men are taking advantage of an assistant to help with their experiments where they are reanimating corpses. Then it gets even crazier.
I could tell from the language that the story started several years ago, but it was funny to think of these bad guys staying committed for so many decades. I will be looking for more by this author.

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Thank you Wicked House Publishing & Netgalley for the copy!

Although a huge fan of horror culture, I honestly didn’t connect much with “Never Dead”. I felt like the dialogue was too artificial and dragging, instead of personal to each character.

Personally, the rhythm wasn’t to my liking either, since the narrative deals with scenes and ideas I’ve seen before. This wouldn’t be an issue if it was written in a more authentic, original way.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to read it nevertheless.

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This was a great story! The characters are well written and interesting. I would recommend this! Special Thank You to Joe Scipione, Wicked House Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Never Dead by Joe Scipone is a highly entertaining adventure! It's a great mashup of noir and Frankenstein-type horror. It's set in 1920s Chicago and surrounding areas. It starts out with grave robbing, but we learn soon it's not for typical reasons. This book is told by many POVs, which is done very well. When I thought the plot was going in one direction, it turns in another halfway through. I love how unexpected that was! This book has tons of moving parts and everything pulls together tightly. Overall, it is unique and a fun read.

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First read with this author, will definitely read more by him. Very unique and a good story but would have enjoyed it much more if it was a little shorter, maybe 25-30 pages overall. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book

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A simple story about grave robberies in a small town shouldn't be dangerous right? Michael "Mike" Jacobs believes there's more to the grave robberies that have been reported. He knows that Edmund Creighton is a dangerous man. Mike tries to follow the story to the end by any means necessary. Flash forward about 100 years, the world has changed and technology is king. Can The Elk Hills Research Society is ready to face the world. Can Mike get justice for himself? What will Creighton do? Find out in Never Dead.

I received this ARC from Wicked House Publishing via Netgalley for an honest review.

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Dark and creepy, I loved this book! I would recommend it to those who enjoy mystery mixed in with their horror. It’s not really fast-paced, but it does keep you absorbed all the same because there is so much going on. I’ll be recommending to others! Thanks for the opportunity to read!

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My thanks to Wicked House Publishing, Joe Scipione and Netgalley.
This was not at all what I was expecting. I thought it would be mostly about grave robbers. This was not so. I came for the grave robbing but stayed for the story.
I am 60 years old, and I would love to rob a grave! I know! What the hell kinda freak am i? It just sounds like fun! Yes, I do understand how funked up that is. Still? Come and knock on my door and say "hey, Lisa. Want to dig up a body? I'm old enough now that jail time doesn't scare me, so yeah I'd do it!
This story had very little to do with grave robbing, but holy shit was it one messed up story.
Personally, I was appalled! But gosh darn it, I truly appreciated the story! Honestly? Shorten this a bit and go deep into a National Forest somewhere and tell this to a bunch of backwoods campers over a fire? Pure fooking gold!
3 1/2 stars. Rounded up to 4.
I want to read a bit more from this author.

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A commendable 4.5-star read. Familiar with Joe Scipione's work, I've consistently relished his creations, and this particular piece stands out as his most elaborate yet. It intricately unravels themes of monstrousness, callousness, and the perils of scientific hubris, interwoven on multiple layers. The narrative is composed with a poised and harmonious tone, steering clear of excessive plot twists, and avoiding a contrived and wearisome ending. Instead, Scipione expertly withholds revelations until precisely the opportune moment. Timing emerges as the linchpin of this tale, from its outset involving grave robbing to the mid-story dialogues among a clandestine society engaged in a sinister, albeit somewhat implausible, scientific venture. The narrative juggles myriad issues and unexpected turns until the grand reveal, showcasing the author's masterful storytelling prowess.

However, my lone critique pertains to the somewhat lacking 1920s Chicago ambiance. The setting feels assumed and underdeveloped, diminishing the immersive quality of the narrative. Yet, this minor setback pales in significance when juxtaposed with the intricacies of the plot. Ultimately, Scipione's novel remains a genuine treat for aficionados of horror, offering genuine entertainment and a testament to the author's narrative dexterity.

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Loved every minute of this book. It is dark and creepy, is a slow burn of a novel with a lot going on. Grave robbing, medical experiments, big secrets and so much more. The characters are well written and the entire vibe is dark and creepy and leaves you constantly needing to know what happens next. This was my first book by this author but it definitely won't be my last.

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Solid read! I’ve just begun requesting most of Wicked House’s books at this point because they never seem to let me down.

This was no different. The mid 1920s setting with the grave robbing and reanimates was absolutely a creepy one.

I did find the last 1/3 of the book to be a bit hurried. I still had some unfinished questions that I would have loved to have had answered. Despite that I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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