Oubliette

A Forgotten Little Place

Fiction - Thriller - General
568 Pages
Reviewed on 06/12/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Vanta M. Black is a writer, traveler and explorer of the esoteric. She spent ten years writing, researching, and pouring over historical references to create an authentic representation of the time periods in her novel Oubliette--A Forgotten Little Place.

Black resides in Southern California, but lives wherever her spirit moves her.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place, an offering by debut author Vanta M. Black, is a dark and twisty story that kept me up way past the time I should have been asleep! What is an "oubliette," you might ask? It's a hidden dungeon, one that only has access through its ceiling. In this tale, there is one particular oubliette that appears to have power, especially over lead character Veronica. As a child, she is tormented by monsters, so much so that she is hospitalized for psychiatric problems. As a young woman, she receives a job decorating a castle in France, one that is darkly related to the "dreams" she had as a child, although she is unaware of that until she is pulled to the hidden oubliette and all that occurred there. Will Veronica find the answers she has sought since her childhood? Read the book to find out.

I loved Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place. Loved. It. How's that for a review? Well, it's definitely how I felt about this book. Author Vanta M. Black has a true gift in writing fiction that is mysterious, dark, funny and thrilling all at the same time. It's easy for me to highly recommend her book, and the best piece of advice I can give to readers, besides being sure to read this book as soon as they can, is to have enough time set aside to read it from start to finish. Once they start it, they simply won't want to put it down!

Rabia Tanveer

Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black is simply amazing. This is definitely a year for great novels, especially in the paranormal department, and Black just did an astounding job of creating a universe that is real and terrifying. The story is set in one castle, but you will be taken to multiple time periods. The present time is about Veronica, a woman who knows what hides in the dark. All her life she knew it. Her life was never perfect, but when she is given an opportunity to work in an old castle in France, she knew it was too good to be true. Nonetheless, it was an opportunity that she could not resist, especially at this time in her life when she was just about in the gutter. What happens next will baffle you, intrigue you, and make you beg for more.

Black not only created a universe that is almost real, but also created characters that were realistic and very approachable. You cannot help but relate to them and cheer them on. The character development was strong and very dynamic. One thing that really impressed me was how Black managed the switch between time periods without making it confusing. You will jump from one time period to another, chapter after chapter, and you will be sitting and cursing the author. You will enjoy this jump. It excited me; I loved the fact that I had to think a little too. It is definitely a novel that you will enjoy reading year after year. It is nail-bitingly good!

Maria Beltran

Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black is a novel anyone can easily get lost in. We meet the ten-year-old Veronica in a hospital as she is being treated for sleeping problems that the doctors call night terrors, when shadow people visit her in her sleep. Fast forward to the present time when she receives a strange phone call from a French woman who offers her an extraordinary sum to decorate the Chateau du Feu Ardent in the Loire Valley. Having been recently rejected by Robert, her partner and former boyfriend, Veronica is on her own and she needs the business. Although we know all along where the plot is headed - to that castle, with those medieval fashioned windows, majestic steeples, round belfry and a slender tower that seems to glow from within - we don’t know what awaits Veronica there.

Every page of Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place offers small pleasures of thrill, suspense and eager anticipation as author Vanta M. Black weaves a number of stories dating back to 182 CE, when we witness an ancient ritual gone wrong, to the present time when Veronica accepts an offer to decorate a castle in France that hides a forgotten dungeon with only one opening, an oubliette. Vanta Black is very skillful in maintaining suspense as she transports us back to 325 AD when Rome fought the barbarians, the Dawn of Reformation in 1520 AD, the Inquisition in 1307 AD, the Great Pestilence in 1348 AD and the onset of the French Revolution in 1789. Seamlessly woven together, Oubliette is a good book, but it is more than that. By using fiction to explore the realm of the paranormal surrounding a number of historical events, it takes a shot at greatness.

Kim Anisi

Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black is the story of Veronica and a mysterious castle in France. Veronica finds herself without a boyfriend and close to financial ruin. Then a mysterious woman offers her the job of her dreams: renovating an old castle - in France at that! Little did she know that the castle would be more than just a decoration project. It is filled with secrets, memories, and things that should not be awoken. Veronica's story, however, is only part of it. The reader is taken to ancient times, to pagan rituals, to the plague, to fine ladies and gentlemen, and in the end, they all have one thing in common.

I enjoyed how Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black created a variety of points of view from different eras, and how the author managed to capture the feel of these different eras, e.g. the mysterious pagan spirit vs. the sophisticated (kind of) behaviour of Dorothee vs. the modern era characters that eventually put everything together in a way. It was interesting to see how each story developed, and sometimes I was tempted to skip some to know what happens next to characters I prefer, but I kept myself from doing it to stick to the actual plot. Adding those various perspectives to the story helped to give it a depth that might otherwise be missing. Of course, the story could have been told differently and in a shorter manner by only focusing on the modern characters and expanding on what they learn, but it would be a different book, less interesting, and less fascinating. Vanta M. Black has created a wonderful work that will be enjoyed by readers who love a mix of pagan, medieval and modern "horror."

Tracy Slowiak

In a dark and fascinating tale by debut author Vanta M. Black, Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place is a book that will keep readers turning its pages obsessively from the very start all the way through until the end. Follow the story of Veronica who, in the beginning, is a young girl, hospitalized due to the monsters in her mind that she knows are real. Fast forward to a time when Veronica, as a young woman, is desperate for another reason. She's alone and broke after her boyfriend left her, and unsure of what to do next. When she gets a call out of the blue asking her to come to France to decorate a castle, it seems as if she's being offered the second chance she desperately needs. But when her presence at the castle seems to bring back some of the terrors from her past, and she starts to see that the monsters from her past just might have been tied to exactly what she's experiencing now, it's possible that only she will be able to silence the monsters once and for all.

I so enjoyed Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place. Author Vanta M. Black has done an absolutely fantastic job at creating characters, especially Veronica, that her readers will connect with, care about and continue to think about long after the final page is turned. The use of historical facts, especially the oubliette and the castle, lends a genuine sense of reality to this exciting, thrilling and scary story. I highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys mysteries, thrillers or just a good work of fiction in general, and I certainly hope that author Vanta M. Black is already working on a follow up book right now. I, for one, will be watching for it eagerly!