The Nightbird series

Fiction - Horror
432 Pages
Reviewed on 07/20/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Help by Cynthia Fridsma is a thrilling horror tale that follows vampire Sybil, a freelance agent for the Anti-Terrorism Unit in the US who struggles to live a normal life among humans. She injects herself with liquid silver to suppress her craving for blood. She has even gone as far as breaking up with her boyfriend just to keep him and his children safe, but her self-restraint is tested when these loved ones are involved in a car accident. At the scene of the accident, she lets loose her strong urges and embraces her nature as a vampire. It is not just her insatiable craving she has to face but a most powerful evil that has returned in the form of Dr. Mengele who must be stopped. But do Sybil and her colleagues have what it takes to stop him?

Help by Cynthia Fridsma is well crafted with strong historical hints in references to Auschwitz. Characters like Dr. Mengele are compelling. Dr. Mengele is the embodiment of evil and one that leaves terror in his wake. Cynthia Fridsma creates a world inhabited by humans and other creatures, including the undead, ghosts, and vampires. It is well-conceived and stunningly executed. The plot contains strong plot points — the quest for a magical book, the fight to stop Dr. Mengele from gaining power, and Sybil’s struggles with her own demons. The story is told in beautiful prose and the pathos is strong as readers follow Sybil struggling to live like humans. She is a fully drawn protagonist that readers will root for. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book for fans of horror; it is a riveting tale with unforgettable characters, most suitable for readers who enjoy dark themes.

Vincent Dublado

Help by Cynthia Fridsma is a paranormal story that truly makes vampirism look very much like an existence that is bound to despair. Consider the case of its protagonist, Sybil, a vampire who tries to defy what comes naturally to her by injecting liquid silver. On top of that, she sacrifices her own happiness by breaking up with the man she loves. But then again, she has no time to wallow in too much self-pity, as she is preoccupied with being a free agent of the Anti-Terrorism Unit. Josef Mengele, the infamous Angel of Death, is back as he inhabits a new body. His gruesome experiments with children are something that even a bloodsucker like Sybil will not be able to stomach, and a book called The Necronomicon is the key to stopping him.

Cynthia Fridsma has a detailed vision of the supernatural element that plays an important factor in her storyline. This gives this novel a good balance between realism and a nightmarish effect. It's a brilliant speculative take on how vampires would coexist alongside mortals. Its single-word title sets the tone, and the opening chapter makes it clear to you why being a vampire is a curse. Mengele, as a historical figure that everyone woud rather forget, is the creepiest aspect of this tale. But the unique glory of Help as the third installment in The Nightbird Series lies in the depth of its protagonist. Fridsma has revealed enough of Sybil's personal side to make her sympathetic. It has a good plot that doesn't depend too much on vampirism but on the collective horrors provided by the antagonist and the conditions of the period. If you love paranormal stories, this is an engaging read.

Sefina Hawke

Help: The Nightbird series by Cynthia Fridsma is a horror story that would appeal most to a diverse audience of mature young adults and adults who enjoy paranormal horror thrillers. Sybil is a vampire and the head of a secret government agency known as Nightbird that investigates X-file cases. Sybil’s life of doing her best to live as a human through liquid silver injections is thrown into chaos when her ex-boyfriend, Felix Wooden, calls her for help after one of his daughters ends up in the hospital after a dangerous car accident. Sybil’s decision to rush to his side sets her on a path that will lead her to confront her past and the truth of who she is and what she is willing to do. Will Sybil manage to hang on to what’s left of her humanity or will she embrace her inner savage nature?

Help by Cynthia Fridsma is a well-written paranormal horror story with an attention-grabbing cover image that hints at the tale within. I have read and watched a lot of vampire books, movies, and TV shows, yet I found this particular book to be filled with innovations. I liked the way that Sybil had managed to learn ways to make herself appear human and even be able to eat human food. The author did a simply spectacular job in switching between periods while adding supernatural elements to history without making it feel fake. I loved the fast pace of the plot in how it kept me on the edge of my seat, dying to learn what choices Sybil would make and how they would affect her and those she loves.