Fiction - Horror
288 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2019
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.

Author Biography

L.C. Barlow is a writer and professor working primarily in the field of speculative fiction. She has an MA in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. She has studied with popular writers, including Nancy Holder, Elizabeth Hand, Ted Deppe, James Patrick Kelly, Elizabeth Searle, David Anthony Durham, and Theodora Goss. Her work has been published in Oak Bend Review, Flash Fiction World, Linguistic Erosion, Flashes in the Dark, Separate Worlds, Every Day Fiction, and Popular Culture Review. Her fiction has reached over sixty-five thousand readers and garnered praise, including a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Awards, a winner of the Indie Reader Discovery Awards, a winner of the eLit Awards, and IndieReader’s Best Books of 2014. Barlow’s horror trilogy – Pivot, Perish, and Peak – was picked up in 2018 by California Coldblood Books, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. The first of the trilogy, Pivot, will be released in the Fall of 2019. Barlow lives in Dallas, TX with her two cats, Smaug and Dusty.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Pivot by L.C. Barlow is the first book in the Jack Harper trilogy, a brilliant blend of mystery and horror. Jack Harper is born to a woman who can’t look after herself, let alone Jack. But then Cyrus Harper, a charismatic and enigmatic leader of a cult, takes her in after testing the young Jack’s worthiness. Jack gets a normal education in all subjects—literature, economics, history, and mathematics—thanks to Cyrus. But Jack also learns the unique skill of an assassin. With the help of Roland James, Cyrus transforms Jack into a powerful killing weapon. But Jack quickly learns that there is more to Cyrus’ world than he lets on. Living in the same house with Roland is an old magical creature, the same that is responsible for Roland’s resurrection and the magical things that Jack has witnessed. This creature only becomes tame in the presence of Cyrus’ red velvet box. Jack wants nothing more than to escape from Cyrus, who is very dangerous, and the opportunity comes in an encounter with the mysterious creature. Jack is about to receive a gift far stronger than anything Cyrus ever imagined, plus freedom from the cult.

I was hooked from the very start of the novel as the narrator describes the encounter between the seven-year-old Jack and Cyrus. Cyrus is an awe-inspiring character, with a presence that commands both fear and respect, and a charm that grabs the young protagonist in a mysterious way. The prose is very good and it gives the story a natural flow that makes it enjoyable and exciting. I loved the dialogues, the vivid descriptions, and the author’s ability to lay the emotions of the characters bare. The conflict is strong, embracing the different levels of the story—physical, emotional, and psychological. Pivot is well plotted and the author introduces twists that readers won’t see coming. L.C. Barlow takes readers on a perilous journey, crafting scenes that are emotionally charged and focused and creating characters that are both complex and real.