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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Skull Ring" is a fire and brimstone rush
After surviving a horrible physical and emotional trauma, journalist Julia Stone flees the big city for a new job in the bucolic surroundings of the rural mountain town of Elkwood, North Carolina. There, with the aid of therapist, Dr. Pamela Forrest, Julia literally begins to confront her past demons and the crippling paranoia that plagues her. During these intense...
Published on February 22, 2010 by J.T. Cummins

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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Let me first start by saying that I feel really badly giving a poor review to a book that doesn't have many reviews to begin with. I don't take pleasure in hurting an indie author's overall review but I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book. I'll try to give my reasons without giving away any spoilers though for those who haven't read it yet.

First,...
Published on October 11, 2010 by M. McKnight


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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Skull Ring" is a fire and brimstone rush, February 22, 2010
This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
After surviving a horrible physical and emotional trauma, journalist Julia Stone flees the big city for a new job in the bucolic surroundings of the rural mountain town of Elkwood, North Carolina. There, with the aid of therapist, Dr. Pamela Forrest, Julia literally begins to confront her past demons and the crippling paranoia that plagues her. During these intense therapeutic sessions with Dr. Forrest, dormant memories from Julia's subconscious begin to resurface--memories that hold secrets that not only threaten Julia's sanity, but her very life.

Scott Nicholson is the author of The Red Church, They Hunger, Burial To Follow, and several other wildly captivating novels. A slick, pro-writer with a bent for moody, suspenseful tales set in the Appalachian environs of North America, Nicholson knows how to get under the skin of his characters, and thus, the reader's. In his latest venture into the backwoods, Nicholson has created one hell of a unique heroine in the guise of Julia Stone. While as plucky and resourceful a protagonist as a reader could hope for, she is also terribly burdened and deeply flawed--which makes it all the easier to embrace and root for her.

Whether you're a fan of dark fiction, thrillers, mysteries, the occult, or just damn fine writing, The Skull Ring is a fire and brimstone rush.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, October 11, 2010
By 
M. McKnight "gamemasta114" (Smithfield, RI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
Let me first start by saying that I feel really badly giving a poor review to a book that doesn't have many reviews to begin with. I don't take pleasure in hurting an indie author's overall review but I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book. I'll try to give my reasons without giving away any spoilers though for those who haven't read it yet.

First, and by far my biggest gripe with this book, is the mass amounts of errors. I'm not sure if it's just the Kindle version or if it extends to the print version as well but this was a very frustrating read for me. This book is rife with incorrect words and spelling errors such as "met" instead of "meet" and "her" instead of "here". There are many instances of words that are just missing altogether as well. There really is no excuse for errors such as these that would be so easy to correct with just a couple read throughs by an editor or even some friends and family. The biggest annoyance of errors however was when the main character was having lunch at her neighbor's house for the first time. An entire page was repeated two pages after it had already been written. Not just a couple sentences but the ENTIRE page. Not only does something like that completely break you out of the reading experience but it's another example of an error that could've easily been noticed by anyone who bothered to proof read it.

My second problem with this book was the main character herself. If you've ever watched 80's horror movies and screamed for the person to "look out because the killer is behind you" or "don't throw the gun away just because the killer isn't there" then you'll have issue with this book's protagonist. Her actions are so incredibly asinine because in real life nobody would ever react the way she does. I'm going to be very vague here because, as I said, I don't want to spoil the book for anyone. However, in this book she's not like a typical main character who propels the story along. Instead, things seem to just happen to her and she rides the wave. She doesn't even really react to things most of the time. If some of these creepy things actually happened to a person, even if they were mentally unstable, they would at least try to figure out what was going on instead of just shrugging their shoulders and moving past it.

Finally, the overall book is very bland. Things don't happen quickly and when something does finally happen it's usually just glanced upon and then left behind. There are a lot of things that should've been given more significance in this book that weren't, such as the actions of her fiance. The last page of the book is very unsatisfying and leaves things unanswered but not in a good way. I found myself rushing through this book, but not because I enjoyed it, it was because I just wanted to get it over with.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale full of suspense, February 24, 2010
This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
Scott Nicholson changes things up a bit in his latest offering, THE SKULL RING. This novel is a suspense story set in the mountains of North Carolina about a young lady named Julia Stone. Julia is searching for clues to her past, who she is, what happened to her, and what happened to her dad. Julia lives in a near constant state of fear and finds it hard to trust others. The one person she does trust is her doctor, Dr. Forrest. As they delve deeper into Julia's past, the more "skeletons" come out of Julia's closet. The closer she comes to the truth, the less sure Julia is that she can handle it. It may come down to a matter of life or death for her.

Nicholson never relents as he takes the reader into Julia Stone's world. There are the feelings of fear, dread, and anxiety throughout this novel. Nicholson's masterly descriptive writing style creates a chilling tale set in a beautiful locale and pulls you into the story. You don't want to miss this one by Nicholson; he demonstrates his ability to branch out into other genres in a tremendous way with this book.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed a walk outside my standard books, March 1, 2010
This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
I am not traditionally a suspense/horror reader. The author of this book contacted me to see if I would like to review the book after finding my blog. I am always up for something different so I agreed.

The opening of the book is classic suspense. I was on the edge of my seat. The main character is scared to death of being alone in her home, because of past events and the author did a great job giving what seems to be unrational fears real life and meaning. This is a suspense, through most of the book, you are not sure if the main character is deluded or someone really is out to get her.

At one point, I was reading late at night (while sitting on my bathroom floor between bouts of sickness-stomach virus) and kept wanting to read more, but being a bit too creeped out to keep reading. Eventually I changed books because I wanted to try to get some sleep that night.

If you like suspense, and don't mind discussion of ritual satanic worship (not overly violent or bloody) this was a good book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Barely One Star, July 11, 2011
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This review is from: The Skull Ring (Paperback)
After I read as far as the scene between Julia and her Lawyer boyfriend in the hotel, I believed I was ready to write a great review. This scene was so well-written and it was quite frightening. But, I was very disappointed in the REST OF the BOOK. It overused the word "CREEPS". I was bored just reading this word. The ending was a mixup of events that did not interest me. Satan worship is just not that exciting as a topic. I hate writing a negative review because someone may really enjoy this book and thus avoid it. But, for me it "lost me" for all of the above and I cannot give it the high rating I had intended. Sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A psychological masterpiece, April 18, 2012
This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
Taut and chilling, The Skull Ring summons the very best of thrilling scares as you follow Julia on a journey into the darkest corners of her memory.

Beset by trauma, the disappearance of her Father, and the mysterious coincidences that spring up in her new life far away from the heaving Metropolis of fear, Julia is drawn further into a healing process with her new Therapist. We see the past come to life in all its violent terror, and the paranoia that accompanies each new acquaintance as she attempts to readjust to living again.
A harrowing set of circumstances that bring the second half of the book into sharp focus sets you off on a disturbing race through the gathering of clues, the piecing together of Julia's fragmented memory, and on a climax bristling with ambition, power and insanity. Friends and lovers are not what they seem, and even Julia's own mind threatens to turn on her.

Yet again, a star turn from Mr Nicholson that mixes the thorough examination of psychological reasoning with the terrors we let grow in the dark recesses of our psyche.. The backwoods of Appalachia will never be safe again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I quit at around 20%., December 31, 2011
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This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
I really liked the intense therapy sessions between Julia and her therapist Dr. Forrest. I thought the dialogue was awesome and interesting! However, I was not liking the direction the book was going and I became disgusted and disappointed. I thought this book had great potential but it got stupid, and the overuse of the word "creep" was getting annoying! I quit after reading I think around 20%.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good tool for screenwriters, December 27, 2010
Get the book and then get the screenplay for a cheap education in screenwriting. Or you can just read the screenplay as a great suspense thriller. If you're a Nicholson fan, this one is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs Work, December 3, 2012
By 
Kitsten "Marie" (Deleware, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
This review has been months in the writing because I have no desire to discourage an author with obvious talent, but I must be honest and stress that I believe this novel was not print ready. The main character seemed little more than a rag doll. Perhaps with more time and work, Mr. Nicholson could have breathed life into this wisp of a creature that floated about the story having things done to her. Parts of this novel refused to hold my attention. Hoping to propel myself into more compelling sections of the book, I found it necessary to jump over huge blocks and even pages of uninteresting text that a professional editor would have insisted be cut. My suggestion to Mr. Nicholson would be, "Pull this book from the market, and place it in the hands of a discerning editor, who with the skill of a surgeon, will cut away those things that keep "The Skull Ring" from actually becoming a best seller. And please, please, please, stop using the word CREEP."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Nicholson, June 9, 2012
This review is from: The Skull Ring (Kindle Edition)
I prefer to read authors instead of books. If I find one I like, I'll tend to read the entire catalog by that writer. Nicholson is in that camp for me and I continue to pick up his works. The Skull Ring is a fantastic (although a bit dated; Satanism) "individual vs. world conspiracy" story. Nicholson does a masterful job at keeping you guessing right up to the end. Is the handyman in on it? Is the boyfriend in on it? Is the therapist in on it? I had fun looking for the answers.

For those that need a complete ending without a lot of loose ends, The Skull Ring will satisfy.

Very entertaining read!
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The Skull Ring
The Skull Ring by Scott Nicholson
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