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Umbra: Unsanctimonious by Alex Davidson


Deton Academy is supposed to be the best disciplinary school in the country. If you have a delinquent teenager, you send them to that school. The only problem: nobody actually knows what is going on there. Now, it’s up to Claudia, a blogger, Simon, a drug dealer, and Ralph, an English teacher, to figure out what makes this school so great. The only problem: it may not be safe for them to investigate anymore . . .  Umbra: Unsanctionious is a new horror serial loosely based on the original novella, Umbra: The Horror. Mature audiences only. Updating Thursdays.

Note: Umbra: Unsanctimonious contains some graphic sexual content, graphic violence, and harsh language.

A serialized novel, updating weekly

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Listed: Jan 18, 2015

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By JDT, author of Mantles

Mar 24, 2015: Four people with no obvious relationship all end up together in a battle against supernatural entities. If it sounds trite, I encourage you to put your disbelief aside and give it a shot. Atmosphere is what makes a horror novel, and Umbra has atmosphere in spades.

Everything about Deton academy and the surrounding town is just a little bit off in ways that make you wonder what is truly going on underneath it all. As our characters are swept further into the abyss they start to question things around them, and they certainly don’t like the answers they find.

The characters themselves are unique, with none of them fitting the usual horror stereotypes. I’m a huge fan of subverting tropes, and Alex does that here in great form.

My criticism of the story is that everything happens too quickly. I feel like there’s some context, some fact that I’m missing to help me understand the strange things that happen, but I couldn’t find it. There’s a very notable point where one or two lines of dialogue led to a sexual encounter, and I wasn’t quite sure how things had gotten to that point.

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