TideStone TIDE OF STONE, Kaaron Warren’s spell­bind­ing dark fan­tasy novel, raises ques­tions about moral­ity, jus­tice, and the nature of com­pas­sion – who deserves it, and is there any­one who doesn’t? What about the liv­ing husks inside the Time Ball Tower, some of the worst crim­i­nals in his­tory who are, by turns, manip­u­la­tive and child-​like, cun­ning and vicious?

Nar­ra­tor Phillipa Mus­kett has grown up in the town of Tem­pus­ton, Aus­tralia, within sight of the Time Ball Tower off shore. Each day at pre­cisely 1:05 p.m. a large ball drops, per­haps a reminder to the men and women impris­oned there that they have stepped out­side time as most of us know it. Given the choice between death and eter­nal life, they chose the lat­ter and now have noth­ing but time to expe­ri­ence the enor­mity of their mistake.

Cit­i­zens of Tem­pus­ton serve as Keep­ers in the Tower for one year. When Phillipa gets a chance to become a Keeper, she sees it as an unpleas­ant but nec­es­sary way to redi­rect the path of her life. She’s right, of course, but in ways she could never fore­see. The pre­vi­ous Keep­ers have left writ­ten reports, some cryp­tic, oth­ers detailed, of their stay in the Tower, and these pro­vide Phillipa with an under­stand­ing of the prison’s his­tory and of the Keep­ers who pre­ceded her here.

By its end, TIDE OF STONE becomes even more deeply unset­tling as we real­ize, along with Phillipa that the Tower holds secrets even more ter­ri­ble than the dis­in­te­grat­ing human wrecks inhab­it­ing it.

A book that begs to be read more than once, TIDE OF STONE com­bines gen­uinely creepy hor­ror with the tan­gled psy­cho­log­i­cal games played between Phillipa and the peo­ple she watches over – and some­times tor­ments and is tor­mented by.

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