314 Crescent Manor
By M Jones
Publisher : Bloodletters Ink
Description
Mark and Nathan Connor are estranged twins. There is little to connect them, save their current residence at 314 Crescent Manor, an old building situated in the centre of the city. The tenants of the Manor are never housed at random. With its large, brooding stained glass tree bearing down on them from the fifth floor to the first, it watches, and waits for one world to topple into the next.




Praise and Reviews
Review by Nancy Baeur, co-author of Strange Little Band:

Here's my review of "314 Crescent Manor," originally posted on Web Fiction Guide here: http://webfictionguide.com/listings/314-crescent-manor/review-by-tenaciousn/

I've been a fan of Jones' writing for a few years now. Her work is full of black comedy, suspense, memorable characters, and palpable atmosphere. "314 Crescent Manor" is no exception.

Mark and Nathan Connor are estranged fraternal twins drifting through life. They know that something's wrong, but can't put their finger on what until The Event happens at Crescent Manor. Even after the supernatural (or quantum physics-related, depending on your point of view) Event turns their lives upside down, the siblings don't yet have all the answers. A cast of supporting characters, each as wonderfully strange as conspiracy theorist and bohemian artist Nathan and straight-laced, too-serious Mark, helps them with their quest. The Manor itself, a decaying art deco apartment building, is as much of a character as its tenants. It's eerie and unsettling, which makes you wonder all the more about those who live there.

Crescent Manor comes to a satisfying conclusion while leaving room for more -- and I certainly hope there's more!

Review by A.M. Harte, author of Above Ground, as it appears in The Web Fiction Guide:

As is the case with many character-driven stories, 314 Crescent Manor starts off a little slow, but it picks up speed quite nicely and keeps you on tenterhooks for more. The plot is compelling, the characters—to match their dark surroundings—all have a torrid history of their own. And all of them are drawn to 314 Crescent Manor and to each other.

While the first couple of episodes set the tone for Nathan and Mark’s awkward sibling relationship, I wasn’t properly pulled into the story until The Event (Episode 4), when things take a bizarre twist down the rabbit hole. And it is then that M. Jones’ atmospheric story-telling really starts to shine. The sense of parallel or alternate worlds, the lurking evil, and the growing mystery all combine together into an almost Silent Hill-esque setting which promises more questions than answers . . . and that’s exactly what it delivers.

The episodes jump mostly between Mark and Nathan’s point of view, and detail their parallel experiences of The Event and their attempts to understand the supernatural forces at work. Both points of view are well-written and distinctive, although perhaps it would be clearer if the author marked at the top of each episode what point of view it is in.

The writing is description-heavy, often times eerie. For my tastes, it is a little too verbose at times, but the overall quality is extremely solid. M Jones doesn’t shy away from describing the gruesome details, which really brings to life the horror elements of the story, but she also knows when to step back and let the events speak for themselves.

Both plot and characterization are strong, the latter particularly so; I have a very clear impression of not just Mark and Nathan, but all of the characters. M Jones does a perfect job capturing the changing dynamics between the tenants caused by The Event, and I particularly enjoyed witnessing Mark and Nathan’s love interests.

As for the website, it is a classic wordpress theme, and very easy to navigate. There is a lot of additional information to browse, including detailed character bios (although I recommend reading these after reading the first five episodes, unless you don’t mind spoilers).

For the most part, the layout is clear, uncluttered; pleasing to the eye. I particularly like how each episode has an accompanying image, although perhaps a couple of the images are a little too big. I’m not, however, a fan of adjusted text, but it’s only a minor complaint.

Season 1 draws to a close with The Event and its underlying mysteries partially resolved, but there are just enough dark hints to leave room for a sequel, and I look forward to reading more about Mark, Nathan, and the other tenants of 314 Crescent Manor.

IN SUM: an refreshingly eerie serial that gets stronger with every episode. Definitely one to read.

Review by Tim Holtorf via The Web Fiction Guide:

This was a very inviting story for me, because in a way, at the beginning, it reminded me of life when I had that dream job.  The new place I lived in and the new people I lived next to.  In the story, that was no different.

Or course, in the story, things really got weird (my own comparison to my dream job never went this way, and maybe that’s a good thing).  When The Event occurs, the fun starts.

Every character introduced, right from the main characters in Mark and Nathan, is interesting to learn about.  Even the location itself can be called a character in this adventure.

There is a good deal of description, which helps paint a picture in the reader’s mind of what the characters are seeing (or, perhaps think they see).  The added bonus that I enjoyed was the sudden desire for more.  As the "First Series" came to an end, there were just as many questions that needed to be answered as there were resolutions.  Which only keeps me wanting for more.

314 Crescent Manor is one of those stories tat I’ll reread, because there may be something I might have missed the first time around.  If you like a story that keeps you on the edge, then move into 314 Crescent Manor.


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About M Jones
M Jones
M. Jones is the mastermind behind the short-lived but infamous Bloodletters horror ezine which housed award winning authors such as Mark Edward Hall, Robert Freese, and Bertrand  More...