Fellside by M.R Carey #BookReview #Horror


I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!


fellsideTitle: Fellside
Author: M.R Carey
Series: N/A
Format: Hardback, 496 pages
Publication Details: April 5th 2016 by Orbit
Genre(s): Horror (Supernatural); Mystery
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!



Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to end up. But it’s where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.

It’s a place where even the walls whisper.

And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.

Will she listen?


Not only did I really enjoy The Girl With All the Gifts, but Mike Carey visited the prison I work in to help us celebrate World Book Night so I was hoping I would LOVE this book. Unfortunately, I can’t quite say that, but I definitely didn’t hate it!

Fellside started off great. Jess is a heroin addict who burnt down her flat, killing a little boy in the process and in turn is sent to Fellside prison. The prison – a scary enough prospect as it is – also appears to be haunted, and the little boy Alex is never far from Jess’ side. 

This was one of those books that I had no idea where it was going – which I love. It never felt like it was just about Jess’ time in prison, or about it being haunted, it was something different altogether. But as exciting as that was, I felt I was being constantly let down by the direction it took.

I loved the eerie parts of the story, such as Alex taking Jess through the other prisoner’s dreams; the dreamscape thing on the whole was a really interesting concept and described perfectly by Carey.

But then there was this whole prison drug dealing storyline with corrupt officers and scared doctors working with the prisoners for profit or sex and it just bored me. I don’t know if it’s because I work in a prison (and I’m sure to some extent these things do go on), but I didn’t find it interesting at all and didn’t think the story needed it. 

Also, Carey refers to prison officers as guards throughout which put me off slightly. I don’t know anywhere in the UK that uses that term. 

Overall, I think my main problem with this is that I didn’t like any of the characters. I did grow to like Jess more as it went on but it was too little too late.

I did enjoy the mystery though, and that’s what kept me reading. I needed to know who Alex was and whether Jess would get her appeal. 

I feel like Carey is turning into a new Stephen King for me. I enjoy his books a lot but something always lets them down, usually the ending. The same can be said here. I felt like the book should have ended much earlier than it did. No stone was left unturned, it just went on and on until everything was wrapped up a little too perfectly. I’m pretty sure I felt the same about TGWATG too. 

That said, I’m still really interested to see what he comes up with next, and it was lovely to meet him. I even got him to sign my copy. 🙂

unicorn rating 3

Fellside is available now in hardback, or paperback from the 25th August 2016


Author: lipsyy

Creative Writing graduate. A Northerner in London. I probably love books a bit too much. Also enjoy vampires, unicorns, man love, tennis & can't get enough of trashy teen novels. I find myself thinking 'What Would Buffy Do?' way too frequently. HIYA!

6 thoughts on “Fellside by M.R Carey #BookReview #Horror”

  1. I love that idea of lazy Saturday review! I should give the idea a try for all the thriller reviews I am struggling with, haha.
    I hope to give Fellside a chance during summer, I am quite intrigued by it, but it’s a shame it did not live up to your expectations.

    1. Go for it! I set myself a 30 minute timer and everything. Although the reviews still seem to be getting longer. Lol.

      Fellside is definitely worth a read. Parts of it were great. I haven’t seen any other reviews of it actually so I’d be interested to see what you think.

      1. I’ll definitely try! I tend to start a review, then spend an hour staring at my screen or play mahjong instead of actually writing anything. It’s a good sign when you have lots of things to say, haha.
        I wanted to wait for the paperback version of Fellside to read and review it but I am too curious, I’ll get it soon.

  2. It was great to meet you too! I was very grateful for the time you gave up on the day we visited. It was fascinating to see the library at work, and to see how it fits into the life of the prison. I hope we can talk further if the movie version of Fellside goes ahead. It would be wonderful to get your input on the script as it develops.

    I’m glad you enjoyed some parts of Fellside – sorry that others left you a bit cold. I’m going to take some consolation, though, from the fact that you didn’t find any glaring inaccuracies apart from the use of “guards” for “officers”. We really want to make the movie version as accurate and authentic as we can…

    1. Hi Mike, we’re the ones who should be grateful! The guys are still talking about your visit and I’ve been stopped on the walkways on more than one occasion by attendees who wanted to thank us for arranging it. It has inspired them and given them a nice memory, which is great to see.

      It would be a pleasure to help in any way I can if Fellside goes ahead. I hope it does, I think it would make a great, atmospheric film! I’d love to see how the dream sequences are constructed.

      My email is on the sidebar and contacts page, so feel free to get in touch any time.

      Thanks again for the visit, and for signing my book 🙂 I hope it all goes well. Looking forward to TGWATG film.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Odd Librarian Out

Not your average librarian, not your average blog

Letters to a Young Librarian

Judging books by their covers since the 90s

Teen Librarian

libraries, teens, books, reviews news...



Eliterate Librarian

Judging books by their covers since the 90s

Spellbound Librarian

A lover of magical books : Book reviews, and general book rambling

The Dwarf Did It...

Book Reviews, Bookish recipes and crafts, subscription box reviews


Celebrating Books

Confessions of a YA Reader

Book blog. Mostly YA, but a little bit of everything.

%d bloggers like this: