Review of Escape From St. David's

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AvidBibliophile
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Latest Review: Escape From St. David's by Deborah Albers

Review of Escape From St. David's

Post by AvidBibliophile »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Escape From St. David's" by Deborah Albers.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Written by Deborah Albers, Escape From St. David’s is described as a modern-day ghost tale for young adults, but it is really a story about restless souls attempting to find a way into Heaven. When an 18-year-old girl named Wylder suddenly finds herself in a cemetery after a car crash, she must quickly come to terms with the harsh reality of her untimely demise. She sees her parents grieve her passing, and she meets other apparitions that have been floating around between the graves since 1775. As a burial ground for fallen soldiers of the Revolutionary War, this cemetery has offered a final resting place for many battle heroes and members of affluent families, but it is a 12-year-old slave girl named Nala who truly befriends Wylder and shows her another path.

As Wylder begins searching for a way to leave the corporeal confines of St. David’s Cemetery, she is shown a secret passageway that acts as a portal to a place known as The Beyond. Some wary souls refer to it as The Devil’s Playground, a place that tempts them with visions that seem too good to be true. Others see it as a place of peace, crossing over into it without fear or trepidation. Wylder and Nala go there to take horseback rides under the full moon, but for the next decade, all the spirits are drawn to the flickering blue lights and experience flashbacks to their former lives.

When a life is suddenly cut short, it is possible for a soul to find peace in the afterlife, but will Wylder be able to find the calm acceptance she so desperately seeks, or will she be doomed to roam restlessly for all of eternity? This plot does include mentions of segregation, indentured servitude, gender discrimination, cowardice, murder, suicide, racial discrimination, and cancer, so the content is mature at times, but I still feel that this book would be appropriate for most teenage audiences. It might even be suitable for younger readers with adult supervision.

There are several scattered instances of profanity, vaping, implied promiscuity, and a brief mention of Wiccan theology, but the story mainly focuses on kindness, respect, and compassionate friendship. Some of the characters follow principles of Christianity, but others are Jewish, and some are non-believers entirely, so while there are included mentions of Heaven, Hell, God, the devil, demons, several different faiths, and Purgatory, no one specific religion is ever promoted exclusively.

This book is 233 pages long, and it begins with an engaging prologue that immediately takes readers into the mindset of a typical teenage driver. Wylder’s thoughts and actions feel relatable and genuine, and I liked seeing sections of italicized font and script font used to indicate scenes of internal dialogue and snippets of school writing assignments. The included epilogue provides a cliffhanger conclusion, but the characters are all adequately developed throughout. I did encounter some grammatical and typographical errors while reading, so this publication needs another thorough round of editing, but there was nothing else I disliked about the story as a whole.

As an animal-rights defender who was raised on a Texas cattle ranch, Wylder often rebelled against the status quo. Her determination to honor her own beliefs helped her convince her family to eat plant-based meals, and she also urged them to provide more humane treatments for their livestock. Those unique character attributes mirror my own beliefs, so her ethical sense of kind obligation enticed me. I enjoyed envisioning the fireside chats Wylder shared with her Grandma Virginia, and I appreciated seeing a digital sketch of the St. David’s Cemetery itself. That illustration helped me clearly picture the various burial plots, the often-described circular drive, and the dedicated areas for quiet reflection.

I would recommend this story to lovers of ghost fiction, paranormal lore, ancient legends, and haunted cemeteries. Tombstone inscriptions invariably tell many tales, and readers can imaginatively sit alongside various gravesites while pondering the complexities of life, death, good, evil, right, and wrong. Due to the scattered errors, I award this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. Escape From St. David’s is book 1 of 3 in the St. David’s series, and it helps readers understand that letting go of emotional pain is the key to overcoming past traumas. This storyline explores themes of awareness, atonement, forgiveness, acceptance, and love.

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Escape From St. David's
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RetiredOBNurse
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Post by RetiredOBNurse »

I believe this book would appeal to many adult readers as well! I love visiting old cemeteries and often wonder if I’m among wandering spirits while there. I envision their lives as well as their untimely deaths when I see one that died way too young. I very much enjoyed reading your excellent review.
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Post by T T 2 »

I love horror stories, and stuff related to afterlife. I feel this book is not just a horror book but much more than that. Great review!
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

RetiredOBNurse wrote: 14 Nov 2021, 06:38 I believe this book would appeal to many adult readers as well! I love visiting old cemeteries and often wonder if I’m among wandering spirits while there. I envision their lives as well as their untimely deaths when I see one that died way too young. I very much enjoyed reading your excellent review.
After reading this book, I’m convinced that all cemeteries are probably full of wandering spirits! As we’re envisioning their lives, they’re actually watching ours. Untimely deaths certainly do leave some of them with unresolved situations, so it’s interesting to get a glimpse into the afterlife they might be experiencing. Thank you! 👻
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

T T 2 wrote: 14 Nov 2021, 07:39 I love horror stories, and stuff related to afterlife. I feel this book is not just a horror book but much more than that. Great review!
The afterlife is a very complex and scary and hopeful place that everyone sees differently, so I loved seeing these characters find their own paths! Thank you for the kind words!
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Post by Ifedigbo_C »

Sounds quite interesting. Thanks for this review. I really hope to read this book soon.
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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Ifedigbo_C wrote: 16 Nov 2021, 00:48 Sounds quite interesting. Thanks for this review. I really hope to read this book soon.
Hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to check it out! Thanks for stopping by. 📖
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Post by Ellylion »

I believe it's a profound read and not just an ordinary ghost story to entertain! The books seems to be very interesting :) Thank you very much for your wonderful review!
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Post by Uchechukwu Okereke »

Fascinating! This book captured my attention from the get go as it gives the impression of a great read. I am curious to find out what happens if or when Deborah crosses into the devil's playground. Thank you for your honest review.
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Post by Fransisca Ekezie »

For someone like me that's easily frightened and still finds interest in the book from the intriguing review shows how lovely the book must be, I'm definitely curious about Wylder.
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AvidBibliophile
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Latest Review: Escape From St. David's by Deborah Albers

Post by AvidBibliophile »

Ellylion wrote: 16 Nov 2021, 05:21 I believe it's a profound read and not just an ordinary ghost story to entertain! The books seems to be very interesting :) Thank you very much for your wonderful review!
I agree! It’s so much more than just a ghost story, and it really leaves readers pondering all sorts of afterlife possibilities. Thanks for stopping by! 🐎
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Latest Review: Escape From St. David's by Deborah Albers

Post by AvidBibliophile »

Uchechukwu Okereke wrote: 16 Nov 2021, 05:59 Fascinating! This book captured my attention from the get go as it gives the impression of a great read. I am curious to find out what happens if or when Deborah crosses into the devil's playground. Thank you for your honest review.
The Devil’s Playground is an appealing place of temptation for sure! Thanks for your kind words of cemetery support! 🪦
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Latest Review: Escape From St. David's by Deborah Albers

Post by AvidBibliophile »

Fransisca Ekezie wrote: 17 Nov 2021, 11:07 For someone like me that's easily frightened and still finds interest in the book from the intriguing review shows how lovely the book must be, I'm definitely curious about Wylder.
Wylder is such an inspiring character, and that’s what I loved about this one: it’s not actually scary, despite the presence of all the deceased souls. It’s like a regular cast of characters; they just happen to be dead! ⚰️
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Post by Miriam Molina »

I am Catholic and look forward to the afterlife, mine hopefully a glorious one. What awaits us there? Nobody really knows. I think this book would be good for young readers; amidst the lure of the world, they need more material to make them grounded.
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Post by gbadegesin Akanni »

Ok since it has been showed from review i will just jump and pass am not interesting in horror or kind of ghost aspect because it get me freak and scary
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