Book Review: Cellar

Amazon Cover - Cellar

Book Cover from Amazon


Cellar by Karen E. Taylor

Something’s not quite right about the neighborhood of Woodland Heights. Five years ago six children disappeared in this suburban heaven. When Laura Wagner moves into a house that had been vacant for most of those five years, this something comes alive.

Laura Wagner, divorced mother of two, addicted to alcohol and Valium, sees nothing wrong with her life; she sees nothing much at all. She gets by as well as she can, aided by the solace of her drugs and whiskey, until the day she backs into a police car in the parking lot of her favorite bar and is sentenced to involuntary rehabilitation treatments.

Returning home clean and sober is an eye-opening experience. The spirit dwelling in her house reveals its true, evil nature and begins to prey upon her, her friends, even her children, avid to spread its message of death and despair.

Laura must learn to control her inner demons before she can subdue these outside forces threatening to break free. She must learn how to distinguish hallucinations from reality, learn how to stop the spirit that requires her death and the deaths of her loved ones.

Author’s Note:
CELLAR is a re-issue of my previous published book (Twelve Steps from Darkness, Copyright © 2007 Karen E. Taylor.) The story, while essentially the same, has been edited and expanded upon in certain areas, resulting in several new scenes and an epilogue.



I finished reading Cellar by Karen Taylor at midnight last night – not exactly the best time to be reading this horror-ghost-recovering-addict story in a house with a damp, dark basement and parts of the house which knock at random moments. Yeah, bad idea.

First off, this is not my normal fare. I avoid horror and mental-health/addict stories, but it was in the Modern Magic pack where I knew a number of Urban Fantasy authors so I read it. It took a long time to get to the “modern magic” part. But in the meantime a solid character study was created for Laura, the Main Character – an alcoholic whose downward spiral included backing into a police car when leaving a bar. After coming home to the empty house following the sentencing, voices whisper in her head about how worthless she is – children taken by husband, loss of job, and soon to spend a month in rehab where they would take the one thing she loved from her – the alcohol. “She would be better off dead.” Again and again the whispers tell her, or is it her own mind spiraling down.

And that remains the question with each situation – it is real or her addiction altering her world? Is the depression external forces or an natural internal reaction to her situation? And the real kicker – should she even care? Every step forward she attempts is matched by a failure twice as great. But three people do not give up on her – her two daughters and one police officer who has already taken the journey back from the bottle.

Will it be enough to recover from her descent into the cellar of life with the alcohol and to fight whatever has decided to reside in her basement?

Not for the faint of heart. I’m not sure which is scarier: the “horror” story or the alcoholism whispering its siren song to her.