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Black Acres

The Complete Collection
Narrated by: Joe Hempel
Series: Black Acres, Book 1-4
Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
4 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Summary

There's no place like home....

Kim and Julian Taylor are in the market for their first home, and a visit to the secluded Beacon estate finds them enamored. It's a peculiar home, rather large and in need of some renovations. The price is right, however, and after a tour, they snap the house up without hesitation. 

The man who sells them the house has one last detail to share before they sign on the dotted line. The previous owners of the home disappeared under mysterious circumstances nearly eight years ago and have recently been declared dead in absentia. Unperturbed by this fact, Kim and Julian set about making the home their own. 

It quickly becomes clear that the two of them are not alone there, however. 

This volume contains all four installments of the serialized novel Black Acres: In Absentia, The Borderland, The Amber Light, and In Darkness. It also contains a brief preface by the author.

©2018 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2019 Ambrose Ibsen

What listeners say about Black Acres

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got bored by the man's voice straight away

got bored with it couldn't get into it. Narrators voice was boring speeded up book

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is totally weird

Yes, I know, it’s stating the obvious this boook being a horror and all that but this really is weird. An empty houuse on the market and an odd kind of story to justify not only its price but the fact that it is on the market in the first place and why are all the trees dead? Well, you’ll have to listen to it to find out. The naration is perfect for this kind of book and the book itself is well, weird. What more can i say? A house on the edge of a wood and all kinds of weird stuff happening. A family drama and a horror story combined and of course the one not believing the other until it’s too late. Not gory but well worth a read in my opinion and with a rather unexpected ending.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting and spooky, but characters a bit odd

I quite like stories about spooky locations and concealed secrets and, in that respect, this book doesn't disappoint. It tells of a young married couple who move from 'the city' (I don't remember whether the specific location is mentioned) to an old creepy house in the middle of nowhere. Their relationship disintegrates as the house's weird secrets come to life. The dark secret is, in the end, very peculiar, but I won't give it away.

What spoiled this book a little for me was that I really can't imagine real people behaving as the characters in this story do. There's a lot of complexity in a marriage, particularly in times of stress, and none of this is captured at all. The characters sometimes do and say things that contradict what they did or said earlier and, while real people do this, there's usually some reason for it. In this story, the characters' behaviour seems somewhat random. Shirley Jackson's Hill House is a good example of how to write people who are falling apart in a creepy house, and something that I think all writers in this genre ought to aspire to. Sadly, this book falls short.

Still, it's not a bad book, and it entertained me for a while. I've read worse.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not too bad, but 'brose has better works

I liked it. Wasnt bad. I follow this author so i know he has stronger works but it wasnt terrible. It wasnt great either. It was kind of low on scares, heavy on psychological terror (which Im not particular fond of.).. But yea.

One thing that annoyed me to no end was the boyfriend/husband guy. What a fucking dick.
God he got under my skin way more than the ghost did. He was the real villain here.
Was going so far out of his way to discredit her and not believe Kim. Like whats this guy's problem?
Who just blindly goes against their partner like that? It really pissed me off how he always just got super pissed thrashed shit around and then the next day played like nothing happened or came with his tail between his legs and she always let him. Like damn bae, you need to let this guy know whatsup, he cant be treating you like that no way ! There was a few times where he needed to get smacked foreal. Idk... he just pissed me off lol.

But yea.. Im like, almost finished. I kinda hope he dies tbh lmao.

But yea i kinda know the scares will ramp up a bit more because its coming up to the end of the whole thing. Im going through the collection so its all the books encased into one piece.
Its not bad, some creepy moments to be sure. I just wish it was as scary as The House of Long Shadows. Now that book is a freak fest! Soooooooooooooo scary. This one isnt bad though.
An easy 3.

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Stephen King doesn’t scare me... but this sure did

Wow. What can I say?

I had never heard of Ambrose Ibsen before I stumbled upon this hidden gem.

This story gripped me from the beginning and as much as I didn’t want to stop listening, I had to at times as I was truly struck down with fear

I really didn’t know which way the story was going to go and the ending did in fact surprise me. I often guess the endings of novels but I didn’t know which direction I was being taken in in ‘Dark Acres’.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good scare!

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Brilliant audible book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audible book; it is scary! so be warned! great story and great performance! enjoy!

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Interesting Stories

I enjoyed listening to this and it definitely kept my interest. The narration wasn't too bad either. I did look forward to the next part of the story (stories) and that means a lot to me, as most books I end up losing interest.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

weak ending

good start and build up but weak ending that made no sense. also the marriage didn't feel like they were in love or caring

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brilliant

I really struggled to stop listening to this it had me on the edge of my seat and routing for kate all the way through the naration was great too

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Slow

I found this book slow and the narrator just exacerbated the tedium of it. The main male protagonist was not particularly engaging and I don’t know why his wife stuck with him! The feelings of fear that Kim experienced just didn’t come across to me. I didn’t find the story creepy or scary but I think that was mainly due to the narrator who spoke in such a bland monotone.
I wouldn’t recommend it.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for latasha
  • latasha
  • 25-04-19

Black Acres

* i received this audio book in exchange for a honest review*

i always get really excited when i see a new (to me) Ambrose Ibsen book. so when i saw this one, i was on board! he does haunted houses very, very well. This volume contains all four installments of the serialized novel Black Acres: In Absentia, The Borderland, The Amber Light and In Darkness.
so while i was listening, i kept waiting for a break, telling me which novel i was on. That doesn't happen. The story was good but i found it to be way too long. i think each individual novel would have been a better route for me. I didn't get attached to any of the characters. There is some great imagery and plenty of creepiness but this wasn't my favorite by this author.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ellen
  • 26-03-19

Different kind of creepy

I am a pretty big fan of Ambrose Ibsen and of haunted house stories so anytime I see one offered I will usually snatch it up. Over the years I have found that a narrator can either destroy a story or really bring it to life. Joe Hempel is the perfect narrator for Mr Ibsen's books. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review so here we go.

The Taylors are looking for a house that will get them out of the city. Whenever my husband and I have looked at houses we had certain things that we were looking for. Certain things that will make this house a dream home for awhile. However, a house that is located far away from the nearest neighbor or place to buy groceries, with little or no phone reception and a super creepy dead tree forest behind it is not my idea of a good place to maybe someday start a family. Did I mention that the previous owners just flat out disappeared? They buy it anyway and begin the renovations. Kim is the first one to notice that things are not right with the house and her concerns are largely disregarded by Julian (strike one). She hears strange noises and they find strange pictures in the house and Julian again has an explanation for this weirdness. She finds a hidden room and again Julian is not too impressed or worried about it (strike two). When Kim sees an a ghost for crying out loud her husband tells her she's imagining it. (strike three Julian and you're out). It's not until Julian begins to experience things that he thinks "hmmmm, maybe Kim is right"

I will be listening to this book again and I know I will enjoy it again. And as I always do when I re-listen I will find answers to some of my own unasked questions. Thanks Mr Ibsen and Mr Hempel for another good book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Todd (Toad) Vogel
  • 25-03-19

Creepy!

Excellent horror story! I am not new to this author or narrator. Ibsen and Hempel make a great duo for horror! Ibsen's writing is very creepy and Hempel is the perfect voice for his work! I've been wanting this set of books for a while, but glad I got them all in one. This is NOT your usual haunted house story! Loved it!!!

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Randy Murphy
  • 24-03-19

Very Creepy

I don't usually listen to a lot of horror but this book grabbed me and wouldn't let go. It was a very creative take on a haunted house that led you through twists and turns and then left you wanting more at the end. The characters and world were brought to life due to an excellent job by Joe Hempel. I will definitely have to check out other books by this author.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MeDi
  • 24-03-19

Black Acres

A tale of horror. There were twists and turns everywhere that kept me reading even when I wanted to stop. The characters is this book are well developed. Scary but at the same time entertaining.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • timj26
  • 25-03-19

Excellent

Not my first Ambrose ibsen story and won’t be my last
Once again he puts a new spin on the haunted house story
The characters are great and I really liked how the book ended
Joes narration is top notch as always
If you liked this I also recommend night society by Ambrose ibsen
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simone
  • 12-05-19

Ibsen + Hempel = Horror Gold

Ambrose Ibsen is one of my very favorite modern paranormal writers; I'm always super pleased to see a new book published by him! While the 'Black Acres' collection wasn't my favorite by Ibsen, it is well worth listening to the whole thing. Joe Hempel is fabulous, as always, and brings the series to life in an impressive way. If you like ghost stories, bizarre happenings, general shenanigans, and well written/performed content, then this collection is for you.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chopsticks11
  • 29-04-19

Do Not Read In the Dark

These books are very artfully done. This is the complete collection of Black Acres, a four-book series. The narration started at the beginning and there was never a break or interruption between the original books. This was wonderful as you were not suddenly pulled from the creepy, mysterious world out to “And Now Book Two.” This set allows you to stay immersed for the entire series. I was unable to tell where one book ended and the next began.

I was hooked from the beginning. At first, I thought it would more of a creepy joke; creaky stairs, weird noises, things that go bump in the night, but I was wrong, so wrong. Even when you might think you know what is going to happen it twists and changes.

This is a great series and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Isben's novels.

I was provided with a free copy of this audio book for my honest review. The views expressed here are entirely my own.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Sturgeon
  • 22-03-19

Creepy story!

This is a very original take on the classic haunted house tale that you cannot help but to enjoy.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Momster Cupcakes
  • 08-11-19

This book could have been 5 stars but...

I don't know if or was the author or the editor that went totally nuts with a thesaurus, but the result was a bizarre use of language. Like using the Queen's English to tell a campfire story. Seriously, I can't even tell you how many times the book uses "visage" in place of "face." And nobody elucidates! Just stop it! Oh, and the passive voice. Novels should never be written in passive voice. This one jumped back and forth between that and severe third person.

Kim was sort of a twit and Julian definitely mansplains, but they work together, so that's ok.

Honestly, this was a decent, original take on the haunted house story. But with so many loose ends (what/who is the wolf? What's the baby's origin story? Why the masks?), the whole thing felt like the author got bored with writing and decided to just stop right there. Characters were 2 dimensional and with so many questions unanswered, I'm tempted to listen again but I'm afraid I'll just focus on all the mistakes the author uses with flowery, unnecessary words. The twist right away the very end was very original and would have been brilliant if the story had been fully fleshed out.

The narrator was great. Easy to listen to and not boring at all. His narration is the only thing that got me through the increasingly noticeable and distracting voice changes and odd use of language.

2 people found this helpful