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Monday, May 7, 2018

The Assassin of Oz & Traitor's Gate by Nicky Peacock - Book Reviews, Interview & Character Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Halo has been living with her stepfather Jack ever since her mother left them. Her days consist of existing without ending up in an argument with him. One day Jack goes too far and Halo won't take his punishments any longer. She kills him in an attempt to protect herself. Halo didn't know that Jack was part of Oz, a club of serial killers. Now that Jack, whose Oz name was Wicked, is no longer alive to take his seat at the table, Halo has to replace him. Can Halo escape The Wizard of Oz?

Halo isn't a bad person and won't kill innocent people. She's really young and yet she has to make the best out of the choices she has, so she'll survive. The serial killers of Oz are horrifying men who enjoy choosing their victims. They confess to each other what they've done, so they can learn new tricks. When Halo is being sent on her first assignment she tries to escape, but this doesn't go well for her. She thinks that everything will end in a filthy alley, but her quest is actually just beginning. Will Halo fulfill her duty as The Assassin of Oz?

The Assassin of Oz is a terrifying and gruesome story about the true horrors in the world. Nicky Peacock gives her readers the chance to look inside the mind of a serial killer and I think that's an interesting angle. The serial killers of Oz are all completely messed up and it was fascinating to see how their twisted logic works. The Assassin of Oz is a fairytale gone wrong and I really liked how Nicky Peacock has managed to get parts of the original story into this darker version. In the first book of this series, Lost in Wonderland, she introduces some characters that we get to meet again in The Assassin of Oz. These two fairy tales combined are making the story one crazy and amazing ride.


If you like to read dark fairy tales which are gripping and disturbing, The Assassin of Oz is a story you shouldn't miss.

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Review by Anniek

Lucinda is on her way home after a long stay in France. She never had a close bond with her father, so she isn't looking forward to be home again. On the evening of her return, her father introduces her to a mean man she's supposed to marry. After being assaulted by her appointed fiancĂ© she seeks refuge at the home of a childhood friend. Lucinda soon realizes that the man living in this house is not the friend she once knew, but someone else. Someone who has secrets to keep and battles to fight.
Lucinda lost her heart to this man, who was there for her in her time of need. Will she be able to love him forever when she finds out what he truly is?

A war is at hand between the vampires and a dark warlock. It's a rule that women shouldn't be turned into vampires, but Lucinda is a force to be reckoned with, even as a human. She's being sent into Traitor's Gate to retrieve two princes, who have been captured by the warlock. The warlock has a lot of tricks up his sleeve and he even has zombies to prevent anyone from getting to the princes. The elders have made a promise that if Lucinda makes it out alive she can be turned. Will a mere human be able to survive Traitor's Gate and get the princes back to safety?

Traitor's Gate is a terrifying short story about vampires, zombies and warlocks. Lucinda knows that she has found her soul mate and she'd do anything to stay by his side. I love the idea of meeting each other in every single lifetime. Traitor's Gate is filled with action and unexpected twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. The story is part of the Battle of the Undead series and would be perfect as an introduction to the rest of the books. Nicky Peacock is very skilled at delivering fantastic creepiness and I absolutely loved this series.


If you're looking for a short story about vampires and zombies, Traitor's Gate would be a perfect choice. Please keep in mind that this book is part of the Battle of the Undead series and to understand the story it is recommended to read the books in their correct order.

About Nicky Peacock

I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings… or are they unrealistic?

Writing was really a natural progression for me. So far I’ve had 35 short stories included in anthologies produced by publishers all over the world; my latest was included in Little Brown Book Group’s Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories. I have two YA series with the publishers, Evernight Teen: Battle of the Undead and The Twisted and The Brave.

I run a local adult writers’ group called Creative Minds Writing and have been asked by my local library (Corby, Northants, UK) to run a group for budding authors aged 13-25.

Creative Minds Writing Website

YA Creative Corby for 13-25 year olds


Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Tumblr // Authorgraph


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a British author living in the UK. I have two booked series with the publisher, Evernight Teen; The Battle of the Undead which is a vampire Vs zombies urban fantasy and The Twisted and The Brave which are supernatural thrillers based on classic children's books.

I've run an adult writers' group for over 7 years and for the past year I've also run writing workshops for teenagers in my home town's library.

2. Could you describe the main characters of The Assassin of Oz in seven words each?

Halo: Courageous, intelligent, hurt, protector and music lover
Gavin: Dependable, cunning, secretive, funny, lost, steadfast defender

3. You combine well known children's literature with dark twists, how did you come up with this idea?

I'm certainly not the first author to do this; I'd seen it done before but found that those authors didn't deviate much from the original story. I wanted to take the themes and names, but propel them into a modern world that has a hint of the supernatural. I also prefer to keep the main characters out of the frame as much as I can. Alice and Dorothy respectively do not have starring roles in Lost in Wonderland and The Assassin of Oz.

4. If you could be any horror, fantasy or mythical creature what would you be and why?

I think I'd be a witch. With a decent spellbook, you could transform into anything you want and pretty much do whatever you wanted. I like the idea of vampires and werewolves, but vampires can only come out at night and have a pretty restrictive diet, and I'm guessing the pain of a human body morphing into a wolf would be quite severe!

5. In your Battle of the Undead series, you write about zombies, vampires and a strong heroine. Where did you get your inspiration for these stories?

At the time, zombies and vampires were sharing the popular culture spotlight equally. However, they had not been directly pitted against one another, and I wanted to use the book as a bit of a thought experiment as to how that fight would go down. I loved the idea of bickering vampires that would have to put their differences aside for the greater good, although I guess their motives are debatable in the end, as they would be 'harvesting' blood from their wards at some point. A hungry vampire wouldn't let ethics and morals get in the way of a meal.

6. If the zombie apocalypse would happen today, what would you do?

I'd get my family and friends together and take over a building that was easy to defend and had enough food to last until the initial stages of the infection died down; somewhere like a grocery shop or a shopping mall.

7. You've loved horror stories ever since you were little. What's your favorite classic horror story?

I'm kind of old school with my favorite horror books, Dracula and Frankenstein. Although, I was addicted to the Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire books when I was a teenager. I also grew up on the Goosebumps books and always read above my age group; there was something even more spectacular about reading horror books for adults as a kid.

8. If your book was made into a movie, who would play the lead characters and why?

For The Assassin of Oz I'd go for:

Halo: Sophie Turner
Gavin: Taron Egerton
Tinman: Tom Hughes
Scarecrow: Tom Holland
Levi Goodman: Robert Carlyle
Wizard of Oz: David Tennant

9. Which horror story did you like telling the most when everyone was huddled around you at the playground?

I loved telling ghost stories. My family seem to collect them, and I always had a new one to share with my friends; especially scary as most of the ghost stories featured local locations that they knew. I live in a particularly haunted part of the UK with lots of legends, supernatural stories and historical places. There's even a castle about a ten-minute drive from my house where Charles Dickens was quoted as seeing a ghost, it inspired him when writing his novel, Bleak House.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

Hopefully a lot more books. I want to be able to write full time someday, but that will all depend on book sales, so it's vital that when someone buys and enjoys my book, they also take a small amount of time to leave an Amazon/ Goodreads review, as it's these reviews that affect sales.
I'm looking at moving into the psychological thriller genre and am also working on a YA dystopia.

Character giveaway

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Do you love books? Ever wanted to be in one? YA author, Nicky Peacock is offering a Character Giveaway for her next book in The Twisted and The Brave series. You could be a walk-on character in one of the scenes in Terror Island (based on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island). Are you good or evil? You decide. Will you be working for team Wonderland or The Assassin of Oz?
One lucky winner will be chosen randomly and their character description will be given to Nicky Peacock.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. What a fab idea! I love a flawed character who tries to be good but never quite achieves what she sets out to do. Would love my character to be a part of this story!

  2. THat is such a good'll be read about forever

  3. Do love a good vampire story ever since the old dodgy horror films. What a great idea too.

  4. Nicky's idea of meeting a lover again and again in each lifetime is wonderful but what about the people you don't like? Would you have to go that again too? Mind you, if the lover was worth it, I'd walk through hellfire to be at his side!