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Reviewed by Demetrius Svette This book was provided for an honest reviewAshley s Tale by Mike Duke is beyond remarkable and perfect for its size there s really no need for any or less From the beginning to the end, it is the mortifying tale of Ashley This tale teaches you to have the strength and courage to lay down your weak side to gain access to something inside the human spirit that you always push to the deepest, darkest recesses of your mind only to be locked away but never fully forgotten seeming to never push the boundaries once it is set in motion Duke presents the sharp terror of Ashley, the main character, and the twisted game that her abductor, Jake, has induced upon her.The struggle from the low succumbed life she has almost messes with your mind and the feelings you feel towards the main characters this story line leaves you with a sense of defeat giving way to a rise and questioning the bounds of restraint that we face in our normal, pathetic, everyday lives Ashley s Tale brings forth the strongest female character we have seen since Jennifer Lopez in Enough, imparting this darkness that surrounds this tale of extreme survival Will Ashley rise above the situation at hand and survive Will she be the same person if she does Mike Duke is officially a force to be reckoned with he is the master of terror First, I read his Warm, Dark Places Are Best but this is entirely different in every aspect and still terrifying to the soul Duke surprised me again and seemed to make my mouth drop in this page turning success He gets to a personal level with his audience and brings forth the realities that most people do not want to see come into physical existence I bow down to the craft of his writing skills to say we simply are not worthy Duke will rise from the sea of authors as unique, creative and masterful in his craft it would be a sight to see his books transformed into screenplays and played out for everyone to see. This was a very quick, but very dark read and I thoroughly enjoyed it I will say that, in the beginning, I was a little confused because it just immediately jumped into Ashley s kidnapping Like the moment you start reading, the kidnapper is there and attacking her At first, I had thought that there were some pieces missing, but I just kept reading and I am really glad I did I think the thing about this book is it messes with you mentally thank anything else To him, it really is a game, but to her it s the difference between submitting or rising to the occasion The mental games he plays with her all circle around one goal, to make her strong enough to take him out and escape The entire time I was reading it, I kept asking myself, what the heck is he playing at Why is he training her, helping her What s his goal These are the kind of books I absolutely love, the ones that keep you guessing This is the first book I have read from this author but, thankfully, I have of his books that I m planning on digging into very soon His writing style is smooth and fluid He uses just enough description to set the stage and the rest you fill in with your own mind You can see it, like a movie playing inside your head I m a huge fan of everything horror gore thriller and this one definitely messed with my head I was NOT expecting that ending and I can t wait to see what the second book has in store for me 5 out of 5 stars Download ♋ Ashleys Tale ♀ Ashley, A Young College Girl With A Horrific Past, Is Immediately Thrust Into A Living Hell When She Is Kidnapped One Night In The Lair Of Her Captor She Will Be Forced To Choose Between Submission And Defiance, Between Folding Beneath His Punishment Or Finding The Strength To Endure And Seize An Opportunity To Kill The Man And Escape But Ashley Will Also Have To Face The Horrors Of Her Past In This Twisted Game He Has Prepared For Her Can She Prevail Against The Demons That Have Made Her Frail And Weak As Well As The Sadist Before Her And If So, What May She Become In The Process This was so good and different Knowing this is part 1 in a trilogy helps because I want to know 5 stars Im thinking I will review the trilogy as a whole instead of each standalone novella novel. The grittiness of girl power in Mike Duke s Ashley s Tale makes the most of unsettling visuals, and the grotesqueness of the human heart.Ashely is haunted by a terrible memory from her past When she is kidnapped and taken to a dark and gritty layer, she comes face to face with a brutal stranger In order to survive she must make a choice, to relive her dark past or face her fears and fight back.Duke is an excellent writer who demonstrates his in depth knowledge of fighting and survival in this novelette If you are a fan of Final Girl, or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you must read Ashley s Tale. The living always have a chance the dead never getThis is a story of survival So I must admit, this did not turn out at all as I expected it to When I read the synopsis, I thought Oooh, this sounds like it would be a really good short story Once I started reading it I even had high hopes, as the start was really on to something I thought It starts out as every woman s nightmare, Ashley is kidnapped and taken captive by a man who gives her the option between physical pain, or emotional pain in the form of rapeThat which breaks the spirit, pierces the heart and crushes both That s real hurtAshley faced with the impossible, chooses physical pain she can t go back, she can t relieve the years of rape that she endured as a little girl It all sounds enticing right Well, the story takes a drastic turn I m not going to go into how I ll leave this for you all to figure out, but I ll just say that while it wasn t disappointing, it wasn t at all what I had expected This is not the dark tale I thought it was going to be based on the synopsis, I ll just say that In the end, it was an interesting story, and the writing was good, so it was worthy of 3 stars I m not familiar with this author, so I may have to check out some of his other work and see if there is anything else that may spark my interest. ASHLEY S TALE is a well written dark tale and a short read that I highly recommend Emotional Psychological Detailed but not grisly Welcome, Mike Duke, to my circle of authors I hope to read something else from you Soon. Wow Justwow A great, quick, but satisfying, read I don t want to spoil it for anyone else by giving too much away, so I will only say one final word YEAH Ashley s Tale is NOT an easily digestible short story whatsoever If you can t cope with graphic then this isn t for you It s in your face stuff and not a comfortable ride.Imagine this option Beaten cruelly or raped coldly What would you choose Not nice options Ashley finds herself in a really shit situation quite frankly with a rather twisted individual What he wants from her won t be what you expect however and this is not a run of the mill plot It is harsh, unexpected but by God, my nerves were a jangled messduring it Tense is an understatement My favourite bit of the whole story The very end Now I m unsure if there is a follow on journey for Ashley but as a cliffhanger regardless I was impressed It was surprising, somewhat shocking and then in a bizarre, sick way made sense I even liked just letting my imagination drift to what came next So, did I enjoy the tale Well no But not because it s not decently written or a bad story but because it was hard to digest, visualise, process, it was extreme This horror fan was stretched sticking with it If you are not afraid to dabble in extreme moments then Ashley s Tale will be a story for you.This is my first taste of Mike Duke s writing and it didn t disappoint 4 stars I read a copy of this story shared with me kindly by the author All review opinions are my own and totally unbiased Short, but not sweet The kind of horror that is smart and sinister Well, this short story was ingenious Mike takes the rules of cat and mouse and gives it a makeover Gone are the days when there is nothing to the tale than a psychotic man who loves chasing and killing women This author gives us much than a surface horror, we go deep down into the darkness that dwells within the minds of the characters We have a girl with a horrible past, kidnapped and held hostage by a questionable man whose intentions are confusing At first, we suspect this man simply wishes to rape and kill her, as is the common motive for men who kidnap women Yet as we delve deeper, he has a completely different agenda in mind One that I personally loved and could not have predicted We explore the psyche of the poor girl, and how she is forced to either fight or accept punishment But he doesn t stop there This man has an entire schedule planned out, for her benefit The characterisation of Ashley is insanely important in this story It is a character driven piece of fiction So without masterfully creating a character that we can relate with and like, the story would collapse Fortunately, that is not the case Although a short story, we feel as though we know Ashley, her past and present struggles, and are praying she survives this We feel a connection to this woman In the same respect and of equal importance, we do not trust this mystery man Although as the tale continues his darkness lightens subtly, there is still a huge doubt in the reader s mind Mike Duke did a superb job with these characters Yet the question still remains, when he is bored of playing with this woman, will he inevitably kill her How does such a story climax Trust me on this, it is a climax you won t see coming It is bittersweet and unexpected This story was unsettling yet empowering, gross yet addictive The ultimate tale of a damaged woman with a difficult past, using her experiences to mold and shape her into a stronger defiant woman But she needs to hurry up, the man could kill her at any moment.