Archive for September, 2016

High Moor by Graeme Reynolds

September 30, 2016 - 10:02 pm No Comments

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High Moor by Graeme Reynolds

Published by Horrific Tales Publishing on 15th November 2011

355 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After a news reported that the beast of High Moor has made a re-appearance, John Simpson knows that he has to go back to his old town to investigate what is going on and to see people that he would rather not meet. Jumping back to 1986 John is your typical 11yr old boy enjoying the freedom, getting into scrapes and not caring about animal attacks. After the first attack on a flock of sheep Steve, a local police officer and a tracker knew that it was not a wild cat that had killed the sheep. Cue Carl, an American werewolf hunter, getting Steve on side they work together to track and kill the werewolf.

From the moment you start this book you know that you are in for an exciting read. I liked that the book went back to the 80s and told the story about John and his friend. This helps you understand the need for John to return to the town and the importance of him finding the werewolf. I was even reminiscing about the items they played with, as a teenager at that same time I had the same items and I had to smile to myself when the computer games using a tape was mentioned. It was these smaller additions to the story that made it a great read. The scenes when the werewolf attacked were detailed and full of action, but then this is a werewolf, a vicious animal and not your family pet dog. These werewolves are not your leather clad bare chested variety they are the real deal.

I have not read a proper werewolf story in a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed High Moor. When the story went back to the current time, I was pleasantly surprised at who the werewolf was and I loved the ending, leading nicely into book 2.

If you are looking for an exciting traditional werewolf book, then buy this. Brilliant read   

Obelisk by Stephen Baxter

September 29, 2016 - 8:24 pm No Comments

Obelisk by Stephen Baxter

Publisher: Gollancz

Release date: 18th August 2016

Page Count: 320

Reviewed by Chris Amies

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Stephen Baxter has been an innovative stalwart of the British SF scene since back in the day when he was publishing in small press magazines under the name SM Baxter. He has collaborated with Terry Pratchett and Arthur C Clarke, and written a sequel to HG Wells’ “The Time Machine.” As well as his hard-SF output – represented in this volume by stories set on a colonized Mars, which comprise “Proxima-Ultima,” the first section of the book – he is also fascinated by evolution. Here too you will find a story, the John Wyndham-esque “The Pevatron Rats,” that imagines the accelerated evolution of the rat, that most adaptable of animals.

Some of the most compelling stories in this volume for me were the alternate histories, where often European or British development has been held back whether by religion or short-sightedness, and the world has developed very differently, whether it is one where technologically-advanced Inca confront Europe (“The Unblinking Eye”), or one where the UK stuck with road transport leaving the European mainland to go ahead with the development of railways (“The Jubilee Plot”). After all why should Western Europe and North America have become dominant rather than some other part of the world? Then apply that kind of logic to the universe beyond Earth. What if we find we aren’t alone after all? Are we waiting for the extraterrestrials, and what if they don’t come?

Religion often comes in for a good thrashing in these pages, or at least the religious establishment which can only ever be conservative in its effects. In “Fate and the Fire-lance”, Rome doesn’t fall, and there is the opportunity for some parallel-world fun at the expense of present day popular heroes as well as a spin on historical events. In others Earth is contacted by unimaginable alien minds – this theme is influenced by Baxter’s membership of an advisory group for SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. “Turing’s Apples” nods to Arthur C Clarke’s “The Sentinel” and “2001” with its speculation as to the nature and motives of an alien intelligence vast and cold and unknowable.

Stephen Baxter provides several options for the end of the world: without necessarily sounding pessimistic several of the stories provide world-ending scenarios, usually with an elegiac sense of loss: this is the way the world ends, now and in England. Parallel universes and multiple dimensions show up in “Artefacts” where once again we have the dialogue between Religion and Science, a recurring theme in Baxter’s work

The Uninvited: Psychological Extreme Horror Book 1 by Mike Evans

September 26, 2016 - 6:50 pm No Comments

The Uninvited: Psychological Extreme Horror Book 1 by Mike Evans

Published 19th February 2016

214 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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I came across this author when I purchased The Orphans series, but like a lot of books on my kindle I have not got around to reading them. So this was the 1st one I have read by this author, and I wanted to read a good slasher story, with this book you have definitely got one

From the moment you start reading, you are met with a menacing man in a mask with a fetish for sharp items, be it a machete or a knife, no one is safe when he is out to kill.  Isaac and Traci are very much in love and to celebrate their engagement, they decide to go on a camping trip. Joined by 4 unexpected guests they set off oblivious to what horrors they will face. Not wanting to give any spoilers I will leave the synopsis there.

First off I cannot believe that the majority of the story happened over 2 days.   From the moment Traci and Isaac was in the forest I felt that I was there watching the horrific scenes. The action is none stop and I found myself shouting at them to keep running and try to escape. The killing scenes were graphic but if you have watched any slasher films then you know what to expect. Although I was not fussed about Brandi and Tony, I really warmed to Traci, Isaac, Katy and Jack and I think this was the way the characters were introduced to us. They were just like you or me, down to earth and went away to just have fun. I must admit I had tears in my eyes when I was reading the funeral scene, it was so beautifully written and not what I expected when reading a slasher book. With the police get involved, the action moved up a gear, and I am still trying to work out how the killer managed to do some of the murders. From that moment each chapter was alternating days Saturday describing how the group try to escape and Sunday the Police search, surprisingly this was not at all confusing and just added more suspense to the story. The twists keep you guessing throughout and even when you know when the killer is, the author puts one more twist into the story leading it nicely to book 2.

If you like your slasher movies or just want a great exciting story, then this book is a must read. I have never liked camping and after reading this, my reason for not going have just been proven. A brilliant action packed book        

Gemini by Stuart Keane and Matt Hickman

September 21, 2016 - 6:49 pm No Comments

Gemini by Stuart Keane and Matt Hickman

Published on 12th August 2016

193 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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Odette is a quiet, happy girl, who finishes work early so decides to go home and surprise her boyfriend Gavin.

Shay has just been released from a 4 years stay in a mental hospital, after tricking her psychiatrist that she is cured of her psychopath tendencies. Shay has a sexual itch that needs to be scratched. Going to her ex-boyfriend’s Gavin’s house, she knew that he would satisfy her need.

From the moment that Odette walks in her home, and sees Shay and Gavin together something inside her snaps and surprisingly a sadistic friendship develops and Odette comes up with a “friendly” competition and they go their separate ways. What is scary is that Odette was a regular girl when it all started and how quickly she turned. The phrase hell has no fury as a woman scorned comes to mind.

As they go off to be individual killers the story gets interesting, going from one to the other, it goes on to explain how they kill and survive, especially as both of them were in a situation that they had not planned and they had to fight for their survival.  

If you are of a squeamish nature then this book is not for you, due to the graphic violence and sex in this story, but this just shows you how criminally insane both girls are. The only scene that made my stomach turn did not even involve the girls but was a scene with Trent a sadistic nightclub owner and Michelle.  I really enjoyed this book and I could not tell which author wrote which scene, the story flowed brilliant and with enough intensity that I could not put it down and read it quite quickly. I loved the idea of them having conversations with the voices in their heads and just when you think you know what is going to happen they throw a curve ball and the ending was quite a surprise.

This book is the first one I have read by these authors and I am glad that I have found two more authors for me to read.   

Larry by Adam Millard

September 18, 2016 - 8:56 pm No Comments

Larry by Adam Millard

Published by Crowded Quarantine Publication on 4th August 2014

242 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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OMG what can I say about this book, I have never laughed so much whilst reading a horror book.

Larry ‘Pigface’ Travers loves his pig mask and his axe, he is your typical slasher that wields his axe at Camp Diamond Creek. In the late 70s he was a name that teenagers feared after hacking over 100 teenagers to death. Jump forward 30 years and he is back to scratch his killer itch. You can just imagine an old man hobbling around the camp killing teenagers, coughing and wheezing talking to his pig mask which after 30 years as decided to talk to him. If you watch slasher films then you know the #1 rule, ‘The Final girl does not get killed’, but does Larry stick to this golden rule.

There are plenty of comedy scenes in this book and one of my favourites is the scene with the Hillbilly at the petrol station. The one liner at the end of this scene was hysterical.

Joking aside this book is really well written and I read it in one sitting as I wanted to see how Larry could pull off more killings. The death scenes were gory and the description of each death was written in a way which made you feel as you were watching a slasher film. The story although following the guidelines of the classic slasher films was original and I would love to know where he got the idea of a pig mask.  

I am glad that Larry II is out as I want to know how Pigface can return, although I have my ideas. If you love horror or just want a laugh, then buy this book. WARNING read this book in the comfort of your own home as you may get funny looks from members of the public if you break out into fits of laughter whilst reading it