Archive for March, 2018

Tip of the Iceberg by Ash Hartwell

March 31, 2018 - 11:15 am No Comments

Tip of the Iceberg by Ash Hartwell
Published by Stitched Smile Publication LLC on 6th September 2017
231 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Whether it be via the film or a history class, we all know what happened on to the Titanic on its virgin voyage to America, but could there be an alternative theory why the Titanic was hit by an iceberg.
The story mainly follows Esme, a newly hired chambermaid. Patrick and “Sir Bernard Astor” both wanting to make a fresh start in America, Pandora the monkey brought on board by Patrick, Mrs Bridget Grafton, newly wed to Captain Grafton a manipulating bully and the crew of the RMS Titanic.
The first part of the book really sets the scene. You get to know about all the major characters and as I knew the history of the Titanic, I was making a mental note who I wanted to meet their end and when you read this book I am sure you come up with one character in particular.
The story was well planned the start of the virus was not your usual zombie bite. If you have seem the film Outbreak then you know what I mean. Having the horror on a ship afloat, made it more intense as you know that there was nowhere to go. From the initial attack the action was non stop but whilst panic was aboard, people still went on with daily business eating, drinking and socialising. The story was well descriptive and you could picture yourself being on board, as you followed the lives of the first and second class passengers. The horror element was full on showing how serious the situation was and as the story was coming to an end you could understand the Captain’s desperation to sink the ship.
This is the first story I have read from this author and I will definitely read more. Whilst we all know what happened to the Titanic, we do not know what happened to the survivors but I hope that will be another story. A must for horror lover who love an alternative history.

Frostbite by Dave Jeffery

March 30, 2018 - 9:27 am No Comments

Frostbite by Dave Jeffery
Published by Severed Press on 8th June 2017
140 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Hastings, a washed up special forces was hired by Appleby a man of means. All he had to do was to rescue his son from the Himalayas after he went in search of the Yeti. Armed with his old troop, Hastings thought how hard would it be. How wrong was he.
When you are introduced to Hastings, Knowles and Vine, they are stuck in a rut. Hastings is in a dingy B&B feeling sorry for himself, Vine and Knowles are stuck in jobs going nowhere. When an “easy” mission comes their way, its a chance of them getting out. Whilst reading this story you get to know more of their past, the reasons they joined up and what made them the soldiers they became.
This starts out as typical monster hunt, but as the story progresses you know that these monsters are not from this world. The sci-fi element came as a complete surprise as I was expecting Yeti rampage. The friendship with Knowles and “Sully” made him more humanised and as you find out what happened to his family, you can understand why he was in the caves. The villains had a James Bond feel to them and whilst I had my suspicions I still not get the reason why they where there.
This book is full of action and with plot twists throughout made me want to know what was going to happen. The story is well plotted and flows smoothly, the major battle scenes were full on and even when there was a lull, you are always expecting something to happen. The style of this author’s writing makes you appreciate reading this in the warmth of your home as the descriptive scenes in the Himalayas made me feel cold.
If you like your monster stories with a difference then pick up this book

Zomcats by Jack Strange

March 29, 2018 - 8:41 am No Comments

Zomcats by Jack Strange
Published by KGHH Publishing on 1st October 2016
252 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having not read any of this authors work before, I went into this book not knowing what to expect.
President Doughnut has an outbreak of zombies in his country, he seeks help from Prime Minister Camemblert who eradicated the zombies. Unbeknown to both of them Henderson, the first zombie cat is building up his gang and goes on an attack in Huddersfield and the surrounding area.
There are quite a few characters in this story and some are larger than life. The illustrative description of each character gave you a clear picture of what they were like and you will recognise some of them straightaway. One of my favourite characters was Macho Havoc, an over-exaggerated one man killing machine. He was a man of few words, but always got the job done.
When I started reading this book I did not realise that this followed on from Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse, but the story is easy to follow, There are explanations throughout so you knew what had happened . Even the minute details are described in detail and I was trying to stop laughing as I was guessing what was going to happen. This book had a feel of an 80s comedy sitcoms, I used to see on TV, and the Prime minister reminded me of Jim Hacker from Yes Prime Minister .
I am glad I read this book at home as I would have got some looks from the commuters on the train when I kept laughing out loud. A hilarious read, an unexpected ending and it enforces my decision why I am a dog lover.

Sussex Horrors: Stories of Coastal Terror and other Seaside Haunts by Mark Cassell, Jonathan Broughton and Rayne Hall

March 26, 2018 - 1:46 pm 3 Comments

Sussex Horrors: Stories of Coastal Terror and other Seaside Haunts by Mark Cassell, Jonathan Broughton and Rayne Hall
Published by Herbs House on 26th January 2018
156 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

My turn on this blog tour

Three horror authors who live in the Sussex area, get together and publish 12 short stories. With various length and a different topics, each story is had its only scary interpretation of the coast
Some of my favourites were:
Seagulls by Rayne Hall. Living by the coasts, I am used to seagulls and I have a cheeky one who will sit watching us at my kitchen door. Knowing how dangerous they can be especially when they dive at you for your food, this story plays on your fears. It shows the evilness of the birds and I did have a snigger at the end as I could imagine some of my feathered friends doing this.
The Rebirth by Mark Cassell: A wooden egg and a nasty surprise. I like how throughout you are following Kelly as she tries to rescue one of her students. The descriptive style makes you feel as you are walking Kelly steps. Whilst this is not graphic is has that creepy feel to it and will make your imagination work overtime.
You have one message by Jonathan Broughton: With more of us reliant on technology and the majority having a smartphone attached to their hands. This story is like a peephole into the future. With not much explanation to what caused the phenomenon, this may put you off using too much tech.
That is just 3 stories that I liked but I the majority of them. Normal Considering the Weather reminded me of most summers up here where we can get an infestation of flies where even fly spray will not kill them. Furzby Holt has a population of very aged characters and Away in a Mangler had a different take on mass production for those little trinkets that you buy whilst on holiday.
This was a quick read and I finished it in one sitting. Only being familiar with one author it was great to find some other authors for me to follow. A good British horror read

Beautiful Ugly: And Other Weirdness by Thomas S Flowers

March 25, 2018 - 1:47 pm No Comments

Beautiful Ugly: And Other Weirdness by Thomas S Flowers
Published by Shadow Work Publishing on 23rd January 2018
237 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

One thing Thomas S Flowers does well is to write a good short story. So when this book was released I knew that I needed to buy it. 11 stories in total, each one completely different, although each one has an element of the real world whether it is someone not happy in their own body, a terminal ill character or just an overpopulation of cats.
Some of my favourites are mentioned below.
Ultrasound: A couple use In vitro fertilization to get pregnant but what has she been impregnated with. This is a good opening story, starting out as a regular story and you feel as if you are going through Deborah’s pregnancy. Hints are throughout and you know something is going to happen but true to this author, it is not what you expect.
Massacre at Foree Farm: Peter had served his country and had come back home after his last tour of Iraq. This had a Hammer feel to it, you know the scenes where the simple village folk chase after the monster with their pitch forks and torches. Whilst not a lot is known how Peter got this condition, I did feel sorry for him. Some great graphic scenes.
Gone: Danny Jarvis loves the stars and whilst he was watching them, this was his escapism from his family life. When Danny went out that fatal night, his reasoning was a typical 8 years old thoughts. This is a sad story and I would love for the story to carry on.
The Abigail: Set in space the UA Odysseus comes upon the UCT Abigail a drift, the only thing alerting them to trouble is the distress beacon. But what has happened to the crew. There was an element of suspense throughout this story and as I was reading this I had a feeling of dread. Whilst there is a horror element, it is written as something you see in your peripheral vision, you know something is there but you cannot make out what it is. I loved the ending.
I cannot leave this review without mentioning the cover, this is probably one of the most weirdest covers I have ever seen and is perfect for this book. When you read one of the stories it is spot on, but I will not tell you which one.
A great horror read and for lovers of short stories this is one book you need.