Archive for December, 2018

SHADOWS OF REGRET: If your life was ruined, would you seek redemption or take revenge? by Ross Greenwood

December 31, 2018 - 11:23 pm No Comments

SHADOWS OF REGRET: If your life was ruined, would you seek redemption or take revenge? by Ross Greenwood

Published on 20th January 2019

287 pages

Katie has served 16 years in prison, sentenced at 18, all she knew of adulthood was four walls and bars at the window. Now released from prison, all she wants is to support herself and stay out of trouble, but events and memories have a way of coming back to haunt her.

This is a story that keeps you gripped as you follow Katie as she tries and adjusts to her freedom. Even though Katie had a past I instantly took her. Throughout the story you find her struggling against society and you could feel her need to fit in. The longer she is out, the more you learn about her past and eventually, the crime that she did came to light. However, even with this knowledge, I was still rooting for her.

One thing she found difficult was letting people in and whilst she did not like to talk about her past, she knew that there were times that she needed to share it doing this got her friends in an unusual place. As her memories come clearer, she realises that she requires answers. From there the story intensifies as she comes to terms with the truth.  

This story showed the failures in society and how Katie was let down. It gets you thinking about what if something was done before the crime, would Katie still be in the same position. Katie is a strong female character and as the ending was the right thing to do, I am left wondering what happened next.

I enjoy reading this author’s work as the stories whilst fiction do have a ring of truth to them. This is another captivating read and I can’t wait to read the next in the series    

Into the Mist by Lee Murray

December 31, 2018 - 9:40 pm No Comments

Into the Mist by Lee Murray

Published by Severed Press on 25th March 2018

244 pages

I think the majority of people have heard of Godzilla and King Kong. Larger than life creatures that had remained undiscovered until an expedition group came across them.  

Into the Mist is set in Te Urewera National Park, New Zealand. Gold has been found on ancient ground and the army has been tasked with the protection of the contractors. As the investigations continue, the group are in danger not just from Militant Tuhoe separatists, but something larger than life. Putting the group in danger was an ancient monster from Māori legend known as a Taniwha. Whilst everyone in the Māori community had heard of this creature, no-one had seen one.

Sergeant McKenna and his group were good at what they do, but this did not mean that they would survive this mission. They were a close knitted team who played on their strengths. Trying to protect the scientists was not an easy task and whilst Dr Jules Asher had her own personal problems of being out in the field, Dr Christian de Haas and Richard Foster would have made any man turn a gun on them, they were the most pompous pair of characters that I have read about in a while.

Just outside the National Park, Temera was having visions of the danger, an elderly gentleman known as a matakite. Although he was seen as eccentric, he was comfortable with his gift and over time understood what the visions were telling him.

The bond between McKenna and Temera was strong and showed that even though the Sergeant was up to date with modern technology, he still held on to his Māori heritage. The mixture of the modern and ancient story blended smoothly and it has got me curious about other cultures.

 This book was fast-paced, the only time it slowed was when the story concentrated on the separatists, whilst they met the creature, I felt that they did not add anything to the story. The attacks were bloody and detailed which added to the monster ferocity and you could sense just how dangerous the mission was. If you are looking for an adventure into the unknown then this is a good story to get you started and with no cliffhanger an added bonus.

Into the Sounds by Lee Murray

Into the Sounds by Lee Murray

Published by Severed Press on 9th August 2018

263 pages

After McKenna and Jules had survived the Taniwha, things had gone quiet. Now on R&R McKenna was soon bored so jumped at the chance to join Jules on a Deer culling exercise in Fjordland. But when they get together, nothing is simple with them. Not only did they battle another large creature but they had poachers and a hidden tribe to contend with.

Whilst there is a large sea creature to go up against this took a backseat as McKenna and co had bigger issues. The discovery of a hidden tribe puts everyone in danger and McKenna had put all his army training into practice to save the tribe from extinction.  It also showed Jules’ caring side as she took to protecting the tribe and the trust that was built up between them. Following the tribe, you can understand how they survived for so long without being discovered and Mckenna even with his love guns embraced their methods of killing.    

Whilst at the start of the story you were introduced to all the new characters, the story was intensified with the addition of the poachers, a group of mercenaries who were trigger happy and the final part of the book was full of action.  Like Into The Mist, the descriptive details of the scenery enabled you to imagine that you were there. I was reading the scenes with the giant sea creature pretty quick as I wanted to see whether they would survive. Adding the ancient blend to the story Temera plays apart working out his visions and trying to help McKenna in quite an unusual way.

Reading this story gets you thinking about the vastness of the world and what hidden secrets are out there.

Even though I read Into the Mist first, this story can be read as a standalone as any relevant scenes involving book 1 was mentioned. I really enjoyed this story and hope to read more about McKenna and Jules.

Watcher (The Watcher Series Book1) by Sian B Claven

December 29, 2018 - 10:27 pm No Comments

Watcher (The Watcher Series Book1) by Sian B Claven

Published 15th September 2018

256 pages

A Watcher is a recorder of supernatural events, not able to intervene their diary was a word of caution to others.  A diary featuring 6 incidents has been found, as a reader will I heed the warning and not read it. Of cause not, here is my review of the book.

Family Motel was my favourite story, a downtrodden motel and a family who just wanted a bed for the night. The other stories were Forest Fury, Mother’s Den, Warning Sign, Circus Clown and Mermaid’s Song. Between each story, was the watcher’s own reasons behind the story and at times explained what had happened to the survivors.   

Each story had a different level of horror which will please readers that don’t like it too graphic. With each story, the author had a way of drawing you in, the descriptive details of even the minor scenes had you wanting to know what happened next. This enabled me to read this book pretty quick. As this was a new author to me, it was a good introduction to her work. I hope there is more from the Watcher in the near future.

Shifting Identities (Criminal Elements Book 3) by Clare Meyers and Cris Meyers

December 16, 2018 - 2:18 pm No Comments

Shifting Identities (Criminal Elements Book 3) by Clare Meyers and Cris Meyers

Published 5th December 2018

328 pages

After surviving their last explosive heist, the team go their separate ways. However, Rook gets a phone call and the team are blackmailed to get back together, pull off the heist of the century or suffer the consequences.

Due to the difficulty of the heist, the planning and execution called on all the team’s talents. This enabled you to know more about the team in depth.Not only what magic each of them possesses,but more about their former lives. Thanks to the extra attention from Stone,Carlos is becoming more comfortable with his gifts and their relationship was becoming more like father and son.     

From the initial phone call,you are taken on an intricate journey. As more elements of the heist are known,you are left wondering whether they can pull it off. As the heist drew nearerthe story intensifies as the pace picked up. I flew through the last quarter of the book as I wanted to see whether all their plotting had worked.

Whilst the book did not end on a cliffhanger, it does leave you wondering what will happen next.  The details throughout, show just how well the story was plotted and this series is improving with every book. I hope to read more about this bunch of criminals. 

Sinister Horror Company Annual

December 10, 2018 - 9:57 pm No Comments

Sinister Horror Company Annual

Published by Sinister Horror Company on 31st October 2018

104 pages

As a little girl, I would always look forward to Christmas Day, not just for the presents but for the annual I would get every year. It was a book that had hours of enjoyment and I would re-read it throughout the year. The older I got I soon outgrew the annuals and I can’t remember the last time I read one. However, this year I was like a kid at Christmas when Sinister Horror announced that they were going to publish an annual for horror lovers.

When I bought it, I eagerly opened it to see what fun was insideand I wasn’t disappointed. There was the usual dot to dot, crossword, word search and even a picture to colour, allwith the horror theme and what annual would not have a comic strip running throughout the book. One unique touch was the Lego, each picture depicted different Lego characters acting out the covers of books published by Sinister Horror.  

There were also contributions from Daniel Marc Chant, Tracey Fahey, Kit Power, Tim Clayton,  Andrew Freudenberg, Mark Cassell, Kayleigh Marie Edwards, Duncan P Bradshaw, Chris Kelso and JR Park. All these authors either wrote a short story or an article and each piece was great reading.

For this review, I am going to pick out a few.

Cernunnos by Daniel Marc Chant: A pile of ash in a shoe, an ancient stag skull on the desk and DI Lydia Brooks was on the case. This story is a mystery and as you read this story you find out more about the skull’s history. I would like to read this as a longer story as I did not want it to end.

The Girl who kissed the dead by Tracey Fahey: The main protagonist main job was a mortician beautician, but she was also a tattooist and beautician. As you read this story,you get to find out the reason behind her choice of jobs and I just wanted to give her a big hug. As you finish the story you find out how she tries to help others who suffered by the hand of others. Sucha beautiful story.

The Incredible Case of Marie Dunsten by JR Park: 4 days after her boyfriend was murdered, Marie is found without a memory of the event, Detective Lamb is on the case. As you read this story, you soon realise that the Detective is out of his depth. He suspected that Marie had something to do with it but could not prove it. With more and more bodies brutally killed,the story intensifies in the final quarter as Lamb chases down his suspect.However, it is not till the end of the book do you find out who/what is behind it.

 One thing I noticed with this annual, was the quality of the finished product, with its glossy cover and thick paper, it was a pleasure to hold it and I had not even started to read it.This annual will give you hours of fun and I know I will revisit these stories again. I hope that this will be a yearly event as I want to look forward to anew one every year. A must have for all horror lovers.