Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Righteous Maleficia by Emir Skalonja

December 8, 2017 - 10:30 pm No Comments

Righteous Maleficia by Emir Skalonja
Published 30th November 2017
167 Pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

If you know your history, then you would know that in Medieval times, parts of Europe were hit by the black death. A fatal disease that killed thousands, the majority being the poor villagers. The villagers in Blythe’s Hollow, not only had the plague to contend with but a treacherous land owner. As the plague hit the village, the downtrodden villagers, turned to Magdalene, a local witch, who could heal where others failed. However, any villager who was found guilty of witchcraft, faced the wrath of the Church. Using barbaric medieval torture devices, the priests did not care who they brought to judgement. The villagers needed a hero who would stand up and fight.
The Villagers: Living in such squalor, they relied on each other for help. Edgar and Farah were very much in love, living with Cederic Edgar’s disabled father. Bradyn was Edgar’s best friend and throughout you sense how close they were. Working on Lord Kenway’s lane Bradyn always tried to cheer up Edgar with his dry wit. Over time even he was feeling down trodden.
The Church: Father Lawrence overseas the church and is judge and jury when it came to the villagers. Father John and Brother Samuel, both got pleasure punishing the victims. The only monk that had some sort of conscious was the meek Father William.
From the start you are introduced to the horror of the medieval times, with graphic torture scenes, it shows that not all horrors are demon made. Magdalene was seen as hope for the village, although I sensed she had a hidden agenda to protect herself and when Edgar and Farah came her way she used their love for each other to get what he wanted. The villagers story was harrowing and the illustrative way the author wrote their story, made you feel that they were all going to perish. The story was a fast pace and you could tell that the author had done his research. Whilst I have read some short stories written by this author, this was the 1st novel I have read and I am looking forward to reading his other works.

Tales of New Mexico by Joseph D’Lacey and Unquiet Waters by Thana Niveau

November 30, 2017 - 8:35 pm No Comments

Tales of New Mexico (Black Shuck Shadows Book 2) by Joseph D’Lacey
Published 10th September 2017
63 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Two short stories, completely different but one thing in common, the backdrop of the desert of New Mexico.
The Gathering of the Sheaves. Nicholson is on a quest, he has heard of a cactus that holds unusual properties and he wants to get his hands on it. As a Victorian Englishman in the wilds of the New Mexico desert, he was not prepared for the basic living conditions and the danger of his journey. At the start of this story I did find it a bit confusing, however when I realised the story was jumping between the journey of the cactus discovery and the build-up to the find, the story clicked. The descriptive way the story was written gave you an understanding on how dire Nicholson’s journey was. Closing your eyes, you could picture the sights and smells of New Mexico and similarities to the old western films come to mind. Having Chigger as his guide, draws him into the supernatural world of the Native Americans. This has so much in for a short story and what Nicholson goes through for made me grimace.
The Vespertine. When a stranger goes to a medicine man for healing. This story starts off in Austria and how he became ill by what I think are vampires, to him being used like a lab animal and the horrendous experiments done to him. As he is relaying all this to the medicine man you can sense the desolation in his voice. This was my favourite of the two and I read it quickly. Throughout you are wondering whether he will get cured. A great ending.
This is a great book for a quick read, for 2 short stories it has a lot of horror in, but it also makes you think. Scattered through both stories are the native American’s struggle with their land. I enjoy reading this author’s work and again I was not disappointed.

Unquiet Waters (Black Shuck Shadows Book 3) by Thana Niveau
Published on 29th September 2017
68 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Water can be deceiving, one minute it is calm the next your life is in danger. These 4 stories capture the fearfulness of water.
To Drown the World: Evan had not seen his sister Lea, for many years. Not a lover of water, he could never understand her fascination. When he finally saw her, her living arrangements were dire, and she was acting very strange, but when he wants to get her to safety, the water is something to fear. Whilst this story has a horror feel, the real horror is humans polluting the oceans.
The Reflection: Ever had a dream that you were drowning, Allan has but can never find out who is trying to kill him. A regular guy with no enemies. This all changes when he meets a familiar face. Throughout this story, there was a sense of dread, you know something is going to happen to Allan. The suspense is built up as Allan encounters more people. Through Allan’s confusion, you do not see the ending coming.
Rapture of the Deep: To get Natalie out of her depression of breaking up with her boyfriend. Her best friend Jo takes her on an exciting holiday. With Karl, Jo’s boyfriend, they go on a boating holiday, where Natalie is taught to snorkel. From the start, you know that Jo is trying to help, but Natalie is too depressed to realise the help. However, when Natalie goes snorkelling, she is in awe of the sights and she starts to get uplifted. With her life in danger, the sound she hears has a siren feel to it. This is a sad story
Where the Water Comes in: My favourite story of the four. Tara lives in her dream home, happy with her life but has a strange drinking habit. She likes drinking seawater, usually infused seaweed tea. She also had a fascination of water and she put her body through a lot to get her fix. She even dreamt of the sea. As the house began to change so did Tara. This story builds up to the grand reveal and whilst reading this story, I did not have any idea what changes were going to occur.
With all four stories, the author knows how to set the scene. With water facts scattered throughout, you could tell that she did her research. As a new author to me this was a good introduction to her work.

The Rest will Come Book Tour Day 2

November 24, 2017 - 8:51 pm No Comments

So yesterday we met the author. Today is my review of  The Rest Will Come by Christina Bergling
Published by Limitless Publishing LLC on 8th August 2017
276 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

All Emma wanted was a family. Divorced and with the biological clock ticking she resorted to online dating. Her online dates were a mixed bag, but through her experiences she did find one thing she fell in love with.
Emma was a nice girl, but had bad taste in men. She wanted the spark, the butterflies in her stomach, what she got was heartbreak. She became withdrawn and was hard on herself. To get her out of this slump she would go her best friend Ronnie for some TLC and if that didn’t help she would run, not an easy jog but miles and miles pounding the floor until her muscles ached and her feet blistered. This was her way of punishing herself. When she found out that she enjoyed murder, she became a Jekyll and Hyde, whilst she felt guilty that she was doing it, she also felt exhilarated like an adrenalin junkie.
Ronnie was a great character, she did provide quite a few of the comedy moments. A woman who was happy with herself knew what she wanted but would not change herself to get it. She was a sounding board for Emma and many a night they would share a bottle of wine. When she became a mom, she was not your typical mom.
This book started off with a bang, the murder was graphic. As the book continues you learn more about Emma’s past and as each failed date was relived. I did find this part of the story quite slow and I was wiling her to act on her fantasies. However, this gave you understood what drove her to start murdering. Each murder was meticulous planned, and it was interesting reading how she enticed each date to their death. I did find it funny when you were reading the online seduction that some of the guys tried to use to draw her. It felt that you were privy to an inside joke.
I have read some of the author’s short stories, this is the 1st full length story that I have read. The murders scenes were visual, and you could imagine yourself watching these scenes as they unfold. Whilst this will attract horror lovers, anyone who likes psychological thrillers will also enjoy reading this. The author has a way of drawing you into the story and you want to keep reading to find out what happens. Whilst I guessed what was going to happen near the end, I was surprised at the ending, and felt that it was just right.  If you are looking for a good read, then pick up this book.

Dark Satanic Mills (Great British Horror #2)

October 24, 2017 - 9:49 pm No Comments

Dark Satanic Mills (Great British Horror #2)
Published 29th September 2017 by Black Shuck Books
292 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


As the nights are drawing in, there is nothing better than curling up with a good book. Dark Satanic Mills is one such book. We have all grown up with stories about monsters and urban legends, stories that have you looking over your shoulder, long after you have finished reading it. So, find a comfy chair, dim the lights and get ready to read 11 short stories that tick all the boxes.
Here are a few of my favourites:

Tools of the Trade by Paul Finch: Adam an investigative journalist has a meeting that if the information got out, will put a lot of people in a state of frenzy and will net him millions. Dick, a lowly council worker has a passion, he loved the paranormal. Whilst doing a séance in an unused hotel, he comes across an item that could solve one of the oldest cold cases ever. The story picked up intensity the moment they went into the hotel, being an abandoned building, you get the unexplained noises and the shadows that grow without light source. From the start all they had in mind was the amount of money they would make, at the end they had other plans with the items.

The Lies We Tell by Charlotte Bond: Cathy had a regular family, 2 children and a hardworking husband. The one golden rule in their house was no lies. In control of her life, she got what she wanted, but a constant clicking noise was threatening to ruin her life. Cathy was an ambitious working mom, although quite selfish. The persistent clicking noise was constant throughout the story and played with your imagination. One thing that gets you thinking is how many little white lies are told in a 24hrs.

Sleeping Black by Marie O’Regan: When Seth inherited a large Victorian house from his grandfather, a chimney sweep by trade, but as this is the 20th century the chimneys are cleaned by machinery. Whilst this is a ghost story, it explains the horrendous conditions that young boys went through cleaning the chimneys in Victorian times.

/d’ʒʌst/ by Carole Johnstone: When pairs of hands are left with notes written using the International Phonetic Alphabet, DCI Rafiq is at a loss. She has no idea who the victims are and had not a clue what the notes mean. Calling on the help of James Gavin and expert in IPA, she is involved in a cat and mouse situation. Not only had she a serial killer to catch, she was also trying to sort out her personal life. Before I read this story, I had never heard of IPA and I had to google all about it. Whilst the murders played a part in the story, the notes and DCI Logan’s life where the reason behind the story. The way the notes were explained added to the story, but for me I loved the twist at the end, where the killer was revealed and their reasonings behind the murders.

Great British Horror #1 was such a good read, I did wonder how it could be topped. But Steve Shaw has surpassed himself. A good choice of authors with a variety of stories. A must read for horror lovers. I for one hope there will be a Great British Horror #3

Friends Like Us by Rob Shepherd

October 13, 2017 - 9:53 pm No Comments

Friends Like Us by Rob Shepherd
Published by Stanhope Books on 21st November 2015
130 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


When Ryan, Caitlin, Lucas, Kayla, Mia and Oliver, friends since childhood go on holiday in a secluded cottage, what they want is a relaxing break away, what they got was a night of terror.
From the start of the story, you sensed that Oliver was always on the edge of the group. Suffering from depression, you knew that something had happened in his life, but it was not until he spent time with Caitlin that he opens up and tells her about his past, it was after this that he wanted to start living.
When the group was looking for something to pass the time, I was expecting the complimentary Ouija board to make an appearance, so I was surprised when it was a book that caused the problems. When something went wrong with Oliver, you could feel the group’s anguish and whilst I did not agree with their decisions, you had the feeling that they had no choice. The group’s death scenes had a twist and were vivid, it was like watching the action through a camera lens.
This book had the feel of “I know what you do last summer” to it, but the action happened all in one night. Whilst this is a horror story, it is also a story about unrequited love and guilt. This is a quick read, with an emotional charged ending.