Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl.

March 19, 2019 - 7:42 am No Comments

So my time has come on the blog tour to showcase New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl. Here is my review

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl

Published by Solaris on 12th March 2019

239 pages

As soon as I read the blurb for this anthology, I knew that I wanted to read it. It ticks all the boxes when I look for an anthology, horror, sci-fi and fantasy. With any anthology I go in with an open mind, I know I won’t love every story but I can guarantee I can find some new authors who I will go onto purchase their work.

New Sun has 17 short stories that will introduce you to various cultures and religions, creatures from other realms and so much more. Each story was completely different and you will change genre from one story to the next.

For the purpose of this review, I will write about the ones I really enjoyed.

 The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu: The story about how one man wants to change the rules to protect his son. As you read this story, you learn how much Nuhu’s community rely on the Djinn for survival. The idea of the perfect woman (Spells) being got from a catalogue enforced the town’s need. The descriptive style of the author enabled you to imagine the spells, the views of the men and the desperation and determination of Nuhu to break the contract.  

Unkind of Mercy by Alex Jennings: Alaina-Rose talks about Johnny the love of her life and the strange feeling that something is in the room with her. I love reading stories that gets your imagination working. The story written from Alaina-Rose’s POV, helps you see how these mysterious creatures are starting to affect her and lets you decide whether it is supernatural or extraterrestrial.

The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh: Mayang an unusual sea creature and the affects she has on a mother and daughter. I really enjoyed this story. Yes, Mayang was a sea creature, but it was a story about love and loss. This story was beautifully written. You are drawn into their lives and as this story is told over a long period of time, you see how Mayang changed the lives of Salmah and Eunice.

One Easy Trick by Hiromi Goto: Marnie has a bit of a belly but after a trip into the forest to collect mushrooms, it all changes. As I was reading this story, I did not know what had happened to Marnie and rereading it, I still do not know what she did. However, that did not stop me enjoying this story, my favourite scenes were when she went back into the forest and her conversation with a bear. Reading this reminded me of the Adipose from Dr Who.

Kelsey and the Burdened Breath by Darcie Little Badger: This was my favourite story. Kelsey and Pal, her spirit dog earn a living rounding up lost souls. Written in the 3rd person, makes you feel that you are following her step by step. Tracking down the burdened breath tested her skills. This is a paranormal thriller and I would love to read more of Kelsey and if there were a series I would definitely buy it.

I am glad I got to read this anthology and as expected I have now added more authors to my list to look out for. If you are looking for refreshing stories than pick up this book. 

Into the Ashes by Lee Murray

February 23, 2019 - 9:37 am No Comments

Into the Ashes by Lee Murray

Published by Severed Press on 19th February 2019

263 pages

3rd in the series featuring Sergeant Taine Mckenna and things are getting worse on the central plateau in New Zealand. With his task force, he is responsible for evacuating any residents that have not made it out in time. Unbeknown to him, his ex-girlfriend Jules is on the hunt for a reptile, that is near extinction and a group of prisoners have been left to escape. With their lives in danger from Mother Nature, can they all survive?

Whilst this follows on from Into the Sound, it can be read as a standalone, although to get the full McKenna effect, I would read the others first.

As with the other stories, Temera, explains the Maori folklore and he is never far away with his purerehua. The bond between Temera and McKenna is still strong and whilst Temera has self-doubt, he still tries to help. 

This was my favourite so far, and whilst there were no ancient creatures to battle, it was full on as they were up against earthquakes and a volcano. Their lives were in danger from the moment they stepped onto the plateau.  At the start, the story is split into three, Mckenna is on patrol, Jules is reptile hunting and the prisoners are trying to flee from danger. The fight or flight response of the prisoners adds intensity to the story as their actions were always unexpected. It was good to see some of the other characters from previous books make an appearance and if I was Karl Pringle, I think I would find another job far away.

The ending was a surprise and I am wondering what will happen next to McKenna and Co. I hope that there will be more to this series as I am sure that there are some other creatures that McKenna has not come up against.    

Stalker/s by LJ Hasbrouck

February 20, 2019 - 10:56 pm No Comments

Stalker/s by LJ Hasbrouck

Published by NineStar Press on 14th January 2019

382 pages

There are not many stories that as I am writing the review, I am thinking of changing my star rating, but this was one of them as I am still thinking about the story a day after I finished the book.

Brian Jameson is disturbed by a gunshot, an intruder has broken into his house and scratched his mom. Being at the epicentre of the pandemic, Brian is forced to learn how to survive. Escaping with his grandfather, he joins up with old friends, twins Louis and Eva and they start their journey to a better life, but with the Stalkers and ruthless gangs hindering them, will they make it to the island of their dreams.

Brian was a quiet 19-year old, not knowing what he wanted to do with his life, he was going with the flow. Having lived a sheltered life, he was forced to grow up when his mom became ill and the virus began to spread, but even when he was danger, he always tried to show compassion. His friend Louis was the complete opposite, confident, a bit of a bad boy, he had a nasty streak and at times acted like a child having a strop, but together they were good for each other.

Whilst there are some similarities between Stalkers and Zombies, ie the virus was passed by fluid, they craved raw flesh: Stalkers felt more sinister. The virus changed the people whilst they were alive, they moved at speed and they planned their move. Creeping in the shadows they had an evil laugh which would make your skin crawl.

The variety of characters they come across were well described. Whether they were the cutthroat gang that took over a derelict fairground or the dynamic D whose only friend was a cat, they all had their own tales of survival. As you read you are following Brian on a journey of discovery, whether it was learning how to hunt or finding the real meaning of love. The love between Brian and Louis started off slowly and as the journey intensified so did their relationship.

Following 3 young people as they are travelling through a dangerous America was addictive and I had to force myself to put the book down to do real-life tasks. However, before I knew it I had finished the story. What can I say about the ending wow I didn’t see most of it coming.

This is the 1st story I have read by this author and it won’t be the last.   

It Lives in the Basement by Sahara Foley

February 18, 2019 - 6:49 pm 1 Comment

It Lives in the Basement by Sahara Foley

Published 25th March 2018 (3rd edition)

137 pages

After a couple is reported missing, the Police get called to investigate, but with no clues to their disappearance, Lieutenant Flynn hasn’t any ideas where they are, The only hint is a notebook with the opening statement “I hope no one reads this because that means I am dead”. But who or what is behind the disappearances.

When I started this book, I did think that it was going to be a collection of short stories. However, It Lives in the Basement sets the scene for what is soon to come.  The story proceeds in chronological order as you follow Carter, who originally worked with Flynn, and Sergeant Pete Alvarez who is on his only personal demon hunt.

This was a quick read for me as I wanted to know what was going to happen. The author slowly built up the suspense as you listen to Alvarez tell his story to Carter and what starts out as eccentric ramblings soon become real. The last quarter of the book was full on and even when there was a quiet spell, you expected something to jump out on them or that feeling that they were being watching. But when it all kicked off, it was bloody and messy.

This is my first read by this author and I had purchased this book for my kindle when it was released in 2016. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to read it.    

Z: A Love Story by DE McCluskey

February 14, 2019 - 6:30 am No Comments

Z: A Love Story by DE McCluskey

Published by Dammaged Productions on 14th February 2019

223 pages

If you know me, you know that I rarely read romance, but add a few zombies and I will be first in the queue to buy it.

14th February or Valentine’s Day is a day for all lovers, but if you are like Kevin, it is just another day on the calendar. Kevin was your “average joe” getting up at the same time, catching the same bus working in the same office for the last 10 years. There are 2 things that he enjoys in his mundane life, the view from his desk and Rachel Elder. Could this Valentine’s day be something special?

On the other side of the world, America are experimenting with a new virus. However, when disaster strikes, the end of the world is nigh.

I enjoy zombie book where the MC is just an ordinary person, with no special training and has to confront zombies and Kevin was perfect for that role. Oblivious to the world around him, he just went on with his life. A shy man, who wouldn’t take a risk, even when it came to love. Rachel was young, intelligent and gorgeous. Not wanting to be hurt by a man again, she had one rule no office romances.

From the moment Kevin’s alarm clock went off, I knew that I would enjoy this book. There is a good blend of horror and comedy throughout out. The zombie attacks will have you swapping from grimacing to laughing with every scene, especially the scenes in the bathroom. I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. The story smoothly alternates between the outbreak in American and Kevin and his love life over here in the UK. Having it span over the two countries enables you to follow the outbreak as it happens and read how it is easily spread.

This is a book that I didn’t want to put down, with the outbreak and Kevin’s love-life it kept me reading into the wee hours and I woke up with a book hangover. The last quarter of the book was full on, non-stop action and the ending, I don’t want to spoil it but what an ending.

This is a must buy for zombie lovers and anyone who enjoys comedy with their horror.  Yet again this author has produced a great read.