Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Hark the Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden

October 27, 2018 - 3:52 pm No Comments

Hark the Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden
Published by Pisces Books on 30th Oct. 2018
384 pages

Before we know it, the Christmas season will be upon us, and what would be nicer than sitting curled up with a book showcasing 18 stories spreading the Christmas cheer or should that be fear
If I reviewed every story, my review would go out on for ever, so here are a some of stories that I really liked.
Christmas in Barcelona by Scott Smith: Travelling is a stressful situation. Having a new born baby in tow is double the stress. This story follows a couple as they take their baby on a Christmas getaway to Barcelona. As you read the story you could feel the cracks beginning to show with their happy family. There is a feel of tension in the story as you expect something to happen at any time. The addition of the presents takes the situation from bad to worse. A good twist at the end.
The Second Floor of the Christmas Hotel by Joe R Lansdale. Strange goings on in a hotel, gives a chance for the MC to find out more about the mystery girl who kissed him at a Christmas party many years before. Even though you know that something bad happened at the hotel, the investigation of the owner and the haunting of the room gave it a whodunnit feel to the story. Swapping timelines was smooth and made this story a quick read.
Yankee Swap by John M McIlveen. First off, I had not got a clue what Yankee Swap was so had to google it. This story had a fatal twist to the game and a Saw feel to it. Non-stop drama with an ending that I never saw coming.
The Hangman’s Bride by Sarah Pinborough. Life was hard being a chimney sweep boy, its harder when the house you are working at is haunted by a ghost. The descriptive writing made you feel that you were watching a movie. This had everything you need in a ghost story. Love, revenge and haunting ending.
Whilst I had heard of some of the authors, this was a good introduction to the others and I will be sure to look out for other work by them. As Horror comes in different shapes and form, do not expect every story to scare you, but buy this book and pick your own favourite story.

Hater by David Moody

October 3, 2018 - 7:50 pm No Comments

I have quite a few books that I have  bought at book events. So my task not only to read new releases its to start to clear the pile of books.

Today I have started with

Hater by David Moody
Published by Gollancz 19th February 2009
288 pages

As people get angrier and road rage happens daily, this book tells the story of people living in fear. Its live or die, the Haters v the others.
Working for local government, he had a mundane job, working 9-5 to support his wife and 3 kids. Danny hated confrontation and as the trouble started he tried to keep himself and his family safe. Written in 3rd person POV, it was easy to follow Danny’s story. There were times when you realised just how despondent Danny was, a family that didn’t appreciate him, a boring job with a boss who was on a constant power trip and cracks begin to show in his life.
The book starts off with an unexplained attack, violent and unprovoked. As the story continues you get introduced to the Haters. A group of people that just snap, attacking anyone they feel a threat. No explanation why, their attitude “Kill them before they get killed”. As more people turn the violence escalates and some of the deaths are quite ingenious. This was a quick read as I wanted to find out what caused the change. As the army began to move in the story became more urgent and it was a story of survival. The story keeps building to the end and slowly things are started to be explained. Ending on a cliff hanger, I will have to buy book 2 to find out what happened.
As I was reading this I did start to think of what I would do if this happened. Possibly this will be a form of discussion with the children instead of what if there was a zombie outbreak.

Cage the Dead by Gary F Vanucci

September 16, 2018 - 5:56 pm No Comments

Cage the Dead by Gary F Vanucci
Published 3rd July 2014
208 pages

Happy with her life, Gaia loved her boyfriend and had a great job working with the primates at the local zoo. Going to work like any other day, but on this day, folk began to act weird and before she knew it she was running for her life.
As soon as you start this story you are hit with the walking dead, set in a zoo, you can imagine how many people were wandering around. Gaia threw herself straight into the action, and whilst at the start she found it hard to kill the zombies, she eventually desensitized herself. However, her love for the animals was strong. The arrival of Justin, a young lad on a school trip brought out her maternal skills, but when Justin met Solomon, the giant silverback, the bond between them two was unbelievable.
This was a quick read as I wanted to see if Gaia survived. It was fast paced as there was always something going on. There were some shock moments, as the more you read the more you start to care, but this is a zombie apocalypse and not everyone survives.
The ending completed this story and I did let out a little cheer, I would love to know who survived and where they went next.

The Mourner’s Cradle by Tommy B Smith

September 14, 2018 - 8:21 pm No Comments

The Mourner’s Cradle by Tommy B Smith
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 14th September 2018
140 pages

When Damon, Anne Sharpe’s husband suddenly passed away, all she wanted to do was to prove his name. Ridiculed in his academic field, Damon was trying to prove that the Mourner’s cradle, an old burial ground was real, and he thought he found it. Traveling to Peru, she not only has to battle the cold but other’s out for the research.
Whilst she did not know exactly what Damon was trying to do, her determination and sheer stubbornness, helped her through this trying time. Going with her was Ruben, a work colleague and friend of Damon. Whilst he did not believe the myth about the Mourners Cradle, he felt that it was his duty to protect her.
As you are reading this story you are following Anne on a perilous journey. Her grief is raw and shows the dedication that Anne had for her husband. Whilst this is not horror it the scary monster sense, it shows the true horror of human nature and there are some heart stopping moments. Especially on the mountain. Once I started this story I could not stop as I wanted to see if Anne survived. The intensity continued to the end of the story and when I finished I felt mentally drained and felt that I had took the journey with Anne.
This was the first story that I had read by this author and will look out for others.

The Outsiders by Stephen Bacon, James Everington. Gary Fry, VH Leslie and Rosanne Rabinowitz

September 4, 2018 - 9:15 pm No Comments

The Outsiders by Stephen Bacon, James Everington. Gary Fry, VH Leslie and Rosanne Rabinowitz
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 4th May 2015
226 pages

For about a year I have read every new anthology Crystal Lake has published, however, having not read any of the early publications, I thought I would rectify this by reading The Outsiders. 5 authors writing about The Priory, a secluded estate set in the UK and home to a Lovecraftian cult and run by Charles Erich.

Opening with an introduction from Kevin Lucia, which sets the scene and gets you in the mood to sit and enjoy these 5 stories.

The Subprime by Gary Fry: Finance is a cut throat industry, but Lee at the age of 19 was doing well except for one thing he had a conscious. Mr Philips, his boss hopes to persuade him not to leave by inviting him to a dinner party at his home in the Priory. This is our first meeting with the folk at the Priory and whilst the author at the start made them seem pretty normal as the story continued you could sense they were itching for a kill.

Impossible Colours by James Everington: Michala Bruce is a community officer patrolling Exham and takes an interest in the Priory after Marty Young kills himself. The story describes the effects of the cult, strange flashing colours and the residents being more in a trance. Telling part of the story through Marty’s journal enabled the reader to see both sides of the story and you are left wandering what happened to Michala.

Stolen from the Sea by Stephen Bacon: Ryan was the salesman for the Priory, getting donations for the cause and persuading to join them. A chance meeting with Natalie starts out as friendship, but when Ryan’s son tragically dies their friendship turns into so much more. Written with sensitivity this story looks at grief and religion and regardless of the religion, people will question their faith at times of sorrow.

Precious Things by VH Leslie: Petra and Bernard both retired, moved into the Priory. Married for a long time Petra was used to Bernard’s eccentricity and his love of rocks kept him busy for ages. But when he started locking himself in his study for a long period of time and having secret meetings with Charles Erich, she became worried. This story built up to a dramatic ending and showcased the power of love that Petra had for her husband

Meat, Motion and Light by Rosanne Rabinowitz: Claudia was away at University when her mom asked her to return to the Priory. Reluctant to give up her freedom, she went home to find out what was going on. Following Claudia’s story, you get an understanding that her childhood was not fun. More was written about the creature and the effects it had on the residents. With references to characters and incidents from the previous stories this was the perfect story to finish this anthology.

This was a quick read and whilst it is horror, it wasn’t usually from the creature that lived under the grounds. These stories showed the good and bad of human nature and the effects of the cult on everyone who encountered them. A good read which enabled me to get my fix of short stories