Posts Tagged ‘Joseph D’Lacey’

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 Veil (Testaments I and II) by Joseph D’Lacey

January 10, 2017 - 7:29 pm No Comments

The Veil (Testaments I and II) by Joseph D’Lacey

Published by Horrific Tales Publishing on 26th November 2016

144 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I bought a hardback copy of this book at the launch party, but for convenience I also downloaded it on kindle unlimited.

Set in a world where everything mechanical stops. Cars don’t run, mobiles are silent The Veil is split into 2 parts or testaments, each one telling the story of a survivors set in 2 countries trying to escape the Stricken/Commuters

Testament I: A group of survivors are trying to stay alive. In a block in America these survivors are up against The Commuters. What was different about this disaster was it only changed white collar workers, the working class were left alone.  We follow Sherri, a hairdresser in her former life but now an integral part of the Kill Crew, she spent her days looking after Trixie a young orphan and her evenings killing The Commuters. This story was full of suspense which only built when Sherrie and her 2 fellow member left their sanctuary.

Testament II: Set in the Cotswolds UK, Rob and his family try escape the unrest, they find themselves in an isolated farmhouse. The longer they stay together, cracks start to appear in their relationship. On one of his many travels to get food, Rob makes a fatal escape, which will change all their lives for ever.  I read Rob’s captivity with unease thanks to the descriptive way the author wrote these scenes.

Both stories had one thing in common, the main characters had the need to survive and to protect their family.

This book is completely different to anything I have read before. I enjoyed reading both experiences of the same horror and although I had no idea what attacked the planet and what the creatures were, this did not spoil my enjoyment and my imaginative went into overdrive trying to work out what they were.

A great post-apocalyptic story that has it all.

Doctor Sleep and Meat

October 18, 2013 - 11:33 am No Comments

Doctor Sleep
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Page count: 500pp
Release Date: 24th Sept 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This book is the ‘hugely anticipated’ sequel to the eponymous novel The Shining. In his introduction to it, King mentions two influences which encouraged him to write this book. One was a question asked by many pf his fans; whatever happened to young Danny Torrance? And he also wanted to use the well known urban legend of the cat in a hospice that sits on the bed of a patient predicting their death. King felt he just had to combine these two ideas and write about them.
The novel starts with an interesting interpretation of the events that actually took place at the Overlook Hotel that winter. One morning in March 1981, young Danny wakes his mom Wendy in the night and tells her not to go into the bathroom. Because some dead thing from the Overlook is in there. After that incident he refused to talk at all, and Wendy’s only option was to call in Dick Halloran, the amiable chef with a bit of the ‘shining’ from the original novel, to help Danny deal with the things he sees. As Danny grows older and fights with his alcoholism, the sights of dead people, and his ability to help residents at the hospice to ‘sleep’ (hence the title), he learns to live with the horrors shutting them up in an internal ‘box’. But Danny is not the only one with the shining. There is a powerful young girl who contacts him through his whiteboard and she is in danger from a group who want to eat her shining.
King’s magic is still there. It’s invigorating to read a master at work. King gets into the heart of his characters until they are living, breathing entities. The world King creates as Danny reaches adulthood, meeting all manner of people, is corrupt, cruel and dirty. The worst of humanity is on show here, with the theme of potential abuse running through the narrative. There is also a definite vibe here of ‘like father, like son.’ The reader wonders in the end if Danny will succumb to the darkness within him just like Jack Torrance.
In short, this is a monumental journey of discovery for many of the characters and is a breathtaking piece of work. After Gerald’s Game I left King alone and it is clear he is back on form here. However, at times I got the feeling King was being self-indulgent with some passages and perhaps the editors were wary of doing something that was obviously required; editing Mr King. Nevertheless, it’s a powerhouse of a novel.

Author: Joseph D’Lacey
Publisher: Oak Tree Publishing
Page count: 371pp
Release Date: Oct 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Meat new cover

From Stephen King, we have the author who Stephen King said ‘rocks’, Joseph D’Lacey. This edition of Meat by D’Lacey is the re-release of his award winning eco horror. As a direct result of the research conducted for this novel, set in a meat processing plant, D’Lacey became a staunch vegetarian. Well, judging by the novel, he certainly learnt a lot to put him off regular processed meat. D’Lacey asserts that his aim in writing this story was to entertain, not to preach, and if the reader does think on the content, and the themes in different ways, then that is indeed a bonus.
The first character we meet is Bob Torrance (a homage to Stephen King perhaps) who is watching his colleague Rick Shanti at work at the Magnus Meat Plan. Rick, or Ice Pick Rick, is the calmest worker there; his firm control as he manages the stun gun to knock out the cattle, declaring “God is Supreme, the flesh is Sacred” making him stand out as an employee. But Shanti is changing; from the confines of the pens, Shanti can hear uber bull BLUE-792 ‘talking’ to the other cattle with raps on the doors. After all, this is the only way they can communicate, having had their vocal chords slashed. He has a deeply personal relationship with the cattle who are the ‘Chosen’ and his job is becoming harder every day, but it doesn’t do to go up against Rory Magnus the Meat Baron. For Meat is a way of life in Abyrne and the Parsons control this religion.
D’Lacey’s research becomes evident as he describes the slaughtering process in full gruesome detail, which makes for grim reading. Worse still, is when the reader realises that not all the meat comes from cattle. If a townsfolk, such as Grenville Snipe who gets a little jiggy with a cows’ nipples, is taken up to the Baron for justice, then it doesn’t take much imagination to guess what happens to them.
Meat justifiably won a major fantasy award following its release in 2009. Now, this re-release clarifies some of D’Lacey’s ideas and thoughts from the original story and ensures that this book again gets the audience it deserves.
There is a reason that D’Lacey rocks, according to King. And that’s simply because he just does!


June 19, 2013 - 1:44 pm No Comments


Author: Joseph D’Lacey
Publisher: This is Horror Books
Page count: 28pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
The Vindicator is a vehicle, a car, with the blood of the Gentleborn in its metal, and cradles a spirit within its bodywork. It is alive.

This chapbook of road terror starts at 90MPH written in bursts of speed to match the velocity that the car is driving at. The unnamed driver at the wheel longs to be a Boyman. He had always imagined an iron focus – mind and body at one with the ‘V’. But something was going wrong this time, the driver was losing his focus.

All he’d ever wanted was to join the Boymen, “elevated from the heat and plagues, eternally young.” And here he is speeding along The Final Five, the only road worth travelling.

This darkly poetic post apocalyptic chapbook takes you on the journey with the driver as the speed and danger increases, giving us a glimpse into a scary universe that you want to know more about. For me, the chapbook ended too quick, but not in a bad way; I wanted to know more. D’Lacey’s powerful prose captures you from the offset and this is another tour-de-force in the ‘This is Horror’ chapbook series. The cover art is spectacular and it is signed by the author himself. I look forward to seeing what the next book in this series offers.

Buy this from

Joseph D’Lacey

March 14, 2013 - 8:59 pm No Comments

Black Feathers
Author: Joseph D’Lacey
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count/size: 432pp
Release Date: 26 March 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

The first part of an apocalyptic duology, Black Feathers introduces us to two children on the cusp of adulthood searching for the mysterious Crowman; part urban myth, part horror story to scare children at night, The Crowman has been seen by many and appears to be either a saviour or a harbinger of death.

Billions perish as solar flares hit and technology becomes useless. In this novel, which spans two different timelines, we first encounter Sophie and Louis Black, parents to Gordon, who is forced to flee into the woods as a fourteen year old boy, when his parents are taken prisoner by the Ward, the post-apocalyptic authority. We gain insight into Gordon’s hunt for The Crowman, at the same time seeing the past and ‘present’ through the eyes of young Megan. Megan, in a different timeline to that of Gordon, tells Mr Keeper of her dreams of a young boy. On the verge of womanhood, she goes into Covey Wood looking for answers and seeking The Crowman. She will be the first female Keeper and the last ever Keeper, keeping the stories of the Crowman alive. Featuring many flashbacks to the outbreak of the apocalypse, Black Feathers shows us the decay of civilisation and builds on the atmosphere of the book as well as the actual story.

The descriptions of the apocalypse are reminiscent of the current socio-economic climate, and as such, strikes a chord with the reader. The images of a bleak ad savage world are genuinely horrific and D’Lacey switches betwee the perspectives of Gordon and Megan at just the right moment, so we get to know each character intimately. Though a little on the long side, the pace of the novel works, as does this POV switch. The imagery the author uses and the recurrent presence of crows within the narrative further supports the direction the duology is taking. Known as the genre eco-warrior, D’Lacey also uses the book to explore relevant issues affecting our world today in respect of resource and shortages. Gripping stuff and I look forward to the conclusion of this tale.

Interview with Joseph D’Lacey

TD: Tell us a little about Black Feathers.

JDL: It’s an idea that’s been gathering mass for many years.

I can probably trace its roots back to my early teens when I first became aware of the beauty of crows in an art class. But since then my experiences in the natural world – particularly the forgiving nature of the land, its bounteousness and even its ability to heal – reached a kind of critical mass. Combined with the idea of the enigmatic Crowman, a dark messiah of the apocalypse, it became a novel that I couldn’t ignore.

Originally weighing in at over 250K, Angry Robot suggested splitting it into two books. This has allowed me to make it a much more accessible and satisfying read.

TD: How did you get involved with working with Angry Robot?

JDL: I found myself standing next to one of the editors in the bar at a convention late one night. We got talking and I asked if he minded me making an unsolicited submission – I had no agent at the time, so there was no other way through their door. I forget exactly how the conversation went but it was basically a positive answer. I made the submission within a week or two and about 18 months later we signed.

I’m very excited to be working with Angry Robot because I know how much they know about selling H/SF/F. It’s a great publishing house for so many reasons, they’re compact, versatile, manoeuvrable, innovative and they bring a such a positive blend of old wisdom and new ideas to the table.

I visited their offices last week for a meeting and came away feeling both educated and inspired by what I’d learned. I’ve a feeling it will be a very beneficial relationship.

TD: Lately, we’ve been seeing an awful lot of your work emerging with Blood Fugue, Splinters, various anthologies and the Black Feathers duology. How do you manage a heavy workload?

JDL: It’s a funny thing, Theresa – what might appear to be a heavy workload was actually just a bunch of projects happening at the same time by coincidence.

I was very busy when it was time to edit these titles prior to publication but the real work – conception and actualisation – happened a long time ago. Many years in some cases.

To answer the question directly, though, when a heavy workload comes along I’m like anyone else; I panic and then spend many a late night trying to make my deadlines!

TD: So, what’s next on the agenda for you?

JDL: I’d like to say a holiday but that’s not on the cards.

I have two or three full-length fantasies and one stark horror novel in mind next, as well as a couple of long-planned novellas to finish off The Kill Crew quartet. Right now, I’m writing a chapbook for the This Is Horror series.

I recently signed with a new publisher – Andrews UK – who are re-releasing MEAT and Garbage Man in print and as e-books with enhanced content. And, over the next few months, I’ll be rewriting The Book of The Crowman.