Posts Tagged ‘monsters’

Supernatural: The Usual Sacrifices by Yvonne Navarro

September 17, 2017 - 4:05 pm No Comments

The Usual Sacrifices (Supernatural 15)
Author: Yvonne Navarro
Publisher: Titan Books
Page count: 336pp
Release date: 27th June 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Online: @TitanBooks, #SPNFamily, @YvonneNavarro
TV Bit: Season 10 (Mark of Cain) between ‘The Hunter Games’ and ‘Halt & Catch Fire’

 

Right, for those who haven’t watched TV series Supernatural here’s a brief 30 Sci day update.
Sam and Dean, twenty-something year old brothers, lose their Mom when Sam, the youngest, is 6 months old. A yellow eyed de,on burns her on the ceiling and John Winchester, dad to Sam and Dean, husband to Mary, spends his life as a hunter training the boys to hunt all kinds of supernatural creatures; vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, ghosts; you name it they hunt it. Season 9, Dean hook on the Mark of Cain; basically to save his brother but it causes intense rage and anger. He still has this in S10. So, in this book, Dean is a volcano of emotions about to explode and Navarro manages to weave this thread into the narrative. We can sense Dean’s frustration and attempts to not beat the crap out of people, particularly the Sherriff’s department.
Now for this book itself. It starts with the boys, always the boys, heading off to investigate a new case involving multiple disappearances in Mammoth Cave.
As Lucy the Southern woman they meet points out, as they enter the town with missing people, the Bronwsdale folks aren’t exactly friendly and seem to have forgotten the meaning of ‘southern hospitality’. As the boys pull into a grocery store parking lot to ask a local woman for information she literally runs away yelling “I don’t talk to strangers.”
Just slightly jumpy then.
When they go to the local diner for food, it’s a little like the Slaughtered Lamb in American Werewolf in London; hushed voices and stares, though the diner scene allows for Navarro to show us a familiar characteristic of Dean (his humongous appetite) especially for all things bad for him. The scene is particularly funny. It’s a great opener to get to know the brothers.
It’s here that we get a feel for what might be going on, just like the brothers do.
There have been disappearances – mostly travellers, hitch hikers; strangers.
According to one local, the Mammoth Caves take their due. When two visiting teenage girls related to the new librarian disappear the sheriff and the locals don’t seem to be doing anything to find them.
As Sam puts it; “It’s all pretty and small-town America on the surface, but there’s something really nasty underneath.”
Cinnamon, the local psychic, is a great character. I love when the boys get discombobulated by another person during an investigation- especially when it’s a five foot nothing old woman in a polka dot dress.
The story itself follows the detective/mystery route, but it’s the characters, and the darkness hiding beneath a ‘Pleasantville’ veneer in the town, which makes the book so engaging. As for the dark, this is literally visualised in the caves and caverns that various people, including the boys, explore.
They reflect the darkness hidden by the townspeople and the sheriff, with scenes in the Mammoth Caves pretty creepy and atmospheric.
It’s clear from this book that Titan only commission Supernatural tie-ins from writers who know and love the universe. Sam and Dean are pretty much spot-on and the end scenes with the denouement, as referenced by Navarro, is almost like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine in parts. You’ll figure out why when you read it.
I loved this book.
It’s a great to whet your appetite in the current season break behind S13 returns 12th Oct.
Awesome, as Dean might say.

Supernatural: Mythmaker by Tim Waggoner

June 21, 2017 - 1:02 pm No Comments

Supernatural: Mythmaker
Author: Tim Waggoner
Publisher: Titan Books
Page count: 301pp
Release date: 29th July 2016
Series: 10: Between Hibbing 911 and The Things We Left Behind

Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Ok, where to start?
I’m a huge Supernatural fan, a part of the #SPNFamily, a #WaywardDaughter/Sister. Suffice to say, I know the universe and characters of this outstanding TV show pretty damn well. So, when I read the fan fic (Destiel anyone?) or these TV tie-ins released by Titan Books, I’m a good judge. I’m a rabid fan, but also a common sense fan, and I know what doesn’t work.
But, for the uninitiated- here’s the basic concept of the show;
The Winchesters; Family Business; Hunting Things, Saving People.
The show, starting in 2005, begins ’22 years ago’, with six month old Sammy Winchester asleep in his crib, and 4 year old older brother Dean asleep in bed.
A yellow eyed demon creeps into Sammy’s room. Mom, Mary Winchester investigates and kaboom – Crispy Fried Mom.
22 years later (series one), Dean heads to Stanford where Sam is at Uni, and tells him;
“Dad’s on a hunting trip; he hasn’t been home in a week.”
But hunting what?
The answer is basically monsters. Vampires, demons, shifters, witches, werewolves, ghosts – supernatural creatures.


This novel written by Bram Stoker award winning author Tim Waggoner is set in series ten.
A lot of crap has happened to the boys. And no, I won’t spoil it for you.
What I will say, is you can catch on pretty easy from Waggoner’s careful exposition what the series is all about.
In ‘Mythmaker’, Rene is a talented young artist who recently has been painting strange, powerful creatures, but as she finishes the painting, the mythology figure disappears from the canvas. And the process is literally draining her; physically, mentally and emotionally.
In the small town of Corinth, a
silver, gauntleted woman appears, with astounding powers, and she begins to gather followers. Adamantine believes herself to be a god with a little ‘g’.
But she’s not the only one popping up in the town. In fact, there’s a shed load of them. Rene is the ‘Mythmaker’ inadvertently creating these monsters.
And in a kind of mash up between Highlander and #SPN S5 episode ‘Hammer of the Gods’ they must fight until there is only one left standing, who will destroy all of the rest, absorbing their powers. And these gods can be fickle. And deadly.
Enter stage left; Sam and Dean Winchester.
Sam is worried about Dean, bearing the ‘Mark of Cain’ and that’s the underlying tension in season ten. It basically makes him even angrier than his normally very angry self.
As a book in its own right, there’s humour, monster bashing, with Waggoner blending myths and his own imagination to generate all manner of beasties, blood, emotion, and a cracking final fight scene.
For #SPN fans, it’s so much more.
Sam and Dean are spot on; Dean’s reaction to Adamantine that much more intense.
The banter between the two brothers is funny and heart warming, as is the love they obviously share but don’t talk about (hey, they’re dudes), but in the end, they’re there for each other. It seems Waggoner knows the series inside out.
The supporting cast characters are also very well realised, and I particularly liked Paeon.
I can see why this particular novel has been nominated for a TV tie-in award.
It’s a worthy contender.
5/5

Tales from the Lake Volume 3 edited by Monique Snyman

August 26, 2016 - 9:58 am No Comments

Tales from the Lake Volume 3: Edited by Monique Snyman

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 26th August 2016

244 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Tales from The Lake Vol.3

I am going to start off with a confession, I have not read any of the other Tales from the Lake. So what is this book about. It’s a book that holds 19 of the most weird and amazing stories that you will ever read. It caters for all types, ranging from ancient monsters, ghost and even stories that have a sci-fi element. After reading this book you will definitely find a story or stories that you loved. Each story had its own individuality and I loved them all.

So not to spoil your enjoyment of the book, I am just going to write a one-line sentence on each story:

The Owl Builder by D Morgan Ballmer: What a twist at the end

Tragedy Park by Chris Pearce: That is one water park that I would not want to go to, creepy does not give this story credit

Enclosures by Sumiko Saulson: Reginald Henry Moore III a very conscientious body squatter

Woe, Violent and Water by Lily Childs: A short story that ranged from ancient to modern times, Enid was one evil woman.

The Cruel by Harper Hall by Harper Hall: This story gave me goose bumps; I could just imagine being in the school with that noise.

Red Scream with Little Smile by Paul Edmonds: When you start this story it seems pretty normal then the author hits you, is it a happy town at the end.

Maybelle by Mere Joyce: Ancient portals and an origami bird, a great short story that had so much contents.

Rodent in the Red Room by Matt Hayward: This story about an ancient monster, this story wants me to read more about Ben and would love a series.

The Deeper I Go the Deeper I Fear Natalie Carrol: A story about a brave boy and a Kelpie, put you off swimming in the lake.

The Pigmallion Pig: by Mark Allan Gunnells:  Joe is fixated on a children’s book but does not expect what where his fixation takes him.

Chemical Oasis by Tommy B Smith: An intense story about a highly addictive drug and the team sent to bring it down

Hush by Sergio Pereira:  Set in the surroundings of a derelict hospital, this story is not what you expect, and your introduction to the Dutch witches.

The Reaper’s Fire by Kenneth W Cain: This author draws you in to feeling sorry for Dana, but humans can be monsters or is she a very naïve girl

Effigy by Kate Jonez: Not what I expected from a job offer, don’t accept packages from strangers.

Scents of Fear by Steve Jenner: Kept me on the edge of my seat turning the pages quicker and quicker to find out if he got his target.

A Hand from the Depths by Dave De Burgh: Manolo gets abducted, but what was the reason for the abduction.

The Bet by Amy Grech: When a hazing goes wrong, great story.

The Monster of Biscayne Bay by Roxanne Dent: An ancient Indian monster Ishtikini, Lilly and what happened in 1955.

The Song at the Edge of the Unfinished Road by Jack Bates: As you read this story you presume this is about 2 senile men, but the further you get into it, you know something is not right.

I had not read any other stories written by these authors but the way they all wrote, has left me want to read more from each of them.  As these are all short stories, you have the choice either to read the book cover to cover or if you have a spare 10 minutes then pick up this book and read a story. Another great publication from Crystal Lake.