Posts Tagged ‘Scott Carruba’

Maximus Shock: Collected Tales of Madness and Terror

December 2, 2017 - 1:17 pm No Comments

Maximus Shock: Collected Tales of Madness and Terror
Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 10th February 2017
342 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read quite a few books published by Optimus Maximus Publishing, I knew what to expect from some of the authors. However, this anthology gave me the chance to read stories from some of their other authors. Having 16 short stories, with various degrees of horror, helped me spend a pleasant couple of hours reading. Here are a few to entice you.
Starting off this review is Monkeys in the Palace by Chris Garson: Having enjoyed his novel Perk Noir, I was looking forward to reading this short story. The main protagonist narrates his story whilst a prison riot is occurring. The bloodshed and graphic death scenes are constant throughout and the narrator reminds me of Hannibal. A big shock is the reveal of the narrator.
After School Special by Maura Atkinson Butler: Sunshine or Sunny to her peers, was your typical high school student. Her daily mission was to avoid the “Stepford Girls” and their cronies. An easy target for their bullying, her sadistic imagination got her through the day. However, when she was drawn into a plan of revenge, it all goes terrible wrong. The author’s storytelling had me feeling sorry for Sunny, and I did will her to stop the bullying anyway she could. Although the ending was a surprise.
Bites by Leon Brown: Set after the zombie apocalypse, this is the story about a small community and their encounter with the zombies. The story revolves around Sam and how he played his part. I enjoyed that this story told it how the zombie apocalypse would probably be like, a lot of sitting around. Sam as a character was genuine and like most young men had the eye for the pretty ladies. When the zombies attacked it was quick and this story just shows you to be careful who you trust.
In Death the Spirit Calls by Emir Skalonja: Set in World War II Russia, the German and Russians are battling in the trenches, but they are not alone. This story is well descriptive of the evils of war whether it be demon or human intervention.
Mannequin by Matt Hay: Christmas Eve and Brian is cashing up at MacDougall’s Department Store. As shop manager is was under a lot of pressure with his home and work life. What happens this fatal night would change his life for ever. The story had was filled with suspense and blend the horror with an everyday item gave this a creepy feel. This has given me a taste for Matt’s up and coming novel.
Scouts Honour by Ricky Fleet: A scout camp is not a camp with the scary campfire story and this camp was no different. Toby a scout leader tells his troop the story about Lavina and her terror over Helston. Reading this story, you could imagine sitting there being creeped out. Knowing this author from his Zombie Series Hellspawn, I know that he can tell a story. However, this story was so different to his usual work, it had a chilling feel to it from the start, with a mixture of the scouts’ reaction and the story itself, the author leads you to a shocking ending.
I could write about every story in this anthology as I loved each and everyone, but my review would go onto well over 1000 words. If you are looking for your next horror anthology, then look no further.

Dance of the Butterfly by Scott Carruba

August 3, 2017 - 7:58 pm No Comments

Dance of the Butterfly by Scott Carruba

Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 5th July 2016

337 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Skothiam is on a quest for 3 ancient books, his research leads him to a prestige university. Meeting Lilja the curator of the university, she has a passion for the old books and a secret that she wants to keep. Also going on in the town is a vigilante trying to stop Gnegon a crime lord who is involved in human trafficking and a serial killer.

Skothiam is a mystery man and its only as the story progresses do we find more about his life. A man of means he does not flash is cash and is very unassuming. Lilja was a confident, strong woman but only at work, when she was with Skothiam she was unsure of herself and in some case quite naïve, especially when she was discussing BDSM.

At the start of this book I kept wandering were the author was taking me, as you had Skothiam’s story and the vigilante’s story running alongside each other and when a serial killer turned up in the book I was still having my doubts, but the author managed to interweave these stories together to make this an absorbing read. The author had an eye for detail and throughout this book even the smallest feature was explained. It brought a smile to my face whenever the character had a lip ring as their characteristics were so like my daughter who is always chewing on her lip ring.  With human trafficking a major part of the story, there are some dark scenes however this is necessary to the story and explains a lot at the end. This is definitely a book for the adult market, however the sex scenes were tastefully written and did not read trashy, in fact they reinforced the bond between Skothiam and Lilja. As I finished this book I was hoping that I could read more of Lilja and Skothiam as they made a good team and I was pleased when I saw Sword of the Butterfly already to purchase. A great read with a touch of fantasy