Posts Tagged ‘Titan Books’

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 Night Terror: John Passarella

August 4, 2017 - 11:05 am No Comments

Night Terror (Supernatural 9)

Author: John Passarella

publisher: Titan Books

page count: 381pp

Release date: 1st Jan 2011

I’ve read a couple of John’s Supernatural tie-ins and have really enjoyed them. It’s clear he’s a fan of the show and knows his characters – I particularly enjoyed the nightmare scenes. At one point (I’ll just say tummy issues) it’s pretty obvious why he’s a Bram Stoker award winner – the nightmare I’m on about is pure ewwww. With lashings of yuk. It’s a nice plot based on some cool mythology and it rattles along at a good pace. Great fun and seeing Soulless Sam again was really cool. Yes I’m evil, but I loved that version of Sam for humour.

The Spawn of Lilith – Dana Fredsti

July 26, 2017 - 8:56 pm No Comments

The Spawn of Lilith
Author: Dana Fredsti
Publisher: Titan Books
Page count: 400pp
Release date: 20th June 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

Lee Striga is a stunt woman at the top of her game, working with the legendary Katz crew; the equivalent of stunt person royalty. Her crew is going great until someone places her landing air bag in slightly the wrong position, during a routine high fall.
Lee does the drop, and wakes up in hospital with recent memories eradicated and her body in pretty bad shape. But as she heals, she longs to get back into the business; a business where shifters, fae, goblin and all sorts of supernatural creatures work in Hollywood.
On the road to recovery, Lee gets the chance to work on a film with a semi-decent budget as a stunt worker for annoying pain in-the arse actress Portia. But of course, things dont go quite as smoothly as they should, and pretty soon, people on the set are dropping dead, torn to pieces by god-knows-what sort of being.
Fredsti nails the cheap ‘bad’ film experience complete with ‘script’ excerpts with predictably villainous dialogue from – well – the villain. Think Ming the Merciless on a budget. As for attitude towards females in the industry, never mind the so-called ‘concubines’ in the film Lee is working on, she sees herself as curvy, which is fine but she’s regarded as too big to be a leading actress at a size 8, bearing in mind that’s USA ‘8’ which equates to a ‘6’ in the U.K. The sad thing is that Lee’s observations on the industry are based on Fredsti’s many years as an actual stunt woman. As Lee puts it, when being fit for a costume, “eight wasn’t exactly the gargantuan size she was implying.”
There’s a refreshing honesty here.
Axel the horny demon (literally) makes for great comic relief, but also, unfortunately, an indication of how some men in the industry treat women. Thankfully, all of the men aren’t shallow has-beens; Ben being an example of a solid actor and downright nice guy.
On a set later in the book, past the halfway mark, there’s some great banter between Lee and the producer Dobell about low budget SF/horror movies and being a lover of those films, I instantly recognised the kind of films and could guess the studio she is on about when gems such as “Crocksnake” and “Arachnogator” are mentioned – you might say, the well known low budget studio is kind of a “refuge” for B-Movie actors. There are so many pop culture references and ‘in jokes’ about LA and the movies but the kind a reader will easily get, because they are based around some accepted stereotypes. Which, by the way is when this book gets scary, because Fredsti actually worked in the industry meaning a lot of the arseholes she’s talking about? Yeah, they’re probably real. Sheesh.
As for Lee’s ‘voice’ – well – it hits 10 on the sarcasm Richter scale and I literally snorted my coffee out a couple of times through laughter. You’ll see what I mean when she describes actress ‘Portia’.
In a world where parking meter gods get bribed with Hershey Kisses, burly red-headed bar tenders hide secrets and creatures hide in the dark, Fredsti offers a brand new take on the Urban Fantasy genre.
I adored this book; the humour, the mayhem, the characters and the underpinning mystery.
This is a million shades of movie madness awesome. 5/5