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Shiftyj1

Shiftyj1

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Some Will Not Sleep: Selected Horrors
Adam Nevill
Exorcist Falls: Includes the novella Exorcist Road
Jonathan Janz

Dark Screams: Volume Six

Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King, Norman Prentiss, Richard Chizmar, Brian James Freeman, Joyce Carol Oates Chizmar and Freeman put together another good collection of shorts in the latest volume of the Dark Screams series. Volume 6.

My favorite story (and by far the longest in the collection) was THE CORPSE KING by Tim Curran. Couldn’t ask for a much better theme for Curran to let loose on than grave robbing ghoulies. Strangely enough, he may have even restrained himself a bit. A Curran classic.

The other story that really caught my eye was THE MANICURE by Nell Quinn-Gibney, an author that I have not heard of before. Unique, weird and very well written. The ending left me a bit wanting, but I think this author has promise and am looking forward to checking out more of her work.

Really the only one that didn’t work for me was THE SITUATIONS by Joyce Carol Oates. It was technically written very well, but the story wasn’t realized at all and left me scratching my head wondering wtf.

Oh yeah. There was a Stephen King in here to. Always good to have the King in these collections and I really enjoyed this earlier work of his. Prentiss and Morton also turned in solid efforts and I liked both of their entries as well. Overall, a nice collection from Dark Screams. 3.5+ Stars rounded up to 4.

*I received an advance review copy of this release from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut I'm not sure how Vonnegut pulled this off. It was all over the fucking place. And it all worked. The whole time I was reading it, I had the feeling that I was reading something extraordinary. And I was.

An Ounce of Mercy

An Ounce of Mercy - Lee  Thompson, Henry Wymore It has been a while since I read a Thompson. I have a few set aside for a rainy day, because I’ve been afraid I would get all caught up and then have nothing to look forward to. I don’t do that with many authors.

Charlie at the hospital, as the love of his life Kayla lies dying. Sitting bedside, looking back on their 50 history together. Love, tragedy, monsters, secrets, and death. This is their "story".

Another solid effort from Thompson.

P.S. I did not mention Henry Wymore. I am not familiar with Henry's work, but if he is collaborating with Lee then he is ok in my book and obviously did a fine job with it as I could not "feel" any seams in the storyline.

Desert Places

Desert Places - Blake Crouch **Warning** Spoiler Alert - Read at your own risk!

Andrew has some serious skeletons in his family closet. Well, at least one. His twin brother Orson vanished years ago. Now, he’s back. He has been a busy boy since his disappearance and wants to get reacquainted with his brother. Evidently, calling and grabbing a bite of lunch was too easy. Unless, of course, it was going to be liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Ahhhh, the joys of family. They were so close when they were kids. Like peas and carrots, peanut butter and chocolate, cigarette burns on clam hammers.

Blake Crouch knows how to write thrillers. It is impossible to deny his skills. It feels to me like he writes with the big screen in mind though. Not small time productions, but big ass summer blockbustery type movies. Doesn’t really matter, I guess, because I already mentioned that dude can write. Desert Places is no exception and this one is a non-stop thrill ride of violence and suspense. There are some classic characters here and I am looking forward to more from this series. 3.5 Stars.

Pretty Little Dead Girls

Pretty Little Dead Girls - Mercedes M. Yardley Mercedes is a great storyteller. Her prose is effortless and her characters are unique and refreshing. No cookie cutter bullshit here. Very three dimensional and surprisingly deep work. Reminds me a bit of Neil Gaiman, in the best kind of way. Well Done. 4+ Stars

The Train Derails in Boston

The Train Derails in Boston - Jessica McHugh This one is fun for the whole family - Ghostly gangbangs, haunted mahjong tiles, eHow exorcisms and gallons of blood and Stoli raining down over the halls of Cherrywood Lodge. Nice.

A wild ride full of violence, disgrace, domination and indulgence. And no shortage of ghost cock. Yep, that's right. Ghost cock. Told you this was fun for the whole family.

The Secret of Ventriloquism

The Secret of Ventriloquism - Jon Padgett A dark and brooding collection of Ligotti inspired shorts. Make no mistake about it though, the superb writing and brooding atmosphere is all Padgett.

Plus, everybody knows ventriloquist dummies are fucking creepy.

Ligotti would be proud.

Squirm With Me

Squirm With Me - Andersen Prunty If you haven't listened to Prunty on audio, you are missing out. Pruntys dry wit and delivery works extremely well with his written word. Dude has serious skills.

Mason, a writer with a fisting mind and author of the mildly successful “Fuckless”, is grieving the burning loss of his girlfriend Virginia. Or the loss of his burning girlfriend Virginia, rather. Upon the arrival of his twin brother, Fat Doug, he miraculously musters up the courage to leave his apartment and go have a little fun.

Eating Starflower, twintuition, Dargonslayer the internet troll, kerfuffles, dick punches and death threats.

Shit. Should have stayed in the apartment.

*Not a spoiler. Just funny.* I was a middle-aged man. Balding. Years of smoking and stress had not been kind to my face and I certainly didn’t look any younger than I actually was. I again noticed how I was shaped like some kind of nebulous blob. Something that used to have a shape but was simultaneously expanding and melting. Fuck. The man tits. How could I have drunk so much I’d forgotten what I looked like without my clothes on? A fleshy marshmallow with saggy man tits. I slapped them and thought, Yeah, slap those gross man tits, you fucking loser.

The Final Reconciliation

The Final Reconciliation - Todd Keisling 4 young rock and rollers from Southeastern Kentucky get in a little bit over their heads, when Johnny the lead singer, takes on a new groupie. The beautiful and mysterious Camilla. She immediately asserts her will over Johnny and the band as they prepare for the release of their groundbreaking first album, The Final Reconciliation. Her influence is undeniable and with her help, “The Yellow Kings” first show is going to be a killer. Literally. It may also be the end of world as we know it. Now that’s rock and roll!!

For whatever reason, I couldn’t get Megadeth’s “The Conjuring”, out of my head while listening to this one on audio. (Not a bad thing either, btw.)

“Welcome to our sanguinary sect of worship
Feel at home in our black conventicle
As we anathematize
All of those who oppose us
Don't summon the devil, Don't call the priests
If you need the strength, The conjuring. Obey”


Fits. Maybe a wee bit of Venom in there too. Merciful Fate? Definitely. Those were some crazy fun shows back in the day…from what I can remember, anyway. Long hair, Slayer t-shirt, beer-bonging Yukon Jack and waaay too many chemicals. Gee, I wonder why the late 80’s were such a fog. Good times, man. Good times.

An excellent novella from Todd Keisling and a very well done audiobook from Joe Hemple. The story moved fast. No fluff required. Joe’s narration really gelled with the story and definitely enhanced the experience. Well done all the way around and highly recommended.

*I received a copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review. This was it.

Zero Saints

Zero Saints - Gabino Iglesias Un interesante conjunto y bien hecho cuento de la pérdida y la venganza. ¡Gracias, Kindle Translator! No podría haberlo hecho sin ti. Seriamente.

Por cierto, ¿qué hay en ese cubo loco? ¡Comer dedos, hombre! ¡Dedos! Y Dios sabe qué más. Si Fernando falla en su bendita misión de violencia, entonces tendrá que averiguarlo de la manera más dura.

Looking forward to reading more from Gabino Iglesias.

Black January: A Spectra Files Novel

Black January: A Spectra Files Novel - Douglas Wynne There is something wrong with the Wade House. Really wrong. For one, it is difficult to locate. It seems to hover just at the edges of your vision. Once you find it though and step inside, it has a way of manipulating itself. Changing. Rearraigning. Something ancient and evil lurks inside. And it’s hungry. It wants out.

After saving the world from the Red Equinox two years ago, Becca Philips and Agent Jason Brooks are back in action. The mission, to investigate the infamous Wade House with the help of their old pals at SPECTRA.

A very well written and entertaining Lovecraftian tale of the Old Gods and an excellent follow-up to Wynne’s “Red Equinox”. This is shaping up to be a hell of a series. Nice.

*I received a complimentary audio copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Halloween Children

The Halloween Children - Norman Prentiss, Brian James Freeman A new October classic. (Yes, I am aware that it is March as I am writing this review.)

As Halloween looms, tensions are building between the members of the Naylor family. Relations are getting woefully strained. Fractured. Violent. To top it off the annual Stillbrook Apartment Halloween party has been cancelled. That was the last straw. The Halloween Children are not going to like that at all. Looks like the Naylor’s family woes are the least of their worries. There are much darker forces at work here. And they are about to make a grand appearance.

Damn, I wish I read this in October. It really was great, but I think it would have gotten a little extra juice had I read it during the Halloween season. Nevertheless, I enjoyed everything about this one. Solid 4.5 stars and a perfect Halloween read.

Snowbound

Snowbound - Blake Crouch A very well done and thought out thriller from Mr. Crouch. The characters were fleshed out nicely and there was plenty of action and twists to keep this one going at a brisk pace until the very end.

I listened to this one on audio and the narrator, Jeffrey Kafer, really nailed it. I was never once thrown out of the story or confused about events playing out, as sometimes happens to me when I am listening to a read and get slightly distracted. An easy listening voice with spot on cadence and tone. I have listened to some of his work before on “The Holy Terror” by Wayne Allen Sallee, which I loved.

I like Blake Crouch. He knows how to write. He has a real sense of character and pacing that never fails to impress me. Dude is solid. He has really taken off in popularity since his Wayward Pines series and TV show. (Is it still on?) I have read several of his previous works and enjoyed every one of them. I still need to get to his Luther Kite series though, starting with “Desert Places” and I am really looking forward to it. My all- time favorite so far is “Draculas”, which was a mash up off authors including F. Paul Wilson, Jack Kilborn and Jeff Strand. Pure craziness. I dug it.

Major Spoiler (kindof) The palpable tension at the end was very well done. I pretty much thought Will was dead meat out at the woodpile and really enjoyed how the story line came full circle when he checked out the last clue. Well played, Mr. Crouch. Well played.

Overall, an extremely entertaining and satisfying tale. Highly recommended. I would also recommend checking out the audio version because it was excellent.

Brainfused Colorwheel

Brainfused Colorwheel - Gina Ranalli My first Ranalli. A highly entertaining collection of shorts and short shorts. Nicely done. Looking forward to more from this author. 3.5 Stars

Filthy Movie – The Most Sadistic Short Story on the Market

Filthy Movie – The Most Sadistic Short Story on the Market - Wade H. Garrett I am a little embarrassed to admit that my favorite bit was the most disgusting and offensive part of the whole thing. Twinkie. One of the craziest, most inappropriate, nastiest things I have ever read. Ever.

And that’s saying something for an extreme read that features bloody socks, golden showers, tit-bags, coprophagia, and pocket pussies. Get the retch bucket ready.

Wade H. Garrett needs therapy. Seriously. So do I, for enjoying it. Seriously.

If you are not a seasoned extreme reader, then I would run as far away from this one as possible. Trust me, you will thank me later. If you are…enjoy the Twinkie! You sicko!

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury Wow. What a great story. I put off reading this one for a long time because I assumed it was going to be too Sci-Fi for me. Man, am I dumb. I loved everything about this one. I can’t even imagine a world where books are illegal. I would get torched for sure.

Bradbury has some serious writing chops. He pens some truly beautiful prose and then mixes it up with super simple structures. I have no idea how he pulls it off. Well, I take it back. He’s a great author. That’s how he does it. No wonder this one is a classic. Way ahead of its time.