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review 2017-10-22 00:37
Halloween Carnival, Volume Two - Brian James Freeman
Halloween Carnival Volume 2 - Glen Hirshberg,Lee Thomas,Holly Newstein,Del James,Brian James Freeman

With Halloween right around the corner, let's get right into this collection.

 

 

Mr. Dark's Carnival - Glen Hirshberg

 

 

A Montana ghost story thats got some nice creepiness. David is a college professor that teaches a class that explores folklore and his favorite part of the course is the folk tale of Mr. Dark's Carnival. For many years, it has been rumored that the mysterious carnival pops up in a rural setting and only a few select people get chosen to attend. David has never met anyone that has personally been to the carnival and doesn't believe it truly exists until he gets his ticket. A great ghost story that has a murky ending.

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 


The Facts in the Case of My Sister - Lee Thomas

 

 

David's estranged sister, Joyce, is in the hospital from an "accident". The prognosis isn't good and David has doubts that her injuries were from an accident. When Joyce and he were kids, David taught himself how to do magic tricks from a book he got. Joyce was always his willing audience and participant. Now, David pulls out a trick from his past to learn what really happened to Joyce.

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 


Mischief Night - Holly Newstein

 

 

Willard had a good life, a loving family and wife, and looked forward to his retirement. He was never a drinker after growing up with a nasty old drunk for a father. In what seemed like a harmless way to celebrate his retirement, the bottle grabs ahold of Willard and doesn't let go. On Mischief Night, Willard meets a troubled teen that stumbles into his basement. Can one man's bad decisions help alter the path the youngster is headed down?

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 


The Ghost Maker - Del James

 

 

Halloween has it's own set of scares when you're a mob hit man. You have to be on your toes, even if you're the grim reaper. Great voice that makes for a fun read.

 

 

5 out of 5 stars

 

 


The Pumpkin Boy - Al Sarrantonio

 

 

Jody is a latchkey kid for half an hour every afternoon until his mom gets home. He knows he's not supposed to be outside and he follows that rule. Until, one day, he sees the Pumpkin Boy walking past his window and he can't believe his eyes. For police detective, Len Schneider, Jody's disappearance is bringing back old, haunted memories that he's been trying to lock away for 18 years. What started out as a promising novella, fell flat for me with the ending.

 

 

3 out of 5 stars

 

 


Overall, a nice little collection with mostly hits than misses. Well worth the time.

 

 

4 out of 5 stars

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text 2017-10-20 19:35
My Halloween 2017 Bingo Card
It - Stephen King
The Bird Eater - Ania Ahlborn
The Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman Prentiss
Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King,Richard Chizmar
Prawn of the Dead (Lemon Layne Mystery) - Dakota Cassidy,Hollie Jackson
You Will Know Me: A Novel - Megan Abbott,Lauren Fortgang

UPDATE: I don't think I'm going to get a Bingo. I've been in a bit of a slump the last two weeks and haven't felt much like reading. Next year I'll focus on reading books based on the bingo calls. I've been reading all over the place and have a few waiting in the wings for a call. 

 

I'm only posting a marker for books that I've finished that have been called because it is clear I will never be organized enough to follow a game correctly. 

 

I will update and bump this post if I ever get a Bingo!

 

 

 

Called & Read

 

Terror In A Small Town:  IT by Stephen King

Ghost: The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn

Chilling Children:  The Halloween Children by Norman Prentiss 

Magical Realism:  Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

Murder Most Foul: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Amateur Sleuth: Prawn of the Dead by Dakota Cassidy 

Vampires The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman

 

Read, Not Called

 
Classic Horror: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 

Raven ?? Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Life by George Billions

American Horror Story Blanky by Keanan Patrick Burke

 

 

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review 2017-10-10 19:37
The Halloween Children by Norman Prentiss & Brian James Freeman
The Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman Prentiss

I’m giving The Halloween Children a solid four stars because it created a smothering sense of creepiness and managed to maintain it throughout the entire story and it held my attention from beginning to end. You know from the beginning that something terrible is coming but you’re never sure exactly what form that terribleness is going to take and when it’s finally revealed in all its gruesomeness it is quite terrible indeed!

 

But this isn’t a five star read for me because it is told by two very unreliable narrators and in the end many things were left unanswered. So many things! The authors could potentially write another short story just tying off all the dangly bits. I don’t need everything wrapped up in a bloody little bow but when I finished this story I felt like I needed to read it again in an attempt to learn more.

 

Basically it’s a story set in an apartment complex that may or may not be inhabited by insane occupants, murderous humans small and large, soul-stealing demons, or perhaps evil, whispering ghosts. Take your pick or choose them all, if you wish. Harris and Lynn are our main narrators and neither are very stable personalities, though usually entertaining to listen to. They have two children and they each favor a particular child and don’t work too hard at hiding their feelings. That’ll mess a kid up, just saying.

 

Harris is the building maintenance man and starts to notice some very strange and usually smelly events occurring when he’s out on late night calls. When the party pooping property manager cancels the Halloween party the events ramp up and this strangeness begins to infect his personal space and, well, I can’t tell you any more without spoiling too much.

 

This is a great little story to read on Halloween. It has some delightfully ghastly imagery, creeped me out and even made me laugh a few times. I am very glad that I no longer live in an apartment complex and that I always bought candy for the brats when I did! I received an ARC of this story from Netgalley, thanks Netgalley. I also read this book to participate in the Horror Aficionados October Group Read.

 

I'm going to use this for my Chilling Children square.

 

 

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review 2017-06-16 13:26
Review of The Halloween Children by Norman Prentiss and Brian James Freeman
The Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman Prentiss

Quite possibly the best Halloween book I've ever read, reading The Halloween Children has become my yearly tradition. Since it was originally only available as a signed/limited edition from Earthling Press, I was somewhere north of stoked when Hydra decided to release this as an e-book. I was even more thrilled when I got approved for a NetGalley ARC.

How well do you know your neighbors? The residents of Stillbrook Apartments have a Halloween party every year, but as this one approaches, the general mood is becoming less than festive. With strange things happening around the building, even the handyman seems to be behaving oddly. By the time the Halloween party is cancelled, everyone is on high alert with each other and even...their own family?

The Halloween Children reaches a level of anticipation/anxiety that I've rarely had in reading a book, and if children didn't creep me out in general, this one seals the deal for me. Needless to say, I am in love with this book and very much hoping that the dream team, Norman Prentiss and Brian James Freeman, will be producing more of this creepiness together in the future.

I received an e-ARC of this from Hydra/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

© 2017 by Andi Rawson of Andreya's Asylum

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review 2017-06-06 20:40
The Halloween Children by Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss
The Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman Prentiss

 Beautifully conceived and executed, The Halloween Children is a great and spooky read for anytime of year!

 

Husband and wife- Harris and Lynn, each tell their own story in alternating chapters. Lynn's chapters are addressed privately to her marriage therapist, and they contain a litany of complaints about her spouse and the way he parents their children. Harris' chapters tell the story from his point of view, but well after certain "events" have occurred. What those events are you'll have to read this book to find out.

 

My favorite type of horror is the kind with lots of suffocating atmosphere and psychological tricks, (Trick or Treat?), and The Halloween Children has both of those things, in spades. Plus, it features two children who get creepier by the second. How could it get any better for a horror fan such as myself? Oh yeah, it could finish off with an ending that actually gave me goosebumps, it was so perfect.

 

This is THE book to read when you are looking for that creepy kind of thrill, but it's an extra perfect book to read around Halloween. Just be sure you have some candy ready when the door bell rings and the children begin to arrive. They don't like it when they don't get candy and you don't want The Halloween Children to pull their tricks on YOU. Trust me on this.

 

Highly recommended, especially to fans of atmospheric, psychological horror!

 

Available for your Kindle on June 13th, here: The Halloween Children

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to Hydra for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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