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review 2018-06-19 18:57
Servant of the Undead by Isabelle Drake
Servant of the Undead - Isabelle Drake

I don’t think this book is going to be a book for everyone but if you like a little monster mixed in with your erotica it may just be the book for you.

 

Hayden is a young guy doing a little zombie sex-cult research for a junk rag in the library when he is approached by a gorgeous woman wearing little more than a mini-skirt and a few scraps of rags. She’s dripping (it’s storming out, you pervs), she is icy cold and she smells weird. He knows deep down that something is not quite right here but he has sex with her anyway (hey, she offered!) and now he’s in way over his head. Turns out she’s the sort of zombie that he has just been researching. What are the odds, do you think?! She lets him know that he is her newest sex pet and he must perform whenever she feels the need to “feed” which is quite often, it turns out. She feeds off of sex, by the way, instead of brains and he has no way to fend her off because she easily compels him with her eyes and her beautiful body.

 

“You don’t understand yet, do you? Let me explain. You belong to me now. Until I’m done with you, that is.”


She chains him, she drugs him and, if you ask me, it serves him right! He has a girlfriend who he has cheated on and now because of his dick and his weakness, she’s caught up in all of this weirdness. He is one of the world’s worst boyfriends and feels bad for brief moments but not bad enough to figure a way out of the situation. And nearly not bad enough for me to feel bad for him as I reveled in his debasement!

 

This book is something else. I cannot honestly say that I liked any of the characters with the exception of Rachelle, the cuckolded but good-natured girlfriend, because they’re all pretty despicable creatures who do terrible things and think terrible thoughts but I couldn’t put it down. It’s a sexy, strange read with loads of dubious consent and a few humiliating episodes but nothing overly gross or truly disturbing (says me who has read some AWFUL stuff in the past, pee & poo stuff if you must know, so your mileage may vary). Be warned though, if dubious consent or the inability to consent scares you off because that stuff is here in several scenes. None of it gets too dark or disgusting and it’s not filled with angst and emotional despair. It was all rather amusing in a dark, dubiously sexy sort of way.

 

I’d give it a 3 1/2 because the story did get a wee bit convoluted towards the last half but it still managed to keep me entertained.

 

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for providing me with an ARC.

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review 2018-06-12 19:22
Worship Me by Craig Stewart
Worship Me - Craig Stewart

We all need a little darkness in our reading lives, if only to escape the darkness of reality, right? Well, I sure do and this book was gruesomely dark, unrelentingly evil and I loved nearly every black page but especially those where selfish hearted people meet their demise most painfully. 

Does that make me evil too? 

The story begins when a horrible wife abusing man named Rick finds his bliss while praying to a structure in the woods. That structure houses The Behemoth, the one and true God, the God of hellfire, damnation and exquisite pain to all who fail to bow down properly. Rick and The Behemoth infest a local church filled with loyal devotees and demand fealty to their new God as well as make an offering of an innocent child or they all die . . . Just one child though, this Behemoth is not greedy even though there is a basement filled with kiddos.



So, what follows is the evil that happens when humans are asked to make such a terrible decision to save their own hides. All of their ugliness, self-preservation and selfishness come crashing to the surface and spewing through their mouths and thoughts. Some become sheep, just going along with what they know instinctively is very wrong. This all feels so very real and the author does a fantastic job of bringing this terror-filled this scenario to life.

“All was not right in the house of God.”

Terrible, gory things happen at the level of early Clive Barker gruesomeness, mostly to people who deserve it but just know that no one is truly safe, even if they’re not a jerk. I enjoyed the spontaneity of the murders even when I was sad to see someone decent go because it upped the odds. The characters were well drawn and the brief moments of light and hope make the darker bits stand out all the more. My only minor complaint is that there is a bit of head hopping which I noticed most nearest the end. I don’t typically notice such things but there were a few pages that I had to go back and reread to clarify who was speaking.

The ending was very fitting and one I didn’t see coming. I loved the visceral brutality of it all and the picture it paints of the most horrible creature of all: humans. 

Read this one if you dare!

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review 2018-06-11 17:28
The Outsider by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton
The Outsider - Will Patton,Stephen King

This is the story of an atrocious murder of an innocent and the investigation that turns into a “ f*cked up nightmare of a case” for all of those involved. 

That description about sums it all up. The murder, the ensuing rush to jail a suspect and the follow up are all horrific. To say anything more about the plot, truly, is to ruin it for anyone wishing to read it. It’s not just me being lazy! I’m seriously tired of having things spoiled for me so I’m refusing to say much of anything. If you want to know more, check out one of the zillion spoilery reviews out here in the internets. 

If you want to read a book by a master storyteller who grabs you early and doesn’t really let you up for air until well into its second half, I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough. I was hooked into the story so hard that I found myself making up chores so I could stay plugged in and listen to “just a bit more” before I had to return to reality. I even took my lazy dog for a long neglected walk in order to have an excuse to keep going. He pooped out way before I was ready to call it quits on The Outsider and pull out my earbuds.

This isn’t a straight up murder mystery and you need to know that before going in. It has a horror angle and a tie-in to a previous series. If you don’t like either of those two things in your books, you might not be overly thrilled with the second half of the book. Me? I loved it. I want more books like these and I want them all to be narrated by Will Patton! His voice is just so down to earth, calming and listenable (is that a word?). He breathes life into the characters and that’s a skill that isn’t an easy one to master. 

I’m not giving this book five stars because:

1. I’m a jerk and only give fives out to the rare book that I personally feel fit my idea of perfection.
2. It gets a little sloggy in its last few acts. 
3. It made me sad and horrified but I never felt fear or creeping dread as I did in The Shining or Pet Sematary. 

Instead I give it 4 ½ stars which is the next to best thing, and a very high recommendation. 

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review 2018-05-30 15:48
The Shining by Stephen King (audiobook)
The Shining - Stephen King,Campbell Scott

I reread this on audio, narrated by Campbell Scott. I was a kid when I read it the first time and it helped solidify my lifelong love of the horror genre. I hoped it would be as scary as I remembered. 

Knowing what I now know about Jack after reading Doctor Sleep (if you haven’t read it, you should) helped give me a different slant on his character making him a wee bit more sympathetic instead of the flat out villain I remembered. It also helped that he wasn’t actually written as an unhinged loon from the get go but as a flawed man struggling to keep his family afloat and intact while he battled with the dangerous demons of addiction, anger and regret. I had forgotten all of that or it likely went over my head when I first read it and Jack Nicholson’s performance lingered in my brain instead. Wendy is a better character in the book, for certain, because we get her inner thoughts instead of all of the endless screaming and Danny was such a wise little boy which makes sense considering his gift/curse. I didn’t catch that on the first read because I had never been around kids his age.

It’s most definitely a frightening book but in a very different way than the film. Much of the horror is internal with the dread and ghosts of the hotel slowly creeping up on you rather than smacking you in the face with their presence (and floppy boobs!). I enjoyed all of the backstory of the hotel (even dog-man is there!) and there’s quite a bit of it and the sense of utter isolation and helplessness amidst the storm is terrifying. 

My 12 year old self would’ve given it a five. My grumpy, grown up self gives it 4 ½. Campbell Scott is an excellent narrator and does a low-key performance that doesn’t over-exaggerate the scenes or dialogue which worked for me.

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review 2018-05-29 18:35
Mind Wreck by J.Z. Foster
Mind Wreck: Shadow Games - J.Z. Foster

This book arrived in the mail and before I could warn her, my daughter picks it up and says, “You’re reading a book with a kitty on the cover!” Then she peers closer and with a look of horror on her face sighs, “oh, of course, it’s bleeding” and drops it like a hot potato as I laughed. OF COURSE! Sheesh, what kind of monster must she think I am? And how is this child even mine?! 

Haha.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book after reading the synopsis but it intrigued me enough to accept a review copy. It’s more dark urban fantasy than it is horror but there are enough horrific and terrifying scenarios and graphic scenes to please the dark heart of most any horror fan too. 

Matthew is going about his life unaware that life as he knows it is about to end. He’s been having scary dreams and seeing things that may or may not be there. Things that linger in dark corners. Then one not-so-fine day a talking cat enters his life. A talking cat that looks and smells a little like death and claims it is his father! As if that weren’t enough to digest, he’s told he is about to go through the “Mind Wreck” and come into powers that will force him to go on the run from a group who wants to use them for their own nefarious goings-on. Matthew is ill equipped to enter this sinister game but his daddy cat sticks around to help him out and offer advice and sarcasm. I loved the sarcasm coming from a bedraggled cat body so much.

“I just really miss having thumbs.”

This isn’t my typical kind of read but I enjoyed it. Matthew is a relatable character who just wants to meet up with his dream girl but is caught up in all of this crazy. His cat-dad is a sarcastic smart-ass who is sketchy, a little mean, secretive and always unpredictable. It kept me on my toes guessing what would happen next, it was a little gross and a little funny and it never bored me which is more than I can say for a lot of books! 

4 ½ stars

I received a copy from the author. Thanks!

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