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review 2016-10-28 00:00
The Halloween Bride
The Halloween Bride - Bryan Smith The night before Halloween, Deacon Croswell, still suffering from the recent loss of his girlfriend, finds himself stalking after a ghostly woman dressed all in black. When he finally catches up to her she has an offer for him that he cannot refuse.

A solid novella, but a wee predictable and ended “seemingly” abruptly for me. (I was surprised it ended when it did, because I was looking at the page count and forgot there was an additional story attached to this one.) That’s me being a knucklehead and my fault entirely. Oops. At least it wasn’t a bunch of blurbs from upcoming work or other publishers’ titles. I hate that sh*t. Mini-rant over. Sorry, Bryan.

The Halloween Bride is exactly what it sounds like and penned well, I just felt like it was missing something (and I don’t know what.) Seasonally appropriate for sure. 3+ Stars

Now, on to the bonus short. “Standing in Line for the Death Machine” was an extremely good short story. It had all the right amounts of creepy and wtf. Who doesn’t hate standing in line? Especially, if it may lead straight to hell. A Super Solid 4+ Stars

I needs me to read some more Bryan Smith.
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review 2016-08-06 13:37
Ein Trip voller Blut und Sex…
Todesgeil - Bryan Smith

Inhaltsangabe

Als Rob seinen Wagen volltankt, taucht dieses sexy Gothicgirl auf und hält ihm eine Knarre an den Kopf. Sie braucht einen Chauffeur, denn sie verfolgt vier Jugendliche, die über sie gelacht haben. Offenbar will sie die abknallen.

Rob kann es nicht fassen. Doch noch weniger versteht er sich selbst: Er will bei ihr bleiben, er will Sex mit ihr, er will ihr beim Morden helfen. Denn es tut gut, endlich seine Wut und Lust zu befriedigen…

 

Meine Meinung

Wenn man gerne in dem Horrorgenre liest und Begeisterung für den FESTA Verlag aufbringt, kam man nicht drum herum, dass man schon mal auf den Namen Roxie gestoßen ist. Egal in welchem Zusammenhang, ich wusste, sofort in welchem Buch ich auf Roxie treffen werde und diese Begegnung hat viel zu lange auf sich warten lassen. Denn schnell wurde mir klar, dass ich in diesem Genre, auf der Suche nach solchen Charakteren bin. Roxie, einerseits das sexy Gothicgirl und andererseits diese Frau, die eindeutig eine Schraube locker hat.

 

Da ist diese undurchschaubare abgefuckte Roxie, die dem unschuldigen Rob einfach eine Knarre an den Kopf hält und ihn zwingt diesem Van hinterherzufahren. Ihr Verhalten zeigt ihm sofort, wie verrückt diese Frau ist und das jeglicher Fluchtversuch sinnlos wäre. Er würde ihn nur mit seinem Leben bezahlen.

Rob ist so ein typischer Charakter, von dem man anfangs nicht viel erwartet, dennoch mochte ich seine Rolle in dem Buch. Endlich mal ein Mann, der einer Frau hörig ist und dies mit einem ganz besonderen Hintergrund. Ihn macht das Töten an! Und Roxie liebt es zu töten!

 

Insgesamt findet man im Buch drei verschiedene Handlungsstränge. Wie aus dem Klappentext hervorgeht, habe ich anfangs auf zwei getippt. Einmal aus der Sicht von Roxie und ihrem Chauffeur Rob und dann die Sicht der Jugendlichen hinter denen unser Gothicgirl her ist. Aber Smith überraschte mich mit einem weiteren interessanten Handlungsstrang. Hier trifft der Leser noch auf die beiden Psychopathen Zeb und Clyde, die wirklich in so ein Buch hineingehören.

Wer denkt, ok, zwei Mal sind Psychopathen am Werk und dann diese Gruppe Jugendlicher, der darf sich freuen, denn auch die Truppe hat einiges zu bieten. Vor allem Emily stach mir hier ins Auge. Wirklich extrem gut eingefädelt diese ganze Story.

 

Wichtig für solche Bücher ist natürlich auch immer der Punkt Spannung und Geschwindigkeit. Ich glaube niemand, der ein Horrorbuch zur Hand nimmt, möchte auf Längen oder langweilige Passagen treffen. In diesem Buch konnte ich diese nicht finden. Die Spannung wird stetig aufrechterhalten, da die verschiedenen Erzählperspektiven sich aufeinander zu bewegen und man hier auf den großen Showdown wartet. Wird Roxie die Jugendlichen einholen? Wieso will sie diese überhaupt umbringen? Und wie bringen sich Zeb und Clyde in die Story ein?

 

Und wie man bei einem Mehrteiler hofft, brauch es ein neugierig machendes Ende und das bekommen wir hier. Band 2 wird also nicht allzu lang auf sich warten lassen müssen.

 

Bryan Smith schafft es, dass er sich neben meine Highlights Edward Lee und Wrath James White gesellt und ich unbedingt mehr von ihm lesen möchte.

Er erschafft hier einfach grandiose Charaktere, die er in einer bombastischen Grundidee unterbringt und alles miteinander verbindet.

Für mich hat dieses Buch den perfekten Anteil an Anspruch, Gewalt, Blut und Sex! Denn wie der Titel verkündet, geht es nicht nur um Tod, sondern auch um Geil.

____________________________________________________________

 

Nach etlichen Kurzgeschichten in letzter Zeit, ist dies mal wieder ein Buch, welches mich total in seinen Bann gezogen hat.

Hut ab und weiter so Herr Smith.

Ich habe NICHTS auszusetzen.

 

Mein Fazit

Ein bombastischer Auftakt um das Gothicgirl Roxie und ihren blutigen Trip.

Alle Leser kommen hier in Hinsicht auf Gewalt, Wahnsinn und Sex auf ihre Kosten.

Wer Bryan Smith, wie ich bis vor kurzem noch nicht kannte, sollte sich schleunigst eins seiner Bücher aussuchen und es lesen!

Roxie wir sehen uns wieder und ich freue mich auf dich!

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review 2016-07-02 05:51
Kayla and the Devil - Bryan Smith
Kayla and the Devil - Bryan Smith

Kayla's life should have been amazing, she's rich, beautiful and doing well in college. Unfortunately for Kayla her life is not going well, she no longer has any friends, men avoid her and even her stalker is now repulsed by her.
She's baffled over the change, that is until she meets the devil who explains this is payback for something she did in high school. He has a deal for her that will lift the shunning spell but to honour the deal she must take an innocent life and she will be doomed to enter Hell whatever she decides to do. She has a week to complete the task and to help, the devil partially lifts the shunning spell and sends her some interesting helpers to keep her motivated.
Kayla looks for ways to both complete the task or work around the deal, enlisting her ex-stalker who seems to be the only person she can trust at the moment. Does she have it to take an innocent life or will she be destined to live on the periphery of society as a social leper.
Bryan Smiths books always tend to be fun and this was no exception. The premise is interesting and there are several ways in which Kayla tries to work around the deal to trick the devil. The story itself is very straightforward, the writing flowed well and it was an easy, uncomplicated read to get through.
Kayla is at first very unlikable, she's spoiled, cruel and has a razor sharp tongue that she uses all too frequently. Her shunning period didn't seem to teach her too much and when the spell was partially lifted she was only too happy to put people down as she'd done before. I did like that there was growth with her character although much of it came at the end and it was frustrating at times to see her treat people so abominably who were going out of their way to help her.
Lee, her ex-stalker, was a great character that I wish had been in more of the book. His relationship with Kayla was quite one-sided, she took advantage of him again and again but I liked that he held her more accountable and that his actions towards the end of the book had such a profound affect on her.
Overall an uncomplicated, fun read that is well worth the read.

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review 2016-03-22 15:38
All Hallow's Dead review
All Hallow's Dead - Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith delivers on virtually every front with this homage to all things '80s slasher films. A relentless killer with a traumatised past, a host of unlikable characters ready for the taking/stabbing/strangling/decapitating/etc, and a bunch of clueless law enforcers doing their best to stop the madman before Halloween comes round, are all present for this "fun" trip down serial killer lane.

Smith paints his story with effortless, graceful prose that almost seems too good for the subject matter. But assuming this type of book is your cup of tea, you're all but guaranteed to enjoy yourself. The gore is plentiful, the kill count is high, and the breaking of the narrative with flashback chapters to paint the picture as to why the killer became what he is, works particularly well.

Perhaps the one area All Hallow's Dead does fall down in, however - both as an ode to the '80s slasher and as a strong book in its own right - is with the lack of a "final girl", or indeed any major protagonist to root for. Instead, the closest thing to heroic characters which Smith presents are an overweight sheriff who takes a heck of a long time to get anywhere with the case, a previous tormentor of the killer who ends up spending most of the page count tied to a chair, and a woman from the killer's past who does little more than talk the final girl talk, rather than walk her walk.

The killer's plans for revenge aren't exactly well thought through either. The bullies who tormented him the worst are dispatched far too easily, while the one that showed him a modicum of humanity is treated to the worst of what takes place. I can buy that the killer is deranged and prone to irrationality and impulsiveness, but I found him difficult to buy into when the very point to his motivating plan is so warped.

Nevertheless, this is a quality read from one of the best in the business going about his business in a reliable way. Don't wait for next Halloween, get this one ASAP!

3.5 Blood-Spattered Machetes for All Hallow's Dead.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1405306955?book_show_action=false
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review 2015-12-15 15:51
Highways to Hell review
Highways to Hell - Bryan Smith

A disappointing collection from one of my favourite authors who freely acknowledges in the opening "About The Stories" section that he does not usually write short fiction and is not particularly enamoured by it.

Now I'm all for a bit of transparency when it comes to authors and their work. But in this case, it really shows that Smith had to be talked into this collection.

Smith is renowned by writing pulpish horror with beautiful femme fatales who will kill anyone and anything that get in their way, hapless males who get led around by one of their organs, and fantastic creatures which bring mayhem and death to anyone they happen across. And while Highways to Hell is replete with plenty of the first two types of characters, the fantastic elements i enjoy about much of his longer fiction was largely absent.

That alone would not be enough to sully a collection for me. But what does are stories which are too repetitive to be distinguishable a day after completing them, and numerous typos and errors not picked up by editors before release. Highways to Hell, sadly, suffers from both of these problems.

That said, there are two very good stories which stood head and shoulders above the rest here: JARHEAD and TRUTH. Both were varied enough to be memorable, one contained an excellent twist, and the other was disturbingly entertaining. If only the other tales contained within had have been of the same calibre...

Time to pick a Bryan Smith novel to read to restore my fanboy love for his work.

2.5 Women as Beautiful as They Are Lethal for Highways to Hell.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/676932107?book_show_action=false
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