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review 2014-11-03 21:17
The Hanover Block by Gregor Xane
The Hanover Block - Gregor Xane

To quote Dorothy Parker:

What fresh hell is this?

 

 

I have no idea, but I know I liked it!

 

Now, as to what to say. I'm not sure. This is a little bit of a drug and alcohol infused Hunter S. Thompson-ish narrative, (well, not quite that far), in which Giorgio Tsoukalos shows up and George Romero pukes in the backyard. In case you don't know who Giorgio is he's this guy:

 

 

 

This was a crazy novella, that just sucked me in and before I knew it, I looked up, looked around and said WTF did I just read? And you know what? That's all I'm going to say about this novella other than it was a BLAST!

 

Highly recommended for fans of bad sci-fi movies, creature features, aliens and/or conspiracy theories, the unexplained, and the unidentified. Bravo!

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review 2014-10-27 01:11
Suspended in Dusk edited by Simon Dewar
Suspended In Dusk - Books of the Dead,Simon Dewar,Jack Ketchum

 

(Just before posting this review, I discovered that this book is currently free until Halloween! If this book looks good to you, click here . Promo coupon: DA68M)

When I saw this come up for review, I grabbed it. I've always had a fondness for anthologies and this one did not disappoint. The theme of this collection is dusk. "...dusk is the time between the light and the dark. A time between times." These tales are loosely connected by that thread. There's a nice introduction by Jack Ketchum and that made me excited to continue. Speaking of which-I'm not going to mention and rate every story, I'm going to briefly talk about the tales that stood out for me.

 

Shadows of the Lonely Dead by Alan Baxter: I enjoyed this tale of a hospice worker; it reminded me of John Coffey from The Green Mile. 3.5*

 

A Woman of Disrepute by Icy Sedgwick: This was a gothic style story with a Jack the Ripper feel. I thought this one ROCKED. 4.5*

 

Burning by Rayne Hall: I normally dislike tales with  lessons to be learned, but I liked this one quite a bit. It didn't shy away from the ugliness-it presented it all in its horrible glory. 4.*

fire

Ministry of Outrage by Chris Limb: This story was wildly imaginative and I loved it. 5*

 

Reasons to Kill by J.C. Michael: I've read a ton of vampire tales in my time, but this one stood out just the same. I loved the idea of vampire nests. Okay, not totally original, I know, -but this nest and these vampires are a bit different than the norm. 4*

 

Digging Deep by Ramsey Campbell: A story about being buried alive. 'Nuff said. 5*

 

Hope Is Here by Karen Runge: "THE SUNSHINE GROUP: WE ARE HERE TO MAKE THE WORLD A CLEAN AND HAPPY PLACE!" This was another favorite of mine. Sadly, it doesn't feel like it's too far out of the realm of possibility at times. 5*

 

Would To God That We Were There by Tom Dullemond: Another story about a psycho in space. It worked for me. 4*

 

Negatives by Wendy Hammer: A cool tale about an abandoned amusement park with a secret. 4*

 

 negatives Fit Camp by Shane McKenzie: My friends have been urging me to read more from this guy. After reading this crazy story about a kid at fat camp and his great decision that went bad, I'll be doing just that. 4.5*

 

Quarter Turn To Dawn by Sarah Read: I don't even know what to say, this story was messed up. A hotel, a volcano and people turning into...? 4* 

 

The Way of All Flesh by Angela Slatter: A turn the tables type of story. I enjoyed it. 4*

 

Overall, this was an enjoyable collection. I especially liked that there was a good number of contributions from female authors and they were GOOD. I will be tracking down to read more from these authors in the future. Recommended to fans of anthologies featuring a wide variety of stories and authors.    

 

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this anthology to honestly review for www.Horrorafterdark.com and this is it.

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review 2014-01-05 01:52
What the Dark Brings by Ed Lorn
What the Dark Brings - Edward Lorn

 (Author's note: I know how discerning this reader is, so this review made my day.)

 

I enjoyed the hell out of this collection!

There are some excellent, extremely imaginative stories in this volume. I also liked that most of them were very short. It seems to me that most short stories are no longer any such thing. That is not the case here. These were nice bite sized pieces of bloody fun!

The stories that worked the best for me were:
"Literary Sweets", (which wasn't really a horror story, but I liked it anyway). It was sort of like a whimsical Dickens tale. 

"The Monitor", was also not really a horror tale, but every once in a while, even I enjoy a happy ending.

That's the end of the "not really horror stories." At this point the stories continually became darker. I think this was an awesome job of the author putting the tales into an order that flows very well towards the darkness. 

The title story was a descent into a true WTF just happened? moment. I listened to this tale on audio book, (which I won through a contest held by the author), but then I had to read it to be sure I understood. (Turns out I did understand, it was just seriously messed up. I love messed up!) 

(At this point I switched from the audio to the printed version. The audio book had a clear and concise narrator that was wonderful, but I realized that for short fiction, where every word counts, actually reading the stories worked better for me. )

"That Thing About a Picture and a Thousand Words" was an excellent story that reminded me a lot of a John R. Little book I recently read titled "Dreams In Black and White". The concept worked for me in the Little book and it worked for me here. 5*

"Machinations" was a neat little sci-fi/horror short that was, yet again, very imaginative. 5*

"He Who Laughs Last" (was hilarious before it turned horrific), " Come To Jesus Meeting" (even though this Jesus comes to you), and "Snuggles" round out my favorites of this collection. 5* each.

There were very few stories that didn't work for me, one of them being " A Friendly Reminder" (I'm not sure I understood it properly, but if I did, it just didn't work for me.)

Overall, deducting just half a star for the few stories that didn't push my buttons, this strange, brutal, horrific and sometimes funny collection ranks well above average with me, so I rated it 4.5 stars. Highly recommended for fans of short stories. 

 

 

 

 

 

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