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review 2020-05-27 19:00
THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS by Brian Lumley, narrated by Joshua Saxon
The Taint and Other Novellas - Brian Lumley,Joshua Saxon

Welcoming the chance to get my Lovcraftian horror on via the excellent narration of Joshua Saxon, I tore into THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS. What fun!

 

A collection of 5 novellas which were written back in the mid to late 1900s, these tales do not have the polish of Lumley's later works, like the Necroscope series. These stories are more the work of a writer starting out, (while serving in the military), a writer bewitched by Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The fun parts of the mythos are here, but they lack the racism and other issues of Lovecraft's work.

 

My favorites of the 5 were: LORD OF THE WORMS This tale featured Titus Crow, a name I remember from back in the day, though I can't quite remember the tales in which he featured. In this story, he's invited to a home under the pretense of cataloging a large book collection at an old estate. Of course nothing is as it appears. Throw in some mesmerizing hypnotism, (see what I did there?!), some maggots and some spiked wine and you have yourself a great time!

 

THE TAINT was a fun tale involving fish-men. That's right, fish-men. With all the creepiness inherent in that phrase. It's not as much a pulp tale as one would think, with just the right mix of horror and perhaps a bit of social commentary, (but that's just my take.)

 

Finally, the last story THE TEMPLE HOUSE takes the form of a man inheriting an old estate from his uncle. He takes a friend and goes to Scotland to inspect his inheritance, and soon finds a letter from his uncle asking him to destroy the place. Why? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Regarding the narrator, Joshua Saxon-I've only listened to one other performance of his, which was the excellent THE CIPHER by Kathe Koja. In that book he was voicing only one character while in this collection, he voices all kinds of people and he does it quite well. English, American, Scottish, he does them all and never for a moment did I doubt the origins of any of the characters. Well done, sir!

 

This was a collection full of fun Lovecraftian monsters, fish people, maggots and worms. If these are the things that delight you, then you'll enjoy the hell out of this volume!

 

Recommended!

 

You can get your audio here: THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS

 

*I received this audio download free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-05-26 19:30
A BOOK OF BONES by John Connolly
A Book of Bones: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 17. From the No. 1 Bestselling Author of THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS - John Connolly

Still on the trail of the super creepy Mors, as well as the seemingly ageless Quayle, Charlie Parker and John Connolly never seem to give us a break!

 

Quayle is still trying to put together the Fractured Atlas, and Parker is still trying to prevent it. In this volume, Parker, with his pals Angel and Louis, head off to London along with a book expert to try to figure out where Quayle will strike next. We have creepy churches, stained glass windows, (or what appear to be windows), the Green Man, some moors and so much more. We also have appearances from Charlie's daughters, both alive and dead.

 

This was a long book and it could have been 500 pages longer and it still wouldn't bother me. I never, ever get bored with Connolly's prose or Charlie's thoughts. At this point in the series, I'm expecting things to wrap up, while at the same time, dreading it. I'm hoping that perhaps the series will continue with Charlie's offspring? This is all speculation on my part, but any time now, I'm expecting one or more of these fictional characters I love to die. I'm not sure if my heart can take it, because I've been friends with them for so long.

 

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, because I can't imagine my life without looking forward to the next Charlie Parker book!

 

My highest recommendation!

 

 

Get your copy here: A BOOK OF BONES

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book through Atria/Emily Bestler Books via NetGalley, but I was approved so late, (I didn't think I'd get approved at all at that point), I bought the hardcover! Either way, this is my honest opinion. READ THE BOOK!*

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review 2020-05-05 19:00
THE CIPHER by Kathe Koja, narrated by Joshua Saxon
The Cipher - Kathe Koja

THE CIPHER! I don't even know what to say.

 

I've only recently joined the church of Koja. It may not be as big as some, Stephen King's say, but there are joys to be found in smaller congregations.

 

This is the story of Nakota and Nicholas who one day found a black hole, named it the funhole, and changed their lives forever. They stuck different things into the hole, (getting uncomfortable yet?), including bugs, a mouse, and then a hand. What happened to these items when they were thrust inside? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I absolutely adore Ms. Koja's prose, and Joshua Saxon the narrator brought it home with flare. This must not have been an easy performance due to the style of the aforementioned prose-especially in the second half of the book because it's a stream-of-consciousness narrative. His voicing was phenomenal.

 

I'm a bit irritated with myself because the few clips I made of the audio that highlighted the prose apparently did not save. There were short, staccato-like descriptions that...stabbed at my heart. Beautiful, honest and evocative words that my brain immediately transferred to a visual-like a direct injection. For instance "...the flat was full of drizzly day." 7 words that draw a perfect scene. Brief, staccato, BAM: there's the picture-full and complete.

 

I could go on and on about this prose but I'll leave it at what I've written. Kathe Koja's writing probably isn't for everyone; the reviews seem pretty split on Goodreads. For me, however, I feel like I have been missing out out an author that is perfect for my dark and black heart. I'm on a mission to read everything she's written. I'm a Koja missionary, baby!

 

My highest recommendation!

 

*I received the audio-book from Audiobook Boom! and the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-04-05 18:24
SON OF HANOVER BLOCK by Gregor Xane
Son of Hanover Block (The Hanover Quartet Book 3) - Gregor Xane

A young boy falls down on the playground and is diagnosed with a brain tumor. That was probably the best day of his life, because it's all downhill from there.

 

The beginning of this, the third book in the series, was completely horrific and off the wall. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, it got triply worse. I didn't know what was going on, but I trusted Gregor Xane to put it all together and he eventually did. Mostly.

 

The originality of this series cannot be impeached, I've never read anything like it. I thought a beginning so different from the first two books breathed some fresh air into this installment and that was appreciated. We also got to learn more about the overarching story and I think that's where the 4th book is going to tie everything up.

 

The Hanover Block - Gregor Xane Brides of Hanover Block (The Hanover Quartet Book 2) - Gregor Xane  Son of Hanover Block (The Hanover Quartet Book 3) - Gregor Xane  

 

In the meantime, I cannot help myself from staring at these covers and asking myself WTF? What will the fourth one look like?

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get a copy here: SON OF HANOVER BLOCK

 

*Thanks to Gregor Xane for the paperback in exchange for my feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-03-22 19:26
FEAR OF FREE STANDING OBJECTS: A COLLECTION by Doug Rinaldi
Fear of Free Standing Objects: A Collection - Doug Rinaldi

FEAR OF FREE STANDING OBJECTS: A COLLECTION is an impressive and imaginative group of stories that swept through me like a slow moving storm and left me like jello, shivering on the floor.

 

I can't list my thoughts on all of them here, but the ones that blew me away were:

 

AN INCIDENT IN CENTRAL VILLAGE- Pond monsters!

 

THE YATTERING-A haunted bookstore. Already, with the title and subject alone, it screams my name.

 

THE SICKENING-At this point in time, what with COVID19 and its effects, this tale was even scarier than it otherwise would have been.

 

At least COVID19 doesn't make us kill each other. At least not yet.

 

AND THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING -A "tables are turned" type of story.

 

LOTUS PETALS: LIMINAL PERSONAE-Body Horror that put me in mind of Geek Love or some of Michael Blumlein's work.

 

SYBARITES (OR THE ENMITY OF PERVERSE EXISTENCE) I don't even know what to say about this other than that this was the tale that cemented my thoughts about how great this collection really was.

 

To be honest, this was a collection where every story worked for me on some level or another. That's a rare occurrence, so I took my time savoring these tales and surrendered myself to whatever it was Mr. Rinaldi wanted to show me. I'm so glad I did!

 

My highest recommendation!

 

Get your copy here: FEAR OF FREE STANDING OBJECTS: A COLLECTION 

 

*Thanks to Doug Rinaldi for the paperback arc in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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