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review 2017-11-07 13:09
Darkness Rising (Chateau Seductions 0.5) by Lisa Carlisle
Darkness Rising - Lisa Carlisle
Darkness Rising is a short prequel to the Chateau Seductions series. We meet Antoine for the first time, and see how his life changed from being a gargoyle sculpter, to becoming a gargoyle/vampire hybrid recluse, owning a chateau and helping artists.
 
This isn't a long book, but it definitely helps to give you an insight into the enigmatic owner of the chateau. You are with him through the years as he says goodbye to his family and learns how to cope by himself. Two characters are introduced who will play a big part in the next book, Dark Velvet. We meet Cameron in dire circumstances and see how his friendship with Antoine grows. And we meet Savannah, who Antoine is immediately attracted to, but always want to help with her poetry.
 
For a quick dip into the Chateau Seductions world, then I can definitely recommend reading this short prequel. Definitely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/undergroundencounters12darknessrisingchateauseductions05bylisacarlisle
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review 2016-04-14 04:25
Blood Sacrifices - Brian Moreland
Blood Sacrifices - Brian Moreland

Blood Sacrifices is my first introduction to Moreland's work and what an introduction it was. Plain and simple, Blood Sacrifices is the best read I've read in years. It's that good. Influences of McCammon and King drip from the pages. Moreland's style is so easy and smooth to get immersed in. The characterization is impeccable. The dialogue is completely believable. The settings are layed out so vividly, you'd swear you were looking over the characters shoulders. Blood Sacrifices is comprised of a short story and three novellas. The short story, The Girl From The Blood Coven is actually a prelude into his novella The Witching House. Here's my synopsis of each one:

 

 

The Girl From The Blood Coven -

 

The Girl from the Blood Coven is a short story prelude to Moreland's excellent The Witching House and, in my opinion, should be read as such. Sure, you can read it on it's own, but then you'd be missing out on a fantastic continuation that The Girl from the Blood Coven started. Why have just the appetizer when you can have the 7 course meal??

In 1972, a girl walks into a East Texas roadhouse bar covered in blood claiming that everyone in the hippy commune she was living in has been slaughtered. What the sheriff and his deputies find at the Blevins House is more horrific than they could ever have imagined.

 

Taste the hors d'oeurves and don't stop there.

 

 

4 Blood-stained Tie Dyes out of 5

 

 


The Witching House -

 

Sarah has been dating Dean for 9 months now and it's been nothing but one adventure after another. Dean and his friends are adrenaline junkies. This is all new to Sarah, but so far she's been able to keep up. Now Dean and is friends are taking her on another action-packed weekend in the middle of nowhere East Texas. She learns that their latest adventure will be exploring the boarded up Blevins House. In 1972, the Blevins House was a hippy commune where a massacre occurred one night, killing almost thirty people under strange circumstances. The murders were never solved and the house has been vacant ever since. Dean has hooked up with a local named Ronnie online who has set the expedition up for them. The Blevins House is rumored to be haunted. But what lurks behind the walls isn't what you would see on Ghost Hunters. Not even close.

 

Moreland creates a pulse-pounding read without falling into the old trappings of so many other stories that have young people in peril while being in an old house. The characters are three-dimensional and never feel cliched. The Witching House delivers the goods. Highly recommended.


5 Hanging Corpses out of 5

 

 


Darkness Rising -

 

Marty has been abused and ridiculed his whole life. His father murdered his mother when he was young. As a result, Marty was bounced around from foster home to foster home. Abused at each stop, Marty is a wreck emotionally and unable to share his true feelings. His only solace is in the poetry he composes in his journal, a present from his mother long ago. Working as a custodian at the local college, Marty meets Jennifer in one of the dorms that he cleans and offers his assistance when he discovers that she is struggling in Poetry and Literature. A friendship blossoms but Marty is too afraid to share his true feelings for Jennifer. Instead, he writes poems and goes to a desolate shore of one of the nearby lakes where he has pleasant memories of his mother bringing him there when he was a child. This becomes his special place where he can truly express his feelings and read his poems outloud to the empty lake. Then one day, he is attacked by three assailants who have gruesome plans for him. What they don't know is that Marty has something special in store for them too.

 

Another great tale by Moreland who has quickly become my favorite discovery of 2016. He does a really nice job developing Marty into being a likable character without drifting into making him appear pathetic. The setting is vividly laid out so that you feel like you can see the lake, smell the air, and hear the screams. Highly recommended.

 

 

4 1/2 Snuff Films out of 5

 

 


The Vagrants -

 

I have quickly become a believer in Brian Moreland. The Vagrants is the final novella in his excellent collection, Blood Sacrifices. I'll review The Vagrant's here on it's own merit and then in Blood Sacrifices as a whole with the other stories.

 

Daniel is a recent journalism grad from Dartmouth who wants to make a difference in the world. He assimilates himself among a camp of homeless underneath a bridge in Boston. With aspirations to understand them better and gather source material to write a book, Daniel is with them for six months. When a stranger named Mordecai enters the other side of the camp with tattoos all over his head and body preaching about the end being near, many in the camp are recruited to be his followers by what appears some sort of brainwashing. Mordecai attempts to "recruit" Daniel into his following and Daniel is only able to resist at the last second. He returns to his normal life, writes his book, and puts his past behind him. But his past isn't done with Daniel. They have other plans for him.

Moreland writes a gripping tale that uses unique and seedy locations in Boston along with wonderfully lifelike characters that you care about to pull you in completely. The Vagrants is wildly imaginative with shades of Lovecraft that enhance an already wonderful story. Highly recommended reading.

 

 

5 All-Seeing Pineal Glands out of 5

 

 


All in all, pound for pound, you won't find a better collection of tales out there. I rank this one right up there in the same hallowed ground as The Night Shift. Run, don't walk, and get Blood Sacrifices now!


** This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review

 

 

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 


http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 


https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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review 2016-04-11 00:16
Darkness Rising - Brian Moreland
Darkness Rising - Brian Moreland

Marty has been abused and ridiculed his whole life. His father murdered his mother when he was young. As a result, Marty was bounced around from foster home to foster home. Abused at each stop, Marty is a wreck emotionally and unable to share his true feelings. His only solace is in the poetry he composes in his journal, a present from his mother long ago. Working as a custodian at the local college, Marty meets Jennifer in one of the dorms that he cleans and offers his assistance when he discovers that she is struggling in Poetry and Literature. A friendship blossoms but Marty is too afraid to share his true feelings for Jennifer. Instead, he writes poems and goes to a desolate shore of one of the nearby lakes where he has pleasant memories of his mother bringing him there when he was a child. This becomes his special place where he can truly express his feelings and read his poems outloud to the empty lake. Then one day, he is attacked by three assailants who have gruesome plans for him. What they don't know is that Marty has something special in store for them too.

 

Another great tale by Moreland who has quickly become my favorite discovery of 2016. He does a really nice job developing Marty into being a likable character without drifting into making him appear pathetic. The setting is vividly laid out so that you feel like you can see the lake, smell the air, and hear the screams. Highly recommended.

 

 

4 1/2 Snuff Films out of 5

 


** This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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review 2016-01-02 15:24
Horror, poetry and redemption
Darkness Rising - Brian Moreland

I was given a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I have read several books by Brian Moreland and loved them all.

Darkness Rising is the story of Marty, a young man with a difficult past (his father is a serial killer who killed his mother and six young women and he had to grow up suffering bullying and abuse), who has found in poetry a way to communicate his feelings and to quieten down the darkness inside. He has big plans, goals, and is in love with a young girl, Jennifer, whom he’s been teaching about poetry. Unfortunately, a gang of two young men and young woman have chosen his favourite spot next to a lake to make snuff movies and dispose of the bodies, and he’s spotted there with terrible consequences. What happens next is only the beginning of the horror for Marty and what he becomes.

The story, like the previous novels written by Moreland I had read, is written with a great sense of suspense, and very visually. One can imagine the movie that could be made from the book (although sometimes it’s best not too, like when describing the artwork Marty’s father creates). This novel is more than a horror story, and it includes beautiful passages about art, the effects of creativity, first love, and redemption. Despite the extreme violence (and even the descriptions of the evil beings are lyrical and vividly accomplished) this is a coming of age and a young adult story, and an inspirational one  too. Perhaps the moral of the story would not be to everybody’s taste, but the message is ultimately positive. Marty talks about going through purgatory and… he might have a point.

I like my horror stories to end up in a horrifying manner, but couldn’t help and root for Marty, who goes a long way and works hard to be the best he can and to prove that one can fight against fate and blood.

This is not a conventional horror story but I’d recommend it to people who like beautifully written dark fiction, stories about the nature of creativity and art, and do not fear treading where others wouldn’t dare.

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review 2015-10-25 06:31
Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland
Darkness Rising - Brian Moreland

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

College janitor, Marty, has a dark past, he uses poetry to control the anger he feels at his traumatic and abusive childhood. He visits a local lake to recite his poetry and comes across three sadistic killers who have been hired to make snuff movies by a local mobster. Tragedy strikes and Marty calls up his protector Cerulean to help him right the wrongs that have been done to him.

 

I'm a big fan of revenge tales and this one was pretty great with the first half being exactly what I was expecting. The second half dealt more with his childhood, specifically what happened with his mum and dad and for me the story veered off a little and lost a bit of the pacing that had worked so well in the first half. The second half also worked in more of his relationship with college student Jennifer whom he is in love with, whilst touching I'm not sure how well it worked with the overall tone of the book and it felt a little disjoined. These are not big issues and I still enjoyed the read immensely.

 

The characterisation was good and for such a short read I think the author did a great job in fleshing out the main character, making him sympathetic and believable, I felt very much invested in seeing where the story would take him.

 

A fast paced read with plenty of gore and a story that surprised me in how it played out. I'd definitely recommend this to horror fans.

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