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Search tags: Evil-in-a-Small-Town
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review 2017-10-06 18:30
Halloween Carnival Volume 4, edited by Brian James Freeman
Halloween Carnival Volume 4 - Kealan Patrick Burke,C.A. Suleiman,Ray Garton,Brian James Freeman,Bev Vincent

 

It's that time of year again and my pile of books to read is towering! I had to choose which of the Halloween Carnival books I was going to request because I knew I wouldn't have time to read all 5. The reason I chose Volume 4 was because of 2 authors-Kealan Patrick Burke and Ray Garton. They didn't disappoint! These and another story stood way out for me, and here's a bit on each of them:

 

The Mannequin Challenge by Kealan Patrick Burke is the first story and it's killer. Maybe it's because I love the kind of tales that are just plain weird and offer NO explanation-they just ARE. A quiet and reclusive man decides to attend the Halloween party at work, just this one time. What will he find? You'll have to read it to find out! This one made me laugh out loud with delight.

 

Across the Tracks by Ray Garton was a blast. For whatever reason, to me this tale had a distinct Ray Bradbury feel to it, but I think the ending might've even blown Bradbury himself away. What fun!

 

The Halloween Tree I've seen Bev Vincent's name around and I am friends with him on various social media, but I believe this is the first time I've read one of his stories. I enjoyed it! Any kid with an imagination can make something scary from an inanimate object. In this tale, it's a tree. But what made this story different was how the kids dealt with the problem. I found this to be the most surprising story in the bunch and it made me smile.

 

I did enjoy the other two stories in this anthology, but these three stood tall and they alone are worth the price of this book. The other two are just the gravy on top!

 

Recommended!

 

You can pre-order your copy here: Halloween Carnival Volume 4

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to Hydra for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-09-12 19:00
Haven by Tom Deady, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Haven - Greymore Publishing,Matt Godfrey,Tom Deady

 

Haven is a coming of age story, set in a small town in Massachusetts. Narrated beautifully by Matt Godfrey, and set in a such a perfect place, how could the story itself not be fabulous? Truth is though, it's just okay.

 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and as I said the narration was excellent. However, I didn't find that this book added anything original to the genre. 80's horror nostalgia is a big thing now and that may have soured my opinion a little. I recently saw the movie of Stephen King's "It" and I just don't think it's possible to compare the two without having Haven come up short. I'm also not sure that it's possible to NOT compare the two- which may be my whole problem.

 

 

There are some differences, but at its heart, this is a very similar story. We have our plucky kids going up against a mysterious monster, while they're getting bullied at every turn, and Denny's mom is in just about the same state as were Bill Denbrough's parents from IT. There's even a chance that the monster will return in the future. Sound familiar? The only thing that's really different is the origin of this creature and I won't spoil that here.

 

(spoiler show)

 

This is an engaging "coming of age"/"evil in a small town story", it's just that I didn't find the writing or the story itself to be outstanding. Good? Yes, definitely! And who knows? You may enjoy it a lot more than I did. So, if this sounds interesting to you, I say give it a shot.

 

Recommended!

 

*I received this audiobook free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-08-19 16:32
Through A Glass Darkly by Donald Kirch
Through A Glass Darkly - Donald Allen Kirch

 

The site of the all the action in this book is Manchester House. Built in the small town of Atchison, it's known by the town-folk as a place to be avoided and it's even known by the local police force as the place they often have to go to recover dead bodies. In other words, everyone knows not to go in there.

 

So of course, here comes Dr. Holzer and his team. I'm tempted to call them paranormal investigators, but they're really not. We have one skeptic, one archaeologist, one psychic, and Professor Holzer. Later in their investigation, Indrid Night appears with his deaf and mute assistant, Lars. Night was easily the most interesting character in the entire story-even more so than the ghosts and spirits that were present in the house. A professional expert in dealing with hauntings of all kinds, I would have happily read an entire book about him alone.

 

Where the story lost its grip on me was when the explanation for the haunting was revealed. (This is almost always where haunted house stories fall apart for me.) Also, the dialogue between the characters never quite came together in the right way for me to believe it. It was kind of stilted and unnatural. Lastly, perhaps it's too many of these types of shows on TV now, but I kept picturing this as an episode of ghost hunters. This book deserved better than that, but I couldn't help my mind from seeing it in that manner. I hope this makes sense.

 

Overall, the imagination and creativity here were top notch, even if the execution was slightly clunky. I would still recommend this to fans of shows like the Ghost Hunters, and also to fans of haunted house stories!

 

*I was provided a free PDF of this story in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-08-13 15:20
The Lost Boys Volume 1 by Tim Seeley
The Lost Boys Vol. 1 - Tim Seeley

 

The Lost Boys Vol. 1 picks up where the movie left off. The Frog brothers are celebrating their victory over David and his gang of vampires but their victory is short-lived. There are new vampires in town and their gang is called the Blood Belles. Will the Frog brothers be able to defeat this new gang in the "murder capital of the world," Santa Carla? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I enjoyed the nostalgia I felt while reading this. Back in 1987 when the movie came out, it was all the rage. We got two Coreys-Feldman and Haim, not to mention the good looking Jason Patrick. For me though, it was great to see David again,(portrayed by the incredibly hot Kiefer Sutherland in the film), he was always my favorite. I think this volume stayed true to the feel of the original movie and the characters-I was happy about that.

 

 

What I didn't much like was the dialogue and the simplicity of the story line. I understand that this is for fun and nostalgia and all that, but there's no reason that the story can't be more geared to adults. Even though there was some language here, I feel like it was geared more to the person I was back in the 80's, rather than who I am now. Does that make any sense?

 

 

 

I can't complain too much though, because I did enjoy this comic quite a bit. The graphics were dynamic and true to the movie and I loved seeing all these old characters again-(man, I wanted to be Star, [Jamie Gertz]), back then. I had a lot of fun reading this and will continue with the series, if only just for the fun and nostalgia of it.

 

On sale August 15th, here: The Lost Boys Vol. 1

 

 

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the e-ARC of this graphic novel in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-07-28 20:10
Bone White by Ronald Malfi
Bone White - Ronald Malfi

In the cold town of Dread's Hand, Alaska, Paul Gallo arrives in search of his missing twin brother. He will never be the same again.

 

“You didn’t arrive in Dread’s Hand, he realized, but rather Dread’s Hand came at you piecemeal, a bit of itself at a time, like someone reluctant to make your acquaintance..."

 

I'm not going to rehash the plot, as the synopsis and several other reviews already do that. I can only tell you how it made me feel. Uneasy. Jumpy. Disconcerted. All these things and more.

 

Ronald Malfi's writing keeps getting better and better. It seemed to me that in this book, the writing disappeared altogether, and the story was directly injected into my brain. Isn't that the best writing of all?

 

Bone White is that feeling you get when you glimpse something out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn there's nothing there. Combine that feeling with the cold isolation and cold people of a small closely-knit, Alaskan town. One that's hiding a secret. Don't expect long drawn out explanations here. Instead, expect crosses, headless bodies and dark shadows.

 

This is the second book I've read this month which will undoubtedly make my best books of the year list. You should read it, so that you can add it to yours.

 

Highly recommended!

 

*Thanks so much to NetGalley and to Kensington for the e-ARC of this phenomenal book, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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