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review 2017-05-21 19:59
Predictable average story
Savages - Greg F. Gifune

No matter what other reviewers say about a particular author or story it may not be to my liking...and unfortunately, although I do normally enjoy the writing of Greg F Gifune, this  was a rather poor offering. I usually associate his work with the darker side of relationships and family life( good examples being Saying Uncle and Gardens of Night) however I found Savages reminded me somewhat of" Predator" where a group of soldiers are sent on a rescue mission and a technologically advanced form of extraterrestrial life secretly strikes and hunts down the group. In Savages 7 friends are lost at sea when they encounter a small uninhabited island and hope that by resting here they can survive until the "cavalry" arrives. An entity decides that he does not welcome this intrusion and so this evil monstrous predator proceeds to remove those poor defenceless trespassers. A formulaic story, pleasant to read but totally unoriginal.

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review 2017-01-03 03:02
Babylon Terminal
Babylon Terminal - Greg F. Gifune

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

Monk is a dreamcatcher, a law enforcer who is sent to catch those that run and return them to the city. When he finds out his wife is now a runner, he takes it upon himself to catch her before another enforcer is given the job and terminates her.

Monk goes further out to the wastelands of society and comes across those he thought were only myths. He begins to question his society, his dreams, is anything real or is it all a dream? He thinks Julia is running towards the fabled promised land but has no idea what he will find there, a safe haven or a new hell.

This was a trippy and confusing read and I was enjoying it up til the last 3/4 chapters and then, for me, it started to unravel just a bit. I have no idea if Monk encountered anything real or if it was just all a dream, was he real or was he someone else just dreaming about another life as his own comes to an end.

Like a cross between Mad Max and Bladerunner, its dark and violent and I would have given this a higher rating if not for the weaker ending.


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review 2016-09-25 11:05
The Rain Dancers - Greg F. Gifune (It was a dark and stormy night)
The Rain Dancers - Greg F. Gifune




Will and Betty have returned to Betty's childhood home to prepare her deceased father's house to sell. During a heavy rainstorm, an elderly man, Bob Laurent, turns up on their doorstep claiming to be a good friend of Betty's father. Whilst she doesn't remember Bob, they invite him in and listen to him reminiscing about her father. Will begins to feel uncomfortable with the man, especially his over familiarity with Betty and his strange attitude towards Will. As the night progresses the old man will bring up childhood memories that Betty has tried hard to suppress and Will learns some horrifying truths about his wife's small town life.
This was one creepy, atmospheric read. Pretty much as soon as Bob shows up the tension starts and is slowly ratcheted up as his true persona is revealed. Bob made my skin crawl and his scenes with Will are especially nerve shredding.
With the other characters, Will is well written and I felt I got to know him more than Betty whom I think the author left a bit more blank for maximum shock value once all is revealed.
Pacing was excellent and it's definitely something you'll want to read all in one sitting. The author's usual ambiguity is missing in this novella and it's a welcome change not to wonder if you've got the story worked out right.
Well written, engaging novella that has one of the most evil antagonists I've come across in a while.






Read by candlelight or flashlight: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K Rowling

Magical Realism:


Genre: Horror:

Black Cat:

Diverse Authors can be Spooky Fun: Poisoning Eros - Wrath James White

Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses:

Young Adult Horror:

Scary Women (Authors):

Reads with (Booklikes) Friends:

Grave or Graveyard: Graveyard Blues - Reina Salt

Genre: Mystery:

Free Square:


Creepy Crawlies:

'Fall' into a good book: Falling Angel - William Hjortsberg

Locked Room Mystery:

It was a dark and stormy night: The Rain Dancers - Greg F. Gifune

Set in New England:

Full Moon:

Vampires vs. Werewolves: Written in Red - Anne Bishop


Classic Horror: The Monkey's Paw - W.W. Jacobs


Set on Halloween:


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review 2016-09-23 00:18
Savages - Greg Gifune
Savages - Greg F. Gifune

Greg Gifune has outdone himself yet again. He has established himself firmly as one of the finest horror authors out there and anyone that has read my reviews knows that he's definitely one of my favorites. Simply put, I have yet to read anything mediocre by him. If he has a clunker in his catalog, it hasn't passed my eyes yet. And that brings me to Savages which, in my opinion, is an absolute masterpiece.


A group go sailing in the remote South Pacific when a storm sinks the boat they were on. Drifting for days, one of the crew dead, a passenger missing, and the captain along with another passenger badly injured, they fight dehydration, the scorching sun, and hungry sharks to finally drift onto an uninhabited and uncharted island that no one even knew existed. With no supplies, no tools, no food, and barely any clothing on, the harsh reality of their bleak situation hits home like a ton of bricks. Just when they thought that things couldn't get any worse, they discover that their deserted island isn't so deserted and it's inhabitant isn't happy to see them.


The strength in Ginfune's tale is it's realistic characters and the way he ratchets up the dread as the story goes along. I'm not joking. You could literally cut the tension in this book with a knife. He also adds some fantastic top secret WWII setting in here. Damn this was so good. I'm going to stop drooling all over this one and give it to you straight - quit reading reading reviews trying to decide what book you want to buy next. Your search is now officially over. Immediately grab this one and start reading!



5 Hidden Tunnels out of 5


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review 2016-08-16 13:23
Review: Savages by Greg F. Gifune
Savages - Greg F. Gifune

It's a rare thing, but sometimes you come across a book that feels like it was custom made for you, hitting all the right sweet spots, all the right fist-pumping beats, as it swallows you whole into its world. Savages by Greg F. Gifune was such a book for me. Naturally, your mileage may vary, but for me, this was a sweet, sweet read.


Opening with an epigraph quoting the 1920 film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you get a good idea of what's in store for you. "A man cannot destroy the savage in him by denying its impulses. The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it..." It's a powerful quote, and Gifune's book has the darkness to match as the author tackles the themes suggested here.


Savages is a short novel, and a lot of its power is derived from the unknown. So I won't say much about it. You can read the book's synopsis, but the shorter gist of it is this: a small group of survivors wash up on the beach of a mysterious island. They think they're alone, until gruesome evidence begins to say otherwise. Yes, there's evil afoot, lurking in the jungles that surround them - but I will say no more. 


The surprises these survivors uncover is simply too good to spoil, but know that Gifune's epigraph works on multiple levels here. There's plenty of savagery to be found, as well as heaping doses of primal needs for survival. This is, I think, survival horror at its finest.


As for those sweet spots it hit for me? You've got the deserted island trope, which I'm a bit of a sucker for, an awesome threat that relates directly to mankind's own savageness, and a strong, fierce heroine. Plus, the group itself - there's some good character work here, and despite most of them being friends, their personalities and traits allow for plenty of strain and tension, as well as worry over in-group violence that could boil over at any moment. This is simply a compulsively readable title, and once Gifune starts weaving in the background of the threat this group is facing, it's a full-tilt boogie of mad-dash horror straight on through to a dark, beleaguering finale.


Savages is a horror book that's perfectly crafted, from it's beautiful, vintage cover, straight on through to the story's last page, and a new instant-favorite for me. Read it!


[Note: This review is based on an advanced copy provided by Sinister Grin Press via Hook of a Book Media and Publicity.]

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