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review 2017-05-09 18:35
The Well by Jack Cady, (Introduction from Tom Piccirilli)
The Well - Jack Cady,Tom Piccirilli

"There are Things that do not love the sun. They weep and curse their own creation. Sometimes on earth a cruel shift takes place. Time splits. Corpses possessed at the moment of their death rise from tombs. The dark ages of history flow mindless from stagnant wells and lime-dripping cellars. The corpses, those creatures of possession, walk through ancient halls and rooms."

 

So starts Jack Cady's The Well.

 Extremely well written, this is an excellent haunted house story, but it's also much more than that. It's A tale spanning generations, sprinkled throughout with genius and madness alike.

 

"He thought he knew the look of greed, lust, envy; but he realized without question that he was now looking at the force that embodied them all. He was looking at absolute evil."

 

This edition from Valancourt Books features a touching Introduction from Tom Piccirilli, (who has since passed away.) In it, Tom speaks of the kindness Jack Cady showed him when he first started out, which is coincidental-because I recently read a piece by another author who said the very same things about Tom Piccirilli. Tom goes on further to talk about The Well and how it influenced him and his writing, and now having read the book, I can see why. I'm glad that I bought my very own copy, because I'm sure I'll be reading it again in the future.

 

Note to self: Check out more works written by Jack Cady, ASAP.

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review 2017-04-18 18:30
Nightmare of the Dead by Vincenzo Bilof
Nightmare Of The Dead - Vincenzo Bilof

 

Nightmare of the Dead was a different kind of zombie/cannibal novel and I'm torn over it.

 

On the one hand, I enjoyed the creativity and imagination that went into this story. We have the Union and the Confederacy battling it out, with one side using medical experimentation to create the perfect type of soldier. And somehow this was done with a horror/western type feel to it-kudos to the author for that.

 

On the other hand, the writing felt disjointed. At times there seemed to be parts that were rewritten and inserted without regard for the paragraphs before and after. There were also a lot of missing words. These issues did bother me and took me out of the flow of the story more than once.

 

The author's descriptive skills were excellent and believe you me, there is a lot of blood, gore, torture, and rape here to describe. In that vein, Mr. Bilof's writing put me in mind of Tim Curran, whose imagination is beyond compare.

 

This was a quick reading, short novel and I did enjoy it, it's just that the writing could have been better. I would read more of this author's work in the future, in the hopes that he's honing his craft. If that's the case, then we certainly have not seen the last of Vincenzo Bilof.

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review 2016-12-06 15:57
The Booking by Ramsey Campbell
The Booking (Black Labyrinth) - Ramsey Campbell

The Booking is a strange little novella which had me thinking for days.

 

Kiefer gets a job in a strange bookstore named Books Are Life. The owner of the shop hates technology but wants to get his inventory listed online-this is now Kiefer's responsibility. He likes to Skype regularly with his girlfriend, but since his employer refuses to allow any type of camera in the shop, he as to make do with audio only. From there this novella wanders off into the weird.

 

I can't say much more without spoilers, but I loved how this story was put together. I went into it with a clear idea, I thought, of what was happening and by the time the story was over, all of my ideas were upended. I still have a couple of things that I'm not quite clear on, so after a little while, I'm going to read this one again.

 

Brilliantly written, hiding the plot twists down long, narrow aisles of books, this novella was a real treat. The only reason I'm not awarding five stars is because I developed no real feeling for Kiefer or for the bookshop owner. That little spark was missing. Other than that, I highly recommend this novella for readers that enjoy having their mind tickled by one of the best in the business.

 

You can get your copy here: The Booking

 

*Big thanks to Kimberly for gifting me a copy of this book!*

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text 2015-12-29 12:45
Author Participation Group Read at Horror Aficionados, featuring Jonathan Janz!
Wolf Land - Jonathan Janz

 

The Horror Aficionados Group over at Goodreads is SUPER EXCITED to announce that in January, Jonathan Janz will be joining us in our group read of Wolf Land! He will be available in the thread to answer any questions you might have about Wolf Land, his other books, or on writing in general. (Special thanks go out to Horror Aficionados member Ken McKinley for putting this together! You can find Ken's blog here: Into the Macabre.)

 

The author of several books such as: Exorcist Road, The Nightmare Girl, The Sorrows, and many others, Jonathan Janz seems to be getting more popular by the day! We at Horror Aficionados are quite honored to have him participate in our first group read of the year.

 

If you are already a member of Goodreads AND Horror Aficionados you can find the group read here: Jonathan Janz Wolfland Group Read

 

If you're a member of Goodreads, you can search for our group, Horror Aficionados, and join us.

 

If you're not a member of Goodreads, you're missing out!

 

You can purchase your copy of Wolf Land here: Wolf Land. Hope to see you there!

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review 2015-08-24 10:53
The Eyes of the Dragon
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King

Stephen King says in the introduction to this book that although he was writing it for his daughter, he made an effort not to talk down to a child audience. Despite his good intentions, I felt that this story was written at a very young level. That doesn't stop it from being a good story, but I think he could have told it in his usual adult voice and made it even better.

 

Some spoilers ahead:

 

The premise is fairly well-trodden ground; an evil wizard called Flagg, advisor to the king, craves power. The king has two sons, Peter and Thomas, and the eldest has been groomed for future kingship, while the wizard thinks the second son, Thomas, will be more easily manipulated. So the wizard concocts a plan to kill the king and get the elder son blamed for it, not realising that his efforts to teach the younger son his own sneaky ways will backfire on him when Thomas witnesses the murder.

 

This is where it all falls down. The evil wizard's plan moves ahead and Peter is blamed for his father's murder, but instead of outing the wizard, Thomas whines and begs for his help because he has not been prepared to be king.

 

Suspension of disbelief is stretched a bit in this story. I found Peter the most interesting character and was constantly frustrated over Thomas' failure to act. A little sibling jealousy just doesn't wash as sufficient reason to leave his brother rotting in a tower for years! Peter's escape plan also stretched credibility a little too far, unless you think of the story as a fairy tale in the same vein of magic as Rapunzel or Rumplestiltskin.

 

As much as I love Stephen King, I won't be reading anymore of his children's stories and may not bother with future attempts at Fantasy. He's let me down in this genre.

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