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Search tags: Halloween
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review 2020-06-01 14:38
The Human Ate My Pumpkin!
The Human Ate My Pumpkin! - Jon Mac

by Jon Mac

 

This was a cute little story with an alternate view of reality. The protagonist is a zombie who goes to work and laments the invasion of the living into his world. When Halloween comes around, he decides to go as a live person which manages to upset everyone on all sides.

 

All things considered it was basically enjoyable, but blissfully short. The author says he writes Pulp Fantasy and I would be prepared to try a free selection, but his only other book isn't free in UK.

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review 2020-04-30 13:30
Ghost Story
Ghost Story - Jeff Brackett

by Jeff Brackett

 

This starts a little clunky as if the author is trying to shovel in too much information quickly, then settles into an even flow by the end of the first chapter. A ghost hunting team is investigating a house reported to be haunted. One of them is a psychic, balanced by the group sceptic. A full team with modern equipment sets up.

 

By the second chapter, the fun starts. I'm not going to go into what happens because there's a surprise ending and the potential for spoilers is too great, but I will say that lots does happen and I was at the edge of my seat for most of it.

 

I should add a trigger warning. No animals were hurt in the making of this story. Anything else is fair game. Normally a story like this would have exceeded my own violence tolerance, but the way it flowed just made it work too well. Characters were developed as much as you could expect in a short story but it is mostly action driven. I was scared for the main protagonist all the way to the end, and maybe even beyond.

 

The author's afterword was interesting as well. It tells the context that the idea for the story came in and mentions a familiar author involved in the same project. That in itself added a whole new dimension to the story.

 

If you want something to make you jump at every little noise in the house at night, read this one.

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review 2020-04-11 19:29
The Unsuitable by Molly Pohlig
The Unsuitable - Molly Pohlig

 

Paint it Black Square: The cover is black except for the embroidery shears.

 

Trigger Warning: Cutting, or self-harm, drives the whole plot.

 

Iseult lives with her father in London and has been in mourning her entire life. Her father keeps her dressed in black to remember her mother. The mother Iseult shouldn't know because Iseult's mother died as Iseult was being born.

 

But Iseult does know her mother. Her mother is inside of her, a constant, suffocating presence. Iseult can't help talking to her, or trying to make others understand, so she has never had close friends or anybody to talk to except her father's housekeeper.

 

Iseult knows of only one way to silence her mother, however temporarily, and that is to wound herself, either in her scarred shoulder (from a broken collarbone at birth) or any other convenient place.

 

The book is fairly disgusting on that point. The reader understands that Iseult has no other recourse, but the amount of blood and the description of her injuries turns this book into body horror as opposed to the gothic ghost story with a twist that's advertised. This is supposed to be some kind of commentary on Our Current Cultural Moment, but I didn't see it. Maybe you will.

 

I got to the end because I felt obligated to, under normal circumstances I would have stopped when Iseult starts plunging scissors into her shoulder and snipping.

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review 2020-04-05 14:38
Stolen Hours
Stolen Hours - Michelle M. Pillow

by Michelle M. Pillow

I really enjoyed the first part of this story. I knew it was meant to be a Romance and was anticipating something along the lines of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, then was pleasantly surprised to find an amusing story about a house full of ghosts with personality quirks that could have been a brilliant story.

 

Then I got to the second part where it suddenly changes from a comedy to a romance. This is where it all fell down. We are given a time jump and told that the protagonist has fallen in love with the ghost (I don't consider that a spoiler as it was the premise of the story), but given no idea how that developed. That should have been the crux of the story, but instead it's completely skipped over.

 

The romance phase is fairly meh and lacks believability, especially in the gratuitous move-by-move sex scene that seems to be expected in Romance genre books these days and is the reason why I mostly don't read them anymore. I find it sad that a genre for 'clean Romance' has had to be invented and that Amazon isn't using it yet, so any purchase of a book marked Romance runs a risk of turning out to be porn instead.

 

I finished the story despite this, in hopes that something would touch the romantic nature of my soul, but on that aspect, the story was a fail. I think it should be re-written as a comedy, because the author is good at that.

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review 2020-03-18 11:36
Any Witch Way You Can
Any Witch Way You Can - Amanda M. Lee

by Amanda M. Lee

 

This one has a YA feel to it, but the characters made it a fun read. There's a sort of amusing snark among the members of a witch family. Three cousins and their four aunts have some love/hate family dynamics than lean towards the humorous.

 

It's also a murder mystery. A body is found in an Autumn festivities corn maze and as one of the cousins can see and talk to ghosts, the mystery of how and why this person was killed becomes the central theme to the story.

 

A lot of things were predictable. I spotted the killer almost as soon as they were introduced and an elusive character was also a bit obvious, but the dynamics between characters really carry the story. While I don't feel a compelling need to read more of the gazillion stories written by this author, I did really enjoy the read.

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