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review 2015-10-28 01:56
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Review
Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist,Ebba Segerberg

Synopsis: It is autumn 1981 when inconceivable horror comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik's Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . .

 

*****

 

I'm a sucker for a good, scary vampire tale. Nothing makes me happier than getting involved in a long novel featuring numerous characters I can really relate to, only to come to a gruesome end via fangs to the neck. Does that make me sick? Maybe . . . but it's Halloween season, so it's okay. Let's face it: vampires are one of the most awesome tropes in all of horror entertainment. And, sadly, great vampire tales are pretty hard to come by. Let The Right One In filled the scary vampires quota for me for quite a while, though. It's a corker. 

 

At first disarming and (admittedly) off-putting, this novel doesn't really get cooking until a little past the hundred page mark... but from there the author rarely lets up. Brutal murders and frightening sequences abound in this 472-page book filled with some of the most frightening bloodsuckers I've come across this side of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot.

 

The main plot is the friendship between bullied loner Oskar and vampire girl Eli. Their friendship -- especially their nightly meet-ups and communication through the wall separating their apartments via morse code -- are among the story's most endearing elements. The friendship feels real, as does Oskar's reaction when he finally discovers his friend is a vampire.

 

The novel features about five main characters and three or four minor characters, all well-drawn and fully formed. Each character gets their time to shine and the reader is in completely on their thought processes and why they do what they do. The people this author has created become real. At times it felt like I was living in Stockholm and reading about dear friends.

 

There is really not a whole lot to say about this novel except this: read. it. It makes for excellent Halloween material since it's filled to the brim with some of the nastiest stuff I've come across in horror fiction in a long time. Once one gets past the plodding opening chapters he or she will find there is an engrossing story here waiting to unfold and wrap the reader in a hug... in the dead of night while the wind blows...

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text 2015-10-22 11:56
On freebie today!
SLEEPY HOLLOW: Rise Headless and Ride (Jason Crane) - Richard Gleaves

http://www.amazon.com/SLEEPY-HOLLOW-Headless-Jason-Crane-ebook/dp/B00J0W6S3M/ref=zg_bs_157060011_f_1

 

Just snagged this. Thought I would share.

 

More Halloween reading, yay!

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review 2015-10-21 10:12
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 2015-10-18 09:49
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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text 2015-10-05 08:46
BookLikes bloggers recommend for Halloween

Already the middle of October and we gathered what you're dared to read before the Halloween.

 

The Haunting of Hill House

The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers-and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

 

The Dead House

The Dead House, which is set for fall 2015, is about the discovery of a diary in the ruins of a high school that burned down a quarter-century earlier. The diary was written by a girl whom no-one is sure ever existed.

 

 The story mostly revolves around Carly and Kaitlyn, twin sisters of sorts, or perhaps not? They're two minds in one body, and who can tell whether one is crazy and the other just a mere symptom, or whether they're actually two souls who just happen to coexist in an unusual way—Carly during the day, and Kaitlyn at night? After their parents' death, the "sisters" are sent to Elmbridge, a boarding school in Somerset, but their stay there is chaotic, as they're regularly sent back to Claydon, a psychiatric facility for teens. Under the guidance of Dr. Lansing, Carly has to accept that Kaitlyn is only an alter, meant to hold the painful memory of the night when her family was torn asunder. And yet... Doesn't Kaitlyn exist in her own way, too? Is she a construct, or a real person? Doesn't her diary reflect how real she is, just as real as Carly?

 

Pigeons from Hell

“Pigeons From Hell” is the spellbinding short novel of two stranded motorists and a local sheriff who battle strange and malevolent forces that inhabit a run-down, abandoned mansion in the middle of a swamp in the middle of nowhere. "Pigeons from Hell," remains one of Robert E. Howard's most celebrated horror stories and has seen several reprints including the Pyramid Weird Tales anthology published in 1964. Although Howard is best remembered as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, he was equally recognized in the 1930s pulps for his incredible horror stories.

This short story was a blast! It's been recommended to me many times and I've always been too busy to work it in. Being on the front edge of a reading slump, and usually having good luck with short stories to get me out of it, I decided to finally read this classic.  It's short, sweet and scary. What more could you want?

 

The Venus Complex

A man rises out of an abyss of frustration and rage and creates works of art out of destruction, goddesses out of mere dental hygienists and beauty out of death. It's also about the sickness and obsession that is LOVE.Enter into Michael's world through the pages of his personal journal, where every diseased thought, disturbing dream, politically incorrect rant and sexually explicit murder highlights his journey from zero to psycho.

The Venus Complex is a provocative journey into a psychopathic consciousness that is one of the most gripping and disturbing mind trips I've read. Told in a journal entry style first person narration, the first time we meet Michael Friday is the recounting of his wife's death in a car accident. His wife was cheating on him, his accusation and her reaction bring about a clean definitive snap of his mind, from normal to implacable killer and here lies the beginning of a jaunt that nibbles the edges of sanity until there's only one possible outcome.

 

Ghostopolis

A page-turning adventure of a boy's journey to the land of ghosts and back.Imagine Garth Hale's surprise when he's accidentally zapped to the spirit world by Frank Gallows, a washed-out ghost wrangler. Suddenly Garth finds he has powers the ghosts don't have, and he's stuck in a world run by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who would use Garth's newfound abilities to rule the ghostly kingdom. When Garth meets Cecil, his grandfather's ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, and nearly lose hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.

Great graphic novel! It's touching and a bit creepy. I would definitely reccomend! It held my attention and I couldn't wait to see how it ended.

 

In a Dark, Dark Wood

When Nora Shaw is invited to the hen do of an old school friend she hasn't seen in years, she's delighted to have a chance to reconnect with her old friend. Little does she know something is about to go horribly wrong... In A Dark, Dark Wood marks the launch of a major new star in psychological fiction.
Leonara Shaw, a writer in her mid-twenties, has been invited to the hen do of an old school friend. Nora hasn't seen Clare in years but she's looking forward to a chance to reconnect with her friend, even if she's surprised not to be invited to the wedding itself. But something goes wrong. Nora wakes up in a hospital room with her head bandaged and a police guard outside her door. Are they there to protect her or arrest her? Nora is worried. Worried because her first thought is not "what's happened to me?" but "what have I done?"

The author knows how to keep the reader on the edge of the seat waiting for the next exciting scene! When the story began, Leonora Shaw, an author who writes crime novels for a living, has received an unusual and unexpected invitation to a hen night for a friend she had not seen in a decade. The email was addressed to the name she used to call herself, Lee, but now she was known as Nora. She couldn’t figure out why her old friend Claire Cavendish would even want her at her hen party. For old time’s sake, though, when Claire’s friend Flo kept calling and pleading with her to come because Claire would be so pleased, she filled with guilt and decided to go.

 

Books of Blood

With the 1984 publication of Books of Blood, Clive Barker became an overnight literary sensation. He was hailed by Stephen King as "the future of horror," and won both the British and World Fantasy Awards. Now, with his numerous bestsellers, graphic novels, and hit movies like the Hellraiser films, Clive Barker has become an industry unto himself. But it all started here, with this tour de force collection that rivals the dark masterpieces of Edgar Allan Poe. Read him. And rediscover the true meaning of fear.

Fans of Clive Barker's earliest fiction may talk of how he lost his step, by turning away from the more visceral aspects of dark fiction towards the more fantastical. For them, at least they can look back upon these volumes of short stories and revel in what may be the finest collection of horror literature of the 80s, or any other decade. I'm a fan of Barker's fantasy stories, as much as his horror stories, but I must admit there is something unique and indelible about the tales Barker has weaved in these early collections. If you're new to his work and are not averse to being disturbed, you should make it a point to read these stories.

 

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