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Search tags: Haunted-Houses
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review 2018-04-22 15:33
SICK HOUSE by Jeff Strand
Sick House - Jeff Strand

 SICK HOUSE is yet another example of Jeff Strand's crazy and sick mind. What fun!

 

It's a relatively short book written in such a way that it just flies by. There's crime, violence, murder, witchcraft, a haunted house, lots of blood and gore and a satisfying ending. What else is there to say?

 

Recommended for those who like their in horror in short, bloody bites!

 

*I bought this book with my hard earned money and it was worth it.*

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review 2018-03-04 15:35
Scary House by Sean Thomas Fisher
Scary House - Sean Thomas Fisher

SCARY HOUSE featured genuinely scary scenes that I enjoyed!

 

There's nothing like a good haunted house tale to get my heart pumping. Combine that with a coming of age story and I should have a real winner on my hands. In this case, I did enjoy the story, it's just that I never felt quite connected to the characters.

 

Gavin and his friends are getting ready for Halloween and want to check out a somewhat nearby haunted house. Gavin had his new Polaroid, (this is the early 90's), and used it to take instant photos around the home. The house has a history, so when they find an old photo album still there, they flip through to find out more. It's when they come across a picture of their bikes, parked outside that they start to get the creeps. From there, as you may have guessed, things go downhill. What happens then? You'll have to read SCARY HOUSE to find out!

 

There's a lot of early 90's nostalgia, a Jurassic Park watch is repeatedly mentioned as are some other heavy metal and rock bands, such as Nirvana. (Which is funny to me, because the author used to be a DJ at my local rock radio station and it played a lot of music from that era.)

 

This book was fun and did have a cool premise. Unfortunately, I couldn't help feeling it was somewhat derivative of King's IT. (It must be hard to avoid that comparison, when it's a nostalgic coming of age story which also involves a group of kids coming back to town as adults.) The other issue I had was that I didn't care that much for the characters. For me, that fact took a lot of tension out of the final scenes.

 

Overall, I did have fun with this story and would try more from Sean Thomas Fisher in the future, it's just that SCARY HOUSE didn't turn out to be that scary for me. Your mileage may vary!

 

*I received a free Kindle copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-03-01 22:30
Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Deadfall Hotel - Matt Godfrey,Steve Rasnic Tem,Steve Rasnic Tem

THE DEADFALL HOTEL is a beautifully written story, though difficult to describe with any kind of clarity. To vaguely set the scene: a recently widowed man accepts a job as caretaker at a somewhat remote hotel, bringing along his young daughter. The current, elderly caretaker is the one who recruited him, and will be available for on the job training, in the hopes that he will soon be able to retire.

 

Anyone going into this book expecting something like King's THE SHINING, or Matheson's HELL HOUSE, is probably going to be disappointed. While the Deadfall does have some ghosts hanging around, the story isn't really about them. Then again, it's not really about the living people at the hotel either. (Remember when I said this is a difficult story to review with clarity?)

 

Here's how I viewed it, (or tried to view it), and that was by looking at each chapter as its own separate story; connected only by their setting. King of the Cats, for instance. Yes, living people were in the tale, but it was mostly about the cats and the hotel. The Craving-yes the caretaker in training was part of the story, but only incidentally.

 

In these little vignettes, the author really shines, (especially in regards to the werewolf and the vampire), but when it came to the living people, the narrative didn't work as well for me. I enjoyed the characters, but they did a LOT of things that weren't believable. Towards the end, a few of their confusing actions were explained, (like why they went there in the first place), but the father repeatedly putting his daughter into danger was something that was not explained to my satisfaction.

 

Aside from these issues, I truly enjoyed this story. I've long been a fan of Tem's writing, but other than his novel UBO, (which I loved), I've not read any of his longer works. I pulled over in my car, so I could bookmark this quote from the audio:

 

"Fall is but a whisper in these environs. With so much death and decay on display year-round, we hardly notice the autumn and so it truncates, crawling off sullen and insulted by our lack of attention."

 

As I said above, I listened to this story, and I loved the narration-especially the voicing of Jacob, the elderly caretaker. Most chapters started off with quotes from his journals over the years and I think those were my favorite parts.

 

Even though DEADFALL HOTEL wasn't quite what I was expecting, it did grow on me, and I did end up enjoying it. I would go there for a visit...as long as I didn't have to go near that godawful swimming pool. (Trust me, that pool was SCARY.)

 

Highly recommended for fans of dark fantasy, and/or weird tales!

 

*I received the audio of this book free of charge from the narrator with no strings attached. I chose to review it anyway. Furthermore, I consider the narrator to be a friend, even though we've never met in person. That fact did not affect this, my honest review.*

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review 2018-01-30 18:45
Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand
Wylding Hall - Elizabeth Hand

2.1.18-I've been thinking about this book since I finished it and because of that I've decided to change my rating to the full 5 out of 5 stars!

 

WYLDING HALL is a fun novella that doesn't neatly fit into any single category other than, perhaps, dark fiction.

 

A thousand other people have already written reviews so I'll just say: this is a beautifully written example of a quiet horror story with building tension and dread.

 

WYLDING HALL is my second reading of Hand's work, the first being her collection SAFFRON AND BRIMSTONE, which I also enjoyed. I'm looking forward to reading more from her and I think I'll do that starting with BLACK LIGHT.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get a copy here: WYLDING HALL

 

*I bought this book with my hard earned money and this is my honest opinion.*

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review 2017-12-21 22:33
Slade House by David Mitchell
Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell

 

When I saw this was available on audio from the library I jumped right on it, and I'm glad I did!

 

This was an entertaining and imaginative story. It's not really horror, but it's not really fantasy or sci-fi either. I guess I'd call it an amalgamation of all of those genres. Whatever you want to label it, go ahead! I'm just going to say it was a hell of a story and I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Highly recommended!

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