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review 2018-07-22 07:53
Poison City (London Tau) - Paul Crilley

I'm still very new to urban fantasy, so maybe I couldn't appreciate this book as much as I felt I should. I always read the blurb and think, wow, that sounds great but somehow the stories always leave me wanting. I think it is because they straddle genres - humor and horror - but they don't seem to be able to maintain both at the same time, so just when you are getting in to the jokes it becomes serious and gory. Not that I mind serious and gory but then I expect the scares which are hard to come by in a humorous book.

 

Aaaanyway, I did enjoy this even if I didn't think it was as great as I had hoped (let's face it, few books are). The setting was unusual, South African Durban, but Gideon Tau (known as London) felt like a rather generic hero. On the other hand, I had a picture in my head of the comedian Sarah Millican as his boss, Armitage which was quite amusing and I really think the sherry-swilling, ball-licking, talking, magic dog should get a story all of his own (although I'm not sure you would be able to tear him away from his soaps long enough to have an adventure).

 

As I bought books 1 and 2 at the same time for very little money I will read the sequel but I have to say if I had to pay full price for it I probably wouldn't.

 

A note on the Kindle edition - it has no page numbers, which I find really annoying!

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review 2018-07-20 18:36
John Saul, The Stereoscope
Day of Reckoning: The Stereoscope (Blackstone Chronicles, Part 5) - John Saul

From Casual Debris.

 

So far the strongest entry of the series. Despite some suspense fiction cliches, Part Five of John Saul's serialized The Blackstone Chronicles is better paced and more focused than the previous books. It is through the focused narrative of this part that I became conscious that the presence of the mysterious, evil figure is distracting, adding little to the narrative, and actually decreasing the mystery element of the work as a whole, and I wonder what kind of read we would have if the scenes with the figure were excised.

Plot-wise, the main focus is on Bill McGuire, who unknowingly takes the cursed gift of a stereoscope into his home. His family is quickly (and forcefully) set up as ultra loving, with overly supportive wife Bonnie and sweet 'n innocent daughter Amy, along with the over-sized loving puppy. (Yes, yes, we can immediately foretell the fate of the beloved family pet.)

Side plots feature Oliver Metcalf learning more about his deceased twin sister's death, and on his wish to exorcise the demons of his past. Whereas Rebecca has been kidnapped and locked away in a cold room of the asylum. As these segments are brief and well interspersed, they come across as more effective than the sub-plots in previous volumes, and do not interfere with the main plot.

This level of focus should have been achieved by part four, since by then the formula of these little books have become too predictable and tired, and thereby part four comes across as the weakest; I for one hurried through its pages and paused before picking up "The Stereoscope." The denouement of "The Stereoscope" is, with slight variation, essentially the same as each predecessor, but does, with its elevated structure, act as a better precursor to the final volume than any of the previous books.

Source: casualdebris.blogspot.com/2018/07/john-saul-stereoscope-1997.html
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review 2018-07-20 16:00
BLOG TOUR REVIEW: 'Scream All Night' by Derek Milman
Scream All Night - Derek Milman

 

 

I jumped at the chance of getting on this blog tour the second that I could! This book is so up my alley I can barely get the words out quickly enough (and I’m not sure I can get them all out).

Having worked on horror movies in the past (more about that below) there’s no way I could have passed this book by, and neither should you! It’s genius, in that it’s funny, endearing, clever, thought-provoking, and just brilliantly-written.

So read on…especially since there’s a giveaway at the bottom!

 

Thank you so SO much to Rockstar Book Tours for including me on this one!!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, DEREK MILMAN

 

 

 

Derek Milman was born in New York City, but grew up in Westchester, NY, where he wrote and published a successful underground humor magazine that caught the attention of the New York Times, who wrote a profile on him at the age of 14.

 

Derek studied English, Creative Writing, and Theater at Northwestern University. He began his career as a playwright (his first play was staged in New York City when he was just out of college), and earned an MFA in acting at the Yale School of Drama.

 

Derek has performed on stages across the country, and appeared in numerous TV shows and films, working with two Academy Award winning film directors.

 

Scream All Night is Derek's debut YA novel. He currently lives in Brooklyn where he is hard at work on his next book ('Night Flight').

 

ABOUT THE BOOK, SCREAM ALL NIGHT

 

Pub. Date: July 24, 2018

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400

 

A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.

 

Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

 

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

 

BUY THE BOOK!

 

**ANDwill point out NOW how easy it is to go and PRE-ORDER the book TODAY; go to THIS LINK because there are both the links to where you can BUY THE BOOK (AmazonSkylight Books, B&N.com ) and for the PREORDER GIVEAWAY (FEATURING MOVIE POSTER SWAG FROM THE BOOK)!**

PS. The preorder giveaway ends at the end of today (7/20) so order RIGHT NOW!

 

 

And of course, it's NOW MY TURN....

 

Now that you have read the synopsis, I know you must be intrigued, and honestly, I feel like this is one of the most unique and original YA novels that I’ve read in some time, particularly in terms of setting (does it even have to be listed as such, just because the characters are young? This is unique, period).


Dario, our ‘lead’, is both witty, and tragic, and I found it hard not to fall for him in terms of wanting things to work out as he’s finding his way through all the craziness: his brother Oren, his father, the studio, his past, reuniting with his ‘lost’ love Hayley. He’s real and honest, and it’s tough to read some of the sections of the book about him and his mom because he’s had to deal with a lot of sadness.


That said, this is a ‘coming-of-age’ story, one where hard decisions about life have to be made, but it’s also a darkly comedic one; there’s so much humor, so much vivid imagery, and it hit the right tone with the ‘difficult’ spots, as well as the lighter ones. Milman is able to shift easily with this writing to make this both a poignant but funny and clever book.

Describing film/movie making is really hard to do, since you’re discussing a world within a world (and it’s so visual), and Milman has created this whole Moldavia Studio ‘world’ and then had to also translate as much as he can about filmmaking while keeping it easy to ‘get’. He has film terms and crew positions in there that maybe some people won’t understand (but I got a real kick out of; I could absolutely imagine this stuff) but nothing that made it confusing. *If you’re in the biz though, it’s just a bonus.

 

**EXTRA PERSONAL NOTE:
A quick word about why I jumped on this book like Vincent Price on a bare neck: you see, while I didn’t actually live in a castle like Moldavia Studios, which is where the book’s lead character Dario grew up, where dozens of cult classic horror movies got made, I did get close enough to my own version of this slice of craziness quite a few times. I have my degree in film and video production (and even got to take a brilliant 3 credit class all on vampire movies one summer), and spent a good decade or so working on feature films (and TV, commercials, etc), as continuity/script supervisor.


I tell you this because some of my favorite film-making memories were of making horror movies. My most fun times, as hard they were, were standing on snowy mountains seeing ‘someone getting slashed’ and hung on the ski-lift. And not many people have images of actors having their lunch with ice picks sticking out of their backs, or in bloody nightgowns but with grins on their faces. And even though I’ve even seen a house set on fire at the end of a film shoot and more fake blood than I can fathom, it doesn’t make me lose my love for the great horror classics.


I love horror movies (and books), and have taken great fascination into the old Hammer Studio movies in the past. The campy gore, the cult classics. And having Derek Milman put this into a book as a backdrop was an absolute delight, right down to all the movie names he cleverly came up with.

 

I absolutely can’t wait to see what Derek comes up with for his next book, although I think before that, it would be fantastic to sit down and make either a campy horror movie (it’s been a while!), or have a Hammer-Horror movie marathon!

 

Congrats on the new book, Derek! It’s genius.

 

 

THE BOOK GIVEAWAY

 

Everyone who enters the Rafflecopter giveaway at the link below has a chance to win a copy of the book and swag!

 

**1 winner will win a signed finished copy of SCREAM ALL NIGHT & swag, US Only.

Ends 7/30.

 

Enter by clicking HERE

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

 

And you can follow the whole book blog tour by following this link:

SCREAM ALL NIGHT BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

 

 

This was a really fun book to read and I'd love to hear if anyone preorders it or reads it, as it comes out just next week! It's a real scream!

 

Happy Reading!

~ K

 

 

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/32928987-scream-all-night?ac=1&from_search=true
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text 2018-07-20 14:30
#Friday Reads! July 20, 2018
The Unredeemed - Luke Walker
Lucifer, Book Three - Ryan Kelly,Ted Naifeh,Dean Ormston,Peter Gross,David Hahn,Craig Hamilton,Mike Carey
Mourning Jewelry - Stephanie M. Wytovich
The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch,Michael Page
The Freak Show Murders - Fredric Brown

 

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review 2018-07-19 16:36
When Koontz Does Comedy
Tick Tock - Dean Koontz

Not going to lie, when I first read this years ago I actually loved it. I see the weaknesses now in the re-read though and gave this four stars. Also there is a dog and I just maybe sighed so hard I caused my poor cat's fur to ruffle. Aside: Not my fault she likes to get close when I am reading. Tick Tock actually shows that Koontz has a sense of humor. There are parts of this that are funny though when you find out the why behind this mess you are going to shake your head. 

 

"Tick Tock" has Tommy Phan on the run for his life. Tommy is a successful writer who is dealing with his mother's constant disappointment that he is not a traditional Vietnamese son. Due to his success she is upset that Tommy has forgotten where he has come from. Tommy comes home and finds a rag doll on his steps and stupidly decides to bring it inside with him. When the doll turns into something monstrous, Tommy finds himself on the run from it along with a weird woman named Deliverance who seems to know more than she is letting on and her dog she calls Scottie. If Tommy can live til dawn, the rag doll monster thing won't be able to hurt him. 

 

I felt bad for Tommy. I used to get those phone calls from relatives telling me how I forgot about them and now that I am all successful I don't come home anymore. Bah. Tommy pushing back against his mother by eating a cheeseburger was hilarious.


Tommy is worried about Deliverance (Del), but they are both really funny together. I didn't guess Deliverance's secret, and I doubt readers coming into this cold will either. It really does come out of nowhere and you are going to love it. Deliverance is very much a kick ass female heroine in this one. I think many of the reasons it didn't bother me in this book was because everything is being played for laughs. I started to chuckle and outright laughed several times while reading this one. 


The writing was really good and I think that this may be the first and maybe last Koontz novel that featured a POC. I really wish that Koontz had followed up on this one, or even put out more lighter fare. This one is not bogged down by being overly descriptive and off the wall like later Koontz books. You are dealing with a horror book with fantasy elements in it and things tie together nicely. 

 

The ending was pretty brilliant and also funny as hell. I don't want to say too much cause just a little bit will spoil you. 


One of the main reasons why I didn't give this five stars, Tommy should have put two and two together a lot quicker to realize what was going on. Really again with the dog thing Koontz? 

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