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review 2017-03-23 23:07
Review: We Are Always Watching by Hunter Shea
We Are Always Watching - Hunter Shea


We Are Always Watching is different from what I have come to expect from Hunter Shea. Usually, Shea throws me right into the action pretty early on, but not this time. This time the story built slowly, both in tension and in plot. I thought I had a rough idea what to expect after reading the blurb, turns out I was wrong. We Are Always Watching morphed into something completely different and went down a different path than I was anticipating.

 

We Are Always Watching was a slow burner. At times it felt like nothing of great importance was happening outside of getting to know the characters, their surroundings, and their general day to day lives - with little tidbits thrown in to whet the appetite for what was to come. For the first half of the book, I thought I knew where the story was going as it was still within the box that is the blurb. Then, almost as if someone had flipped a switch, the box was obliterated. All of a sudden all my expectations were thrown out the window and I was re-analysing what I'd already read. I found myself thinking back and reflecting on everything I'd read up to that point, re-looking at all the events, the sounds, and the clues, from a different angle.

 

I did enjoy this turn of events, but I have to say that I was also a little disappointed that it wasn't what I was expecting it to be. I'm purposely being very vague here because it would be extremely easy to ruin this book for those who have yet to read it. Once you get to this point in the book things really take off. Before you know it the slow burn is in your rear window and the story hurtles towards the conclusion at breakneck speed.

 

The character growth was portrayed well and the changing dynamics and tension felt believable, but I have to say, it was the visual aspect that shone for me. I could picture the surroundings and the buildings easily and it added a whole new level to the reading experience.

 

I like when a book surprises me and is something other than what I was expecting it to be. But, We Are Always Watching came to a fork in the road, one turn being one of my favourite horror scenarios, and the other being a lesser liked horror scenario, and it took the lesser turn. Of course, this is in no way a negative thing, it's just my personal preference and I still thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend it.

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-03-23 22:33
To Die For by Alice Clark-Platts
To Die For - Alice Clark-Platts,Penguin Audiobooks,Rachel Bavidge

 

To Die For seemed more like part of a story, than a full one.

 

That said, a couple of the characters were very well drawn, (if hateful), and I would have liked to have read more about them. But by then, this "story" was over.

 

Thanks to Audible for the free download. I may try a full book from the author in the future.

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review 2017-03-23 00:34
Love!
Zombies vs. Robots (2015-) Vol. 2: War! 'Bots! - Chris Ryall,Lucy Ryall,Paul Davidson,Ashley Wood,Antonio Fuso,James McDonald,Valentin Ramon,James Kochalka,Nico Peña

This is a series that I read mostly for the robots, although people tend to call them 'warbots.'   And they are just that, meant to fight off the zombie invasion.   I forgot that I was reading out of order, and that this was volume two, but the story was cohesive on it's own, although I'm sure I missed specific incidents they referred to: the editor's notes told me which issues I missed them in, after all!

 

Other than being fine as a stand alone, this was a lot of fun.   The series doesn't take itself too seriously, for one thing, although it does focus on telling a fun story with solid characters while poking fun at itself in how ridiculous this whole thing gets. 

 

The art is lush in its painterly scope, although not color wise: muted colors reflect the horror of the world that's been created, adding to the creepy sense of this whole thing, adding a sense of gravitas that was, on occasion, missing in the writing.   Not to say that 'missing in the writing' was a bad thing; I liked how flippant this could get despite the desperate situations.   Not only that, a more serious art style - like the toned down color scheme - and the outrageous elements in the writing ended up matching up perfectly, one keeping the other in check. 

 

It felt neither too serious, nor too silly, but ended up a balance of both that simply appeals to me.   I'm looking forward to catching up on volume one, since I ended up getting both on sale along with the Undercity volume and simply ended up reading out of order...

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review 2017-03-22 18:50
Hell Hound by Ken Greenhall
Hell Hound - Grady Hendrix,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton

 

In the late 70's, I started reading horror in earnest, and I honestly thought I was familiar with most horror writers of the time. I was wrong. I'd never heard of Ken Greenhall until Valancourt Books brought him to my attention. Now, I want to get my hands on everything he's written.

 

Baxter, the bull terrier, is a sociopath. But he's just a dog, you might say! It's true, but he's observant, willful and extremely dangerous. With some portions of this book being from his point of view, the reader gets a clear look into what's going on in that doggie head of his. I know this book sounds cheesy, and perhaps like a rip-off of Cujo, but the facts are that it's not cheesy at all, and it was written before Cujo. Featuring keen insights into human behavior, precise but spare prose, and bringing to the reader a growing sense of dread and horror, I'm pretty sure this will be among the best books I will read this year.

 

My highest recommendation! You can get your copy here: Hell Hound

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-03-22 18:40
Batman, Volume 2: I Am Suicide by Tom King, Michael Janin and Mitch Gerads
Batman Vol. 2: I Am Suicide (Rebirth) - Mikel Janin,Tom King,David Finch

 

Tom King caught my eye with the Vision comics, so when I saw he was writing Batman Comics I immediately requested them from Net Galley. 

 

The first, Batman, Volume 1: I Am Gotham , was pretty good, so I was happy to try Batman, Volume 2: I am Suicide.  Unfortunately, I'm not enjoying these as much as I enjoyed Vision. Admittedly, this could be because I am not very familiar with DC Comics or superheroes, in general, so please keep this in mind.

 

The first story in this volume is I Am Suicide. I loved the artwork but the story seemed to be all over the place. Batman was trying to capture Psycho Pirate who is being kept by Bane, and he assembled a group of misfits, none of whom I'm familiar with, to do so. On the way there, he encounters resistance and repeats himself constantly. (He's trying to get to Psycho Pirate because something he has or can do can help Gotham Girl, who's still a mess from her experiences in I Am Gotham.) Bane is a super huge criminal dude being held in a prison called Santa Prisca. I thought that if I were more familiar with these characters things would make more sense, but from reading the other reviews here, that doesn't seem to be the case. Overall, this story was a 2.5 stars out of 5 for me, mostly because I thought the art was very cool.

 

Rooftops, which is the second story in this volume, was much better. It was a bit cheesy and predictable, but it had some humor and a nice connection between Batman and Catwoman. Again, the artwork in this story was excellent and conveyed the feelings the author was trying to get across. 4 out 5 stars.

 

 

I did enjoy this volume, just not as much as I expected to. I'm still interested in seeing where this series is going, because I love the idea of a dark Batman. He is developing as a complex character and I like that, it's just that this volume was a bit of a let down.

 

Available April 18th, you can pre-order a copy here: Batman Vol. 2: I Am Suicide (Rebirth)

 

*Thanks to Edelweiss for the free advance review copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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