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review 2018-08-17 18:30
CREATURE by Hunter Shea
Creature (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea

 

CREATURE! It. Knocked. My. Socks. Off.

 

Kate and Andrew have certainly been tested. Her health, (a horrible litany of problems due to auto-immune diseases and problems arising from the treatment of them), and his care of her, has tested the strength of their marriage at every turn. Now with Kate trying an experimental treatment, they are in for their biggest test ever. In an attempt to alleviate the tension and bring some relaxation to their lives, Andrew rents an isolated cabin in Maine for the summer. Instead of being the serene, quiet time they had both hoped for, their cabin becomes the target of something in the woods. Will they return from their vacation relaxed and refreshed? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This is not the book I expected from Hunter Shea. What I expected was a creature-feature, (one of those words is right there in the title after all), and it sort of was. But what it mainly was, was the story of a strong marriage and how chronic disease attacks every component of your life-and this is a tale I recognize from my own life. I had a period of years with an un-diagnosed disease, which in the end WAS diagnosed as an auto-immune condition. I know what it is to be frustrated, to have my patience tested, to be told it's all in my head, and to be poked, prodded, and experimented with like a lab rat. So, when Mr. Shea wrote about Kate's inner thoughts I totally understood and I recognized the pure truth of them.

 

What Mr. Shea did with Kate's thoughts is another thing entirely. It was brutal, yet beautiful at the same time. The imagination and creativity here was astounding. It was also frightening and spellbinding. I read the last 40% of this book straight through, because that was what the story demanded of me. I loved these characters, each and every one of them, and I rooted so hard for them all-I simply could not leave them at the height of their struggle.

 

Now, I find myself almost speechless, (and if you know or follow me, you know that's rare!). I want you to understand that this is a powerful tale, about so much more than what it appears to be on the surface. I hope that if you've ever trusted a review based solely on a reviewer's word, that you choose this one to trust. You will not be disappointed.

 

CREATURE gets my highest recommendation!

 

Available everywhere September 6th, but you can pre-order here: CREATURE

 

*Thank you to Flame Tree Press via NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2018-06-28 18:45
THEY FEED by Jason Parent
They Feed - Jason Parent

 

You know, I'm just unclear about why people insist on camping and enjoying "the great" outdoors. If they read the kind of books I read, they wouldn't do that. THEY FEED is one of those books.

 

I'm going to keep this short because there are plenty of reviews already out there. If terrible people getting chased and eaten by creatures that that resemble moving pieces of poo sounds like your idea of fun, this book is for you! And I'm not talking fun or humorous pieces of poo, like Mr. Hankey here:

 

I'm talking fast moving pieces of poo with teeth. Pieces that talk to each other, commune, if you will, to gang up on their victims.

 

There are some interesting characters here, none of whom comes of the woods in the same condition in which they went in. Which brings me full circle, back to the woods. Just don't go in there! Don't do it!

 

Highly recommended for horror fans, most especially fans of creature features! Hidey Ho!

 

*I was provided a free e-book in exchange for my honest review. This is it. Further, I consider Jason Parent to be a friend, both online and off, but that did not affect the content of my review.*

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review 2018-06-15 18:30
THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay
The Cabin at the End of the World - Paul Tremblay

 

THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD takes a look at an American family and asks what are you willing to do to protect them? But this book asks that question in an unique way- right before it rips your heart out and stomps all over it!

 

Eric and Andrew take their daughter Wen on vacation to a remote cabin located on a lake in the woods of New Hampshire. It's been deliberately chosen because it has no cell service, no internet, no nothing. They want to spend this time together, uninterrupted as a family. Unfortunately, their dream vacation came to a screeching halt when a large man named Leonard wandered into their front yard and started talking to Wen. Soon thereafter, three more people join him and together, they all enter the cabin. Things go so downhill from there, it's hard to even talk about. What happens after that? You'll have to read this book to find out!

 

To give away any more about the plot would be spoilery, so I'm just going to talk about my thoughts and impressions and leave it at that. First, I love the way that Paul Tremblay writes families. He always provides honest insights and observations and as such, these parts of his writing are the ones that appeal to me the most. In this case, I loved 7 year old Wen SO MUCH, I just wanted to pick her up, give her a hug and go help her catch grasshoppers. Eric and Andrew were mysteries at first, but the one thing that soon became obvious about them was their love for Wen.

 

When things started to go sideways, I was captivated. I had so many questions but I expected and trusted the author to lead me through. Was I right to invest my trust? Yes and no. This is a very slight and "in general" type of spoiler, but just in case:

I suspect that the end of this tale is going to ruffle some feathers, and I have to admit I felt a bit ruffled myself. I don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow, but I wouldn't have minded a few more answers. That aside, I honestly LOVED how it all came together at the end, (or didn't as the case may be, you'll have to read it!) I think it takes a certain amount of courage on the part of the author to end things the way he did and I'm very interested to see how it goes over with other readers.

(spoiler show)

 

One other thing did bother me: after the group of strangers entered the cabin, the pacing slowed down a bit and there was a lot of talking without much actual explaining, if that makes any sense. Having chapters from different character's points of view helped me gain a little more insight as to what was going on in their heads, but I thought those portions were a little dragged out and for that, I deducted one star. (And to be honest, this issue is most likely mine, and mine alone.)

 

THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD is now my favorite among the works of Paul Tremblay. The writing here was powerful and my heart is still healing from the major break it suffered while I was reading this book, and as such: I highly recommend it!

 

Up for pre-order now HERE and available everywhere on June 26th,2018.

 

*Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-07-28 20:10
Bone White by Ronald Malfi
Bone White - Ronald Malfi

In the cold town of Dread's Hand, Alaska, Paul Gallo arrives in search of his missing twin brother. He will never be the same again.

 

“You didn’t arrive in Dread’s Hand, he realized, but rather Dread’s Hand came at you piecemeal, a bit of itself at a time, like someone reluctant to make your acquaintance..."

 

I'm not going to rehash the plot, as the synopsis and several other reviews already do that. I can only tell you how it made me feel. Uneasy. Jumpy. Disconcerted. All these things and more.

 

Ronald Malfi's writing keeps getting better and better. It seemed to me that in this book, the writing disappeared altogether, and the story was directly injected into my brain. Isn't that the best writing of all?

 

Bone White is that feeling you get when you glimpse something out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn there's nothing there. Combine that feeling with the cold isolation and cold people of a small closely-knit, Alaskan town. One that's hiding a secret. Don't expect long drawn out explanations here. Instead, expect crosses, headless bodies and dark shadows.

 

This is the second book I've read this month which will undoubtedly make my best books of the year list. You should read it, so that you can add it to yours.

 

Highly recommended!

 

*Thanks so much to NetGalley and to Kensington for the e-ARC of this phenomenal book, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-06-06 16:54
Book Review: Legacy Strain (Isolation #3) By Taylor Brooke
Legacy Strain - Taylor Brooke

 

* I received an eARC from the author in exchange of an honest review. 

 

What an awesome ending to an incredible series! I'm not sure what I was expecting as an ending to this crazy adventure. All I know is what I got blew everything out of the water. I also loved the LGBT+ representation in this novel. It's not everyday that I pick up a book that represents and delves into that community.

 

I have mixed feelings towards Brooklyn because of what was revealed in the end. There was finally a reason for all her guilt, which makes the story that much more intricate. I don't think I would have welcomed her with open arms after all that though. What can I say? I'm petty. I'll admit to it.

 

I couldn't stand Julien this time around. Who in their right mind falls for a psychopath (which ended up being redeemed in a way)? I also don't believe that love can fix someone or make them more 'understanding'. Though the omens are all genetically altered and their brains work differently, I couldn't sympathize with the situation.

 

When everything clicked into place, it was like a light switch flipped and finally illuminated all the dark corners of what was actually going on. I wasn't expecting that to be the outcome. The epilogue took away from the story for me because it felt like everything was too perfect. For a group of genetically modified 'people' to get somewhat of a happy ending without something coming back to bite them in the ass is, to me, an impossibility. 

 

My Favorite Quotes:

 

"Sometimes reality was disorienting, sometimes nothing seemed real."


"Dead was different than gone. Something that was gone could come back. Dead was permanence."


"Perhaps the war had never been about surviving, maybe it had always been about living."

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