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review 2018-01-16 20:16
Eloquent and disturbing
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton

Elizabeth Cuttner is the narrator in this somewhat disturbing and twisted tale of a 14 year old who has a story to tell. Through a mirror in her room she is influenced by Frances a long dead relative and participant in the medieval practice of witchcraft. This unhealthy partnership unveils a side of Elizabeth that is totally at odds with the quietly spoken and articulate young lady presented to the reader. As the novel unfolds we learn of the tragic death of her parents, the disappearance of her grandmother, and the somewhat unhealthy relationship she enjoys with her uncle James. What is so striking about the author's narrative is the way he is able to capture and portray Elizabeth who although appears innocent is often controlling and manipulative in  a very precise and distasteful way.

 

The writing of Ken Greenhall is sublime; this is horror that is quietly spoken leaving acts of unpleasantness to the creative mind of the reader...."We pretended that our appetites could be satisfied with toast and cereal."......"He was the only person I knew who didn't bathe very often. I admired him."....."Her hands glittered with oil, and she was carefully lining up the little headless bodies on dark bread. She raised a finger to her mouth and slowly licked it."...."I think it was his discomfort with me that first made me aware of the power that comes with womanhood."...."what did he think when I walked at this side and took his arm so that I could brush it against my breast.".....

 

The works of Ken Greenhall have been brought alive once again under the guidance of the wonderful Valancourt books who are helping us rediscover rare, neglected and out of print fiction. Many thanks to them for sending me this gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written. At times both shocking and eloquent Elizabeth is a wonderful and entertaining novel.

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review 2018-01-13 17:33
Witching Hour Theatre - Jonathan Janz
Witching Hour Theatre - Jonathan Janz

The venue where we watch our favorite horror movies has metamorphosed through the years. We've went from old single screen movie theaters to drive-in theaters, to multiple screen multiplexes, and now many people have high quality electronics in their man cave that would give any theater a run for their money. For those of us that remember the older movie theaters, they were a magical place. The smells of popcorn and candy mingling with the sounds of the bustling crowds and the flashing bright lights of the marquee. Going to the theater was an event. But when the lights went down and the crowds dispersed, the theater could be a spooky place. This is the atmosphere that Janz captures perfectly.

 

 

Larry Wilson, an awkward loner and horror movie aficionado, doesn't miss many of the Starlight Theaters Friday Midnight Matinees. He gets his popcorn and candy along with a large soda to wash it all down with. Tonight, he even got a future date with the cute girl behind the counter that he's never had the courage to ask out. This night was shaping up to be one that Larry would never forget. Unfortunately, this was the last good thing to happen tonight. For this night, blood was going to spill and not just on the screen.

Witching Hour Theatre is a fun romp through familiar territory. Janz doesn't try to do too much with this story. He lets it be exactly what it is - a B-movie tale told in an eerie familiar setting. He's got all the right ingredients going - atmosphere, good characters, flawless dialogue and pacing, and oh yes, plenty of the red stuff. Come right in and take your seat. Don't mind the stickiness on the floor. I'm sure it's only spilled soda...or is it?

 

 

 

4 1/2 Slasher Flicks out of 5

 

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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text 2017-12-29 18:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Books of 2017
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
The Suicide Motor Club - Christopher Buehlman
The Changeling - Victor LaValle
Hell Hound - Ken Greenhall,Grady Hendrix
Bone White - Ronald Malfi
The Wilderness Within - John Claude Smith
A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly
Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction - Grady Hendrix
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl

 

Please note that these are not necessarily books published in 2017, only books I've read during this year. I also had to change the title from novels to books, because of the awesome PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, which is more of a reference book. I've read a lot of great books this year, and making up this list was so difficult, that I've added a few "Honorable Mentions" at the end of the list. 

 

Without further ado, (please click the cover to see my original review):

 

1.Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden  by Christopher Golden. I haven't read very many books by Mr. Golden, but I own quite a few of them. I have had the pleasure of meeting him numerous times at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival, where he is always friendly and humble. This story about the discovery of Noah's Arc was fun and frightening all at once and I loved it!

 

2. The Suicide Motor Club - Christopher Buehlman  by Christopher Buehlman. This author is my favorite discovery of the year. Over the past 12 months I've read or listened to every novel he's written and I'm eagerly awaiting the next. The Suicide Motor Club features a road trip with vampires in American muscle cars. It couldn't have been more perfect or fun for me!

 

3.The Changeling - Victor LaValle  by Victor LaValle. This novel was just AMAZING. It's starts out in one direction and ends up in a totally different direction: none of which could be predicted and I love that! 

 

4. Hell Hound - Ken Greenhall,Grady Hendrix  by Ken Greenhall. This novel was originally published in the late 1970's. Brought back by Valancourt Books with a new cover and an introduction from Grady Hendrix, this book about an evil dog is spellbinding fun!

 

5. Bone White - Ronald Malfi  by Ronald Malfi. I find myself thinking about this book a lot lately, since the frigid cold weather began here. This novel was a cold and creepy read and I just loved it. 

 

6. The Wilderness Within - John Claude Smith  by John Claude Smith. A surreal, unique and intense read that I think about anytime I look out into the woods behind my house. 

 

7.A Game of Ghosts: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly  by the AWESOME John Connolly. I've read a lot of series books over the years and very few of them have kept up the quality continuously throughout like this series about fictional detective Charlie Parker. I feel in my bones that the series is coming to an end and I will be so sad when that happens. 

 

8. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction - Grady Hendrix  by Grady Hendrix. I don't even know what else to say about this GORGEOUS volume. It's a reference book, really, but no reference book EVER in history was as much fun or as pretty as this one. With colorful commentary about the times in which these books were originally written, no other book has had such a powerful impact on my TBR list as this one. 

 

9.Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton  by Ken Greenhall. This is his second entry on my list. Originally published in the 70's, (like Hell Hound above) and brought back by Valancourt Books, this novel is CHILLING in its depiction of a nasty, calculating witch of a girl. (Also, please note both of these are referenced in Hendrix's PAPERBACKS FROM HELL.)

 

10.The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl  by Eric Scott Fischl. This book isn't classified as horror, but I put it solidly in the land of dark fiction and as such, it belongs on this list. I know it's not a popular or well known book, but it sure was a unique, fun and interesting ride. This one slid under most everyone's radar, but I thought it was great and I humbly hope its mention on this list helps it to get more attention. 

 

As mentioned above, I have three honorable mentions, (click title to see my review):

 

THE LISTENER by Robert McCammon. Much as I loved ARARAT, this was my favorite book of the year. Except that it isn't even out yet. Publishing in 2018, I didn't feel it was fair to add it to this list. (And even though I read it in 2017, be assured that it will be on my BEST BOOKS OF 2018 post.) An amazing novel of magic, friendship, crime and love, I cannot wait until more people read it, so I can discuss it with them!

 

SPINAL TAP: THE BIG BLACK BOOK by Wallace Fairfax was a total blast. This book features fun facts about the fictional band as well as a discography and other interesting tidbits. I haven't seen this book mentioned or talked about anywhere, and that's a damn shame. Any fans of the film This is Spinal Tap would love this book. 

 

ASH WEDNESDAY  by Chet Williamson was a fantastic book of quiet horror. It was slow burning and horrific, but not in a bloody or gory way. I took away from it a sense of the value of life and time-we have to make the most of the time we have. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-05-01 22:35
April 2017 Round up!
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown
The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead - Peter David,Stephen King,Richard Ianove,Robin Furth
You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott
People of the Sun - Jason Parent

I read 20 books during April! That might be a personal record!

 

Graphic Novels:

 

The Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

The Dark Tower: The Battle of Jericho Hill

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (The Journey Begins)

American Vampire: Volume 4

 

Total: 5

 

Audio Books: 

 

Kindred by Octavia Butler

The Late Breakfasters by Robert Aickman

Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

 

Total: 4 

 

E-ARCS 

 

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror

Ararat by Christopher Golden

Elizabeth by Ken Greenhall

Jericho's Razor by Casey Doran

Dark Screams: Volume 6

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

 

Total: 7

 

Random Books 

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One

Nightmare of the Dead by Vincenzo Bilof

People of the Sun by Jason Parent

Soles by Kay Brandt

 

Total: 4

 

Total Books Read in April: 20

 

 

Reading Challenges

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

Running Count: 3

 

Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge: 

Goal: Read Horror Books!

 

January Books: 5

February Books: 3 

March Books: 4

April Books: 9

 

Running Count: 21

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017  

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

Running count: 17

 

Keep Calm and Read On!

 

 

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text 2017-05-01 21:17
Sci-Fi and Scary Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge-April Update
Soles - Kay Brandt
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates
Nightmare Of The Dead - Vincenzo Bilof
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum
At The Cemetery Gates: Year One - Chad Wehrle,John Brhel,Joseph T. Sullivan
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown
Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

 

I am participating in a Horror Reading Challenge over at the Sci-Fi and Scary blog. You can sign up yourself at the Sci-Fi and Scary Blog here: Sci-Fi and Scary

 

This month I've read 9  books towards the challenge this month:

 

Garden of Fiends (Tales of Addiction Horror)

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One 

 

Elizabeth 

 

Ararat 

 

Dark Screams: Volume 6

 

Nightmare of the Dead

 

Nightmares and Geezenstacks

 

Just Add Water

 

Soles

 

April Total: 9

March Total: 4

February Total: 3

January Total: 5

 

Total: 21

 

 

 

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