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review 2018-03-06 17:29
Chills by Mary SanGiovanni
Chills - Mary SanGiovanni
This book is down right creepy, especially if it is snowing where you are. The book takes place in Colby, Connecticut during a freak snowstorm in May. Detective Jack Glazier has found a body in the snow. Unfortunately this will be just one of many. The murder seems to be occult related so Kathy Ryan, an occult specialist is called in. 

The snowstorm has the whole town cut off. Businesses and schools are all closed. Power and phone lines are down. As the snow rises so does the body count. The detectives and Kathy Ryan discover that the snow and the murders are related to a secret society and a ritual they are creating to bring in their powerful Gods to take over. The snow takes form as people and creatures that are capable of killing, but how do you kill snow. Kathy finds a way to do a ritual of her own in order to close the door that the Occult is opening. If she can stay alive long enough.

This story had me biting my nails at times. It is a toss up if that was from the story Mary Sangiovanni has written or if Chris Abell's narration caused it. The story was awesome and Chris Abell has done a great job of bringing it to life in the audiobook. 

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
 
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review 2017-09-18 05:44
Savage Woods - Mary SanGiovanni
Savage Woods - Mary SanGiovanni

The woods are alive. At least that's what Mary SanGiovanni would like you to believe in her latest offering, Savage Woods. The Nilhollow section of New Jersey's Pine Barrens has had its history of weird happenings. People tend to go missing here. Think of it as New Jersey's answer to the Bermuda Triangle. This has dated back tens of thousands of years. The Native Americans knew this and avoided this area like the plague. But what causes it? SanGiovanni attempts to explain it by introducing us to a chasm in Nilhollow that is allowing the bad mojo to escape it and pollute the wood spirits like a plague. This causes the woods to constantly shift and trap anyone who enters and then the wood spirits form these little tree creatures to off their victims. If you suddenly went "Huh?", you're not alone. Savage Woods has a few good ideas surrounded by an absolute mess and that's the most frustrating part for me. SanGiovanni can write. I've read so-called authors who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. She is not one of them. Unfortunately, the two stories of hers that I've read, she tries to take amazingly unrealistic material and breathe life into them. Instead, we get a laughable plot, uninteresting characters and pacing that makes a snail look like a top-fuel dragster. The possessed trees and vines in the Evil Dead. Now that was scary. Not so here. The tree creatures come off as hokie. Native American folklore can make for a great storyline, much like Brian Moreland did in The Devil's Woods and Dead of Winter. Again, not so here. She does throw in quite a bit of the red stuff, but you're beyond caring at this point and that makes the characters nothing more than cannon fodder. I simply found myself yawning through the whole thing eagerly anticipating the ending to come and put me out of my misery.

 

 

2 Killer Oaks out of 5

 

 

* this ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 


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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review 2016-11-18 11:32
Chills by Mary SanGiovanni
Chills - Mary SanGiovanni

“True Detective” meets H.P. Lovecraft in this chilling novel of murder, mystery, and slow-mounting dread from acclaimed author Mary SanGiovanni . . .

It begins with a freak snowstorm in May. Hit hardest is the rural town of Colby, Connecticut. Schools and businesses are closed, powerlines are down, and police detective Jack Glazier has found a body in the snow. It appears to be the victim of a bizarre ritual murder. It won't be the last. As the snow piles up, so do the sacrifices. Cut off from the rest of the world, Glazier teams up with an occult crime specialist to uncover a secret society hiding in their midst.

The gods they worship are unthinkable. The powers they summon are unstoppable. And the things they will do to the good people of Colby are utterly, horribly unspeakable…

 
**********
 
It was the hope of reading something really chilling was what drove me to read this book. And, at first, I thought that it would turn out to be pleasant reading. I liked the feeling of a doomed city that is taken over by snow monsters and a little group of people trying to save the town, and the world. However, somewhere along the way the story just lost the appeal for me. I think one of the main reason was that the characters were not very memorable. In the end, I think Morris was the only one that was interesting reading about, the rest just lacked anything substantial. I had high hope for Kathy making the book interesting with her dark background, but in the end, she turned out to be spending most of the time trying to find a spell to reverse the opening of the door to the other world. And, thus the one character in the book that really appealed to me when I started to read the book faded into the background. Yes, I did find Kathy and Teagan in the beginning an interesting "couple", But, then I lost interesting in them both when they started to get cozy in the middle of danger.  
 
Also, I think the story should have been built up a bit better, with a slower start, then there would have been more anticipations for larger and frightening things to happened. Now it was just killing from the beginning to the end, and because of that, there was no thrill in reading the book because you hardly got to know any characters, more than the cops. The rest was just people waiting to be killed. No point in getting attached because most people they were killed as soon as they were introduced. Sure, one or two survived, but they were in the story for a page or two never to be heard of again.


And, another problem was that it was not frightening to read, not even a bit chilling. Hell, I was mostly bored towards the end of the book and just wanted the book to end so that I could read something else.

So, the book started promising, then the story started to get more and more uninteresting and the ending was quite dull. Not, a book for me.

 
I want to thank Kensington Books for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!  
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review 2016-09-30 20:03
Chills by Mary Sangiovanni (and soooo close to a Bingo!)
Chills - Mary SanGiovanni

*I received an ARC from Netgalley with an unspoken promise to pen a review. Here it is.

 

Investigators are attempting to figure out who left a dead body with a strange occult marking lying around just as an unseasonable snow storm starts moving in. This isn’t just any old winter storm either. This storm brings with it man-eating monsters!

  

photo evilsnowmen_zpsxc1tmj1z.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The writer had me at flesh eating monsters but I have to admit that she lost me a bit somewhere along the way and this book started to drag. It could simply be me and my aversion to books that feature all action at the expense of character building. In my opinion, only Kathy, the occult specialist, was fleshed out well in this story. Her back story and her brother’s past were interesting but the rest of the people were nothing more than fodder for the monsters or an interchangeable mix of men trying to figure out the cultish case. That made sticking to this material a very hard thing for me to do.

 

I’m not going to lie though. The whole scenario she sets up here is quite terrifying. The monsters don’t pick and choose their prey. They eat every living human in their path and some of the scenes are riveting early on. You’ve been warned!

 

 

 

 

photo snowmaneatingkid_zpsjru4jhec.jpg

 

(spoiler show)

 

This is a well written action-packed, gory monster tale and now that I’ve finished, I completely understand the mixed reviews. It’s going to come down to a matter of what you like and what you don’t. If action is your thing you are going to love this a lot more than I did.

 

photo darkampstormysq_zpsxheqikul.jpg

 

I read this for my dark & stormy square.

 

 

photo halloween BINGO update6_zpsxkkeqbmq.jpg

 

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review 2016-09-30 15:44
Chills by Mary SanGiovanni
Chills - Mary SanGiovanni

"Evil in a small town" is a trope that appeals to me very much, especially when it's well done. Combine it with a smidge of cosmic horror and a heaping helping of police procedural and voila! You have the recipe for Chills.

 

You might actually GET the chills while reading this book. Atmosphere is a favorite facet of dark storytelling for me and this book has it in spades. The snow is constantly falling over the small town of Colby, Connecticut. It's created drifts, because the wind is howling and sometimes you catch glimpses of things in the snow. Are they real, or is it just your eyes playing tricks? You'll have to read Chills to find out.

 

Another aspect of this story that I enjoyed was the the tightness of the prose. It's clean and precise. Not a lot of time is spent going on and on with descriptions of the town or the snow drifts. I thought just enough time was spent getting to know the characters and I developed a real feeling for the character of Kathy, due to her horror-show of a brother, Toby. I would have liked a bit more information on Toby's cult, the Hand of the Black Stars, though; mostly because I find that kind of thing fascinating. I also wouldn't have minded a little more of the cosmic horror aspect over the police procedural one and for these reasons, I've deducted 1 star.

 

Chills was a lot of fun, especially if you consider shivering while you're reading to be fun. I know I do. Recommended to fans of: atmospheric dark fiction, evil in a small town stories, and the always fascinating Old Gods and the people who serve them. (Just make sure you wear a warm sweater!)

 

*Thanks to the author, NetGalley, and Kensington/Lyrical Underground for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.* 

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