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review 2016-09-23 00:18
Savages - Greg Gifune
Savages - Greg F. Gifune

Greg Gifune has outdone himself yet again. He has established himself firmly as one of the finest horror authors out there and anyone that has read my reviews knows that he's definitely one of my favorites. Simply put, I have yet to read anything mediocre by him. If he has a clunker in his catalog, it hasn't passed my eyes yet. And that brings me to Savages which, in my opinion, is an absolute masterpiece.


A group go sailing in the remote South Pacific when a storm sinks the boat they were on. Drifting for days, one of the crew dead, a passenger missing, and the captain along with another passenger badly injured, they fight dehydration, the scorching sun, and hungry sharks to finally drift onto an uninhabited and uncharted island that no one even knew existed. With no supplies, no tools, no food, and barely any clothing on, the harsh reality of their bleak situation hits home like a ton of bricks. Just when they thought that things couldn't get any worse, they discover that their deserted island isn't so deserted and it's inhabitant isn't happy to see them.


The strength in Ginfune's tale is it's realistic characters and the way he ratchets up the dread as the story goes along. I'm not joking. You could literally cut the tension in this book with a knife. He also adds some fantastic top secret WWII setting in here. Damn this was so good. I'm going to stop drooling all over this one and give it to you straight - quit reading reading reviews trying to decide what book you want to buy next. Your search is now officially over. Immediately grab this one and start reading!



5 Hidden Tunnels out of 5


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review 2016-08-16 13:23
Review: Savages by Greg F. Gifune
Savages - Greg F. Gifune

It's a rare thing, but sometimes you come across a book that feels like it was custom made for you, hitting all the right sweet spots, all the right fist-pumping beats, as it swallows you whole into its world. Savages by Greg F. Gifune was such a book for me. Naturally, your mileage may vary, but for me, this was a sweet, sweet read.


Opening with an epigraph quoting the 1920 film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you get a good idea of what's in store for you. "A man cannot destroy the savage in him by denying its impulses. The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it..." It's a powerful quote, and Gifune's book has the darkness to match as the author tackles the themes suggested here.


Savages is a short novel, and a lot of its power is derived from the unknown. So I won't say much about it. You can read the book's synopsis, but the shorter gist of it is this: a small group of survivors wash up on the beach of a mysterious island. They think they're alone, until gruesome evidence begins to say otherwise. Yes, there's evil afoot, lurking in the jungles that surround them - but I will say no more. 


The surprises these survivors uncover is simply too good to spoil, but know that Gifune's epigraph works on multiple levels here. There's plenty of savagery to be found, as well as heaping doses of primal needs for survival. This is, I think, survival horror at its finest.


As for those sweet spots it hit for me? You've got the deserted island trope, which I'm a bit of a sucker for, an awesome threat that relates directly to mankind's own savageness, and a strong, fierce heroine. Plus, the group itself - there's some good character work here, and despite most of them being friends, their personalities and traits allow for plenty of strain and tension, as well as worry over in-group violence that could boil over at any moment. This is simply a compulsively readable title, and once Gifune starts weaving in the background of the threat this group is facing, it's a full-tilt boogie of mad-dash horror straight on through to a dark, beleaguering finale.


Savages is a horror book that's perfectly crafted, from it's beautiful, vintage cover, straight on through to the story's last page, and a new instant-favorite for me. Read it!


[Note: This review is based on an advanced copy provided by Sinister Grin Press via Hook of a Book Media and Publicity.]

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review 2016-08-15 10:14
Cognitive SF: "Savages" by K. J. Parker (aka Tom Holt)
Savages - K.J. Parker

‘“Right,” Joiauz said, in a rather high voice. “Let’s start with the war, shall we?”’


I’m not sure whether all writers consciously play with SF using specific materials or not. Do they all know where the story is going or do they just make it up as they go along? Sometimes we get clever writers; sometimes intellectuals, and sometimes emotional ones. My kind of writer is the one we get the feeling does not know where things are headed.


If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2016-03-20 13:21
Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson, narrated by Lesa Lockford
Life Among the Savages - Shirley Jackson,Lesa Lockford


This is an hilarious autobiographical account of Shirley Jackson and her husband, raising 2, (then 3, then 4) children in a small Vermont town. I listened to the audio version, narrated by Lesa Lockford, and I thought she was excellent.


This has to be the funniest audiobook I've ever heard. It consists of vignettes regarding daily life, such as: a bus trip to the store for school clothes, with 3 children, a doll carriage, a doll, etc..., or a game of musical chairs, except it involves a sick household and beds instead of chairs. Somehow Shirley threads all of these short stories into a narrative that I think most mothers will relate to, even though it took place in the 1950's.


It's difficult to believe that this is the same author of some of my favorite books, (The Haunting of Hill House!!), because the tone and style is so different. What is the same is the master level of story-telling-landing you right in the house among the savages.


4 stars for the story, 1 additional star for the wonderful narration. Highly recommended!



You can buy your copy here: Life Among the Savages

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review 2014-06-16 03:11
Hopeless Savages Volume 2: Ground Zero: Ground Zero v. 2 - Jen Van Meter

This was such a cute story with great illustrations. I really love Zero's character. This volume centered around a well done love story that wasn't too sappy and had just the right amount of awesome.

I also really liked the set up of disrupted timelines. At times it was confusing, but the overall effect was brilliant. Sometimes there was flashbacks within flashback,s which were a little hard to follow, but this was compensated for by having different artists illustrate the flashback scenes. This has a very beautiful effect as each flashback was separated by its own distinct style.

Very well put together piece of work. 

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