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review 2017-08-13 16:23
Mass Hysteria by Michael Patrick Hicks
Mass Hysteria - Michael Patrick Hicks

 

Mass Hysteria was a brutal horror novel, which reminded me of the horror being written in the late 70's and, (all of the), 80's. Books like James Herbert's The Rats or Guy N. Smith's The Night of the Crabs. There are a lot of similarities to those classics here-the fast paced action going from scene to scene-with many gory deaths and other sick events. In fact, I think Mass Hysteria beats out those books in its sheer horrific brutality.

 

I'm not going to go into the plot very much-it's there in the synopsis for you. As a set up for the savage action to come, meteor showers are as good as anything else. The fact that the sickness hits the animals first and turns them from wonderful pets, police dogs, etc...and turns them into violent killing machines was heartbreaking. I felt more sympathy for the animals in this book than I did for most of the humans. Almost all of the people in this book were not likable. In fact, many of them were abhorrent, promiscuous or just plain stupid. That was okay though, because they got exactly what they deserved.

 

There was a good amount of sex here, interspersed with the horror, and the word "empurpled" was used a few times. (It made me chuckle every time!) Be prepared though, as the sex was not always with live humans.

 

Which brings me to my next point, this book is not for the easily offended. It's not for the horror novice who is new to the genre and all its various offerings. I think Mass Hysteria is best enjoyed by the experienced horror fan. Humans and animals alike are killed in all kinds of nasty ways. There is necrophilia, there is bestiality...are you seeing my point here? If even the very thought of these things disgusts you, this is not the book for you.

 

My last thought to share with you is about the ending: LOVED. IT. !! Keeping in tone with the style of the book up that point, Mr. Hicks did not shy away from the, (what I thought was), inevitable finish. I like and respect that!

 

If the subjects I mentioned above tend to make you shy away from a story, this one is probably not for you. However, if these subjects and the brutal kills and gore ARE your cuppa, then you should head over to Amazon right now and one-click this bad boy.

 

Recommended for hard core fans of the genre!

 

You can get your copy here:Mass Hysteria

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

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review 2017-07-03 15:06
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Behind Her Eyes - Sarah Pinborough,Bea Holland,Josie Dunn,Huw Parmenter,Anna Bentinck

What more can be said about this book without ruining it for the next reader? Not much. I'm sticking with I really liked it, but I understand why it wouldn't work for everyone.

 

I thought the audiobook was a lot of fun, especially with the two main narrators alternating chapters.

 

I highly recommend this audio and I'd love to hear your thoughts when you're done!

 

Thanks to my awesome public library for the audio loan.

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review 2017-06-02 22:15
Ascent by Luke Walker
Ascent - Luke Walker

 

A handful of people are stuck in the hell that has become Greenham Place, after what they think is an explosion that may have ended the outside world. But that's not the worst of it. Something has been unleashed inside this tall office building, and it's after them. Will they survive? You'll have to read Ascent to find out!

 

Rod, Alex, Simon, Kelly and Dao were all strangers to each other before the explosion. Now, they may be all that's left of humanity. What I liked most about this story was how the characters were each introduced and how they got to know one another. Unfortunately, whatever was released into Greenham Place got to know them too, and it used that knowledge to torture them all.

 

I thought this story was beautifully told-the author took the time to develop each character and then tailored the horror to each one. Everybody has secrets, whether they be something that happened to them, or something they did to someone else. Now imagine a creature that could use all that and twist it around-using it to insert wedges between people, to make people hallucinate, or even just to guilt them to death-how can you defeat that? Maybe you can't?

 

I LOVED the ending of this book, but I imagine it might be a problem for some. As an American, in light of our current political problems, and the problems that other...unstable countries present not only to us, but to the world, it was easy for me to fill in the blanks. I think that helped the story become more personal to me and I liked it that much more as a result.

 

My only complaint was that I thought the term "legging it" was a bit overused, but hey, if this stuff was going down anywhere near me, I would be legging it the hell out of there too.

 

More of a psychological horror story than anything else, (don't worry-there's plenty of bloody gore to go around too), Ascent was an impressive and imaginative story and I highly recommend it!

 

You can get your copy here: Ascent

*I was provided an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-04-18 18:30
Nightmare of the Dead by Vincenzo Bilof
Nightmare Of The Dead - Vincenzo Bilof

 

Nightmare of the Dead was a different kind of zombie/cannibal novel and I'm torn over it.

 

On the one hand, I enjoyed the creativity and imagination that went into this story. We have the Union and the Confederacy battling it out, with one side using medical experimentation to create the perfect type of soldier. And somehow this was done with a horror/western type feel to it-kudos to the author for that.

 

On the other hand, the writing felt disjointed. At times there seemed to be parts that were rewritten and inserted without regard for the paragraphs before and after. There were also a lot of missing words. These issues did bother me and took me out of the flow of the story more than once.

 

The author's descriptive skills were excellent and believe you me, there is a lot of blood, gore, torture, and rape here to describe. In that vein, Mr. Bilof's writing put me in mind of Tim Curran, whose imagination is beyond compare.

 

This was a quick reading, short novel and I did enjoy it, it's just that the writing could have been better. I would read more of this author's work in the future, in the hopes that he's honing his craft. If that's the case, then we certainly have not seen the last of Vincenzo Bilof.

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review 2017-03-28 18:35
Drop Dead Gorgeous by Donald Allen Kirch
Drop Dead Gorgeous - Donald Allen Kirch

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a bizarre and erotic horror story that resonated with me.

 

U.S. Only Audiobook Giveaway at Horror After Dark! Click here to enter.

 

Ray wakes up duct taped to a chair and soon realizes that he is being held captive by the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. She wants to tell him a story, and he wants to stay alive. So begins this wicked tale of revenge, sex, lies, genetic modifications, lust, and, perhaps a bit of social commentary. These are the reasons I say it was bizarre, but bizarre in a good way!

 

 

(Click here to see the Drop Dead Gorgeous book trailer! )

 

I had no idea where this tale was going, so I just hung on for the ride. I'm not going to get further into the plot, because most of the other reviews already do that. I will say that Mr. Kirch deftly strings the reader along until the perfect ending quickly arrives, leaving said reader in a daze. I was worried he would chicken out and shy away from the denouement this story so richly deserved, but he didn't.

 

Steve, Eve, Wells and even the evil Annabelle were well drawn, realistic characters. Not one of them was a cardboard cutout, they each had depth; both good points and bad. Sometimes I found myself feeling sorry for the villains and hating the "good" guy.

 

There's a lot to be learned here too, at least there is to my mind. How society treats women, (and men, really), based on their bodies and their looks. Many women would kill to have the body of Eve, but she would kill to get rid of it. That got me to thinking that I should probably be careful about what I wish for. Also, there are some scary experiments going on with genetic modifications, nanos and science-y stuff, which brought many ethical questions to the forefront of my mind. We all know that scientists are working on ways to make us immortal and while most of us would probably like to live forever, is that actually a good thing? The world is overpopulated as it is. It's rare that an erotic horror story bring up questions of such import, but this one did.

 

All in all, Drop Dead Gorgeous adds up to more than the sum of its parts,  and it delivers over and above what you would expect from the cover. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it and look forward to reading more from Mr. Kirch in the future!

 

*Mr. Kirch provided Horror After Dark a review copy free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. This is it!*

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