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review 2018-01-24 09:08
Ramskull by William Meikle
Ramskull - William Meikle

It started out as a simple nuisance call...a bit of sheep worrying according to a cantankerous old farmer on the remote island of Leita. For Sergeant Dave Wilkes, it was a chance to get out from under some excess paperwork, nothing more. Along with an over eager young constable, he heads out to the island, expecting no more than a day out of the office.

He's going to wish he never left the mainland.

What they find is a community abandoned....signs of horrific violence, some of which disappears in the blink of an eye. When they discover they have been cut off from any and all assistance, or even leaving the island, Sergeant Wilkes sets out to solve the mystery....only to discover that an ancient evil, long forgotten....a force twice thought laid to rest centuries before by one familiar with the powers of darkness, has broken loose once more. An entity that calls out to the unwary, with a power that can't be denied or stopped by bell, book, candle or firearm....a bloodthirsty horror that only Sergeant Wilkes stands against in it's bid to leave Leita and contaminate the entire world.

Grand atmospheric horror with a fine sense of place from Scotland's greatest horror author.

Highly recommended.

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review 2018-01-22 12:30
Infestation by William Meikle
Infestation - William Meikle

A group of soldiers is sent to investigate reports of Russians drilling in cold, Canadian waters. Once the troop arrives though, nary a Russian can be found and their ship shows signs of a bloody battle. What were the Russians doing and where are they now? You'll have to read this novella to find out!

 

Infestation is fast paced creature-feature containing all that you would hope for in such a read. There's not a real lot of character development, or descriptions of scenery, and that's fine with me. There's a lot of bloody battles where you're rooting for the troop to win and I liked that too-it's what I look for in this type of book.

 

The one thing I didn't care for was the ending. It just stopped! I'm all for the gut punch ending, but this wasn't that. It just stopped. I just discovered there is a sequel to this and I most likely will read it, when I get over being mad about this ending!

 

Recommended for fans of creature-features!

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review 2018-01-03 20:09
How very disappointing
Infestation - William Meikle

This is probably one of the worst novellas that I have had the displeasure to read in a very long time. A gun hoe group lead by Capt John Banks is sent to investigate the plight of a Russian ship in Canadian Waters (think Predator with Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers) There they encounter "isopods" (a type of large blue glowing giant cannibalistic turtle, or as the author prefers carnivorous bottom feeders!) which have emerged from the ocean after some heavy drilling by the said Russian ship. Throw into this mix an alluring (and possibly Russian spy) the sultry Svetlanova and add in the equivalent of Jim Taggart (Scottish detective) in the form of "Mac" with a deep Glaswegian accent...."Listen to the lass, Cap, Mac said weakly..She kens what she's on about."..... then you have a story that is truly abysmal.

 

This novella pays homage and tries to emulate the work of such well known horror writers as James Herbert (The Rats an outstanding fun story of a community plagued by blood thirsty mutant vermin) or indeed anything by Guy N Smith ( my own particular favourites being The Origin of the Crabs and Spawn of the Slime Beast) Infestation is a formulaic, clichéd story, told badly, that really does not deserve to be in print, and I had the misfortune to purchase for £3. Best avoided...........

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text 2018-01-02 18:45
December 2017 Round-Up
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror - William Meikle
Everybody's Fool: A novel - Richard Russo
Slade House: A Novel - David Mitchell
The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir - Maude Julien,Adriana Hunter
Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers - Joe R. Lansdale
Wrestle Maniacs - Duncan P. Bradshaw,Jeff Strand,Werner Leins,Eryk Pruitt,Jason Parent,Gabino Iglesias,Adam Howe,David James Keaton,James R. Newman,Katherine Kurtz
Chasing Ghosts - Glenn Rolfe
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit - Michael Finkel
March (Book One) - Andrew Aydin,Nate Powell,John Robert Lewis
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

I read 18 books during the month of December!

 

Audio Books:

 

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo

The Devil's Own Work by Alan Judd (actually read in August, but forgot to add!)

Slade House by David Mitchell

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

 

Total: 5

 

ARCS

 

 

Alive in Shape and Color: 17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired

The Ghost Club by William Meikle

Artemis by Andy Weir

The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien

Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers

Green by Sam Graham-Felsen

Cemetery Dance Select: Michael Marshall Smith

 

Total: 7

 

Reads for Review

 

Chasing Ghosts by Glenn Rolfe

Wrestle Maniacs (anthology)

 

Random Reads

 

The Walking Dead (Book 13) by Robert Kirkman

March Book One: by John Lewis

The Wicked + The Divine Book One: The Faust Act

Scrooge and Marley by Kurt Hollenbach

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

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

June & July: 0

August: 1 The Talented Mr. Ripley

September: 1  Carter & Lovecraft

October: 0 (But had LOTS of fun with Halloween Bingo!)

November: 0

December: 0

Running Count: 7

 

As you can see this was a massive fail! I've challenged myself to the same number of books I already own in 2018. Hopefully I'll be more successful this time around!

 

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

May count: 3

June count: 4

July count: 4

August count: 5

September: 1

October: 1

November: 0

December: 3

 

Final Count: 38!

Challenge Met!

 

I plan to read a TON of graphic novels in 2018 but I'm not formalizing it with a challenge. 

 

Thanks to Booklikes for creating this place which it makes it so easy to make friends with fellow readers! Happy Reading in 2018 everyone!

 

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text 2017-12-19 18:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Anthologies/Collections of 2017
The Secret of Ventriloquism - Jon Padgett
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - Nevil Shute,Mary Elizabeth Braddon,Michael P. Kube-McDowell
Haunted Nights - Lisa Morton,Ellen Datlow
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates
20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden
Halloween Carnival Volume 5 - Lisa Tuttle,Kevin Quigley,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror - William Meikle
For Those Who Dream Monsters - Anna Taborska,Steve Upham,Charles Black,Reggie Oliver,Reggie Oliver
DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates

 

I've read a ton of great short story collections and anthologies this year, making it difficult to limit my post to only ten. But I think I've managed to do a decent job of it, so without further ado, here's my top ten. (Click the book covers below to see my original review.)

 

1.  The Secret of Ventriloquism - Jon Padgett  This collection still haunts my dreams. I know I'll be reading it again.

 

2Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum  An anthology featuring stories of addiction.These tales are disturbing, fun and gross all at one time!  Featuring some of the best horror authors of today, you can't go wrong with this intense anthology.

 

3. The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - Nevil Shute,Mary Elizabeth Braddon,Michael P. Kube-McDowell  Once again, Valancourt Books puts together a stellar anthology, featuring the likes of Michael McDowell, Stephen Gregory and R. Chetwynd-Hayes to name just a few. James Jenkins and Ryan Cagle both have a keen eye for excellent horror and they don't just hand us the same old, same old. 

 

4. Haunted Nights - Lisa Morton,Ellen Datlow  Edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton. I have to admit this anthology knocked my socks off. All of these tales are connected by Halloween, be it the Halloween we celebrate here in the US, or the different ways it is celebrated across the world. This is the anthology that surprised me the most this year. (In a good way!)

 

5Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates  I read a number of the Dark Screams series this year, but this one was my favorite. Featuring stories by Tim Curran and Norman Prentiss, Dark Screams: Volume Six stood out the most to me. 

 

620th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden  This was Joe Hill's first published book. I loved it! It features the story Pop Art, which is one of my all time favorites. 

 

7. Halloween Carnival Volume 5 - Lisa Tuttle,Kevin Quigley,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman  Like the Dark Screams anthologies, I read a number of Halloween Carnival volumes this year, but this, Volume 5, stood above the rest. Featuring stories from Richard Chizmar, Norman Prentiss (there he is again!), and Lisa Tuttle among others, this was a fun book. 

 

8The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror - William Meikle  This outstanding collection features a bold premise: a group of Victorian age writers get together with the price of admission being a supernatural story. What fun! I read this last week and I'm still thinking of some of these fun tales. 

 

9For Those Who Dream Monsters - Anna Taborska,Steve Upham,Charles Black,Reggie Oliver,Reggie Oliver  I read this fabulous collection with my Horror Readers group and we all loved it. I had never heard of this author before reading this book and now I'm hoping to read more from her in the future.  (Plus, look at that cool cover!)

 

10DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates  by Joyce Carol Oates. These stories had all been previously published, but I had not read them, so they were new to me. JCO is hit or miss with me sometimes, but with Dis MEM Ber, she did not strike out. 

 

If you've stayed with me this far, I thank you! I hope you'll check in with me during 2018 as I tackle more horror short stories and hopefully more new authors. Thanks for reading!

 

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