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review 2017-04-06 18:42
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror, edited by Mark Matthews
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Bentley Little;P. Gardner Goldsmith;Lorne Dixon;Michael A. Arnzen;Pat MacEwen;Ray Garton;Ian Withrow;John F.D. Taff;Jeff Strand;Kevin Lucia;Benjamin Kane Ethridge;Shane McKenzie;Steve Vernon;Charles Colyott;Taylor Grant;Dev Jarrett;Eric J. Guignard;J. S.

 

Garden of Fiends is an unflinching and intense collection of addiction stories from some of the best authors in the business. It is not for the weak of heart, but neither is addiction. Let's take a brief, but closer look at the tales within:

 

A Wicked Thirst by Kealan Patrick Burke: Alcoholism is no joke and many find that they cannot quit on their own and seek out help from programs like AA. This story does not shy away from the absolute power that is addiction and then it slays the reader with its powerful ending. 5* 

 

The One in the Middle by Jessica McHugh: This tale was twisted as twisted can be. (At least I thought so until I read Max Booth III's story, but more on that in a moment.) A hard, direct look at the downward spiral of addiction and the other crimes associated with it. After all, drugs often cost an arm and a leg. 4*

 

Everywhere You've Bled and Everywhere You Will by Max Booth III: Combine a heroin addiction, blood everywhere and spiders and what have you got? You have this graphic and dare I say... disgusting?, tale of heroin dependence. You'll need a strong stomach for this one, but I think it's worth it! 5*

 

Last Call by John FD Taff: This was another story of alcoholism. This one shows us that there are no shortcuts to sober. 4*

 

Torment of the Fallen by Glen Krisch: Demons abound in this story and not all of them are drug related. 3.5*

 

Garden of Fiends by Mark Matthews: A tale about how addiction affects everyone surrounding the addict. It floods out like the ripples on a calm lake,  as do the effects of eating anything from this particular garden. 5*

 

Returns by Jack Ketchum: here we have another tale of alcoholism, but with the twist of also involving a ghost. Short and to the point, this one punched me right in the gut. 5*

 

To be all technical about it, my ratings add up to a 4.5, but after thinking about this collection overnight, I think it adds up to more than the sum of its parts, so 5 fat stars it is!

 

My highest recommendation to those readers who are strong of heart!

 

You can pre-order your copy here: Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror">Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror"> 

*I was provided a free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

**Further, I consider Mark Matthews a friend, albeit online only. This did not affect the content of my review.*

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text 2017-04-04 22:37
I've read 97% and...
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Bentley Little;P. Gardner Goldsmith;Lorne Dixon;Michael A. Arnzen;Pat MacEwen;Ray Garton;Ian Withrow;John F.D. Taff;Jeff Strand;Kevin Lucia;Benjamin Kane Ethridge;Shane McKenzie;Steve Vernon;Charles Colyott;Taylor Grant;Dev Jarrett;Eric J. Guignard;J. S.

all I've got left to read is the story written by Jack Ketchum. Nearly every tale in this collection worked well for me and that's always a good thing. 

 

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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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text 2015-02-26 12:54
Reading progress update: I've read 147 out of 324 pages.
The Tooth Fairy - Graham Joyce

Horror expansion project read: This is much more than I expected, but I am at a loss to explain just how. It's shocking and spooky and darkly funny. I am mesmerized and disgusted and enjoying every minute of it,

 

the whole list: carla.booklikes.com/HorrorTBR

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review 2015-02-07 20:22
Don't think I don't see you coveting my Funhole!
The Cipher - Kathe Koja

But what did it all mean?


If you don't like reading books where that's the question you're left with after turning the final page, this might not be the thing for you.

This book is like a Rorschach splatter, and I'm not telling you what I think it all meant to me. I'd be embarrassed, I think, to expand on the matter with anyone other than a close friend.

It's dark. It's nasty. The only good people in this story are on the periphery.

If you like body horror. If you like art house films that shove the camera into the mess of humanity, then you'll likely enjoy the ever-loving shit out of this book.

Negatives? I think it would have worked better as a novella. And the OCR transition to eBook wasn't quality-checked as well as it could have been. There were some twisted fits of textual weirdness here and there throughout.

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