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review 2017-11-02 17:51
The Devoured by Curtis Lawson, narrated by Jason Sprenger
The Devoured - Jason Sprenger,Curtis M. Lawson,Curtis M. Lawson

 

THE DEVOURED is an insane read. Insane, I say!

 

A man leaves his wife and child to fight in the civil war. His wife, (and therefore his son, Emmett), are of native American heritage and while the man is gone, his wife becomes ill. Emmett, big for his age of 16, decides to seek out his mother's father, a Shaman, (from whom she's been estranged), to request a cure for her illness. Can she be cured? And if so, will she be cured? Lastly, what is the price for that cure? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This book seems to have elements of everything. By that, I mean it has a western feel to it, along with some Norse mythology, (Thurs, giants, Utgard, at one point there was a large tree- Yggdrasil?), witches, cannibals, and I don't even know what else. You might think that there is just too much going on, but somehow Curtis Lawson pulls it all together within the framework of a man trying to save his family.

 

I especially liked the characters of the old man, (I'm not sure if he was ever named?), and his companion, a young black boy named Hank. At first, I liked Emmett, but his turn down a dark road changed that by the time it was all over.

 

It took a while for everything to gel for me, because there was a lot going on, but when it did, I was impressed by the skills on display. Lawson's knowledge of history and mythology is impressive. I was feeling slightly off balance due to all the different aspects of the tale, but I finally stopped worrying that I was missing something and just let the story sweep me along. And that it did, right up to the brick wall that is the denouement. It was just the type of ending that I love!

 

I listened to this book on audio, which was narrated by Jason Sprenger. I've never listened to his narrations before, but I thought he was excellent. His voicing of the different characters was very good, but his main voice was the BEST, reminding me of Sam Elliott at times.

 

Overall, this book was just plain FUN! A mixed up combination of genres, mythology, American history and more, I can't think of another book or author, (well, maybe Tim Curran?), that can blend such things successfully. Curtis Lawson did so, and did it in spades.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: The Devoured

 

*I received a digital copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for my honest feedback. 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 2016-11-16 20:08
Becoming David, A Novella by Phil Sloman
Becoming David - Phil Sloman

Becoming David is the story of Richard, serial killer extraordinaire.

 

Richard is a respectable man, with a great job, a beautiful home and his own gym in the basement. Which is also where he likes to drag his victims and carve the fine fillets with which he fills his freezer. When Richard targets David and does his usual thing with the body, he thinks no more of it... until David starts speaking to him. And peering back at him from the mirror.

 

This was a fun, psychological novella that messed with my head. The tension and atmosphere built throughout and the ending went in a direction that surprised me. I love when that happens! (Another little surprise I noted, with pleasure, was the nod to the Hyde Hotel.)

 

I've not read anything from Mr. Sloman before, but hey- sign me up!  Because if this is the type of story he's offering up on a regular basis, I want in!

 

Highly recommended to fans of psychological horror, served up with some liver, fava beans and a nice Chianti.

 

You can find your copy here: Becoming David

 

*Thanks to the publisher/author for the free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2016-11-13 01:03
Enough of the Fat Owl
Billy Bunter Among The Cannibals - Frank Richards

I remember my Dad telling me once that he didn't particularly like the Billy Bunter books where Bunter went for adventures abroad, that is outside of the immediate vicinity of Greyfriar's school. After reading this book I can now see why – it was absolutely atrocious, or more so really really painful. Okay, the excessive use of the N word in reference to people with skins darker than ours may have been acceptable coming out of Bunter's mouth because it is, well, Bunter, but the reality is that even if it is just Bunter's character to be so rude, crude, and racist, it still doesn't mean that I have to accept it. In fact the character of Billy Bunter has become so annoying that I highly doubt I will read any more of his books.

 

 

The story goes that Bunter is given a position as an assistant clerk for one of his father's companies, though the catch is that the role is on an island located in the stretches of the South Pacific. Anyway, he is sent out there, all expenses paid, and his school buddies (for want of a better word), the Famous Five, accompany him, if only so he can settle down somewhat. However, upon arrival at the main island they discover that a rather brutish man has taken over, and after giving him a bit of a thumping, they are then taken to the island of Lololo where they discover that the shop has been deserted because the island has been over-run by cannibals.

 

 

Maybe Billy Bunter has started losing its appeal, but I was able to read all of the Secret Seven and Famous Five books without being put off as much as this book put me off (though there were some of Blyton's books that I found almost as painful as I found this book). Not only was I rather disappointed at Bunter's excessive use of the N word (and the fact that the guy is a pretty elitist, and quite racist, individual as is), but also the fact that is he so lazy and so oblivious to the fact that nobody likes him, and why nobody likes him. There was one book where they decided to teach Bunter a lesson, namely because everybody had become sick of his attitude, however the thing with Bunter is that he never learns, and you get to the point where you simply start banging your head against the brick wall because you know that nothing is going to change.

 

Okay, in some ways people love to laugh at stupidity – that is why the Simpsons is not only so popular but why Homer Simpson eventually overcame Bart as being the show's most popular character. However, there are some redeemable features with Homer (despite the fact that I eventually became so sick of the show, and the character, that I stopped watching it years ago) – Bunter has none whatsoever. In fact the only reason that he manages to solve all these mysteries is through sheer luck. The other thing is that Bunter may be the title character but there are a lot of books where he actually ends up in the background (though that is not the case with this book). In the end the premise has started becoming a little worn out where I'm concerned.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1804524510
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review 2016-07-11 10:09
Aftertaste review
AFTERTASTE: An Extreme Horror Novel - Kyle M. Scott

My first sample of Kyle M. Scott proved to be fairly tasty. An increasingly gore laden book that throws in some nasty sex scenes to up the ante, Aftertaste depicts what happens when a new burger franchise that is actually a front for something much nastier than the pursuit of profit at the expense of quality foods opens in small town America.

A simple enough and straight forward premise, Scott's novel begins well enough, introducing main character Slim and her battles with her meat-loving family. But as the narrative progresses, some less than stellar support characters that are neither realistic nor relatable begin to undermine proceedings. The worst example of this is one whose 180 degree arc is not at all set-up and feels too much like a good idea coming too late in the process without the necessary re-write of the early sections to "earn it".

The ultimate villain responsible for the evil inflicted on the town also came across as too simplistic and juvenile for my tastes.

Those criticisms aside, there was some good old fashioned, nasty fun to be had with Aftertaste. I also quite liked Scott's writing style - effectively straight forward without being overly wordy - so I will be back for a second-helping.

3 Parasite-Riddled Burger Paddies for Aftertaste.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1226370799
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