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review 2018-10-09 03:14
‘Chilling Adventures’ of Sabrina’ is the perfect graphic novel read for Halloween; this is full-on retro HORROR with a capital H
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 - Jack Morelli,Robert Hack,Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

I fancied some ‘light’ horror and since a whole bunch of my pals on Litsy have been reaching for graphic novels this Halloween season, I thought I’d try this. And don’t be fooled: this version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ is most definitely HORROR with a capital H. If you are looking for something along the lines of what you would find on the CW when Sabrina was a sitcom, this is NOT it. Forget PG-spooky, it’s definitely the other end of the horror spectrum: S for Sabrina is now Scary. 

 

Set back in the 1960’s, Sabrina is the illicit lovechild of a warlock called Edward Spellman, and a mortal named Diana, and she is raised by her aunts Zelda and Hilda (no news there). Sabrina is approaching her 16th birthday, which means she can become a fully-fledged witch, and pledge herself to the Dark Lord*. Complicating things are having a mortal boyfriend, and deciding if she can kill living animals on the spot. More fun ensues when Madam Satan shows up in town, and she is none too happy about having been sidelined by Edward for Sabrina’s mom. Enough said.

 

There are all sorts of horror goodies in this jumbo comic edition (it contains comics 1-5 of the ‘Chilling Adventures’, and in the back, has the variants that were printed with the different covers). The fabulous intro by the author Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa lays it all out for the reader, pointing out that the adventures are like ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, plus ‘The Exorcist’, ‘The Omen’, and Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ all rolled together. It’s ALL in here. As well as Ray Bradbury’s ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, zombies, and vengeance against men who have picked up innocent hitchhiking women. 

 

The retro style of illustration harks back to comics of decades ago, and Roberto explains it’s because he wanted them to have the feel of a ‘period piece’, and it all works flawlessly. There’s plenty of dark humor (very dark), a definite feel of classic horror influencing every frame, and it’s actually no wonder that it’s being adapted into a show on Netflix. I hope they keep it just as gory, retro, and bloody though...

I’ll be continuing the series!

 

*To any heathens asking: no, REAL witches do NOT pledge themselves to ‘Satan’ or the ‘Dark Lord’.

 

**You can find this omnibus edition on hoopla!

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review 2018-02-01 22:34
Child Taken
Child Taken: A chilling page-turner you will be unable to put down - Darren Young
His wife went out to do some shopping and she returns holding the hand of a small child. What?!? He knows his wife is out of control but he loves her and this child will make her happy. Jessica went to the beach with her family, they were out there somewhere, when this woman speaks to her. This woman is going to help her but first, they are going to have the best ice cream ever. They walk towards the parking lot. Ice cream first, then they will look for Jessica’s mommy. That’s all it took to get Jessica buckled in this stranger’s car heading off to who-knows-where.
 
With many different points of view, this story has many twists and turns and was one novel, that I couldn’t put down. Jessica’s new parents were bound and determined to keep their new child’s identity a secret and starting over was the safest bet. Jessica’s mother thought the search for her daughter was insufficient yet the police closed Jessica’s case. Jessica’s mother felt that her daughter was still alive and she fought against everyone else who had buried the small child thus creating more tension in an already difficult situation. Years later, a young news reporter happens upon this case. She takes it upon herself to investigate the evidence of this event to see what she can find. Little does she know what she is about to uncover.
 
My emotions were all over the place with the characters in this novel. I kept asking myself, who acts like this given this situation? Yet, this novel had me so drawn into his grips, I saw it. It was how they each coped with it. The author did an excellent job setting up the novels with the chapters and the characters point-of-views. I thought this was an excellent novel.
 
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and RedDoor Publishing in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for allowing me to read this arc.

 

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review 2018-01-28 23:58
Unexpected ending
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1 - Jack Morelli,Robert Hack,Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Mostly because someone accidentally 'spoiled' the ending for me - and it wasn't at all what happened in the actual ending!

 

Anyway, this is atmospheric, creepy, and just perfect.   It hasn't gone past issue eight which came out in August - was part one of a new story.   This collects issues one through five, and sets Sabrina in a evil, devil-worshipping coven that includes her aunts, and her father.   It also takes place during the 1960s with the author trying - and succeeding - in giving in a Rosemary's Baby vibe.   It's a slow, psychological part, although not quite as nuanced as Rosemary's Baby.   (Then again, Rosemary didn't know what was going on and Sabrina is on the coven; this doesn't allow a parallel buildup of tension, but there's another buildup of tension.)

 

Beautiful artwork, lovely how the characters are, at the core, themselves - and yet not - and how they play on each other in this new storyline.   I'd like to think that Betty and Veronica, who do show up, might be later reincarnated as their Afterlife with Archie counterparts - but I suspect this is a completely separate AU.   Either way, I'll take it.  I'm trying to decide on if I should buy the next issue right now, or wait for a sale.  I normally just wait for the sales. 

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review 2017-10-18 15:22
The Turn of the Screw
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James

by Henry James

 

After reading the first couple of chapters, I actually went onto Wikipedia to find out what this story is about. I felt like I had come into the middle of something that hadn't been explained.

 

This is actually not unusual for stories written around the turn of the century. They have the wordiness of Victorian novels but often jump into the action without much explanation. I hadn't read James before and doubt that I will read anything by him again. I'm glad to have tried another well known author, even if he isn't going to be of further interest.

 

I found the story very difficult to get into. The dialogue sounded like everyone was in a perpetual state of surprise, the characters were not distinct and the plot seemed to take far too long to progress. For a short book, that's not good. The description had sounded really good. I'm just not at all impressed with the execution. Reading felt like more work that ploughing through a long Dickens book.

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review 2017-10-15 21:06
Chilling
Nerve Damage: A chilling psychological thriller that will have you covering your eyes and turning the pages faster at the same time - J.L. Myers

This is not a happy story. There is no sunshine or rainbows in these pages. Nerve Damage is dark and disturbing to the extreme and there are scenes of abuse, both physical and sexual, that may be triggers to some.
That being said, I was completely consumed by this psychological thriller and could not put it down. I had an idea of where this story was going, but the author threw enough twists at me to keep me second guessing myself. Myers is quite the master at dangling carrots as she builds a tension filled tale of a nightmarish look inside a mind broken by terrors that no one should ever have to suffer. 
The story does jump between past and present and in and out of the killer's mind, sometimes rather abruptly, but as the book progresses, there is a purpose for those jumps and what may seem confusing at first, all comes together to create a chilling tale to rival the early works of King or Koontz.
For me, the evils that men do is always so much scarier than any of the things that go bump in the night. Nerve Damage shows just how terrifying and manipulative an intelligent mind can be when it's completely shattered by unspeakable horrors. From the opening chapter to the mind-blowing ending, I was riveted. This is one that I won't soon forget and will serve to set a high bar for future reads in the genre.

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