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Search tags: coolthulhu-crew-2017
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review 2017-05-22 18:35
Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman
Black Mad Wheel: A Novel - Josh Malerman

Black Mad Wheel is a story which defies categorization and instead focuses on delivering characters that you like and can believe in.

 

The Danes are a band consisting of ex-army men, (even if they were only in the army band), who are asked by the military to investigate a noise in the African desert. I know it sounds crazy, and maybe it is, but I found it be compelling dark fiction.

 

From Philip's point of view, (Philip being the band's keyboard player), the narrative switches between the trip to Africa and the present, in which he is hospitalized with every. single. bone. in his body broken. He wakes up not quite remembering everything that happened to him or what happened to the rest of the band. The very fact that he wakes up at all is a miracle. Or is it?

 

Featuring some of the creepiest scenes I've read in quite some time, the author's talent for dark fiction really shines through. I doubt that I'll ever look at a goat in the same way again and I'll probably freak out if I ever see a red piano in real life. I loved the writing and the descriptive scenes and I even loved reading about the two prior military teams that were sent to investigate this mystery sound. (Not to mention the story of the couple native to that part of the desert-it was truly disturbing.) The only difficulty I had was that the premise wasn't really believable-at least not to me. However, I suspended my disbelief, and once I did, I just went along for the ride and what a ride it was!

 

If you've ever felt a song in your heart, I believe you'll be able to identify with Philip and Ellen, his nurse, because it's the music they discover is a common bond between them. The ties between band members are also incredibly strong, (especially when they've been together as long as The Danes), and those connections are not easily broken. (In this respect, Black Mad Wheel reminds me of Robert McCammon's THE FIVE, easily one of the best fictional books about a band that I've ever read.) The last scene nearly broke my heart and I can't think of a more perfect ending.

 

Music, mystery, desert mines and mad doctors, (oh, didn't I mention that before?): with all that going on how can you resist reading this book? You know you want to! Go ahead: invest yourself in Black Mad Wheel , at the very least you'll be intrigued. At the very best, you will end up making space on your bookshelf at home-the one that houses all your favorite books. Highly recommended!

 

Available everywhere tomorrow, May 23, 2017 here: Black Mad Wheel: A Novel

 

*Thank to Ecco books and to Edeweiss for the e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This is it. *

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review 2017-05-17 22:30
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman, narrated by Mark Bramhall
Those Across the River - Christopher Buehlman

 

Those Across the River is my first Buehlman, but will not be my last. In fact, I downloaded another of his books just now.

 

I recently got a new phone that came with some fancy earbuds, so I decided to head over to Overdrive and check out an audio from my library, so I could try them out. I saw this book available and remembered that my friend Tressa has just recommended to me a book by this author just a few days previous. I downloaded Those Across the River knowing nothing about it, and I think that was the best way to go in to this story.

 

Set mostly in GA in the early 1930's, a damaged WWI veteran moves down from Chicago to a house he has recently inherited. In the letter he received about the inheritance he was warned not to actually live in the house, but of course, he does so anyway-along with his fiance Eudora. What follows is a well told, atmospheric and creepy story that went in a totally different direction than what I expected. There's nothing new or extraordinary here, but a well told and atmospheric story is always welcome on my Kindle, (and now on my phone!), and I enjoyed this immensely.

 

The narrator, Mark Bramhall, was absolutely phenomenal-I loved his Southern accents and voicing-they brought the story alive for me. I will be keeping an eye out for more of his work in the future. As for right now? I'm on to my next Christopher Buehlman book!

 

I highly recommend the audio of this novel!

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review 2017-05-15 14:00
Skitter by Ezekiel Boone
Skitter: A Novel (The Hatching Series Book 2) - Ezekiel Boone

SPIDERS! HELL YEAH!

 

Even though I loathe the things in real life, I find them so entertaining to read about when done well. Skitter is done very well!

 

We start right where The Hatching left off, (which was with a cliffhanger), and I found it quite easy to slip right back into this world-well, what's left of it, anyway. I keep expecting some kind of weird Star Trek time anomaly or something, because I just can't believe what's happened with the United States and the planet. Ezekiel Boone does not shy away from death, or what I think would be the ultimate response to such an invasion. That surprised and delighted me.

 

The main characters here are still interesting while the creature feature portions are entertaining. Perhaps all the things happening are not quite realistic, but who cares? Skitter is fun for those who like their spiders fast and hungry.

 

These 300+ pages flew by and I had a blast reading them. If you enjoy creature features, with a little bit of scientific and military action thrown in, and with character viewpoints from around the world, The Hatching and Skitter should work well for you.

 

Skitter is a fast, fun, chittering thrill ride and I enthusiastically recommend it! Bring on the next!

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Atria for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-04-30 18:29
Soles by Kay Brandt
Soles - Kay Brandt

Soles has the most original premise of any book I've read so far this year!

 

Roland has inherited his family's shoe shop which has gone severely downhill since the violent death of his parents. His Aunt Grace has tried to keep it going, but is finally throwing in the towel and handing it over to Rolie. Problem is, he's not interested and...oh yeah, the place is haunted.

 

I'm not going to act like I understood everything that went on, but honestly, I don't need to understand every little thing. The atmosphere went from slightly silly when Rolie first took over the store and hired Stephanie, to deadly serious when Stephanie's friends came to rob the store. There were some extremely creepy moments,

especially when the shop kept locking its own doors, trapping Rolie inside. For some reason, that gave me the shudders.

(spoiler show)

 

  In the end, I'm not positive as to the cause of things, but I'm okay with that because I enjoy ambiguous stories and providing my own ideas as to what was happening :

my thoughts being that Rolie's father, literally, put his soul into the soles, (see what I did there?), and they carried it on, as did the shop itself, long after he was gone. Or perhaps the shop was haunted before Roland's dad ever took it over? 

(spoiler show)

Am I right or am I wrong? That's the beauty of ambiguous stories: I don't know. Perhaps you'll come up with your own theory and we can discuss it?

 

Soles is an original take on a haunting and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The writing was above average and in the creative department this tale knocked the ball out of the park. As such, I recommend it-especially to readers that don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow. If this sounds interesting to you, you can grab your copy here: Soles and we can discuss it when you're done!

 

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

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review 2017-04-27 16:03
Just Add Water by Hunter Shea
Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

Amazing sea monkeys!! Remember those ads in the back of comic books? Didn't you always want them? I know I did. But my mean smart parents never let me order them because they were a "waste of money." That's what David and Patrick's parents told them too, but they ordered them anyway. Just Add Water is the story of what happened next.

 

 

This novella read so fast and was so much fun that I almost read it all in one sitting. It's exactly what a creature feature fan wants in a story. Lots of action? Check! High body count? Check! Lots of blood and gore? Check! This tale has the added bonus of being set in the 80's, and 80's nostalgia works for me.

 

All in all, I say "head's up" creature feature fans! This one is not to be missed! I highly recommend it!

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin/Random House for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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