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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 2017-02-01 18:26
Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Fatale Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC - Ed Brubaker

 

Fatale is about the classic Femme Fatale character, (in this case, her name is Josephine), except this time the story is from her point of view. Plus, she doesn't want to be what she is. Her powers draw men in even when she tries to stop it from happening. By taking a character trope that has long served as an evildoer and turning it on its head to have it become a sympathetic character instead, a whole new world of story-telling possibilities opens up! I hope to read all of them.

 

 

 

I loved every aspect of Fatale. I loved the intro from Meggan Abbott. I loved the two essays in the back, (one about Lovecraft and his impact on the horror genre and the other about Edgar Allan Poe and his influences), both written by Jess Nevins. Also, the artwork kicks major ass. This deluxe edition is gorgeous, the story is super cool, (Noir meets Cthulhu), and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one!

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text 2017-01-26 18:30
I'm Starting: Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Fatale Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC - Ed Brubaker

My Goodreads friend Richard Vialet turned me on to Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips and I could not possibly be more thankful. 

 

I started with the first volume of Incognito. A superhero story where the superhero is in the Witness Protection Program. How great of a premise is that? I ripped through the first one like it was nothing and I'm currently waiting for the next one to come in at the library. 

 

In the meantime, I put a hold on the first volume of Fatale and it came in last night. First off, this is a deluxe edition and it's flat-out gorgeous. Second, it has a VERY cool introduction from Meggan Abbott. I have no idea who she is, I mean-I know she's an author and I have a few of her books on my TBR, but I'm not familiar with whatever genre in which she writes or if her books are actually any good. I look forward to learning more about her though, because her intro to this beautiful graphic novel series has me totally JACKED to get started with this.  She said something about Cthulhu meets Noir and she had me! Right. There.

 

I'm going to finish up The Walking Dead Compendium 2, and then I'm hopping onto this one. At least: that's my plan. However, last night while reading TWD, I found my eyes continuously driftin' on over to Fatale. 

 

 

I can't wait to get started!

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review 2017-01-06 18:10
Darkness Wakes by Tim Waggoner
Darkness Wakes - Tim Waggoner,John Williams

 

What a crazy ride!

 

Darkness Wakes begins with a somewhat happily married man noticing an unmarked door in a seedy strip mall. The door has FUCKL sort of scratched into it which would make anyone wonder what was going on there. Penumbra is the answer to that question and Penumbra is dark indeed.

 

Not too long after Aaron noticed the door, he begins to notice his sexy neighbor, Caroline. Caroline notices his interest and not long after she visits Aaron's veterinarian's clinic because her cat has a broken leg. (A leg which later, Aaron suspects of being broken by Caroline on purpose.) A sexual interlude occurs and soon after that Caroline invites Aaron to come to her private club, Penumbra.

 

Things go on there that defy description and I'm not talking about the sexy times. Orgies and sexual acts of all kinds go on in the front room, but it's the back room where things get out of hand. What an imagination Mr. Waggoner has to come up with a story like this! Because on top of Penumbra's front and back rooms, there's also a farmhouse with strange goings-on, a man with scabs all over his head and a woman with human bones in her braids.

 

I listened to the audio of this tale and I was not crazy about the narrator. Every time the character Gillian spoke it felt like a spike through my head. Luckily, she didn't speak all that much. Of course, your mileage may vary.

 

I ended up enjoying this book quite a bit, though there were some strange bits of writing that I didn't much care for. The song of the nipple mouths? Really? Overall, though-the creativeness behind this story especially appealed to me and the ending kicked ass! If this sounds like your cup of tea, I recommend you check it out!

 

You can get a copy here: Darkness Wakes

(When I purchased the Kindle copy, I added the Audible for only $1.99. It's a great deal!)

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review 2017-01-06 14:55
Little Heaven by Nick Cutter
Little Heaven: A Novel - Nick Cutter

 

Little Heaven is an extraordinary story! That doesn't mean it was a perfect story, but it was a lot of fun.

 

I'll refrain from going too deeply into the plot, but I will give a brief summary so I can talk about the few things that bothered me. Three bounty hunters meet up in the 60's, (and again some years later), and agree to help a woman check on her nephew, who had been taken by her brother-in-law to an isolated spot in the mountains. This spot being where the cult known as Little Heaven is located. Together, they all discover there is a LOT more going on in this settlement than just a warped, cruel "religion".

 

What I liked most about this story was its creativity. Yes, I saw similarities to Stephen King's work, (a lot of them, really), but I didn't find this tale to be derivative-I took it as an homage to the King instead. In fact, I think some of the scenes with the leader, (read: insane cult leader), the baby, (oh, that baby: SHUDDER), and the "Long Walker" (you'll see), would have made Stephen King himself jealous.

 

At times though, it seemed like Little Heaven didn't know what it wanted to be-between the main cult story, the interactions of the bounty hunters, the current and past time lines, the things in the woods and in the rock-there was a lot going on. I'm not exactly sure why, but at times I found my mind wandering. Maybe if the story were a little more tight and focused that would have helped? As I said, I'm not quite sure.

 

Whenever I found that happening, some piece of writing or a creative incident would set me right back on the path. I found this particular quote to be beautiful:

 

"It’s all so goddamn fragile. Your life and the thread you carry it on. And the more love you carry, the more stress you put on that thread, the better chance it will snap. But what choice do any of us have? You take on that love because to live without it is to exist as half a person. You give that love away because it is in you to give, not out of a desire for recompense. And you keep loving even when the world cracks open and reveals a black hole where all that love can get swallowed."

 

Overall though, this tale's creativity and imagination beckoned to me like a bright star moving across the sky, and I willingly followed it-right down into the dark below the big, black rock. What's hiding down there? You'll have to read this book to find out! I recommend that you do.

 

Available January 10th here: Little Heaven: A Novel

 

*Thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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