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review 2020-05-31 17:42
SURVIVOR SONG by Paul Tremblay
Survivor Song - Paul Tremblay

 SURVIVOR SONG consists of the fastest 320 pages I've ever read!

 

Nats, (Natalie), is waiting at home for her husband to return from the store. This is no ordinary trip, however. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is a virus loose...a fast acting rabies virus that turns its victims, (animal and human alike) into rabid, (see what I did there?), strong, uber-violent attackers. Those infected will attack cars, humans, pretty much anything at all, and Natalie's husband is late. With Natalie being very pregnant, this is quite a scary turn of events. Will Nats' husband ever return? If so, will he be infected or not? What happens to Natalie's unborn baby? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I started this book in earnest early yesterday afternoon, (with only part of a previous lunch hour dedicated to it previously), and I had a hard time putting it down. The main characters, the previously mentioned Natalie and her friend Ramola, were so human, so REAL, that I never doubted the actions of either one of them.

 

Unfortunately, I never doubted the bad guys in this story either. I have to admit though, that some I thought were bad guys, weren't spoiled through and through and I ended up shedding some tears for a couple of them, to be honest. Most of the others, though? I had no problem believing in them either, because all I have to do is turn on the television any time, night or day, to see them in real life.

 

As in any zombie story, (I can hear Ramola now, in her British accent "They're NOT zombies!"), the real story is with the survivors. The things they have to do, or are forced to do, to save lives or to take them. This tale is brutal in that regard-the loss of humanity, or perhaps the salvation of humanity...we never know which is which at the time, do we?

 

I got a bit of a kick that the story takes place in my home state and that I was familiar with some of the places mentioned. For me, the locations made this tale even more real.

 

The only issues I had were that I wished it was a bit longer and, though I enjoyed the denouement and the end, I would have preferred a bit more explanation. For the latter reason I deducted half a star. I don't need everything wrapped up with a bow, but some elaboration would have pleased me more.

 

SURVIVOR SONG is destined to be up there on top tens lists this year and it deserves to be. My highest recommendation!

 

 

Available July 7, 2020, but you can preorder here: SURVIVOR SONG

 

*I received the e-ARC of this book from William Morrow, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-05-27 19:00
THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS by Brian Lumley, narrated by Joshua Saxon
The Taint and Other Novellas - Brian Lumley,Joshua Saxon

Welcoming the chance to get my Lovcraftian horror on via the excellent narration of Joshua Saxon, I tore into THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS. What fun!

 

A collection of 5 novellas which were written back in the mid to late 1900s, these tales do not have the polish of Lumley's later works, like the Necroscope series. These stories are more the work of a writer starting out, (while serving in the military), a writer bewitched by Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The fun parts of the mythos are here, but they lack the racism and other issues of Lovecraft's work.

 

My favorites of the 5 were: LORD OF THE WORMS This tale featured Titus Crow, a name I remember from back in the day, though I can't quite remember the tales in which he featured. In this story, he's invited to a home under the pretense of cataloging a large book collection at an old estate. Of course nothing is as it appears. Throw in some mesmerizing hypnotism, (see what I did there?!), some maggots and some spiked wine and you have yourself a great time!

 

THE TAINT was a fun tale involving fish-men. That's right, fish-men. With all the creepiness inherent in that phrase. It's not as much a pulp tale as one would think, with just the right mix of horror and perhaps a bit of social commentary, (but that's just my take.)

 

Finally, the last story THE TEMPLE HOUSE takes the form of a man inheriting an old estate from his uncle. He takes a friend and goes to Scotland to inspect his inheritance, and soon finds a letter from his uncle asking him to destroy the place. Why? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Regarding the narrator, Joshua Saxon-I've only listened to one other performance of his, which was the excellent THE CIPHER by Kathe Koja. In that book he was voicing only one character while in this collection, he voices all kinds of people and he does it quite well. English, American, Scottish, he does them all and never for a moment did I doubt the origins of any of the characters. Well done, sir!

 

This was a collection full of fun Lovecraftian monsters, fish people, maggots and worms. If these are the things that delight you, then you'll enjoy the hell out of this volume!

 

Recommended!

 

You can get your audio here: THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS

 

*I received this audio download free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-05-26 19:30
A BOOK OF BONES by John Connolly
A Book of Bones: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 17. From the No. 1 Bestselling Author of THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS - John Connolly

Still on the trail of the super creepy Mors, as well as the seemingly ageless Quayle, Charlie Parker and John Connolly never seem to give us a break!

 

Quayle is still trying to put together the Fractured Atlas, and Parker is still trying to prevent it. In this volume, Parker, with his pals Angel and Louis, head off to London along with a book expert to try to figure out where Quayle will strike next. We have creepy churches, stained glass windows, (or what appear to be windows), the Green Man, some moors and so much more. We also have appearances from Charlie's daughters, both alive and dead.

 

This was a long book and it could have been 500 pages longer and it still wouldn't bother me. I never, ever get bored with Connolly's prose or Charlie's thoughts. At this point in the series, I'm expecting things to wrap up, while at the same time, dreading it. I'm hoping that perhaps the series will continue with Charlie's offspring? This is all speculation on my part, but any time now, I'm expecting one or more of these fictional characters I love to die. I'm not sure if my heart can take it, because I've been friends with them for so long.

 

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, because I can't imagine my life without looking forward to the next Charlie Parker book!

 

My highest recommendation!

 

 

Get your copy here: A BOOK OF BONES

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book through Atria/Emily Bestler Books via NetGalley, but I was approved so late, (I didn't think I'd get approved at all at that point), I bought the hardcover! Either way, this is my honest opinion. READ THE BOOK!*

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review 2020-05-21 19:30
ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT INDIAN by Stephen Graham Jones
Attack of the 50 Foot Indian - Stephen Graham Jones

ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT INDIAN. What can I say? Surely, with that cover, this must be a pulp adventure story?

 

In a way it is. But it's a lot more than that. It slyly works in social commentary on a number of different levels. It's done deftly, tongue in cheek, and I loved it.

 

My only complaint is it was too short!

 

At this point, I'll read whatever Stephen Graham Jones writes, and you should too!

 

*I bought this Kindle short story with my hard earned .99.*

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review 2020-05-15 17:00
DOUBLE BARREL HORROR: VOLUME 3 edited by Matt Weber
Double Barrel Horror Volume 3 - Matthew Weber

 

The Double Barrel series features two stories by each author, and these collected volumes put them all together in one handy paperback. Volume 3 features 6 authors, most of whom I've read before.

 

From Christine Morgan, (whose novel WHITE DEATH I've previously read and enjoyed), we have EYE SEE YOU, and it knocked my socks off. What a great way to kick off a collection!

 

From Robert Essig, (an author I have not had the pleasure of reading prior to this), we have FROM UNCLEAN SPELLS. I always have enjoyed tales about calling up ancient beings and/or casting spells and this one is a doozy.

 

Mark Matthews is an author I've followed for years now and his two stories were very different from each other, but GOODWIN wrecked me. It seems like it's easy for Mark to rip my heart out and it happened yet again with this tale of guilt, motherhood and death.

 

Theresa Braun is an author I've followed on social media for a while, but I believe this is my first exposure to her work. Both of her tales were AH-MAZING, but STILLBORN-wow. Just... WOW.

 

Calvin Demmer's short stories are nearly works of art. He's wonderful at toying with the feelings of the reader. Both of his tales here were great, but HIGHWAY HUNGER is one that's going to stay with me for a long, long time.

 

I'm familiar with and have even read some of Glenn Rolfe's work in the past, but it seems to me that he has grown as a writer since that time. THE HOUSE ON MAYFLOWER STREET was fun and creepy and makes me want to read some of Glenn's more recent work, and soon!

 

I liked the About the Author sections after their stories, and I liked that the covers from the previous individual issues were featured before each author's tales. The artwork on them is kind of cool and has something to do with the tales within.

 

Overall I had great fun with DOUBLE BARREL HORROR VOLUME 3 and I recommend it, especially to those readers looking for new authors. Collections such as these let you discover new voices in the genre without spending an arm and a leg, or investing lots of time buying and/or reading novels only to discover that a certain author isn't right for you. I know that I'll be adding novels, (if they've written them) from a couple of these authors, (Robert Essig & Theresa Braun, I'm looking at you!!), to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I look forward to reading more from all of these writers!

 

Get your copy here: DOUBLE BARREL HORROR VOLUME 3

 

*Thanks to Calvin Demmer and Pint Bottle Press for the paperback copy with no strings attached. I freely chose to review it and I'm glad I did!*

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