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review 2014-07-23 10:14
Dream of the Serpent - Alan Ryker

This was a very unique book. It starts out with the protagonist suffering extremely bad burns and follows him as he tries to get his life back together. Ryker excelled at writing this part and made me feel like I was really watching the struggles of recovery. Then the book takes a turn that will throw the reader for a loop. At first, I wasn't caring for the turn of events but it all came together and made sense as it neared the conclusion. This is a book that will stay with you for a long time and the more that I think about it, the more that I like it. Recommended!

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review 2014-07-13 08:42
Best books for June and mini reviews.
Dream of the Serpent - Alan Ryker
Night Terrors (Savage Species) - Jonathan Janz
Monstrocity - Jeffrey Thomas
The Troop - Nick Cutter

 

June was a much more productive month for me regarding reading and I managed to get through 13 books/novellas. There were no 5* reads for me but a few came close.

 

Dream of the Serpent by Alan Ryker 

 

Alan Ryker should be much better known by horror readers. His writing is smooth, his work is well paced and his characters are flawed but somehow likeable even when they're acting in an unlikeable way.

 

Dream of the Serpent is no exception, it tells the story of Cody who sustains extensive burns caused by an accident at work and the first part of the novel mainly deals with the aftermath of the accident and his recovery. The second part sees Cody get a second chance, as though the accident hadn't happened, however his fiancé, Madison, has disappeared and so Cody sets out to find her.

 

This read was hard hitting, the descriptions of Cody's rehab were eye watering at times, I swear I felt every dressing change. Ultimately this read asks the question of how much would you sacrifice for the person you loved. A slightly different read from what the author has put out before but I would readily recommend it.

 

 

Savage Species (Night Terrors) by Jonathan Janz

 

Savage Species was my first read by author Jonathan Janz and I have to say it was a lot of fun. I read the 5 instalments of the series but it was the first one that I enjoyed the most.

Peaceful Valley Nature Reserve is about to be invaded by some pretty nasty beings and they are extremely hungry (and horny, ewww).

This is a great creature feature, they reminded me somewhat of Richard Laymon's cellar creatures but I have to say these things were a lot nastier. The characters in the story were well done but perhaps a little clichéd although this may have been intentional by the author as part of the fun. The characters were fleshed out just enough to keep the story going, some great characters to both root for and wish a messy death. Good pacing, nice character set up and lots of grisly action towards the end.

 

Monstrocity by Jeffrey Thomas

 

Christopher Ruby helps his girlfriend perform an occult ritual from a book called the Necronomicon, the ritual at first seems to have failed but as his girlfriend starts to change in alarming ways it becomes clear it was in fact successful. Christopher tries to track down the book and in doing so finds out that Punktown holds a lot of dark secrets.

 

This read had a great noir feel to it, blending cyberpunk and lovecraftian themes effortlessly. The world building done by Thomas is amazing, he deftly reveals Punktown and it's inhabitants, never overloading the reader with detail but dropping it in bit by bit. The characters were interesting, especially the blend of different races and mutants as well as some of the mythology that surrounds them. A great read and a fantastic introduction to the authors work. 

 

The Troop by Nick Cutter

 

The Troop was a gut wrenching read which sees scouts being taken camping to a small island for the weekend and unknowingly coming into contact with a bioengineered parasite.

 

The layout of this book was really engaging with chapters of the story interspersed with interviews, courtroom transcripts  and news reports. These add to the story, giving information about the parasite and also teasing the reader about who will make it off the island. It also serves to make a few statements about medical ethics and how they can be corrupted.

 

The characters were engaging right from the start of the story, each one fleshed out nicely with back story that supports some of the behaviour seen on the island. Be warned that this is not a read for those who are uncomfortable with violent situations involving children. It was hard at times to read some of this book as the author does a great job in ensuring that you're heavily invested in the outcome of  the scouts. Highly recommended.  

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review 2014-01-14 10:30
Dream of the Serpent by Alan Ryker
Burning Burning Burning Burning

. .

... I knew for certain that wherever I went, the flames would follow.

That was a little bit creepy, a whole lot disturbing and just so... mind blowing, it was a race to turn the pages faster. Cody Miller has hit the jackpot in life. He's on his way to getting an MBA, a job most would have to work years for and the girl everyone wants. Cody has it all until one accident takes everything away from him. When he emerges from his coma, Cody struggles to get back on track and he knows that it all won't be the same, he will never be the same. And as he trudges on, he discovers there's more going on than he first thought.

We're all pieces on this board, but I seem to be the only one who notices that we're going in circles, that the world is not the logical place we think it is.

Dream of the Serpent is one of the most horrifyingly descriptive stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Part of me wanted to turn away but my eyes wouldn't cooperate. They weren't going to look anywhere but at the book. Very detailed descriptions usually tend to bore me but I was riveted. There was not a single word that I missed. It's terrifying but spellbinding at the same time.

 

Cody Miller

There was an all out war being fought inside my body, except that the enemy was my body.

I would never ever want to trade places with Cody. The way his accident was described left me traumatized. I can't say that I liked Cody but I certainly didn't hate him. It was difficult to see how drastically he changed. How one mistake remolded him. It's scary to think how far people will go to find the truth.

 

The Story

I would have liked the beginning to be a tad bit shorter. I wasn't bored but I knew that there was some action waiting in the wings and I wanted it to start! However, once you hit around the 40% mark it was all out fuckery. I didn't even want to blink just in case I would miss something.

 

All in all, this was an awesome read that I definitely recommend reading. Especially those who love horror & fantasy.

*A copy of this book was generously provided in exchange for an honest review*

Source: todreamwitheyesopen.wordpress.com
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review 2014-01-12 00:00
Dream of the Serpent
Dream of the Serpent - Alan Ryker Cody was on the way up. Engaged to a socialite, top of his class in business school and then his dreams (and his flesh) went up in flames. Madison, his fiancée, overcome with an insurmountable guilt, gave it all up to alter the past and create a new future for him - One without her in it. Cody must figure out what is real as he is struggles thru colliding and overlapping memories. The secret lies with the serpent and Cody will need to make the biggest decision of his life…and death.

This read a bit differently than the Rykers I have read in the past. A bit more surreal…maybe? At any rate, it almost read like two different tales - One pre tragic event and one post. I am a big fan of Alan Ryker and although this may be a bit different it is still a very engaging tale of resentment, self pity, anger and ultimately love. Butterfly Effect-esque-ish. (Yep, made that word up.) 3.5+ Stars for sure and maybe even more. I may need to let this one to gel for a little bit.
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review 2014-01-11 00:00
Dream of the Serpent
Dream of the Serpent - Alan Ryker I loved the way this story was being written until about mid way through...and then it all fell apart....there are stories we like and stories that just don't gel...and this falls into the latter category for me...ah well onto the next one :)
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