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review 2018-08-17 18:30
CREATURE by Hunter Shea
Creature (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea

 

CREATURE! It. Knocked. My. Socks. Off.

 

Kate and Andrew have certainly been tested. Her health, (a horrible litany of problems due to auto-immune diseases and problems arising from the treatment of them), and his care of her, has tested the strength of their marriage at every turn. Now with Kate trying an experimental treatment, they are in for their biggest test ever. In an attempt to alleviate the tension and bring some relaxation to their lives, Andrew rents an isolated cabin in Maine for the summer. Instead of being the serene, quiet time they had both hoped for, their cabin becomes the target of something in the woods. Will they return from their vacation relaxed and refreshed? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

This is not the book I expected from Hunter Shea. What I expected was a creature-feature, (one of those words is right there in the title after all), and it sort of was. But what it mainly was, was the story of a strong marriage and how chronic disease attacks every component of your life-and this is a tale I recognize from my own life. I had a period of years with an un-diagnosed disease, which in the end WAS diagnosed as an auto-immune condition. I know what it is to be frustrated, to have my patience tested, to be told it's all in my head, and to be poked, prodded, and experimented with like a lab rat. So, when Mr. Shea wrote about Kate's inner thoughts I totally understood and I recognized the pure truth of them.

 

What Mr. Shea did with Kate's thoughts is another thing entirely. It was brutal, yet beautiful at the same time. The imagination and creativity here was astounding. It was also frightening and spellbinding. I read the last 40% of this book straight through, because that was what the story demanded of me. I loved these characters, each and every one of them, and I rooted so hard for them all-I simply could not leave them at the height of their struggle.

 

Now, I find myself almost speechless, (and if you know or follow me, you know that's rare!). I want you to understand that this is a powerful tale, about so much more than what it appears to be on the surface. I hope that if you've ever trusted a review based solely on a reviewer's word, that you choose this one to trust. You will not be disappointed.

 

CREATURE gets my highest recommendation!

 

Available everywhere September 6th, but you can pre-order here: CREATURE

 

*Thank you to Flame Tree Press via NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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text 2018-08-15 14:55
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 190 pages.
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

"What a blessing it is to love books.  Everybody must love something, and I know of no objects of love that give such substantial and unfailing returns as books and a garden."

No contest on the books -- and love of flowers ...

 

And Elizabeth has an honest-to-God favorites shelf!  Go figure!

"In the centre of my library there is a wooden pillar propping up the ceiling, and preventing it, so I am told, from tumbling about our ears; and round this pillar, from floor to ceiling, I have had shleves fixed, and on these shelves are all the books that I have read again and again, and hope to read many times more -- all the books, that is, that I love quite the best.  In the bookcases round the walls are many that I love,  but here in the centre of the room and easiest to get at, are those I love the best -- the very elect among my favourites."

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review 2018-08-01 18:45
THE AUCTIONEER by Joan Samson, narrated by Matt Godfrey
The Auctioneer: Valancourt 20th Century Classics - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Joan Samson

 

 Evil in a small town is one of my favorite horror tropes and books like this are the reason why!

 

Harlowe, New Hampshire is a small town surrounded by small farms. It's a tightly knit community, or at least the townsfolk believe it is, until an outsider comes to town and things begin to unravel.

 

Perly Dunsmore is an auctioneer. Taking over a recently available old mansion in town, (due to the death of the previous owner), Perly sets about "improving" Harlowe by holding auctions to benefit the police department. These auctions are funded by the generous donations of the townspeople. Until they're no longer able to do so, (eventually there's nothing left), in which case they are gently and quietly threatened to come up with more donations, or ELSE. Will Harlowe survive these auctions or will it rise up against Perly in protest? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I've been thinking about what this novel was really about and I'm still not quite sure. The strongest feeling I have about it relates to that old poem: "First they came for the Socialists...", but that's not quite right. Then I was wondering if it was really about fascism-the auctions after all first funded a police department, to the point of having almost as many officers and deputies as there were citizens in the entire town. But that doesn't quite fit the bill either, especially in light of the finale. Then I finally gave up the analyzing and endeavored to enjoy this novel for the yummy, atmospheric piece of horror fiction that it was.

 

If this is the type of story that usually works for you, (quiet, small town horror a la Tryon's HARVEST HOME, or maybe Michael Rowe's ENTER, NIGHT), I highly recommend you give this book a shot! I listened to it on audio, narrated by Matt Godfrey, whose voicing of Ma Moore I will never forget.

 

Atmospheric, full of tension and palpable fear, THE AUCTIONEER still holds up as an excellent tale, even now, 40 years later. I give it my highest recommendation!

 

*I received this audiobook gratis from the narrator in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it! Further, I consider Matt Godfrey to be a friend, although we've never met in person. This has not affected the content of this review.*

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review 2018-07-26 22:25
RATTUS NEW YORKUS by Hunter Shea
Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea

 

How much more fun could this book could be? The answer is none! None more fun!

 

 

I had to hold myself back from finishing this novella in just one sitting. I wanted to try to savor it, but it was too hard.

 

A man and his soon to be ex-wife run an extermination company in Manhattan and are chosen to try out a new rat poison. After dispensing some healthy doses they thought their job was done, but it turns out the poison seems to have backfired, (isn't that always the way?) Now there are more rats than ever. Not only are there more, but they're more aggressive AND let's just say they're happier in their little rat bedrooms. Soon, they've taken over the sites where they were treated and many more sites as well. Can Manhattan escape this scourge of aggressive,  horny rats? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

RATTUS NEW YORKUS is flat out FUN! It doesn't get bogged down in philosophical questions or literary mumbo-jumbo. We're here for people killing rats and boy, do we get them!

 

I've been slow to come around to Hunter Shea and I'm not sure why, exactly. Maybe I was trying to fancy myself as more of a literary reader? Don't get me wrong, I love literary horror, cosmic horror and all kinds of stuff, but lately? Creature features have been bringing it as far as I'm concerned, and Hunter Shea is up there with the best writers of them, EVER. I love me some James Herbert and Guy N. Smith, but Hunter? This is pure unadulterated fun and if you want some for yourself? Pick up RATTUS NEW YORKUS when it comes out. You won't be disappointed!

 

This gets my highest recommendation! You can pre-order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Rattus-New-Yorkus-Hunter-Shea-ebook/dp/B078LPXDK1/chashorcor-20

 

*Thanks to Lyrical Underground and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-20 03:49
Book Review : The Prince's Dressmaker Jen wang
The Prince and the Dressmaker - Jen Wang
JULY 18-18

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart

Review : This was such an adorable graphic novel Frances gets hired to be a dressmaker she thought it was for a princess but it was actually a prince . Prince Sebastian loves wearing dresses so Frances makes them for him . Frances wants to be recognized for her fashion . Sebastian starts making friends as lady crystallia there is this famous fashion designer that Frances loves that Sebastian talks into looking to her designs but Frances can't do this anymore hide so she leaves Sebastian agrees to marry a princess but then gets drunk and is found out . Frances gets hired to design for an upcoming department store opening . Sebastian comes to Frances show and it was a hit .

 

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