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review 2020-03-24 16:05
Children of Chaos
Children of Chaos - Greg F. Gifune

by Greg Gifune


The prologue alone sets a disturbing tone. A man with all over body burns is in the vicinity of a carnival in town and encounters some local boys, who assume he must be responsible for a little girl's murder that happened that day. It all goes downhill for them fast from there.


Then the first chapter jumps in time and the boys have grown up and gone separate ways, each affected in their own ways by the events of the beginning. Phillip, the protagonist is probably the least screwed up, but his past comes back to haunt him when the mother of one of the other boys asks for his help.


The author admits in his notes that part of this story was inspired by Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I can see the correlations, though the writing is riveting and most of it original. I'll admit that I didn't think the end measured up to the journey. I'd like to have seen something more original and unpredictable, though it served the story well enough to enjoy the read.


The horrific elements were pretty strong in places and the tension almost exhausting at times. The setting was depicted very effectively so that I felt I was there and the characters fit in well, each of them very unique. Although I didn't much like the ending, I can see why this author is becoming very popular with those who enjoy a good Horror novel. I have another of his that I'll look forward to reading soon.

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review 2019-11-11 18:45
Savages by Greg Gifune
Savages - Greg F. Gifune

Finally, I was able to read this book I bought over two years ago!


I shouldn't have waited for so long. Survivors of a shipwreck wash up on an island that has never before been charted on any map. Then, one by one, horrible things start happening to each of them. What fun!


Time is a precious commodity for me right now, so this review is brief. I'm used to Gifune's work as being more quiet and atmospheric, but no worries, because this was entertaining as hell and just what I needed!


If you're not reading the work of Greg Gifune, you should be!


Highly recommended!


You can get your copy here: https://amzn.to/2KbjmjQ


*I purchased this book with my hard earned cash and this review is voluntary and honest.*

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review 2018-09-27 11:56
Saying Uncle by Greg F. Gifune
Saying Uncle - Greg F. Gifune

A powerful coming of age tale about family, the ties that bind and the secrets that sever them.

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review 2018-05-10 09:24
Not a bad effort
Savages - Greg F. Gifune

The first chapter wastes no time setting up the situation and introducing the characters seamlessly. By the second chapter, the creep factor is already seeping in and escalates from there.


A group of people are stranded on an island after their ship sinks followed by getting thrown out of their life raft by a big wave against a reef from a second storm. They have to survive but not everyone got on the island ok.


It could use an edit for occasional awkward language or wrong form of words (bare instead of bear) but it's mostly well written. Gotta wonder where writers get character names sometimes. Dallas and Quinn? Really?


Despite the occasional hiccups, it's an engrossing story and kept my attention. The personalities of the characters develop along the way and only a couple of them border on the cliche, but basically they encourage sympathy and there were a few I hoped would survive.


There's a transition that I thought happened a little too suddenly where the title earns its name and some supernatural elements, but mainly it's a story about people who get some things right and some things wrong in their efforts to survive. There's some intense action at the end and an outcome that fits the story.


Overall I thought it was a good read for the genre.

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text 2018-02-12 04:36
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune
A View from the Lake - Greg F. Gifune

Katherine and James purchased lake property in rural western Massachusetts when they were in their mid-twenties. They rented out the various cottages while James worked on his poetry. It was an idyllic setting and life. That is, until James discovered the body of a boy floating by one of the cottage docks. The accident sent devastated James and he slowly sank into madness and depression from a broken mind. Katherine watched as James became more and more recluse and angry until one day he disappeared without a trace. Trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered life, Katherine makes the decision to sell the property in the spring and to try and start a new life. All she has to do is get through the winter. Not an easy task now that she's hearing strange thing that sound like James. Is this all in her mind or is he out there somewhere?



I've read a handful of Gifune's work and most of them are noted for the story being enveloped in shadows and fog, to the point where it's hard to tell what's going on, what's real and what's not. A View from the Lake is no different. But where it is different than my other experiences with Gifune's stories is that there is no pay off. The last 1/3 doesn't ratchet up and have this wonderful revelation that ties everything together. In fact, the ending came out of the blue and left you with more questions than answers. The characters weren't all that interesting and I didn't feel for Katherine or James. I know this is one of Gifune's earlier works and I think it shows. When you read his later works, you'll see that he commands things so much better.



2 Confusing Hallucinations out of 5


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