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review 2018-02-06 19:56
Splatterpunk Fighting Back Anthology
Splatterpunk Fighting Back - Jack Bantry,Tim Curran,Glenn Rolfe,Bracken MacLeod,Kristopher Rufty,Adam Millard,John Boden,Matt Shaw,W.D. Gagliani,Elizabeth Power
Splatterpunk Fighting Back is a charity anthology with proceeds going towards cancer. I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies/collections/whatever you want to call them. I love reading them because even if a story isn’t working for me it’s usually over quickly but I dread reviewing them. They are so much work but here goes. I’m not going to rate them because that’s kind of pointless.

I’m going to attempt to write a mini review of each story but if I start to fatigue near the end or miss one it’s nothing personal against any particular story. 

They Swim by Night by Adam Millard

A man thinks he's getting lucky when an ethereally beautiful singer makes the moves on him. But he is terribly mistaken. This was a perfectly gory start to the collection. Why lead a reader in gently when you can grab them by the hair and drag them in kicking and screaming?

Melvin by Matt Shaw

Claudia insults Melvin at a dive bar. Big mistake. Melvin is a sick bastard and seeks revenge with a detachable dick. This story was gleefully nasty and I love, love, loved it.

Side note after the first two stories: 

There is so much sex related horror in here so far. It almost feels like as if I were reading a new installment of the Hot Blood series and that’s a very good thing. I loved those books so hard back in the olden days when we didn’t have digital books and could frighten people away with a creepy cover! Just be warned if this isn't your thing.

Extinction Therapy by Bracken MacLeod

A rich man visits some expensive woo woo doctor to reach his full potential. His lust for bloodshed is awakened and he glories in it. This story is primal, brutal and ugly. There's no sex in this one which surprised me in a good way. The story did make me very sad for the state of man and that’s all I’m saying.

The Passion of the Robertsons by Duncan Ralston

Whatever you do, don't go and get yourself on the bible thumping Robertson’s naughty list. Unfortunately for the town drunk, he manages to do just that. Now that he’s on their radar, they intend to force him to accept God’s word and their methods are not gentle. I liked this one, especially the ending.

Hellscape by Rich Hawkins

The world is now a hellish landscape and a woman goes on a desperate searching to find her son, slaying monsters along the way. I can’t find my notes on this one so it was either a forgettable tale or I was too tired when I read it. I DO remember thinking it felt like an introduction to a bigger story.

Molly by Glenn Rolfe

Caleb is a front desk clerk at a hotel and has to deal with all kinds of crap. One night he spies a strange silhouette in the window that shouldn’t be there when leaving work. Turns out one of the hotel’s bitchiest guests has a traveling buddy staying with her that she keeps hidden. Bloodshed ensues. Molly was a bloody creepfest that was a lot of fun to read.

Only Angels Know by George Daniel Lee

An artist puts out a call for subjects willing to give themselves to art. All of themselves. This is a story of extreme body modification but somehow the difficult to decipher writing, never outright graphic, wasn’t able to draw me in. I much prefer Kathe Koja’s novel “Skin” which tackles this same subject matter in a devastatingly gorgeous and unforgettable way. This was my least liked story in the collection.

Limb Memory by Tim Curran

After losing his left arm in an accident, a man whines and complains about his new lot in life. Poor me, boo-hoo-hoo. But just when I was getting annoyed with the man-whining, the phantom arm comes back to life to haunt him. This was gross and fun and enjoyable even with such a whiny ass main character. It brought back images from my scarred childhood of Michael Caine and “The Hand”. I’m still afraid to stick my arms out of a moving car’s open window after that one . . .

Feast of Consequences by WD Gagliani & Dave Benton

This was a fun throwback to cannibalistic slashers and half naked heroines as a young woman attempts to outwit a bunch of hungry, human monsters. I adored the modern day twist and the ending.
The Going Rate –John Boden

The tax man is coming and he's hungry. This was sinister and dark and creepy as hell. I loved it

Darla’s Problem –Kristopher Rufty

A young girl asks a policeman for assistance. He has no idea what terror awaits. This was another super creepy tale. Gory and not at all sweet. Great stuff!

Okay that’s all of them, I hope! If any of these stories sound remotely interesting to you then go buy yourself a copy!


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review 2016-08-05 20:20
Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1, ed. by Randy Chandler & Cherly Mullenax, narrated by Joe Hempel
Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 1 - Comet Press,Jack Bantry,Joe Hempel,Kristopher Triana,Adam Cesare,Clare de Lune,Adam Howe,Robert Essig,David James Keaton,Cheryl Mullenax,Monica J. O'Rourke,Jeff Strand,Randy Chandler

 Normally, I'm more of an atmospheric horror gal than a gore lover, however, I do believe there's room for both in the horror genre of today. I picked up this volume when it first came out, but it was the offer of the free audio, (in exchange for my honest review), that made it possible for me to read it now rather than some time in 2017. This was my first book narrated by Joe Hempel and I think he did a fine job, especially considering the often shocking subject matter.



There were a few "new to me" authors here and my favorite among them was The Behrg and his story, Reborn. THIS, this is the reason people don't leave babies on the steps of churches anymore. Reborn is my favorite type of short horror story-no messing around, BAM!! It hits you right in the face! The Behrg has been on my radar for awhile and now I have to finally acknowledge him. (You were right, Kimberly!)


The Most Important Miracle by Scott Emerson. Now, seriously, who the hell is this guy? From what kind of sick brain did this story emerge? More importantly, are there more stories in there?


There were a couple of tales from authors I am already familiar with that I really liked-Adam Howe's Cleanup On Aisle 3 was one of them. It's a BADASS turning of the tables type story that had me cringing and laughing at the same time.


Jeff Strand's contribution,  Awakening,   had me laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair. Rarely are suicide pacts THIS funny!


Lastly, Jason Parent's Eleanor knocked my socks off. Boot-i-ful?? Yep, you bet! Sick, twisted and beautiful.


Overall, this was an above average collection that lost nothing in the translation to audio. Most of these tales are brutal, gory and shocking though, so prepare yourself before you go wading in. It gets deep and rather slimy the further you go.


Highly recommended to fans of hardcore horror!


*Thanks to Joe Hempel and Audiobook BOOM! for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.*

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review 2016-06-23 00:00
Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1
Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1 - Randy Chandler,Cheryl Mullenax I received a copy of this anthology from an author friend of mine and I am super glad he thought of me. Thanks to “you know who you are!” And yes, he did have a story in here, and yes, it was awesome, and no, I’m not telling you who it was. Ha! It really doesn’t matter anyway, because all of the stories in here were at a minimum pretty good to quite excellent. (Of course, your mileage may vary.)

Whenever I start an anthology I am always hit with a sense of anticipation and fear. Anticipation that I may run across a great new author and fear that I won’t find any or the stories will suck and I will have to plod thru it. Maybe less so, with this one as the line-up of authors I was familiar with was stellar.

Well, good news. I wasn’t disappointed with any of the stories and what’s even better is that I really enjoyed all of the stories from the unknown (to me) authors. A well done collection of stories and authors. Solid 4+ Stars. Highly Recommended.
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review 2016-06-12 10:36
Review of Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1, edited by Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax
Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 1 - Randy Chandler,Cheryl Mullenax

A horror collection from some of the leading horror authors in the genre? Yes, please. I have to say that you had me at "Adam Howe," and when I saw some of my other favorite authors in the lineup, I thought that Christmas came early this year. 

That said, it's an anthology. I didn't love every story in here, but the stories I loved, I loved hard. My absolute favorites were (in this order): "Reborn" by The Behrg, "Cleanup on Aisle 3" by Adam Howe, "Awakening" by Jeff Strand, "Eleanor" by Jason Parent, "Readings Off The Charts" by Adam Cesare, and "What's Worst" by David James Keaton. I liked a lot of other ones but those are the ones that stuck with me. These are also short stories so I'm not going to tell you what they are about so you are just going to have to read them yourself. You're just going to have to read your own dead baby jokes. 

As an obsessive (I hate the word "avid") horror reader, I wouldn't exactly classify many of these as hardcore (at least I don't think so...), so if that's the only thing stopping you: suck it up buttercup, you're reading horror, not Twilight. And really, what good is horror if it's not horrific? You aren't reading The Year's Best Pansy Stories Volume #1. 

I received an e-ARC of this from Adam Howe in exchange for an honest review and here it is.


© 2016 by Andi Rawson of Andreya's Asylum

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review 2016-05-19 19:42
The Sadist's Bible by Nicole Cushing
The Sadist's Bible - Nicole Cushing

Ellie’s miserable and wants to die. She feels trapped, is married to a man she doesn’t love and has realized that she only wants to be with a woman. If only for a night. She meets a stranger named Lori online and the two agree to meet for a night of sex, debauchery and death.

photo tumblr_nfkwhrMpsF1snusg4o1_500_zpse9v3owjn.gif

But, you see, although Lori wants desperately to die as well, she’s not being entirely truthful with Ellie. I’d be less than forthcoming too if I were hiding what Lori is hiding. . . Her secret is a doozy and I am afraid to say much of anything besides read this book if you like excellently written, thoughtful and extreme horror.

The Sadist’s Bible was truly terrifying. It’s set in the mundane world but then takes a sharp right turn into disturbia and never leaves. The imagery ranks right up there with some of the torments that befall Clive Barker’s unfortunate characters in his earlier works. I honestly don’t think I’ve read an erotic horror short so unsettling and under-the-skin intense since I finished Lucy Taylor’s Unnatural Acts back in 1997.

It also has a few unexpected and brief moments of humor.

“Nuttier than a squirrel turd.”

I seriously have to read everything this woman has ever written.

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