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review 2019-07-19 03:51
The story was good, but book could have used more editing
One Hell of a Prize - Ju Ephraime

This was an interesting story. Cheyenne was stronger than she thought she was but also smart enough to accept the gifts coming her way. Tipp felt instant attraction to Cheyenne and was wonderful as he wooed her. I liked the progression to their HEA. I thought this story could have been better with some editing to get rid of the overuse of some phrases.

I received a copy of this story through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2019-07-08 23:47
Must read for Daemon Grim fans
Hell Gate - Andrew P Weston

Who “was” the Grim Reaper before becoming Satan’s strongest champion? This series chronicles the exploits of Satan’s right-hand warrior, Daemon Grim (the reaper). It began with Hell Bound and Hell Hounds … and continues with Hell Gate. In addition to my reviews of those, I capture some key
takeaways:

  • The series is all about Daemon Grim
  • Hell Gate is all about revealing the mystery Daemon Grim’s past, which we’ve been teased about for two books, and here it is!
  • The crazy milieu of Hell persists, so start with Hell Bound to get grounded; more on WTH is Hell below.
  • The cat and mouse hunt after Frederic Chopin and Nikola Telsa reaches a climatic milestone; the duo’s evil plotting that began in book #1 is finally revealed too.
  • Grim takes readers in realms of the Quran (Jahannam)
  • The inclusion of mystics (namely from ~1500, Saint Teresa of Ávila and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim) was a pleasant addition



Hell Noir Style: The milieu and conflict are so epic in scope, and weird in substance, that the story lends itself more for narrative storytelling over dramatic showing. As before, Mr. Weston doles out exposition-through-dialogue; as I read this, I just envisioned a Noir film in which the protagonist provided a snarky voiceover. I felt like I was called into Grim's police office and sat in a room full of smoke as he coached me through a mysterious case. 

What is Hell’s Milieu? Grim was introduced to the Heroes in Hell series in the anthology Doctors in Hell. Heroes in Hell is a fantastical place built from myths and religions—so do not expect Tolkienesque elves or dwarves. The primary realm explored is called Juxtapose, which is a satirical mirror of our earth’s cityscapes (the Seine river featured as “Inseine”, Paris called Perish, the Eiffel Tower represented as the Awful Tower, Facebook is called Hatebook). Since time has little meaning in Hell, beings from past and present meet and scheme (i.e., Tesla and Chopin). There are other realms beyond Juxtapose connected with ethereal gateways. All are populated by beings being tormented and try to outwit Satan or their comrades. Even Erra, the Akkadian plague god, has visited Hell to torment Satan. No one is safe! It is a splendid, wacky place that works well.

Where to Start on your trip to Hell: Hell Gate is wacky and fun, but is not the beginning. The Heroes in Hell is primarily a series of anthologies; this novel focuses on Grim but has story arcs connected to HIH. Given the breadth of abstract interactions, I recommend initial readers begin with either:

  1. Doctors in Hell (HIH #18): Daemon Grim is introduced in this collection, and even though it is #18 in the series, it is a perfect entryway for HIH newcomers.
  2. Or…. Hell Bound (Grim novel #1): Daemon Grim’s first novel, occurring chronologically after Doctors, but before Hell Hounds.
  3. Or for those who’ve done that, note Grim also appears in Pirates in Hell and Lovers in Hell

 

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text 2019-07-06 20:55
Reading progress update: I've read 112 out of 312 pages.
Hell and Damnation : a Sinner's Guide to Eternal Torment - Marq de Villiers

 

 

Somehow I thought this would be more amusing. The author interviews better than he writes.

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review 2019-07-05 12:46
Very dark story, triggers for some.
Key to Hell - Alex Grayson

This was a very dark and gritty story, and was a little tough getting through. There were what may be triggers for some people. To say I enjoyed the journey of Rella and Emo seems wrong with all the bad things, violence, and pain, but it was their journey, how they worked through some of their issues to be there for each other. My heart hurt for all they went through and how they found their HEA. The support of all the secondary characters went a long way to making this an easier read.

I received a copy of this story through Enticing Journey Book Promotions, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2019-06-25 18:45
THE REAPING by (the AWESOME) Bernard Taylor
The Reaping (Paperbacks from Hell) - Herb Errickson,Bernard Taylor

Bernard Taylor-I LOVE the guy! SWEETHEART, SWEETHEART is still my favorite from him, (and one of my favorite quiet horror tales of all time), but THE REAPING is another fine example of horror at its best!

 

An artist and father is invited out to a country manor to paint a portrait. Thomas is offered quite a bit of money to leave his family and business to come do this and his every need will be met while he is there. Upon his arrival, though, his surroundings, the family and the servants all begin to unnerve him. Young Catherine, his model for the portrait seems a bit...off as well. Will he finish the portrait and collect his generous fee? Will he happily return home afterward and resume life as he previously knew it? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Books like these are the reason I got into the horror genre in the first place. Somehow I missed Bernard Taylors' works back in the day, but thanks to Valancourt Books and the phenomenon of a book written by Grady Hendrix and Will Erickson, PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, many of these older books are coming back into print. Just in time to delight a whole new generation of horror readers!

 

Bernard Taylor's work is surprisingly well written. He takes his time setting up the story and he writes so deftly that you cannot see where the story is taking you. What you DO see, (and feel) is an atmosphere that nearly suffocates. The tension thrums as the mystery finally unravels and there is no way to put this book down after a certain point. No. Freaking. Way. !!

 

Once again, a Bernard Taylor story gets my highest recommendation! Don't let this one get away!

 

Get your copy here: THE REAPING or at http://www.valancourtbooks.com/

 

*I was provided an e-ARC of this excellent book by Valancourt, in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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