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review 2018-11-07 18:39
Flight or Fright
Flight or Fright - Stephen King, Arthur Conan Doyle,Richard Matheson,Dan Simmons

I listened to the unabridged audiobook. I have to thank my library and Overdrive for saving me some cash, especially since too many of the stories here were a little meh for my liking.

This anthology features stories about the fear of flying and the terrible things the imagination and reality can cook up to speed up your demise. If you’re afraid of flying, this book isn’t going to help you out with that. There are coffins in the back and monsters on the wing!

I’m not going to go into the details of every story because I will lose the will to live and if you want to read this there is no point in me ruining it for you. I didn’t take notes because sometimes you just want to listen to a book without turning it into a homework assignment. Sorry. Sometimes you get a real review from me, other times you get this. There’s a decent mix here of old decrepit stories and newer ones. Many of them I had read already read so, yeah, glad I didn’t spend money on this. All of the writers are males because women aren’t afraid of flying, I guess. We are built of sterner stuff, lol. Anyhow, the results are mixed. 

Stephen King writes a kick butt introduction, as always and his story here is one of the better ones. I only wish it had been a wee bit longer because I’m greedy. Still, that man knows how to write a short story. Now on to (some of) the others. CARGO starts things off and it is a good creeping dread tale but was so based in reality that it was more sad than scary for me, especially having just seen the Jonestown documentary. Then there’s NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET. You know that story made famous by Captain Kirk and that creepy-ass Twilight Zone episode? Yep, this is the source material and, because I was a creepy kid, I watched it a million times growing up so I knew how it all went down. One of the stories here had tentacles but don’t ask me which one because my brain is full. The tentacles were a nice little bonus in an otherwise bland story. Joe Hill’s contribution was a frightening read because, well, it could happen! It could happen any damned, cursed moment. You’ll know what I mean when you read it and especially if you live in the USA. There’s a tale about a dude who finds a time travelling ring and can’t keep his murderous hands to himself. He totally gets what is coming to him and what’s coming to him isn’t pleasant! I think I enjoyed DIABLITOS the most. It’s a sinister little tale about a guy who steals something from the wrong lady. The ending completely caught me off guard and created an image in my head that still lingers. Loved it. I also thought AIR RAID was fantastic and nailed the whole Twilight Zone vibe. MURDER IN THE AIR was a decent little murder mystery but not at all a horror story.

The problem with this collection is that many of the stories weren’t all that interesting to me personally. There are so very many boring war time stories and those don’t do it for me. Most are incredibly depressing or about guys agonizing about imminent death and I didn’t find them very gripping. In fact, my thoughts while listening to many of these stories wasn’t one of sympathy but more along the lines of “stop your whining and embrace your fate”. But I’m a jerk like that

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review 2018-10-23 19:03
The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain by Sean McDonough
The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain - Sean McDonough

Turtleshell Mountain is a theme park where people go to spend too much money and have the time of their lives. But there is a sinister underbelly beneath the happy façade and it is ready to come out and have some bloody fun!

The story focuses on a group of five adult friends who take the trip to Turtleshell. One of them has been going through a tough time with cancer treatments and they all want to forget about the sadness for a short time. There’s also a minister and his flock of youngsters visiting on a field trip and the Queen Beyotch who has worked at the park for decades. They’re all there at the worst possible time, of course, and though there are a LOT of innocents, a few of these people sort of deserve what they get and that’s always fun for me. 

This book actually caught me off guard a time or two which doesn’t happen very much. It doesn’t flee from the child death scenes and no one is safe so be warned if that’s a trigger for you. The carnage seeps in slowly which worked for me because I love a book where the setting is as much a character as all of the people and the setting is done spectacularly here. The writer spends some time focusing on the characters and their messy relationships and conflicted feelings before bringing on the murderous rampage of an entity known as The Single Rider. When the death and destruction begins to happen it’s grueling and joyous depending on the person losing body parts, lol. 

Reading this book was like watching a fantastic B horror movie from the 80’s; fun, messy, nail biting and even little sad and heartwarming in the most surprising way. The final reveal was satisfying and I highly recommend THE TERROR AT TURTLESHELL MOUNTAIN if any of this sounds good to you and your dark little heart (and, really, how could it not?!). 

 

This book is going in the CREEPY CARNIVALS bingo square.

 

 

Bingo Calls:

9/1   Classic Horror

9/3   Cryptozoologist

9/5   Cozy Mystery (not on my card)

9/7   New Release

9/9   Southern Gothic

9/11 Terrifying Women

9/13 A Grimm Tale

9/15 Modern Masters of Horror

9/17 Creepy Carnivals

9/19 Relics and Curiosities

9/21 Diverse Voices

9/23 Murder Most Foul

9/25 Amateur Sleuth

9/27 Genre: Suspense

9/29 Supernatural

10/1 Ghost Stories

10/3 Doomsday

10/5 Shifters

10/7 13 

10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)

10/11 Darkest London

Gothic

Genre Horror

Fear the Drowning Deep

Spellbound 

Country House Mystery

Dead Lands

 

I've Read These (none called):


Baker Street SADIE by Courtney Summers

Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY by John Everson
  

Read & Called!

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

Creepy Carnivals: THE TERROR AT TURTLESHELL MOUNTAIN by Sean McDonough

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review 2018-10-09 19:20
Halloween Bingo Suspense: Predators by Michaelbrent Collings
Predators - Michaelbrent Collings

This is a dark, grueling, unflinching character study and tale of survival in a desolate landscape that will put you through the emotional meat grinder. It was fantastic in all the ways that count.

 

A group of tourists travel to Africa to experience the wild locale and the exotic animals and instead find themselves caught up in a living nightmare. This book takes its time setting up the story and the unrelenting horror that follows and instead dives deep into the characterization. So when the plot turn happens and the struggle to survive begins you are pretty well invested in some of the characters and have a better understand of the one’s you might not like all that much. These aren’t just bodies doing stuff, these are well rounded people with pasts. I’m nosy and love taking a deep dive into what makes people tick and it’s done very well in PREDATORS.

 

If you’ve tuned out because you’re an action fan, stick with me because there’s plenty of it in the last half when the plot takes a bloody turn, desperate animals turn on man and it gets gory. Author Collings doesn’t shy away from the gruesome and isn’t afraid to push your face in it. But through it all the terrific characterization remains.

 

There are some amazingly strong female characters in this book and that includes the main beast herself. Her POV fascinated me. The humans are quite a mix. There’s a blind little girl and her dad, a grandma, a starlet, an abused woman and her rotten husband, a Harvey Weinstein type, a not-too-bright YouTuber who is good for some laughs and the tour guides who love what they do even though they have to cart around idiots, for the most part. Some start out weak and find strength and others appear frail but prove that looks are deceptive. A few are just arrogant, nasty or dumb and are there to get eaten but there’s nothing wrong with that. It was a nice mix of people you love to hate and those you grow to love and one or two somewhere in the middle. It’s also heartbreaking as hell so be warned. Fortunately, there are some much needed humorous bits of dialogue thrown in to stop you just when you’re getting ready to jump into a pit of hopeless despair.

 

The monsters are not supernatural but the terror is real. If a slower-paced, well-crafted book about doing what it takes to survive is your kind of thing, I think you’re really going to enjoy PREDATORS.

 

 

This one is going into the Suspense Category. I need to update my card with this one but I'm out of time right now. 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

Supernatural

Ghost Stories

Doomsday

Terror In A Small Town

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Spellbound: BABY TEETH

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO

 

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review 2018-09-28 17:40
Halloween Bingo: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

What would you do if you wanted nothing more out of life than to be a good, loving mom – everything your own mother wasn’t - and then you give birth to a beloved baby who grows into a monster that wants you dead?

“Make mommy go away and never come back.”

This is the horrible dilemma facing Suzette, a woman already with a lot of horror on her plate. She’s overcome a childhood of neglect and emotional abuse and now lives with Crohn's disease and the chronic and debilitating side effects that sap her energy, along with the fear that one surgery too many will leave her with a colostomy bag. She’s doing her best to raise Hanna, who remains purposely mute at the age of seven, with love but it’s difficult to love a child who despises you and undercuts you whenever the opportunity arises. Suzette’s husband is completely unaware of Hanna’s evil streak because Hanna is a master manipulator who has him wrapped around her little finger. And that’s just how Hanna likes it. Hanna loves her dad so much she wants to marry him and mommy is in the way . . . Yes, we are diving deep into weird V.C. Andrews territory here and it’s amazing!

I know this is going to make me sound strange but I have to say it, I LOVED this little monster and was one million percent thankful that she wasn’t mine because I have zero patience for that and might’ve had to run away forever. Hanna doesn’t speak aloud (in English, anyway) but all of her loathsome and strange thoughts are shared with us and she is one heck of a twisted, creepy kid who knows how to work the adults that surround her. Her character fascinated me. Her thoughts were so terrible and so deliciously evil that I didn’t want to turn away. Her mother was interesting as well with her tortured and conflicted thoughts toward her child. Dad was a bit of a pushover but I guess he had to be in order for this story to work.

“I promise I’ll be good.”

Sadly the end is bit disappointing. Everything was leading me to believe a big, awful thing was going to happen but instead the book ended with a rather lame little fizzle. Please tell me there is going to be another book and that all of the horrible, terrible things I imagined will actually happen in it because I will hit that buy button the moment it is released!

 

 

This one is going into the Spellbound Category (which only makes sense if you've read the book)

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

 

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review 2018-09-26 18:26
Halloween Bingo Terrifying Women: The Grip of It by Jac Jemc
The Grip of It: A Novel - Jac Jemc

See this review and so much other good horror stuff at Ladies of Horror Fiction.

 

I’m not going to sugar coat things. This book was work and it was not a quick read. Not by a long shot. The chapters were super short so you would think the pages would fly, right? No. They absolutely do not fly. The writing style was literary, I knew that going in, and the language was lovely and often gutting in its honesty but what I didn’t anticipate were the alternating POV’s of the married couple who are haunted by their new house (or were they?). Every single time a new chapter began with the other’s POV it would throw me out of the groove of the story and take me several moments to get back into it. And since many of the chapters were only 2 – 3 pages long there was a lot of mental jostling going on here. Perhaps you won’t have this issue and this much of a struggle but I’d be lying if I didn’t cop to it.

With that said, the book was a treasure trove of eerie atmosphere and emotional turmoil. The writing was truly striking and the crushing and stifling dread closing in on the couple? Phew, I’m still feeling the remnants of those claustrophobic, paranoid feelings days later. Their struggle, their worry, and their confusion? That stuff was so amazingly well done. I LOVE that sort of writing thus I was determined to see this book through to the very end. Were they going mad together? Was the house haunted? Or was it something more sinister and grounded in the real world? And what was up with the weirdo neighbor? I’m not telling you any of these things because I am not 100% sure of the answers even after finishing it. I had to get this book back to the library so I’ll have to do a reread on audio someday to see if I can find all of my answers to all of my pesky questions.

So, do I think you should read it? Perhaps and perhaps not. What I do recommend is maybe grabbing yourself a sample and reading the first 50 -75 pages and see how it works for you personally. The Grip of It isn’t a book that will appeal to everyone but, damn, that writing was lush and I am sucker for lush writing especially when it’s creepy! I have zero regrets.

 

 

This one is going into the Terrifying Women Category

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

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