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Search tags: in-the-dark-dark-woods
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review 2018-03-11 02:26
The Woods are Dark - Richard Laymon

4.5 stars rounded up!


Wow! This was my first Richard Laymon novel and I was not disappointed. I know Laymon has a bit of a bad reputation (as in, he’s known for writing trashy horror), so I was a bit hesitant when starting this short tale of a few people lost in the woods and on the run from an incestuous family of cannibals that . . . practice witchcraft? I think?


Oh, and the Devil shows up too. In literal monster form.


Needless to say, this thing is intense. I could not — and did not — want to put it down.

The whole time I was reading, I felt like I was reading Jack Ketchum’s Off Season (which is funny, since they were both published in 1981), only I enjoyed this one much more. Maybe it’s because I was able to sympathize more with the characters, despite Ketchum arguably fleshing his creations out more. I dunno. Laymon did a good job, here, of giving me just enough information to make the characters distinctive and likable without getting bogged down in back story. This one is all action, all horror, from the start.


Easily the scariest book I’ve read this month thus far, I liked this one much more than I expected and I hope to squeeze in another Laymon before the end of March.

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review 2017-10-02 00:13
Lycan Unleashed - Shannon Curtis

This world of Vampire and Werewolf territories is interesting but fairly predictable, for the most part, however the author does explore the complexities of Vampire and Werewolf territories and how this would work in a world, politics is complex and makes for messy situations.  I still hate the ignorant hero/heroine ending up in a situation that is mostly caused by their ignorance of their culture.  Things like bonding rituals would surely be a fundamental thing to know.


Lycan Matthias Marshall is on the hunt for his alpha's killer, the leader of a neighbouring pack, so he has infiltrated this pack's territory, he encounters Trinity Caldwell, she's a tracker and loyal to her pack, no matter how they've treated her.  He's attracted and she has issues with the ring he wears.


It's not bad, it just felt like it could be more.


It could be werewolf (that I don't have); vampire; witch; supernatural; with a little bit of a stretch you could also argue murder most foul; romantic suspense; there is a child in the plot so it could possibly fit into chilling children (again a stretch); In the Dark Dark woods is actually an easy fill for this as most of the story happens in the woods; I'm going to use supernatural.  It's a slot I have to fill.

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review 2017-09-26 18:45
The Wilderness Within by John Claude Smith
The Wilderness Within - John Claude Smith


The Wilderness Within blew my mind! I should be used to that by now, as John Claude Smith never presents anything boring to his readers.


Novelist Derek Gray responds to his friend Frank's letter asking for him to come for a visit. Frank Harlan Marshall lives in the forest, miles away from civilized life. Together, they're awaiting a third friend and while passing the time, Derek notices Frank is in dire straits mentally. He's not himself, he's barely even present when they talk. Derek also meets Frank's neighbor, Alethea, former singer of Dark Angel Asylum. Together, all three will face something-something in the forest, something that is ancient and will change them all, forever.


John Claude Smith is always exploring new ideas and this book is no exception. My favorite parts happened in the forest-the first time Derek and Frank take a walk in the woods together is truly creepy.


"I sensed in my mind, something picking through my thoughts, as if my skull had been opened up and something was looking for whatever special thoughts, memories and imagination that it fed on, and was diligently feeding: beetles picking the carcass clean."


The creative minds of authors and musicians are interesting things to explore. I'm reminded of U2's lyrics from The Fly: "Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief, all kill their inspiration and sing about the grief." John Claude's take is: "But I know creative individuals and know the madness and intensity that is part of their make-up. There has to be a lack of inhibition in allowing the madness full reign in order to really capture the gist of what one really needs to express creatively."


All of this makes it seem as if this book is focused on the inner lives of artists, and in a way it is, but it's also about the forest, nature, what is going on around us, and just maybe...how small we are in the bigger scheme of things. That part of the story and what's really wrong with Frank-these are things you have to discover for yourself. But be prepared because the truth is scary and often ugly too. Not only do we not know everything there is to know about nature and how the world works, we often don't even know the people we think we know the best.


Surreal, intense and brave, The Wilderness Within is a unique story that delivers on the creep factor and explores deeply the inner lives of the creative and the broken. At the same time, it makes me want to stay away from the forest, at least for now.


Highly recommended!


You can pre-order your copy here: The Wilderness Within


*I was provided an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-09-26 12:39
I have issues
Awakened by the Wolf - Kristal Hollis

See when a woman says "not in my bed" and runs away from you at first chance, even going so far as to break glass to get away as hard as possible, you respect that choice and you bloody well respect her.  This is not a good way to start a relationship and I would be reluctant to get involved with this self-involved whiny man child who is supposedly a successful lawyer but can't understand that sometimes he has to negotiate a deal rather than ride roughshod over things.


Yes the story pulled me through and was well written but consent was a frequent road bump that made the whole difficult to appreciate.  Like many others of this type that I've read recently, it was problematic but had some good aspects.


Now I could put it in werewolf if I had it, there were scenes in the woods (she runs into woods to get away from him at first), so In the Dark Dark Woods would work, also supernatural and honestly he falls into future monster, despite the werewolf thing, she's going to have to work at her self-hood and hard.


Dark Dark Woods it is.

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review 2017-09-16 04:49
Suicide Forest is real.
Suicide Forest - Jeremy Bates




It was human nature to want to know what was around the next corner, regardless of what might await you.

- Chapter 4


Death isn't picky, doesn't play favorites. It doesn't care in which country you were born or how much money you had amassed in your brief existence or how happy you are. It's supremely patient and rightly so, for it knows you can't escape its reach.

Chapter 27


An English teacher in Japan, off with his friends and his girlfriend, to climb Mt. Fuji. The weather intervenes, so as an alternative, they decide to camp overnight in Aokigahara, also known as Suicide Forest. I'm sure you're thinking, "Wow, that's a great idea!" Well, turns out that camping in Suicide Forest is not the best idea. In my opinion, Honda is the only smart one as he refused to go camping there.


How many people die, how many survive, is it really ghosts that are after them? You will have to read the book to find out. The book is creepy and suspenseful. It didn't keep me from sleeping at night, but not much does. I think reading Stephen King as a teenager made me sort of immune to scary stories...


I did enjoy the book, even though some of the decisions made by the characters were a bit suspect. But, I can't imagine what I would feel if I was lost in a dense forest (nicknamed Suicide Forest) with no way out.


I found the villians a bit unbelievable and might have preferred a different ending, but a good book anyway.


I read this for the "In the Dark, Dark Woods" square for Halloween Bingo. Since 90% of the action takes place in a very creepy forest, I think it fits.

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