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review 2020-05-27 19:00
THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS by Brian Lumley, narrated by Joshua Saxon
The Taint and Other Novellas - Brian Lumley,Joshua Saxon

Welcoming the chance to get my Lovcraftian horror on via the excellent narration of Joshua Saxon, I tore into THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS. What fun!

 

A collection of 5 novellas which were written back in the mid to late 1900s, these tales do not have the polish of Lumley's later works, like the Necroscope series. These stories are more the work of a writer starting out, (while serving in the military), a writer bewitched by Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The fun parts of the mythos are here, but they lack the racism and other issues of Lovecraft's work.

 

My favorites of the 5 were: LORD OF THE WORMS This tale featured Titus Crow, a name I remember from back in the day, though I can't quite remember the tales in which he featured. In this story, he's invited to a home under the pretense of cataloging a large book collection at an old estate. Of course nothing is as it appears. Throw in some mesmerizing hypnotism, (see what I did there?!), some maggots and some spiked wine and you have yourself a great time!

 

THE TAINT was a fun tale involving fish-men. That's right, fish-men. With all the creepiness inherent in that phrase. It's not as much a pulp tale as one would think, with just the right mix of horror and perhaps a bit of social commentary, (but that's just my take.)

 

Finally, the last story THE TEMPLE HOUSE takes the form of a man inheriting an old estate from his uncle. He takes a friend and goes to Scotland to inspect his inheritance, and soon finds a letter from his uncle asking him to destroy the place. Why? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Regarding the narrator, Joshua Saxon-I've only listened to one other performance of his, which was the excellent THE CIPHER by Kathe Koja. In that book he was voicing only one character while in this collection, he voices all kinds of people and he does it quite well. English, American, Scottish, he does them all and never for a moment did I doubt the origins of any of the characters. Well done, sir!

 

This was a collection full of fun Lovecraftian monsters, fish people, maggots and worms. If these are the things that delight you, then you'll enjoy the hell out of this volume!

 

Recommended!

 

You can get your audio here: THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS

 

*I received this audio download free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-05-26 19:30
A BOOK OF BONES by John Connolly
A Book of Bones: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 17. From the No. 1 Bestselling Author of THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS - John Connolly

Still on the trail of the super creepy Mors, as well as the seemingly ageless Quayle, Charlie Parker and John Connolly never seem to give us a break!

 

Quayle is still trying to put together the Fractured Atlas, and Parker is still trying to prevent it. In this volume, Parker, with his pals Angel and Louis, head off to London along with a book expert to try to figure out where Quayle will strike next. We have creepy churches, stained glass windows, (or what appear to be windows), the Green Man, some moors and so much more. We also have appearances from Charlie's daughters, both alive and dead.

 

This was a long book and it could have been 500 pages longer and it still wouldn't bother me. I never, ever get bored with Connolly's prose or Charlie's thoughts. At this point in the series, I'm expecting things to wrap up, while at the same time, dreading it. I'm hoping that perhaps the series will continue with Charlie's offspring? This is all speculation on my part, but any time now, I'm expecting one or more of these fictional characters I love to die. I'm not sure if my heart can take it, because I've been friends with them for so long.

 

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, because I can't imagine my life without looking forward to the next Charlie Parker book!

 

My highest recommendation!

 

 

Get your copy here: A BOOK OF BONES

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book through Atria/Emily Bestler Books via NetGalley, but I was approved so late, (I didn't think I'd get approved at all at that point), I bought the hardcover! Either way, this is my honest opinion. READ THE BOOK!*

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review 2020-05-13 19:00
NIGHT SERVICE by John Leonard
Night Service - John F Leonard

 

Luke and Jessica are heading home to Jessica's house, after a fun and romantic night out on the town. Both are rather young and neither has much money, so they decided to take the night service bus instead of calling a taxi. Let's just call that a fatal mistake, for at least one of them. Who survives? What happened on that late night bus ride? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I am a fan of John Leonard's work and it's nearly criminal that he's not more well known. He is building his own legends and stories surrounding his creation: The Scaeth. He has a way of making his characters real to the reader, just enough so that the reader can relate and start to like them... and then he drops them down into some seriously dangerous and scary situations and lets them fight for themselves.

 

At novella length, NIGHT SERVICE flies by. There's excitement, chases, tension and bloody gore galore! I had a great time reading it and I look forward to more in The Scaeth Mythos.

 

Recommended!

 

Get your copy here: NIGHT SERVICE

 

*Thanks to John Leonard for the e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-05-08 19:30
REEK by Bradley Freeman
Reek - Bradley Freeman

 

On an island abandoned so many years ago that hardly anyone remembers why, a film director and his hand-picked team set out to rejuvenate his poor reputation. Will they be successful? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

After seeing so many positive reviews from my friends I thought I'd give this book a shot. There was an interesting array of characters as well as some folk creatures that I'd never heard of before. Bradley Freeman takes all of this up, shakes it and then drops it on an isolated island and let's everyone fend for themselves.

 

Bloody, gory, creative and fun, REEK was a blast to read! The only negatives I can come up with are the fact that I didn't care much for the main character and I thought it was a tad bit long. Still, there were so many twists and turns here, I never got bored. In fact, during the second half I had to hang on tight, because it was quite a ride!

 

I think Bradley Freeman is an author to watch and I would recommend this book to anyone looking for some good scares.

 

Highly recommended!

 

*You can get your copy here: REEK

 

*I bought this book with my hard earned cash.* 

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review 2020-04-28 15:45
DEVOLUTION: A FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF THE RAINIER SASQUATCH MASSACRE by Max Brooks
Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre - Max Brooks

One word: SASQUATCH. I'm in!!

 

When a small group of environmentally conscious folk move into a "smart-community" (named Greenloop), in the Pacific northwest, everything seems to be just perfect. They are off the grid, groceries are flown in via drone, and they are self sufficient...until nearby Mount Rainier erupts. All of a sudden it becomes painfully clear that they are not capable of surviving very long without internet access, (can't order up those grocery drones now), and with the roads wiped out by lahars, there's no escape. Then, they start noticing noises from the woods and as all the local wildlife begins to run, they run into something deadly. Will our plucky group escape from Greenloop with their lives? Or will they stay and try to defend the lives they've built? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

The after-effects of a lahar:

 

I ended up loving characters that I nearly hated at first. Katie? I'm looking at you, girl! As the tale continues we learn more about each of the people living at Greenloop. Many of the important things about them aren't disclosed until much later in the book. My Google-foo was strong though and I discovered a lot of those particulars early on and that gave more depth to the tale. This entire group of people changed throughout, some in good ways, others not so much.

 

I thought that for a bigfoot story this tale was mostly realistic, though there were portions where I had a hard time suspending my disbelief. I cant say more about that without spoilers, but let's face it. This is a story about sasquatches, there's only so much realism there can be. And even though we're talking about somewhat of a creature feature here, the real focus is on the characters and not the cryptids. In that respect, it's not a creature feature at all, it's about the people.

 

DEVOLUTION is a quick read, fast paced and a lot of fun. There were gory scenes, lots of action and unexpected events popping up all over the place. It kept my attention, kept the pages turning and took my mind off this pandemic for a while. For these reasons I recommend it!

 

Available everywhere June 16th, but you can pre-order here: DEVOLUTION

 

*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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