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review 2017-05-24 19:19
The Nightmare Stacks, Charles Stross
The Nightmare Stacks (A Laundry Files Novel) - Charles Stross

The gazillionth Laundry File confirms that the success of its predecessors depended heavily on the voice of Bob Howard by again not using it. Instead we get Howard-lite in the form of newbie vampire and Laundry recruit, Alex. Alex is the kind of nervous, out of his depth nerd Bob was way back in the mists of time, without the wit or distinctive turns of phrase. This makes the first half of the book a little dull. Circa p200 however, things start to go crazy, the viewpoint widens and war breaks out. After that it's a gallop all the way to the end.

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text 2017-05-01 21:17
Sci-Fi and Scary Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge-April Update
Soles - Kay Brandt
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates
Nightmare Of The Dead - Vincenzo Bilof
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum
At The Cemetery Gates: Year One - Chad Wehrle,John Brhel,Joseph T. Sullivan
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown
Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

 

I am participating in a Horror Reading Challenge over at the Sci-Fi and Scary blog. You can sign up yourself at the Sci-Fi and Scary Blog here: Sci-Fi and Scary

 

This month I've read 9  books towards the challenge this month:

 

Garden of Fiends (Tales of Addiction Horror)

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One 

 

Elizabeth 

 

Ararat 

 

Dark Screams: Volume 6

 

Nightmare of the Dead

 

Nightmares and Geezenstacks

 

Just Add Water

 

Soles

 

April Total: 9

March Total: 4

February Total: 3

January Total: 5

 

Total: 21

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-18 18:30
Nightmare of the Dead by Vincenzo Bilof
Nightmare Of The Dead - Vincenzo Bilof

 

Nightmare of the Dead was a different kind of zombie/cannibal novel and I'm torn over it.

 

On the one hand, I enjoyed the creativity and imagination that went into this story. We have the Union and the Confederacy battling it out, with one side using medical experimentation to create the perfect type of soldier. And somehow this was done with a horror/western type feel to it-kudos to the author for that.

 

On the other hand, the writing felt disjointed. At times there seemed to be parts that were rewritten and inserted without regard for the paragraphs before and after. There were also a lot of missing words. These issues did bother me and took me out of the flow of the story more than once.

 

The author's descriptive skills were excellent and believe you me, there is a lot of blood, gore, torture, and rape here to describe. In that vein, Mr. Bilof's writing put me in mind of Tim Curran, whose imagination is beyond compare.

 

This was a quick reading, short novel and I did enjoy it, it's just that the writing could have been better. I would read more of this author's work in the future, in the hopes that he's honing his craft. If that's the case, then we certainly have not seen the last of Vincenzo Bilof.

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text 2017-01-23 23:10
7 Horror(ish) Novels That Set My Tail A-Waggin'
The Arabian Nightmare - Robert Irwin
Needful Things - Stephen King
The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller
The Off Season - Jack Cady
The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) - F. Paul Wilson
The Club Dumas - Arturo Pérez-Reverte,Sonia Soto

Okay, I've established that I like me some horror. I don't really like definitive "Ten Best" lists (writing them anyway; I love reading them), so I'll just talk about seven I really like. Some are only loosely horror, but it's my list, so there!

 

1. The Arabian Nightmare - Robert Irwin  The Arabian Nightmare - Robert Irwin  

 

    What a weird-ass book this is. A young Englishman comes to medieval Cairo during an epidemic. The victims fall into a never-ending nightmare that they can't remember if and when they wake. Balian, our protagonist, runs into various bizarre characters, such as Dirty Yoll the story-teller (who is also our narrator), possibly comes down with the nightmare, is victim of various conspiracies... It gets very strange, not least when the narrator dies, but keeps telling the story, and then gets better... maybe.

 

2. Needful Things - Stephen King  Needful Things - Stephen King  

 

    Look, I know many people think of this as one of King's worst works, but I love it. Besides, do you need yet another person extolling the virtues of ITThe Shining, or 'Salem's Lot? Of course not.

So, the devil comes to Castle Rock, promising the citizens their fondest wish if they'll just do him one small favor... The premise is awesome, the characters incredible, and some of the writing (particularly the prologue) is the best King has ever published. Scoff if you must, I love this  book.

 

3. The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg  The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg 

 

    Four college kids go to the desert, seeking the cure for mortality. Two must die, so the others may live forever. Dark, hedonistic, philosophical, and amazing. Told from four different, first-person perspectives in such a way that you never get confused as to who is currently narrating. Brilliant.

 

4. The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller  The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller  

 

    If you know anything about horror fiction, you've heard of this. Do yourself a favor and read it. Probably the best haunted house novel I've ever read.

 

5. The Off Season - Jack Cady  The Off Season - Jack Cady  

 

    Another strange one. A wanderer comes to town, along with a cat who purrs in several languages. A Victorian-era madman comes back to life, promising to help the citizens make mucho moolah in the tourist trade by exploiting their many ghosts. There's a parsonage that never stays in the same place, only to become  a flying fortress during the final battle. Whoa.

 

6. The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) - F. Paul Wilson  The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) - F. Paul Wilson  

 

    First, and best, of the Repairman Jack series. Jack is hired to retrieve a strange necklace for an ancient Indian woman as all hell breaks loose in NYC. Action-packed with many memorable characters.

 

7. The Club Dumas - Arturo Pérez-Reverte,Sonia Soto  The Club Dumas - Arturo Pérez-Reverte,Sonia Soto  

 

    Got into this book after seeing the movie The Ninth Gate, which was loosely based on this.

A rare book dealer is hired for two different jobs: to track down the manuscript of a certain chapter from The Three Musketeers; and to find out which, if any, of the three remaining copies off an evil tome is the original, for unknown reasons. Dark, funny, suspenseful, this introduced me to one of my favorite authors. If you like swashbucklers, check out his Captain Alatriste novels.

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text 2017-01-06 15:33
Reading progress update: I've read 93 out of 178 pages.
Nightmare in Manhattan - Thomas Walsh

ah, 1949-1950...the ransom on a small boy is just fifty thousand dollars. and a posse of tough New York-Irish cops can sequester a suspected kidnaper down a tunnel and pretty much do whatever they want to him until he squeals--no review board, lawyers, or nuthin, just a truncheon. those were the daze.

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