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review 2017-02-16 04:50
A Stalled Ox by Dean Moses
A Stalled Ox (1888: Novellas) - Dean Mos... A Stalled Ox (1888: Novellas) - Dean Moses

DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own.

Title: A Stalled Ox
Author: +Dean Moses
Pages: 120
Publisher: Black Hill Press
Release date: November 11, 2015.

Review:
The unthinkable has happened. In a world where meat is non-existent, people have turned to religion to help save them from what they believe to be the end of the world. Agent Howard and his partner Linda to go undercover to a compound where a man who calls himself by the name of "God" is claiming he has found a way to serve his followers meat.

In such a short novella, Agent Howard, Linda, and "God" are well-thought out characters. Linda and "God" have background stories that are summed up in a few paragraphs and they are told perfectly. "God" is a very calculating character, and has so much more inside of him than what is presented in the story. He is cold, unpredictable, yet even I was drawn in by him. His story comes with a ton of surprises as well. This novella has horror, passion, and exciting turns of events you'll be captivated by. By the end, you'll be left with questions and wanting even more.

This book is perfect for readers who like shorter novels, but still appreciate amazing writing. The fact that this is a novella doesn't mean it doesn't pack the punch a longer book does. I found myself flinching at the gore found within its 120 pages and was scared numb by the imagery Moses formed inside my mind with his writing.

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review 2017-02-13 19:11
Of Foster Homes and Flies by Chad Lutzke
Of Foster Homes and Flies - Chad Lutzke

Of Foster Homes and Flies has been on my reading docket for over 6 months now. I wish I hadn't waited so long. This is a heartbreaking tale about young Denny and the loss of his parents. But it's about so much more than that, really.

 

When a 12 year old boy has lost his father, and then loses his mother shortly thereafter, (to a constant state of drunkenness), there isn't much to look forward to in his young life. His family is poor, he hasn't even ridden in a car in years, (never mind his family owning one), and Ingrid, the family dog, has been exposed to so much cigarette smoke she's no longer white.

 

Over the past year, Denny has been regretting having not entered his school's spelling bee last year. This time around, Denny is going to enter that spelling bee-and come hell or high water, he's going to win it. Will he really win? You'll have to read this novella to find out!

 

I'm not sure why I identified so much with this kid, but I did. Everything about him and his poor family rang true to me. I loved the depictions of his few friends and neighbors-which only goes to show you that in the end, in spite of being surrounded by people, you can still be alone. I just wanted to reach out and hug Denny. I wish he were right now so I could.

 

I've read one of Chad Lutzke's stories before in the anthology "Bumps in the Road", which he edited. I loved that story too, but not quite as much as this one. Highly recommended for fans of coming-of-age tales like Robert McCammon's Boy's Life, James Newman's Midnight Rain, or John Boden's Jedi Summer: with The Magnetic Kid.

 

You should grab a copy and you can right here. Of Foster Homes and Flies

 

If you do, give Denny a hug from me. 

 

*I received a complimentary copy of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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text 2016-12-27 12:50
Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Novellas Read in 2016
Detritus in Love - Mercedes M. Yardley,John Boden
The Sadist's Bible - Nicole Cushing
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
Last Train from Perdition (I Travel By Night) - Robert R. McCammon
Odd Man Out - Pete Kahle,James R. Newman

 

Here are my top 5 novellas of the year. This was the toughest category for me this year. I read a ton of excellent novellas, so it was difficult to whittle this list down to the top 5, but I finally did it. 

 

Here they are in no particular order, (click the title to see my original review):

 

Detritus in Love by Mercedes Yardley and John Boden. This was a beautifully written surreal tale that you won't soon forget. It's affordable and quick to read. What are you waiting for? You can get your copy here: Detritus in Love

 

The Sadist's Bible by Nicole Cushing. This fearless novella brings the reader to places they may not want to have gone-but when they're done they are left to marvel over the insanity of it.  And I mean that in the best way possible. You can get your copy here: The Sadist's Bible

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. This is another beautifully written piece which totally blew me away. I have a couple of more LaValle books that moved WAY up in my TBR after reading this one. My HIGHEST recommendation! You can find your copy here:

The Ballad of Black Tom

 

Last Train From Perdition by Robert McCammon. Featuring my favorite cover of the year, this novella is part two of the Trevor Lawson trilogy. (The third is not yet available, the first being I Travel By Night. (Click to read my review.) Part gunslinger, part problem solver, and ALL vampire, (be it reluctantly), this novella kicked all kinds of ass. I mean, seriously, what is NOT fun about gunslinging vampires on a train??

You can find a copy here: Last Train From Perdition

 

Odd Man Out by James Newman is such a perfect story for this time in American history. It's so perfect, it's scary.  As a teenager, were you ever coerced by your friends to take part in something you did not feel comfortable with? Did you stand up and say no or did you go along to get along? Do you feel differently about your actions today? Beginning with a church meeting regarding Boy Scouts and ending with a very different type of religious afterword, Odd Man Out is squeezing on your heart the entire time.  It was a touching, moving, emotional story that I know I will read again in the future, just because it is that powerful. Please go and get a copy here: Odd Man Out

 

 

I guess that's it then, for my favorite novellas of the year. It was a difficult decision, but I'm happy with how it all came out. If you decide to try any of these yourself, I would love to hear your thoughts about them!

 

Thanks for visiting Char's Horror Corner and I hope we can meet up again in 2017 for some more dark fiction greats!

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review 2016-12-13 01:47
MOONLIGHT FALLING BY: KARISSA LAUREL
Moonlight Falling: A Norse Chronicles Novella (The Norse Chronicles Book 0) - Karissa Laurel

 

  I don't know that I have ever read a prequel that was centered around someone that we know met a tragic fate. It was quite an experience.

 

 

so-sad

 

I feel like I soaked it all in a little deeper. Each question felt deeper, each victory more sweet, and each relationship felt so utterly bittersweet I ached from it. I can't even tell you how excited I was to find out we were going to get a prequel where we got to meet Mani, and my friends, this did not disappoint!

 

 

the-moon

 

I was enchanted by Mani. He was so kind, and I really loved watching him build his life in Alaska. We also got to see many other familiar faces, it was cool to see some different sides to them as well. Watching Val be the unshakable best friend, and seeing this much softer side of Skyla, was a welcome addition. I also appreciated seeing the relationship between Mani and Solina. Their unique bond coming through so strong, as if it were a tangible thing, even through the massive distance between them.

 

 

sun-and-moon

 

All around I felt like Moonlight Falling read more intimate than any other Norse Chronicles book. It was like peeking behind the curtain, unnoticed and observing people in their natural habitats, in a total non-creeper way ;)

 

This was a great addition to the series, and also pretty awesome that it can be read first. If you haven't started this series yet and want a taste, you could definitely start here.

 

** BIG HUGS right back at you Karissa Laurel**

ghost-hug

 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-12-07 00:49
The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas - Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothien's life as Adarlan Assassin. Amazing. Heart wrenching. Enlightening. 

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