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review 2020-06-27 23:54
NIGHTBLOOD by T. Chris Martindale
Nightblood - T. Chris Martindale

3.5/5 stars!

 

This was total 80's, cheesy, horror fun. Uzis and vampires in a small town. There's so many horror tropes involved I don't know where to begin, so I think I'll just leave it at that.

 

My complaints mostly focus on the fact that the book is a bit too long. If you don't take things too seriously, and you enjoy that fun, silly Rambo-like type of horror, than this is for you!

 

 

Recommended!

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review 2020-06-18 23:00
LET'S GO PLAY AT THE ADAMS' by Mendal W. Johnson
Let's Go Play At The Adams' - Mendal W. Johnson

LET'S GO PLAY AT THE ADAM'S has quite the reputation, so I was excited to finally read it. In some ways, the book lived up to the hype, and in other ways, not so much.

 

I'm not going to run down the plot because it's pretty apparent even by just looking at the cover. This book was loosely based on a real case. The young woman's name was Sylvia Likens, and I know that I'll never forget her. I've read about her in another book: THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jack Ketchum. A book that I forced myself to finish. It was brutal in its descriptions of what happened to her, and I felt like I somehow owed it to her to keep reading until the end. I expected this book to be a kind of rehash of that one, but it wasn't. I also expected it to be rather trashy, and it wasn't that either.

 

LET'S GO PLAY has a different set up but it gets to the meat of the story right off the bat. This was where I began to realize that there was going to be a lot of psychology in this book. Not only in the captive's head, but in the heads of the children as well. We have kids varying in age from 17 down to 10. We get to peek inside the heads of all of them. I'm no expert, but I read a lot of psychological horror, and the thoughts going through all of these different heads seemed spot on to me. Everyone here acted their ages, and their inner thoughts reflected their later actions.

 

I have to say LET'S GO PLAY AT THE ADAMS' surprised me. It was more well written than I thought it would be, and the psychology seemed spot on. The facts remain however, this denouement was the same as in Ketchum's book, and as in real life. It was a tragedy and these kids were monsters.

 

Recommended!

 

Trigger warnings:

Rape and Torture

(spoiler show)

 

*Thank you to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback.*

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review 2020-01-06 18:45
BLACK AMBROSIA by Elizabeth Engstrom
Black Ambrosia (Paperbacks from Hell) - Grady Hendrix,Elizabeth Engstrom

 

BLACK AMBROSIA is exactly what I hoped it would be, plus some! Here's the synopsis:

 

"Angelina is a killer. You'd never know it to look at her--until you look into her eyes. Angelina doesn't kill out of hatred or fear--she kills out of love, bringing solace to her victims, guided by the seductive Voice that speaks only to her. Angelina offers you eternal peace--at the cost of your soul!"

 

Quiet horror is more to my liking these days, and this book fits the bill. Don't get me wrong, violent and gory scenes appear throughout this book, but most of the picture comes from the reader's imagination rather than with blow-by-blow descriptions.

 

This review has to be rather general to avoid spoilers, but here I am going to wander into spoiler territory for just a moment. I'm a huge fan of a book called SOME OF YOUR BLOOD by Theodore Sturgeon. In a lot of ways this book reminded me of that one.

 

Specifically how the reader is left wondering if this is, indeed, a case of a vampire or is it a case of mental illness, instead?

(spoiler show)

This book is horrific, no matter how you would answer that question.

 

Perhaps a little slow to get going, but once Angelina leaves home things start to pick up. The whole time leaving you wondering, is she or isn't she? I prefer to think she is, but you'll have to read this to find out!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Get your copy here: BLACK AMBROSIA

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for the e-copy of BLACK AMBROSIA in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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text 2020-01-03 13:30
#FridayReads 1.3.20
Black Ambrosia (Paperbacks from Hell) - Grady Hendrix,Elizabeth Engstrom
The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature - Christopher Slatsky
The Twisted Ones - T. Kingfisher

#FridayReads Today, I'm reading BLACK AMBROSIA by @LizCratty. I'm still reading THE IMMEASURABLE CORPSE OF NATURE by @CSlatsky and I'm listening to THE TWISTED ONES by T. Kingfisher. What are you reading? pic.twitter.com/UqPJ6HKiuS

— Char's Horror Corner
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text 2019-12-30 18:45
My Top Ten Novellas of 2019
Coyote Songs - Gabino Iglesias
When Darkness Loves Us (Paperbacks from Hell) - Elizabeth Engstrom,Grady Hendrix
Walk the Darkness Down - John Boden
A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror - John Hornor Jacobs,Chuck Wendig
Jimmy the Freak - Pete Kahle,Charles Colyott,Mark Steensland
The Half-Freaks - Nicole Cushing
In The Scrape - Mark Steensland,James R. Newman
The Resurrectionists (The Salem Hawley Series) - Michael Patrick Hicks
Water for Drowning - Ray Cluley,John Bayley
Those Who Go Forth into the Empty Place of Gods - Jared Collins,Curtis M. Lawson,Doug Rinaldi

 

Here is a listing of the novellas I enjoyed most during 2019. 

 

I love novellas and think they're one of the best ways to present dark fiction/horror tales. There is a bit more room to develop characters than in a short story,  but due to the abbreviated length, every word still has to count. All of these authors knocked their stories out of the park!

(Looking over this completed list, it looks like I am partial to Darkness and to Freaks. Yeah, that sounds about right!)

 

Please click the links if you'd like to read my review. 

 

1. COYOTE SONGS by Gabino Iglesias. 

What an amazing novella! It had me ugly crying at some points, and cheering at others. You will not come away unmoved-you have my personal guarantee.

 

2. WHEN DARKNESS LOVES US by Elizabeth Engstrom.

I might be cheating a little bit because this volume contains two novellas. So sue me. 

They were both SO DAMN GOOD, featuring strong women I will never forget. 

 

3. WALK THE DARKNESS DOWN by John Boden.

Weird and total nightmare fuel by one of my favorite authors. I will never ever forget Jubal and his sisters. Neither will you. 

 

4. A LUSH AND SEETHING HELL by John Hornor Jacobs.

I'm cheating again because this volume also contains two novellas. I loved it so much, but I especially enjoyed the second tale MY HEART STRUCK SORROW. I'm a fan of Blues music and I don't know if any other story could be this perfect for me. 

 

5. JIMMY THE FREAK by Charles Colyott and Mark Steensland.

This is a late entry to the list as I just read it last week. This little known but excellent novella deserves a bigger audience. It's poignant and brutal all at once. 

 

6. THE HALF-FREAKS by Nicole Cushing.

A weird little tale-and Nicole is one of the BEST when it comes to those!

 

7. IN THE SCRAPE by James Newman and Mark Steensland.

A coming of age dark fiction tale. I was already a fan of James Newman and this novella made me a fan of Mr. Steensland as well. 

 

 

8. THE RESURRECTIONISTS by Michael Patrick Hicks.

A nasty little historical fiction, Cthulhu mash-up. Crazy, right?

It was!

 

9. WATER FOR DROWNING by Ray Cluley.

I won the audio for this novella and fell in love with it. The world needs more mermaid stories. 

 

 

10. THOSE WHO GO FORTH INTO THE EMPTY PLACE OF GODS by Curtis Lawson and Doug Rinaldi. I can't link you to my review because I haven't written it yet! (I read the whole thing just yesterday!)This novella was imaginative, creative, weird and...I need a sequel, and maybe a prequel too. I just need MORE. Now, please! 

 

 

Thank you for reading this far and I hope you'll stay tuned for my top ten best novels of 2019 list! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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