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text 2018-09-12 18:22
Halloween Bingo 2018 - A Grimm Tale
Melmoth - Sarah Perry

'Melmoth' by Sarah Perry

 

I'm going to stick to my rule about not reviewing unreleased books, but to keep things straight I wanted to claim the square.

 

I will say, it was fantastic, dark and creepy. My expectations were pretty high considering how much I liked 'The Essex Serpent'.

 

 

'Melmoth' centers on the legend of a woman who is damned to walk the earth and witness the worst sins of mankind. It'll be released in October.

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review 2018-09-12 07:22
Vampire Wars: Vlad Gets Medieval

 

When Francis Ford Coppola's movie Bram Stoker's Dracula came out, my Vampire: The Masquerade gaming group debated its merits. The part we universally enjoyed was not the stylish costumes, or the goofy reincarnation plot, or Keanu's acting, but the opening ten minutes when Vlad Tepes is in plate armor spearing his enemies and throwing swords at crosses. "Why," we asked, "doesn't someone make a movie just out of that bit?"

This book is for that gaming group.

If you ever wondered what Dracula did between his death as Vlad Tepes in the late 1400s and the time of Bram Stoker's story, wonder no more. Vampire Wars is a short story collection about some of those missing years. It begins at the time Dracula (here using the Romanian, "Draculea") barely had two underlings to rub together. It progresses over the centuries to a climactic battle against the only unearthly horror that could possibly stop his minions or dampen his nigh-unbreakable will.

Along the way, Vlad kills, maims, tricks, or strikes bargains with more dead things than you'd find in a Kansas City slaughterhouse. Sure, he has a few monstrous minions such as lycanthropes and humans fed vampiric blood, but in the undead world there are revenants, Persian, African, and Russian vampires, and two notable vampire rivals from China (whom, as far as I could gather, do not hop like in Hong Kong horror comedies, because that's about as terrifying as sparkling).

Some of these undead are wholly original, while many others are well-known in horror circles from mythology, fiction, and history. Johann Faust, Erzsebet Bathory, Mircalla "Carmilla" Karnstein, and a conga line of undead from public domain works make appearances. For some extra spice, there's a cameo by some Lovecraftian byakhee and a passing reference to Angelus from you-know-where. If there's an overarching theme to the world-building here, it's simply "It's true -- all of it."

As other reviewers have pointed out, it's essential to view the chapters as individual stories and not a novel. Practically all my quibbles with the narrative style came from the expectations of reading a single story. The author repeats some information (like Vlad's minions' roles and his powers) quite often, which is irritating in a novel, but makes perfect sense in short stories where one can't be assured of reading the previous installment. Because the stories can't depend on each other, Vlad's rise to power is less a long-term campaign with masses of legions, and more a series of small-unit attacks on powerful undead. Decades go by between stories, giving it an episodic feel, and Vlad's minions are often done in during the fighting or just as often, killed off-screen before a new story begins. By the time we get near the climax, Vlad's survival alone seems like reason enough to crown him as the ruler of the vampires. While Vampire Wars is the first in a trilogy, the ending had enough closure to leave me satisfied, which is usually a sticking point for me.

My remaining quibbles are mostly with editing and the odd anachronistic phrase. Vlad uses "thee" and "thy," but his minions will occasionally pipe up with modern language like "you have to be kidding." As for content, I personally wanted to see a bit more interaction between Draculea and his allies apart from the campaigns, and it appears I am not alone in this. The sequel, Brides of Dracula, appears to cover exactly that ground. So though I took off a star or so for not being a work I would reread obsessively, I think I will be checking out more by the author.

At about 200 pages, Vampire Wars is pretty fast reading. I personally got it on Kindle. I'd recommend it to Lovecraft fans, vampire buffs, and yes, to my old gaming group.

Note: I can't find the author on Booklikes, nor am I able to add him, which means I can't add this book, either. Navigate to Amazon/Goodreads if you are curious.

Source: www.amazon.com/Vampire-Wars-Perry-Lake-ebook/dp/B00IWTUK2O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536730789&sr=8-1&keywords=vampire+wars+perry+lake
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review 2018-09-05 17:57
Review & Giveaway – The Mind’s Eye by Perry Prete @PerryPreteBooks @iReadBookTours
The Mind's Eye - Perry Prete

 

 

I love this awesome cover. The concept and design were done by Kristine Barker and Wendy Treverton. What do you think?

 

 
 

Book Details:

Book Title: The Mind’s Eye by Perry Prete
Category: Adult Fiction; 243 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Sands Press
Release date: March 7, 2018
Tour dates: Sept 3 to 21, 2018
Content Rating: R (Violence towards women based on real life events, language, graphic violence)

 

MY REVIEW

 

After I got over the brutal murder, I couldn’t help but laugh at Paul as he faces his day. He is definitely not a morning person and I can relate. Neither am I. I like that he wears sneakers with his suits. Makes sense to me. I laugh along with his police partners as they poke fun at him, like only true friends can do.

 

Nicole is just hanging out with her best friend, while the power is out due to a snowstorm, when her gift comes to light.

 

HE is pure evil. How does he choose his victims? I’ll leave that up to you to find out, but it is not what your run of the mill serial killer would he. He is brutal, savage. He is a real sicko.

 

Nicole’s ability is developing and she has no idea how intense it will get. She can feel the victim’s pain, live through their death. .I know she will get involved in the investigation and now I know how and why.

 

When Paul and Nicole meet, something zaps between them. Big surprise, right? (said sarcastically) I don’t mind knowing some of the story beforehand,, just as long as the author throws in a surprise or two. I love the scene where Nicole is getting dressed for their date. Simone is helping her and she does need the help. I love her BFF.

 

It’s easy to see how Carl, the reporter becomes involved. Investigating is not a nine to five, sit at your desk job. He goes out in the field. He wants to be a REAL reporter. He even dresses the part in a thrift store suit that makes me think of the film noir PI’s.

 

I love the dark, black as night thrillers and this qualifies. The murders are gruesome, grisly, overkill, mutilations beyond your imagination. Then…comes the autopsy description that takes it to another level of upchucking ugliness. The more grossness Perry Prete feeds me, the hungrier I get. BUT, I do like fun and smiles with my murder mysteries and he does supply that too, along with dialogue and easy banter between the characters.

 

Oh man, the hospital scene. Caught me by surprise, but Nicole is not afraid and I love it. NOW IT’S INTENSE…my thoughts run riot, I want to scream and yell, my heart beats a little faster, my eyes devour the words faster, the pace of the novel picks up, the suspense mounting.

 

The ending…..FANTASTIC.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Mind’s Eye by Perry Prete

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

 
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Source: www.fundinmental.com/review-giveaway-the-minds-eye-by-perry-prete-perrypretebooks-ireadbooktours
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review 2018-09-05 12:43
The Mind's Eye
The Mind's Eye - Perry Prete

My 2nd book for Halloween Bingo- Amateur Sleuth

 

Paul is a middle-aged detective in a place that doesn't have much crime at all.  Then, a dismembered arm in found in a snow bank, after that more body parts are unearthed.  The crimes might be connected, but he has no idea how. With no real leads, Paul turns to Nicole, a guest at the same party as one of the victims.  Nicole has developed a gift- she can see pictures move and can see the moments before and after.  Nicole has kept her gift mostly a secret and plays it off as a parlor trick.  Paul is desperate and Nicole is cute, so he asks her to use her gift on the victims photos.  Carl is a crime reporter at a struggling newspaper and desperate for a good story.  With some anonymous tips, Carl begins to put together the murders for himself and goes in deeper to the story than he should.  Will is on a mission, he also has a special power that leads him to who he wants, but would never guess that Nicole is not far behind tracking his every move. 

A unique murder mystery told through they eyes of three very different people trying to solve the crime as well as the murderer.   It did take me a little while to get into the story as the first few chapters jump from different points of view to introduce characters.  Nicole's gift reeled me into the story it was so distinctive and she seemed to have a bond with the women who were being taken as well as the murderer.  Along with Nicole, Will's story drew me in.  The scenes where Will was tracking, killing and dismembering were gruesome in detail.  I was also intrigued by the insight into his mind and what he was seeing and feeling.  The medical details of the writing were very accurate and detailed as well. The reasons why the killings were done was the real mystery here, and it was truly disturbing, but I'm glad Carl was able to get the details out of Will.  The ending was thrilling and surprising as the cat-and-mouse game comes to an end, but not without a few twists.  One thing that bothered me at the end was that the reason for Nicole's intense connection with Will was never explained.  Overall, a thrilling, threatening and surprising murder mystery.  

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

 

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review 2018-09-05 04:15
A Thief Hunts for a Killer in this Original Thriller
The Burglar - Thomas Perry

Elle Stowell is a thief -- a burglar to be precise. She's careful, methodical, careful -- she doesn't use weapons, she focuses on cash and things that are easy to sell. You really can't call anyone in her profession "risk averse," but she's as close to it as you could possibly be.

 

She's a cute, petite blonde working in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in LA. Her appearance gets her over-looked by those who ought to find her suspicious and her size and athletic ability help her get into places that she shouldn't be. She makes enough to finance her lifestyle -- and a little more. But primarily, she lives this way for the thrill.

All that changes one day when she breaks into a home and finds three bodies in the bedroom, clearly the victims of a shooting. She also notices that a video camera in the room which probably caught the murder -- it definitely caught her. So she steals the camera from the scene and runs. She verifies that, yes, it shows the murder and a little bit of what led up to it. After making a few copies -- and removing her self from the footage -- she returns the camera for the police to use the footage.

 

Soon after this, she begins to hear of three people looking for her at some of her usual haunts. She's told that they seem like cops, but she's not sure. Cops or not, she wants nothing to do with them. Once bodies start showing up -- bodies that are related to her in some way -- she knows that she has to find the murderers or she'll never be able to stop looking over her shoulder.

 

I don't really think that I got to the point that I liked Elle -- she's a criminal, not one driven to it or forced to steal or anything. She made a choice at some point to steal and has stuck with it. She's not particularly flamboyant about it -- like Jim DiGriz or Nicholas Fox or anything. Her approach is clinical, serious, no-nonsense. So there's none of the typical fictional trappings that make you like a thief character.

 

However, it wasn't that far into the book when I realized that I was really invested in what's going on with her -- how is she going to escape the ramifications of what she's seen? Is she being paranoid, or is there someone actually after her? Will she be able to bring them to justice without incriminating herself? How did they figure how who she was? Why were the original murders committed? Why isn't anything happening with that video she left the police?

 

There are other characters -- a couple that you get to spend some good time with, too. But this book is all about Elle. Like I said, I don't think I ever liked Elle, but I appreciated her as a character. The other characters that are around for more than a few paragraphs are just interesting enough to justify their presence. Some bring out some interesting sides of Elle's character or past. Others help us understand just what kind of mess she's fallen into.

 

This is my third Thomas Perry book in the last year, and I was far more invested in the events of this than I was in either of the others -- he kept reeling me in page by page. The pacing of this is great -- just like Elle herself, Perry knows when to slow down and let you catch your breath and then when to dash off and leave you hanging on by your fingertips.Perry's been at this for a while and it shows -- he knows how to write a thriller.

Unlike many crime novels (including the other Perry novels), you don't get to know anything about the murderers until the ending -- you have an idea about them before the ending, but it's not until the closing chapters that you actually learn anything. I loved that, I was just as much in the dark as Elle was. Perry didn't get into the killer's mindset or motivation at all. They were just out there, threatening Elle until she's put the pieces together.

 

This was a fun read. It was gripping, it was unique, it was complex -- and come to think of it, the motive for the killing and the crimes surrounding the murder aren't like anything I remember in Crime Fiction. That alone makes it worth your while. Perry really delivered the goods with this one, and I encourage you to give it a shot.

 

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Grove Atlantic via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/09/04/the-burglar-by-thomas-perry-a-thief-hunts-for-a-killer-in-this-original-thriller
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