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review 2019-02-13 18:45
The Immaculate Void - Brian Hodge


THE IMMACULATE VOID is a stellar entry in the fields of cosmic horror and dark fiction!


Brian Hodge has long been a favorite author of mine and this novel only justifies his position on my favorite authors list.


I'm finding that I don't have adequate words to properly review this book. (Which is the same way I felt about John Langan's THE FISHERMAN.) I was lucky enough to read both of these novels in 2019 and I'm just worried that nothing else I read this year will be as good as these two books.


My HIGHEST recommendation!


Get your copy here: THE IMMACULATE VOID


*This book is on the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List and for good reason. If you don't want to listen to me, please listen to them!* http://locusmag.com/2019/02/2018-locus-recommended-reading-list/


** Book source: I bought this book with my hard earned cash.**

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review 2019-02-10 16:22
Waiting Out Winter - Kelli Owen

A few years ago we had an invasion of caterpillars that was so bad we would be driving over a carpet of them to get into our garage. Seriously, our blacktop was a moving wave of caterpillars. It freaks me out to this day, but hey-at least they didn't fly. Just think about how hard it is to avoid flies!


WAITING OUT WINTER is about an invasion of killer flies; a government experiment gone wrong, (don't they always?) However this isn't your average romping, chomping creature feature. This is a quiet little horror story, taking place during an apocalypse, but focused on the disaster from a small town and family point of view. It's not gory, but it is poignant, sad and scary.


This was a short, entertaining story and only my second from Kelli Owen. I recommend it and I will be on to the second novella shortly!


You can get a copy here: WAITING OUT WINTER


*I bought this book with my hard earned cash and Kelli Owen was kind enough to sign it for me. Thank you, Kelli!*

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review 2019-02-08 18:00
THE DEVIL ASPECT by Craig Russell
The Devil Aspect - P. Craig Russell


1935, Prague.


A young doctor named Viktor comes to the ancient castle/asylum, Hrad Orlu, excited to test his new theories in psychology. Housed at this asylum, isolated atop a mountain, are the 6 most dangerous killers alive today. At the bottom of the mountain in the town proper, a police detective named Lukas is trying his best to solve a series of murders which the press attributes to the "leather apron killer." At the same time as these events, the Nazis are on the rise in Germany. Will Viktor's new theories pan out, and allow psychiatry to identify dangerous individuals in the future? Will Lukas find his killer? Will the Nazis put a stop to all of that before it has even properly begun? You'll have to read THE DEVIL ASPECT to find out!


I found this book to be a marvelous new (to me), voice in fiction. The synopsis of this book had me so psyched I couldn't help but want to read it right away. I loved the Gothic setting of the castle, surrounded by rocky areas and dense forest. (What horror lover doesn't love that type of isolated setting?) Yet, just down the mountain is a town full of scared people. Losing its citizens one by one to a brutally violent killer, with what seems like zero progress by the police- I almost expected to see the townsfolk armed with torches heading up to the castle. (Because, surely that must be from where their misfortune emanates?)


But, that didn't happen, because the voice of Craig Russell is more original than that. This tale twisted and turned until I had no clue what was going to happen! As more of Viktor's theories were tested, some things became clearer, while others became more perplexing. On top of all this, there was the rise of the Nazi party always in the background. Combined together, these components contributed to the overall feelings of anxiety and darkness that permeated this book.


So why 4 stars and not 5? I felt the pacing dragged a bit during the middle portion of the story. Even though I was interested in all of the criminals Viktor was interviewing, I didn't feel that all of them were integral to the tale. It's a small thing, but at times I felt like I had been reading quite a lot without really getting anywhere.


This is what I took away from THE DEVIL ASPECT: A NOVEL. Fun? Check! Hypnotizing scenes between the doctor and the criminals? Check! A Gothic castle, set atop a mountain surrounded by a dense forest, and creating a dark and gloomy atmosphere? Check! Twists and turns galore which put our heroes in jeopardy? Check! A denouement to beat the band? Hell yes!


In short, (too late!), I recommend this novel to fans of the above, but most especially to fans of Gothic fiction and psychological horror! I predict that this novel is going to knock some socks off!


Available March 5th, but you can pre-order here: THE DEVIL ASPECT: A NOVEL


*Thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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text 2019-01-29 22:30
The Devil Aspect - P. Craig Russell

You know when you read a good book description and it gets you all fired up?


I requested this one from NetGalley, based on this description only. That was a month or two ago, so last night when I picked this up, I read it again. Now I'm excited all over again!


Whomever wrote this description should be writing actual books, I think!


Prague, 1935: Viktor Kosárek, a psychiatrist newly trained by Carl Jung, arrives at the infamous Hrad Orlu Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The state-of-the-art facility is located in a medieval mountaintop castle outside of Prague, though the site is infamous for concealing dark secrets going back many generations. The asylum houses the country's six most treacherous killers--known to the staff as The Woodcutter, The Clown, The Glass Collector, The Vegetarian, The Sciomancer, and The Demon--and Viktor hopes to use a new medical technique to prove that these patients share a common archetype of evil, a phenomenon known as The Devil Aspect. As he begins to learn the stunning secrets of these patients, five men and one woman, Viktor must face the disturbing possibility that these six may share another dark truth. 

Meanwhile, in Prague, fear grips the city as a phantom serial killer emerges in the dark alleys. Police investigator Lukas Smolak, desperate to locate the culprit (dubbed Leather Apron in the newspapers), realizes that the killer is imitating the most notorious serial killer from a century earlier--London's Jack the Ripper. Smolak turns to the doctors at Hrad Orlu for their expertise with the psychotic criminal mind, though he worries that Leather Apron might have some connection to the six inmates in the asylum. 

Steeped in the folklore of Eastern Europe, and set in the shadow of Nazi darkness erupting just beyond the Czech border, this stylishly written, tightly coiled, richly imagined novel is propulsively entertaining, and impossible to put down.

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review 2019-01-24 18:45
SALEM'S LOT by Stephen King, narrated by Ron McClarty
Salem's Lot - Deutschland Random House Audio,Stephen King,Stephen King,Ron McLarty


1.24.19-I just finished my third read of SALEM'S LOT, this time via audiobook. The narrator, Ron McClarty worked well for me and I found this tale as satisfying as it ever was.

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