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review 2017-12-05 22:30
Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan, narrated by Penelope Rawlins
Talulla Rising - Penelope Rawlins,Glen Duncan

 

When I was listening to THE LAST WEREWOLF, I wasn't sure I would continue on with the series. I liked the bloodiness of it, and I enjoyed the world building, but was less than thrilled with the tons of graphic sex going on.

EAT, FUCK, KILL is the werewolf mantra.

(spoiler show)

 

However, there was such a great hook at the end of the narrative AND the library had the audio of this one in stock, and here we are!

 

Right now, I feel the same way as I did when I finished the first book in the series. Here there were many surprises, (maybe too many to be believed, but hey-it's a werewolf book), and a good amount of action. However, I didn't feel that the quality of the writing was quite as good as THE LAST WEREWOLF.

 

Once again, close to the end, there is another surprising tidbit that makes me want to continue on with the series. This time, though, I'm going to read a few books in between, and then see if I still feel like continuing.

 

*I checked this audio out from my local library for FREE. LIBRARIES RULE!*

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review 2017-11-27 18:45
Red Room Magazine of Extreme Horror and Hardcore Dark Crime: Issue 1
Red Room Issue 1: Magazine of Extreme Horror and Hardcore Dark Crime (Red Room Magazine) - Universidad del Valle Jhon Saul GilTestimonio: Jhon Saul Gil en programa "Tiempo de Letras",Meg Elison,David James Keaton,Cheryl Mullenax,Randy Chandler,Jack Ketchum,Tim Waggoner

RED ROOM ISSUE 1: MAGAZINE OF EXTREME HORROR AND HARDCORE DARK CRIME contained a ton of variety not only in the stories showcased, but also in their cool features such as: Barfly Bob's Highballs and Lowballs. This is an article which talks about some of the most disgusting adult beverages I've heard of. I mean, really, how many magazines have articles featuring 3 dick cocktails?  Not too damn many!

 

The stories here were also quite entertaining: my favorite probably being MEAT CUTE by Larry Hinks. This is an hilarious flash fiction piece which left me getting looks at the coffee shop because I was laughing out loud so damn hard. (Not that it wasn't bizarre or horrifying because it WAS, I am just a sick person.)

 

Jack Ketchum's MEGAN'S LAW came in a close second, with a last sentence that kicks you HARD right in the gut. In a weird development, I listened to the latest episode of The Horror Show with Brian Keene on Saturday morning, and there was a feature where Phoebe, (a show regular), interviewed a bunch of authors at the last Scares that Care convention. She asked all of them what their favorite short stories were and why. MEGAN'S LAW was mentioned in those interviews, so imagine my surprise when I neared the end of the magazine and there the story was. I can't remember which author chose this as their favorite story, but I can easily see why they did. Bravo to Jack Ketchum! (And a big FU to child molesters.)

 

THE MIDDLE CHILD by Meg Ellison was a nice surprise. A sly commentary on the state of affairs in this country as regards reality television and what people will do to be even a small part of it. I think it also comments on the people watching this stuff, without whom there would be NO reality TV. I like to discover new authors through anthologies and magazines like this one, and Meg Ellison is one to watch, I think. (There's also an interview with her included at the end of the story.)

 

SICK JOKES by Josh Scott Wilson was an innovative story in that I couldn't really tell where it was going for most of the time I was reading it. And then I agreed: Sick Jokes indeed!

 

The Video Nasties feature by Duane Bradley talked about how difficult it was to get VHS versions of some films in the UK. I had no idea this type of censorship occurred over there during the VHS movie boom, so I found this article enlightening.

 

Even though my days of enjoying bizarre and/or extreme horror are winding down, I thought this magazine was well put together, with beautiful artwork and stories that were chosen with care and quality in mind. Even a "quiet horror" fan such as myself admired the talents of the authors herein and will probably make an exception in my reading habits for the next issue.

 

Highly recommended, especially for fans of extreme horror!

 

You can get your own copy here: Red Room Magazine Issue 1 *I received a free digital ARC of this magazine in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-11-22 20:00
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, narrated by Robin Sachs
The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf, #1) - Glen Duncan,Robin Sachs

 

 The Last Werewolf is not what I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it. I listened to it on audio and the narrator was excellent.

 

There is a lot of explicit sex and this book depicts werewolves as the beings they are-don't expect everything to be all prettied up because you'll be disappointed.

 

I read this with my reading group and even though I didn't LOVE this book, I think I will continue with the next-just not right away.

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review 2017-11-20 18:45
The Happy Man: A Tale of Horror by Eric C. Higgs
The Happy Man: A Tale of Horror - Eric C. Higgs

THE HAPPY MAN: A TALE OF HORROR is one bizarre piece of work from the 80's, brought back by Valancourt Books. I finished this book on Saturday and I still am not sure what to make of it!

 

A couple moves in to a new housing development in a suburb of San Diego. Charles Ripley and his wife are mostly on an even keel, despite a tragedy that occurred shortly after the move. Then, the Marsh's move in next door and even though they don't know it, the lives of the Ripley's are soon about to change.

 

First-the good. It is very difficult to put this book down. The chapters are short, (heck, the BOOK is short), and fast paced. Once things start happening, they don't stop happening until the very end.

 

Second-the baffling. I'm not sure what the point of THE HAPPY MAN is supposed to be? I'm pretty sure there's some commentary going on here about housing developments, suburbia, immigration, sex, monogamy, corporate America, family dynamics, drug use, the decline of morals in society and so on, but was that the point? I don't know!

 

Perhaps it's this simple: A man thought he was happy and then was shown that he wasn't? Or that it didn't take all that much to turn a happy, regular guy into something else altogether? Maybe everything is just as much a facade as was Charles Ripley's demeanor? Charles wasn't that good of a guy in the first place and it only took a small nudge to send him down the road of....well, you'll have to read this to find out.

 

I'm going with a 4/5 star rating because I'm still thinking about this short novel days later and also because it was VERY difficult to put down once started. I'm also going with RECOMMENDED, if only so that you and I could talk about it and I could see what you think, when you're done!

 

You can get a copy here: The Happy Man: A Tale of Horror

 

*I received an e-book free from Valancourt Books in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-11-14 18:45
Childgrave by Ken Greenhall
Childgrave - Ken Greenhall

 

CHILDGRAVE is a beautifully written quiet horror story, with a sketchy small town lurking in the background. By the time the secrets of the town are revealed, it's too late for the reader to turn back.

 

As I get older, I find myself more and more drawn to quiet horror. I can do without gore and torture and all that if I have a tale that's well written and atmospheric. I also need compelling characters and CHILDGRAVE has that in spades. The main character, Jonathan, is a widowed photographer. He, his daughter Joanne, and his housekeeper Nanny Joy, are so well drawn I feel as if I know them personally.

 

When Jonathan's photos of his daughter seem to show specters in the background, while at the same time Joanne seems to have developed some new invisible friends, Jonathan is intrigued. Are the two events connected? Who is Conlee, the name of Joanne's new invisible friend? Lastly, what is Chilegray and how is connected to Conlee? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I'll get it out of the way now-this is a slow moving story. What kept me interested was the quality of the writing and the characters. Jonathan is a quirky man. He has few friends and little interest in fashion or modern day trends. His housekeeper Nanny Joy loves jazz and Jonathan's daughter, but is concerned about the appearance of Conlee and the specters in the photographs. Jonathan's agent Harry is hilarious and his girlfriend, Lee, is interesting as well. NYC of the 70's is the main setting, and it was fascinating to read about the city during that time of social upheaval and change.

 

I was inexorably drawn to the conclusion which leads the reader to a small town hidden in a valley. "Evil in a small town" is one of my favorite tropes and Greenhall knew how to deliver it in a chilling and shocking- yet believable way. You find yourself wondering what you would do in such a situation and I continued to think about it all night long...hours after finishing the book. I can't say that I blame Jonathan for the choices that he made.

 

While CHILDGRAVE isn't the psychological, fast moving story that both ELIZABETH or HELL HOUND were, it was excellent in its own quiet and compelling way. Slowly drawing the reader down into the valley where secrets are kept for generation after generation, Greenhall deftly brings things to a head and left this reader wishing for more.

 

Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: CHILDGRAVE

 

*Thanks to Valancourt Books for providing this e-book free, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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