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review 2016-01-18 20:10
Black Lung by Joshua Dobson
Black Lung - Joshua Dobson

Black Lung by Joshua Dobson is a short erotic horror story from Comet Press and their Sex Files series. Comet Press have released some excellent titles such as Barbie Wilde's Venus Complex and a few Adam Howe stories, this was my first read from this author.

 

Gretchen arrives at the bus station of somewhere unknown, filled with the dregs of society, she's picked up by Spike the muscular female bodyguard and a gorgeous older woman of the supermodel socialite variety.

 

She's then taken to some overbearing digs where Gretchen knows exactly what's expected of her, its sex followed by party time followed by a bit more sex and a sprinkling of blood with the odd removal of specific body parts (mainly anything that moves).

 

There's some typical bloke writing erotica phraseology going on before we enter the horror section, stuff like 'Gretchen’s ample tit-meat' and 'meaty D cups'. There's lots of cringe worthy sex descriptions which stick in the mind, one of the most memorable being.

 

'her tongue paints an abstract impressionist masterpiece on Gretchen’s c**t.'

 

Wish my tongue could paint an abstract impressionist masterpiece, I’m gonna nip off and see what I can do ….. The horror kicks in over the last 10 pages and rescues things slightly but there's just not enough of it and its over far too quickly. Nice front cover though.

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review 2015-05-28 19:08
Not Another Bloody Zombie Story by Michael Burnside
Not Another Bloody Zombie Story - Michael Burnside

Not Another Bloody Zombie Story by Michael Burnside is a pretty succinct title. I've never been a massive lover of zombie fiction, there are some gems out there of course but there's only so many ways you can inflict the fatal head cave in/decapitation/killshot etc and it can get a tiny bit repetitive and boring. What differentiates them is the characterization over the action every time, providing the story and writer’s style tick all the right boxes.

 

This story kicks off with a group of teenagers camping out and waiting for a party, the usual stuff associated with horny kids and alcohol begins. There's a smattering of character depth and a couple of humorous alterations before everything just plunges off into the deep-end encased in concrete boots. The zombies are eating people with no restraint, there's lots of them and they have red eyes, seemingly in a trance, chanting some weird cacophony.

 

What went wrong? Well, it felt like this story was the brainchild of a five year old with a little help from his mum on the punctuation when she'd got five minutes. The writing was absolutely terrible in places, missing words, spelling errors and bad prescriptive grammar. The difference between woo and woe might only be a letter but the meaning is instrumental, as is the numerous occasions were was used instead of where. A man who sharply flinched and then was still, this after getting his head blown off. I could give loads of examples of things that just weren't right. On a positive note, it made me laugh but I'm not sure every occasion was intentional.

 

There is a reason such animals as proof readers and editors exist, and this unfortunately is a perfect example of why.

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review 2015-05-10 20:33
Dead Men by John C Foster
Dead Men (Libros De Inferno #1) - John C. Foster

The first chapter of any novel is important, an immediate and important impression is formed regarding the style of the author and the quality of the story you're about to read. That first chapter of Dead Men by John C Foster amounted to a little over 4 pages and ultimately set the standard for what I was about to read. There were a couple of sentences that had me cringing, and unfortunately that carried through the rest of the story.

 

"I called some bad men to me and they showed me what to do. Not called on the phone, understand? But called.” 
The driver made a sound that meant nothing much.

 

Ok that was the first and the second, just 2 pages later.

 

But though she had run far and fast, eventually memories pounded up behind her on flat feet and kicked her in the ass.

 

Now this kind of thing cropped up more than regularly, I highlighted countless examples of writing that had me thinking, seriously, come on. The story promptly faded into the background as I skipped through as quickly as possible, more taken with the shocking idioms and the like, than anything else.

 

To the story and what I could be bothered to take in, at an old asylum, a priest brings dead men back to life and effectively points them in a direction. John Smith is one of them and some mental fuckery is telling him to kill her and those who hold her, erase her and all her work. That's his job, there's a few other characters but it all just faded into nothingness.

 

Whether it's a niche market or not, the writing has to have some positive aspect to capture the reader's attention and sadly this didn't have anything I could talk about in a beneficial or constructive way.

 

'He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the rearview mirror and saw it was smiling.' Well I'm glad somebody was.

 

Dead Men was provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and that's what you've just read.

 

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review 2012-01-27 00:00
The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople
The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople - Jonathan Phillips Jonathan Phillips’ The Fourth Crusade garners a 4 Star stamp for relating this convoluted and outrageous history at the turn of the 13th Century with clarity and great war storytelling. The Catholic dictionary defines a crusade as “expeditions undertaken, in fulfillment of a solemn vow, to deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny.” Well, this crusade got seriously off track right from the start. It never got to the “Holy Places” and wound up attacking only fellow Christian cities. Why? Well, Phillips explains this all pretty clearly. Think of it as the prequel to “The Sopranos”. A bunch of nobles set up a contract with the Venetians to transport and support 37,000+ crusaders to the Holy Land for a 9-month crusade. The price is set at 85,000 silver marks. However, only about 12,000 warriors show up at the docks. Well the Venetians want the full price regardless and when the money isn’t fully paid, they recommend the group go attack an annoying little town on the Adriatic called Zara. Unfortunately the Zarathustrians (or whatever you would call them) are Christian and the Pope said “no, no” to attacking Christian cities. Screw that said the Venetians and Zara was captured and ransacked. The Pope is pissed off and makes the Venetians and crusaders return what they stole.

Along comes this deposed prince from Constantinople and says, “Hey, I’ll give you 200,000 smackers to restore my Dad and I to rule in Byzantium”. Hmmm,…the crusaders can pay off the loan sharks from Venice and also get all the supplies they need to carry on to the real objective, the Holy Land. Just one minor detail, they have to capture the best defended Christian city in the known world. And guess what, they do. The prince and his Dad are made co-rulers and the money starts to flow. However, the Greeks are not happy people, they really don’t like the prince and they really hate the crusaders. After much tussling, the prince and his Dad are deposed again, the crusaders are kicked out of the city and have to capture it again. They do. But now they are so exhausted they can’t hold the city and also go on a crusade at the same time. And the Pope is really pissed off now. In the end, they never actually make it on a crusade.

Phillips tells the story from the initiation of the crusade to the aftermath. After a somewhat tedious start, he tells a fascinating story of this ill-starred adventure. The role of religion in people’s lives and the toughness of the individual, as well as their martial excellence, really come through clearly. How the individual organizes to go off on a crusade, the politics of the times, the military science employed in defending and attacking the cities, the logistics of armies in the medieval era, all are covered well. If you are interested in history, this is a great book to add to your collection.
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review 2011-04-25 00:00
Sack of Nuts (Nut Cream, #2) - Jade Buch... Sack of Nuts (Nut Cream, #2) - Jade Buchanan 2.5 STARS bumped up to 3 because of ruffled red panties! :D
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