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review 2017-04-24 17:38
The Last Part of the Book Faltered A Bit
Fairy Lights - Edward Lorn

So I really did enjoy "Fairy Lights." But I do wish that Lorn had spent more time developing the "big bad" TM Buffy in this short story as well as his helper Moss.


We do get some insight into Moss in his remembrances of a time before, but that actually disappointed me a bit because there was a big question mark on him not understanding certain words and what things meant at the start of the book that didn't make sense what we hear about his origins.


The book jumped around, but the flow ultimately worked I thought. I think the ending was the biggest gut punch for me. I liked what Lorn was trying to say about society right in that moment, but it felt like that should have been a separate story. 


"Fairy Lights" begins with a married couple making love in a pond I would say next to a waterfall. It was hilarious to me (the imagery) because I am 5 years old sometimes. What I thought worked well was this is the beginning of every movie in the 80s pretty much. Happy couple making love is spied upon and killed. Weirdly enough, the description of a couple that is being taken away someplace for purposes unknown was more unsettling than the Friday the 13th movies to me.


The book than switches perspective to a divorced mother and her son (Tony) and his best friend Bobby who are about to take a camping trip. Unfortunately they seem to be heading toward the same destination that our couple just died.



The big bad left me with so many questions. How did it get there? Why did it need someone like Moss? How the heck did no one else for years and years not realize people were going missing around that area? These were similar to the questions I had while reading "The Ruins". It always puzzles me when a malevolent thing is out there hunting humans and killing them, that no one notices it. I love "Midnight Meat Train" because that short story does show that authorities were readily aware that people were disappearing. But the ending smacks you in the face when you get there. 


Moss as I said above, left me with more questions than answers. I can't imagine someone his age being able to do what he did without getting a boost from the big bad. Maybe the short story mentions that? I don't think so. I unfortunately am going on just memory from here since my Kindle is giving me the e-finger right now. 


I really did enjoy Bobby the most. He is African American and seems for someone so young to be very wise to the world in which he lives. Sadly, his father's comments about not being too trusting around white people, even if you like them comes back to haunt both of them by the end of this book.


Tony could be set to default male in most horror movies. I didn't get a lot out of him until we follow his progress after coming across the big bad and what it has in store for him.

Tony's mother, Brenda, just like Bobby, felt like she should be in another short story. Only because I liked how Lorn showed her thought process while driving the group out to the woods. She suddenly realizes that her husband was most probably a racist and that even though she's not, she's prejudiced about certain things. I liked her banter with Tony and Bobby. She's definitely the cool mom. 


We also get some other characters in this book who really should hold up signs saying (we are meat). But even with a few short sentences, Lorn makes them come alive. I loved the character of Lucy and cracked up when she goes through all of the things she has done in her life, but what she was about to do was truly the stupidest.

The writing was really good in this one. Like I said, a few times it did feel like two stories could have been separated out a bit. It just felt like I came for the horror and stayed for the social commentary on the messed upness (I know it's not a word) of the US right now. I would caution readers with sensitive stomachs or certain triggers to be prepared for some descriptive language. Nothing bad in my eyes, but I know some people don't like to read about certain things. 


The flow was good in this book. It just got a bit iffy when we focused primarily on Tony and Bobby with some popups by Lucy here and there. 


The setting of this place just made me think of deep dark woods where something is waiting to bite you.

The ending just made me sad. I had hoped for a small happy ending if at all possible. That would have turned the story on it's head for me and I think would have made this story more like Get Out to me. The thing that you know is about to happen doesn't which blows you away more. Thinking of this ending had me think of "The Ballad of Black Tom" which I thought neatly gets at the whole black people never live through horror movies/books and also pushing back at police brutality and corruption as well. 

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review 2017-04-24 17:07
Remedial Magic - Jenna Black

Short story

Veronica's job is to help out people that appear to be part of fairytales with whatever violent means she needs. Lots of action for such a short story.

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review 2017-04-24 17:05
No Rest for the Wicked - Rebecca Knight

Short story

Veronica's job is to help out people that appear to be part of fairytales with whatever violent means she needs. Lots of action for such a short story.

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review 2017-04-24 15:03
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Tangled In Shadows: Kyn Kronicles Short Stories (The Kyn Kronicles) by Jami Gray
Tangled In Shadows: Kyn Kronicles Short Stories - Jami Gray
Tangled In Shadows is a collection of stories that add to the novels. Set in between the full length stories, you learn a little bit extra about the characters as you share a short snapshot into their current lives.
If you read them in the order suggested, with the full length novels as well, then you get a brilliantly rounded picture of both the Kyn world, and specific characters too. Exceedingly well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow, these short stories are gems just waiting to be discovered. Highly recommended by me.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/thekynkroniclesseriesbyjamigray
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review 2017-04-20 18:35
Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown, narrated by Matt Godfrey
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories, superbly narrated by Matt Godfrey. I can see now why Stephen King gave Fredric Brown and specifically this collection a special mention in his non fiction book about influential horror written during the 1950's through the 1970's: Danse Macabre.


Within this volume, there are nearly 50 stories, most of them very short. There were some sci-fi tales mixed in, but most of these were horror. For whatever reason, these tiny gems brought me back to the stories I read when I first got into horror. I would say the period after Poe, but before King. I did a lot of short story reading back then; I used them as a way to find new authors, and then longer works written by them. Somehow, I never discovered Mr. Brown back then, but I'm so glad that I've discovered him now.


There are too many tales to get into here, but a few of the standouts to me were:


The Geezenstacks This was Just. Plain. Fun! How can you go wrong with a horror story about dolls?!


Cat Burglar That ending cracked me the hell up!


There were several stories that began with "Nightmare in..." and I pretty much loved all of those.


Matt Godfrey does a tremendous job narrating these stories. I've listened to a few of his audios now, and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. Will Patton had better watch out!


This collection really stands above most others of its kind, not only from that time period, (the 60's), but this time period as well. That's not to say that some of these stories don't feel dated, because some do, but I don't feel as if that affected their impact. Also, Nightmares and Geezenstacks will not work for everyone, especially those who love their tales to be extra bloody or leaning towards bizarro. Horror was tamer in the 60's, and these stories are a product of their time.


That being said, I loved this collection. It had short stories that were actually short, it had a great deal of variety, most tales packed a real punch and the narration was wonderful. I give this my highest recommendation!


*I received this audio free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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