logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: sinister-grin-press
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-07 19:05
Dream Woods - Patrick Lacey
Dream Woods - Patrick Lacey

Vince and Audra's marriage is more than on the rocks, it's on life support. Audra has already left Vince once in the middle of the night and then couldn't go through with leaving her twin boy's, one of which is diabetic, and her husband all alone and returned. Vince is looking for anything that can save their marriage. He turns to a mysterious billboard that he sees on his way to work one morning. Its advertising Dream Woods, an old amusement park that burned to the ground when he was a kid. Apparently, it's opened back up and Vince is encapsulated with excitement at the prospect of being able to share the awesome experience he had as a kid with his family. But is Dream Woods really open for business? Especially, after what all happened so many years ago?

 

 

Have you ever woke up from a dream that seemed so realistic while you were sleeping that you're left in a fog when you awake, half in reality and half stuck in the dream, and it takes you a little bit to clear the fog out of your head? At first, the dream feels so realistic and then, after a while, you realize how silly it was and you can't believe that you ever thought it was real. That's kind of how you feel when you start reading Dream Woods. You have to be ready for it. Lacey's latest isn't a straight forward story told in the realistic here and now, and that's what tripped me up for the first 1/3 to 1/2 of it. It should be read as a messed up fairy tale. Think of it as if C.S. Lewis wrote about an old, Disney World-esque theme park in rural Massachusetts and then Clive Barker and Bentley Little got a hold of the first draft while tripping on acid and made some revisions. As you can imagine, you have to let your imagination go and have fun with it. It's not meant to suspend your disbelief. It's meant to steer you into an almost comic book/nightmare type of world. If you can get past that, you'll enjoy Dream Woods. Lacey's story is energetic and well written. But it's kind of stuck in the middle. It's not straight forward enough to be taken seriously and it's not so over-the-top that it's a pure fantasy, and maybe that's what Lacey intended. The characters are well rounded for a novella length story. But, Audra comes across as more annoyingly ungrateful than a lost soul trying to find herself and that makes it hard to root for her. The gore is poured on by the bucketful, but the people that are being offed are the extras on the set. You don't get to know any of them and it becomes kind of numbing when faceless people are killed by the trainload. I go back and forth on this book. There were parts that I could really get into and then there were paths that Lacey took that I wish he would've went a different direction. That doesn't mean that I think it's bad. Not at all. But, it's kind of like being in the mood for a traditional pizza and then getting some version with broccoli, goat cheese and pine nuts on it. While that may not be a bad thing, it's not what you had in mind when your taste buds were all primed for pepperoni and mushrooms.

 

 

 

3 Blood Stained Mascots out of 5

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-12-21 13:08
Blister by Jeff Strand, narrated by Daniel Dorse
Blister - Jeff Strand

 

Blister was a crazy ride, but not in the usual Jeff Strand kind of way.

 

I'm not going to rehash the plot, because the basics are listed in the summary for you. I will say that I enjoyed the audio of this book quite a bit. It was funny, sad, and touching all at once. At first I didn't care much for the narrator, Daniel Dorse, but as the audio progressed he grew on me.

 

The premise of this novel is a bit out there, and there were portions of the plot, especially toward the end of the book, that went over the top. But as long as you don't expect everything to be completely believable, I think you'll have a good time listening to this audio.

 

If you do decide to check it out, tell Blister I said hello!

 

*Please note, if you purchase the Kindle version as I did, you can add the audio for a greatly reduced price!* You can get your audio copy here: Blister

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-06-18 04:50
Mayan Blue - Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason
Mayan Blue - Melissa Lason,Michelle L. De La Garza

Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason are described as "The Sisters of Slaughter" and Mayan Blue is their debut. And a confused debut it is.

 

Four students and their assistant professor head for the mountains of Georgia where they are to meet up with their professor who feels he's made a great discovery that will change the way history books are written. Once near the rendezvous point, all hell breaks loose. In what they think is the professor crying out for help, Wes and Alissa go off to find him. What they discover an open doorway to a Mayan underworld located deep within a cave inside the mountain. Mayans in Georgia? I like the idea. Unfortunately, that's about as good as it gets.

 

Mayan Blue had some promise. The premise of a Mayan underworld in Georgia had lots of possibilities. Instead, it ended up being one long chase scene where way too little happens. The beginning of the story starts out as a B-horror movie style story. Annoying cannon fodder characters that scream I'm going to be killed before the story even gets going. Then it opens up into the Mayan underworld with good shapeshifting characters. Then the last 1/2 to 1/3 ends up being a murky chase scene where characters are introduced for no apparent reason adding nothing to the story. Our heroes get injured so many times that you start wondering why they haven't dropped long ago from blood loss. Too little character and plot development dampens what could've been a great story.
You can see the talent is there. They simply need to focus on tightening up the story, spending more time on plot.

 

 

2 1/2 Sacrifices out of 5

 

 

This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-05-22 03:32
A Mixed Bag of Blood - David Bernstein
A Mixed Bag of Blood - Kristopher Rufty,David Bernstein

A collection of short stories from David Bernstein. Here we go:

 


The Trojan Plushy -

 

Another revenge tale that combines the werewolf with witchcraft and the Trojan Horse. Has a Twilight Zone-kind of feel.

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

The Booglin -

 

You'll think twice the next time you have a booger stuck and it won't come out. Fun, silly story.

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

Eaten Un-Alive -

 

Life isn't easy when you're a vampire in a zombie apocalypse.

 

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 


It's Nice Not To Have To Share -

 

Georgia shares everything with her sister Gerri, but some things she wants to keep to herself.

 

3 out of 5 stars

 


Invasion -

 

Aliens plan to overtake earth by imitating a cockroach and using the neighborhood adolescent psycho.

 

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

Samurai Zombie Killer -

 

A zombie contagion in the water supply of the local samurai warrior.

 

3 out of 5 stars

 

 

Small Town, Big Trouble -

 

The werewolf legend to help explain Sasquatch. I love it.

 

5 out of 5 stars

 

 

Bad Cutlery -

 

When good knives go bad. A fun possessed object story.

 

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 


Potty Mouth -

 

This is one messed up story! I won't even try to explain it. It's simply something you'll have to experience for yourself. Kudos to Bernstein for probably the most far out there original tale I have ever read! You need professional help, sir!

 

5 out of 5 stars

 

 

STD -

 

If you weren't convinced to practice safe sex before, you will be by the time you finish this story.

 

5 out of 5 stars

 


All in all, a nice collection of macabre tales. There were only a couple that didn't do it for me. The rest were fun and there were even some that I have to question Bernstein's sanity or blood alcohol level. Good stuff.

 

 

Overall:

 

4 1/2 Bags of Blood out of 5

 


You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-03-23 22:05
Mixed Bag of Blood by David Bernstein
A Mixed Bag of Blood - Kristopher Rufty,David Bernstein

 

David Bernstein has written a surprising number of stories for such a young man. (At least, he looks young.)  I have enjoyed all that I've read so far,  and this book is no exception.

 

This is a short collection, so it didn't take me long to make my way through. I liked the fact that the tales all varied wildly from one to the next; I never knew in what direction a story would take me. 

 

My favorites have to be:

 

The Booglin: That's no ordinary booger stuck up there. 

 

Invasion: And that's no ordinary cockroach that kid just picked up. 

 

Bad Cutlery: It would be so nice to blame my failed meals on bad cutlery. Unfortunately, this knife does much worse than destroy meals. 

 

STD: A lot of the stories in Mixed Bag of Blood had a serious EWWW factor, but I believe this one was the EWWWIEST. Of course, I was laughing my butt off while reading it.

 

Overall, this collection was above average. I read, and have read, a LOT of story collections over the years, and as such, it takes a LOT to impress me in the short fiction department. The tales I mentioned above were excellent, but not quite enough to bring this up to a 4 or 5 star rating for me. However, if what I've written above sounds interesting to you, then I recommend giving this collection a shot, because your mileage may vary.

 

Recommended to those with strong stomachs who are also fans of horror short stories!

 

*Thanks to Sinister Grin for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?