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Search tags: sometimes-i-scare-myself
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review 2018-03-29 15:10
Could have been a good set up
Kurtain Motel (The Sin Series Book 1) - Scare Street,Emma Salam, Ron; Ripley,M.A. Nasser Hajibagheri

Reading this book was like watching a bad B-movie. A cliché selection of people are driven to stop at a motel to get out of a storm, including an actress and a writer. Each of them has their own background and secrets. Hallucinations and other strange phenomena begin to happen and each of the guests gets told by some form of ghostly figure of someone they know that they must "Confess!"

 

The rest is mostly a jumble of confusing acts of violence for no discernable reason and the end has a tie to 'the next book' (yawn!)

 

I can't say that my time was well spent on reading this one, but at least in finishing it I know I didn't miss any exciting twists or explanations. All told a fairly dull read.

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review 2018-01-16 20:46
Dark Mirror
In a Glass Darkly - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

This was the Goodreads Classic Horror Lovers Tales to Chill Your Blood group read in October 2017. I listened to it on Kindle. This volume contains five stories: "Green Tea" "The Familiar" "Mr. Justice Harbottle" "The Room in the Dragon Volant" "Carmilla" I will go through and discuss each story separately.

 

"Green Tea"--I have read this story before. It's interesting, although the way it's written is a bit on the dry side. It's told with detachment, which I suppose makes sense as it's told through letters written by Dr. Martin Hesselius, a paranormal investigator. The interesting component was the concept of green tea as a substance that can cause a person's third eye to open and to allow them to see into the spirit world. The unfortunate clergyman who is the focus of the story is able to see a monkey that continues to haunt him until it drives him crazy. It could have been more suspenseful, honestly. 3 stars "The Familiar"--A psychological horror story about a man who is being haunted by a figure from his past as a sea captain. Another use of the trope of a person being driven mad by his perception of something no one else can see. I was not particularly impressed by this story. 2.5 stars "Mr. Justice Harbottle"--a story about a judge who is haunted by the spirits of those he wrongly condemned to death. Nice build of suspense. I think the writing is much better in this story than "Green Tea" and "The Familiar". Ironically, I read the original version of this story, "An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street" (1853) out of another ghost story volume I was reading in October. I like that it deals with the concept of spiritual consequences for the wrong that one does, even when the person seems to be powerful in this life. The judge was not just a corrupt official, but he was also a degenerate who treated those around him poorly. 4 stars "The Room in the Dragon Volant"--This is more of a suspense story. It reminds me of something Robert Louis Stevenson might have wrote. It's one of the longer stories in the volume, with some involved storytelling. It's not a ghost or horror story, although there initially appears to be supernatural elements. Lots of nice twists in the story that did impress me. 4 stars "Carmilla"--Another reread for me. A very famous novella about a female vampire with some very obvious homoerotic overtones. Carmilla chooses exclusively female victims and uses her allure to develop their attraction to her. Carmilla is a create of simultaneous seductiveness and repulsion to her newest victim, Laura. Readers can plot this story out and see over time that there is something very wrong about Carmilla. The story builds to an exciting climax as Laura's father and other concerned parties work to deal with the evil vampire. This is old school vampire horror. Carmilla is the bad guy. Readers who enjoy the romantic angle cannot escape the fact that Carmilla is a sexual predator who is endangering the life of Laura. This was written during the Victorian age, in which sexual values were highly pruritanical, so it couldn't have been written any other way without national outrage. However, it was a night springboard for plenty of later vampire stories that focused more of the erotic aspects and less on the evil monster component. First time I read this, I found the flowery descriptions tedious. I enjoyed this a lot more this time around, maybe because I listened to the narration. 4 stars. Overall, I would give this 3.5 stars, which is an average of my individual ratings. Le Fanu is a good writer, but his style isn't my personal favorite. He's not the most active writer and I don't find his writing particularly scary (other than a couple of moments in Carmilla). However, he has some interesting ideas and concepts and his storytelling has been influential to the genre of classic horror.

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review 2018-01-16 18:21
Let Me Tell You a Scary Story
Victorian Frightenings: Volume 1 (Horror Anthology Volume 1) - E.F. Benson,Edith Wharton,Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu,Perceval Landon,William Mudford,Auguste de Villiers de l'Isle-Adam,Bram Stoker

I wish I had taken notes when I read this, but I didn't have the time. I found this enjoyable. There's a little bit of everything. There are some widely recognized classics in the horror genre here: "The Judge's House by Bram Stoker, "The Upper Berth" by F. Marion Crawford. Also stories by famous authors that might be lesser known, such as "The Lady Maid's Bell" by Edith Wharton, "Madam Crowl's Ghost" by JS Le Fanu. I didn't love all the stories, but generally they were all good quality. The best story is probably the first ones: "Thurnley Abbey", a ghost story with a hefty dose of psychological horror, and I admit it did make me giggle. It deals with how a skeptic deals with facing something beyond his perception.. Also, "The Room in the Tower" by EF Benson, about a man haunted by a horrible woman in a portrait. This was very creepy! The last two stories, "The Torture of Hope" by Villiers d I'Isle-Adam and "The Iron Shroud" by William Mudford are more like contes cruel. The former about a man who is imprisoned and allowed to believe he has escaped, only to find it was just a cruel way to torment him by his captors. The latter, about a man who is forced to face his own execution in his prison cell. It ends abruptly and makes the reader feel acutely uncomfortable. I don't like the way "The Judge's House" ends, but it's definitely a very effective ghost story with some real understanding of supernatural evil in that a horrible person's essence retains the malevolence it had in life. I listened to this on Kindle and that was a very fun way to experience these stories. It's well deserving of a four star rating.

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review 2017-12-29 00:00
Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears Vol. 3: Scare Tactics (Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears Vol. 3: Sca... Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears Vol. 3: Scare Tactics (Spider-Woman - Dennis Hopeless,Veronica Fish,Javier Rodriguez I read the first two volumes in this run a while back and had been meaning to catch up on her. The others are reviewed here: Volume 1, Volume 2, and Spider-Women.

I finally got a chance to read this one and it was a good send off to the run. I'm not so excited that her run is over, but this is a great set of volumes for this story. Spider-Woman is a well established Marvel character and though I don't expect her to be gracing the big screen any time soon, I also don't expect her to go away either.

As far as this volume goes, it showcases some of my favorite features of Spider-Woman as well as some favorite characters in her world. Roger, or Porcupine, isn't the best guy in the world but he's always been great to both Spider-Woman and Jessica Drew, so any trouble he's in, she's in also. Part of what's been great about this single mom superhero is her support system and that it's multifaceted. When one part of it runs into trouble (which is bound to happen when everyone is a hero, right?), there are more heroes to pitch in and give Spider-Woman the time to take care of business.

I'm not a fan of this cover but Hobgoblin does make for a pretty amazing bad guy. I'm not big into the Spider-Man comics so I never realized how big a bad guy he is. He really pushes Spider-Woman to the breaking point, even making her mad enough to get reckless and not think before jumping into a fight.

The best part is the end, though. They knew it was the end of the run/series for now and included a denouement that was really everything I could have asked for. It's great because I think we've all been there with someone that our friends don't really get until they see the magic in action. It also answered a burning question of mine ever since I saw Spider-Woman's swollen belly grace the cover of the first issue in this run.

It's been fun and I'm sad to see the run over, but I have hope that Spider-Woman will grace the cover of another series one day! If you hadn't checked out her series before, this is a great time to binge through its three volumes and Spider-Women!
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review 2017-10-21 05:01
Berkely Street
Berkley Street (Berkley Street Series Book 1) - Scare Street, Ron; Ripley

This is the second book I've read by this author. This first, I believe I read during Summer Book Bingo last year. I don't remember too much about it, but I remember liking it well enough. I think I rated it three stars.

 

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It's about a man named Shane Ryan who returns to his childhood home more than twenty years after his parents disappeared from that home. The story is told through flashbacks to Shane's childhood in the house along side the present day story.

 

We find out pretty early on in the book that the house is, in fact, haunted, and that Shane can see and speak with the ghosts.

 

This book is pretty short--the kindle edition lists it at 192 pages. But there is a lot of story packed into those 192 pages. It's pretty much all action all the time, so it makes for a quick read.

 

I'm using it for the "Modern Masters of Horror" square, but it would also work for many other like "Genre: Horror," "Ghost," "Supernatural," or "Haunted Houses."

 

I'd probably have rated it four stars, but there was one thing that I had a hard time looking past.

 

 

When Shane is young, his parents end up believing that he can see ghosts, that not all of the ghosts are happy they're there, and that the house is haunted. Yet, they don't immediately move out, and even go out and leave their son at home alone...sometimes at night, when the ghostly happenings in the house are at their worst. o.O

(spoiler show)

 

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