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review 2018-07-18 21:00
DARKEST HOURS by Mike Thorn
Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn

On top of having this super cool cover, within these pages I discovered some of the best short, dark fiction I've read in a long while! Let's talk about it, shall we?

 

When I was young and couldn't afford bookstores, I often went to the library. (I still do, actually, because I love them, not because I have to.) I developed a love of horror back then, but our library's collection consisted of about two shelves. Once I read those, I started reading all of their anthologies and collections, in the hopes of finding new authors. In this way, I discovered Richard Matheson, Steve Rasnic Tem, Dennis Etchison, Ray Bradbury and other writers that I still love to this day. DARKEST HOURS brought me back to that time of discovery-horror and dark fiction in all of its glorious, different forms. Reading this collection made me feel like a kid again. 

 

This volume begins with the story HAIR. I knew right then that this book was going to be a force to be reckoned with. Coming unapologetically out of left field, Thorn hits you with this tale of unstoppable hair and then moves on to something out of right field, just to keep you off balance.

 

THE AUTEUR It's important to know who you're talking to when you ask for horror recommendations from people. You may find out a little too much about them otherwise, but by then it might be too late. Hair plays a role in this story too. (P.S. Always feel free to ask me for horror recs. You're safe with me. But employees from Verne's Video? Watch out for them!) 

 

CHOO CHOO This story felt like it came out of one of those early collections that I loved so much. With an ending so unexpected that it felt like I got hit by a train, this tale made me laugh out loud with glee.

 

LONG MAN I never thought anything could compete against the Long Walker in my imagination. (Thank you to Nick Cutter's Little Heaven for that.) But now, now we have Long Man. He's even scarier-trust me on this. 

 

ECONOMY THESE DAYS Here again is another story, completely different, completely unlike any other story here. How much physical abuse would you be willing to take to pay your bills? What would that abusive job look like? Of what would a promotion consist? This tale proposes answers to all of those things and oddly, I don't think it's that far out of the realm of possibility. 

 

SABBATICAL If I hadn't felt the spirit of Stephen King in this story, the main character's names of Thad and Gage would've put me in mind of him anyway. I cannotdescribe this story, but it was just so much fun it made me want to do some kind of dance-the dance of my dark fiction people. The dance is delightful and it's only brought on by the best and most twisted of tales. This is one of them. 

 

Stars will collapse and new lights will prick through the sky,

and screaming will not help. 

 

SCHLUTER The most disturbing story I've ever read was written by Michael Blumlein who is a doctor. (Trust me when I say I have read some VERY disturbing stories.) I found it disturbing because in some universe it could happen. SCHLUTER has now taken THE MOST DISTURBING STORY EVER medal. What that medal would look like, I don't want to know, but Mike Thorn owns it. Take this one little harmless sentence for instance:

 

 His mind screamed, but his sutured lips twitched noiselessly.

 

If that sentence doesn't bother you, okay then, to each his own. However, if that sentence makes you want to run out and buy this book, heed your feelings, man! You won't be disappointed.

 

There are a few themes that became apparent throughout this book, academia being the one that surprised me the most, but also: hair. I don't remember ever reading a collection where simple hair is used in such a menacing, disgusting, or just mentioned in passing but still in a creepy-as-hell- kind of way. 

 

 

Okay then-to sum up: disturbing tales? Check! A wide-ranging variety of stories? Check!

Extremely well written? Check! It almost seems like this collection was written with me in mind-it was so perfect for me that I don't even know what else to say. Well, other than this: I think Mike Thorn is an author to watch. I think he's going to do great things in the world of horror and dark fiction, and I for one, will be there to watch it. Will you?

 

My highest recommendation. Period. Get a copy here: DARKEST HOURS

 

*I was provided an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2018-07-18 04:08
Review: The Case of the Discontented Soldier by Agatha Christie
The Case of the Discontented Soldier (A Short Story) - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser

When civilian life proves too dull for Major Wilbrahams, he contacts Parker Pyne to escape his boredom. Pyne's assistant arranges a chance meeting with the beautiful Freda Clegg and the two join forces, but on leaving for Africa they encounter more than they had bargained for. (from Goodreads)

 

This was the short story version of a cheesy terrible 40s crime drama. I loved every word.

 

Parker Pyne is one of my favourite Agatha Christie characters, mostly because his business is so messed up, its kind of amazing. I love the fact that he hires people to make peoples dreams come true so they can find happiness within themselves.

 

Also, it is a day for both Agatha Christie short stories and characters named Freda.

 

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text 2018-07-17 20:32
Thrift Books Haul: July 2018

 

Hardy Boys Casefiles #14: Too Many Traitors

 

Goodreads

 

 

Sweet Valley High Manga Edition #4: Elizabeth's Secret Diary

 

Goodreads

 

 

Sweet Valley High Super Edition #4: Malibu Summer

 

Goodreads

 

 

Sweet Valley Super Stars #3: Enid's Story

 

Goodreads

 

 

Sweet Valley Super Thriller #5: Murder on the Line

 

Goodreads

 

 

Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Super Mystery #7: Buried in Time

 

Goodreads

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review 2018-07-17 15:54
Ever After High: Ashlynn Ella's Story by Shannon Hale

Another cute story.
This one was an introduction to Cinderella's daughter, who also happens to be the next in line to be Cinderella. I'm not sure why history has to repeat itself there, but in the story, that is Ashlynn Ella's destiny.
It didn't really tell us anything else, except she is going away to school.
Short but sweet, I look forward to the next one.

 

 

Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2018/07/ever-after-high-ashlynn-ellas-story-by.html
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review 2018-07-17 15:46
Review: The Harlequin Tea Set by Agatha Christie
The Harlequin Tea Set: A Harley Quin Short Story - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser

Waiting for his car to be fixed, Mr. Satterthwaite sits in a tea shop called the Harlequin café, thinking of his friend Harley Quin, whom he hasn’t seen in many years. Then, in a burst of sunshine, the very same Mr. Quin walks through the door, along with his diligent dog, Hermes. Satterthwaite is telling him the very long history of the family he is off to visit, when their conversation is interrupted by the abrupt entrance of a member of that very same family, intent upon replacing her harlequin cups. Satterthwaite desperately asks Quin to accompany him on his trip, but the ever-enigmatic Quin simply leaves his friend with one word, “Daltonism.” What does that word mean, and what is the significance of Quin turning up at the tea shop on that day? (from Goodreads)

 

I am still immensely confused about whether or not these books are paranormal or not? Like is Harley Quin just a really weird dude? Is he some kind of spirit? Is he a human who just happens to have become immortal? I NEED ANSWERS!

 

Anyway, this was a fun short story. Mr. Satterthwaite goes to his old friend's and saves a family from imminent destruction. Fun times, am I right?

 

The only thing is, the lack of explanation of Harley Quin's humanness or lack thereof makes me really uncomfortable so I don't honestly know if I'm going to read/listen to anymore.

 

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