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text 2016-12-29 12:45
Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Novels Read in 2016
The Secret Life of Souls: A Novel - Lucky McKee,Jack Ketchum
Fellside - M.R. Carey
Darktown: A Novel - Thomas Mullen
A Time of Torment: A Charlie Parker Thriller - John Connolly
Freedom of the Mask - Vincent Chong,Robert R. McCammon

 

2016 has been a great year here at Char's Horror Corner, with many phenomenal books being read. Here are the ones that I liked the most, in no particular order, (if you're interested,  click on the titles to see my reviews):

 

The Secret Life of Souls by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee. Caity is a dog that I will never forget, (that's her in silhouette on the cover there), and the Cross family is one I loved to hate. Bringing dysfunctional family stories to a whole 'nother level, The Secret Life of Souls brought out a lot of emotions in this cold, dark heart of mine. 

You can get a copy here: The Secret Life of Souls: A Novel

 

 

Fellside by M.R. Carey. After reading The Girl With All the Gifts, I had to give M.R. Carey another try, so I grabbed Fellside and I was NOT disappointed. Even though it wasn't exactly the horror novel that I expected, the storytelling was what got to me. With a plot that kept me guessing for quite a while, this book was a real winner for me. You can get a copy here: Fellside

 

 

Darktown by Thomas Mullen was a book that I requested from NetGalley based on the description alone. An historical fiction novel about the first black policemen in Atlanta, Georgia. Painful to read but beautifully written, this book was a testament to the strength and bravery of those officers. You can get your copy here: Darktown: A Novel

 

 

A Time of Torment by John Connolly is the latest entry in the Charlie Parker series. One would think for a series that has gone on for so long, the later entries would be weaker, but in this case the opposite is true. These books just keep getting better. However, I believe I sense Charlie's time is coming to a close. Though I hope that is not the case, I will be glued to the rest of this series either way. You can get a copy here: A Time of Torment: A Charlie Parker Thriller

 

 

Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon is the 6th book in the Matthew Corbett series, (which happens to be yet another series that is getting better and better.) This one started with a crazy voyage overseas, imprisonment in the filthy Newgate Prison, and a rescue mission gone badly awry. I've never had such fun with an historical fiction series in my life! I can't wait to see what's in store for Matthew next. You can get your copy here: Freedom of the Mask

 


If you're still here, thanks for reading! I hope that you'll join me here again next year, for what I foresee as being another great year of reading!

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review 2016-12-28 13:07
Usher's Passing - Robert R. McCammon

Robert McCammon, Where have you been all my life! I know, forgive me, I just found out how fucking amazing Robert McCammon is as a writer! He's literally Astounding. His style is a no nonsense, pull you in.. And keep you wanting more.

 

Even though Ushers passing is the first and only book of his I've ever read in my life. I'm a new fan and will be looking for more of his book's in the future! I love the cover works to the paperbacks in the original late 1970s/1980s vibe I'm a total sucker for that.

 

Usher's Passing is basically about the family Mr Edgar Poe wrote about in 1839 bring them up to the 1980s and you have A very Dysfunctional family with a closet full of skeleton's. And the curses they live with because of this. The main deal dapper of this, Is Rix Usher, He is one of the main characters. Rix is a Horror Writer, trying to look for that one fix that will make him great again... And when he's called back to overland, Because the head of the family his father is dying. All those family secrets and Monster's come back once more. But how will it affect Rix and the rest of his family. And what is The ultimate secret to the usher's?

 

This had me sucked in from the 1st page. A rollacoster of up's and down's Every time I finished a chapter I was left with a sense of what was going happen next? Usher's Passing is an excellent read and will definitely be going in my 2016 top reads!

                                                 

                                             

 

 

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text 2016-12-28 12:45
Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Short Story Collections/Anthologies Read in 2016!
Greener Pastures - Michael Bukowski,Michael Wehunt,John Boden,K. Allen Wood
The Wrath of Concrete and Steel - John Claude Smith
Wrathbone and Other Stories - Jason Parent
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Professor of Strategic Management Bernard Taylor,Michael P. Kube-McDowell,Christopher Priest
The Seeds of Nightmares - Tony Tremblay
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury

 

I've been lucky to have read a ton of great books this year here at my Horror Corner. I'll be doing a few different posts about my favorites and this one tackles short story collections and anthologies. If you're interested in learning more, please click the titles to see my original review. 

 

These are in no particular order but:  Every. Single. One. Of them. ROCKED!

 

Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt is the one selection in my top 5 that was written by an author previously unknown to me. It absolutely knocked my socks off and I cannot say enough good things about it. I still think about the title story and the "spaces between" any time I hear any stories about long distance truckers. 

You can get your copy here: Greener Pastures

 

The Wrath of Concrete and Steel by John Claude Smith contains a few stories that are unlike anything I've read before. I've read over 170 books this year alone, so for me to say that is really something. Unfortunately, I do not believe this book is currently available anywhere. 

 

Wrathbone by Jason Parent was great fun! The title story was a curious mix of historical fiction and dark fiction which I didn't think was possible to pull off properly, but Jason did it and he made it look easy. I still think about "The Only Good Lawyer"  and the witch doctor all the time. You can find your copy here: Wrathbone and Other Stories

 

 

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories is an absolutely terrific anthology put together by one of my favorite publishers. What sets this one apart and above the rest is the fact that it's not the same old horror stories that you read in every other anthology. The authors included within are often not known for their horror stories at all, which was a nice treat. Plus, there's a kick-ass story from Michael McDowell in there. The price of the collection is worth it, just for Miss Mack, in my opinion. 

You can get a copy here: The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories

 

 

The Seeds of Nightmares by Tony Tremblay was a breath of fresh air. Containing original and creative stories, often with a touch of poignancy, I found myself wishing I had read this collection sooner. I know that the story Stardust will stick with me forever. You can get your copy here: The Seeds of Nightmares

 

 

Bonus: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. What more can I say about this widely read classic? The stories were creative and imaginative even by today's standards. I think any fiction reader's library is incomplete without this volume. 

So fill that void here: The Martian Chronicles

 

 

Thanks for reading and I'll hope you stick with Char's Horror Corner in 2017, for your dark fiction and horror reading recommendations. 

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text 2016-12-27 12:50
Char's Horror Corner Top 5: Novellas Read in 2016
Detritus in Love - Mercedes M. Yardley,John Boden
The Sadist's Bible - Nicole Cushing
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
Last Train from Perdition (I Travel By Night) - Robert R. McCammon
Odd Man Out - Pete Kahle,James R. Newman

 

Here are my top 5 novellas of the year. This was the toughest category for me this year. I read a ton of excellent novellas, so it was difficult to whittle this list down to the top 5, but I finally did it. 

 

Here they are in no particular order, (click the title to see my original review):

 

Detritus in Love by Mercedes Yardley and John Boden. This was a beautifully written surreal tale that you won't soon forget. It's affordable and quick to read. What are you waiting for? You can get your copy here: Detritus in Love

 

The Sadist's Bible by Nicole Cushing. This fearless novella brings the reader to places they may not want to have gone-but when they're done they are left to marvel over the insanity of it.  And I mean that in the best way possible. You can get your copy here: The Sadist's Bible

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. This is another beautifully written piece which totally blew me away. I have a couple of more LaValle books that moved WAY up in my TBR after reading this one. My HIGHEST recommendation! You can find your copy here:

The Ballad of Black Tom

 

Last Train From Perdition by Robert McCammon. Featuring my favorite cover of the year, this novella is part two of the Trevor Lawson trilogy. (The third is not yet available, the first being I Travel By Night. (Click to read my review.) Part gunslinger, part problem solver, and ALL vampire, (be it reluctantly), this novella kicked all kinds of ass. I mean, seriously, what is NOT fun about gunslinging vampires on a train??

You can find a copy here: Last Train From Perdition

 

Odd Man Out by James Newman is such a perfect story for this time in American history. It's so perfect, it's scary.  As a teenager, were you ever coerced by your friends to take part in something you did not feel comfortable with? Did you stand up and say no or did you go along to get along? Do you feel differently about your actions today? Beginning with a church meeting regarding Boy Scouts and ending with a very different type of religious afterword, Odd Man Out is squeezing on your heart the entire time.  It was a touching, moving, emotional story that I know I will read again in the future, just because it is that powerful. Please go and get a copy here: Odd Man Out

 

 

I guess that's it then, for my favorite novellas of the year. It was a difficult decision, but I'm happy with how it all came out. If you decide to try any of these yourself, I would love to hear your thoughts about them!

 

Thanks for visiting Char's Horror Corner and I hope we can meet up again in 2017 for some more dark fiction greats!

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