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review 2017-01-31 09:21
The 'horror' was in very small quantities
Scared: Ten Tales of Horror - Rayne Hall,Deborah J. Ross,Jonathan Broughton,Karen Heard,Pamela Turner,Liv Rancourt,William Meikle,Tracie McBride,Grayson Bray Morris,Donna Johnson,Rayne Wheeler,Deborah Wheeler

Overall this collection of stories only made up approx 70% of the book (the rest was dedicated to promotion of the author's other works) and left quite a bit to be desired. There weren't really any creepy stories here, and the 'horror' was in very small quantities.

My favourite story by quite a way was 'Death comes for Maggie McDaniel' because of the haunting sadness and the fact that it was a well written and interesting tale. I would definitely read more by Grayson Bray Morris, Pamela Turner, Donna Johnson and William Meikle. The rest I probably wouldn't bother.

I feel that the four best stories are dragged down a bit by the others that get a nudge into the realm of good because they're being carried by the four better stories. Not a great collection, but an OK way to spend a couple of hours if you want a not very scary collection of stories.

Story specific thoughts below:

Out of Order - 3 stars
This one has a single horrible animal scene, which is written off in one or two lines. The horror aspects were not a problem, a bit simple, like a child witnessing a murder, too simplistic to be very impactful. A shame really because the idea is interesting.

Our lady of the toads - 3 stars
Witches tale that reads quickly but doesn't really offer anything new. Not a bad read, but a touch boring.

Family Heirloom - 4 stars
An interesting idea, but the story was over too quickly. I'd have liked to see the story teased out a bit more.

Ring of stones - 4 stars
A really short tale rich with imagery and sensory information. But a glimpse, captivating.

Death comes for Maggie McDaniel - 4.5 stars
A sad tale, full of character and loss. I only wish it were a touch longer so the blow to guts had the impact it deserves. Lovely writing.

Creatures of the night - 4 stars
The creepiest story so far tied in with the character being a writer so it's an instant win for me. The pace is quick, detail light but enough to paint a picture.

Druid stones - 2.5 stars
The story gallops along to its own tune, the ending obvious from a mile off. A lot of flowery wording that could be cut to make the story stronger.

The Loft - 2 stars
Rather boring, even what should have been tense moments lacked any sort of urgency. Repetition and an annoying MC made for an uninteresting or engaging story.

Life in miniature - 3.5 stars
A great idea, but over far too quickly. This should have been teased out, hints dropped etc. Who is Susan? Who is Michael? A little more character behind them would make this a great story.

You have one message - 3 stars
Probably the creepiest only because of the unknown factor and the panic written on the characters faces. The story offered little by way of characterization, but for once this worked because it allowed the faceless masses to form and show mass hysteria even in a small window of opportunity with limited character visibility. Still, there were too many unanswered questions and not enough content to really make this stand on its own.

**Note: I won an electronic copy of this book through the Booklikes giveaway program**

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review 2015-07-21 16:38
It's Not About the Powers -- Wait...is that Sarah Palin!?
America's Got Powers (#1-7) - Jonathan Ross,Bryan Hitch

So, one day a blue glowing crystal egg thing fell from the sky and hit California.


A blue light exploded from the egg and suddenly all the women within 5 miles gave birth, and all their babies had powers - except one.


That kid, Tommy, is our main protagonist.  He is just a normal guy, no super strength, no telekinesis, nothing.  But still, he's part of the Powered generation and as such is under constant watch by the government.


When these super-powered kids became teens there were riots.  Teens were outta control.  So the government decided to step in and put all the powered into a special academy, training to battle in the arena for a show called, "America's Got Powers."


The real reason behind the show, however, is of course to control, test and figure out how best to use and weaponize the kids.  The main forces behind this decision are a scientist, who looks kind of like David Tennant, and really wants to harness and share the power among everyone, a general, who wants to use the kids to "defend" the great U. S. of A. and a power hungry senator, who looks a lot like Sarah Palin.


Susan Handler (Sarah Palin) is the main villain of the piece, her first appearance has her taking advantage of three young women, so obviously she's not a great person.  Later she threatens to shoot Tommy's mom in the face if she doesn't get what she wants.  


It turns out that all those powered kids who'd fallen during the course of the brutal last season of America's Got Powers aren't really dead, but have been put to use in a different way, including Tommy's super-strong brother Bobby.


When Tommy's power emerges he earns the name "Zero" but what does his power mean to the world, what should he do with it and who can he trust.  Will Tommy be able to rescue his brother, mother and girlfriend and figure out who sent the Powers and for what reason?


An interesting comic that combined both some very old material with some new ideas.  I liked that the love interest was actually a very realistic girl rather than some spandex bikini clad bimbo.  I also liked the ending.


However, it is still pretty typical super hero comics.  For those who like that, this is a solidly drawn comic with a pretty good plot line and some nice character development.  That said, it's no slice of life piece and there are a few weird moments and a few too many characters to really give anyone deep development.


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review 2015-04-16 00:00
The Year of Living Biblically
The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs,Jonathan Todd Ross I saw the book mostly as contrived. He seemed to have only picked and chose the parts of the bible he wanted to take literally and didn't seem to do most of them. I wouldn't really recommend this book except as a library loan and if you have nothing better to do for that weekend.
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review 2015-01-02 09:56
Review: Scared: Ten Tales of Horror by Rayne Hall
Scared: Ten Tales of Horror - Rayne Hall,Deborah J. Ross,Jonathan Broughton,Karen Heard,Pamela Turner,Liv Rancourt,William Meikle,Tracie McBride,Grayson Bray Morris,Donna Johnson,Rayne Wheeler,Deborah Wheeler

The book is a compilation of ten different stories. My favourites were Death comes for Maggie McDaniel by Grayson Bray Morris which had an unexpected and doleful ending; and Druid Stones by Rayne Hall for it tells how individuals scruple to help strangers. The most weird or rather funny was Creatures of the night by William Meikle; though the ending was bizarre I did think protagonist deserved it. Rather than saying scared or horrifying the stories were creepy and sometimes werid. Some of them seemed incomplete and not apt to the theme of the book.

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review 2014-04-17 00:00
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer - Lish McBride,Jonathan Todd Ross,Chris Sorensen Review to come...at some later date.
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