This book was so much fun! It has just the right balance between scary and funny scenes, and I'm sure young readers will be eager to join Pete on his...moreThis book was so much fun! It has just the right balance between scary and funny scenes, and I'm sure young readers will be eager to join Pete on his adventurous scavenger hunt.
Right from the start, the story creates a nice creepy atmosphere, but it never gets too unsettling, as they are often followed by some funny scene. Fortunately, those are never too childish or stupid, but just right to loosen up the mood a bit before Pete has to face his next task from the list.
Of course I sympathized with Pete right from the start, and I bet every kid will easily identify with him, sharing his doubts and fears, but also his moments of bravery. Of course we anticipate who will win the contest, but it is good to see that Pete does not need any superhero powers, but just has to use his wit and common sense to outsmart Benny. While Benny is the supposed bad guy, he appears more ridiculous than threatening, and if you want to find a moral in this story, he shows that arrogance and cheating are no successful qualities.
It is not easy to rate a book that is targeted at a younger audience, but as far as I can say (both as an adult and not a native speaker), writing, pace and length are appropriate. I would definitely give this one to my son for reading when he gets old enough.
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review) (less)
Hell's Belle was a refreshing new take on the supernatural-kick-ass-heroine scheme. Working for some secret task force, Nina's job is to fight evil su...moreHell's Belle was a refreshing new take on the supernatural-kick-ass-heroine scheme. Working for some secret task force, Nina's job is to fight evil supernatural creatures which cause havoc in the human world. But this time, Nina herself is the target of an attack by some evil vampire. Being a half vampire herself, she soon finds out that she also has witch genes running in her blood, which makes her an extremely dangerous weapon. Now the fight is on, and together with her vampire team partner, witch aunt and an FBI agent who turns out to be more than he seems (which is tempting enough), this time Nina has to defend her own life as well.
The only thing that annoyed me with this book is Nina's language which tended to exaggerate its bitchy coolness, but I always have a problem with that kind of attitude. Fortunately, the author doesn't paint her above putting her foot in her mouth at times, which compensates for the untouchable facade.
This first part in a new series is a well-done mix of kick-ass action, romance and a good portion of humour. The writing is convincing and surprisingly well-edited, which makes reading a real pleasure and a regrettably outstanding difference to lots of other first works. Way to go!
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review)(less)
First let me say that I had the luck to win this book as a Goodreads giveaway :)
Reading this book turned out to be a mixed pleasure: while I definitel...moreFirst let me say that I had the luck to win this book as a Goodreads giveaway :)
Reading this book turned out to be a mixed pleasure: while I definitely enjoyed the storyline and also was surprised by the author's strong writing skills, at the same time I was annoyed by too many repetitions. Over and over again, Antonia repeats her intentions to make a movie about the band and later on to find the killer of band member Genevieve. I got it, Antsy! Also, her mixed feelings for Monty - maybe real or maybe not, maybe answered, maybe not, maybe caused by supernatural aura, maybe not - where not convincing but confusing. I guess that is my main critique: I did not like Antonia's character very much and those parts where her thoughts and feelings were described went not as smooth as the rest of the story.
On the other hand, I loved reading Joe's book where he describes what happened in the days just before Genevieve's death in a story about his friend Pete O'Toole. I surely anticipated and devoured each chapter as eagerly as Antsy did.
While more sensitive readers may want to follow the advice to "not read the last chapters after dark" may be useful, for me it was the very reverse, as it raised my expectations which in the end were not satisfied. The supernatural factor should have been explored deeper, which would also have given room for more creepy sensations.(less)
Though not as brilliant as Nightblood, this book still was a very good and scary read. The beginning has all elements of your typical ghost story: you...moreThough not as brilliant as Nightblood, this book still was a very good and scary read. The beginning has all elements of your typical ghost story: young couple moves to new home, where they start hearing voices and seeing ghosts. Sounds familiar? That's what I thought with disappointment, too, until the story takes a U-turn and mutates into a horror psycho thriller. Besides a real maniacal serial killer, our couple has to face a bunch of even more scary ghosts of killers intent on crossing the threshold into the real world. Though the epilogue was a bit cheesy, it did not diminish the fun I had while reading this novel.(less)
I already read and loved The Blood of Cowards so it was only natural to read another story by the author. Ghost Drums proved a satisfying read as well...moreI already read and loved The Blood of Cowards so it was only natural to read another story by the author. Ghost Drums proved a satisfying read as well, though imho it is not as elaborately and carefully written, which is my only criticism here. I wonder if Ghost Drums was written before The Blood of Cowards, which would show nicely a great improvement in the author's writing skills.
Ghost Drums contains much more action and some paragraphs appeared crowded, so that I wished the author would have used more words and pages to enfold the story more detailed and with patience. I can only repeat my plea for a full-length novel on the adventures of Lazarus Kalon...
Again, we are presented with a simple but original idea: can a vampire acquire the powers of a shapeshifter by drinking his blood? The solution provides not only an answer to this question, but also a neat twist in the outcome.
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review)(less)
Whoa, this battered old second (third? fourth? judging from its condition...) hand copy really was a surprise reading! Judging from the cover and the...moreWhoa, this battered old second (third? fourth? judging from its condition...) hand copy really was a surprise reading! Judging from the cover and the summary, I expected some nice old school horror/gore mixture starring some not so nice vampires and your usual bunch of good uns fighting them to bloody hell. What I got was exactly that - and a gigantic sh...load of fun reading it!
The author found the exact right mixture of horror, action, gore, romance (yep, only a pinch of it for good measure) and even a bit of humor to lighten the mood now and then. It all begins with a test of courage: spend a night in a creepy old mansion. But what Bart and his young brother find in the basement is not only creepy, but downright lethal. Entry Chris Stiles, former Vietnam veteran, now soldier on a supernatural mission, who knows how to fight things that go bump in the night and rescues the two boys.
But, due to a slight carelessness in handling the attacking vampire, the sleepy little town of Isherwood, Indiana, soon turns into a nightmare town full of undead creatures, and former friendly neighbors turn into bloodthirsty monsters.
At last, a small group of survivors gathers around Chris Stiles to stand up against this undead army, who this time has to face an enemy much more resistant than usual.
It's a mystery why this author is not more famous, for his writing can easily compete with the best in the genre. Unfortunately, his novels are out of print, but if you are lucky to find a copy of Nightblood, do not hesitate to snatch at the offer - you certainly won't regret it.(less)
I read some of Tabitha King's novels as a teenager and really enjoyed them. This novel is quite different from her earlier work, which is understandab...moreI read some of Tabitha King's novels as a teenager and really enjoyed them. This novel is quite different from her earlier work, which is understandable considering that the manuscript was written by another author.
Reading the book was something like a rollercoaster: from great expectations at the beginning to slow motion with only a few twists and loops in between. At the beginning I was sure I'd love this story, but my enthusiam was slowed down somewhere in the middle, where the story dragged on and on without really continuing anywhere. There are books where this concept works, where I am confident to just read without reaching a determined destination or climax, but for me it didn't work out with Candles Burning. The first pages built up a good suspense, but then it simply evaporates over the middle part instead of leading to a satisfying end. The story could never quite catch up its pace again and left me only half satisfied (for finding out what really happened and why), and half relieved (to have it finished).
I am not familiar with books by Michael McDowell, so I can't compare this book to his other work. As for Tabitha King, I prefer her early novels.(less)