Wolf Tales 9, the latest release in Douglas' Chanku series brings all of the Chanku together in Montana. Tia is getting ready to give birth to the twi...moreWolf Tales 9, the latest release in Douglas' Chanku series brings all of the Chanku together in Montana. Tia is getting ready to give birth to the twins that she and Luc have conceived and everyone has gathered to support her. The labor is a long process and Luc is very concerned for her. In order to help pass the time and relax the nervous couple, the rest of the Chanku family decides to tell stories about various stories about their past lives. When the time of birth grows closer, Logan realizes that one of the babies is under some distress and takes Tia on back to the birthing room to monitor her while the others continue their stories to keep Luc calm.
This was probably my favorite book of Douglas' series so far. The way the Chanku all came together as one united family to help at Tia and Luc's time of need showed just how strong the Chanku love truly is. The stories that were told from the various members of the pack helped fill in some of the gaps that I had been wondering about through the story thus far... especially the bits about Mik and Aj... talk about hot!!! This book did lack the mystery/adventure aspects that most of the other Wolf Tales books had in them, but this was a special book and didn't need that. This series is like following the adventures of a family that you have watched grow together and Wolf Tales 9 really brought everyone closer together, especially at the exciting conclusion when the babies were born. Highly Recommended!
Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Graphic Sex
Gord Rollo's latest release, Strange Magic, tells the story of former magician Wilson Kemp. Wilson has been trying for years to escape his past, going...moreGord Rollo's latest release, Strange Magic, tells the story of former magician Wilson Kemp. Wilson has been trying for years to escape his past, going as far as changing his name, moving, and giving up his career as a magician. His wife and daughter know nothing of his past life, but unfortunately, his past has finally caught up with him and he may not be able to keep it hidden any longer. Someone in town known as "the Stranger" is killing both humans and animals, leaving messages at the scene of each crime for "The Iceman", which happens to be Wilson's old stage name. Wilson is now scared for the life of himself and his family. He is not sure who "the Stranger" really is, but fears it may be his old partner, "The Heatseeker". The problem with that scenario is that "The Heatseeker" has been dead for twenty-two years!
Intense, imaginative, well-balanced, fast-paced... you name it and Rollo has accomplished it in Strange Magic! Ever since Leisure started putting out Rollo's work I've been grabbing them up off the shelf immediately and I haven't been disappointed yet. Strange Magic may very well be my favorite so far. A couple of the characters' actual identities are kept secret through a good chunk of the book. Usually it is hard to keep up such a "front" that well without the reader figuring it out prior to the big "reveal", but Rollo managed to accomplish this without a hitch! I was ultimately pleasantly surprised, and a bit disturbed, with both of the characters once I found out who they really were. In addition, the death scenes within the book aren't overly gruesome, yet still cringe-worthy enough that both gore lovers and those of the weak stomach should be able to enjoy them. It is truly a well-rounded book and I feel that Rollo has definitely written something that all horror fans will love.
In addition to reading the Leisure addition of Strange Magic, I also had the pleasure of reading Rollo's short story, "Peeler", a tie-in story to Strange Magic. This story can currently be found in the limited edition of Strange Magic published by Bad Moon Books. Peeler is the name of one of the side characters from Strange Magic who happens to have what you might call a weird "fetish" for peeling off his own skin. In this short story, we get to learn what causes Peeler to mutilate himself and where he was at prior to the time-frame of Strange Magic. The story is a bit gross, yet definitely ties into the whole magical element playing throughout the novel. It's a must-read for die-hard Rollo fans, and it's a shame that Leisure couldn't have included it in their edition of the release. Hopefully, this story will be released in a short story collection from Rollo, for those that are unable to get their hands on a copy of the limited edition of Strange Magic. I highly recommend reading both Strange Magic and the tie-in story, "Peeler"!
Wrath James White starts us off into the world of The Resurrectionist by vividly exploring a scene where a young boy listens intently from outside hi...more Wrath James White starts us off into the world of The Resurrectionist by vividly exploring a scene where a young boy listens intently from outside his parents’ bedroom door as they fight. The boy continues to listen as his dad beats up his mom and he even listens as his dad kills his mom. Then he decides to call the cops. Once the cops arrive, even more chaos takes place as the boy is escorted out to a cop car and the cops go in to see what has taken place. He watches them one by one stagger out of the house getting sick and finally he runs back into the house to find his father dead, shot by the cops, and his mom skinned alive by his father's hand. He climbs over to his mom and starts giving her mouth-to-mouth. Slowly she starts to breathe again and then her skin starts to rejuvenate. The cops come back in then and can't believe their eyes. The woman sitting with him can't possibly be the woman that was just lying there skinned alive, can it? But he claims it's his mommy. What special powers is it this boy holds and what else could he possibly use those powers for in the future?
The Resurrectionist delves deep into the life of one very demented and warped individual. The main character, Dale, has so many "issues" that as a reader it's hard to decide whether to sympathize with him or hate him for what he is doing to the victims in the book. I was honestly torn throughout on my opinion of him, yet leaned more to the negative side because it was just hard to fathom any person could do the things he was doing to other beings. White has written a novel so graphically depicted and so intense that you actually feel like you're "living" the nightmare that is taking place within the pages. I would recommend those with a queasy stomach to pass this book by and move on to a more "user-friendly" horror book as White does describe extremely graphic scenes of mutilation, torture, and rape, which might offend some readers. To those that can handle it, however, this is a must read! I was unable to put the book down once I opened it up and I think any lovers of extreme horror will feel the same. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Kevin Shamel's debut release from Eraserhead Press, Rotten Little Animals, is a bit like Animal Farm on crack. The animals in Shamel's novel, however,...moreKevin Shamel's debut release from Eraserhead Press, Rotten Little Animals, is a bit like Animal Farm on crack. The animals in Shamel's novel, however, are trying to keep their presence unknown to humans. While filming their latest masterpiece, the animals are spotted by a young boy that lived across the street. When the boy comes to investigate what he has seen (it's not every day you see a zombie cat fight!) the film crew of animals decides to kidnap him and re-write the movie that were working on to include the boy as their newest cast member. They figure staging an abduction will be more realistic-looking than their previous project, and it might help their chances in the Animal Academy Awards. What the crew doesn't count on is some of the animals turning against each other... and when that happens, you never know what Rotten Little Animals might do next! These animals are crude, rude, and usually drunk and/or high. They aren't your typical, cuddly pets that you'd want to take home, but this is definitely a novel that you want in your collection! Shamel has created a tale that is disturbingly rude, laugh-out-loud funny, and at times, just so bizarre that you can't even wrap your head around the fact that these are animals doing these things. Of course, some scenes I couldn't even fathom humans doing to other humans! In particular, there is a scene in the book where the animals put the human boy, Cage, in a room that he had to share with Filthy Pig (obviously a pig) that is known as the "Toilet Room". As you can guess, there is a grating above the room that all of the other animals stand above and let their urine and feces come down through... right onto poor Cage. It's a powerful scene, but greatly disturbing at the same time. It makes the reader feel for Cage though and want him to pull through somehow and escape. That scene, as well as numerous others, kept me reading Rotten Little Animals, fast and furious, as I wanted to see what was going to happen at the end. As this was part of Eraserhead Press' New Bizarro Author Series, I am hoping that Shamel will have more releases in the future because I am greatly anticipating reading more by this author. Highly Recommended!
Squid Salad Press' second bizarro release, Swarm of Flying Eyeballs, comes from one of the top-selling authors in the genre, Gina Ranalli. In Swarm, t...moreSquid Salad Press' second bizarro release, Swarm of Flying Eyeballs, comes from one of the top-selling authors in the genre, Gina Ranalli. In Swarm, the summer school students of a local school are going on a local field trip to a blueberry field. Ron, the poor guy that has to tend to the blueberry fields, watches as the bus pulls up and is a bit disgruntled, since back in the day when he was in school he never got to go on field trips during summer school. Soon, the kids are all picking berries until all of a sudden one of them starts to scream! Ron goes to check on the girl who was screaming, and next thing, both Ron and the girl that was previously screaming are both running and yelling "EYEBALLS!" But what are they talking about? Only the mind of Ranalli and those that have read Swarm know for sure and honestly, I'm not even sure the readers know exactly what Ranalli has in mind once this book comes to such a twisted end. Swarm has the feel of a fun B-horror movie and I could picture the film rolling in my head as I was reading it. The characters that Ranalli has created are brilliant. They vary in age from young kids, to teens, to adults. The weird thing is... it seemed liked a lot of the time the young kids, such as Natalie, our heroine, had more smarts about her then those that should have had more maturity. Of course,, I guess that is how things do seem to be in a lot of real life instances, so Ranalli probably hit that dead on! It's the underlying things such as that, and Ranalli's quirky writing style, that make this such a powerful read. Highly recommended for all fans of the bizarro genre, or even those readers that are hesitant about the genre and just want to consider "dipping their feet in".
When family man Chev Worke decided to pick up some extra money by spending Christmas on the road driving his 18-wheeler, he wasn't expecting to slam...more When family man Chev Worke decided to pick up some extra money by spending Christmas on the road driving his 18-wheeler, he wasn't expecting to slam into an animal on State Highway 59 and then have his truck die. And he REALLY wasn't expecting said animal to turn out to be a werewolf that belonged to a pack of werewolves that decide to hunt him down, since he has killed one of their own. Given a head start, Chev makes it to a little grocery store in the town of Easter Glen on foot and meets up with some townsfolk. Together they try to make a break for it, but soon Chev learns of a pact that the townsfolk have made with the werewolves. At that point everyone has choices to make. Hopefully they will make the right choices, and make it out alive, but will they?
Lorne Dixon has taken a refreshing look at the world of werewolves. He keeps you clawing at the edge of your seat up until the very end of Snarl. The story is fast-paced throughout, with enough action and plot twists to keep you guessing all the way through so that you aren't sure exactly how things are going to wrap up. It's a very powerful novella and feels more like a full novel. The main character in the story is very likable and you sympathize with him immediately wanting to help him out of his predicament, especially considering he just happened to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time". This is my first experience with the works of Lorne Dixon, but I will definitely be looking into reading more by this fine author as I was highly entertained by Snarl. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Bryan Smith's latest novel, DEPRAVED, takes place in the backwoods town known as Hopkins Bend. Anyone passing through tends to not make it back out an...moreBryan Smith's latest novel, DEPRAVED, takes place in the backwoods town known as Hopkins Bend. Anyone passing through tends to not make it back out and most don't even survive. The town is full of inbred cannibalistic rednecks who tend to rape, torture, and/or eat their victims... not necessarily in that order. Those "lucky" enough to survive and not get killed are put to work in a special strip club that is also within the town of Hopkins Bend. And what is it with the Kincher family? They appear to not be quite human. It looks like they are half-man/half-monster. Have they been undergone some kind of mutation? Will any of the outsiders to Hopkins Bend be able to escape or find a way to stop the townsfolk or will these vicious acts continue to go on forever?
DEPRAVED is graphic, foul, smutty, trashy, and probably everything your mama told you never to read as a kid, but that's what makes it so great! Backwoods towns have always been depicted as creepy and if you add in rednecks, well... that just makes them even scarier! Just Kidding! Well, unless they're cannibalistic as Smith portrays them! That's the key. Smith adds in the twist of cannibalism and mutations to make these inbred rednecks be extremely scary, not to mention that they are so depraved. There is also one particular chapter in the book where Smith touches on the "bizarro". I won't spoil anything for you, but it's probably one of the most intense sex scenes I've ever read in a horror book. It's horrifically foul, but I loved every minute of it despite the voices in my head screaming "Oh my god! That did not just happen!!!". As far as I'm concerned, Smith has out done himself with DEPRAVED and I hope that he continues along this line of writing in the future. This is a must for fans of extreme horror. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Stake That! leaves off where Mancusi's first book, Boys That Bite, ended. Goth girl Rayne is dying to be a vampire, and her sister, Sunny, is the one...moreStake That! leaves off where Mancusi's first book, Boys That Bite, ended. Goth girl Rayne is dying to be a vampire, and her sister, Sunny, is the one that is dating the vampire. As if Rayne's life wasn't bad enough, she finds out that her destiny is to be the new vampire slayer. How uncool is that? As the slayer, she is given a very special mission... she is to infiltrate the vamp bar where foul play is suspected to find out exactly what is going on inside, wielding a stake carved by her own delicate hands as her only weapon. Easy, right? Little does she know that when she poses as a willing human blood donor at the bar that she is going to be approached by such a sexy vampire! What's a "vampire vampire slayer" to do?
This second book in the Blood Coven Vampire series focuses heavily on Rayne's character, though Sunny is definitely not forgotten. Rayne’s new role of "the slayer" takes everyone by surprise and she'd do anything to get out of the job. I felt a bit sorry for her, but luckily she managed to turn a bad situation into something good for herself. Mancusi threw in several surprises throughout the book, especially with David's character. I enjoyed the pop-culture references in the first book of this series and Mancusi didn't disappoint me with this one either. I especially appreciated the tribute to the movie The Lost Boys. Stake That! is a strong follow-up to a great first novel, and I foresee many more great books in Mancusi's future. Highly Recommended.
Contains: Blood Drinking, Kissing, References to Sex
In the third installment of Mancusi's Blood Coven Vampire series, Rayne is faced with her biggest challenge yet. As "the slayer", her newest task is t...moreIn the third installment of Mancusi's Blood Coven Vampire series, Rayne is faced with her biggest challenge yet. As "the slayer", her newest task is to figure out why it is that the cheerleading squad is growling. In order to do so she must get close to the cheerleaders, and as ANY teenager knows, the only way to get close to a cheerleader is to BE a cheerleader! Rayne seeks out her sister Sunny's help in a “prep” makeover so that she can try out for the cheerleading squad in hopes of becoming one of their new members. From there she must figure out exactly where the growling is coming fro, and find a resolution.
Mari Mancusi has created yet another fun adventure with Girls That Growl. The characters of Rayne and Sunny are hilarious and I love how they tend to use their "twin powers" to reverse their roles whenever it helps them out of a situation. They are such opposites, yet they always manage to pull it off. There is still a lot more that can be done with this series and I think Mancusi will go far with it. She is a very strong storyteller and has a unique writing technique. The story of Rayne and Sunny is fun for all ages, not just teenagers. Highly Recommended.
Contains: Blood Drinking, Kissing, References to Sex
First in Mari Mancusi's Blood Coven Vampire series, twins Sunshine and Rayne (cute, no?) couldn't be more opposites. Sunshine is the drama student tha...moreFirst in Mari Mancusi's Blood Coven Vampire series, twins Sunshine and Rayne (cute, no?) couldn't be more opposites. Sunshine is the drama student that wants to date the most popular boy in school, whereas Rayne is into the goth scene and won't be caught dead in a pair of pants! Rayne is all excited about a new goth club in town, Club Fang, and tells Sunshine she has to go with her and also must dress accordingly. After a bit of a guilt trip, Sunshine caves in and dons a “Bite Me” T-Shirt from her sister, figuring at least it's not black, and goes with her to the club. Once at the club, Rayne temporarily leaves Sunshine to play the role of “wallflower” while she grabs them a couple of drinks. In her absence, Sunshine is approached by an Orlando Bloom look-alike that she figures can't possibly be talking to her. She is flabbergasted, but it's so loud in the club that she can't tell what he is trying to say to her. He leads her outside of the club in order for them to be able to hear each other. She is highly attracted to him and once they introduce each other (himself as Magnus) he then asks her “are you sure?” as he leans closer. She assumes he is asking whether she wants him to kiss her and says “yes” which he does, but next thing she knows, he bites her neck! Her sister comes running out a minute later and sees what has happened and realizes that there was a case of mistaken identity. She knows who this Magnus guy is, he's a... vampire! And not only that, but... he was supposed to have been there that night to change HER into a vampire. Now what will Sunshine do?
I have to say that this has to be one of the funniest teen books I have read in a long time! It had some Buffy the Vampire Slayer references mixed within that slayed me!!! (full pun intended!) Mancusi used numerous pop-culture references throughout the book that made the book even more humorous, especially the inclusion of using Stewie from Family Guy as one particular vampire within the book. I won't say which one because I don't want to give too much away, but you'll realize why it's so funny once you read it! I like how Mancusi kept up the suspense throughout the entire book. I wasn't sure until the very end how things were going to turn out for Sunshine. This is a very strong first book and I'm glad that she has several more to follow it up as I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series! Highly Recommended.
Contains: Blood Drinking, Kissing, References to Sex
Gregory Lamberson's new series, The Jake Helman Files, starts off with a detailed scene showing readers how the book's serial killer, The Cipher, oper...moreGregory Lamberson's new series, The Jake Helman Files, starts off with a detailed scene showing readers how the book's serial killer, The Cipher, operates. Readers are then introduced to the series' main character, Jake Helman, who works for the New York Special Homicide Task Force. After killing two men shortly into the book, Helman is required to take a drug test. Instead of following orders, Helman decides to take more drastic measures and quits. Less than 48 hours later, Helman receives a phone call from Tower International, a genetic engineering company, about an interview. He goes in that same day and is hired on the spot as their director of security for a salary that he never believed possible in his wildest dreams! After looking around the office a bit, though, he starts to notice some things seem to be a little odd. In particular, he is trying to figure out why strange homeless people are always hanging out right outside Tower International's doors, and why they look so much like The Cipher's victims.
At the beginning of Personal Demons, it appears that the book is going to be an average serial killer book (albeit with a really cool murder method!) where the bad guy goes around slicing each victim for whatever reason, but Lamberson changes that feel abruptly and takes the book to a whole other level! Once Jake Helman leaves the Force and takes on the new job at Tower International, he becomes a magnet for danger. All kinds of hell starts breaking loose, and Lamberson puts Helman through the wringer! It's a wild journey, and one that shouldn't be missed. I had a very hard time putting the book down once I started it. Highly recommended for all fans of the horror genre!
Taste of Tenderloin is comprised of eight unique stories based on life in the underbelly of San Francisco. All of the stories are connected, as they t...moreTaste of Tenderloin is comprised of eight unique stories based on life in the underbelly of San Francisco. All of the stories are connected, as they take place in the same neighborhood, and a recurring character pops up throughout to help show this connection. The language that O'Neill writes in is rich and vivid, showing he is a strong storyteller, but there was something about the stories in this particular collection that didn't grab me. All of the stories seem to end in doom and gloom and left me saddened after reading them. I guess maybe I just needed a happy ending while reading this book and was disappointed over and over again. This is definitely not a good book to be reading on an already gloomy day.