This book disturbed me, and that goes to show how effective it is. The author, Jack Wallen, has become a friend, but I'll confess that at the time I wThis book disturbed me, and that goes to show how effective it is. The author, Jack Wallen, has become a friend, but I'll confess that at the time I was reading this book, I wasn't too sure that was a good idea! It's *that* scary!
Some of the dialogue was a little rough, and took some getting used to, but overall I think the local culture of seedy trans & trans-play backroom sex clubs and all that were more true-to-life than even the author (who is based in Louisville) could have known. Just a couple of months ago the remains of an underground sex club named Latex were discovered downtown on Whiskey Row, in the basement of a building currently undergoing historic preservation. It definitely makes you think of A Blade Away!
This is not a book for the squeamish. I think the best parts were when the author was channeling the killer's thoughts in flashback form, and when writing in the voice of the MC of the local drag show, honestly. The gay bar was described so vividly! Those parts were where the book came alive for me. I hover between 3 & 4 stars for this book, but am going with 4 because frankly it's original, scary as hell, and brave. If you are looking for a fresh new voice in horror, Jack Wallen is a great place to start. I am personally putting his I Zombie I series onto my TBR. I understand it is a great deal more popular than the Fringe Killer books. ...more
What's NOT to love? Beautiful illustrations, fun poems...my only wish is that they would have gone a little more "out there." The poems played it a taWhat's NOT to love? Beautiful illustrations, fun poems...my only wish is that they would have gone a little more "out there." The poems played it a tad safe for my liking. Kids ENJOY things a bit wilder than this book delivered, but all-in-all, it still DELIVERED, so that's what counts. Recommend....more
I never thought I would say something like this, but if I were to be turned into a zombie and suddenly start snacking my way through my loved ones, II never thought I would say something like this, but if I were to be turned into a zombie and suddenly start snacking my way through my loved ones, I imagine this is exactly how I would feel, and how it would go! AWFULLY good! Wonderfully bad! Great work by Thea Isis Gregory. Looking forward to reading more from this talented writer. ...more
Bryan Hall's The Vagrant is an exceptionally well-written supernatural tale set in the dusty, gritty South. Sweat-stained and turned inside-out like aBryan Hall's The Vagrant is an exceptionally well-written supernatural tale set in the dusty, gritty South. Sweat-stained and turned inside-out like a sopping wet workshirt, Hall's small town gothic tale of rage and illicit romance is a fine example of the ghost story tradition.
To be honest, I didn't expect it to wow me, but I found myself captivated by this story of revenge, murder, and torturous hauntings. I'm looking forward to the next installment of Southern Hauntings, which I found to be a far more entertaining iteration of the same premise that drove the television show The Ghost Whisperer.
The cover, while striking, really did color my read of the story, and that's too bad, because the image doesn't jibe with the spirit described in the story. But don't judge this book by its cover. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea in a Mason jar, pull up a rocker on the front porch, and sit a spell.
There may be a paragraph or two at the beginning and end of the story that slow you down--but forgive those speedbumps and stick with it. Let's cross our fingers and hope the further installments are a bit more streamlined, that Hall and his editors put a bit more trust in their readers, and that the work only improves from there.
Okay, I have finished The Slab. Here's the blurb: "In the grim days following 9/11/2001 three veterans of different wars, whose lives have been intersOkay, I have finished The Slab. Here's the blurb: "In the grim days following 9/11/2001 three veterans of different wars, whose lives have been intersected by magic, find themselves thrown together in California's cruel desert - while a group of serial killers ply their deadly trade, and an ancient evil grows beneath them."
There is so much going on in this book besides just this, though. The first thing that truly struck me was how awesome it was to have not one, but two female characters that were young, capable, and confident in their survival skills. You truly are rooting for Lucy & Penny in their respective storylines, and they're not treated like token females. I found their reactions to situations very realistic, and Lucy, in particularly, was inspiring. I was excited to see how she would escape from captivity and relished her individual "wins."
Having said that, The Slab is a book about good and evil, and there are no Luke Skywalkers or Princess Leias anywhere to be found. Most of the characters were neither totally good nor totally bad. The further they swung to "the dark side," the more they were corrupted, naturally, but there were no saints in this book, either, and that was lovely. It made the characters so real.
I was intrigued upon reading the final pages & doing a little googling, that The Slab is based on a location also heavily depicted in the movie Into the Wild. I'd seen Jeff's Slab photos on his website, but hadn't made that connection, until I visited SlabCity's website. I'd already recognized the location mentally, so finding confirmation of that online is a testament to Jeff's scene-setting, as well.
If you lived through the aftermath of 9/11, you'll recognize the tense confusion of the period immediately following. If you've loved someone with Alzheimer's, you'll appreciate the full-fledged characterization of someone dealing with its limitations on a day-to-day basis. If you've ever lost a loved one and grieved deeply, and if you've ever had a change of heart about what's right and what's wrong, this book will hit you where you live--and take you on a thrill ride through space and time (and a cave filled with man-eating mushrooms), each in good time.
It was a little slow for me to get into in the beginning, due to the number of different characters. That's just the nature of a story like this, though. I personally like stories like this--not unlike The Stand, but with a much more compact pace. Ultimately, this a wild fantasy thriller with horror as its middle name, in my opinion. And it's totally worth the read. Give it a download and tell me what you thought....more