I love a good ghost story, and The Lunenburg Werewolf: And Other Stories of the Supernatural by Steve Vernon is full of exceptionally good ghost storiI love a good ghost story, and The Lunenburg Werewolf: And Other Stories of the Supernatural by Steve Vernon is full of exceptionally good ghost stories, plus fabulous tales of monsters, pirate gold, fairy folk, demons and devils. It’s positively oozing those “creepy tales to tell around the campfire” and the “keep the lights on while you read” scary moments, yet it still maintains a black and whimsical sense of humour.
The book is darkly delightful. My fellow Nova Scotian, Steve Vernon, has collected an odd assortment of horrific tales, from the far corners of our fair province of Nova Scotia, and woven them into a first-rate and entertaining book of folklore. Between the covers you will find the ghostly Lady in Blue, the Phantom Ship of the Northumberland (my favourite ghost story), a Phantom Artist, a Black Cat that lingered after death, Beasts, Selkies, and of course the aforementioned Lunenburg Werewolf.
The author knows how to spin a satisfying yarn, weaving fact, history and folklore into a compelling read. Be the tales truth, fiction or a little bit of both, The Lunenburg Werewolf may leave you believing in ghosts. Or at least loving their stories. I can give The Lunenburg Werewolf: And Other Stories of the Supernatural a high recommendation; just be sure to leave all the lights on when you read it.
Symphony of Blood is a fascinating mix of hard-boiled detective novel and paranormal thriller. It melds two genres in an excellent fast paced style thSymphony of Blood is a fascinating mix of hard-boiled detective novel and paranormal thriller. It melds two genres in an excellent fast paced style that keeps you turning the page.
Symphony of Blood was a chilling delight to read. The book is basically divided into three parts, with parts one and three telling the story from Hank’s point of view. These sections are an old school, hard-boiled mystery story, unfolding Hank’s investigation slowly, and playing out the tension before we return to his voice for the conclusion. Both parts are well told, have nice flow with gritty atmosphere and substance, engaging characters, and I enjoyed what I read. But it was the second part of the novel that truly excelled for me, when the author unexpectedly switched points of view and told the story through the killer/monster’s eyes. Here, the story is woven from an alien perspective and draws the reader in with fascination, repulsion and even sympathy. Secrets hinted at are now revealed and the subtle contrasts and truths give depth to the plot. I adored this section of the novel and the sudden change between characters was seamless.
I did have some small disappointment with the ending, though. It wasn’t that it was badly written or a cheat, and it wrapped up all the threads conclusively, but it just felt a bit detached to me. I think I would have liked something a bit less restrained. Still, I can happily recommend Symphony of Blood as a great book. ...more
End of Mae is an intriguingly delightful paranormal novel, with a surreal, creepy edge. It has a fast pace, a breezy tone, plus just the right touch oEnd of Mae is an intriguingly delightful paranormal novel, with a surreal, creepy edge. It has a fast pace, a breezy tone, plus just the right touch of black humour and dark thrills.
The book tells the tale of Mae, a plucky, small-time reporter out to find her “big story”. What she finds instead is a vicious attacker and a strange world of trouble. One she might not be able to leave behind.
The author has a nice turn of phrase for setting a scene and a deft hand at weaving a character. Her villain, Heylel is sinister, complex and not the sort you want to meet in a dark alley, while the heroine, Mae, is feisty, flawed and maybe just a touch self-delusional. Her objectivity and judgement is definitely way off when it comes to handsome men. Both characters interact well and hold your interest.
The plot is solid, a nice straight line to a conclusion that was not quite what I had been expecting. The ending, which I loved, gives a creepy, edgy finish, sprinkled with black humour. It left me wondering if Heylel might have bitten off more than he counted on with Mae.
I did find the book probably could have benefited from more length; the lead up to the closing scenes seemed rushed and Mae’s sudden about face toward Heylel didn’t ring as true as it should have to me. And I would have liked some more background on the dark world Mae fell into; the author dishes out tantalising, mysterious glimpses that left me wanting to know additional details. Perhaps I can hope for a sequel. ...more