I hate this type of "horror": unspeakable indescribable evil that is so horrible that the author can't be bothered to flesh it out beyond "it's evil!"I hate this type of "horror": unspeakable indescribable evil that is so horrible that the author can't be bothered to flesh it out beyond "it's evil!". We know literally nothing about the nature of the evil humanity has to face. We don't even know whether it's some human mutant, demon, humanoid alien, nothing.
The novella ends with (view spoiler)[the evil just simply walking away to unleash the apocalypse on Earth, probably. We don't know his/her/its motivations. The ship is destroyed, and now something else will happen, the end. (hide spoiler)] That's such incredibly lazy writing that I sat there, mouth agape. That's it??
Takes the worst read award of 2016 (so far).
Nabbed this one from recommendations for Mira Grant's Rolling in the Deep. It was supposed to be much better than that book... but Borealis didn't even have a mermaid!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Too much hype for tiny weeny little bit of horror at the very end. I actually liked documentary style and interludes - knowing something the characterToo much hype for tiny weeny little bit of horror at the very end. I actually liked documentary style and interludes - knowing something the characters don't can add to the tension - but this long exposition was more suited to a full-length book, not short novella. Naturally, this overly long introduction didn't serve any purpose. Once the action started, the characters' personalities and abilities weren't used or referenced at all, except one horrible exception: (view spoiler)[I thought the deaf guy would survive the longest because he couldn't hear the singing, but instead he died via some sign language mixup? So apparently these mermaids are not dumb animals, but an intelligent species? Why do they need sign language anyway, they can communicate via voice. Big facepalm moment right there. (hide spoiler)]
The mermaids were interesting, but the science made no sense. I wondered how they were able to withstand surface pressure, but it wasn't explained. Their first big attack was also underwhelming (view spoiler)[and it was just a simple slaughter since (hide spoiler)]. All in all, the book was a long wind-up to some simplistic action. The most horror you will feel will be while reading the blurb (oh the potential! this will be soooo scary!) and the last line of the book.
I'd like a full-length book based on this idea, with either polished science bit or "it's magic" take on mermaids. The novella was just... meh.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Normally I'm not too happy about revisiting old foes and old locations - usually a sign of creative burnout. However, Kraken Rising turned out to be sNormally I'm not too happy about revisiting old foes and old locations - usually a sign of creative burnout. However, Kraken Rising turned out to be surprisingly good.
There was the usual military / nearing war stuff, but I didn't pay much attention to that. The human adversaries this time are the Chinese - painfully brainwashed caricatures. I hoped they would turn around eventually, but nooo. The creatures were decent. I thought (view spoiler)[the thing pulling people into cracks was some new type of monster, but apparently not. Boo. (hide spoiler)] Kinda disappointed we didn't see more new stuff, but at least it wasn't fully rehashed from the first book.
The best thing was that Beck scaled down Alex's invincibility this time. The dude had to actually be careful from time to time - not that anything seemed to actually threaten him physically, just his mindset has changed to something more careful than his usual Superman self. He was actually likable in this book.
The worst thing is (view spoiler)[freaking Alex's hellspawn. This type of books usually goes really downhill once superhuman offspring of superhuman parents enters the stage. What in the actual f***, how can this bullet in brain thing carry on to children? Alex's freak kid is some sort of supernatural clairvoyant/psionicist with superhuman strength, perception, etc from the age of 2. He also can pull thoughts right out of people's minds and understand them, even though he is in the form of a kid. (hide spoiler)] That abomination single-handedly makes me want to drop this series. I may not continue reading if the next books center on this thing.
All in all, a decent book, with more sight-seeing in Center of the Earth, and good ending. We finally saw some kind of resolution to our Cthulhu wannabe friend. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
1.5 extra star for being very very addicting. I couldn't unglue myself from the pages and finished the whole thing in one evening. Slept only 2 hours1.5 extra star for being very very addicting. I couldn't unglue myself from the pages and finished the whole thing in one evening. Slept only 2 hours that night x.x
Please note that this book is ridiculous and too dumb to live. It's literally atrocious and the whole ending is a big pile of bullsh*t.
It started good enough - Gorgon released from ancient prison, turning people to stone. So many mysteries! How does it do that - not magic, because it can be transmitted *gasp* electronically. Why is it so resistant physically? What's up with (view spoiler)[sunlight, weeping, going to sleep when sang to (hide spoiler)]? Why did it stay put for centuries in a bronze urn even though it can tear through stone. (view spoiler)[My pet theory was that the sound emanating from it echoed from insides of the urn and kept it sleeping. (hide spoiler)]
NOTHING is explained.
Instead, we get (view spoiler)[f****** aliens again! Something straight from 2215. It. Was. Ridiculous. Total BS! I'd prefer if the Gorgons stayed magical / supernatural (and not transmit stoning via video - come on, if you introduce something like this, better explain it!) and not some super aliens that may invade Earth in unknown future. (hide spoiler)] The ending is non-resolution again. (view spoiler)[Am I supposed to believe the Gorgon won't dig itself up from 50 meters of loose stone? It was pretty close to the surface when charges went off. The spaceship? Those puny explosives might have only waken the other Gorgons up. This tech survived eons and was still working. It was somewhat dangerous to bury it without knowing when the Gorgons might wake from cryo-sleep. Sad thing is, Beck included foreshadowing with the whole bee hive analogy. A lone bee commits suicide after it returns to a dead hive. That would make a much better, closed ending that doesn't put Earth in peril. (hide spoiler)]
I liked that Alex couldn't take this thing head on. Even though he still could communicate with it telepathically... geez...
Summing up: so much BS! But it was like an action movie with insane pacing and explosions and I couldn't tear myself away. Just don't try to think while reading it. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Better than the last book, because Alex Hunter doesn't mess with the main plot for more than half of the story. He hee.
I breezed through all chaptersBetter than the last book, because Alex Hunter doesn't mess with the main plot for more than half of the story. He hee.
I breezed through all chapters on Alex, his relationship with Adira (stupid girl... I kinda liked her before, she used to be a kickass female soldier, but now she's hopelessly in love with Alex. Dumped all her values even though she should be well aware this had no future. Later on she tanks all damage just like Alex himself. I hate all superhuman soldiers!), some running across the globe, encounters with foreign special agents, terrorists and whatnot. There was also a subplot with other Arcadian subjects chasing after Alex and killing everything in their way. I find this "super soldier" thing insanely boring and detrimental to the "scary monsters" theme. Alex is larger than life and chronically uninteresting. I don't care about evil scientists wanting to dissect him and create more freaks.
Thankfully, the main Sasquatch plot stays Alex-free for most of the book. It's the kind of thing that I come to these books for - scary monster, some clueless police and scientists, searching for info and investigating. I liked the gradual exposition and the ordinary characters, even though I didn't quite understand why Kearns wanted to get entangled in this mess again.
Ending was pretty good. Alex analogy was a bit heavy-handed, but I liked that (view spoiler)[Sasquatch tribe survived. And kudos for actually killing off Alex's mother! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It started out OK - seemed to be a chupacabra (view spoiler)[from space. What is with Beck and aliens? (hide spoiler)] - supplemented by aSo much BS!!
It started out OK - seemed to be a chupacabra (view spoiler)[from space. What is with Beck and aliens? (hide spoiler)] - supplemented by a deadly disease dug up by scientists. The disease, I admit, was very creepy, mostly because it seemed plausible. Something like that could happen (view spoiler)[if science manages to get hands on one of those microbes floating in space... or enough permafreeze melts to release stuff that hasn't been present in our world for millennia (hide spoiler)]. The chupacabra was decent too, for the first half of the book. Everything went downhill in the second part.
For one, antagonist was way too powerful. The real problem (disease) got forgotten once Alex and his team entered the scene. Alex, the super powerful being, of course connects telepathically again with (view spoiler)[aliens!! (hide spoiler)]. Guns are for the weak (or ordinary), so he takes on his adversary head on! Reminds me of Superman blocking bullets with his chest. Enemy is super strong and rips people apart? Why then, let's wrestle! Not gonna shoot because rage and stuff.
As if unnecessary sparring wasn't cringeworthy, the ending is chock full of unresolved threads. This book needed full resolution, because the threat was too formidable to leave alone and not have something happen. (view spoiler)[The main thing, the microbes, are not neutralized, unless the nuke burns the growth under surface. The stuff Franks carried on her boots? I'd expect her to get infected, or for it to get washed into canalization and cause problems for the whole base, but - spoilers from the future! - nothing happens. Even the chupacabra lives. The church was on the edge of nuke's reach and would likely protect the creature. (hide spoiler)] That is NO ending.
Alex is impossible and I never felt he was in any danger, including right at the end. *shrug*["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Couldn't enjoy this one that much due to too much scientific BS. Man-made black holes? I could buy just a little tiny black hole, but (view spoiler)[nCouldn't enjoy this one that much due to too much scientific BS. Man-made black holes? I could buy just a little tiny black hole, but (view spoiler)[not the way stuff goes through it. I always thought the distortion would be reversed when coming out from the other end. How come the alien monster didn't get distorted? How did the one human who lived through that worked? He got stretched to crazy size. Did he weight the same as before? If not, where did the extra matter come from? If yes, what about that density? (hide spoiler)]
The second thing that killed the book for me was Alex Hunter and his new abilities. Somehow he's even stronger than before and, unbelievably, can now perceive life force and kinda telepathically glimpse others' state of mind etc. Including the freaking monster! (view spoiler)[This thing is literally an extraterrestrial, but somehow Alex can still see their world. (hide spoiler)] That's some grade A BS.
The book isn't as fast paced as the first one. I didn't like the setting that much, political jabs didn't do much for me. It picked up in the second half, but was more like pseudo-sf military movie with lots of fire and explosions. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Marines/scientists meet monster in some bizarre place, doused with heavy dose of pseudo-scientific BS = my type of horror. Antarctica? Great! UnknownMarines/scientists meet monster in some bizarre place, doused with heavy dose of pseudo-scientific BS = my type of horror. Antarctica? Great! Unknown things lurking in the darkness? Yay! Super soldier? Ehhh... not so much.
This book is a pretty standard adventure/horror romp. Big plus for frenetic pacing that doesn't feel movie-like. For the big part of the book, we're left in the dark (hurr hurr) as to what the team actually encounters under the ice. There's traditional bickering among the group, but thankfully all "good party" characters are decent and their drama never takes the spotlight. Even the ending doesn't disappoint - good climax, threads mostly resolved, reader satisfied.
Now for the bad things... Alex Hunter the super soldier is ridiculous. REALLY ridiculous. The guy supposedly took a bullet to the brain that gave him super powers, but I expected "enhanced human", not "brilliant Hulk/Riddick crossover". I rolled my eyes every time he put his abilities to use. Evil Russians? Really? Antagonistic group of humans was just a big nuisance. I wished them gone just so that the story could go back to the unknown beasties.
I have read the whole series by now (yeah... got totally glued to the pages! couldn't put the books down!). From this perspective, I can say that Beneath the Dark Ice is one of the best in the series of 6. Paradoxically, the worst thing about these books is Alex Hunter himself, so if you thought he was unbearable here, don't read more.
Summing up: - 1 star for my favorite "non-random humans get out of their way to meet monster" plot - 1 star for great setting (think Journey to the Center of the Earth, one of my favs!) - 1 star for being insanely addicting. I sneak read 1/3 of it at work and gobbled up the whole thing in just one day. Started the next one right away too. - 1 star for kinda bearable Alex Hunter, compared to the rest of the series...
This book reminded me of a more adventure-y / BS sf Pendergast. Not that much horror, just a pleasant chill here and there....more
An old-fashioned ghost story in long format. I went in not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. The story almost feels like a classic, with faAn old-fashioned ghost story in long format. I went in not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. The story almost feels like a classic, with fairytale base and feel of a Victorian ghost story, but with more modern writing. It's hard to believe this was written in only 2014! Introduction is long, pacing relatively slow, with lots of exposure, but the climax isn't over in just two pages. Pace picks up in the second half and the author isn't pulling their punches when it comes to darker subjects. It's all tastefully done though, just a dark undertone that one might not even notice. The story never becomes a break-neck page-turner, but it is nonetheless hard to put down.
The spook was suitably creepy and not overused. Each appearance was powerful and new revelations disturbing. The author administers horror in small, careful doses, perfect for the unsettling mood, but never so much that it becomes a thriller/fast ride. The ending is powerful and feels right for the theme of this book.
It's listed as children's book, but I'm glad I gave it a try. It's not patronizing and could be read by any age....more
This book would have been much better without Draco Malfoy sh***ing up the show.
Good things: - The big mystery was as interesting as in the first book.This book would have been much better without Draco Malfoy sh***ing up the show.
Good things: - The big mystery was as interesting as in the first book. - More backstory about the world and the Problem, I liked that. - Character development for Lucy and Lockwood. We finally get to know Lockwood's secret... I had a feeling it would be something like this. Still nothing about George - but maybe he's not meant to be mysterious. - Incredible how resourceful these kids are. Still believable though. - Thought the titular skull would be a cringeworthy super powerful gizmo, ended up liking it a lot.
Bad things: - Not as creepy as the first. Meaning I'd classify it more as fantasy than horror. - YOUNG ADULT STRIKES BACK. The good guys have a rival - with the classic Draco (Lockwood's counterpart), Pansy (Lucy's counterpart) and - minor difference - one goon and one nerd. School-like rivalry, minor scuffles, *facepalm* name-calling... The other group keeps popping up whenever plot progresses forward, always twining between main characters' legs, tripping them up and shooting the pacing to hell. I could barely stomach the infantile fights and one-upping. Obviously they play a part in the ending, but I really don't see them as necessary. They felt more like an obstacle than anything. I so hope they will be gone in the next book - but really doubt they would.
Only three stars because I just couldn't read about Draco & Co. and not cringe. They're a big part of this book... sadly. ...more
Similar premise as in Felix Castor series - modern times, the dead are coming back as ghosts and nobody knows why. This time, only children can see anSimilar premise as in Felix Castor series - modern times, the dead are coming back as ghosts and nobody knows why. This time, only children can see and deal with these unwanted Visitors. Sensitivity to paranormal is lost around the age of 20 (?) but ghosts are dangerous to everyone. It's an interesting world - backwards compared to our times, with child labor not only recommended but also necessary. (view spoiler)[It also seems wireless communications don't exist. Exact year is not given, but technology seems to be stuck at 80's level. Wonder if that is a clue? (hide spoiler)]
Warning: first person narrative! I avoid first person like plague, but thankfully The Screaming Staircase avoided all pitfalls and traps and it wasn't much different from a third person. Main trio all felt like proper characters, the narrator (Lucy) wasn't spending tons of time contemplating her own self etc etc. The plot took a while to get going, but sped up considerably in the second half and had a satisfying end. The mystery wasn't particularly hard to solve, but it was well executed and I liked it much more than I expected to.
As for the horror... I've seen opinions that it's very scary despite being a YA book. I'd say it was pleasantly creepy, read at night for thrills, nothing to keep your lights on for though. Some scenes were great - (view spoiler)[loved the Red Room! (hide spoiler)]
Summing up: lots of horror-lite fun, decent characters, big potential in that world, will definitely continue the series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Very nice short story, much better than the first one. It had good short introduction, appropriate mystery and thrilling factor, and very good endingVery nice short story, much better than the first one. It had good short introduction, appropriate mystery and thrilling factor, and very good ending that is particularly nice at this point of the series. Nothing to add, nothing to remove, I liked it a lot. ...more
Somehow I managed never to be exposed to King in my teen years. I liked scary things, but mildly scary things, and didn't want to be too scared.
Well..Somehow I managed never to be exposed to King in my teen years. I liked scary things, but mildly scary things, and didn't want to be too scared.
Well... That was underwhelming. I thought Pet Sematary is one of King's best. It was surprisingly slow - first half of book is exposition - and once sh*t hits the fan, it gets predictable and irritating at times. (view spoiler)[I can buy that main character goes totally crazy at the end, but why did he try to resurrect Gage after seeing what happened to the cat? He spent like one third of the book mulling over it, so obviously he wasn't that far gone at that time. (hide spoiler)]
Also, this book might have been better before the zombie apocalypse craze. The dead aren't as scary as they used to be. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more