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Optical Delusion

(Mail Order Massacres #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  36 reviews

Put on a pair of “X-Ray” glasses and things will never look the same! These almost magical specs will make you the hit of the party! Astonishing three-dimensional X-Ray visions of what your friends—and girls—look like under their clothes! And all for just $1.


Martin Blackstone punishes his son for wasting his al
Kindle Edition, 76 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Lyrical Underground
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  95 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, 2017-books
When Martin Blackstone's son is given a pair of X-Ray specs from a comic book, they don't seem to work. Martin puts them on and discovers a whole new world lurking just beneath the surface. How far will Martin's obsession with the X-Ray specs take him?

Hunter Shea is my go-to guy when it comes to fun horror. When this came up on Netgalley, I couldn't resist.

First we got a horror novel about sea monkeys. Now, X-Ray specs! Like most pre-pubescent boys who bought comics in the late 1970s and early 8
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-shelf, horror
Do you remember those bare-bones hokey horror shows from the seventies and the eighties, the ones that played upon fifties values and aimed at the lowest common denominator by giving us a MC that IS the lowest common denominator?

How about some really cheap made-for-tv horror episodes that were amusing more for the schlock value than the shock value? Do you miss those?

I admit I do, to my everlasting shame. But I don't feel that guilty. Not really. It's comfort food and Shea is great at giving us
3.5/5 stars!

The latest installment in the Mail Order Massacres series is Optical Delusion. This time around the action is focused on some X Ray glasses ordered from the back of a comic book. What could go wrong with that?

Mr. Blackstone's son tosses the specs aside because they gave him a headache and they don't work. When Martin Blackstone spots them, he scoops them up and decides to give them a try. What happens next? You'll have to read this to find out!

I enjoyed this novella for the bit of si
Edward Lorn
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
First off, I know I'm not supposed to take this series seriously. I know it's supposed to be mindless fun. For fuck's sake, that's what made me want to read it. The first book, Just Add Water, was a big bucket of gory fun. Had a blast and gave it four stars based on fun factor alone. This one is nowhere near as good, but not entirely terrible either.

Secondly, with the fact that this is supposed to be mindless fun in mind, I still can't help but point out some inconsistencies that took me out of
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was my second story by Hunter Shae but, sadly, I didn't connect with it at all.

The story is about a guy who can only be described as disgusting. He works in a factory, needs several beer to be able to get through just a few hours of the day, sits in front of the TV like the personification of the prejudice, fantasizing about actresses while not exactly treating his wife nicely. Then, one day, the friend of his son comes ove
Kenneth McKinley
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, own-kindle
Hunter Shea has tapped into our childhood for his latest offering of fear. Remember those ads in the backs of comic books? Muscles like Charles Atlas. Sea monkeys. Joy buzzers. Fake ice cubes with a fly in the middle. Gum that turns your mouth black. Oh, and the ever popular, X-ray glasses. I certainly remember them. More specifically, I remember wanting them and my mom saying "absolutely not". Well, what would happen if she did allow me to get those x-ray glasses and after 10 minutes of making ...more
3.5 stars!

OPTICAL DELUSION is the second novella in Hunter Shea's "Mail Order Massacre" series. One thing I really enjoyed about this tale is how effectively Shea places us in the family-life of the past, by showing us a typical evening at the Blackstone home. Martin, husband and father, comes home from work to his wife (who has supper waiting), and his son playing upstairs. Even the movies he references will give some a sense of nostalgia for this era.

Young Brian Blackstone--having missed a wee
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Is it bad when the first thought after finishing this novella was that it was OK, but it would have been even better if it had been gorier? Seriously, most of the time during the story did it feel like I was waiting for everything to go haywire and when it did was it towards the end of the story, so not much carnage. I found the previous short novella in this series, Just Add Water, to be better, more satisfying to read, especially if like me want a story with lots of deaths and bloodbaths.

 Reading Reindeer
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review on release date
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
Optical Delusion is another book in the Mail Order Massacres series from Hunter Shea. The first, Just Add Water, was a bit of bloody floof that was Creepshow-reminiscent and awesome. It was also (with a gore warning) something that 10+ year olds could read.

Optical Delusion is not recommended for kids. While it still puts one in mind of the old Creepshow episodes, it's definitely for adults. (Adult seriously channels his inner randy teenager, ya know?)

Blackstone is a typical male head of househol
Michael Hicks
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, netgalley
Optical Delusion, the second in Hunter Shea's trilogy of Mail Order Massacre novellas from Kensington Press, is a more serious affair than Just Add Water and focused more on the psychological threat posed by X-Ray glasses. That's not to say Shea skimps on the gore, though! There's plenty of fun Harryhausen-like visuals on display as Martin Blackstone gets an eyeful of everyone he sees.

On a lark, Blackstone tries on his son's X-Ray specs, ordered from the back of a comic book, and finds, much to
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Optical Delusions is the second of Shea Hunter's series called Mail Order Massacres. They are based on those comic books ads children of all ages are familiar with. I'm sure you remember them. The "Sea Monkeys" that were just brine shrimp and made the water smell bad. The "submarine" made out of cheap card board and fell apart when it actually touched water. The 3-D glasses that boasted you will be able to see through people's clothes and did no more than give you a headache. Shea's first book o ...more
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
"Optical Delusion" is the second installment in Shea's Mail Order Massacres novella trilogy and while "Just Add Water" remains my favorite so far, this one was still very enjoyable and a strong addition to the series. Martin Blackstone is a hardworking blue-collar worker who enjoys his time at home, especially if he has a good beer in his hand. His son is given a pair of cheap x-ray glasses by a friend and when he casually tosses them aside, Martin gives them a try just for fun. Before long, Mar ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Okay, so honestly, I liked the Sea Monster (Monkey) one better, but I still really enjoyed Shea’s latest book in his Mail Order Massacres series.

Yet again, Shea takes the product you always wanted from the back of the comic book and imagines what it would be like if the product really worked…horribly, terribly worked.

The book is a lot of fun, gory, and eventually takes some unexpected turns.

I just didn’t love the ending.

The ending made sense. I just wanted a slam bam ending and didn’t get one.

Laura Thomas
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I remember those silly ads in the back of comic books. I actually bought those sea monkeys. And if I’d come across an ad about X-ray vision glasses, I’d probably have bought those too. When Martin Blackstone tries on his son’s silly glasses he doesn’t expect anything to really happen. Imagine his surprise when they work. He can see under peoples clothes, and more. And the more he dons the glasses the more he sees. Until he sees too much. And the glasses won’t come off.

Who says you have to like t
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The description provided was a little bit off. Martin didn't punish his son for ordering glasses, it actually wasn't even his son who ordered them.

Martin came home from his factory job just wanting to knock back a few beers, (never a full six pack on a week night or else it made the weekends less special) and watch Charlie's Angels. He's annoyed that his son Brian and his best friend Noel are making so much racket upstairs. When Martin goes up to tell Noel he's going to walk him home, Noel show
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Martin Blackstone tries out his son's cheap comic book x-ray specs for a laugh. He doesn't believe they can possibly work, but to his utter astonishment he can see right through his friends' and neighbours' clothing. He soon becomes addicted and can't leave the darn things alone; but the more he wears them, the greater his pain and discomfort, until one day he discovers he can't physically remove them. It's as though they're welded to his face. The specs increase in sensitivity and Martin begins ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-challenge
Mostly predictable but entertaining short story. Not as bloody or gory as the first book, but still had it's moments. Of course it's about working 3D glasses, so expect some under clothes peeping.
It did remind me of the creepy episodes of the 1980's "Creepshow" or "Tales from the Crypt" shows.
Andi Rawson
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Optical Delusions, is the latest in Hunter Shea's Mail Order Massacre line. Although it starts out a little slow, it fully delivers the horror that you have come to expect from Mr. Shea. What could possibly go wrong with cheap X-ray vision sunglasses that actually work? I quite enjoyed this short bit of terror and can't wait for the next one.

I received a copy of this from Kensington Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Shadow Girl
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-books
A sight for sore eyes...

Optical Delusion centers around a gag-gift, ordered from the back of comic book, that begins to consume a man's life.
Martin can't stop peeking - but, for him, it's all in the name of science! ::dramatic eye roll:: The fun is long over when Martin realizes that he has taken peeping too far, and there are just some things just can't be unseen.

I love how Hunter Shea builds the story, You feel the main characters inner conflict, and turmoil in the beginning, but his desire
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was really good. Fast paced with a very interesting premise. What if X-Ray glasses actually worked? And what if they worked too well? The main character, Martin Blackstone was such a scumbag but I found myself laughing out loud at his lurid thoughts. Shea did a great job at fleshing out his character quickly. I liked how the author gradually kicked things up a notch as the story progressed. I thoroughly enjoyed this story with my only quibble being that I wish the ending was a little strong ...more
Sarah Davies
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it

Put on a pair of “X-Ray” glasses and things will never look the same! These almost magical specs will make you the hit of the party! Astonishing three-dimensional X-Ray visions of what your friends—and girls—look like under their clothes! And all for just $1.


Martin Blackstone punishes his son for wasting his allowance on a pair of flimsy cardboard sunglasses X-ray vision . . . yeah, right. Martin tries them on just for the hell of it
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hunter Shea does it again! He's the guy that makes horror fun. Yes, it's a little creepy and - at times - gross, but he also seems to make it fun. Once again, something goes horribly wrong after someone orders something from the back of a comic book. (I always used to wonder about those ads.)

Poor kid - his father takes away his 3-D glasses but daddy pays. Have to admit the dad in this was a bit of a dick. I didn't really feel very sorry for him. (Why was that woman still with him?) He wears them
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, ng, horror
Note: e-ARC received through NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. Thanks to Kensington Books.

Optical Delusion is a slow build novella that comes off a bit like a trashy uncle at times. It poses the basic question of what would you do if the X-Ray specs you got from the comic book advertisement actually worked and then some. For the protagonist/antagonist, the answer is that he is willing to go further and further since he's a bit of a frustrated husband with a kid and doesn't have the best relat
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

Ha ha! I get a kick out of Hunter Shea’s little almost short stories.

In this one, Martin Blackstone “borrows” his son’s magical X-ray glasses. Purchased for a buck from a comic book, the glasses promise that you can see through stuff. Marty tries them and all they do is give him a headache. But he can’t seem to quit wearing them. Then strange things begin to happen.

It’s magic! It’s science! He begins to see through people’s clothes! And more! He wins at poker with his buddies for he can
Dez Nemec
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, arc
Optical Delusion is the second book of the Mail Order Massacres Trilogy. Although the basic premise is the same (a boy orders one of the "special" items from the back of a comic book), this book is vastly different than the previous one, Just Add Water.

Martin marches upstairs one night to gather his son Brian's friend, Noel, and walk him home. As a cheer-up gift for having chicken pox, Noel has purchased himself and Brian x-ray glasses from the back of a comic book. Martin puts on the glasses, w
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, ebook, fiction, novella
The biggest excitement in Marty's life is enjoying a beer while drooling at Jaclyn Smith in Charlie's Angels. He hates Jimmy Carter, work, limited beers midweek and noisy kids but loves Mork and Mindy. He leads an ordinary life until the day his son and his best friend buy cheap X Ray glasses from a mail order segment in a comic. When his son complains of headaches from the glasses, for fun, Marty tries them on-and is surprised to notice that he can see under a layer of his wife's clothing.

Jarrod Scarbrough
This was a fun little tale! Imagine xray specs actually working? our main character finds a pair that does. He starts off seeing nice things, underpants and boobs, but it soon turns disastrous for him as he starts to see the inner most secrets of a person's soul, and to make matters worse, the glasses have fused themselves into his skin! A shame we didn't have time to explore the latent homosexual tendenciesmof the main character (who would quickly turn away in fright at the sight of a man's pen ...more
Toni Boughton
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty darn good horror story. I say 'story' and not 'novel', because it was just too short. The author had a fascinating idea - X-ray specs that actually work - and I would have loved to have read more about these glasses. The characters were interesting, if tending a little to one-dimensional, and the descriptions of the X-ray glasses effects were visceral.

I definitely recommend this for lovers of gory horror and quick reads.

*free copy from NetGalley*
Not quite as good as the previous Mailorder Massacre 'Just Add Water', but still lots of fun. This novella begins much slower and takes its time to get into the author's typical horror overdrive mode.
Curiously, I enjoyed the calm beginning much more than the fast-paced but also rushed horror it culminated into towards the end. I wonder if there will be more parts to this series - I sure hope so.
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Hunter Shea is the author of over 25 books, with a specialization in cryptozoological horror that includes The Jersey Devil, The Dover Demon, Loch Ness Revenge and many others. As part of the new horror line at Flame Tree Press, his novel Creature has gained critical acclaim. His novel, The Montauk Monster, was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. A trip to the Internati ...more

Other books in the series

Mail Order Massacres (3 books)
  • Just Add Water (Mail Order Massacres #1)
  • Money Back Guarantee (Mail Order Massacres #3)

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