John C. Foster has written an exceptional gothic mystery, heightened by an atmosphere of ancient New England fishing towns, Puritan folklore, storm-toJohn C. Foster has written an exceptional gothic mystery, heightened by an atmosphere of ancient New England fishing towns, Puritan folklore, storm-tossed seas, and the secrets that lay buried beneath it all. It's the attention to detail that brings out THE ISLE's astounding authenticity, from the eerie lobstermen -- childhood rattles made of crucified lobster shells with a baby tooth inside -- to the insular community traditions so confusing to outsiders, to modern-day characters still bearing names held over from Puritan days, such as Burden Ipswich, Increase Mather, Hatevil Nutter, and so many others. I won't give away THE ISLE's secrets -- nor the Isle's secrets -- but the gruesome, compelling mystery at the heart of the novel is matched only by its horrific resolution. THE ISLE is Foster's best work yet, and I hope it marks the start of an exciting new direction in his writing: New England gothic!...more
I blurbed this one! Here's what I wrote: "AFTER PIE is a rollicking, freewheeling, hilarious, and suspenseful adventure that ranks up there with StefaI blurbed this one! Here's what I wrote: "AFTER PIE is a rollicking, freewheeling, hilarious, and suspenseful adventure that ranks up there with Stefan Petrucha's best work. What a trip! I guarantee you won't forget Shelley and Beep anytime soon!" -- Nicholas Kaufmann, author of IN THE SHADOW OF THE AXE and 100 FATHOMS BELOW...more
"We play fucking metal! I don't want to sing about your sad feelings! I want dragons."
Grady Hendrix's WE SOLD OUR SOULS may wear the skin of a road-tr"We play fucking metal! I don't want to sing about your sad feelings! I want dragons."
Grady Hendrix's WE SOLD OUR SOULS may wear the skin of a road-trip horror novel, but at its heart it's a love letter to metal, music, creativity, and never selling out. It's heartfelt and, at times, as brutal as any modern horror novel, yet it's also filled with in-jokes and references for readers who listen to the right kind of music. (Not all of it is metal. If you're a fan of Joan Jett's early band the Runaways you're in good company here.)
I can't speak highly enough about how authentically Hendrix has written about being in a band and, more poignantly, the bleak period that comes after, when you're no longer making music and are forced to take crappy, low-skilled jobs and move back in with your parents. The dark side of the rock-and-roll dream -- what happens when you don't make it big -- is rarely explored in fiction, but in Hendrix's novel it cuts like a knife. The supernatural elements are compelling and smartly underplayed, but horror fans will still love it. So will metal fans. But WE SOLD OUR SOUL's true strength lies in its character study of Kris Pulaski, the guitarist who almost made it big but, right on the cusp of greatness, lost everything. The other members of her band, Dürt Würk, are also extremely well drawn, but this is Kris's story, and Hendrix brings her to life so well I felt like I've known her for years. WE SOLD OUR SOUL is a fun novel, but it's also special one for anyone who has ever faced the trials and frustrations of trying to be a creative artist.
By the way, Dürt Würk's TROGLODYTE sounds like a great album, and I would absolutely listen to it if it were real!...more
Catching up with our favorite, all-too-human D&D monsters, STEVE LICHMAN, VOL. 2 finds the characters dealing with petty jealousy, peer pressure,Catching up with our favorite, all-too-human D&D monsters, STEVE LICHMAN, VOL. 2 finds the characters dealing with petty jealousy, peer pressure, misguided 1980s Sunset Strip fashions, porn addiction, an organized crime syndicate run by a talking frog, a keytar-playing Bard, all-out war between dungeons, and the perils of ordering too much Meat Lover's Pizza from Pizza Hut. Along the way readers will find hilarious riffs on everything from THE LOST BOYS and Stephen King's IT to Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and Francis Ford Coppola's DRACULA.
Rapoza and Warren's humor is as sly and knowing as ever, and the art perfectly captures both detail and emotion. The storyline that has Ben the Beholder being pursued by a child molester was a little too much for me, but other than that I loved STEVE LICHMAN, VOL. 2 as much as VOL. 1. I just wish that A) these volumes came out more frequently, and B) they were widely available to the general readership and not just to Kickstarter donors. I personally know a lot of people who would love to read about Steve the big-hearted Lich King, Flay the sarcastic Mind Flayer, Ollie the deeply insecure Owlbear, and the rest of the gang if only they could find these books in bookstores!...more
David Demchuk's beautiful, hauntingly written novel THE BONE MOTHER is told in a series of monologues by the inhabitants of an Eastern European town oDavid Demchuk's beautiful, hauntingly written novel THE BONE MOTHER is told in a series of monologues by the inhabitants of an Eastern European town on the cusp on World War II, as well as their descendants in the modern day. But these are no ordinary characters -- many of them are supernatural beings, creatures out of folklore who live there in relative peace and prosperity, sheltered from the outside world and working at the local thimble factory. Think Edgar Lee Masters' SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY meets Clive Barker's CABAL. But as World War II breaks out across Europe, a special force known as the Night Police comes for the residents of the town, persecuting them, rounding them up, and killing them. It put me in mind of the treatment of the Jews and other so-called "undesirables" by the Nazis, and I'm sure that's no accident. Demchuk's writing is exquisite, as one might expect from an award-winning playwright, and his imagination seems boundless. THE BONE MOTHER is a deeply powerful and touching novel that will leave you forever changed....more