This novel is the deepest, darkest, crazy-ass, dirty, nastiest noir I have ever read. Seriously. Bleak, unforgiving, relentless, I needed to shower twice when I finished. If you're one of those that think no one is writing kickass books anymore, crawl up from under that rock and buy this damn book. This is the first of a series, each book will feature an all new cast and story, all focused on the back alleys of that windy city we call Chicago, home of The Night Stalker. So it's dark, right, but there's light at the end of that tunnel, and our hero finds it, and pulls himself up from the depths of Hell and finds a way to make it all right. Well, maybe not all right, but he gets what he deserves. YOU owe it to yourself to download this book right now. ...more
Axel Taiari’s A Light To Starve By is the epitome of Vampire Noir. We are at once thrust into a nightmare set in the near future in the world’s most bAxel Taiari’s A Light To Starve By is the epitome of Vampire Noir. We are at once thrust into a nightmare set in the near future in the world’s most beautiful city, Paris, France. Vampires and Werewolves are common knowledge. They rule the night. The Church goes military, developing a vaccine to keep the humans safe, and training mercs to take down the vampires any way possible.
Axel knows he’s not reinventing wheel with these vampires. He just maxed the horsepower and peaked the torque on that wheel and pushed the genre to its limits. His vampires have bite, and generally see humans as a food source. Violence reigns, but that’s not what will keep you reading. It’s unpredictable yet logical, which is the very definition of creating legendary fiction. And there’s love. This is not your sister’s Twilight, not your Sookie Stackhouse fang-banger wet dream. This is the future of the vampire, where the fearsome creature of the night comes full circle, poisoning our nightmares and making us afraid to be alone in the dark.
Let us hope that Axel can bring us more from this hellish world he’s created. We need it....more
John Hornor Jacobs is quickly making a name for himself in the Horror fiction world. I recently finished his debut novel Southern Gods and now find myJohn Hornor Jacobs is quickly making a name for himself in the Horror fiction world. I recently finished his debut novel Southern Gods and now find myself compelled to tell everyone I know about this book. When it comes to Horror fiction, I tend to be very fussy and extremely critical. With so many titles hitting the shelves every month, I don’t have time to weed through the duds to find a gem. Fortunately, my own social media connections brought this book to my attention, and for once I’m glad I’m on Twitter.
Let’s get something out of the way right now. I already know what some of you are thinking. “Blues guitarist, sold his soul to the Devil. Isn’t this Crossroads (NOT the Britney Spears movie!) and Angel Heart mixed up together?”
Though the initial premise is the same, Jacobs’ novel simply uses that motif as a springboard to delve into deeper and darker things. Truth be told, William Hjortsberg’s novel Falling Angel more than likely served as a massive influence. Of course, that’s like saying the Bible is influential to Christians. Hjortsberg’s novel is paramount to understanding how the Horror/Noir genre works.
Southern Gods shows us a different path for the Horror/Noir genre, a path that is fresh and new and so well-written I’m pissed I didn’t think of it myself. This is the kind of story that spurs feelings of inspiration. Jacob’s writing is confident for a debut novel, and it’s obvious he’s studied his craft. The story opens with a Prologue, something of which I haven’t seen in a while. The opening could serve as a short story on its own, something reminiscent of T.E.D. Klein’s The Ceremonies. While Klein’s novel was an homage to Arthur Machen, Jacobs’ novel leans in a very welcoming Lovecraftian way, and this is definitely where he gets the brownie points from me.
Lovecraft’s themes of cosmic chaos and madness fit well here, and I must applaud Jacobs’ ability to tie it all to a story set in the 1950′s American South and not make it feel forced. This is a very personal story for his characters, and what they have at stake, what they have to risk, is what drives the plot. The dual main characters are strong and memorable. Bull Ingram is a tough guy for hire who isn’t afraid of anyone and doesn’t mind using his fists to achieve his goals. As tough as he is, Bull is also vulnerable and caring. The other main character, Sarah, has just returned to her childhood home with her daughter Franny, escaping a loveless marriage to take care of her dying mother. Through the course of the story, Sarah learns that not everything is as it appears, and that she cannot always follow in someone’s footsteps, sometimes you have to take the lead.
What makes fiction work is an unlikely mix of the unpredictable with the logical. Reader’s don’t want to see what you have in store for them, yet the twists and turns in your story must make sense or they are going to get frustrated. While reading this book, just when I thought I knew what was going to happen next, Jacobs threw something else my way, a twist I didn’t see coming, yet it made so much sense that there really wasn’t any other direction the story could go.
I hate using a rating system, but if I could rate this, and I’ll have to do that when I rate the book on Amazon and B&N, then I’m going to give this one a STRONG 4 and 1/2 stars out of 5. If you like your Horror a little on the Noirish side, and want to read something refreshing and unique, then you must give this book a try. You will not be disappointed.