Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Lost Girl - A Fear Street Novel by R.L. Stine

"Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine's bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine's avid fan base of teen readers and adults. New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael's friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror"

 I have bought a lot of R.L. Stine books over the years but this is my first time actually reading one. I bought all the Goosebumps for my son when he was little. Then in his early teens I bought him all the Fear Street series. I watched the TV shows with him and recently even rewatched the Haunting Hour on Netflix because I enjoyed the R.L. Stine series so much, but as a woman in my 40s it just never occurred to me to read something that is targeted at teens or YA I'm only sorry I waited so long!

This is a stand alone story, as in you will not need to have read previous books in the  Fear Street series but you will certainly want to!

This is a story within a story, part happening now and part what has happened nearly 70 years ago.

New student Lizzy shows up in town, nobody knows anything about her other than wherever she goes she always seems to be lost. She latches on to. Michael and he and his girlfriend Pepper and their friends try to befriend her. There is something not quite right about Lizzy and the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems.  This is a very fast paced story with lots of thrills and chills. Though it is intended for a younger audience, adults who enjoy a good spooky story can enjoy it too. R.L. Stine can both scare and entertain without needing the distraction of excessive blood or gore.

I received an advance copy for review

Tell The Story To Its End by Simon P. Clark

Tell the Story to Its End
"Tell the story to its end," says Eren with a grin.His yellow eyes are glowing like embers in the night.
"When I reach the end," I say, "what happens? You'll have the whole story."
"Hmm," he says, looking at me and licking his lips with a dry, grey tongue. "What happens then? Why don't we find out?"

Tell the Story to Its End by Simon P. Clark
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was anxious to read this book after seeing the beautiful cover and reading the description. The illustrations are lovely as well.This is the story of a 12 year old boy Oli who goes with his mother to spend time at his aunt and uncle’s home though he does not really know why, nor why his father is not able to be with them. The target audience is children approximately Oli’s age though I felt the heavy atmosphere, slow pace, and sometimes confusing story may dissuade readers of that age group. There is an ominous oppressing feeling through out and though I really liked the concept of Oli meeting the beast in the attic who feeds on stories, the story itself did not seem to go anywhere. I didn’t really feel any connection with the characters and I felt as if the end of the story just left me hanging.
I received a complimentary copy for review

View all my reviews

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Year Of Yearning By Jeff Harmsen

Description "Part dreamy time machine, part acid flashback, The Year of Yearning delves into the titillating mishaps of two quirky cousins from Kingston Ontario. While attending their final year of high school in 1978, Miles and Jo Martini succumb to profound infatuation; albeit, from entirely different perspectives.

The well read and romantic cousin attempts to woo a raven haired beauty by slipping his heartfelt poem into her locker. The athletic, somewhat crass cousin pursues a Wiccan Bombshell with nothing more than wishful thinking, held spellbound by her love potions and provocative whimsy.

Shocking, mind boggling complications beset both cousins, including a brutal beating and a humiliation common to guys who fall for hot, promiscuous women. Miles and Jo survive their darkest hours by supporting each other. In the end, they want what most of us want, the warmth of a meaningful relationship, like slipping into a cozy cotton sweater on a frigid night in winter.

Brazenly sexual and uniquely bizarre, this novel is heavy with heartache and great awakenings, heady with love and lust churning, all within The Year of Yearning."

I'm not sure how I would categorize this book if pressed to do so, but I can say it was an enjoyable read. Part thriller, part romance, The Year Of Yearning is a fun coming of age tale that mainly tells of the lives, loves and teen angst of cousins/best pals Miles and Jo, Interspersed with humor, a bit of supernatural, and lots of action.

I received a complimentary copy from the author for review

The Horror Challenge Volume I by J.H. Glaze

"Welcome to J.H. Glaze's unique brand of horror. The first volume of "The Horror Challenge" includes 14 short stories that provide the thrills you seek in a good horror tale. From the sentimental story of haunting, 'Spooky', and comical alien abduction tale, 'Bob Saves the World', to the final story in this collection, you will find yourself wildly entertained with the stories created by the author in response to suggestions from his readers."      

 This book was quite short and I was able to read it in a single day. I would not really call these "short stories" but flash fiction, super short, and to the point. It was a fun read but nothing really frightening or scary about it.                                                                 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mouthful Of Carrion (Three Days Until Midnight book 1) by Ian Woodhead

From the publisher
'Two decades have passed since that deadly mutagen turned most of our species into the walking dead. Now, millions of blighted corpses migrate across the land, consuming everything in their path.
The few surviving humans live a Nomadic existence, foraging for what little scraps they can find.
In this ravaged world, a lone hunter searches for his human sister, vowing revenge on whoever dared to rip her away from him. She had cared and looked after him, ever since the outbreak, nurturing the hunter, helping him come to grips with his affliction. 
Part human, part zombie, the hunter had relied on her to rein in his base instincts, to stop him from feasting on warm human flesh."

Three Days Until Midnight is a different take on the zombie apocalypse. Not just the usual human against zombie survival story, we also have "hunters" part human part zombie. This is mainly the story of one hunter in particular Colin and how he came to be, and his search for his sister in this new sometimes gut wrenching world.The story begins about 20 years after the virus took hold and we are told in flashbacks how this world came to be. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, it gets quite gruesome and graphic at times. Anyone who enjoys a good zombie story should give this one a read.
I received an advance copy to review.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Beast Of Barcroft By Bill Schweigart

From the publisher "Ben McKelvie believes he’s moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, D.C., suburb of Barcroft. Instead, he’s moving down—way down—thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health.

First, Ben’s fiancée leaves him; then, his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine’s noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he’s not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn’t possibly exist—in this world.

Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals"

When I first read the description I thought this just may be a little too crazy... even for me. I mean a zoologist? a cryptozoologist? not my usual cup of tea but the comparison to Bentley Little made it a must read for me and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this book. Plus I can totally relate to having horrible neighbors that attract all manner of filth and vermin so I felt bad for Ben straight off before I even realized that my neighbor infesting us with fleas was nothing compared to what's hanging around Ben's neighborhood. I am so looking forward to the sequel "Northwoods" that will be coming out next year.

I received an advance copy for review

Monday, September 21, 2015

Santa- By Nicola Mar


"Spanning the course of a few weeks, Santa; details the physical and emotional deterioration of June, a victim of severe bullying after she survives an attack by her classmates. With no one and nothing to trust but faith, she struggles with the idea that the human spirit may not exist"
Ten percent of the sales of this book will be donated to Project Semicolon, an organization providing love and support to those who are struggling with depression, self-injury, and suicide. Visit them online at www.projectsemicolon.org

As a woman, and as a mom  I found this to be a difficult read but I suppose that speaks in favor of how realistic this story feels. Santa is the tale of a teen girl who is bullied both in person and over the internet, attacked, assaulted, raped and shamed to the point that she would rather die than live another day this way. It could have easily been taken from the headlines and was in fact inspired by such headlines. Schools claim a zero tolerance policy and yet they apply such policies to little boys who chew pop tarts into inappropriate shapes while they do little to nothing about the torment millions of students face daily in their halls.

I received a copy in exchange for review

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Seize The Night-New Tales Of Vampiric Terror

New short stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon

Simply brilliant. I devoured these stories one by one, like a sugar addict in a candy store finding each to be more delicious than the one that came before. I hated for it to end.  From the first story to the final word any horror lover will be unable to put this book down. Vampire lovers rejoice there is originality and terror overflowing in these pages.
I received an advance copy for review

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dark Screams Volume 5

Mick Garris, J. Kenner, Kealan Patrick Burke, Del James, and Bentley Little pry open a sarcophagus of horror and dread in Dark Screams: Volume Five, from Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the esteemed Cemetery Dance Publications.

It was supposed to be the night of his life: a celebration of his one hit slasher flick. But the price of admission is higher than this has-been filmmaker ever could have imagined.

When he was seven, Will Underwood’s nanny told him she had the Sight. Years later, a broken heart sends him to New Orleans . . . but it’s fate that leads him to Madame Darkling’s Voodoo Emporium. 

THE LAND OF SUNSHINE by Kealan Patrick Burke
Although she was mute long before the affair that nearly wrecked their marriage, her silence has tortured her husband ever since. Now he will seek out what he has lost—or be driven mad by remorse.

Arnold loves his ’68 Camaro almost as much as he loves his wife, and he’s willing to do anything to protect them both—especially after hearing strange noises coming from his garage.

THE PLAYHOUSE by Bentley Little
A real-estate agent is drawn into a children’s playhouse behind an abandoned property she’s trying to sell—and finds herself strangely reluctant to leave.

Dark Screams Volume 5 contains 5 short horror stories
First up in this collection is the very enjoyable  Everything You’ve Always Wanted by Mick Garris. This is the story of the guest of honor at "Monsterthon", a convention of horror fans and horror has beens revisiting their glory days. When he meets a fan who has a movie of her own for him to view, what he sees leads to a horrifying yet some what comedic turn of events in which he learns it may be best not to get everything he ever wanted, because in the end happiness is fleeting while the cost is permanent.
Next up is The Land of Sunshine By Kealan Patrick Burke
Most of us have been in a relationship where we have been betrayed, or we lost that lovin’ feeling, Maybe our partner lost that feeling. But  is it really just a feeling or is it something more tangible that has been lost. Can it ever be found?
The third entry Mechanical Gratitude by Del James is
sort of a love story with a twilight zone vibe to it, and it was my favorite of the bunch.
Next is The one and only by J kenner
A broken hearted college student heads off to New Orleans with friends after a break up and finds out for himself whether or not Voodoo is real or just for tourists.
Last but by all means not least is The Playhouse by Bentley Little
A real Estate agent’s ordinary work day is anything but, as she discovers in the playhouse of the untended backyard of her new listing.. This story actually gave me chills.
All in all this collection is well worth a read.

I received an advance copy in exchange for review.