Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Behind the Door by Mary SanGiovanni


Occult specialist Kathy Ryan returns in this thrilling novel of paranormal horror from Mary SanGiovanni, the author of Chills . . .

Some doors should never be opened . . .

In the rural town of Zarepath, deep in the woods on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, stands the Door. No one knows where it came from, and no one knows where it leads. For generations, folks have come to the Door seeking solace or forgiveness. They deliver a handwritten letter asking for some emotional burden to be lifted, sealed with a mixture of wax and their own blood, and slide it beneath the Door. Three days later, their wish is answered—for better or worse.

Kari is a single mother, grieving over the suicide of her teenage daughter. She made a terrible mistake, asking the powers beyond the Door to erase the memories of her lost child. And when she opened the Door to retrieve her letter, she unleashed every sin, secret, and spirit ever trapped on the other side.

Now, it falls to occultist Kathy Ryan to seal the door before Zarepath becomes hell on earth . . .

Available for Pre-order. This item will be released on August 28, 2018.

This is a series I will most definitely want to stick with. I had previously read "Chills" by the same author which is where I first met the character Kathy Ryan. I loved her then and I love her now. In fact I think she was my favorite part of Chills.
The people in the small town of Zarepath have more than their share of secrets. The deepest and darkest secret of them all is one they have shared amongst the townspeople for generations. Hidden in the woods is a door that can rid you of your misery or it can rain misery upon you if you don't follow the rules. Your request must be in writing and you are in for a world of suffering if it isn't worded exactly the way you intend.
The characters are perfectly imperfect and managed to evoke my sympathy for them even as I raged against the pain that some of them had caused and things they had done. The fright factor is deliciously high and the writing style is imaginative and flows beautifully.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

In the same vein as A handmaid's Tale, Vox is the story of a dystopian America where the female population is oppressed after a newly elected president and his cronies take steps to bring back the old days when women had no rights. Women are no longer allowed to work outside the home. They can still drive, and go to the grocery store, they can still care for their children, but they are allotted only 100 words per day and there is severe punishment should they speak more than that. They can not read, even instructions from their own doctors will be sealed in an envelope addressed to their husbands. Mail is also only for husbands. Children still attend school but with drastic differences for boys and girls.  There is punishment for sex before marriage, and outside of marriage, and for being homosexual. As Jean tries to do what she can to raise her children under such circumstances, she becomes aware that there is an even more sinister plan in the works. With the current divisiveness in the states this was certainly a timely read.

4 out of 5 stars

I received an advance copy for review.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The House of Nodens by Sam Gafford

In 1975, young Bill Simmons is the new kid in New Milford. Bullied and struggling for acceptance, he meets four other boys who form the ‘the Cemetery League’, a group devoted to the weird, exotic and bizarre in movies, comics and television. Each boy carries their own secrets which combine to come to a violent and fiery conclusion in a lonely Connecticut forest. Now, nearly forty years later, the events of that night come back to haunt Bill Simmons as, one by one, the members of the Cemetery League are targeted by an unknown force that may have unnatural links to their past. Has something, or someone, come to exact a bloody vengeance? And how is it linked to a serial killer’s twenty year spree throughout the Nutmeg State? To answer these questions, Bill Simmons will have to face his greatest fears and the failure that destroyed his life and left him a hopeless alcoholic. But will it be enough?

There's a reason why Bill spends his days alone and lonely in an alcoholic haze. It's his way of coping with a traumatic past. There was a time, when as a child, Bill thought he had made some genuine friends. Boys of a like mind who loved horror movies and super hero comics. Boys who would stick by each other no matter what. Friends that would help each other through any situation, be it bullies or abusive families or just plain loneliness. Slowly at first, that friendship began to change, as something dark and evil was awakened in the woods where the boys would meet. Bill was able to escape it's clutches once, but now it wants him back.
4 out of 5 stars.

This was my first time reading anything by Sam Gafford. I will be on the look out for more. It was this gorgeous and creepy cover that first caught my eye along with a chance to win a free copy. Imagine my shock when I, who never wins anything was randomly selected as one of the lucky winners. Thank you Dark Regions Press!