Tag Archives: Horror Fiction

Where Wolves Run – Jason Parent

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Jason Parent is kicking out some very impressive material here lately and Where Wolves Run is absolutely phenomenal. Set in the old country, young Konrad watches from the hiding place under the Bavarian cottage floor as his mother is torn apart by unknown hairy beasts. Trapped and unable to see exactly what happened, his father rescues and enlightens him about the events that unfolded. Werewolves. Unknown to Konrad, his father has been hunting them for years and it’s time to train his son to help avenge his dead mother.

Where Wolves Run has the feel of the Lon Chaney Jr classics from the Universal Days. I loved the setting of old Bavaria and I didn’t want the story to end. Parent does a great job at taking something old and giving us something new. Grab this quick read and experience it for yourself.

 

5 Silver Daggers out of 5

 

This ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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With Fury in Hand – Lee Thompson

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The mean streets of Flint, Michigan have been known to chew up many an innocent soul and spit it out. For five individuals, change is in the air like a breeze of desperation. Unknown to them, their lives will intertwine in a chaotic storm of death.

With Fury in Hand is a gritty tale that oozes with despair and locks it’s icy grip onto your throat taking your breath away. No matter how much you struggle, you can’t change what’s unfolding in front of you. This is my first story by Thompson and I’m impressed at his realistic characters and his ability to ratchet up the dread. You can see what’s happening, but you’re helpless to do anything about it. My only criticism, and it’s a small one, is that the story felt a little too convenient in how it wraps around full circle.

4 Bullet Holes out of 5

 

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The Translators – Gord Rollo

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When John Taylor was a boy, he and his father were out riding a motorcycle when they were abducted by aliens. John was returned with a fuzzy memory of what happened and strange voices in his head that tell him things. His father wasn’t so lucky. He disappeared without a trace. Left to grow up without a father and the constant chatter inside his brain that the doctors think is schizophrenia, which John is able to keep at bay by taking psych meds. That is, except for once a month when he uses the voices to tell him the winning numbers at the roulette table in Atlantic City. He thinks that no one is the wiser until his wife is trying to get a promotion at the local radio station and uses John to come on and tell his story of the Translators in his head. Little did John know that the government has been watching him and his special abilities and now they need to cash in on his expertise to be able to translate any language through the voices in his head. You see, the end of the world is coming and it’s not going to be from global warming, nuclear war, or genocide. It’s going to be coming from outer space and the aliens that abducted John when he was little and the government needs his help. Will it be too late to save man kind?

The Translator is a unique Apocalyptic tale from Gord Rollo, the man that brought us the gems The Jigsaw Man and Valley of the Scarecrow. He uses his imaginative vision to carve out the approaching end of the world using everything from Area 51 and Roswell, NM to the Loch Ness Monster, Manchu Pichu, and his take on the Bible’s Revelations. John is a three-dimensional character that you soon feel for and I love the take on the whole Area 51 and Mayan end of the world calendars. However, I wasn’t crazy with the biblical battle at the end. It seemed a tad hokey and had the “what’s the point?”factor going on. But, that’s a small complaint for great characters and crisp writing. Rollo has been MIA the past couple of years and that’s sad to see. He is definitely a talent that I have come to know and love and hope that he’s able to get back into kicking out more works of his imagination on a more regular basis.

4 Horseman of the Apocolypse out of 5 (or was it 4?)

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Exorcist Falls – Jonathan Janz

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Janz has done it again. I’ve been crowing about how great Exorcist Road was ever since I turned the last page two years ago. Much to my delight, Janz is continuing where he left off with Father Jason Crowder exercising young Casey Hartman’s demon from his teenage body. Unfortuanately, the demon didn’t go away. Neither did the Sweet Sixteen Killer. Now it’s up to Father Crowder to finish what he started and bring the killer to justice and dispose of the demon once and for all.

Exorcist Falls also contains the first story, Exorcist Road, between it’s covers. This makes it convenient for those that haven’t read it yet or who would like to reacquaint themselves with it since it’s original publisher, Samhain Publishing, closed it’s horror doors earlier this year. Janz’s writing is superb and you’ll find yourself amazed at the vocabulary this guy has. I’m not too proud to admit that I used the DEFINE feature on Kindle many times and I’d like to think of myself as well read. Not only is his word choices spot on, but his characters really make the story come to life. Danny Hartman is as despicable as they come and the demon, Malephar, is no cherub. I also enjoyed how the story had me guessing the whole way as it’s evolution was revealed one page at a time. And lets not forget the red stuff because Janz sure didn’t. There are definitely some scenes that will make even the strongest constitution weaken and cringe. All in all, an absolute blast to read and I’m happy to find out from the man himself that there will be a third installment in the Exorcist series. I’m all ready to hit the pre-order button just as soon as it pops up on Amazon.

5 Demons Controlling a Razor Blade out of 5
This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Take The Long Way Home – Brian Keene

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During rush hour traffic, a loud trumpet sound blats across the landscape with ear-deafening volume. Auto accidents, plane crashes, and fires ensue. For a carpooling foursome, they end up as one of the casualties and after the dust settles, they find their driver with half his head missing due to a length of pipe from the truck ahead of them poking through the windshield and shearing off his cranium. Now Steve, Charlie, and Frank are trying to shake off the shock of what happened and make their way home. They discover that, when the trumpet sounded, people all across the world disappeared. Where they went, no one knows, but many different rumors are being circulated. As the trio attempts to stumble home, they learn about the duality of man’s behavior during a crisis in an up front and personal way.

Take The Long Way Home is Keene’s version of a what might happen on Judgement Day. It blends King’s The Long Walk with the Bible and makes for an enjoyable read. As always with Keene, it’s about the characters, and he drafts very personable ones. The journey is worth the price of admission here and the unsettling feeling of nervousness of what is lurking around the next mile marker is thick, making this a real pager turner.

4 Guardian Angels out of 5
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Blue Demon – David Bernstein

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The Blue Demon is a cartoon character that Dan used to watch when he was a child. The cartoon only lasted three years, but when he stumbled upon the series many years later, he immediately wanted to share it with his son, Cal. Cal loved it and this became something that father and son could bond over. The Blue Demon exacted revenge on the enemies of those it protected, at least that’s how story goes. The rumor has it that the Blue Demon legend was around long before the cartoon came out. So, when Dan happens to find a limited edition Blue Demon action figure from back in the day, little did he know how true the legend was.

Bernstein’s story reads like an episode of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories from back in the Eighties, except this one has teeth…and claws. He does a nice job keeping the story moving without becoming too hokey. The plight of Cal growing up is one that’ll tug on your heart strings and that breathes life into a story that you can figure out fairly easy what the outcome will be. With Bernstein’s wonderful characterization, you won’t care because the fun was in the journey and not the destination.

4 Amputations out of 5

This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Emerging (Book Two, Subdue series) – Thomas S. Flowers

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Book 2 of the Subdue series, Emerging, picks up where Dwelling (book 1) left off. The remaning members of the Suicide Squad are holding on by a thread. Johnathan is still haunted by his dead friend and has turned to the bottle to cope with it all while his marriage crumbles. Jake is losing his faith and is about to lose his job as a priest. Bobby is still homeless running away from the evil that he becomes every 30 days when the moon is full. And Maggie, poor sweet Maggie. For reasons unkown to her, she is compelled to purchase a house in Jotham that her and the other members of the Suicide Squad visited when they were kids. Also unknown to her, and the rest of the Squad, is why they all can’t remember the horrors that happened to them when they entered the house so many years ago. With every member’s sanity teetering on the edge, Maggie gets ahold of them and requests that they all come visit her at the Jotham house. Unfortunately, the evil that they can’t seem to remember still resides in that house on top of the hill and it’s waiting.

Emerging is more of the same good formula that made Dwelling such a page turner. The characters are realistic and flawed. Flowers’ descriptive storytelling has me feeling like I’m the sixth member of the Suicide Squad, but I’m stuck watching the horror unfold and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it to warn the others. That’s good stuff. The slow burn writing style reminds me of Charles L. Grant, and that’s not a bad thing. Some might say that the story bogs down in the middle with not much going on and they wouldn’t be completely wrong, but I’m ok with it. Again, I like how Flowers builds things up in anticipation of the payday at the end. Also, some might say that Emerging can be read by itself without reading book one, Dwelling, and I would disagree. Sure, you COULD do it, but why would you want to? This is a three-part story and you’d be coming in at the middle without fully knowing what happened to lead up to book two. No thank. I’m fully vested in this series and you should be too. If you haven’t read book one, do it. And once you’re done, grab Emerging and keep immersed in the horrors that the Suicide Squad have fallen into.
4 1/2 Red Eyed Demon Cicadas out of 5
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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