Tag Archives: John Everson

The Covenant – John Everson

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A covenant is an agreement between two parties to either do or not do something. If the word covenant sounds old and slightly sinister, you’re starting to get a feel of where the story is going.

Joe is a young newspaper reporter that is escaping heartbreak and loss from the mean streets of Chicago and moves to the small coastal hamlet of Terrel. For a reporter, Terrel is pretty mundane and boring. There are no real stories to sink your teeth into. So when he gets wind that a local teenager took a swan dive from the top of the cliff overlooking the ocean, Joe is all about finding out what happened. When he discovers that people have been offing themselves from this spot since there was lighthouse perched up there a 100 years ago, Joe smells a story that gets his juices flowing. The problem is no one is talking. The sheriff and his editor want him to leave the story alone. Not one of the victim’s parents will say a word and treat him like he’s a disease. What is going on here?

Covenant won a Bram Stoker Award for First Novel for Everson and you can see shades of why. At times, the writing and story reminds me somewhat of Charles L. Grant. That’s a good thing. But there are times when the marriage between old school eerieness and splatterpunk rape scenes don’t seem to mesh all that well. Why many of the characters let themselves get into the covenant, in the first place, isn’t entirely convincing. And you’ll want to scream at the top of your lungs when it appears Joe has all the answers in the book he eventually holds in his hands and then acts as if he can’t be bothered to read it. So yes, there are some warts. But, overall, Covenant is a pretty good offering by Everson that shows tell-tale signs that it is his first novel.

3 1/2 horny demons out of 5
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Best New Werewolf Tales, Vol. 1 -Edited by Carolina Smart

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A compilation of short stories all pertaining to…you guessed it. Aahhrrrooooo! There were some absolute gems and a few clunkers. My absolute favorites were Maberry, Meikle, Newman, and Smith. Here’s the breakdown of each story:
Like Part of the Family – Jonathan Maberry

Mr. Hunter is a private detective that moved to Philadelphia. He can be very persuasive to get what he wants. Even if he’s up against something not quite human. Great story.

5 out of 5 stars
Baby – James Roy Daley

It’s good to know who the man really is that you’re marrying, especially if you ever plan to have a family with him.

4 out of 5 stars
Anniversary – John Everson

Every month Margaret prepares for her date with Charles when the moon is full. When the sex is that good, you’ll do anything for your partner no matter how unorthodox their relationship is.

4 out of 5 stars
The Virgin O’ Full Moon Falls – James Newman

Quick little tale of revenge when a pack of rednecks attack the high school virgin queen.

5 out of 5 stars
The Trojan Plushy – David Bernstein

Another revenge tale that combines the werewolf with witchcraft and the Trojan Horse. Has a Twilight Zone-kind of feel.

4 out of 5 stars
Jesus When The Sun Goes Down – Simon McCaffery

The church camp counsellors are hell-bent to save the souls of their campers. But, who is going to save the counsellors?

5 out of 5 stars
Three Dog Night – John F.D. Taff

An animal control officer brings in a strange stray dog.

4 out of 5 stars
Grandma, What Big Teeth You Have – Rob Rosen

Grammy has a secret. Sammy thinks he know what is. He’s right…and he’s wrong.

4 out of 5 stars
Scarred For Life – Michael Laimo

Fairly predictable yarn about the birth of a father’s child.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Hairs and Graces – William Meikle

Set in a fairy tale, magical and medieval Britain which makes for the perfect setting for a werewolf story. A female investigator is hired by a Lord to find the original owner of a belt he recently purchased. Ah, but this is no ordinary belt. Love, love this story. The only downside is that it ended when I wanted it to keep going. But, isn’t that the sign of a good story – you don’t want it to end?

5 out of 5 stars
Out of the Light – Douglas Smith

Jan is a hunter of shape-shifters from the old country. After a tragic mistake takes the life of the girl he loved, Jan moves to Toronto into the big city and away from their habitat. But as time passes, all things evolve. Great story.

5 out of 5 stars
Hungry Like The Moon – Rob E. Boley

A tale about what happens if you’re a werewolf and are caught in the zombie apocalypse. Nice merge of genres.

4.5 out of 5 stars
Unlucky Moon – T.J. May

Be careful when you answer those ads on Craigslist.

3.5 out of 5 stars
A Taste of Blood and Roses – David Niall Wilson

A woman’s disabled veteran husband is a werewolf. While the writing was decent, the story had no substance and went nowhere.

2.5 out of 5 stars
Under A Civil Moon – John Grover

Werewolves Union soldiers racing through the south. This southern belle knows what to do. Not a lot of meat in this story to gnaw on.

2.5 out of 5 stars
Unleashed – Nina Kiriki Hoffman

What to do about childcare when you’re a new mom AND a werewolf. Could’ve been so much more entertaining than this mess.

2 out of 5 stars

Steak – Randall Lahrman

Turning into a werewolf is like discovering the Fountain of Youth. Simple and fun story.

3.5 stars out of 5
Silver Anniversary – Stephen M. Wilson

Wedding gifts can come in handy. Another simple, fun one.

3.5 stars out of 5

Buy A Goat For Christmas – Anna Taborska

A werewolf attacks an African village, but the blacksmith has a secret weapon. Great storytelling with a nicely fleshed out setting

4.5 stars out of 5
Sq389 – David Wesley Hill

A werewolf attack in virtual reality, blah, blah, blah. Don’t even waste your time.

1/2 star out of 5
You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1JOKW56F2Y

Failure – John Everson

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Three losers… Cind was cheating her way through high school. Sal couldn’t get a girl and Raymond botched multiple attempts at killing himself. When a mysterious stranger offers Sal the best weed he’s ever smoked if he’ll get two other people to have sex while the stranger watches, he wonders “what’s the catch?” Did the stranger fail to mention that they would be having the sex on the floor of the basement covered with a huge pentagram drenched in blood while the stranger recites strange incantations? Probably not. But the pot IS really good and besides, what could possibly go wrong?

While reading Failure, the AC/DC song If You Want Blood… kept popping up in my mind and rightfully so. This is my first Everson story and this one is full of the red stuff. It is definitely not for the squeamish and the story is told in a very tongue-in-cheek way that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Its a fun tale that I thoroughly enjoyed and I suggest that you give it a try too.

4 sacrifices out of 5
You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1JOKW56F2YT