Friday, February 27, 2015

Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews With Horror & Science Fiction Writers And Filmakers by Michael McCarty [4 stars]

From the Description:

Modern Mythmakers is a collection of 35 interviews from horror and science fiction's most influential writers and filmmakers, including Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, Richard Matheson, John Carpenter, John Saul, Joe McKinney, the Night of the Living Dead crew (including John Russo, Kyra Schon and Russ Streiner), Elvira, Whitley Strieber, Christopher Moore, and many more.

Line-up: Foreword by Alan Dean Foster; Forrest J. Ackerman; C. Dean Andersson; Adrienne Barbeau; Ray Bradbury; Ramsey Campbell; John Carpenter; Dan Curtis; Elvira; Rusty Fischer; Neil Gaiman; Mick Garris; Laurell K. Hamilton; George Clayton Johnson; Jack Ketchum; Dean Koontz; Herschell Gordon Lewis; Thomas Ligotti; Bentley Little; Graham Masterton; Richard Matheson; Joe McKinney; Christopher Moore; Night of the Living Dead Crew: John Russo, Kyra Schon, & Russ Streiner; William F. Nolan; Ingrid Pitt; Linnea Quigley; Fred Olen Ray; John Saul; David Snell; Darce Stoker; Peter Straub; Whitley Strieber; Timothy Zahn; Afterword by The Amazing Kreskin. 

The interviews in Modern Mythmakers are fabulous. They are both informative and entertaining. While reading this book I saw a few questions that I want to add to the interviews I do for this blog. Any fan of the horror or sci-fi/fantasy genres will find something to love about these interviews. And the advice from the authors and filmmakers are pure gold for anyone who is trying to get started in these careers. A solid 4 star read.

For a short time you can get Modern Mythmakers for $.99 Hurry before the sale ends!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Doppelganger by Sean Munger [2.5 stars]

From the Description:

The house of madness!
Transplanted from her native Sweden to the drawing rooms and gas-lit parlors of Gilded Age New York, Anine Atherton will want for nothing in the lavish row house her rich new husband bought for her. But Anine’s house doesn’t seem to like people. The caretaker hangs himself in the entryway. The maid drops dead her first day on the job. Anine herself is becoming anxious and terrified, and not just because of the ghostly laughter she hears in the middle of the night. Her gentle, charming husband is slowly turning into a domineering brute. And whatever shadowy entity lives in her house, it can read Anine’s mind and use her darkest secrets against her. The last woman to live in the house went insane. Will Anine be next in line?

I really wanted to like Doppelganger more than I did. It was well written and atmospheric, the house was spooky. It was everything you want a good gothic ghost story to be except,,, And that's the problem. I felt very disconnected from the story. The characters were well written but unlikable to me, so much so I was rooting for the ghost throughout the book. I would give the author another chance based on his descriptions alone but didn't enjoy this 2.5 star read. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Lurking Season by Kristopher Rufty [4 stars]

From the Description:

The legends were true. The creatures were real. And now they’re back!
People have whispered about the tiny humanoid creatures in the woods and cornfields of Doverton for decades. Three years ago a wildfire devoured much of the rural village, but as the ashes were cleared, more questions were uncovered—including abandoned houses, missing people and dead bodies. Since the fire seemed to wipe out the majority of the town’s woodland acres, the murmurs about the creatures have gone quiet. The residents have begun to rebuild their lives, trying to forget about the tragedy that nearly killed them all. Yet the mysteries remained unsolved.
Now a group of people will go there with good intentions, venturing into the dead heart of Doverton, thinking it’s safe. But they will find out that the legend was only sleeping. Now it’s awake. And ready to kill again.

The Haunchies are back and more brutal than ever in the sequel to The Lurkers. In The Lurking Season we get to return to Doverton along with a new cast of characters and a surprising return of a few old ones. This is a fast paced, brutal horror story that isn't safe for the faint of heart. The characters are semi-believable, my main problem came from the actions of a few survivors of sexual assault and one of the scenes toward the end of the book. I'm not going to go into detail because that would require spoilers which I try to avoid. Even with these slight problems the writing is great. A solid 4 star read.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Lurkers by Kristopher Rufty [4 stars]

From the Description:

They’re waiting for you in the woods.

They’ve lived in the woods and cornfields for as long as anyone can remember. Small, humanoid creatures with sharp teeth and grasping hands. The people in what’s left of the nearby town live in fear. They’ve learned that if they let the creatures take what they want, they won’t be attacked. An uneasy peace has reigned. But no more. The leader of the creatures has decided his kind will be dormant no longer. To survive, they must kill. They will satisfy their unholy hunger with their favorite prey—humans. But some humans—females—will be kept alive in captivity… to breed.

The Lurkers is a fun, fast paced novel full of thrills and chills, and things that make you go ewww. The characters are believable and fun, even the Haunchies. Kristopher Rufty knows how to bring the chills and keeps you entertained  is this creepy and sometimes horrific book. A solid 4 star read.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Castle By The Sea: What Waits In The Shadows by JG Faherty [3.5 stars]

From the Description:

How did they get here? Will they ever get out?

Jason and Erika are having a wonderful time at the Halloween carnival...until their swan boat in the Tunnel of Love capsizes amid heavy waves and blaring, maniacal laughter. When they come to they are no longer in a carnival in Ohio, but standing at the edge of a sea in a raging storm. In the distance, atop a high, barren hill, looms an enormous castle.
Instead of answers, Jason and Erika find only more impossibilities within the stone walls. The lavish rooms are lit only by torches and fireplaces, the decorations and furniture are a century out of date, and the mysterious host claims to not own one of those newfangled telephone inventions. Outside, in the storm and the dense mist, lurk strange, threatening figures. Inside, another couple seeking refuge think it must all be a nightmare. Perhaps it is. Or perhaps it’s something much, much worse.

This book grabbed me right away. Jason was a great character and I felt very connected to him right away. I wish that I had felt that way about a few of the other characters but this really didn't take too much away from the story. The parts of the story that had to do with the castle were fabulous! They were atmospheric and engaging. The Professor was a creepy character that ended up being almost sympathetic. The thing that threw me off was the sudden jumps of time and place. That being said the ending was great. This is a good read but not my favorite by JG Faherty. A solid 3.5 stars.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Donny Doesn't Live Here Anymore by Ken Goldman [4.5 stars]

From the Description:

Ken Goldman, author of more than 650 published stories, brings you a 150-page chapbook containing two dark novellas and three of his best twisted tales.

From the psychological serial-killer thrills of the title story to the vehicular horrors of "'Vette Fever", from twisted, suicidal love story of "Hotline" to the wickedly weird artifact in "A Museum Piece", Goldman keeps the reader on the edge of their seats, their Kindles glued to their hands, the reader clinging to the scant light of their ereader as if to a lifeline!

Donny Doesn't Live Here Anymore - First there was the awful incident with Donny and the turtle. Artie, Donny's childhood best friend, could forgive that. Then Donny grew up...

Hotline - What's poor, insecure Phoebe to do when the unstable caller on the other end of the phone thinks he's dialed the suicide hotline?

A Museum Piece - The strange skull in the display supposedly stems from a demonic love triangle. But bewitching tour guide Belinda also has a wicked tale of infidelity to tell...

Sine Qua Non - Cultured, privileged, prim and proper, Timothy will tell you: Trying to kill yourself can be murder!

'Vette Fever - Wally's midlife crisis toy seems to literally be making him younger. But the worship of speed, horsepower and youth demands sacrifices...

With most short story collections some of the stories are good and others not so much. Ken Goldman has managed to raise the bar with this book. All of the stories were really good with a few being great. This collection was hard to put down! My favorites were 'Vette Fever, Museum Piece, and the title story Danny Doesn't Live Here Anymore. A fast and fun 4.5 star read.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Return To The Deep by Michael Bray [4.5 stars]

From the Description:

Held in captivity for five years, the offspring of the creature which brought devastation to the oceans has existed in solitude as the government continue its attempts to genetically engineer without success.
Henry Rainwater has become a drunk and a recluse, a broken man plagued by guilt over the devastation caused by his quest for the creature which ultimately cost his friends their lives.
After a security breach necessitating moving the creature to a new facility is disrupted by a group of animal rights activists, the beast is set free into ocean, forcing those who vowed never to return to face their demons one last time, and for one man whose life was devastated by the first creature to formulate his lethal plan for revenge.
Unbeknownst to them all, flamboyant billionaire Charles Decker had designs of his own on the creature, and will stop at nothing to take it for his own needs no matter the cost, financial or otherwise.
As the creature decimates all that is set before it, unlikely alliances will be formed, trusts broken and lives risked as the individual groups seek to find the creature first for their own agenda, unaware that they will soon become the hunted rather than the hunters…

Usually sequels aren't as good as the original story, but with Return To The Deep Michael Bray has done it again. Created a super fun thrill ride that more than lives up to the expectations created by From The Deep. In this novel we get to catch up with some of my favorite characters and meet a few new ones. My Favorite was Ross Mackay, I really look forward to reading more about his adventures with Henry Rainwater! If you love creature features or just fun action/horror then grab this book! A solid 4.5 star read.