Friday, May 29, 2015

Village Of The Mermaids by Carlton Mellick III [4 stars]

From the Description:

MERMAID [mur-meyd] noun -- a rare species of fish evolved to resemble the appearance of a woman in order to attract male human prey.
Mermaids are protected by the government under the Endangered Species Act, which means you aren't able to kill them even in self-defense. This is especially problematic if you happen to live in the isolated fishing village of Siren Cove, where there exists a healthy population of mermaids in the surrounding waters that view you as the main source of protein in their diet.

The only thing keeping these ravenous sea women at bay is the equally-dangerous supply of human livestock known as Food People. Normally, these "feeder humans" are enough to keep the mermaid population happy and well-fed. But in Siren Cove, the mermaids are avoiding the human livestock and have returned to hunting the frightened local fishermen. It is up to Doctor Black, an eccentric representative of the Food People Corporation, to investigate the matter and hopefully find a way to correct the mermaids' new eating patterns before the remaining villagers end up as fish food. But the more he digs, the more he discovers there are far stranger and more dangerous things than mermaids hidden in this ancient village by the sea.

Like a Lovecraftian version of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, Village of the Mermaids is a dystopian mystery that proves once again how cult author Carlton Mellick III brings the weird to a whole new level.

Village Of The Mermaids is a surreal look at both mermaids and those who must live with them. This book is full of perverse and comical terror. As a fan of Soylent Green, the merchows are brilliant, and the mermaids are creepy and fun. The islanders were like something out of a Lovecraftian story, dour and clannish, mistrustful of outsiders. The writing is atmospheric and wonderful, if Hans Christian Anderson and HP Lovecraft got together and had a lovechild this novella would be it. A fun and twisted story from the bizarre mind of Carlton Mellick III. A solid 4 star read.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ed by Chris Sun [3.5 stars]

From the Description:

Award winning horror writer and director Chris Sun has written his first book.

Ed Gein was like a horrific road accident, a man whose crimes were so depraved and macabre you just couldn't look away. He became the classic horror icon for such fictional characters as Norman Bates, Leatherface and Buffalo Bill. Regardless of the notoriety, nobody would ever really understand Gein like Larry.

Ed was an artist and Larry understood what inspired him. Larry saw the same thing when he looked at human skin, the seductive promise of screaming and pain, the raw unadulterated feeling of power. Unlike Ed Gein who robbed graves for his prize, Larry took pleasure in a warm, living body bleeding into his hands. He took all that pain and terror and turned it into beauty. Just like Ed, Larry took a fucked up world and made it something more.

Nobody could stop him, he held all the power. It didn't matter if you were man, woman, young, old, pretty, ugly, skinny or fat. If you were living and breathing, you were potential art.

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

Ed is American Psycho meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This story is gory and nearly all the characters are twisted. It's a fun and fast paced slasher movie in book form. Unfortunately this book
had two problems for me. The first is that it didn't break any new ground. If you're a fan of extreme horror then you've seen all of this before. It doesn't make the story any less fun to read, just kind of familiar. The second, and much bigger problem for me comes toward the end of the book. There are three different scenarios presented to the reader that could be what's happening with the main character, Larry. I can't really expand on that without spoilers and I try not to give those so I'll just say that it made the ending confusing. I hope it will be cleared up with a sequel. All in all Ed is an enjoyable read for me and my fellow gore hounds. I wouldn't recommend it for the easily offended or squeamish. A solid 3.5 star read.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Spore by Tamara Jones [4 stars]

From the Description:

The dead are coming back. Ten naked people walk from a cemetery into artist Sean Casey's backyard: ten Spore People who used to be dead. One, Mindy, stays with Sean while trying to reclaim her life, but her ex would rather she return to her grave. Sean struggles to protect Mindy and other Spores while battling his recurring-and worsening-nightmares. Meanwhile, the media feeds a panicked frenzy that leads both the hopeful and hateful to Sean's front door. As the Spore fungus spreads, so does the fear. When mutilated children match Sean's nightmares, he realizes his own worst terror may be closer than he thinks.

I received an ARC of this eBook in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel.

Spore is a fast paced story that will have you glued to the pages. Some of the subject matter in Spore is very dark and disturbing so I can't say it was a fun read but it was a very good one. The characters were very believable and realistic. I couldn't wait to find out what was happening with Sean, Mare, and Mindy. Parts of this story made me feel both anger and sadness, and others made me laugh. This was my first book by Tamara Jones but it won't be my last, I can't wait to see what she does next! A solid 4 star read.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hunter: Guy Erma And The Son Of Empire Book Two by Sally Ann Melia [4 stars]

From the Description:

How dare you? How dare you hold me captive?
13-year-old Teodor was taken by the vicious Battle Borgs of Dome and now he must fight to survive.
13-year-old Guy Erma has been offered a chance to fight for his place in the Dome Elite. Only who will be his opponent? Will he face a Battle Borg of Dome?

Once they were heroes. These men died as heroes in battle. Now they have been reincarnated as the fearsome vanguard of the Dome Elite. They are the Battle Borgs of Dome

Two boys as different as any two boys might be. They face the same enemy, the same danger, the same fear - dare they trust each other?

I received an ARC of this book  from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel.

Hunter picks up right where Kidnap (part one) left off, continuing the story of Prince Teodor and Guy Erma. Full of action and suspense this series is a treat for all ages. With Hunter we get to learn more about Regent Sayginn, Prince Teodor's mother, and Karl Valvanchi, Commander of the Zaracan Democratic Forces. Both characters are so realistically portrayed that I could feel their sadness and determination as they searched for the missing Prince. The action scenes found in this book were really well done. Intense but not too much for younger readers. I can't wait for Exile, part three, to come out so that I can find out what happens next in this exciting YA series! A fast paced and fun 4 star read.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MirrorWorld by Jeremy Robinson [5 stars]

From the Description:

Crazy has no memory and feels no fear. Dangerous and unpredictable, he's locked away in SafeHaven, a psychiatric hospital, where he spends the long days watching Wheel of Fortune and wondering what the outside world smells like. When a mysterious visitor arrives and offers him a way out, Crazy doesn't hesitate to accept.

But outside the hospital, Crazy is faced with a fear-fueled world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, and he finds himself relocated to Neuro Inc., a secretive corporation with shady government ties. After discovering evidence of human experimentation, he escapes with a syringe, the contents of which are unknown to him but precious to Neuro. Cornered and with a complete disregard for the results, Crazy makes himself indispensable by injecting the substance into his leg.

The mystery drug opens his eyes to a world beyond human experience, where fear is a weapon and the shadows hide the source of mankind's nightmares. Struggling to understand his new abilities, Crazy allies himself with the company he fled and begins peeling back the layers of his past, the brewing war between worlds, how he can stop it--and what he did to start it.

With MirrorWorld, Robinson, whose trademarked pacing and inventive plots, which have been highly praised by bestselling authors like Jonathan Maberry, Scott Sigler and James Rollins, treats readers to a wildly imaginative, frenetically paced thriller exploring the origins of fear.

Jeremy Robinson has once again proven why he is one of my favorite writers! MirrorWorld is a fantastic book. Full of so much action and suspense, I couldn't put it down. I loved the character of Crazy, a bad-ass hero with a strong sense of right and wrong just trying to save those he loves and the rest of the world along the way. I wanted more Crazy as soon as I turned the final page! The monsters (human and not so human) in this thriller were unique and terrifying.The storyline was fast paced and exciting, the summer blockbuster of novels. If you want a great summer read grab this 5 star book!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Paradise Burns by Marc E. Fitch [4 stars]

From the Description:

Disgraced former detective, Rudy Patchiss, has reinvented himself as a private investigator specializing in missing persons. He is hired to find college student, Jennifer Acres, and travels to the mountains near the Canadian border to plumb an underground world of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. What he finds is a deeper, more ancient evil that claims lives without being noticed in our modern day world. His investigation brings him to an urban nightmare city, a club called Paradise, and into a relationship with a tattooed bartender, Stacy, who tries to point him in the right direction. Ultimately, his work leads him deep into the mountains to a place that can truly be called Paradise; a place where there are no boundaries, no rules, no limits. It is a place of ultimate freedom that can be one mans Heaven and another mans Hell.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel.

The writing in Paradise Burns is dark and gritty. The descriptive passages hold a horrible and lyrical beauty that captured my imagination and wouldn't let go until I found out what happened next. The storyline captured the melancholy feeling of the dying towns and the dark places where those who are lost fall into the cracks never to be heard from again. The main character, Rudy Patchiss, is wholly sympathetic and realistically flawed. At times he wasn't very likable but you still wanted him to succeed. By the end of the book I found myself wondering who were the real monsters. The shadowy demons half-seen in the darkness, or those who prey on the damaged souls lost in the seedy underbelly of Paradise. This was my first book by Marc E. Fitch but it won't be my last!! A solid 4 star read.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bloodfellas by Jasper Bark & Mick Trimble [4 stars]

From the Description:

"When there's no room left in hell, the dead will turn to crime." Boardwalk Empire meets the Walking Dead. Zombie Gangsters take over the streets of Prohibition era USA. A horror-crime mash up available from Markosia.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel.

Bloodfellas is a noir-horror story that is loads of fun. The storyline is twisty and intertwines the lives of zombie gangsters, a fanatical mob boss, angels, cops, and a scientist. Jasper bark combines mobsters and zombies in a way that made me want more! Mick Trimble's artwork is a gritty and colorful throwback to my childhood. Graphic novels aren't my usual genre but with work like this available I may have to check out more of them! A fun 4 star way to spend an afternoon.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave by J.H. Moncrieff [4 stars]

From the Description:

Sometimes evil looks like a fuzzy teddy bear.

Still grieving the untimely death of his dad, ten-year-old Josh Leary is reluctant to accept a well-worn stuffed teddy bear from his new stepfather. He soon learns he was right to be wary. Edgar is no ordinary toy...and he doesn’t like being rejected. When Josh banishes him to the closet, terrible things begin to happen.
Desperate to be rid of the bear, Josh engages the help of a friend. As the boys’ efforts rebound on them with horrifying results, Josh is forced to accept the truth—Edgar will always get even.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

Part of the Childhood Fears series of novellas from Samhain Publishing. The Bear Who Wouldn't Leave covers two childhood fears very well. The evil step-father and the evil toy, in this case a horrid teddy bear named Edgar. The main character Josh is very believable and his friend Sean is a lot of fun. My heart went out to Josh as he struggled to deal with things that would be hard for anyone let alone a ten year old boy, and I cheered for Sean as he tried to help his friend escape both Edgar and his step-father, who are far more evil than they appear. The storyline is fast paced and very well written. It was delightfully scary and really captured the uncertainty and magic that childhood is full of. Reminiscent of something you would have found in Creepshow or Tales From The Crypt. A really good 4 star read.


Friday, May 8, 2015

The Outsiders edited by Joe Mynhardt [4 stars]

From the Description:

Inside Priory awaits a lot more than meets the eye. The people might seem friendly, but only because their enigmatic leader Charles Erich doesn't give them much of a choice.

The cottages inside this gated community seem simple enough, and even though what lurks beneath them is more ancient than mankind itself, can anything be more evil than the people worshipping it?

If you dare follow this UK invasion of five prime authors as they each tell their own story of the people living behind Priory's steel gates and high walls, you'll quickly find yourself an outsider, as well.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

The outsiders is a collection of tales centered around The Priory. A gated community that has a secret,,, The people there worship one of the Old Gods. As a fan of the Cthulhu mythos and Lovecraftian horror, I couldn't wait to read these stories! The stories you'll find here are filled with a sense of creeping dread and claustrophobic paranoia that grabs you and won't let go. All of the stories here are good but two of them really stood out for me. The first was Precious Things, where a woman learns that her true worth is priceless. The second was Meat, Motion, And Light, which gives us a glimpse into the mating rituals of an Old One. Both really great stories! Now,,, Ignore that slithering sound coming from the pipes and curl up with this 4 star read.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Cure by JG Faherty [4.5 stars]

From the Description:

She was born with the power to cure. Now she’s developed the power to kill.

Leah DeGarmo has the power to cure with just a touch. But with her gift comes a dark side: Whatever she takes in she has to pass on, or suffer it herself. Now a sadistic criminal has discovered what she can do and he’ll stop at nothing to control her. He makes a mistake, though, when he kills the man she loves, triggering a rage inside her that releases a new power she didn’t know she had: the ability to kill. Transformed into a demon of retribution, Leah resurrects her lover and embarks on a mission to destroy her enemies. The only question is, does she control her power or does it control her?

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel.

What would you chose to do if you had the power to heal? Leah DeGarmo choses to help animals and their owners. As a pet owner/lover I totally get that. It also makes parts of this story hard to read through the tears. Leah is a believable and sympathetic main character. I found myself rooting for her and John to get away from the evil men chasing them. And cheering when she got her revenge. JG Faherty is a master of pulse pounding action. The Cure grabbed me from the first sentence and wouldn't let go, I had to know what was going to happen next. The storyline is filled with more twists and turns than a mountain road and you won't see the end coming. An exciting 4.5 star read.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Beast Of Bradley Downs by Stephanie O'Hanlon [4.5 stars]

From the Description:

Can Beauty outrun the Beast?

Karoline Hale is on the run. After witnessing her boyfriend get killed she abandons everything she once knew for a new life consisting of bus tickets and hotel rooms, a duffel bag full of old clothes, and a shotgun.

She isn’t running from any ordinary killer. She is running from the Beast of Bradley Downs—a creature that kills without judgment and is hunting Karoline. She can only run for so long before she needs to gather her strength and face the Beast that howls under the wind, prowls the night, and cannot be killed by modern means.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

A werewolf story with teeth!! The Beast Of Bradley Downs is a great read. I couldn't put it down! It combines some of my favorite legends with an action packed storyline for an exciting thrill ride. The characters are believable and it's easy to care about what happens to them. Karoline, the main character was especially easy for me because she reminded me of me in my teenage years. At one point I actually got mad at another character for treating her badly, which is a tribute to how lifelike Stephanie O'Hanlon's characters are. The Beast was relentless and terrifying. No emo monsters here. Only a few authors are providing monsters with teeth so this was a great thing in this reviewers opinion. The ending had a twist I didn't see coming. This is a fast paced and fun addition to the werewolf genre. This is Stephanie O'Hanlon's first horror novel, I hope it's not her last! If you love werewolf novels as much as I do you're going to want to grab this 4.5 star read.