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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Immortal Body: The Singularity Cycle Book 1 by William Holloway [4.5 stars]



From the Description:

Detective John Mitchell thought he understood murder. But that all changes when monsters are born during a faith healing at a local church. Psychic Medium Sarah Lynn Beauchamp thought she understood the dead, but the dead have a new plan for her. SAS veteran Dr. Menard thought the War was through with him until an unspeakable evil returns from the depths of a forgotten time. Behind it all, a mysterious figure lurks, controlling the actors from the shadows, ushering an end to reason, sanity and the world as we know it.

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 Immortal Body is the first book in The Singularity Cycle. I can't wait until book two comes out because William Holloway does cosmic horror the way it should be done. The descriptive writing takes you from a sense of creeping dread to outright terror as the story draws you ever nearer to the darkness that awaits our heroes. Some of the imagery is truly horrifying and brutal but never overdone or unnecessary. I really liked the cast of characters assembled on these pages. If I had to play favorites I would have to say that I liked Menard, Mitchell and Rodney best. I enjoyed their journey as they struggled first to accept that the horror was real and then fight to not only survive but to stop it. This is a thoroughly engrossing and terrifying addition to the Lovecraftian mythos. William Holloway impresses me more with each book. Definitely a writer I can't wait to read more from. Horrific Tales Publishing will be releasing this terrific book on October 6th.  A fast paced and dark 4.5 star read. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry [5 stars]



From the Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West.
Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns . . . and a mysterious substance called "ghost rock" fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flying bullets.
In Ghostwalkers, a gun-for-hire, literally haunted by his bloody past, comes to the struggling town of Paradise Falls, where he becomes embroiled in a deadly conflict between the besieged community and a diabolically brilliant alchemist who is building terrible new weapons of mass destruction . . . and an army of the living dead!
Deadlands is one of the most popular RPGs in history, with over a million Deadlands gaming books sold.

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

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers was my first foray into the Deadlands universe, but if this book is an example of the stories I'll find there I'll be going back soon and often! A combination of weird western and steampunk horror with a definite Lovecraftian feel, this novel had me hooked from the very beginning. The descriptions and action were so well written I felt like I was fighting along side the people of Paradise Falls. The characters were believable and easy to care about, feeling like friends by the end of the story. I loved Thomas Looks Away, Grey Torrance, and Jenny most although there were several other characters that were a lot of fun as well. The plot has a few twists that I didn't see coming that made the story even better and touching in places. Jonathan Maberry has once again captured my imagination and left me wanting more, proving why he is one of my favorite authors. A fast paced and fabulous 5 star thrill ride that fans of the weird west, steampunk and horror will love to be on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Dover Demon by Hunter Shea [4.5 stars]


 

From the Description:

 
The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever.

Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?


I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review from Erin Al-Mehairi at Oh, for the Hook of a Book as part of The Dover Demon blog tour. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.




This novel takes on the myth of The Dover Demon and makes it terrifying! The story is fast paced and full of tension. All of the characters are believable but Sam, Tank and Nicky are my favorites. Sam's reaction when he finds out that his son, Nicky is missing was so visceral and heart wrenching that I felt it in my gut. The descriptions of the abductions are filled with terror and rival anything I've seen in other stories like this. As an avid Cryptid fan I've read a lot of stories about them but Hunter Shea takes these legends to a petrifying new place and drags you along for the ride. He is quickly becoming of the authors I can count on for a great read. This book is a 4.5 star treat for both horror lovers and cryptid fans everywhere.

Buy the Book at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain Publishing



About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the author of the novels The Montauk Monster, Tortures of the Damned, Sinister Entity, Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, and The Dover Demon. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the Cemetery Dance anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. He’s currently working on or completed a few more manuscripts set to come.

His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors, and anyone else living in the horror lane.

He lives in New York with his family and vindictive cat. He waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at http://huntershea.com/ or find him on Facebook or Twitter
 


A trip Hunter Shea made to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine two years ago sparked the idea for THE DOVER DEMON. While he was there, he met famed cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman and talked about creatures he’s personally investigated. It turns out, he was the man on the scene in Dover, MA in the late 70s when the uber strange biped was spotted by several people over the course of two nights in April, Hunter reported. He also gave it its name, Dover Demon.

Now, Hunter’s fictional world of The Dover Demon has been published as a novel and he was able to go back to the museum of cryptids in August and have a launch party for the book with Loren Coleman! To read more about that and see photos, head over to his site via this link:

http://huntershea.com/2015/08/30/the-dover-demon-raises-his-round-little-head-cryptid-novel-release-day/



Giveaways~
First giveaway!

On this tour, win one signed print copy of The Dover Demon if you are in the U.S.! Just sign-up at the Rafflecopter link below:

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjIx/?



Second giveaway!

Hunter Shea’s other summer smash hit, Tortures of the Damned, was featured in Fangoria magazine. He’s giving away 2 signed copies that Fangoria. How do you win? Anyone who signs up for Dark Hunter Newsletter (http://huntershea.com/newsletter/) between now and September 28th and lives in the US is eligible. Already signed up? Refer a friend and if they win, grab it from their mailbox.



Praise for Hunter Shea~

“This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster


“Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre










Monday, September 21, 2015

The Curse Of The Monkey's Paw: A Tribute to W.W. Jacobs by M.R. Williamson [4 stars]



From the Description:


The Monkey's Paw is a dark and spooky tale by W. W. Jacobs. It’s worth noting that Jacobs was acclaimed by Henry James, G. K. Chesterton, and Christopher Morley as one of the best writers of his time. For this, the 150th anniversary of his birth, M. R. Williamson has written three more outstandingly spooky tales in the same vein as a tribute to this master of strange stories

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 Curse Of The Monkey's Paw is a collection of short stories dedicated to W.W. Jacobs, the author of The Monkey's Paw. As in the original story the cursed monkey's paw is featured in each story. The stories in this book are very nostalgic, reminding me of the old Universal Horror movies I grew up watching with my Grandma. There is no overt gore or harsh language here but rather a more wholesome kind of horror. Some of the subjects are dark, such as child abuse and murder, but they are written in such a way that they are still safe reading for younger horror fans. M.R. Williamson has done a good job capturing the spookiness and dread that I loved about The Monkey's Paw. This is a family friendly group of scary stories that's perfect for Halloween. A fun 4 star read.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Crying Shame by William W. Johnstone [3.5 stars]



From the Description:

Each night they emerged from the murky depths of the swamp to claim another victim—a lovely, innocent, fertile female who would be carried off in huge hairy arms and plunged into a nightmare world of terror. Her screams would echo in the darkness. Her face would contort in the throes of horror and pain. But once taken, each became a mother of an unholy child, a link in the chain of madness and evil, a spawn to carry on the devil's name!

I bought A Crying Shame because it was described as the prequel to Watchers In The Woods, my favorite horror story by William W. Johnstone. While it did take place before the events in Watchers I wouldn't really call it a prequel. It was more like an earlier, less pulled together version of the same story. I still thought that the plot was really good, just not as good. If you are easily offended by non-PC storylines this isn't the book for you. The scenes of horror are graphic and gory, and the tension is really well done. I really enjoyed this story! So why the 3.5 star rating??? The formatting in the eBook version is horrendous. The punctuation is in the wrong places and the upside down quotation marks drove me crazy. It honestly kept throwing me right out of the story when I had to go back to see if it was a description or dialogue I was reading. Books by Johnstone are usually a great read for me but not this time. If you can get past the formatting this is a decent story. A fast paced and frustrating 3.5 star read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cannibal by Jeremy Robinson and Sean Ellis [5 stars]



From the Description:

Still recovering from the tragic loss of a good friend, Jack Sigler, callsign: King, leads the Chess Team—a crew of former Delta operators—back into action. But what should be a routine snatch-and-grab to capture a drug cartel leader, escalates out of control, throwing the team into a challenge unlike anything they’ve ever faced. An enemy from their past, who is close to unmasking their identities, joins forces with the psychotic cartel kingpin, setting a trap that will shake the team to its foundations.
While the team battles enemies old and new, King’s fiancĂ©e, CDC disease detective, Sara Fogg, struggles to stop a strange outbreak that transforms the infected into ravenous, inhuman monsters. Once responsible for the disappearance of the Roanoke settlers, the disease now threatens to spread across the planet, ending human civilization in a bloodbath of violence.
Hunted by humans and monsters alike, King and the Chess Team face a desperate choice—sacrifice themselves or let the world bleed.

Cannibal, the seventh book in the Chess Team series, combines two of my favorite legends with the awesomeness that is a Jack Sigler thriller. The legend of the Lost Roanoke Colony and the Native American legend of the Wendigo are brought together flawlessly along with fast paced action and terror that will leave you breathless. Along with saving the world the Chess Team must also deal with an old enemy who is hell bent on destroying all of them, and just might succeed this time round. I love the way that Jeremy Robinson and Sean Ellis create a richly detailed world and fill it with characters that feel like old friends to those of us that follow this series. I always hate finishing a Chess Team novel because I don't want the story to end. I can't wait for the next one!! I would highly recommend that if you haven't read these books yet you RUN (not walk) to your nearest bookstore and get started. You are missing out on some amazing stories. A fast paced and fabulous 5 star read.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bonesy by Mark Rigney [4.5 stars]



From the Description:

Bones on the run!

When Reverend Renner’s mentor gives him a brass rubbing of a skeleton, nick-named Bonesy, a chain of calamity ensues. Bonesy breaks free from its frame and begins a violent, chaotic search for––what? It’s up to Renner and his investigative partner, ex-linebacker Dale Quist, to uncover Bonesy’s spectral motives. Bonesy takes Renner & Quist on their most treacherous, rollicking supernatural adventure yet, a journey that will lead them from the ghost of Carole Lombard to the fens of Tudor England. And the books they find along the way are not the sort you can judge by their cover.

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.

Bonesy is the fourth part of the Renner and Quist series and part five can't come out soon enough. I adore these stories!! This book takes you by the hand and lures you into the world of Bonesy, a brass rubbing taken from a centuries old memorial of a witch,,, or was she??? The story is fun and spooky but also has some very dark moments for our intrepid ghost hunters. I love the twists that this book has and the cast of characters who come together to solve the mysteries, this time there's not just one. Everyone from the ghost of Carole Lombard to a haunted toaster that gives messages from beyond. I really enjoy the way that Renner and Quist's friendship is developing and that the characters become more real with every story. I can't wait to visit Traverse City and my new favorite duo again! A fast paced and fun 4.5 star read.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hunger by Jeremiah Knight [5 stars]



From the Description:

Desperate to solve a global food shortage, ExoGen scientist Dr. Ella Masse oversees the creation and release of RC-714, a gene that unlocks millions of years of adaptation and evolution, allowing crops to use long dormant junk DNA to rapidly adapt to any environment. The world's food supply grows aggressively, occupying every inch of earth, no matter how inhospitable. World hunger is averted. Humanity flourishes. RC-714 is digested, absorbed and passed on.
 
The Change affects small, fast breeding mammals first. They multiply with the same aggressive speed as the ExoGen plants, but a new, insatiable hunger drives them to violence. War between species breaks out. And then RC-714 reaches humanity, along with every other large creature on the planet. Civilization implodes, as every living thing that consumed the ExoGen crops begins to adapt to a world full of predators, accessing genes dating back to the beginning of life itself.
 
Peter Crane and his son Jakob survive the Change, living in their family farmhouse and eating non-ExoGen food from a biodome, one of many provided by Ella Masse, who discovered the ramifications of her breakthrough too late. The pair ekes out a living in a world full of monsters, surviving until Ella shows up on their doorstep with her daughter, pursued by desperate predators and men alike.
 
As the farmhouse falls under attack, Crane learns that the end of humanity, of life on Earth, can still be averted: if Ella Masse and her daughter survive, and if they make it to the other side of the country without being captured...or consumed.
 
Jeremiah Knight merges the science of Michael Crichton with the horror of Stephen King in this fresh take on the post-apocalypse, creating a true worst-case scenario for GMO crops that will have people reading labels before eating their next pepper, tomato or kernel of corn.

Hunger is a fantastic look at a post-apocalyptic world! I already knew within the first few chapters that I couldn't wait for the next part in this trilogy. The story is a believable, fast paced thrill ride. The creatures are terrifying, both human and otherwise. The Stalkers were terrifying and relentless but the intelligence of the Riders made them scarier by far. I found myself totally involved with the characters. I'm dying to know what's going to happen to Peter, Jakob, Ella and Anne! Fans of post-apocalyptic fiction, Jeremy Robinson, or just great story telling should run to the nearest bookstore for this 5 star read, highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Check-Out Time by Mark Rigney [4.5 stars]



From the Description:

At this hotel, check-out time never comes! All things must pass--or so we're told. When Reverend Renner responds to an invitation sent from a long-demolished hotel filled with ghosts of guests from times past, he soon discovers that checking out will be a lot harder than checking in. His sometime friend and investigative partner, Dale Quist, heads to the rescue, but it will take more than brawn and benedictions to put this particular hotel out of business. All things must pass, indeed-but that doesn't mean they have to go quietly.

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.

Check-Out Time is the third and spookiest book in the Renner and Quist series so far. I can't get enough of this intrepid ghost hunting duo!! This book is darker than the previous two. I think the way Mark Rigney deals with some sensitive topics in this story is caring and realistic. It's not always 'PC' but quite frankly I thought it was dealt with honestly, the way it should be. I really enjoyed getting to know Renner and Quist better as well as some other memorable characters. Meryl, a character we first met in The Skates, is fantastic and I hope we get to see more of her in the future. I also really liked Angela and Gonzalo was a lot of fun. The Neil House may not have frightened me quite as much as The Overlook or Hill House, but it still has it's fair share of ghostly goodness. I love these stories and the next Renner and Quist adventure can't come soon enough! If you are in search of some spooky fun, you should give this 4.5 star read a try. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sleeping Bear by Mark Rigney [4.5 stars]



From the Description:

Let sleeping bears lie.

When an unlikely visitor brings Reverend Renner a cryptic warning that, “The bear is waking up,” he must once again partner with retired investigator Dale Quist in order to quiet the supernatural forces suddenly threatening their peaceful corner of northern Michigan.
Faced with sudden earthquakes, a toxic fog, a bloodthirsty inhuman creature and two very frightened teenage runaways, Renner and Quist discover their adversaries care nothing for their concern, or their logic. They will also learn that the best of intentions and the best-laid plans are no guarantee of success.

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

Sleeping Bear, the second book in the Renner and Quist series, is a great read! The story centers around an Ojibwe legend about Sleeping Bear Dunes. The plot is much darker than in the previous book, The Skates, but just as well written. I was laughing out loud in some spots and terrified in others. The end of the story really got to me, it was shear perfection. I absolutely love the characters in these books! Renner is slightly pretentious and absent minded, but means well while Dale Quist is a bumbling good ol' boy who's a bit rough around the edges. The two of them are what I imagine it would be like if Barney Fife and Larry The Cable Guy got together to hunt ghosts. Megan, a socially awkward Ojibwe woman, is also a great character. I can't recommend this series enough!! A fast, fun and thoroughly enjoyable 4.5 star read.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland [4 stars]



From the Description:

It’s all fun and games until...

Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.

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

Darkness Rising starts off with a bang and never slows down! This book ranges from gruesome and terrifying to bittersweet sadness as it carries you along to a fantastic ending. Marty is haunted by a tragic past yet still manages to find beauty and hope in the world which makes it easy to care about and root for his character. This makes the vile acts committed by Tara and her crew of thugs or the shadowy creatures found within these pages even more horrific. Be warned, Brian Moreland doesn't pull any punches with his descriptions making this book disturbing, gory and a great read. Horror fans will find plenty of chills in this fast paced 4 star tale.