Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book 61 of 2009: The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

Skipping the review on this one as I'm too far behind on reviews and this one is low priority for me. I really wasn't impressed with the book anyway.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book 60 of 2009: The Gray Zone by John R. Little

The Gray Zone is a time-travel novella that follows the adventures of Henry Davidson. During a visit to Aswan, Egypt, Henry saves a young boy from drowning in the Nile River. In order to reward him, the boy's father, Mohammed, gives Henry a secret powder. After Henry swallows the powder, strange things start to happen. He starts jumping back and forth between the past and future and at times into what he simply describes as the "gray zone", and when in the "gray zone" he is having trouble recalling any events of the past or future. It is a disturbing and haunting feeling for Henry, and makes the powder Mohammed has given him seem more like a curse than a gift

Often horror is written with paranormal elements in order to scare the readers with monsters, but in The Gray Zone, Little completely avoids these things. Instead, he makes us think about what it would be like to live in a world where we can't change the course of our actions based on knowledge of past events. Personally, I've always learned from my mistakes. What if the knowledge of those mistakes were no longer there? Would we all just keep making the same mistakes over and over again? Now THAT is a scary thought! But that is one possibility of living in the "gray zone". Little has written of a very scary "world" in this novella, and I felt sorry for Henry as he struggled to deal with everything. Even if it was just a temporary curse that he might eventually overcome, it was still a nightmare to live through. The Gray Zone is highly imaginative, thought-provoking, and a fast read. The author will keep you wondering what is to come next and keep you turning the pages for more. Highly Recommended.

Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations

Review also posted at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book 59 of 2009: Depraved by Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith's latest novel, DEPRAVED, takes place in the backwoods town known as Hopkins Bend. Anyone passing through tends to not make it back out and most don't even survive. The town is full of inbred cannibalistic rednecks who tend to rape, torture, and/or eat their victims... not necessarily in that order. Those "lucky" enough to survive and not get killed are put to work in a special strip club that is also within the town of Hopkins Bend. And what is it with the Kincher family? They appear to not be quite human. It looks like they are half-man/half-monster. Have they been undergone some kind of mutation? Will any of the outsiders to Hopkins Bend be able to escape or find a way to stop the townsfolk or will these vicious acts continue to go on forever?

DEPRAVED is graphic, foul, smutty, trashy, and probably everything your mama told you never to read as a kid, but that's what makes it so great! Backwoods towns have always been depicted as creepy and if you add in rednecks, well... that just makes them even scarier! Just Kidding! Well, unless they're cannibalistic as Smith portrays them! That's the key. Smith adds in the twist of cannibalism and mutations to make these inbred rednecks be extremely scary, not to mention that they are so depraved. There is also one particular chapter in the book where Smith touches on the "bizarro". I won't spoil anything for you, but it's probably one of the most intense sex scenes I've ever read in a horror book. It's horrifically foul, but I loved every minute of it despite the voices in my head screaming "Oh my god! That did not just happen!!!". As far as I'm concerned, Smith has out done himself with DEPRAVED and I hope that he continues along this line of writing in the future. This is a must for fans of extreme horror. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Violence, Torture, Gore, Rape, Graphic Sex, Cannibalism

Review also posted at

Also available at is an interview I did with Bryan Smith.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Book 58 of 2009: The Lucid Dreaming by Lisa Morton

Lisa Morton's first novella, The Lucid Dreaming, tells the tale of a girl named Spike, a violent paranoid schizophrenic whose condition is currently controlled by a drug called Prolixin. Spike resides in a mental hospital in Oxnard, California, but one day a nurse comes to Spike’s room holding a scalpel, covered in blood, and tells her that she is free. Spike doesn’t wait around to see what the nurse is going to do with the scalpel, and takes off out the door seeing all kinds of horrors around the hospital as she flees. She finds a car and hits the road (despite having never driven in her life). Along the way she meets up with a special boy named Teddy who seems to be affected by whatever is going on. After spending time with him she realizes it's like he's almost in a dreamlike state. She wonders why she isn't affected, but soon realizes it must be the Prolixin she is taking. Spike and Teddy travel through many a state together, but get stopped in Texas by a group of rednecks. Now Spike has to figure out a plan of escape for her and Teddy to get them back on their way and out of redneck hell!

The Lucid Dreaming is one of the best novellas I have ever read. I picked it up one evening and couldn't stop until I was finished. Spike's character has a sassy attitude and comes out with lots of snarky comments that I absolutely loved. The fact that half of the time Spike is leading around Teddy in his sleep makes for interesting moments as well. There were many memorable scenes in the book, but I think my favorite had to be the bathtub scene. That was just a classic moment in the book. I won't say what happened as to avoid spoilers, but it's worth reading the novella just for that scene alone in my opinion. Morton gives the reader a bit of everything within less than 100 pages... action, suspense, thrills, romance, and of course, horror! She's definitely an author to keep an eye out for in the future. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Violence

Review also posted at

Book 57 of 2009: Wolf's Gambit by W.D. Gagliani

The second book in Gagliani's Wolf Cycle series is a bit different than the first, Wolf's Trap, as there is more than one bad guy involved. In the opening scene a man is actually killed by three werewolves near Eagle River, where Nick Lupo's girlfriend, Jessie, resides. When Lupo comes out to visit Jessie, she tells him of the attack that has just taken place, and the two of them attempt to help out Arnow, the new sheriff. Nick and Jessie suspect werewolves are involved, but Arnow is obviously in the dark. What they don't know is that a man who calls himself Mr. XYZ is controlling this pack of werewolves. Somehow, Lupo needs to take down the whole pack without getting himself killed in the process.

Wolf's Gambit takes on a whole new angle from Wolf's Trap with the multi-killer aspect. In the first book, Lupo only had to contend with one human killer, but in this novel he is up against a whole pack of militant werewolves that appear to be stronger than him. It's like one man against an army! I liked how Gagliani added in the emotions going on in Lupo's head when he was struggling with the doubts of those he thought trusted him. I felt it truly gave me a more personal look into Lupo. That's just one example of character development- Gagliani showed several examples of that as well with some of the other recurring characters. This is truly shaping out to be a great series and I'm greatly anticipating book three. Highly recommended!

Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Gore, Rape, Sex

Review also posted at

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book 56 of 2009: The Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick III

Franklin Pierce witnessed something very traumatic as a child. His brother and sisters were devoured by a candy woman with cotton candy hair, a belly like a giant circus lollipop, and marshmallow breasts. Due to this, he has made it his mission in life to track down the candy people and to destroy them. Franklin buys a gun so he can kill the candy people, then stumbles into a candy person on the street and shoots him. The candy person doesn't die right away and Franklin follows him back to the secret "Candyland". There he runs into Jujy, the candy woman who killed his siblings. Jujy takes Franklin into her home and eventually turns him into a candy person himself. But can a human actually be turned into a candy person without repercussions?

Candyland was one of my all-time favorite games as a kid, so when I saw this book was being released I was ecstatic! Also, I thought the cover art for this book was absolutely gorgeous. I finally received the book and read Mellick's note at the beginning of the book, I saw that the book actually had nothing to do with the board game, but that it was his inspiration for the book, and I was still ready to devour it. From start to finish this book is a delicacy! Mellick uses such vivid language to describe the candy people and the world they inhabit that I had a very clear image of what they all looked like. There are also some humorous moments in the book that keep the story light and balance out the gore level of the book. It was a well-rounded read and will be a great addition to the bizarro lover's collection. Highly recommended!

Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Cannibalism, Gore, Violence

Review also posted at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book 55 of 2009: Snarl by Lorne Dixon

When family man Chev Worke decided to pick up some extra money by spending Christmas on the road driving his 18-wheeler, he wasn't expecting to slam into an animal on State Highway 59 and then have his truck die. And he REALLY wasn't expecting said animal to turn out to be a werewolf that belonged to a pack of werewolves that decide to hunt him down, since he has killed one of their own. Given a head start, Chev makes it to a little grocery store in the town of Easter Glen on foot and meets up with some townsfolk. Together they try to make a break for it, but soon Chev learns of a pact that the townsfolk have made with the werewolves. At that point everyone has choices to make. Hopefully they will make the right choices, and make it out alive, but will they?

Lorne Dixon has taken a refreshing look at the world of werewolves. He keeps you clawing at the edge of your seat up until the very end of Snarl. The story is fast-paced throughout, with enough action and plot twists to keep you guessing all the way through so that you aren't sure exactly how things are going to wrap up. It's a very powerful novella and feels more like a full novel. The main character in the story is very likable and you sympathize with him immediately wanting to help him out of his predicament, especially considering he just happened to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time". This is my first experience with the works of Lorne Dixon, but I will definitely be looking into reading more by this fine author as I was highly entertained by Snarl. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Contains: Adult Language, Violence

Review also posted at

Book 54 of 2009: Wolf's Trap by W.D. Gagliani

The main character of Wolf's Trap, the start of a new series of interconnected novels, is Nick Lupo, a good cop who also happens to be a werewolf. In Lupo's first adventure, he is involved in tracking down a serial killer that seems to have some kind of strange obsession with lipstick. To make matters worse, Lupo senses that the killer is gunning for him specifically by some of the messages he is leaving behind at the scenes of his crimes. This puts a fear in Lupo that those he gets close to might also be in danger. He has been struggling with his werewolf side for years, and now with a competitor on the loose he fears that it may prove to be too much of a challenge to keep his inner wolf under control.

Gagliani had me hooked from page one with this first novel. He takes a different writing style from most authors in that he chops his chapters up based on who the main focus is and labels them as such. This made the book an extremely fast-paced read and had me flying through it! Gagliani juggles lots of interrelated storylines to clue readers into past events in the lives of many of the characters as they were growing up- events which, of course, shape the future. Gagliani uses flashback scenes throughout the book. In some novels this can seem confusing and troublesome, but in Wolf's Trap this fit well. The past triggered much of what happened in the present, so without the flashbacks, the novel wouldn't have been nearly as strong. All in all, this was an addictive read and much different from your typical werewolf attack books... for once the werewolf is the "good guy". Highly recommended!

Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Gore, Rape, Sex, Child Abuse

Review also posted at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book 53 of 2009: Magick & Misery by Lincoln Crisler

Lincoln Crisler has assembled a vast array of short stories in his latest collection, Magick & Misery. There are ten stories included. Three of which are fairly lengthy, and the other seven are much shorter; however all are equally enjoyable. Four stories in particular stuck out in my mind after finishing the collection above all others: "Pete Does What Needs To Be Done" is about a 16-year-old boy dealing with his parents’ struggling marriage; "The Seven O'Clock Man" in which a mother makes up a story about a monster known as the Seven O'Clock Man in order to scare her son into behaving; "Seizing Deliverance" where a man finds out that his mother is dying; and "Discarded Refuse" a story about a garbage man who takes out a little extra garbage when he discovers his wife is cheating on him. Crisler's eclectic collection is something horror fans won't want to miss. Lincoln Crisler is a brilliant short story writer and is an author to keep an eye on. Highly Recommended!

Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations

Review also posted at