Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book 12 of 2009: Benjamin's Parasite by Jeff Strand

Jeff Strand's novel, Benjamin's Parasite, starts off with a teenage boy, Brian, going through a series of strange events (yes, even strange for a teenage boy) that ultimately land him getting shot in the end. At Brian's funeral, his teacher, Benjamin Wilson, shows up to pay his respects and notices that Brian's body appears to have exhaled! He leans in closer and sure enough... he feels a gust of air hit him in the face! This would be enough to freak anyone out, but Benjamin tries to keep his cool and get out of the funeral home without causing a scene and avoids saying anything to anyone. Over the next several weeks however he starts getting several strange cravings and the next thing he knows he has a spell at school that lands him in the hospital. While in the hospital he gets "abducted" and soon finds out that this person isn't the only person that is after him. He learns that he is actually hosting a parasite that is of interest to several parties. Unfortunately for Benjamin, he doesn't know who has his best interest in mind so he isn't sure which person to trust in this situation where he is being fought over and is being pulled back and forth a lot. The question is... will he and/or the parasite come out alive at the end of the chase?

This is probably Strand's fastest paced book yet and is a lot of fun to read. It is full of action with the struggle between all parties involved within the book. In true Jeff Strand style there is also a ton of laughs to go around so his fans will not be disappointed. In particular, there is a scene where Benjamin visits a hardware store and has some very strange ideas that I just wouldn't believe anyone would even consider, but... Strand did! In addition to the humor, there are also the typical gory scenes that Strand always spaces out so perfectly to not disgust the readers TOO much. There are also dramatic scenes in the book that will allow the reader to sympathize with characters... especially a particular turtle name Tortie. Plus there is a feel for a bit of romance within the book as well! So... Strand really went all out with this book and crossed a bit of all genres. Highly recommended!

Contains: Violence, Mild Gore

(Review also posted on MonsterLibrarian.Com)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book 11 of 2009: The Black Act by Louise Bohmer

The Black Act is set in a richly detailed fantasy world and tells of the adventures of the fifth generation of Wise Women. The book centers on twin sisters, Claire and Anna. At the beginning of the book, Claire witnesses her Guild Mother's death while Anna is out. Before Anna discovers that Claire learned the truth from their Guild Mother before her passing, Claire runs off, seeking more information to go along with what she has learned. Anna tries to uncover the secrets from her own scribe teacher, Rosalind, and also find her sister. In the meantime, Claire's methods of discovery have reawakened a curse as well as a battle between the Wood People and the Dalthwein Clans. Anna and Claire must find the truths they need to know about their pasts in time to figure out a solution to end the present battle.

The Black Act is a very creative story that keeps the reader wanting to know how things are going to turn out. Bohmer describes the world and all of the various groups of people in vivid detail. You can really picture them in your mind, especially the Wood People as she detailed them to every root! Throughout the book there are a lot of flashbacks, which tend to get a little confusing. Still, The Black Act flows well and is very enjoyable. Horror fans, especially those that like a lot of fantasy mixed within will really enjoy this new author. I highly recommend that libraries get a copy to introduce readers to Bohmer's writing style.

Contains: Sexual Situations, Violence

(Review also posted on MonsterLibrarian.Com)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book 10 of 2009: Bestial by Ray Garton

Bestial follows up Garton's first werewolf novel, Ravenous, and, while not as strong as Ravenous, it’s still a good werewolf story. Garton also pulls in characters from one of his vampire books, Night Life- private investigators Gavin Keoph and Karen Moffett. Gavin and Karen are sent to investigate numerous animal attacks popping up all over Big Rock. Werewolves are suspected in the area. Gavin and Karen discover that the attacks are werewolf attacks, and also that the werewolves have already set in motion a plan for the town of Big Rock. More and more people are turning into werewolves via the sexually transmitted virus, and the PI’s may be in over their heads.

Garton’s inclusion of characters from his vampire series leaves the reader wondering if he is going to proceed further with this series and possibly combine the vampire and werewolf stories. It could make for an interesting battle down the road if he does! This would be a good addition for libraries, but be aware that Garton does have a lot of sexual content within his book including some rape and incest scenes.

Contains: violence, gore, incest, rape, strong sexual content, adult language

(Review also posted on MonsterLibrarian.Com)