Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror

The Running Man – audiobook

Review:

The Running Man - Stephen King, Richard Bachman, Kevin Kenerly

Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook/Owned

She was squinting at the thermometer in the white light coming through the window.
– first sentence

I am a huge Stephen King fan since I was a teenager but it has been a while since I read some of his books. Lately, I started listening to the audio versions of his older books and it is quite fun to revisit them in a different format.

First, I have to say that if you are listening to the audio, and haven’t read the book before, skip the author’s note. It’s not part of the story, and you can listen to it at the end. Otherwise, you will hear a spoiler that reveals the end of the story. 😦

I enjoyed listening to this and am going to watch the movie this weekend just for fun and to see the differences. I do know that Ben Richards (in the book) is not built like Schwarzenegger. Most times, it’s listening to his gut, his brains, or just plain luck that keeps him alive.

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror, Sci-Fi

Alien: Cold Forge

Review:

Alien: The Cold Forge - Alex White, Michael Braun

Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook/Owned

Dorian Sudler knows he shouldn’t smoke.
– first sentence

This is a dark story, but that isn’t different from the other alien stories. It focuses on corporate and human greed and the evil greed creates. Weyland-Yutani had a backup plan if Hadley’s Hope (Aliens) didn’t give them the specimen they craved. They created an isolated scientific research station called The Cold Forge and transported eggs there to be stored for future research. Blue is a scientist who suffers from a debilitating genetic disease but she is also a genetic researcher. Her condition has declined to the point where she is bedridden, but she is able to function by transferring her consciousness into an android body (Marcus). Blue and the other researchers are using chimps to gestate the aliens from the eggs and produce xenomorphs. Dorian is a Weyland-Yutani hatchet man whose job is to find ways to save the company money. He is at the Cold Forge to figure out why the scientists haven’t produced results yet.

Dorian is a despicable character that you will enjoy hating. I spent most of the book hoping he would die, and die painfully. Marcus is an interesting character who manages to generate sympathy despite being an android. I understand Blue’s need to find a cure, but she doesn’t care who or what she hurts to do it. She isn’t exactly likable, and I often questioned her decisions.

The book is well-written and the characters are fully developed though not all are likable. The threat of the aliens is constantly there, but the characters (as usual) don’t see it. The reader, on the other hand, is waiting for them to escape and kill everyone. The book brings up the question of animal suffering for the sake of research, and even questions whether it’s ok to cage the aliens and cause their suffering.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to fans of the Alien universe.

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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror, Sci-Fi

Alien series from Audible Originals

Alien: Out of the Shadows - Tim Lebbon Alien: River of Pain - Christopher Golden Alien - Sea of Sorrows - James A. Moore

River of Pain –
I really enjoyed this performance; the story, characters, sound effects, and music all came together perfectly. I felt like I was listening to a movie. The atmosphere is amazingly scary and claustrophobic. And as others have said, the woman who voiced Ripley was perfect. I liked how they created a brand new story that took place between Alien and Aliens (the movies) and I liked the explanation for it. Overall a very entertaining listen that will be fun for any fans of the Alien universe.

Out of the Shadows –
The overall production of this one was great with the same claustrophobic, scary atmosphere as the first. But I didn’t love the story or the characters as much.  Still entertaining, but just not as original or interesting.

Sea of Sorrows –
This was my least favorite of the three. I just didn’t buy the distant descendant of Ripley having a psychic connection to the xenomorphs. I also didn’t like any of the characters. I didn’t connect with any of them and found myself waiting for them to die.

All that being said, I flew through these books. I found myself always wanting to listen to them, even though they are all basically the same formula:
– Humans go where they shouldn’t or mess with things beyond their understanding
– The humans are somehow connected to Weyland-Yutani (which is greedy for money, power, or both, without regard for human life)
– An android works against the humans in service of Weyland-Yutani or in rare cases helps them
– The xenomorphs come and the humans underestimate them
– There is a lone survivor (or maybe a select few)

Anyway, if you are a fan of the Alien movies, these stories are a fun revisit to the universe – and might make you want to watch all the movies again (like I did last weekend).

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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror

Cujo – audiobook

Review:

Audience: Adult
Format: Audio
Library Copy

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the town of Castle Rock, Maine.
– first sentence

This is a reread for me and I didn’t remember many details. I think I avoided it because of my love of dogs. I listened to the audio; Lorna Raver gives an excellent performance and helped me get lost in the story.

I was surprised by the beginning stuff about the monster (serial killer) Frank Dodd. I found myself wondering what that had to do with the rabid dog. But this story isn’t about a rabid dog. It’s about evil… evil and coincidences. It’s also a look back in time at what was once thought acceptable in a marriage.

As the story progresses, the parts with Cujo are separated by the stories of the Trenton family and the Camber family. Each family is dealing with their own issues, and these ultimately lead to the events which conclude with the showdown of mother and child trapped in a Pinto by Cujo.

It broke my heart to listen to Cujo’s thoughts as the disease progressed and he gradually went mad. But it was easier to read/listen to than it was to watch the movie. All I really remember from the movie is the part with Cujo and the car. I might have to watch it again just for comparison.

So, is an Evil force controlling the events that lead to the heartbreaking conclusion, or is it just coincidence? Does it even matter?

I’m using this for “C” in the Goodreads HA A-Z challenge.

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror

Pet Sematary – audiobook

Review:

Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Library Copy

Louis Creed, who had lost his father at three and who had never known a grandfather, never expected to find a father as he entered his middle age, but that was exactly what happened…”
– beginning of first sentence

The first sentence sounds so innocuous, and yet this is the novel that Stephen King himself has called his scariest. Perhaps because it centers on death and how fear of death can compel people to do the unthinkable.

I am currently rereading Stephen King books that I haven’t read in decades. I listened to IT a couple of years ago because I wanted to refresh my memory before I saw the movie. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try the audios of more of his books. When I saw that the Pet Sematary movie is being remade, I decided this should be my next listen. I am glad I did. This book was scary and totally immersive – I was obsessed with listening to this. Michael C. Hall gave an amazing performance. I was constantly picturing him as Louis Creed, even while I kept seeing Fred Gwynne (from the original movie) as Jud Crandall.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good scare. 🙂

I’m using this as “P” for the HA a-z challenge on Goodreads.

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror

The Woman in Black – audiobook

Review:

The Woman In Black - Susan Hill

It was nine-thirty on Christmas Eve.

-first sentence

This is a dark, gothic, ghost story. The narrator, Arthur, recounts his experience at Eel Marsh house with the Woman in Black and how it changed his life forever. The story has haunted him for years and by writing it down, he hopes to be able to forget.

Arthur goes to Eel Marsh house to settle the estate of a reclusive old woman. At first, he tries to find reasonable explanations for the noises coming from the empty marsh. Then he realizes that what he hears is an echo of something that happened years before.

This is a slow moving story that gradually builds suspense and fear. The house is isolated on a marsh that can only be reached at low tide (it reminded me of The Elementals in that sense). As in that story, the isolation makes Arthur’s experience even more terrifying.

The audio is well done and I enjoyed listening. At 4 hours and 33 minutes, it is one of the shorter audiobooks I’ve listened to, but it didn’t exactly fly by. It’s a good story, but a bit on the old-fashioned side for me.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Book Review, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Review:

Ghost Story - Peter Straub

What was the worst thing you’ve ever done?

– first sentence

This is a terrifically terrifying story. I love the way the tension builds slowly. We know something terrible happened in the past, but we aren’t quite sure what. We also know something even more terrible is coming. The feeling of claustrophobia grows as the story continues and the town is closed off from the outside world. The evil is frightening and stays with you even after you put the book down.

The prologue was a bit confusing, but it made more sense once I got to the end of the book. I actually went back and reread the prologue and understood it much better.

 

 

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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror

100 Fathoms Below – audiobook

Review:

100 Fathoms Below - Nicholas Kaufmann, Steven L. Kent

Without a doubt, the most insidious dangers were the ones that hid in plain sight, camoflaging themselves inside the minds of rational men.

– first sentence

 

At 100 fathoms, sunlight no longer penetrates the ocean. This book combines the tension of being in a US submarine inside Russian borders during the cold war and being trapped in a submarine with deadly supernatural creatures.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The audio is well done and I spent most of my spare time this past weekend listening to it. The tension starts early and doesn’t let up. The worst (best) part is, the reader knows there is something creepy hiding on the sub while the crew is clueless and just thinks a couple people are sick or maybe someone is losing it.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror

Revival – audiobook

Review:

Revival - Stephen King

 

In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies.

– first sentence

During the first three-quarters of this book, we get to know the characters, especially Jamie. I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Reverend Jacobs is obsessed with electricity; okay, but what’s going to happen next. I enjoyed following the characters and feeling their emotions through the ups and downs of their lives, but I was hoping for something… more. Then, when the more finally came, I was surprised, to say the least. I know this book has been out for a while, but I try to avoid spoilers as much as possible so I didn’t really know what to expect from this book. I had recently read a couple of reviews that claimed this was his scariest book (at least in recent years). I think I was expecting the scary to be woven throughout the book, but it wasn’t – it just hit you in the face during the final part of the book.

I don’t know how I feel about what the ending says about life and death, but I wasn’t especially scared or impressed by it. I’m giving it four stars because Stephen King has been my favorite author for more years than I can count, and because I appreciate his writing and ability to scare us in so many ways. The audio was very well done and I was anxious to see what would happen next. I listened to this every night instead of reading a print book, in addition to listening during my walks and driving time.

 

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Posted in Book Review, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror

The Girl from the Well

Review:

The Girl from the Well - Rin Chupeco

 

I am where dead children go.

– first sentence

Murdered deads live in storms without season, in time without flux. We do not go because people do not let us go.

– Chapter 1

Okiku is a spirit who was murdered hundreds of years ago. She takes vengeance on child killers and releases the souls of their victims. Tark is a teenager with an evil spirit locked inside him. When they find each other, they become part of a battle between good and evil.

This book is fantastic. It was scary, bloody, and suspenseful. It is told from the point of view of Okiku and is a bit disjointed at times. It combines the troubles of teenage life with a Japanese ghost story. There is a lot of Japanese culture throughout the story, especially towards the end when the family returns to Japan.

I liked Okiku and Tark and their relationship. Okiku really knows how to deal some bloody vengeance. It’s cool that Tark and his cousin are some of the few people who can see Okiku and she is able to communicate with them. I liked hearing her backstory. And the ending was perfect.

 

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