Posted in Adult, Book Review, Horror

The Jersey Devil

Review:

The Jersey Devil - Hunter Shea

This is a brutal, bloody story but it’s more than that too. There’s a family (three generations) struggling with a mystery related to the Jersey Devil and they’ve trained their whole lives to hunt it. The Jersey Devil is hunting and he’s not alone…

After reading this, I am for once, glad I don’t live near a forest.

Definitely not for the squeamish – a lot of bloody descriptions and no shortage of brutal deaths.

 

 

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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, book games, Book Review, Booklikes, Horror

The Elementals by Michael McDowell

Review:

Audience:Adult

The Elementals - Michael McDowell, R.C. Bray

The story begins with a funeral and an unusual tradition. Afterward, the Savage & McCray families escape to Beldame where there are 3 identical Victorian houses and nothing else. One house for each family and the third house which is being devoured by the sand.

I love the way the author introduces the characters and gradually gets you invested in them. He brings you into their world and the little quirks in their relationships. Then the supernatural gradually creeps up on you and bam!

I liked that the strongest characters were the oldest (the black maid/good witch) and the youngest (13-year-old girl skeptic) and the relationship that developed between them. The atmosphere is so descriptive that I felt like I was on the beach with them.

Great choice for Southern Gothic horror. Thanks to all of you who read this for previous Halloween Bingos and brought it to my attention with your amazing reviews.

 

 

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The Elementals - Michael McDowell, R.C. Bray

What’s in that house child knows more than you know. What’s in that house don’t come out o’ your mind.

It wants to trick you into believing what’s not right. Its got no truth to it.

You stand at one o’ them doors thinking somethings behind it, nothings behind it. It’s waiting for you upstairs, it’s waiting for you downstairs, it’s standing behind you.

The tension is building. I’m just dying to know what is really in the third house and who is going to suffer because of it.

 

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

The Exorcist

Review:

The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty

Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men’s eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.

So begins this book and indeed many other extremely horrific events. Poor Chris has no idea how much her life is about to change as she starts hearing rapping sounds coming from her daughter’s room.

There’s not much I can say about this book that hasn’t been said many times over. I remember seeing the movie and being freaked out. However, the book didn’t scare me (though I will admit I’m tough to scare). In fact, the book mostly plods along until the exorcism gets started. The last quarter of the book is great, the first three quarters, not so much…

I read this for Halloween Bingo, the Classic Horror square.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Book Review, Horror

Suffer the Children

Review:

Suffer the Children - Craig DiLouie

Audience: Adult

Most people didn’t understand how strongly mothers felt toward their children from the moment they were born. That this screaming thing in your arms was your entire reason for being. That you would do anything to make it happy. That you would fight, kill, die.

– Chapter 11

This book is chilling, heartbreaking, gruesome, and I couldn’t put it down. I don’t want to give anything away, but what these parents are willing to do for their children is horrifying. The parents in this book are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep their children alive. DiLouie’s writing is masterful and he makes the entire premise believable and so all the more terrifying. I highly recommend this book to horror fans everywhere.

 

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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Historical fiction, Horror

The Jekyll Revelation

Review:

The Jekyll Revelation - Robert Masello, Christopher Lane

Audience: Adult

This is a historical horror/thriller story revolving around Robert Louis Stevenson, the story of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Jack the Ripper. It alternates between 1880’s London and “present day” California. My favorite parts were in the 1880’s where Stevenson creates the story of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and deals with the consequences. The present-day story revolves around Rafe, an environmental scientist who is working to save the coyotes and stumbles across a mysterious steamer trunk.

The part with Stevenson is intriguing and suspenseful and was hard to put down. But, the present day part with Rafe is a bit tedious and took a while to get going. I kept trying to figure out how it connected with the Stevenson story but was more interested in getting back to the 1880’s. The narration is well done even though the accent irritated me a bit.

This is a brilliant premise for a story but lacks a bit in the execution. Overall I enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of history and horror (as combining the two is a bit unusual).

 

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Posted in Adult, Book Review, Horror, thriller

End of Watch

Review:

End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) - Stephen King

Audience – Adult

It’s always darkest before the dawn.

– first sentence

Bill, Holly, and Jerome are all back and so is Brady. Despite traumatic brain injuries and spending the past 5 years in a vegetative state (or maybe because of it), Brady has developed deadly mental powers. He can take over other people’s bodies (and minds) and use them to do his bidding. He wants revenge, not only on Bill but on the entire city. Brady was dangerous enough walking around, but now he is even worse, especially because no one thinks he is capable of doing anything.

The thing I loved best about this book is the focus on Brady’s paranormal abilities. Compared to the other two books in the series (which I enjoyed btw), this book more closely resembled King’s previous works of supernatural suspense. This was an amazing end to a surprisingly good series.

I read a few other reviews that complained about the book being unrealistic and not providing a believable explanation for Brady’s abilities. Being a huge Stephen King fan, I am thrilled with Brady’s powers and I definitely wasn’t looking for realism in this book. King’s ability to take typically benign things/people/animals and turn them into supernaturally terrifying threats is part of his charm. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

 

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Posted in Adult, Book Review, Graphic Novel, Horror

Walking Dead Vol. 1 – Days Gone Bye

Review:

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye - Tony Moore, Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead will be the zombie movie that never ends.

– from the introduction by Robert Kirkman

I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead tv show. It’s hard to put into words what this show means to me and how it has played with my emotions over the years. I can’t believe I waited this long to read the graphic novel.

I loved everything about this graphic novel and I can’t wait to read Volume 2.

 

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Posted in Adult, Book Review, Horror

A Terrifying Twist on the zombie genre

Review:

Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel - Jonathan Maberry Fall of Night - Jonathan Maberry Dark of Night - Flesh and Fire (Journalstone's Doubledown) - Lucas Mangum, Rachael Lavin, Jonathan Maberry

 

This is how the world ends.

 – First sentence

 

Wow. Reading Dead of Night blew my mind. Imagine being trapped inside your brain, having no control over your actions, but feeling and experiencing everything. Oh, and your body is a zombie, eating people. The people trapped inside zombie bodies just wanted to die and escape the horror. Maberry captured their thoughts and feelings perfectly.

A scientist creates a formula that mimics death, with the purpose of punishing serial killers in the worst possible way. He plans to inject the formula during the execution process and bury the body in an unmarked grave. When the killer’s consciousness revives, they are unable to move, forced to experience the pain of decomposition, and the torture of being buried partially alive. Of course, things don’t go as planned and the world gradually goes to hell.

I’ve been a fan of Jonathan Maberry’s work since I read Rot & Ruin several years ago. The events in the Dead of Night series take place years before that, in the same world. He is an amazing writer. I’m looking forward to reading more by him.

Overall the series was fantastic. Dead of Night (book 1) was my favorite, followed by Fall of Night (#2), and then Dark of Night (#3). Dark of Night was very short, but I enjoyed seeing characters from other series in that one.

It was funny seeing the characters watching dead people reanimate and not believing their eyes. Or, seeing the zombies taking bites out of people and then watching others trying to reason with them. Zombies are so prevalent in our entertainment that I felt much more knowledgable on the subject than the characters in the books. How did they not realize what was happening and how did it get so out of control? The characters also wrestle with moral issues – is it ethical to destroy a town full of innocent people in order to prevent an apocalypse?

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…?

 

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Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Grades 6-8, Horror, Middle Grade, Sunshine State 2018-19

Curse of the Boggin – audiobook

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This is book one in The Library series, about a magical library that helps spirits whose stories have been disrupted by supernatural events.  After Marcus finds the key that opens the door to the library, he is confronted by a creepy old lady who demands that he “Surrender the key.” Along with his friends, Lu and Theo, Marcus must fight an ancient enemy and protect the library.

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job. The forward gave interesting information about the author and the other books in this series, complete with creepy laugh. The only slightly annoying part was when the narrator read for the librarian who has a Scottish accent. It was a bit distracting.

While this book was much shorter than what I’m used to, the length is perfect for young readers. I was a bit disappointed when it ended so soon. Middle-grade readers will want more of this scary, thrilling adventure. Some may find they want to leave the lights on after reading, but the story is worth it.

This book has also been released as Surrender the Key. There is one more book in the series so far (Black Moon Rising), and book 3, The Oracle of Doom, will be released in October of this year. After reading this book, I am interested in checking out other series by this author including The Pendragon series, and The Morpheus Road series.

Has anyone out there read either of those or something else by MacHale?

Recommended to: Readers in grades 5-8 who are looking for a scary adventure series.

 

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