Saturday, 31 August 2013

Girls and Monsters by Anne Michaud

This is a collection of novellas with a dark Young Adult theme running through. Each story plays on a childhood fear, and one or two explore the theme of madness as well.

I am not a huge fan of Young Adult books so I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying these short stories. Anthologies have always appealed to me, as you can dip in and out as suits. For me it was an excellent way to take my YA in little bites! I would recommend this to ages of sixteen and over as some of the themes are quite dark and horrific. Indeed one of them, I shall be checking under my bed before I go to sleep for quite some while!!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

House of Rain by Greg F. Gifune

This is the story of Gordon, an elderly Vietnam vet devastated by the loss of his wife - he is both surrounded by and lost in old and crippling memories. After witnessing an attack on a homeless man by three youths, he beings seeing things, and as he begins to think he is going mad, old secrets start to surface, secrets he would rather stayed hidden. What happened that night so many years ago at the club, and what has the incessant rainfall got to do with it?

This started quite quietly, so the ending took me quite by surprise! Gordons character was likeable as the tortured Vietnam vet still trying to come to terms with the loss of his wife. the descriptions of the things he keeps seeing out of the corner of his eye had me looking over my shoulder once or twice! I enjoyed this and recommend it for a quick read one evening.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Housemates by Iain Rob Wright

This is the story of Damien. Given the chance to appear on a reality TV show to win 2 million pounds, he readily agrees in order to help his close friend and work partner, Harry, who is terminally ill. Shrouded in secrecy, he and the other contestants make their way to the house they will be staying in for the next 10 days. Once there, they are introduced to the mysterious 'Landlord', known only by a voice over a loudspeaker. made to do tasks and elimination challenges, it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems and that this is not just a fight for the money but also for their very lives....

This was a gobsmacker from the very outset. Think 'Big Brother' crossed with 'Saw' but on steroids. it was graphic and unrelenting and enthralling. I was hooked from the outset and HAD to keep reading - stuff sleep! Sadly, much to my disappointment sleep won, but I was straight back to it as soon as was humanly possible, devouring every word. Without giving too much away, the characters were all brilliant, an eclectic mix of societies dregs. With some of them, there really was nothing to love, but that made them all the more interesting. The story itself was well paced, and the ending was unexpected. I have read a couple of Iain's books now, and he never fails to disappoint. Read this if you like your horror gutsy and graphic, you won't be sorry.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Genesis Code by Lisa Von Biela

This is the story of Mark. His father-in-law has just died from early onset Alzheimers Disease, and there is a fear his wife, Sheila, may contract the disease as well. With that in mind, he takes a high powered job at OneMarket, an internet based trading company. Renowned for treating their staff like workhorses, all his time is suddenly taken up with work, to the detriment of his home life and marriage. Unbeknownst to him though, he is in the middle of a conspiracy to create an even more productive workforce with the aid of implants to the brain. He and his partner have been chosen for the trials. Then his partner suddenly dies, and he is in a race against time to stop the same thing happening to himself, and bring down the powers that be.

This is the sort of sci-fi techno thriller I usually steer clear of. Coming from DarkFuse though, I was sure it would be more than that, and I wasn't wrong. I was hooked from the first page and nearly wore out my Kindle finger racing to find out what happened next! The good guys were likeable, the bad guys were sinister and creepy. There was a definite undercurrent of 'what if' running through the story and that made it all the more chilling. I understand this is the authors debut novel - well, I think this is a fantastic debut! The technobabble is spot on, but never gets in the way of the story, instead it enhances it, and the pace flows relentlessly. I thoroughly enjoyed this and am eager to read more from this author.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Nightsiders by Gary McMahon

This is the story of Rob and his family. They arrive at their new house after a holiday to find another family has moved in, claiming ownership. The local police sergeant claims it is all above board, but offers to look into it, suggesting they stay in a local hotel in the meantime. From thereon, things start to go horribly wrong for the family, and over the course of one night, the final showdown will reveal things in their true light....

This is quite a disturbing novella, but in a good way. It kept me page turning and glued to the story. Some scenes were quite horrific, and had me wincing, I think they will stay with me for quite a while! The premise is a tried and tested one, paying homage to stories of its kind that have gone before, but the author takes this to a new level of fear and horror. I totally recommend this as I enjoyed it immensely.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Chasing the Silver Goddess - Passions of the Flesh by T. L. Summers

This is the story of Justin. While out one night he stumbles upon a beautiful woman at a bus stop. Suddenly he is chased by four wolflike creatures, they chase him into a wood, and he runs smack into a tree. From thereon everything is a little hazy until he wakes up next to the beautiful woman. Unknown to him, his life has now changed forever...

This is the first offering from a new author on the block, T. L. Summers. It is also the first in what will be a serial of werewolf erotica novellas. In this installment, the story is established, and characters laid down. The storyline is good, and the sex is pretty hot, although not too in your face, it contributes to the story well. All in all,a decent beginning to what promises to be an exciting serial.