Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Shadow Animals by Keith Deininger

This is the story of Saul. He lives on the edge of Copperton Forest with his wife and son. The forest is a strange place full of sinister secrets and strange animals. Now Saul's son Ezzy has failed to come home, and fearing the worst he must make the journey into the Forest and beyond to rescue him...

I enjoyed this, the story belted along, full of tension and drama. Saul's plight is one any parent dreads, and as a mother of two sons myself I identified with him totally. I have read and enjoyed most of Keith's work and this certainly did not disappoint. It is a quick read but Keith's writing and vivid descriptions keep you glued to the page. At times I had to wince, as they were so vivid! This is a belter of a novella with an unusual twist at the end.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Red Cells by Jeffrey Thomas

This is the story of Jeremy Stake. As a mutant shapeshifter, he takes a chance to impersonate another man to do his prison sentence for him. This is no ordinary prison though, it is a prison that exists in its own universe. Now inmates are being murdered, well, obliterated. All that is left of them is a spray of blood. It is now up to Stake to find our how they are being murdered and why.

This was an exciting, quick read. It has elements of sci-fi as well as horror. It is set in the fictional world of Punktown, that the author has written about in other books. It was fast paced and kept me page turning. The characters were interesting and varied in their descriptions. This is the first of the Punktown books I have read, and I shall certainly be seeking out some more!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Losing the Hate by Simon Palmer

This is Simon's own story - in his own words - of the horrific abuse he suffered from the age of ten, and the consequences it had on his life. it is a shocking, no holds barred account of how his life was changed forever by a teacher he trusted, and respected and who should really have known better...

This was emotionally brutal. I have just finished it for the second time and I am a limp rag of emotion. There are brutal scenes, brutal language and brutal emotions. All these serve to tell the story though, a story that must have been difficult for Simon to revisit, but ultimately cathartic for him. The injections of Simon's poetry in between chapters served to catch a glimpse into the person he was at the time. I hope others who have been through the same horrors have the courage to speak out after reading this. In Simon telling his story hopefully others gain courage and not allow the hurt and horror to control their lives and choices.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Marrow's Pit by Keith Deininger

This is the story of Ballard. As long as he can remember, life has been the Machine. It provides for them and they serve and worship it. Then one day a terrible accident occurs and he must make a perilous journey outside the Machine to the dark and mysterious area known as Marrow's Pit.

I started this with the intention of just reading a bit and then coming back to it. That didn't happen. I devoured the whole novella in one sitting. The story belted along without taking a breath until the end. The characters were likeable and fitted with the story. It wasn't out and out horror, but more what life would be like if we lived, breathed and worshipped the same entity and existed to serve its purpose. another great read from Keith and DarkFuse.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Nightcrawlers by Tim Curran

This is the story of Clavitts Field. 200 years ago it was burned to the ground amid rumours of witchcraft and demon worship. Now bodies have started to turn up on the site where the town once stood. It is up to the state Troopers to find out what is going on. The local Law Enforcement know, have grown up with the knowledge, but they aren't telling because the horror of the truth is too much to put into words......

This was amazing! It was gross and scary and trippy all at the same time. The pace belted along and I had no choice but to hang on tight as I was taken on the ride of my life. I thought that the Nightcrawlers of the title might refer to Zombies, but actually it is something far worse, and believe me when I say I am NEVER going pot holing now I have read this book! Two thirds of the way in and the atmosphere was so claustrophobic, I had to read through my fingers almost as I trembled in my comfy chair! The ending was well written and answered any lingering questions I may have had. I totally recommend this one as a brilliant example of a claustrophobic and tense novella.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Rotting Dead F*cks by Matt Shaw

This is the story of Ted. He is the worst type of racist bigot ever to walk the earth and has psychopathic tendencies on top of that. One day the world goes to hell literally when a virus is unleashed and the dead start to walk again. For most people this would be a nightmare, but for someone like Ted it is an opportunity for him to indulge in his darker side without fear of repercussion.....

 I really enjoyed this. Matt clearly had great fun writing it, and it shows in the standard of the writing. For those familiar to Matt's work, I would say Ted is a lot like Peter but without any of his likeable qualities - Ted really is an odious character. Be warned, some of the things he does may upset some readers. But then that's why Matt has included a warning on the front of the book! The story flowed well, going from one characters story to the next by chapter. The ending was brilliant, with one character receiving a richly deserved come-uppance! I recommend this for fans of extreme horror.