Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Review: The Little Book of Horrors


A deliciously wicked treat, no holds barred horror served up bloody with a side dish of sex. The Little Book of Horrors is macabre, disturbing, viciously satisfying and definitely not for the squeamish. 

Look. I'm going to be honest here. That description may be a little misleading. 

I double checked. This book is for adults.

*sigh* Where do I start?

Okay, so I don't want to rip the collection to pieces, mostly because I haven't got time, so I'll just go through the first story. Um. Spoilers. 

Karma's a Psychopath.

So, a guy meets a man about a monkey. No that's not the beginning of a joke. The guy buys a marmoset to use as a prop in his business venture in Benidorm (!). He spends his evenings charging 10 euros a pop for people to have their photo taken with a now abused monkey.

I shit you not.

A few weeks later, a woman turns up and picks up the guy. Even takes the monkey with them. Kinky. 

Her name is Karma. Oh.... now I get it. Karma.

Anyway, she kills him. And takes care of the monkey. No. Not like that. That's disgusting.

The end. 

I don't know where to begin. It's not interesting. It's not "no holds barred horror". There's no "macabre". It's not "disturbing", "satisfying", and my mom would read this with the lights out. 

Yes the stories in here should be classed as horror. But so should Addams Family Reunion. The one without Raul Julia.  

Think of something nice to say. Think of something nice to say. 

It's edited pretty well. Laid out okay. Cover's...the right size.

And that's why it isn't getting zero stars. It could have been worse.


You can purchase this abomination against viciously satisfying, disturbing, horror here:

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Review: Afterworld

Listed on Amazon as a romantic comedy? Interesting...

Zack remembers his death, waking up in a world much like our own. But there is no disease, no death, no hope. The enigmatic judge tells him he will remain in Afterworld until he takes care of his problems. And so begins a struggle against his worst enemy: himself. Can he stop using women, or will he be cursed to just go on forever? How does one accept their fate, when they know of better? To succeed, he must pass the test, overcome his failings and prove what he does is not who he is...

I'm a big fan of Donald White's Otherplace (my review / buy link). It's a cool bizarro/horror. But for a few minor discrepancies it works. And it's great. It's stylish horror. It fits well with White's back catalog. Mostly horror, and a few oddities.

Afterworld is an oddity.

I was hoping for more "Otherplace" in here, I'll admit. Hell, the book description lends to bizarro. But no. This is pretty much a straight played romance. Just set in the afterlife is all.

Zack is what you and I would call a player. Then he dies, and in Afterworld he can be anything he likes. So naturally he falls on his base instinct. It makes him an unlikable protagonist to begin with.

He does grow on you though.

I'd challenge White about the comedy aspect of it, but that could be that I'm from a different part of the world. Or that I don't really do romantic comedies. It is sweet, touching, even, but it didn't garner great laughs from me.

For a book far outside of my normal remit, I'll admit to not really wanting to put it down. In fact I did blast through it quicker than I normally read. That, I put down to White's writing style.

Again, his writing is good. It's clear. It's not littered with mistakes. The editing is sharp. In fact the only noticeable error I found was the Afterworld was mis-typed as Afterplace at one point, and I was drawn to wanting a mashup of the two. (Go on Donald. For me.)

It's a good, solid, romance, and an easy entrance to the genre.

You can buy it:

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Review: Needfire

My first taste of Amy Braun. Surely not my last.

A virus has spread across the country, infecting its victims and turning them into bloodthirsty monsters. Trained soldiers are dispatched to eliminate the threat, no matter how mild the infection seems.

Sophia, Isaac, and Reyes live on the run, scavenging what they can and staying away from both sides of the conflict. But all of that changes when one of them becomes infected.

As they struggle to find the rumored cure, the three friends begin to realize that the virus isn't what it seems, and that finding it may cost them more than they could ever imagine...

While I would love to see a sequel to this novella, sadly it was released some time ago, and I feel the author has moved on to new projects. But man, it's cool.

Those that read my reviews will know that I generally review horror. And this does have horror elements, but at it's heart it is so much more. Set in a world of "bloodthirsty monsters" (vampires) this is a tale of commitment, bravery, and relationships.

At it's heart, it is a romance.

But, you know, with death, and blood letting. The best kind really.

The thing is, the best kind of horror has you with the characters, and Braun does that. She defines the characters with ease, and deftly weaves them into the tale.

It's quite mesmerizing to read.

This is an outstanding read.