Posts Tagged With: horror literature

book review | The Mark by Lee Mountford | horror lit.

the mark lee mountford book coverAuthor: Lee Mountford
Title: The Mark
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature; Thriller
Pages: 290
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

It’s hard to find good horror genre books. The Mark by Lee Mountford isn’t one of them either.

About the Book: One night a stranger breaks into Kirsty’s home, drugs her, and brands her back with strange occult symbols. Ever since she had no peace. At first she thought of the visions of nightmarish creatures as delusions or PTSD symptoms. But when her friend is attacked by the same demons, she knows she only has one option now: find the man who did this, and make him take it away.

My Opinion: This is some poor writing. Weird, unnatural feeling dialogues. Very precise, predictable sequence of actions and events. Everyone around Kirsty seem to be delusional and incompetent by some degree. For instance, the detective on the case waves the main lead off as irrelevant. While Kirsty somehow finds the man by his eyes that she saw once, many years ago. Her moral compass was firm, but lacked any logic behind it. It was there to make you feel for this woman who otherwise was bland, and lacked personality. The best thing in this whole book was the demon, because it turned out to be something akin to djinn Bartimaeus: seemingly the big bad, but is it, really?

Pass, 2 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, demons, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Third Wave: Eidolon by John O’Brien

The Third Wave Eidolon John Obrien CoverAuthor: John O’Brien
Title: The Third Wave: Eidolon
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature; Fiction
Pages: 356
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

The Third Wave: Eidolon by John O’Brien began very strong and very good. It was scary, eerie, and made perfect sense. But a good start doesn’t yet make for a good book.

About the Book: First wave was the largest Solar Flare ever witnessed colliding with Earth. It killed all electronics, all backups, anything even remotely functioning on electricity, thus killing millions who depended on it. Among the broken machines was the Hadron Collider in the process of two particles colliding. The second wave, caused by those two particles ripping the very fabric of time and space killed billions by ripping their very souls out of their bodies. Some, lucky ones, died. Others, soulless, were doomed to repeat the few seconds of their life until their bodies expired. Third kind became the third wave. Their souls were torn, but remained tethered, agony indescribable. The only way to remotely lessen it, and maybe detach the soul from the body is to take another soul. So the hunt for what remained left of humanity’s taters began.

My Opinion: The book began with painful but vivid and welcome details of what was happening, how, and what were the consequences of it. It was horrifying, and at times I paused my reading, just to give myself some breathing space. Truly magnificent work, I thought. But as the tale progressed it soon sort of pushed itself too far in time. Next thing we know it’s one of those tales: a handful of soldiers in a submarine, considering life on a tropical island that they could clean of vermin prying on their souls. With added bonus of that one chosen young woman, for apparently no one else ever woke up from a coma, saving the poor souls.

The first half was amazing, and to it go all the 3 out of 5 points. The rest was mediocre. Good writing, pretty well made characters, but it could’ve been… More.

Categories: 3-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, ghosts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer Lynch

the secret diary of laura palmer jennifer lynch twin peaksAuthor: Jennifer Lynch
Title: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
Series: –
Genre: Horror literature; Mystery
Pages: 184
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Have you ever watched the cult series Twin Peaks? I can still hear the intro tune in my head. And recently I discovered there’s a diary of Laura Palmer, the main blonde beauty in the series, whose murder brought the detectives to the town. Book “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer” is written by Jennifer Lynch, daughter of the Twin Peaks series creator. But, to be honest, as well as it was written, it was disgusting.

About the Book: Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks has two diaries. One is the light and bright one, by a teenage girl with future ahead. It’s meant for prying eyes, to those who can’t help themselves but snoop. The other one holds her darkness. Darkness that is spreading, choking, drowning her. Ever since she was twelve, and maybe even before that, she kept dreaming of darkness, of woods, owls, strange old men abusing her, using her. These dreams seeped through into her daydreams and fantasies as the girl entered teenage years. But it seems these fantasies were feeding a demon. A demon she learns to be called Bob. He hunts and tortures her in her dreams, and, apparently, intends to take her to hell.

My Opinion: So here’s what’s what. This child has very clear dreams of older men abusing her. Her father’s co-worker gifts her a pony for her birthday. A demon chases her in her dreams, calls her dirty, nasty. Before age sixteen she was selling her body to fund coke addiction. This is a broken girl, whose mind suffered such great trauma by those she loved and trusted, that it created a demon that ruled over them all to justify the human monsters. And that is why this book was so very disgusting to read.

I won’t recommend this to anyone, and wish it had a trigger warning, for I’m not into reading about such abuse. The girl didn’t live to be an adult, for gods sake. Because why help her, when you can use her, right? 3 out of 5 is the best I can give it. It’s well written ravings of a broken person.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, Mystery Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

book review | Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone | Dead Jack 1

dead jack and the pandemonium device james aquilone book coverAuthor: James Aquilone
Title: Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device
Series: Dead Jack 1
Genre: Horror Literature, Humor
Pages: 211
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

When I saw Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone book cover, I knew I’m going to like it. For the same reason I liked Skulduggery Pleasant books: noir vibe with a dead-man for a detective. Dark but simple humor with dirty streaks to it.

About the Book: Jack is a detective in Pandemonium, a realm between life, death, heaven, and hell. He’s pretty good at what he does, even though his partner, a homunculus who one day just moved into the empty cavern of Jack’s skull, would highly disagree: his plans are reckless, poorly thought out, and even deadly. Jack is also a zombie with a fairy dust addiction. According to him, that’s the only thing that keeps the flesh craving at bay. His partner doesn’t necessarily believe that either, but here Jack is. Out of dust, approaching a leprechaun for more. Except instead of dust he gets his ass roasted. And, let’s just say… Leprechaun meat is delicious.

My Opinion: The book consists out of small little mysteries, and one big one that drives the plot, gives back-story, world building, and background to people in Pandemonium, including Jack and his origins of being. There’s plenty of real fun and great things, like mermaids who want to eat you, and pixies who are a bit too big to be pixies, because their mothers were indeed pixies, but their father’s were human men, and nobody wants to ask HOW, nobody. And due to Jack not taking himself too seriously too, we get this great fast paced book full of dark and sometimes a bit vulgar humor, daring plans that somehow work, and heroes in the most unlikely places.

That was a great fun of a book, I can’t wait to put my hands on the second one. This one gets a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Midnight in a Perfect World by Ambrose Ibsen

midnight in a perfect world ambrose ibsen book coverAuthor: Ambrose Ibsen
Title: Midnight in a Perfect World
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature, Paranormal
Pages: 288
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

October began, and so did the horror TBR season. The first book this month is Midnight in a Perfect World by Ambrose Ibsen. A lovecraftian tale that’d be a Tzimisce’s wet dream what with gruesome molding sights.

About the Book: A world beside ours, separated from ours by a thin veil, hides darkness, blood, torment, and a black sun towards which a titan-like creature with three mouths, and enormous bulk, is striving to climb. It climbs on a structure made out of bodies, living, eternally serving one’s god, and another’s nightmarish devil. But only a certain kind of altered mind, disorder, can peer beyond the veil, so building took what seemed an eternity. Up until It found a perfect vessel for Its thoughts, one who’ll synthesize the altered state of mind, and bring everyone about into paranoia, anxiety, panic… Visions. Now it won’t be so long anymore. Not long at all until Godhead rules over his dominion as its rightful god once again.

My Opinion: The horror in this book comes from a state of helplessness. You can’t fight the being, you can’t resist it. You can only submit into becoming its stepladder. Some view the creature as their god, so they submit with bliss felt by people who serve their highest purpose. Others are too aware of this beast being of nightmares. But is it? For according to this book, it guided us through our whole existence, as if God was made by Lovecraft. Another interesting point, of which there were many in a book I couldn’t call interesting, was the idea of mental and personality disorders being a step in evolution. Though while in movie Split that step led towards a heightened state, of people who could feel more, be more, here it quite literally was a step towards hell, nightmares.

I can’t recommend this book to anyone, nor do I want to. It’s not per say very good in itself. And the ideas here aren’t for everyone. Hefty stuff. 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Dracula: Rise of the Beast by Collective of Authors

dracula rise of the beast book cover reviewAuthor: David Thomas Moore; Adrian Tchaikovsky; Milena Benini; Bogi Takacs; Emil Minchev; Caren Gussoff Sumpton
Title: Dracula: Rise of the Beast
Series: –
Genre: Dracula; Horror Literature
Pages: 304
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I was eyeing “Dracula: Rise of the Beast” anthology for a while now. My break point was Adrian Tchaikovsky. Sadly, it was far from what I expected with the presented idea.

About the Book: This is a tale of how Vlad the Impaler became Count Dracula the Vampire, and from his homeland came onto the shores to meet Mina and Lucy. Well, or so one would hope. In truth this is a tale of Corvinus sitting in the background, plotting, angry at Vlad for not being his submissive spouse, and so hunting his Romani servants. Told in tales that either add nothing to the whole narrative, like the one of Bathory, or with mere mentions of Dracula’s name in relation to someone else.

My Opinion: The book is full of these singular good ideas that didn’t get to rise to fruition due to lack of logic in stories, messy, jumbled plots, and a great lack of consistency via the whole anthology. It’s told with these interludes that are supposed to make it one big tale of how an adopted transgender daughter of a Romani woman was destined to be taken by Corvinus, so instead she upped to kill him instead. I’m not sure where Dracula fits in it all, other than being presented as a former lover of said man. Nor do I know the reasons of why Corvinus was after those people, that particular woman. The best story in this whole was “A Stake Too Far” by Milena Benini, for that one was smooth, logical, and about Dracula (I stress that, because one or two others were good too, but were NOT about Dracula, no beast rose there).

Great ideas, poor execution. I can give it a mere 3 out of 5, and even then barely.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Last Hellfighter by Thomas S. Flowers

thomas flowers last hellfighter book cover vampire horror literatureAuthor: Thomas S. Flowers
Title: The Last Hellfighter
Series: –
Genre: Horror literature; Vampires
Pages: 403
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

As much as I enjoy loose reusing of old tales, The Last Hellfighter by Thomas S. Flowers was not good.

About the Book: Harker is now 144, WWI veteran, the last of the Harlem Hellfighters who fought and killed enemy and vampire alike. And the nightmare never left him, all these years. For just because you return from war, doesn’t mean the war has stopped. In fact, sometimes, the nightmare becomes reality when you finally reach the imagined safety and peace of your home. For with a mere cloud of dust evil comes to Harker’s home, and his pregnant wife Mina is killed by no other than Vampire Countess herself. He, thus, vows to slay her, no matter the price.

My Opinion: Author chose the straightest, smoothest road towards the goal. He made no risks making any turns, and didn’t bother searching for more logical sequence of events, trusting instead the good old chewed up gum that is a plot like this. Characters, Countess included, generally only served the purpose of letting Harker talk, or letting Harker get closer to Countess. And why a divine creature who lived from the dawn of time chose to be a mere countess is a secret never to be told either.

This was a bad cup of tea. I can only give a 2 out of 5, and that mostly because writing was smooth enough to get you through this.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice | Ramses the Damned 2

anne rice christopher ramses the damned passion of cleopatra book coverAuthor: Anne Rice, Christopher Rice
Title: The Passion of Cleopatra
Series: Ramses the Damned 2
Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Back in the day I’ve read Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice, thinking then it was a stand-alone with an open end to it. Cleopatra terrified me in that book, for I loathe monsters that cannot be killed. So, of course I had to pick up this belated sequel to it, and find out what has happened. I’ve no regrets.

About the Book: Cleopatra didn’t die, no. But her state of mind is a nightmare. Visions, dreams haunt the Queen. The memories just a moment ago so vivid and clear now gone, leaving only a memory of a memory that was and is no more. Cleopatra believes Ramses might have answers, and so she must face her nemesis again if only to get more eternal life Elixir that might, just might make her better.

But all the while behind their blind backs work forces older than either one of the former rulers of Egypt. They want wrongs righted. They want their stolen Elixir, and they want the immortals made by it.

My Opinion: I think I’ll have to look into Christopher Rice works. I’ve read quite a fair share of Anne Rice’s work to say this book had a very great improving touch in it, and now I must know if it was her son who steered it so well out of the maze of descriptions, details, and very long inner monologues that lead absolutely nowhere, normally. This here was perfectly balanced with action, tension, horror; long talks, politics, detailed descriptions of outfits and parties. And while some characters truly lacked depth, the overall picture the book has painted was truly good, or at least entertaining, and what more could one ask?

Many of us likely dream of being the great adventurers, explorers, finders of secrets long lost. But most of us likely have to be content with books about it. This book had means to satisfy that craving to an extent, for which I can give it a very solid 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Elevation by Stephen King

elevation lory stephen king book coverAuthor: Stephen King
Title: Elevation
Series: –
Genre: Fiction, Horror
Pages: 146
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I used to, and still might complain of how good Stephen King’s books are, but how dragged the stories get, full of events that seem to only serve the purpose of postponing the end. So what’s better than to take some short stories by a good author like that? I picked up “Elevation” and was not disappointed.

About the Book: This book has two stories within. The first one is called Elevation. It’s of a man in small town who seems to be losing weight. Well, not body mass, no. Just the weight. As if gravity decided to leave him be. Anything he holds gets the same fate while he holds it, so he can’t even weight himself down. And it seems there’ll be a point zero, eventually. But until then there’s still time, and he’s not about to waste it.

The second story is called Lory. It’s of a grieving widower to whom his sister gifted a puppy girl. He’s learning to take care of her, and love her. And soon finds himself so very attached to the adorable, communicating animal, that he fights fate nails and teeth when it tries to take her away.

My Opinion: Both stories are good. They’re very well written, as one would expect from someone with so much experience as Stephen King. The only thing I didn’t like, and I’m sad this is what is the least believable part: everyone seemed very mature and kind, and capable of thought process. They said thank-you’s and please, they apologized when necessary, and admitted fault. What sort of fantasy is that?

I can recommend these books for a little bit of heartwarming with a spice kind of read, for there’s tension for sure. From me it gets a strong 4 out of 5

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker | Stoker’s Dracula 2

dracula the undead dacre stoker book coverAuthor: Dacre Stoker
Title: Dracula the Un-Dead
Series: Stoker’s Dracula 2
Genre: Horror literature, Vampires
Pages: 424
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

So, the most recent book by Dacre Stoker, the “Dracul” is a prequel to Bram Stoker‘s “Dracula“, and this one. It’s a sort of a fictional biography of Bram Stoker and a sort of the origin of how the book “Dracula” was born, or the basis for it. Then you should read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” itself. And then this book, “Dracula the Un-Dead“, for it is a direct sequel to “Dracula”. And yet, it barely sticks with that prequel.

About: About twenty years after that little band of heroes got terrorized by the truth of vampire existence, Quincey Harker, son of Mina and Jonathan Harkers, against his father’s wishes, but in secret as to not lose his financial support, is pursuing a career as an actor. All is well and good, really. He even gets to meet his hero, his idol, famous actor named Basarab, who fully supports the boy’s want to become an actor, even if his father disapproves. Basarab even promises help, connections. All in return of a small favor Quincey can absolutely provide: introduce him to Bram Stoker. For, you see, Stoker is now building a play called “Dracula”, and Basarab has a few words about it…

But this is where Quincey’s life as he knows it crumbles to dust, bit by bit. The play is based on the book, the manuscript by the same title. In that story the main heroes are his mother, father, and their friends, in hunt of this vampire named Dracula. With fury of thoughts, among which not the smallest is the youthful look of his mother, who easily passes for his sister, Quincey hurries home. Yet, some secrets should remain buried in the past. For no sooner is Quincey able to find some information, confront his mother, as his father is found dead. Impaled.

Mine: The characters seem mentally challenged. They neither have logic, nor can see any. They will listen to absolutely nothing they don’t want to believe in, even if their own beliefs have absolutely no basis other than their own fantasies and fictional books they’ve read. Bram Stoker didn’t even bother to change the names of the people from diaries he presented as his book, apparently. Yes, why do that when you try to outbest your writer friends, such as Oscar Wilde. But. While I equally hate and love Dacre Stoker’s books, I must say, no matter how stupid the plot gets at times, for there’s plenty of second-hand shame I felt, they’re well written. I mean, I need a moment there and here to process the ridiculous ideas, but then, I read further, because I want to, because I’m curious. So, ah… Well done?

So. Dracula wasn’t the only vampire out there. Jack the Ripper wasn’t who you thought he was. And Titanic carried passengers from Stoker’s Dracula. For all of that, for this one and only clever ruse, for nothing else in this book was clever, I give it as much as 4 out of 5. And, you know what? I’d read another one.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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