Posts Tagged With: horror literature

dracula | “Powers of Darkness” by Bram Stoker; Valdimar Asamundsson

1Author: Bram Stoker; Valdimar Asamundsson
Title: Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature, Gothic Literature
Pages: 320
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I set myself a small but not easy task. I want to read one book of Dracula every month this year. And I’ve started this challenge real well too, with, seemingly, the lost version of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. For he had to edit and censor his for England of those times. But he didn’t have to send the edited version to every other publisher abroad, apparently. So, places like Iceland got something different from what our copies might be.

About: The book is not ground-breakingly different. The essence is exactly the same. Except that here, after a very, very long debate by translators and whoever else at the start, we get different proportions, and slightly differently toned characters. For instance, while we had a fairly short visit at Dracula’s castle, or at least a short description, for it wasn’t all that short for Harker, and then a longer story of the hunt for Dracula in England, here we got the opposite. Most of the book is purely Harker roaming about Dracula’s castle, realizing he’s a prisoner, and that he really, really likes Dracula’s niece. The rest of the book is told very quickly, in meager little chapters, and not in the already familiar diary form. As for differences in characters, Dracula is a bit more blunt, and fairly more sexual being, not at all timid with his words or compliments. Others got some alterations too, but due to lack of interaction with them, since there virtually was no continuation after Harker fled the castle, I’ve nothing to tell other than what translators at the beginning told.

Mine: At the start of the book the translators will tell you high and mighty what this book is supposed to be, how it’s different, how different are the characters, their interactions among themselves. After a long debate, they come to a conclusion that this is: a) a rewriting by Icelandic translator; b) a blessed by Stoker rewriting by Icelandic translator; c) the original that Bram Stoker wrote, but couldn’t publish. In my humble opinion, they spoke too much to serve us what they served. If this is not word-to-word translation, and is instead an abbreviation, for I honestly tell you, at the end we’re told “and then Dracula came, roamed around, and those guys killed him” rephrasing, then I’m more than a little bit upset. And then, if it is an uncut gem, fully translated book, then it is marvelously bad. Either way, it seems, I’m not very happy.

If you like Dracula the way I do, both the historical figure who might have inspired Stoker, and the myth, the legend, Count Dracula the Vampire, then you should read this book, no matter what. And Dacre Stoker’s works too, mostly for his own speeches in them. This is also the reason I give this book a 4 out of 5, no less. For otherwise, if you are not a fan, this is not worth that high of a score, no.

Advertisements
Categories: 4-5, Books: Dracula, Gothic Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

horror | “Plague of the Dead” by Z.A. Recht | Morningstar Strain 1

1Author: Z.A. Recht
Title: Plague of the Dead
Series: Morningstar Strain 1
Genre: Horror Literature, Zombies
Pages: 292
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Such an ominous title. I truly expected hellish creatures, a zombie apocalypse, terror left and right. Instead I got long discussions, plain characters who always make the right decisions, and linear plot from one zombie infested point to another.

About: A virus outbreak tends to be similar every time. Isolated incident. Then isolated cluster. Leading to a few such before it starts spreading all over like wildfire. Even your common flu is scary when it spreads this way. And this? This is a zombie apocalypse, a virus to wipe humanity out.

Virus can take both living and the dead as host. The living are called “runners“, for they’re agile, fast. They’ll chase you down, often in hordes, and you better pray you’re faster than a creature with no sense of what is tired, and doesn’t need to breathe the way you do. But you can kill these the regular way. It’s those who are infected dead, or those who died infected, that are bothersome. They’re quiet, dormant until there’s anything of interest, and will slowly crawl across the desert itself to reach your yet uninfected flesh.

And then we have the backwards effect. From isolated incident to isolated clusters. To plague. To isolated clusters of survivors, to isolated, single survivors.

Mine: A group of soldiers sent to evacuate survivors hops from point to point. Each one either already infested by zombies, or is somehow not deemed worthy of them. While now and again we see them run, because ammo is long gone, most of the time we see them stand there, chatting, deciding what to do. Everyone does the right thing, everyone succeeds or becomes hero for trying. This was the bluntest story, and not in the good way, I’ve read in a long time, with very one-dimensional characters that did not help me progress at all.

Zombies are great. It’s a hard topic to mess up. You’ve a virus, you’ve horror, fear to live, fear to die. The hopelessness of easy infection and very, very difficult destruction of the infected. The book sort of had these traits, but they got buried under politics, who should do what, and why is the place they’re at – bad. 2 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 2-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

horror | “The Carrow Haunt” by Darcy Coates

1Author: Darcy Coates
Title: The Carrow Haunt
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature, Paranormal
Pages: 370
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I feel like there’ll be many of these random horror books in my search for the good ones. I want to read more of King, of course, but I don’t want to be reading him back-to-back, so here goes. This one wasn’t really good, sadly. Not my cup of tea.

About: Carrow Haunt House stood ominous, open to tourists in search for spirits, ghosts, thrills, and terror. Many have been slain here by one of the previous owners, and due to ritualistic nature of their deaths – the dead don’t seem to be able to move on. Remy leads tourist groups in and out, shepherding, warning, telling stories. And no one ever fails to feel, see, or hear something. All went well, and she was happy with her job. Until she took one she shouldn’t have. One of the men from the group offered a week long stay at the Carrow Haunt, with seances, mediums, experts. But soon after settling in they all realized they’re in mortal danger…

Mine: It took forever for anyone to start questioning motifs behind this offer. And yet no time has been wasted in assuming it might be real blood and flesh killers at work, someone physical hidden in the house, even if evidence showed contrary. The most scary part about the book was the detailed descriptions of the horrors there, corpses, specters, ghosts. But that’s the thing, I don’t like it when I know what’s chasing everyone. It felt too much like “Heart-Shaped Box” by Joe Hill, and I’m of poor opinion on that one too. But keep that in mind if you liked it.

I don’t know, I just didn’t like it. Not my thing, not scary enough, with this strange feeling that author forgot she was writing a mystery, and thus had to introduce new “evidence” that would somewhat deny what we read before. It felt jumbled. 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, ghosts, Mystery Books, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity |”The Price of Meat” by K.J. Charles

1Author: K.J. Charles
Title: The Price of Meat
Series: –
Genre: Horror, LGBT Literature
Pages: 73
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I have the worst luck choosing books I’ll read before bed time. Like this one, for instance. I know full well KJC can write real terrifying things. Still I take it. I suspect by the title what it’ll be. I still take it. Can’t say I didn’t love it though, for I did.

About: At the heart of London there’s rot called the liberty of Alsatia, where King’s law doesn’t exist, and where the worst of the worst gather. For to choose liberty in Alsatia just to avoid death, well, let’s just say some would have their doubts about which fate is worse. Here, in the dark narrow streets teeming with violence and hunger, rule the so called Freemen, elite of this nightmare. Men who found a way out of Alsatia, and their way back in, without getting killed on the spot by the law. They provide food, and they can deny it too. But here, again, some might opt to choose death by starvation over the meat Freemen serve…

Johanna Oakley has no other choice but to survive in this kingdom of darkness, ruled by monsters that were once men. She has to save her beloved, but to do so, she must gain evidence on Freemen. If she can survive it herself, that is.

Mine: If you have any fears of being eaten or cannibals in general – steer clear of this book. It was horrifying, people get torn to pieces while alive, eaten then and there, raw (not that cooking a human piece would make it better, but you get my meaning). Other than this terror, the book is really well written. Author used the full arsenal of knowledge about what extended cannibalism does to humans, and the legends about men like Sweeney Todd too. It was great, terrifying, but great.

A great and scary read. Not the first of this kind among KJC’s books, so I’ve only myself to blame. The book gets 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Misery” by Stephen King

1Author: Stephen King
Title: Misery
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Pages: 370
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes someone I like and admire will speak about a book that inspired them. Then I must read that book. This time it was “Misery” by Stephen King, and it made me rethink everything I ever thought about the author. This was a scary, suspenseful read.

About: Paul Sheldon is an author. He just privately celebrated the fact that he finally killed off Misery, and can be done with those awful books. There’s even a new manuscript for a whole different story in his bag, as he makes his way out, out of a dreamy, painful state, with someone’s disgusting, putrid breath trying to resuscitate him.

Paul has been in a car accident where his legs got shattered. But Annie was there to save him, he’s very lucky. Annie is a trained nurse, so he’s in good hands. And on top of that, she is his biggest fan. She’s the biggest fan of Misery. She absolutely knows he didn’t really mean to kill her off. And with his legs broken like that, all he really has is time, so he might as well work, since being an author doesn’t require legs all that much. He might as well write a new novel of Misery. Just for Annie. For his biggest fan. After all, he indeed is very lucky she found him…

Mine: How terrifying is helplessness when you’re surrounded by unpredictable, insane monsters in human skins. And how much worse these monsters can be than any of those one ever saw in gothic novels. You can never trust a character in this story. The moment you’ll think the plan is flawless, the moment you think this will work… Will be the moment you’ll be tricked, and learn just how much worse it can get.

A good book indeed. Do not read this if humans as is worry, scare you. There’s nothing supernatural here, only insanity, unpredictable human behavior, pure cruelty. 5 out of 5 from me, and maybe I’ll even take another King’s book, we’ll see.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 5

2Author: Diana Rowland
Title: White Trash Zombie Gone Wild
Series: White Trash Zombie 5
Genre: Zombies, Paranormal
Pages: 325
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, I’m a bit in a reading slum. Even such an easy and simple book as was the fifth book in White Trash Zombie was a tad tough. But at least it was fun, for the main plot line was pretty good.

About: Angel’s life is trying to fall apart just as she got it all together. After becoming a zombie she got a chance to ween off all the drugs she been doing due to them not working on her kind. But now there’s new pharma, just for zombies, and oh boy does it work nice. As long as she’s willing to stoop so low as to steal it from her sick Zombie Baby, the man she turned into zombie and who has been suffering side effects ever since, thus needing the treatment. On top of that, the zombie serial killer has returned, with extra footprints, no less, that lead straight to her ex, who she never thought to be this stupid, or this cold-blooded as to be a killer. And then the zombie movie showing real life footage of real live zombies doing their thing, killing, eating brains, with people Angel recognizes. All that added together threaten her and her kind into having to take drastic measures: Exodus

Mine: There’s something missing to make Angel’s personality pop, and I can’t figure what it is. She’s nice and all, but she could be real nice, you know? To add to that, I kinda hate how her redneckishness is only there via her pointing a finger and literally saying “I did this, because I’m a redneck / white trash“. Her father is becoming a father of the year too, but I’m a hopeful person, so I won’t be mad at that, and believe that it is possible. But my favorite part was Nick the Prick story line. Now that’s one curious sight to behold. Though it all gets spoiled if you think how many story lines were dropped for the sake of this one, and how everyone from the previous book just got their lives and moved on, or decided they hate Angel, and moved on.

It was okay. Above average as books like this go, but a bit far from being good just yet. I can still gladly give it a 4 out of 5, and will also gladly read the final book. It’s a good simple read, really.

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

Blog at WordPress.com.