Posts Tagged With: horror

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 | 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 | I, Ripper by Stephen Hunter

i ripper stephen hunter jack book coverAuthor: Stephen Hunter
Title: I, Ripper
Series: –
Genre: Horror; Fiction
Pages: 309
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I, Ripper by Stephen Hunter or how to ruin your main plot, main secret, in the middle of the book. For that is exactly what the author did, no matter how much his main character praised Sherlock Holmes.

About the Book: Jack’s a common fellow, invisible in the crowd, one of many. It’s only that at nights, under the barest light of the moon, he hires girls, who even in the midst of this murderish horror that became Jack the Ripper, wouldn’t suspect a fella as polite and charming as he, and then dissects them, seemingly, for the pleasure of it. Thus entering the world as a nightmare legend.

Journalists helped this legend grow, the legend of Jack the Ripper, Whitechapel Butcher that London won’t soon forget, by supplying the mob with gory details, blunt headlines, and even the name itself.

My Opinion: Nothing tied proper. Nothing. Do you remember how it used to be popular to describe yourself as “random“? Well, this book was bloody random. Jack made no sense whatsoever, what he said, what he did, what he pretended to be, those where three different things that didn’t mix at all. And on top of that jumble, author goes right ahead and tells us who the murderer, who Jack is in the middle of the damned book, thus taking away the one thing that drove me, as a reader. The only praise I got is Jack wasn’t made to be a charming serial women killer, the way it seems to be fairly popular these days.

I’ll give this book a very shaky 3 out of 5 for the sheer fact that author wrote in a very smooth fashion. If someone would’ve pointed out he gave up his cards like that, for no reason, it might have made a decent book.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, murder, serial killers | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

horror | “Into The Mist” by Lee Murray | Taine McKenna Adventures 1

3Author: Lee Murray
Title: Into The Mist
Series: Taine McKenna Adventures 1
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Pages: 322
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

This was such a poor book, that I’ve no idea neither how I finished it, nor why…

About: An expedition with military reinforcements sets out into a deep, dark, and damp forest, often drowned in mist, in search of proof on possible gold deposits in the area. Strange things happened here before. People disappeared before too. Thus the military interference. But whatever lurks in the dark fog can’t be killed by mere bullets. It is an old creature, a predator, with great knowledge of the terrain they’re all on.

Mine: Not only was the plot dull, full of standard tropes that were painfully predictable, it lacked logic too. Characters were horribly two-dimensional, behavior set in a pattern, even when it made no sense whatsoever, even when there was no gain, neither moral points, nor monetary ones: they still did what was necessary to stall the plot, create thin sense of tension. To add to that, this is the first book in the series, so why did it feel like I’m missing something?

Sorry, but this was not my cup of tea, by far. 2 out of 5 is the best I can offer.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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

Book Adaptation: Bird Box

I’ve recently read one of the best horror books ever. So I thought, why not watch the movie too, especially since it came up on Netflix the very next day after I finished the book. Thanks to the BookTuber PS I Love That Book for this great recommendation!

As in Book: Malorie’s world changes quickly. After a few isolated incidents of aggressive suicides when people saw something and raved about it, panic starts spreading right here, with her still in the car with her sister. People see something and it drives them insane. They attack others and always kill themselves too.

A group of people, Malorie among them, gather in a nearby house with a flickering hope to survive. Nobody knows what’s going on. They only know that seeing it would kill them.

Unlike the Book: The beings that appeared on Earth, no one knows where from, embodies the worst fears that then drives people insane. They seem to be aggressive and purposefully lure people into looking, opening their eyes. People with aggressive kinds of mental illness seem to be able to survive these attacks and thus now rule the Dark New World. They hunt survivors and force their eyes open. In other words, humans became worse monsters than actual monsters.

My opinion: The book is definitely a lot better. Movie, in compare to the book is awful. If not compared to the book it was mediocre. Neither scary, not interesting, just your ordinary suspenseful horror story with things trying to kill you. I can give it 3 out of 5 due to good actors though. Especially that little girl, Olympia. The kid will go far, and I wish her luck.

Categories: 5-5, book adaptations, Films: General | 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

“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman

2Author: Josh Malerman
Title: Bird Box
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Pages: 262
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I always seek horror books. When this blog was created it was with the idea that I’d be a horror, true crime, dark fantasy blog. But it turned out those books are hard to find. At least the good ones. Yet now and again one such pops up, like Bird Box, and scares you into feeling uneasy while looking at the pictures friend sent to you of the fog they’re having at night…

About: The world has changed. It started like in a fantasy, dystopian book of zombie apocalypse. Isolated incidents of people raving about seeing something, then attacking others, and finally, without a fail, killing themselves. Malorie and her sister watched the news about it. They watched it, until there was nothing more to watch, for there was no one left to broadcast the news. The world has gone blind, for those whose windows were not covered have already died. But human curiosity, especially when pushed by madness, is limitless. What’s the big deal, you’d think. Just a peek, just a smallest, shortest glimpse outside, to make sure the world is still there. And if doing so you saw a fraction of a second of what could it be, it wouldn’t hurt you, now would it?

Mine: This was one of the very best horror books I’ve ever read. The story is told from two timelines, both following Malorie. It tells a story of a world gone mad, blind, and then mad again. It tells a story of morality or lack thereof that leads to hard choices, death, and one justification: survive. Nobody knows what’s out there. To know is to die, go insane, and die. But everyone got theories, and even home-experiments to try. It was brilliant and beautiful in a very terrifying way. Suspense was top notch. This is a masterpiece.

Remember “I, Zombie“, which I also loved? Well, this is like that, and even better. No, it’s not about zombies, simply the madness spread similar to it, for much like a virus travels – whatever people saw also traveled that fast. How do you fight an instinct to look when something’s right there, and someone’s screaming while looking at it? There’s no more sense of safety. Humans will have to learn to live all over again, differently, in the dark. 5 out of 5, for this one fine piece of horror.

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

“White Trash Zombie Unchained” by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 6

2Author: Diana Rowland
Title: White Trash Zombie Unchained
Series: White Trash Zombie 6
Genre: Zombies, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 354
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah, and so here I am, done with the very last book in the White Trash Zombie series. They were alright, had its good moments, and those very good moments, along with mediocre, bad, and way too common ones. So here’s the last of it.

About: Just another crime scene, it seemed. Up until the corpse got right up and attacked her, all while being mangled and half-eaten by the crocodiles. Angel has seen this before, so she quickly took care of the immediate problem. But what about the crocodiles? They, in the meantime, are successfully spreading an epidemic of shambling zombies, brainless, movie-kind of creatures, and Angel seems to be the source of it all. But there’s just no time for self-pity when people are literally killing each other for brains from mere mosquito bites. It got out of hand, and it reached a level where Angel’s tribe has no choice but to join their forces with their worst enemy, evil corp, Saberton. For better or worse remains to be seen…

Mine: What I truly enjoyed here was sense people had. They: hey, you’re in danger, we have safe spot, come over, or we send someone to pick you up. People: gotcha, will be right there, and will ask all the questions I am absolutely having in safety. This fantastic adult logic is so rare I was starting to think it didn’t exist outside KJC books. Other than that, there’s plenty of action for two books in this one, so other than Angel’s and other characters too, pointing fingers to themselves in explanation that they did what they did, because they’re this particular label – it was a good book. Still it’s extremely bothersome when author feels the need for their character to break a window and tell you “I did this because I’m a redneck, this is how we do it“. Can I maybe just gather that from the story, please? No? Okay.

All in all, I can give both the series and the book 4 out of 5. If you’re tired of werewolves and vampires, but still like those stories we have by the shovel now, this is one for you. While they’re not my favorite, I don’t feel like I wasted time, so that’s definitely a something.

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

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