Posts Tagged With: horror

book review | Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter

Jon Richter Auxiliary London 2039Author: Jon Richter
Title: Auxiliary: London 2039
Series: –
Genre: Cyberpunk; Detective; Horror
Pages: 224
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads | Amazon | TCK

Let me tell you of one of the best cyberpunk genre books I’ve read this year. Like many others, I’ve spent this year awaiting Cyberpunk 2077 somewhere in the back of my head, with very high highs when release date got close and slight irritation, quickly turning to fervor to consume something else of this genre, when it got postponed again. And I am very grateful to the most patient company I ever worked with, TCK, for offering me “Auxiliary: London 2039” by Jon Richter, for this was exactly what I needed

About the Book: London, near future. Everything’s taken care of or is controlled by an AI in short known as TIM. All you need to do is put on the specs, and TIM will make sure you’re on the right track to everything. In this future humans don’t really need to work, they get a basic income, and most jobs can be done by robots. Much like robots making robots. In this future it is illegal for humans to drive, for TIM is just more efficient and safe. And, in this future, a hysterical man calls the police, claiming his robotic arm has crushed his love’s head.

TIM is a godlike omnipotent presence, it is unhackable. For if someone could hack god… This is where the classic, depression and alcoholism impaired, but very good at his job, noir vibes galore detective in a long coat, Carl Dremmler, walks in. There are many parties in this awful cabal who want case solved fast and quiet. And even more who’d be mighty glad to see this cybernetic empire – crumble.

My Opinion: Cyberpunk is often a difficult genre to consume, follow, understand, and it tends to scare people away. This here book, the only con I have would be the very detailed and long descriptions. The rest was everything I could’ve possibly wanted and more. Like a cold grimy web in which the protagonist and you, the reader, struggle, just to get a glimpse of hope, sunlight, and then realize the grimy stuff is machine oil, and the light is someone setting fire to it. It’s a very dark story in a form of a detective, with several evil plots intertwined. Familiar sights, even familiar people, fitted together so good I can only mourn this is not a series. From sobering fear as killer robots scale the walls, to dead bodies still connected to the AltWorld, VR, to mindfuck that altworld really is and how it works, to a crushing ending that I didn’t except for a minute, even when I saw the pages dwindle to nothing.

If you’re not a fan of hefty and difficult CP genre books, but enjoy good gory horror, this is a great book. 5 out of 5, and I still regret it’s just one, standalone book.

Jon Richter Auxiliary London 2039 book review

Categories: 5-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Detective Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Origin of Dracula by Irving Belateche

the origin of dracula irving belateche book reviewAuthor: Irving Belateche
Title: The Origin of Dracula
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature; Paranormal
Pages: 367
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

The Origin of Dracula” by Irving Belateche might just be the most boring Dracula-origin mystery I’ve ever read.

About the Book: John and his friends managed to get their parents to let them go camping alone in the woods. They didn’t expect that night to become a living nightmare waiting for dawn to break. Nor did they expect it to return decades later, for the old evil they disturbed lives for his psychotic games with deadly ultimatums…

My Opinion: At no point did it get better. The mystery is poor, the game is boring, the characters are so-so. You know that recipe of old horror movies and books: group goes camping, someone dies, then the dead come back to mess with them? Well, this is that but bad.

No. 2 out of 5 is the best I can do.

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Categories: 2-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, dark fantasy, demons, Detective Books, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Finders Keepers by Stephen King | Bill Hodges Trilogy 2

stephen king finders keepers mr mercedes book reviewAuthor: Stephen King
Title: Finders Keepers
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy 2
Genre: Thriller, Horror Literature
Page: 434
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Mh, still a no. I liked “Finders Keepers” by Stephen King, second book in Bill Hodges Trilogy, about as much as I liked Mr. Mercedes. Which isn’t much.

About the Book: Obsessed with characters, fictional world, Morris Bellamy commits to robbery and even murder. But those aren’t the reasons he’s in prison. No, this torture was just a drunken error. And the only thing that keeps him alive all this time is his treasure. The notebooks he stole from his most loved and hated author. Notebooks that are safe, waiting for him. Notebooks that have been found by a boy who read them too and now burns with the same obsession Morris feels… 

My Opinion: This isn’t the first book by King on insane readers. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Anyway, the book is written very well. Characters are on point. But the problem is with the middle. Good start, strong ending, with almost nothing other than air in between. Sure there’s a little bit of insight into character inner workings. And some tension due to some mean fellas. But that’s about that. The rest is pushing time and pages.

Saying which I still can’t claim the book is bad, and will give it a solid, firm 3 out of 5. 

stephen king radybos ponas mersedesas siaubo literatura knygos apzvalga book review finders keepers

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Categories: 3-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, heists, murder, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King | 1

stephen king mr mercedes bill hodges trilogy book reviewAuthor: Stephen King
Title: Mr. Mercedes
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy 1
Genre: Thriller; Horror
Pages: 437
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Stephen King has his own peculiar writing style. Sometimes it works really well with the plot he’s writing. Other times, like in “Mr. Mercedes” book, it gets in the way.

About the Book: Some wicked man plows into a crowd of people with a stolen Mercedes and disappears without a trace. Nobody knows how he stole the car. Nobody knows who he is. Nobody knows if he’ll do it again. Except for the retired detective Bill Hodges who has received a letter from the criminal. In the letter he describes everything, how he done it, why, how it made him feel. On top of that, he seemingly tries to step on every Bill’s toe, and poke at every sore spot. The bastard is trying to push the detective into the darkness haunting his mind, underestimating the old fella. For Bill doesn’t feel more sorry for himself, no. It gets a fire burning under him with this mad will to catch the little cocky shithead…

My Opinion: The best part of the book is the old-school noir-caveman retired detective, with his quirky old ways. For instance, it baffled him to no end someone could scan the papers for him and print it on the spot, instead of having him run find a copying place. But the story itself wasn’t very captivating, nor very interesting.

It’s alright. Not good. Not bad. A 3 out of 5.

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Categories: 3-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith | 1

abraham lincoln vampire hunter seth grahame smithAuthor: Seth Grahame-Smith
Title: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Series: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 1
Genre: Historical Fiction; Vampires
Pages: 336
Rate: 4-5 | Goodreads

I’ve read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith, which I didn’t particularly like. But recently, as I found out that the pretty okay movie “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is too based on this author’s novel – I had to pick it up, and hope for the best. Or at least for better.

About the Book: Author who has abandoned his writing and is now working in a general store gets a strange parting gift from his mysterious client. It turns out to be a bundle of notes, diaries that seemingly belonged to no other than the 16th President of the United States. We all know him as the man who finally abolished the slavery. What we, and the author, didn’t know is that he was the best vampire hunter in America too.

My Opinion: The book, as alternative history, is written in a serious tone. Vampire hunts and killings soon become absolutely brutal and breath-taking. The story is well written too, with nothing overbearing, nor lacking. And yet, this balance, left it very mediocre. Which I guess is better than outright dull, but still. When taking it, you have to keep in mind that this, much like Dacre Stoker’s “Something in the Blood” is a take on writing a fictional biography that is loosely based on facts. It still reads as a biography. Meaning there’s a lot of attention to personal things – love, marriage, children, home. Where, if this was written just as a novel, and excerpt of Abraham Lincoln’s life, we would’ve had more action, more adventure.

What I find strange is that the first half of the book is so much better than the second half. Usually it’s the opposite. This one gets a mediocre 4 out of 5 from me. I suggest you watch the movie first and then decide if you care enough to read it. It’s not bad. It’s just not good either.

Categories: 4-5, Alternative History Books, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Last Astronaut by David Wellington

the last astronaut david wellington scifi aliensAuthor: David Wellington
Title: The Last Astronaut
Series: –
Genre: Sci-fi; Horror
Pages: 400
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

The very first book to properly get me into reading was “Reckoning Infinity” by John E. Stith. It was strange to read a tale so very similar, as “The Last Astronaut” by David Wellington. And a bit sad I didn’t like it all that much.

About the Book: First contact. An alien object entered the solar system and started moving towards Earth. With no communications coming from it, NASA did what they could. They sent out a handful of their best to investigate the now parked object, so terrifyingly close to Earth. But in space as on Earth, astronauts got only silence, and nothing on the looming surface, definitely alien, answered any questions either. So they made a call to go knock on the neighbor’s doors before they, the aliens, battered Earth to oblivion for this or that resource.

My Opinion: The story is sensible, but neither very interesting, not captivating. Horror aspects fell short, for anything in pitch black, with only a light on an astronaut suit, could look scary and alien. And so we got a lot of ascending, descending, walking through corridors without any clear sense to it, just the idea from observed gravity. And while characters each were unique, serving their own purpose in the story, the latter one got really predictable real fast, and you knew exactly who’s going to go mad, and who’s going to be a hero.

It’s an okay book. Not great, not bad either. If you enjoy long walks in pitch black alien things with writhing stuff left, right, and one with teeth behind you, it might be for you. I give it a solid 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, aliens, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Sci-Fi, General, Sci-Fi 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 | 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

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