Archive for horror

Sarah Lotz – The Three

sarahlotz-thethreeThey’re here … The boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many … They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to??–

The last words of Pamela May Donald (1961 – 2012)

Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.

There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world.

The message is a warning.

Sarah Lotz is one half of the writing duo S.L. Grey, whose short fiction I love, and one half of Lily Herne, whose YA fiction I still need to read. But based on her writing as part of S.L. Grey, when I saw the announcement for The Three, her first solo novel, I knew I had to read it. It sounded deliciously creepy and when the book trailer was launched, I was only more excited for the book, something that doesn’t happen very often, as book trailers usually aren’t my thing. But even with those high expectations Lotz managed to surprise and amaze me, not just with the narrative The Three tells, but also with the form she’s chosen and how well everything fits together.  Continue reading »

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P.B. Kane – The Rainbow Man

pbkane-therainbowmanWhen Daniel Routh, together with friends Jill and Greg, and little brother Mikey, discover a body washed up on the beach after a storm, it’s one of the most exciting things ever to happen on the island of Shorepoint. And, as the man in question slowly recovers, he befriends the inhabitants of this small fishing community one by one. Only Daniel suspects something might be wrong with the newcomer, who cannot remember who he is, nor how he came to be there. To start with, this John Dee (as they label him, short for Doe) brings prosperity and happiness with him, but it isn’t long before the tide begins to turn. Then John begins to worm his way into Daniel’s own family, trying to take the place of his late father, and the teenager knows something must be done. Little does Daniel realise that he’s now involved in one of the most ancient conflicts of all time; one that might decide the fate not only of Shorepoint, but of the entire world.

This is going to be a shorter than usual review for me since the book is a short one and there are a number of things that I can’t discuss without giving spoilers for the book’s big reveal. P.B. Kane, a pen name for Paul Kane, moves into the YA market for the first time with The Rainbow Man. And it’s an interesting story to make an entrance there, as it’s a slow-building story as mentioned in the introduction by Rachel Caine, in a way I haven’t seen it done very often in YA fiction.  Continue reading »

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Anticipated Books (Winter-Spring) 2014: YA April-June

2014We’re almost there! Welcome to the penultimate post in my Anticipated Books series for the first half of 2014. Today I’m sharing the second half of my picks for books published for the YA crowd. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!   Continue reading »

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Jonathan Oliver (ed.) – The End of the Road

jonathanoliver-endoftheroadEach step will lead you closer to your destination, but who, or what, can you expect to meet at journey’s end?

Here are stories of misfits, spectral hitch-hikers, nightmare travel tales and the rogues, freaks and monsters to be found on the road.

The critically acclaimed editor of Magic, The End of The Line and House of Fear has brought together the contemporary masters and mistresses of the weird from around the globe in an anthology of travel tales like no other. Strap on your seatbelt, or shoulder your backpack, and wait for that next ride… into darkness.

Scary stories are still tricky reads for me. The balance between deliciously scary and nightmare-inducing is a thin line. As opposed to End of the Line which was straight-up horror, End of the Road takes road stories on with a slant to the weird, but still there are some pretty scary stories here. However, they stayed firmly on the side of deliciously scary, even if some of them pushed the line quite closely.   Continue reading »

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Anticipated Books (Winter-Spring) 2014: Science Fiction and Horror

2014Welcome to another post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2013. Today it’s time for my Science Fiction and Horror picks. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!   Continue reading »

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Jared Shurin (ed.) – The Book of the Dead

jurassic-bookofthedeadThe Book of the Dead addresses the most fascinating of all the undead: the mummy. The mummy can be a figure of imperial dignity or one of shambling terror, at home in pulp adventure, contemporary drama, or apocalyptic horror. The anthology will be published in collaboration with the Egypt Exploration Society, the UK’s oldest independent funder of archaeological fieldwork and research in Egypt, dedicated to the promotion and understanding of ancient Egyptian history and culture.

This anthology includes nineteen original stories of revenge, romance, monsters and mayhem, ranging freely across time periods, genres and styles. The stories are illustrated by Garen Ewing, creator of The Adventures of Julius Chancer and introduced by John J. Johnston, Vice Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society.

Continue reading »

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Quick ‘n Dirty: Jared Shurin (ed.) – Ash

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

jurassiclondon-ashWhen Krakatoa exploded, it shook the world. The volcano rained fire and unleashed floods, but the worst was still to follow. 1883 was a year of darkness and cold, as the global temperature dropped and the skies were wreathed in ash. It was also a year of fiery sunsets and blue moons, where the impossible could – and did – happen…

Ash explores a world where myths come to life and strange creatures wash up in the shallows – a world where survival is only the first of many struggles, and the monsters can take many forms.

The stories of Ash take place in the same shared setting as 1853, A Town Called Pandemonium and the forthcoming The Streets of Pandemonium and The Rite of Spring.

Ash can be read on its own or part of the series.   Continue reading »

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Stephen King – The Shining

stephenking-theshiningDanny is only five years old but in the words of Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control.

As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel – and that too is beginning to shine . . .

I’ve often said I’m not that practiced a horror reader. I read Stephen King’s Carrie in grammar school and I’ve read some horror since starting the blog, but after watching the film IT for five minutes and having nightmares for two nights straight, I didn’t touch another horror novel for well over a decade and I never dared pick up another King book; until now, that is. When Hodderscape sent me their second pick in the Hodderscape Review Project and I opened the envelop to find The Shining inside, my first thought was: ‘Oh, no! What if I flunk out halfway through, due to being too scared?’ Turns out that fear was rather unnecessary, because while it has some seriously creepy moments, I didn’t find The Shining that scary. I did find it to be very much a psychological mind game, where for a while I wondered how much of it was true and how much of it was just in the heads of Jack and Danny. And that is exactly the kind of creepy I like, as Lindqvist’s Harbor has already proven.  Continue reading »

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Joanne Anderton – The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories

joanneandertoncollectionEnter a world where terrible secrets are hidden in a wind chime’s song
Where crippled witches build magic from scrap
And the beautiful dead dance for eternity

The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories collects the finest science fiction and horror short stories from award-winning writer Joanne Anderton. From mechanical spells scavenging a derelict starship to outback zombies and floating gardens of bone, these stories blur the lines between genres. A mix of freakish horror, dark visions of the future and the just plain weird, Anderton’s tales will draw you in – but never let you get comfortable.

Joanne Anderton is one of those criminally under-appreciated writers, who don’t get enough attention and credit for their work. I adored the first two books in her The Veiled Worlds series and I’m still hoping Angry Robot will pick up the final volume, as I really want to know how it ends. I also really enjoyed her story in the anthology Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear. So I was excited to be offered a review copy of her first collection and to discover more of her writing.   Continue reading »

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Quick ‘n Dirty: Jared Shurin & Anne C. Perry (eds) – 1853

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

pandemonium-18531853 features three, short, slightly alternate histories – all set in the same fateful year…

Marc Aplin sends a gunslinger to China and poses him an impossible question, Jonathan Green raises an ancient and hungry evil in Mexico City and Laura Graham writes of an Edinburgh overshadowed by more than factory smoke.

1853 is the companion chapbook to A Town Called Pandemonium and contains a further three stories in the same alternate historic timeline, but instead of focusing on Pandemonium, they focus on the world at large. I found this an entertaining premise as it allowed the reader to explore the alternate reality a bit further and to see that all the uncanniness wasn’t just limited to the Weird West, but was all across the globe.   Continue reading »

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