The Prey by Brett James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I started reading “The Prey” my first impression was that I was going to hate it. The characters seemed more like caricatures. The main character is an unlikable spoiled rich “kid”. After reading a few more pages all the characters became believable and fit perfectly into the story (but still not that likable). Brett James pulled it all together and managed to tell an interesting and entertaining story.
The book itself is small (fits into my shirt pocket) approximately 4×6 inches. My first thought on seeing it was “where’s my gum?”. My second thought was what a brilliant way to publish short stories. I can picture people (kids) collecting and trading short stories. They would also be great to have on hand for those times when we have a few minutes to kill (short trips, waiting rooms etc.).
The book actually got a solid 3.5 stars but since it left me wanting more I rounded up to 4 stars (sometimes I round down).
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The Shining by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After I read Stephen King’s book, On Writing, I found myself wanting to read one of his novels. The list of books he has written is impressive and picking which one to read first was going to be a tough decision. I have seen many movies based on his books and found most of the movies enjoyable and entertaining. Though, thinking back there was one movie that was head and shoulders above the rest, The Shining. I saw The Shining in the early eighties with a couple of friends and we all were captivated and through the years parts of that movie has stuck with all of us. Using the logic that the book is always better than the movie, my choice was made.
The Shining is about a remote hotel (The Overlook) and a man who was hired to be the caretaker for the winter, and his family. The family consists of the father, Jack, the mother Wendy, and their son Danny. Danny is only five but he shines, meaning he has an ESP ability. The Overlook Hotel wants the power that Danny has and will stop at nothing to get it.
The Overlook Hotel is as much of a character in the story as anyone else. The three main human characters all have an internal conflict raging inside them. The father, Jack, is a recovering alcoholic and really needs this job, the mother Wendy has issues with her own mother and Danny knows that the Overlook is a bad place but thinks it will help his daddy. The Overlook knows that once the snow falls they will trapped and there will be no escaping.
There are more than a few places in this book that will have you turning on the lights, sitting on the edge of your seat, and holding your breathe. I am not much of a horror fan, in books or movies, except during the holidays season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s). However, Stephen Kings use of language and his ability to create both emotional and physical intensity has made me a fan. Though, I think it will be necessary to read more of his books before claiming to be a true “hardcore” King fan.
Highly recommend, one of the scariest, most intense books I have read.
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