Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

The Prey by Brett James

The PreyThe 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

The ShiningThe 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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The Lurking Man (Thanatology, Book 2) by Keith Rommel

The Lurking Man (Thanatology, Book 2)The Lurking Man by Keith Rommel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Lurking Man is the second book in the thanatoloy series (Study of Death and Dying) by Keith Rommel (the first was The Cursed Man). The series does not need to be read in order. After I read The Cursed Man I couldn’t wait to see what was next. I was not disappointed. The Lurking Man started as a sit on the edge of your seat and leave the lights on type of story but quickly evolved into an unpredictable story of judgment of one woman’s life. Keith Rommel is one of the few writers that can keep me off balance by leading me down a familiar path and yet I end up somewhere completely unexpected.

Some peoples worst nightmare: being forced to take an honest and brutal look at who and what they are and how their actions have affected those around them. This is the story of The Lurking Man. The protagonist, Cailean , is sitting at a table facing death, a reaper named Sariel. She must relive moments of her past and face her demons.

Keith Rommel takes you on a perplexing ride where you go from despising Cailean and being disgusted with the things she has done to feeling sympathy for her and hoping there is some type of redemption for her. The Lurking Man is a masterpiece of one woman’s judgment day.

Keith Rommel is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Two books, five stars each. Now waiting for Book 3.

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Necro Files Two Decades of Extreme Horror

Necro Files: Two Decades of Extreme HorrorNecro Files: Two Decades of Extreme Horror by Cheryl Mullenax
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Necro Files is a collection of “horror” stories, written by twenty authors over a period of 20 years. Many of the authors have won or were nominated for awards, such as the Bram Stoker Award. I was thrilled when I found out I won a copy on Goodreads (as a first read giveaway), especially since Halloween was just around the corner and I was in a mood to be scared.

The book ended up being a total disappointment. Some of the stories had a twist at the end that was reminiscent of the TV series The Twilight Zone, except the twists in Necro Files were so telegraphed and poorly done that I could see what was coming in most of the stories, and in a few, in the first paragraphs. Only one story had an ending that caught me off guard and that is because the protagonist lived, and in the situation he was in it was totally unbelievable that he wasn’t killed. This ruined the story.

There are some “Extreme”, violent “sex” and graphic passages in the book, making this an ADULT ONLY book.

Gore and violence doesn’t equal horror no matter how “extreme” or detailed it is. In a few of the stories it felt that the writer was just trying too hard. Example: What is worse that having sex with a dead person? Having the dead person rotting and full of maggots! (Guess this type of writing is what justified the use of “Extreme” in the title of the book).

One of the stories had a torture passage that was hard to read, but the character development was so poor that there was no real emotional investment to make a true impact.

The two scariest parts of the book, for me, was when in one of the stories had a character describe the process of making hamburger (wasn’t scary enough for me not to want a meatloaf for dinner). The other was when a character was described as wearing what looked like a plaid fur coat.

I was wanting a book that left me wanting to leave the lights on and maybe give me a shiver or two. What I ended up with was a book that felt as if it was always over reaching and trying to shock the reader instead of trying to scare the reader. Sometimes less is more.

The worse thing about this book is that it took away my desire to read. Hope I get it back soon.

If only horror and horrible meant the same thing…

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone!

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The Cursed Man by Keith Rommel

The Cursed ManThe Cursed Man by Keith Rommel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received The Cursed Man by Keith Rommel through Good Reads (http://www.goodreads.com) as a first reads giveaway. This is one of the first suspense/horror books that I have read. The Cursed Man is book one of the thanatology series ( the study of death and the ways in which people deal with it).

Alister, the main character in the story is cursed. Death is in love with him and death is jealous. So jealous that it kills anyone that so much as talks to Alister within a day, and death won’t let Alister die. Alister has been locked away in a mental institution for over two decades with no human interaction, when a young doctor shows up. The doctor doubts the curse and tries to help Alister. When the doctor lives through the day you start to wonder if Alister is really cursed or just mentally ill.

Keith Rommel did an excellent job of weaving Alister’s past and present, telling a story that kept me reading and wondering where it was going and how it was going to end. This book has suspense and horror from the first page to the last. For me last few pages are the most terrifying, gut wrenching part of the story and was a bit hard to read but it was also perfect.

This was the first book I’ve read by Keith Rommel but it won’t be my last. I can’t wait for book two of the thanatology series. If you like horror and suspense you are going to love this book.

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Tis The Season For…Scary Movies!

The holiday season is all about family and friends. It’s also a time for love, peace, joy and good will towards one another. It’s enough to make you sick. How much happiness can someone take before they lose it? OK, it’s not the happiness that makes you sick, it’s the fact that you’re suppose to be happy while trying to make the season perfect. Planning, decorating, cooking and shopping, just untangling and putting up the lights is enough for me to want to choke an elf.

The way I deal and have dealt with this time of the year is to watch scary movies. Any movie that makes you jump, hide your eyes or keeps me on the edge of my seat will do. Nothing helps with the stress of the holidays like immersing yourself in a world where people are hunted, chased and killed. Or a world where you know something bad is going to happen but you don’t know when or where.

I have been watching scary movies during the holidays for years now and have had my friends and family shake their heads at the thought. But I have noticed more and more scary movies on during this holiday season, so I must not be the only one out there who thinks like this.

If it weren’t for my balancing all the joy with a little horror my backyard would be a garden of carolers by Christmas. So to you I wish a Scary Christmas and a Screaming New Year.