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Currently Browsing: horror/comedic horror
Oct
19

Review: Teeth Long and Sharp Anthology

Review: Teeth Long and Sharp Anthology Teeth Long and Sharp Authors: Grace Draven, Antioch Grey, Aria M. Jones, Jeffe Kennedy, Mel Sterling Reviewer: Una Rating: A What I’m Talking About: Teeth Long and Sharp is a chillingly lovely collection of short stories.  Each one stands alone and not everyone has a happy ending – well, depending on which character you align with.  Fascinating, suspenseful, ironically witty, this collection is perfectly timed for a Halloween reading. Ivories was a very short snippet of a contemporary story.  It reminded me of an impressionist painting, you are able to interrupt or derive what you will from it.  As I saw it, the girl and the piano had a connection that was driven apart by the teacher.  The piano had no patience for it.  However, I also wonder (as it is by the same author of The Vampires of Mulberry Street) if maybe there was a connection between the two stories; this one being a bit of an introduction.  Although it was my least favorite (mainly due to the short length) I still enjoyed it. B+ Night Tide is an eerie yarn with a more historical background.  Though still a novella, it had the feel of a fully fleshed novel.  I loved Ziga and her kind-hearted but strong-willed nature.  Her ability to commune with the water was fascinating.  I enjoyed the old fashioned ghost story feel of the narration.  Ms. Draven slowly sucked me and I find myself completely immersed in the world she created. Though the story resolves nicely, I have my fingers crossed that hopefully Ziga and this world has more stories to be told. A The Noise of Fur was a very different story, a somewhat dark and suspenseful coming of age tale.  It took me a few minutes to understand Raven’s tribe.  Once I started to understand who Raven and her people are, the story took on a new meaning.  I really enjoyed this mysterious suspense story.  The ending was fascinatingly bittersweet and hopeful.  The juxtaposition of the old adage of curiosity was ironic.  I really enjoyed it!  A Venetrix was an odd and darkly suspenseful mystery.  We follow Alair and Martis as they are embarking on a mission of revenge.  They know who killed their family member, but in this strange city the law of the land claims there is no proof.  As they discover the whys and hows, we are given a glimpse of this strange island port town filled with paranormal creatures. ...
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Nov
4

Review: Stygian by Santino Hassell

Review: Stygian by Santino Hassell Stygian Author: Santino Hassell Reviewer: B. Rating: A What I’m Talking About: As soon as I heard that Mr. Hassell was writing a story for Halloween, I was extremely eager to see what sort of creation he’d come up with. I simply knew this would be different. That my request to review it was met with a warning that he’d never tried anything like Stygian before was a temptation that I didn’t want to resist. I was absolutely delighted to find that whatever expectations I did have were quickly surpassed, and I fell into the narrative with a greedy focus that led to sleep deprivation, as well as a few less than gracious sentiments regarding any interruptions from the world outside of the story. Stygian is the story of an up-and-coming band of the same name trying to break through to bigger and better things. Yet, to say that they’re dysfunctional is an understatement. Collectively, the band is carrying around a freight train worth of hurt, guilt, and memories, and the weight of it all is about to tear them apart. Jeremy, the youngest member, is in an especially precarious position, having recently joined the band after the death of their previous drummer. Told from Jeremy’s perspective over the course of a summer “retreat” the guys have embarked on in an attempt to pull things together, Stygian, as it turns out, is far more than just a horror story. One of the things I loved most about this story is that the characters, along with the experiences that have shaped them to this point, are one-of-a-kind. It isn’t just what’s happened to them all, but how they’ve dealt with the blows. Isolated and “different,” I found Jeremy to be the easiest to become attached to, his role as narrator, notwithstanding. Quince, however, absolutely broke my heart as the story progressed, while Kennedy gradually earned both my respect and admiration. As to the lead singer, Watts…well, he and I never really did get on well, and I say that in appreciation of his complexity and the fact that he left his mark on the narrative as irrevocably as the others. Even the monsters in Stygian stood apart from others I’ve encountered in my reading. Though they preserve enough expected characteristics to be creepily familiar, Mr. Hassell’s vampires are still atypical and unique, each retaining distinct personalities in spite of what they’ve become. While they are certainly insidious, they are opportunistic,...
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Jul
31

Review: Nightlife: Night Terrors Box Set by Matthew Quinn Martin

Review: Nightlife: Night Terrors Box Set by Matthew Quinn Martin Nightlife: Night Terrors Box Set Author: Matthew Quinn Martin Reviewers: Gikany and Una What We’re Talking About: Night Terrors: Nightlife (Nightlife #1) This full-length story was previously released in October 2013. You can read our full review using the link below: Nightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin Night Terrors: Hazardous Material (Nightlife #1.5) It is not often, but every once in a while, Gikany and Una do not agree on a review.  You are in for a treat because we are split on our opinions about this novella in the Nightlife series.  Generally we both liked it, but Una enjoyed it more than Gikany. This novella can be read as a stand-alone story although it is currently included in a boxed set, Night Terrors, with the first two novels.  In fact, it works as a decent introduction to the series.  Hazardous Material deals with an offshoot of the world and gives a deeper look into a mysterious entity from the first novel, Nightlife, the ever-allusive Division.  It does give a good feel for the series – the suspense and creepiness are evident as well as the mystery. As stated, this novella is a little different.  It centers on Jarrod who finds an old arcade video game.  Una enjoyed this ghost-in-the-machine story, although whether it is a possessed video game or just diabolically clever programming is left for the reader to decide.  We watch as Jarrod finds it, plays it, and becomes a slave to it.  The story is creepy and suspenseful.  Una enjoyed the goosebumps it caused.  For Gikany however, it was just strange. The various news clippings included during the novel gave some foreshadowing and clues, but we liked how they added to the overall feel of the novel without taking away from Jarrod’s story.  True to how Nightlife played out, nothing is as it seems.  Although this gives a deeper look at the Division, we still are not sure if they are “good guys” or “bad guys”, but we look forward to the next novel in the series. If you enjoy suspense, a bit of creepiness and with a touch of horror, you may just want to give Hazardous Material a try.  It was delightfully creepy. Our Ratings: Una: A- Enjoyed A Lot Gikany: B, Liked It Night Terrors: As the Worm Turns (Nightlife #2) The second novel in Nightlife series was not quite what we were expecting, although it was not lacking in suspense and horrific monsters. ...
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Apr
11

Review: Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski

Review: Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski Braineater Jones Author: Stephen Kozeniewski  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: B What I’m Talking About: I think I liked Braineater Jones because it took me back to my horror roots. I was that kid. In 5th grade, I was reading Stephen King. I understood it, and I was eager to read more. Enter Robin Cook, and a slew of other horror authors. Poe remains my favorite, however. Mr. Kozeniewski brings us a familiar gangster (ala 1920’s) patter along with the horror elements that are so intriguing for those of us that love the genre. I think I decided I liked ‘Braineater’ in the first 20 pages of the title. His snarky sense of humor – well, it seemed snarky – was absolutely spot-on for me, and the connections the author was making to the Roaring 20’s (also, one of my favorite time periods for historical settings!), well, that solidified my serious like for this title. There really wasn’t anything in Braineater Jones that I didn’t like. The comedic horror was more along the lines of Zombieland than Night of the Living Dead in nature. Definitely a plus for me. That way, the comedy was built-in and I didn’t have to have the laugh track going in my head as I read. Because, after all, horror and things of this nature are to be the source of humor, and to laugh at the human condition. OK, at least that’s what I tell myself. There isn’t a lot I can discuss about the plot without giving it away. I do, however, like the way that Mr. Kozeniewski deals with the roaring 20’s politics, mafiosio-type personalities that were common in that time period, as well as the sexuality of the time. Well done, sir. I’d also like to add that the slang terms of that era were fabulously done, yet not OVER done. I liked Braineater Jones. I think that any fan of zombies would enjoy this title. The rampant humor and the roaring 20’s setting makes the whole well-written story just that much more awesome. My Rating:  B, Liked It, recommend About the Book: Braineater Jones wakes up face down in a swimming pool with no memory of his former life, how he died, or why he’s now a zombie. With a smart-aleck severed head as a partner, Jones descends into the undead ghetto to solve his own murder. But Jones’s investigation is complicated by his crippling addiction to human flesh. Like all...
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