Saturday, November 30, 2013

DECEMBER, 2013 Reviews

(NOTE: The "smell ratings" at the end of some reviews rate the actual SMELL of the book and have nothing to do with the story. Smell Ratings: 5 = excellent, 1 = odorless, 2-4 = you figure it out. Book Key: hc = hardcover / tp = trade paperback / mmp - mass market paperback / rarer forms described.)

SNOWBLIND by Christopher Golden (to be released 1-21-14 by St. Martin's Press / 320 pp / hc, eBook, and audiobook)
Twelve years ago in the small New England town of Coventry, a wicked blizzard brought with it an unusual terror that took several lives and affected the entire populace, even those who haven't lost loved ones.
Now there's another storm heading to Coventry, one forecasters are saying could be as bad or worse as the one from 12 years earlier. Among the townsfolk we meet a photographer named Jake, who had lost his brother Isaac during that terrible night. But when he wakes one morning shortly before the next big storm approaches, he finds a young boy wandering around his home, sounding eerily like his late brother. There's detective Joe Keenan, who is still haunted by a young boy he wasn't able to save during the big storm; this time he's determined to locate a missing child no matter what it takes, even as the snow begins piling up at a rapid pace. And then there's Doug, who still has no idea how his wife Cherie died back then. He's now working with two crooks in an attempt to rob the richer homes in the area come the next storm, and is also in a new relationship with a promising future. But paranoia as well as unusual figures in the storm end up standing in his way.
SNOWBLIND takes these characters (and a few more) and throws them into a suspenseful tale that blends ghosts and possession into something fresh; and as if that wasn't enough, there are unusual supernatural creatures added to the mix to make sure no one is safe at any moment.
This one takes a bit to get going, but is never boring; the horror builds slowly but the payoff in the final act is well worth it. Golden brings each person of Coventry to life and makes the snow as much a character as the people. And best of all, he delivers a genuinely spooky ghost story that also happens to be one of the more original takes on ghosts since T.M. Wright's 1984 classic A MANHATTAN GHOST STORY. Save this one for a snowy day for maximum effect...
-Nick Cato
400 DAYS OF OPPRESSION by Wrath James White (2013 Blood Bound Books / 173 pp / tp & eBook)

Of all the emotionally-taxing, soul-shredding, blood-chilling, gut-wrenching, mind-blowing, painful, difficult, and challenging-but-vitally-important-and-necessary-to-read books that Wrath James White has thus far produced, this one is THE utmost.

As much as I admire his skill, I almost don’t know if I can really recommend this one with any sort of clear conscience. It HURT to read. It left me feeling a whole darkly poisonous muddle of emotions. I don’t know if I’d want to subject anyone else to that. I don’t know if I wanted to subject myself to it. Yet it’s too important NOT to read.

It’s incredibly well written, of course. That’s part of its power. It’s not a spewing incoherent rant. It’s very coherent. Extremely so. It’s both sharp and blunt, and … okay, know what? Let’s just say this is not a book to be read for fun, pleasure, or thrills. This is a LEARNING EXPERIENCE, especially for anybody all comfy in their privilege. Those blinders get RIPPED off your FACE with NO MERCY.

What’s it about, you might be wondering? Sex and violence, right? Well, yes, of course, obviously. But it’s really about racism, slavery, abuse, self-loathing, and all sorts of really dark, really grim, really hardcore object lessons and social, societal, physical and emotional PAIN.

But, to summarize, there’s this woman named Natasha who’s in love with a man named Kenyatta. And in order to prove herself worthy and capable of understanding, he puts her to this test – to go through a personal, modified, condensed experience of what his ancestors went through. She voluntarily becomes his slave, subjected to variations on many of the ugliest aspects of America’s history.

If Natasha can get through 400 days of this, Kenyatta will marry her and it’s happily ever after time. If, however, she decides she can’t take any more, she can end the experiment whenever she likes … all she has to do is say the safeword … which is THAT word … which will also end their relationship forever.

Wrath pulls no punches. This book is one long utter beating from start to finish. The anger, the guilt, the shame, the bitterness, the injustice, the lust and hate and toxicity … these will put you through such a wringer you might never recover.

-Christine Morgan
PHOENIX ISLAND by John Dixon (to be released 1-21-14 by Gallery Books / 320 pp / hc & eBook)

Sixteen year-old boxing champ (and orphan) Carl Freeman is the type of guy who likes to stick up for the weaker kids against bullies: he has a sense of justice handed down from his father but as noble as it is, he often goes overboard and gets into trouble. After too many instances (taking out an entire football team single-handedly now pushing the limit), a judge takes Carl away from his current foster home and sentences him to Phoenix Island, a military-style boot camp designed to straighten-out teens like Carl. But within the first few minutes on the island, Carl and his fellow recruits discover the isolated place (located off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean) holds many secrets, and it doesn't take long for them to realize they're all in a fight for their very lives.

While this set up may bring BATTLE ROYALE or THE HUNGER GAMES to mind, PHOENIX ISLAND is more like a combination of the 1983 Sean Penn juvenile prison film BAD BOYS, LORD OF THE FLIES, ROCKY, and any mad scientist film. Dixon blends action, scifi, and horror into a tale that had me flipping pages to the point I finished in two rapid sittings. Dixon (a former Golden Gloves boxer) gives vivid descriptions of the boxing mindset, hence making the hand-to-hand fight scenes edge-of-your seat exciting (especially Carl's fight with a taser-wielding drill sargeant). The violence level is quite high (considering this is a YA novel) and Dixon's cast of good and bad guys & gals are to die for.

The second book in this series can't get here fast enough (and I hope the forthcoming CBS TV series, 'Intelligence,' based on this novel, is even a quarter as good as its source material). There are plenty of surprises at every turn, and like any good story featuring a boxer as the main protagonist, this one is completely full of heart and just may have you cheering out loud. Don't miss it.

SPLATTERLANDS edited by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson (2013 Grey Matter Press / 204 pp / tp & eBook)

Once again, it’s disclosure time … I have a story in this one too. Nastiest, grossest thing I’ve ever written. I asked myself what it’d be like if Edward Lee did a Viking story, and then tried my best to measure up. The resulting tale, "The Defiled," is in some good company here.

Well, by ‘good’ I mean horrific, disgusting, squicky, squirmy, and all-around vile. A scan of the table of contents should give you some warning, which includes titles such as "Violence for Fun and Profit," "Amputations in the Key of D," and "The Viscera of Worship."

There’s gun-lust, blood-lust and sex-lust. There’s flesh in art, and art in flesh. There are professional killers, talented hobbyists, murderers, demons, devils and deviants. Wallow in mayhem, body parts, and twisted sex! Visit other realities and realms!

My personal top pick for best of show would have to be "Party Guests" by Chad Stroup, in which a big teddybear invites friends over whether they like it or not. It is brilliant and phenomenally written, really great stuff, blew me away!

Other particular stand-outs:

Ray Garton’s "Housesitting," exposing some secrets behind normal life; it might make you start giving your neighbors some weird looks.

J. Michael Major’s agonizing revenge-porn fantasy, "A Letter to My Ex," which is horrible and heinous in a dark, dark, all-too-plausible way.

This anthology aspires to "reawakening the splatterpunk revolution," and, in my opinion, it’s certainly up to the task.

-Christine Morgan

CANDY HOUSE by Kate Jonez (2013 Evil Jester Press / 256 pp / tp & eBook)

Roland is a 28 year-old scientist who is forced to move back in with his parents after his nasty temper almost causes him his career. He teaches at a local university and has self-published an undocumented book his colleagues (and boss) tell him just might destroy his future. But Roland presses on, going so far as to do unusual cell research on himself when he can't get the okay for a grant.

Next door to Roland is a house full of strange characters, headed by the sexy, cougar-like Hesperia, who is attempting to lure Roland over "Hansel and Gretel" style. Her home is full of witches, demons, and all manner of supernatural beings who like to barbeque humans. Hesperia begins to get ticked when Julia moves into Rolands house. His parents take her in as a favor, but soon she is sent back to a mental institution and eventually escapes to discover Roland has become captive to his weird neighbors. A most unusual struggle takes place leading up to a slick conclusion.

CANDY HOUSE reads like an adult fairy tale, is full of very bizarre situations, and blends fantasy and horror into an interesting mix. Much of the story is seen through Roland's eyes, and at times becomes a bit confusing, but stay with it as Jonez eventually clears some things up.

For a debut novel, this is quite good despite Jonez throwing an awful lot of "is it real or not" at the reader that at times can get a bit frustrating. If not for the colorful cast I might not have enjoyed this as much as I did, but Jonez is one author I'll definitely be keeping my eye on. Fans of strange fiction should eat this CANDY HOUSE up...

-Nick Cato

THE COLONY: DESCENT by Michaelbrent Collings (2013 Amazon Digital / 199 pp / tp & eBook)

The Fastest Keyboard in the West is back with the third installment of his full-bore, fast-paced zombie-mutant outbreak! I’m reluctantly forced to admit that, okay, maybe releasing them in serials like this is a good move … much as I tend to fall into the greedy GIMME NOW camp, the relentless intensity would have gotten overwhelming and exhausting.

The already-cranked stress levels increase as our small group of survivors continues their seemingly-doomed race to escape or at least stay ahead of the persistent throngs. Heck, they’re still trying to get out of the building from the second book.

Descent, as this one is called, lives up to its name. It makes the harrowing elevator shafts of Book II look almost pleasant by comparison … when your best route leads down the tilted, smoldering fuselage of an airliner that crash-landed sticking partway through the wall …

Things aren’t looking good for the group. They’ve already suffered some terrible losses, and some terrible near-misses. Worse yet, something’s happening to the kids, threatening to further tear apart the family that protagonist Ken has fought so hard to reunite. Are they contaminated? Changing? Possessed?

No time to try and find out. Must keep going. Must pick through the damaged airplane, which still has many of its unfortunate passengers strapped into their seats – GAH then they’re getting up too, it’s a cramped-quarters zombie chase with spilled luggage, and even if they can reach the bottom, that’s where it looks like the FIRE is …

Yeah. Whew. Relentless intensity, the wrenching torment of parents trying to protect their children from unknowable fates, the hideous helplessness of being stuck having to watch as those around you sacrifice themselves …

And then, for those who actually do reach the street, having to descend further yet … having to go underground … where even that turns out not to be much of a refuge …

Of course, then the book up and ENDS again and we gotta wait for the NEXT one and aaaaaaaaaaaagh!

-Christine Morgan

BROKEN SIGIL by William Meikle (to be released January, 2014 by DarkFuse / 55 pp / eBook & limited edition hc)

Joe Connors is called to investigate a murder in a seedy building. He discovers the body belongs to his ex-partner, who was also a close childhood friend ... as well as the man who had an affair with his wife, Brenda. As Joe questions people in the building, he begins to uncover dark secrets about his late and his old friend, and finds himself drawn into a supernatural world that he simply can not deny.

Meikle's novella is a quick read that blends modern crime noir with occultic themes, and delivers a couple of solid chills in-between the hard-as-nails investigating. To reveal any more about this short tale would do it a diservice, but those into haunted houses (and The Maltese Falcon) will enjoy the author's take on the subgenre. Add a plus for the most chain-smoking I've ever seen a detective partake in...

-Nick Cato

ESCAPE FROM SHIT TOWN by Sam W. Anderson, Shane McKenzie, Erik Williams (2013 Thunderstorm Books / limited edition hardcover)

Sometimes, you might think that even in this genre, the weirdness bar’s been raised as high as it can possibly go. Then along swagger these guys with their story-within-a-story of a freaky movie within a freakier theater, and that weirdness bar clangs up a few more notches like the salmon ladder in Ninja Warrior.

I think I read the whole thing blinking increasingly wide, agog eyes. I mean, until my face hurt. The bones of my face, my orbital sockets, HURT from the boggled expression.

Now, granted, with a name like ESCAPE FROM SHIT TOWN, nobody’s going to be expecting subtlety. That’s good. That’s wise. This is a grindhouse bloodbath of outrageous proportions. This is goretastic shock-o-rama in technicolor and 3-D.

The movie-within is an acid-burn tale of a vicious old patriarch who decides, in the best moustache-twirling tradition, to pit his heirs against one another in a battle-royale duel to the finish. Winner inherits all. While he, attended by his personal naughty nurse, watches the show and enjoys his combined special Halloween/birthday celebration.

His grandkids and their friends have no idea what they’re in for when they find themselves dropped off in the charmingly-named Shit Town. The entire neighborhood belongs to Grampa, who’s evacuated it and then dispatched a choice group of psychos and maniacs to hunt them down. The target group consists of the jock and his buddy, the sexbomb psychic twins, and a trio of costumed gamer nerds. The hunters include a father/son Cowboy and Indian team, a couple crazy clowns, two bickering pervs, and more.

Cue the body count. In graphic detail. To add to the fun, the kids’ parents are summoned in to join the old man … and find themselves with their own lives on the line. Teach them to disrespect their elders, the ungrateful brats!

The framing story, of the movie theater where this cinematic tour de force is being shown, well, let’s just say it isn’t very upscale or sanitary. The clientele are dubious and the employees even more so.

ESCAPE FROM SHIT TOWN is as wildly disgusting and outrageous as its title suggests. The Thunderstorm Books edition is, I’m told, sold out … but a new edition is on the way from Deadite Press. So, don’t miss it!

-Christine Morgan
THE DEAD SHERIFF: ZOMBIE DAMNATION (Volume 1) by Mark Justice (2012 Evileye Books / 218 pp / tp)

There is a rumor around the West that a dead lawman has risen from the grave to exact justice for those wronged. Richard O’Malley, a crime writer for a Boston newspaper has come to West Texas seeking the truth about this dead sheriff and gets more than he bargained for. The dead sheriff exists and he has an Indian helper named Cheveyo. O’Malley sees the dead sheriff in action and wants to write a book about him—not the pulp Westerns being churned out en masse, but the truth. Cheveyo and the dead sheriff run into some trouble and O’Malley helps them out so Cheveyo—who is really named Sam and only one-quarter Indian—lets O’Malley tag along for a while.
In the meantime, Reverend Skaggs pretty much runs the town of Damnation, Texas but has grander plans for Dallas. Skaggs discovers that the dead sheriff is on his way to Damnation so along with his henchmen, devises a plan to "save" the town from the Devil himself. No one could imagine what would happen in Damnation when the dead sheriff, Sam, and O’Malley finally arrive looking for someone else entirely.

Before this recent mix of horror and Westerns, the only Western I had ever read was Zane Grey’s RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE—and I thought it was pretty good. Now, I’m really enjoying this new sub-genre taking place in the Wild West, where gunfighters meet werewolves, zombies, or any other manner of the supernatural. Mark Justice has written a fantastic story in THE DEAD SHERIFF. There are unexpected twists, well-rounded characters, and no end to the possibilities of directions this series could take. I love the unexpected in a story and I love THE DEAD SHERIFF. Justice’s prose brings the Western genre to life—the action and characters feel real—while adding an effectual horror story that keeps things entertaining. The imagery is quite powerful—there is no doubt in my mind what the dead sheriff looked like or smelled like. I particularly enjoyed the easy flowing dialogue and quick pacing of the story. I look forward to reading more about these particular bounty hunters and their future shenanigans across the impossibly hot American Southwest.

-Colleen Wanglund

BONE WHISPERS by Tim Waggoner (2013 Post Mortem Press / 269 pp / tp)

This collection of 18 short stories features some of the strangest horror tales you're likely to read this year, and shows off the author's knack for making the surreal come to life.

After a slick introduction from Michael A. Arnzen, 'Thou Art God' gets things rolling with a cautionary tale about a man who gains the mind of God; title story 'Bone Whispers' finds a man visiting a graveyard where he had encountered a groundhog-like creature when he was a kid, and 'Some Dark Hope' deals with a most unusual prostitute, while 'Harvest Time' is a short and funny take on the zombie thing...

'Surface Tension' explores the fear of ... puddles (!), while 'Best Friends Forever' gets the creeps going as a father and his young daughter encounter a life-like stuffed dog. 'No More Shadows' finds two high school aquaintances running from shadow-creatures, and 'Unwoven' looks at an author facing a strange dilemma.

'Skull Cathedral' is a mind-boggling masterpiece of bizarro horror (and I'm not just saying that because my press originally published this in 2007), 'Do No Harm' looks at a female doctor trying to survive after a nanobot virus destoys the world, and 'Country Roads' gives the good old-fashioned ghost story a fresh spin.

'Darker Than Winter' is one of the best here, about a struggling artist who is pestered by a detective after pretending to murder a snowman for a photo shoot; 'Swimming Lessons' is a short & sweet creeper, while the fantastic 'Conversations Kill' finds an abducted woman trying to remember who she is.

"Long Way Home' is a great apocalyptic tale featuring blood-rain and insect-like creatures, then Waggoner brings the super-strange with 'Sleepless Eyes.' 'The Faces That We Meet' looks at a dad trying to understand his teenaged daughter in the wake of a spree of dog mutliations, and things conclude with the thought provoking and truly frightening 'The Great Ocean of Truth.'

Waggoner's prose sucks you in in each story, and whether the tale is straight-forward or bizarre, there's not an entry here that can be ignored. If you like horror on the weird side, this is a must read, and even if you don't, give BONE WHISPERS a try anyway. It's a refreshing alternative to your by-the-numbers horror fiction.

-Nick Cato
Smell Rating: 2
PROTECT ALL MONSTERS by Alan Spencer (to be released 12-3-13 by Samhain Publishing / 293 pp / tp & eBook)

If the monsters were real … the vampires, the werewolves, the zombies … if they’d been among us all this time but the government had been keeping it a secret … a conspiracy, a cover-up, the way more people believe in cover-ups than in whatever’s supposedly being covered up … how would that work?

Well, it might go part Jurassic Park, part Men in Black, part Alcatraz and part luxury custom-catered all-inclusive resort. There, the monsters can be kept and cared for. They can be studied instead of hunted and destroyed. A truce, of sorts, if the monsters will go along with it.

Of course, if they DO, then such a place has to be staffed. That’s where people like Addey Ruanova come in, ‘recruited’ from her mundane job and life. Or maybe ‘drafted’ would be a better word. Shanghaied. She doesn’t have a choice. She’ll be presumed dead, and will work on the island for the rest of her life.

On that island, the rest of your life may not be very long. There isn’t exactly a retirement plan. They don’t even bother having one of those job safety signs telling how long since the last accident. It’s pay and perks at high risk. They always need new employees.

Besides, the place also needs to be supplied. Regular shipments of blood, cadavers, and the unfortunate condemned prisoners, addicts or homeless will only go so far. Why waste a perfectly good source of extra inventory for the kitchen?

And what happens when there’s trouble? When there are renegade rebel factions among the staff, when there’s infiltrator spies from outside? When the monsters themselves have been up to something, plotting their escape?

All that is the premise of this book, and it’s a fun enough one. It has some problems with the plot feeling rushed and the character stuff seems really forced under pressure and a little all-too-convenient … toward the end some of the scenes slip into dialogue tag hell … but the action and descriptions are wacky, schlocky fun, the setting itself is amusingly thought out, and the higher-functioning zombies are a total hoot.

-Christine Morgan

NEPTUNE'S BROOD by Charles Stross (2013 Ace / 325 pp / hc)

While not a sequel, Stross' latest takes place in the same "universe" as his 2008 novel SATURN'S CHILDREN. It is, however, the continuation of the author's Space Opera saga, dealing with androids who have far outlived their human creators. This time we meet Krina Alizond, a metahuman trying to locate her missing sister. She learns she was last seen on a water planet named Shin Tethys, and she manages to get onboard a church/starship that's headed there, albeit slower than other ships that have already departed. This intergalactic church is filled with some of the most interesting characters/creatures Stross has come up with yet. The first 100 pages take place aboard this vessel, and this opening segment is filled with a surprising amount of humor, a castaway look-a-like assassin hot on Krina's heels, and the craziest deacon this side of Waco.

Stross develops a confusing but interesting plot about the workings of intergalactic currency, and like the technobabble that killed SATURN'S CHILDREN for me, at times the over-long explanations of how these finances work become tedious. In fact, once our space-church-ship is confronted by pirates (actually bat-creature accountants!), the story quickly slows down for a bit. But when we finally reach Sin Thethys, it picks up again (albeit without the humor that made the first section so much fun) as we join Krina for her aquatic body modification, learn what's going on with her sister, and while Krina's escape from the water planet is exciting, the ending itself comes to a dead halt, making me think Stross enjoyed the final episode of the SPORANOS a bit too much.

NEPTUNE'S BROOD features a lot of great ideas and some to-die-for androids, but like the first novel in this Space Opera series, it's bogged down by a mid-section that will test the patience of the author's fans, and will most likely cause newcomers to stop reading. If the entire novel moved as well as the first 100 pages, this would've been one of Stross' best. As it is, it's a bit disappointing, but worth sifting through the slow parts.

-Nick Cato

Smell Rating: 4

CLUSTERFUCK by Carlton Mellick III (2013 Eraserhead Press / 252 pp / tp)

CLUSTERFUCK takes place a few years after 2009’s APESHIT (Mellick’s tribute to 80s grindhouse films) not with the same characters (for obvious reasons) but connected via some people who used to go to school with them and know about their mysterious disappearances. Since it is a few years later, we’ve now got college students, but instead of a cabin in the woods, the theme is another of the classic horror movie tropes … the great uncharted outdoors in the form of caving!

Caving, frat-boy style. Caving in accordance with the "bro code." Four frat brothers – the hot shot BMOC, the stoner, the reluctant token minority, and the ultimate dudebro – and most of them are so obnoxious that you just want to bludgeon their skulls in with a beer keg partway through the first chapter.

But, what’s a weekend in the wilderness with your bros unless you’ve got some chicks along? Like the hot shot’s girlfriend, and her gorgeous friend that the hot shot sets his sights on instead, and the gorgeous friend’s more-than-plus-size sister who’s already been the object of frat boy ridicule?

Really, what could possibly go wrong with such a scenario? Especially when one of the party’s also claustrophobic, they don’t tell anybody where they’re going, the first drunken fun they have involves tossing their spare batteries into the fire to see if they explode, the one who packed the food has some disturbing too-personal recipes …
You’d better believe it all goes hideously wrong. Again, it’s headed that way well before they discover what else is down in the caves, when it’s already way too late.

CLUSTERFUCK more than lives up to its title, that is for sure. And Carlton Mellick III continues to more than live up to his reputation! If you know what you’re getting into, you will not be disappointed. If you don’t know what you’re getting into, well, you still won’t be disappointed. Traumatized, scarred, and fatally offended perhaps, but not disappointed!

-Christine Morgan


THE SUMMER JOB by Adam Cesare (to be released 1-7-13 by Samhain Publishing / 245 pp / tp & eBook)

Clair is a goth,metal college grad from Boston who is tired of her loser boyfriend and her dead-end job. With the help of her friend Allison, she finds a want ad for a job at an isolated hotel in Mission, Massachusetts. When the hotel's owner explains the details, Claire decides to take the position, and it doesn't take long before things start to get weird.

Shortly after arriving, Allison abruptly leaves, the hotel's owner and staff act like conservatives from the 1950s, and a group of teenagers who party in the woods are led by a hippie-like guru named Davey. And strangest of all is a badly-burned former priest who lives alone at the hotel after surviving a church fire.

Claire begins to see Tobin, one of the local teens. He tells her that Brant (the hotel's owner) and her staff are part of an underground Satanic cult, and when she finds a dog belonging to a couple staying at the hotel skinned alive, Claire decides something has to be done.

THE SUMMER JOB has a wickedly tense opening, then slowly unravels its mysteries; we never know if the hotel staff or Davey's teens are the enemy, and the final pages ratchet the suspense level up to 10. I like how Cesare handles the whole "devil worshipper" thing, and you'll truly feel for not only Claire, but a couple of side characters, too.

A fine offering from an author who's beginning to make a serious mark in the genre.

-Nick Cato

Smell Rating: 1


BLOOD BETRAYAL by Alison Beightol (2012 Charles River Press / 400 pp / tp)

Eamon, one of the oldest vampires in the world, is obsessed with Lauryl, a ballet dancer with a bad attitude. Eamon follows her career before buying the dance company and eventually turning Lauryl into a vampire, to be his companion. What he didn’t count on was Lauryl’s positively stubborn nature and her resourcefulness. Lauryl runs away to be with her human lover, much to Eamon’s chagrin. In his search for her, he discovers he has fallen in love with Amelie and she brings out feelings in Eamon that he thought he had lost after all of his centuries as a vampire. Eamon also discovers other vampires of his bloodline, and the vampire hunters that murdered his former companion Irina.
I am not typically a fan of paranormal romance. I actually avoid the genre like the plague. However, every once in a while a book comes along in that sub-genre that sucks me in saying "read me!" BLOOD BETRAYAL is one of those rare para-romance novels. The characters are well-developed and come across as almost real people. The vampires are interesting and reminiscent of Anne Rice’s vampires with their somewhat regal bearing and desire to be around humans. I enjoyed the way Lauryl and Eamon constantly butted heads, and the way Amelie seemed to make Eamon act human when he was with her, wanting to be a better person—well, vampire. Overall the story was a good one, with humans and vampires interacting at an underground club —which encompasses an existing sub-culture. BLOOD BETRAYAL was an enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal romance or vampires, in general….and I don’t do it lightly.

-Colleen Wanglund

THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW thanks all of our readers for the TEN YEARS of support! See you in 2014...

1 comment:

  1. I've already got BROKEN SIGIL cued up for a read, but I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a copy of BONE WHISPERS and CLUSTERFUCK.