The Between. Is it a horror, sci-fi, fantasy, a mixture of all of these genres? - whatever it is, its great fun. I looked up epic and found the following - "...narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures..." - and yes, I would say that The Between has some newly created legendary figures having a weird and wild adventure in a very imaginative and frightening world. Ryan's characters feel real, are well developed, and have a good sense of humor - built solidly within their world logic.
The other great element, and definitely the most fun, is the fantastic world of The Between. Like a wacked out Wonderland with an imaginative maze, a Ghibliesk sky-city (complete with Ghibliesk villains with top hats), dark caverns, and a fantastical nether-world out of Greek mythology (only reimagined and wonderfully detailed). I wanted more - which is a good thing.
Ryan brings it all together and delivers on his promises. The resolution of character arcs and the final confrontation (so many spoiler alerts can be had here, but I'll hold back) hit the mark - and I thought the logic of it all was very well thought out (a game made real? - or could it be that reality is the game?)- oh my, the philosophic metaphysical questions this all poses...maybe I need to brush up on my Esperanto.
Gulf - a deep chasm or wide gap (Merriam-Webster). Gulf - a truly wonderful book by Shelly Campbell (all lovers of eerie thrillers).
I was hooked by the premise of this book - a dimensional gateway into a different world, in different times, where monsters wait. Oh yes, give me more. And the cover - beautiful and frightening and oh so perfect for this story.
Campbell's writing is fun and witty and David (the main character) is very well developed. I was 'all in' right from page one. I will say (or write), however, that I would have enjoyed it better if more action had taken place in that other 'Bizarro' world. I did feel that the character development took center stage over the world building. And I get it - David is the story. At it's core this is a devolution story. A tale of the 'odd' one out, the invisible, hardly noticeable, introverted, people who struggle to be seen, or who don't really want to be seen. This is that - but on a whole other level.
I do recommend this book for someone looking for a good character driven story, with great writing. And, being a fellow Canuck, I loved seeing my Country mentioned several times. I am so looking forward to camping again.
What a fun read! And definitely not for the squeamish - this is an adult book with some very disturbing scenes. But oh, what fun. It's like the world Sam and Dean Winchester would inhabit and more if you add in a crazy wonderland of evil.
There are so many fun characters - Abby, Nina and Kenya, Paul and Cleo, Epiphany and The Herald, Ed and Deb, and of course Hektor. It was like a Hitchhiker's Guide to witches and demons, both funny and disturbing.
You can clearly tell that the author, MK Begeske, was having a lot of fun writing this story. And as a reader it was definitely a lot of fun following along. With lines like -
“I am a witch, warrior man. One never knows what’s in a witch’s house.” Paul winks. “Two fattened Germanic children ready for the oven?” “Wouldn’t that be nice,” she sighs wistfully.
It really did need another once over to clean up the typos, but MK Begeske's writing is great and the pace is just right. I have to admit, the clean up at the end left me wanting more - especially for my favorite Roman soldier - I hope he returns in some way in the next installment "Witches, Stiches and Sons-of-Bitches"!
If you're looking for something fun and frightening, with a fantastically imagined world, I highly recommend "Witches Get Stitches: An Epic Halloween Tale".
What is Magpie Coffin? A savage tale of retributive justice, a Western splatterfest that is at times sickening and twisted (okay most of the time), a story about losing one's soul to a **spoiler**, the beginnings of a beautiful friendship/rivalry? - yes, yes, yes, and yes?
Let me tell you this, our hero Salem Covington is no Count of Monte Cristo. If you're looking for something not too cerebral, to take you away from the real life horrors of the world and whisk you out to a dark, warped, sadistic, gore filled nightmare, look no further.
This isn't a complex story, and at times I would have appreciated some more humor to counter the violence, but this was a good read.
Hmmm... The Worm is quite a story - big, big story with time and space and dimension and all manner of strange happenings. But it's also a story about people, about wanting to find love, about victims and those that want to dominate - the desire for transformation; to change the world and make it a better place. Of course there are monsters, and there are the deluded, the brainwashed, and a lot of strange, strange things that happen.
I admit that I got lost at times, when I felt that the protagonist Monique, knew things that would have been unknowable to her - but then again, this story is part allegory and is set in a world of fantasy and horror. I had trouble too, just a little, picturing Gray Hill - what was she really? (images of Kaonashi/No-Face from Spirited Away entered my mind, speaking 'Ooh ooh' - both a horror and a mystery).
This is a different horror than I'm used to, but it was good - like Alice's journey into Wonderland, I tumbled around in this story which was both smaller and larger than it first appeared.
Expertly and wonderfully written, this is a story that is primarily about time– and includes spirits and the quiet horror that pervades the unfathomable questions of loss and the after-life. I say time, because this is a story that takes place in 1950’s Liverpool and Ramsey does a great job in bringing the reader back to that time– the movies, the books, the family life, the politics and the zeitgeist of the era (and in this story there is a pointed focus on the thoughts of Religion and Spiritualism of the day).
The Trinity Church of the Spirit has as a belief that time- past, present, and future is meaningless, and that there is more to the world, the universe, and religions than we are meant to believe. There are many great passages in this book, but I’ll offer this one as an example of the philosophy behind the story -
“Every church is a mask which hides the truth. All religions are lies told to control the ignorant, but some of them embody codes which the enlightened may decipher.”
In my reviews I don’t like going into the details of a book’s chapter by chapter events, but rather I like to impart my overall sense and feeling a book has given me. And for The Searching Dead, I was drawn into the main character’s life. Dom is a writer emerging from childhood to adolescence. The novel isn’t just about horror or the Searching Dead, but also on Dom’s navigation of life, and his search for his own sense of self. As a reader I grew along with Dom as he maneuvered the shifting intricacies and relationships with his friends (the Tremendous Three), his parents (and adults in general), and school.
This is a Lovecraftian horror – it is not full of violence and gore, but the horror is real. You have to be in the right mood and mind to enjoy this novel. A real joy to read not only for the story but in the storytelling and writing. I understand that this is the beginning of a series and after finishing this novel it felt like – “I was being treated to a glimpse of a future that was hungry to be born.”
To me the most frightening horror novels or movies are not the one's that involve monsters from outer space or demons or ghosts, but instead are the ones that feature evil people and the evil, horrible things that twisted minds can inflict on another person. 'True stories' like Capote's 'In Cold Blood' frightened me, or 'Helter Skelter' by Bugliosi, horrified me with how a person can be manipulated into committing the most heinous of acts.
Wormwood had me worried. I liked how the authors applied a countdown to the present day and the build up was intense - because I thought I knew what was coming, and I sensed that it was going to be terrible. It read as real, I have been a boy in this boy's shoes. I know how easily people can be manipulated, especially when they are vulnerable, and how easily things can get out of hand.
I really enjoyed this book and, without giving away any spoilers, the culmination, the denouement, the resolution of it all, was just the right enough horror for me.