Saturday, December 26, 2015

Monsters Don't Cry

     Monsters Don't Cry - Shane McKenzie  5/5

     I received a copy of Shane's new book directly from Deadite and I immediately started reading it. Shane has a unique writing style that is reminiscent of guys like Edward Lee. I'm a huge fan of the guy and have a ton of his stuff on my Kindle. When you read McKenzie's stuff you should know that it's not going to be pleasant at all. This is true balls out splatterpunk. Tons of gore, and sheer all out mayhem. Underneath that mayhem though is a talented writer. If he was just a guy that filled his books with gore he wouldn't be one of my favorite writers. Gore is nice, but there has to be a story to hold it all together.

     Monsters has one hell of a premise and as I read it I could see that McKenzie crafted this in such a way that you can immediately tell who the true monsters are. Despite her appearance Natasha is the only human in the book. Her actions are a direct result of her environment and the way that people treat her. It's like Frankenstein without the lightening and the mad scientist. Natasha is surrounded by cruelty so she acts the only way she knows how, and that's through violence.  All she wants is to be loved. It's something we all want and as Natasha hones in on Bruno that's when the body count rises because Bruno has some trouble of his own. With all of that is the gore, the violence, and everything else that McKenzie throws at his characters.

     McKenzie has been writing this style for a long time and he knows exactly how to hook his readers and he never fails to give them what they came for. The hook is Natasha as she destroys everything she touches in her quest to find true love. It's a book that should be approached with the utmost caution. If you're at all squeamish then by all means avoid this book. You'll end up pissed off with massive amounts of puke dripping from your chin. In Monsters the story itself is intriguing and as you wade through the various rivers of blood you begin to see that Natasha does all of this for a reason. She's not just killing without a reason. McKenzie has a knack for creating characters that we can root for. Natasha is the hero of the novel and as I read it I couldn't help but admire her for what she's doing.

     Monsters is a splatterpunk classic that could easily fit onto my best of 2015 list because it's an engrossing, and shocking read. Shane's one of those writers that you end up reading because you know it's going to be good. He's one of those writers that's keeping the splatterpunk/torture porn movement going while creating some damn good titles. If you like extreme, blood soaked horror this is one that you should read. It has all of that and a story that gives the violence a reason to exist. We all need a little violence and here Shane delivers it in a KFC bucket with a smile and an extra side of gore.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Ritalin Orgy

The Ritalin Orgy - Matthew Dexter   5/5


      I received a copy of orgy from Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. It's funny how I have to say that with some of these reviews. I have no idea why, and who knows, maybe some people actually lie when they read a review copy. All I know is that I have to say that somewhere in this review. Anyway this is not your common variety feel good novel of the year. It isn't much on taking the route of most popular fiction and being predictable either. Does anyone only read safe novels anymore? Let's be honest here and say what should be said. We need novels like this because they're gritty and dark, but sometimes when you have a novel that's good who cares about rules! Rules shouldn't not exist in fiction anyway.

     Reading a book like this you should be aware that it is fiction and while most of the characters here are degenerates it doesn't mean to imply that all prep schools are like this. That's the problem with a novel like this. You will have people pick it apart and try and analyze it because it makes them uncomfortable. The idea that such darkness exists disturbs people, and they're not used to that. They want a novel with a nice fuzzy narrative and a clear and concise plot. The thing is that is exactly what makes this novel so good. Dexter has written a book that peers into the darkness and you may not like what you see, but the point is that he has made you think.

       Dexter has a unique writing style that almost makes the behavior of these characters acceptable. We almost have to ditch our moral compass to read this and that's okay. Sometimes a great book will you expose you to the dark side and you have two choices. You can go along for the ride or you can sit right down and refuse to go. For those that choose to ride along you're in for one hell of a read. Dexter has a unique talent for making a dark novel so damn enjoyable. Dexter doesn't stray too far from the core of what this novel is and that's the drug use and the idea that it's perfectly normal.

     Mr. Neary is the kind of guy that lurks in the shadows and soaks it all in like a sponge. This is his chance to relive his youth and you're right there with him. He is by far the most disturbing character in the novel. The story is told from his viewpoint and while the book may lack a lot of variety it's still a damn fine novel and one that isn't easily categorized. It's the anti-Dead Poets Society for those who are unafraid to step outside of  their comfort zone. That's the best way to approach Ritalin Orgy. It's not your normal warm fuzzy piece of fiction, it's for those that like a plot that take risks and characters that almost seem like parodies of real people. Dexter has written an interesting novel and you should pick it up.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A BigBoobenstein Family Christmas

A BigBoobenstein Family Christmas - Jeff O'Brien 5/5


     'Tis the season to be jolly and what better way to chase away those blues than with a twisted Christmas tale? During the holidays I try and read as many Christmas themed stories as I can, but this year I am way way behind on reviews. I did want to read a couple of stories though and I had to check out O'Brien's latest tale of the Boobenstein saga. This is the kind of book you should read while sipping eggnog and wearing an ugly sweater. 

     Here's the deal. O'Brien writes like a twelve year old with ADD and that's not a bad thing. One of the reasons I like this guy so much is because he writes stories that read like classic 80's B-rate horror films. As I read this it was obvious that O'Brien doesn't mind slapping around tradition and creating something that will make you laugh. If you don't like the idea of the virgin birth being reenacted or Krampus running amok and slapping people with his penis then this book is for you. 

     It's a short read that's written in the usual O'Brien style. Expect a lot of sex and juvenile humor. That's the cornerstone of this guy's work. He knows how to craft a story that is completely crazy, but well written. This is a holiday themed book that doesn't follow the normal rules of Christmas story telling. It's like exactly what would happen if you're drunk uncle decided to tell the most twisted Christmas story he could think of. I think we need an O'Brien Christmas story every year. As a fan it's the perfect holiday read that you know isn't going to be politically correct but who cares. This is a holiday classic that you should definitely check out. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Whispers Vol 2.

    Whispers Volume 2: A Second Collection - Stuart Keane  5/5                

     Stuart Keane has had a busy few months. First Cine, then Grin, and now Whispers Vol 2. For a lot of writers that would be overkill. You have to space out your output a little, or else you start to piss off your fan base. Stuart's fans actually prefer that he release his work this way. We hate a long wait. Whispers is a collection of short stories that are both old and new. Like Whispers they feature some pieces that were in other anthologies and some that are new to the collection. Either way it's a win win because it allows us time to breath until his next full length release and for the Keane collector's it's a chance to have all of these stories in one collection. What a collection we have here folks!

     If you've read this blog before I am a huge Keane fan. Whispers doesn't stray too far from what he has done before. The thing is we see that he's grown as a writer. There are some stories here that will certainly cause nightmares. Keane is a horror writer that knows no limits. Nothing is sacred. If you've never read Keane's work before this is where you should start. Volume 2 is a ride through hell and at the end of the collection you'll find yourself smoking. The overall theme here is revenge, and what a way to exact it.

     Reading Whispers Vol 2 you'll find that Keane has a knack for creating stories that affect you and even make you think a little. Keane's not just a writer that wants to gross you out. He wants to creep inside your head. That's what makes him so good. This is a writer that seemingly can do no wrong. With each release we see a writer who is constantly evolving and Whispers is a collection that shows that growth very well. As a whole this is a collection you need to pick up. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Keane is the new master of horror. When you look beyond the gore and the violence what you have is the true definition of terror. There are a lot of great writers that I admire, but Keane reminds me so much of Richard Laymon that it's almost as if he's channeling his spirit somehow. Whispers is yet another solid release and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Time Eaters

     Time Eaters - Jay Wilburn 3/5

     I snagged a copy of this from Netgalley and it was interesting for a bit and then seemed a drag a bit. It's one of those novels that borrows a lot from other genres but stays original. The premise itself is interesting, but as it nears its conclusion it just becomes a bit boring. This is a book in which you have to pay attention. If you lose track or fail to pay attention then you're going to be hopelessly lost. It goes into two time frames, Before and after and these are essential to the stories narrative. It wouldn't be a proper time travel novel without these two narratives. The problem is that it all becomes so overwhelming that by the end I was just glad it was over. It wasn't bad mind you just a bit boring. I like how the story is set up, and I like the premise, and for awhile I was reading like a mad man and then it just seemed to drag a bit.

     The fault isn't in the story telling. Wilburn knows how to tell a story. It does a great job at blending in time travelling and horror. The Time Eaters themselves are the stuff of nightmares. This was an interesting aspect of the story and one that I really enjoyed. The thing that seemed to make me loss interest was the how the plot evolved. I like a variety of fiction but for some reason I just could not get done with this fast enough. This just isn't a genre that I would find myself reading again. There is a moral to the story and one that becomes glaringly obvious as you read the novel. These are strong characters and yes they remain strong throughout the novel, and it's a book that covers a variety of emotions and topics without becoming preachy.

     I gave it three stars because it's ambitious and despite its flaws it isn't a bad read. Wilburn does a great job at slowly building a novel that demands all of your attention. If you like novels that exist outside of your normal genres this one is interesting, but be warned that there is a bit of violence here, but it's used well and Wilburn doesn't go overboard with it. You need a bit of violence to balance out the story. Time Eaters is a book that seems to be split between those that love it or hate it. I for one am in the middle. I didn't love and I didn't hate it either.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Mother Fucking Black Skull Of Death

           Mother Fucking Black Skull Of Death - Matthew Vaughn 5/5



      I have to tell you that being an avid reader has made these blogs possible, but it's the folks writing these books that make all of this possible. I've been posting reviews on this blog for awhile now and I've been given some really good shit to review. When Matthew reached out to me asking if I'd be interested in reviewing his latest book all I had to do was see the cover and I said yes. How could not say no to a book with a title like this? I've been wanting to read his stuff for awhile now, but I just haven't had the time. Now that I had a copy of this I had to dive in and read it. It's a Morbidbooks release which means that all the normal rules of fiction no longer apply. I love Morbid and I'm pretty sure I said that even before they published me. Back to the Black Skull Of Death and where I should start out this review.

     There are no words that I could say that will ease you into the experience of reading the book for yourself. I can't tell you how fucked up this book is. My words don't do it justice. It's pure insanity that revolves around an energy drink. It's a bit about addiction and the dangers of consuming too many of these things and there's a reason for that. An accident happens and it effects the energy drink called Mother Fucking Black Skull Of Death, When you drink the infected batch you turn into to a monster. These are hideous beasts that mimic the personality of whoever drinks it. There's also insane amounts of sex, and violence, but for some reason the way that Vaughn describes most of it, I laughed way too loud and probably too long.

      Black Skull is a mix of splatterpunk, bizarro, and black humor but it all seems to work really well together. As a writer he knows how to make you laugh and cringe at the same time. This is a book that will more than likely offend you, but if you have a book with a title like this what else would you expect? At times the humor does run a bit juvenile, but I still laughed my ass off. This is a book that pushes the envelope a bit and then just goes batshit crazy. I assure you that it's a good thing. If you like books that are sick and twisted, but also laugh out loud funny this is a winner. I can't thank Matthew enough for giving me a copy, and I have a feeling that there could be a sequel coming up. At least I hope so anyway.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Consumed Vol 2

      Kyle M Scott - Consumed Vol 2 5/5


     Kyle was kind enough to give me a copy of Consumed to review and I was pretty excited because I have been waiting for this volume for a long time. I'm a huge fan of this guy's work and you can see that with each release he's growing as a writer. He's not content to just gross you out he has the ability to make you think a little. Each of these stories has an underlying message and it's your job as the reader to figure out what that message is. The fact is that Kyle is a damn good writer. He knows how to balance the sheer insanity and gore into a story so that it's a piece of the work itself. These are characters that you can also sympathize with a little.

     As a collection it holds up pretty damn well. The second volume is actually better than the first and is just as dark. You can call Kyle a splatterpunk, or a horror writer. Both are correct. Fans of Laymon will see his influence in quite a few of these stories, and that's not a bad thing. Scott is a reminder of how great horror used to be. It had a soul, and a desire to be different. When you read Consumed Volume 2 you're in for one hell of a ride. It's shocking and at times a bit offensive, and that's what horror is supposed to be. You can't write effective horror without these two ingredients. It's nice to see that Kyle's writing has evolved and he writes like no one else.

      This is the collection Scott fans have been waiting for and let me tell you it was worth the wait. These are stories that you don't want to read before you go to bed because you won't end up sleeping. You'll keep reading and soon you'll realize that you can't stop reading. When people ask me what horror writers I recommend Kyle's name always comes up due to his knack for writing great horror. It's a book that you should check out and then while your there you should grab all of his books. You'll actually thank me after you read them all.