Monday, February 29, 2016

Joshua's Folly

       Joshua's Folly - The Sacred Blade Of Profanity - Book II Toneye Eyenot 5/5

      This isn't officially available yet and I don't even think that there's a pre-order link available but I couldn't actually wait until March 13 to read the second book in the Sacred Blade series. I was given an advanced copy for an honest review and I dove right in. The second book is actually a prequel which explains what led up to the first book. In Joshua things become a bit clearer and all the answers we wanted in the first book have now been answered. I also want to tell that there won't be any spoilers!

       I like how Toneye did this. In any series there's always a lot of back story which usually bogs the books down, but here we have the prequel to explain how the series itself is set up. Everything was already set in motion, but the main question of why was left hanging. That allows the story to move forward and there's no more back story holding us back. As good as Scarlett Curse was the prequel is ten times better. This is the moment where Eyenot hits his stride and swings for the fences. This is a brutal and often violent read but this isn't a story that's going to make you all warm and fuzzy. The conflict and violence are all a part of the story and in order for us to see Toneye's vision we have to also see the violence. Some of these characters are quite despicable, and it's important to see that.

      As the series is growing you get an idea of what's about to happen and how it's all going to come together. It's a series that isn't growing weak by any means. Joshua's Folly is clearly the stronger book and is the linchpin that connects the story together. I don't know what happened to this guy between books but I like the confidence that he has now. This is a story that grabs your attention and only serves to balance out the next books. Now that we have the set up we have a level playing field and there's nothing that could possibly slow this series down. This is one hell of a writer and The Sacred Series is turning into something that can't just be read and put down. Once these are released you'll want to binge read just so there's no waiting between books.

      So the question is should you pre-order this the moment it shows up on Amazon? Yes, you should. If you've read the first book this is essential reading. I don't know what happened to Eyenot between books but it's quite a growth. This is a writer who knows how to keep readers coming back. Joshua's Folly is a worthy addition to the Sacred Blade series and answers most of the questions that he hadn't answered in book I. The question is what does he have in store for us next? I can't wait to find out.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Scarlett Curse: The Sacred Blade of Profanity Book 1

    The Scarlett Curse: The Sacred Blade of Profanity Book 1 - Toneye Eyenot  5/5
                                                                     

  http://www.amazon.com/Scarlett-Curse-Sacred-Blade-Profanity-ebook/dp/B00ZDPCNQ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456535439&sr=8-1&keywords=Toneye+Eyenot

   I have to be honest and tell you that I'm not a fan of fantasy novels, but I am a fan of great stories and that is exactly what The Scarlett Curse is. Eyenot is a great story teller that gives us something unique with the first book in what I hope will be a very long series. As a story teller he manages to drop you into the middle of the story. It sounds confusing as hell, but trust me when I tell you that you should read this book. It's a unique approach and one that makes sense. He doesn't want just casual readers. He wants readers who are invested in the story that he's telling and as I began this book I loved the mystery behind it. You are given a small piece of the story and as the rest of the books are released more of the story will be revealed.

   Even if you're not a fan of dark fantasy there's a lot here to attract you to story of the Sacred Blade. A bit of horror, and the history of the blade itself. While it's not the exact beginning of the story there's enough here to let you know a bit about the sword and its purpose. Toneye has given us just enough to keep us invested in future books in the series. It's an interesting beginning and one that will keep you coming back until Toneye's vision is complete. These are all interesting characters and at the core of it is the Sacred Blade Of Profanity. I'm not sure how closely Toneye strays from the fantasy genre and I don't care because this is a story that flows well.

    Whatever he has planned for this series I'm willing to follow along. Any good writer can create a series, but the important part is keeping your readers coming back. There has to be a connection between your characters and your readers. He's accomplished that here. The Scarlett Curse is well plotted and keeps your eyes glued to the page. The worst part occurs when you read the final page. Knowing that you have to wait for the next book sucks but it's all a part of investing in a series. This is an epic tale that truly captures the imagination and I cannot wait for the prequel to drop.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Granville

     Granville - Alice J Black & David Owain Hughes 5/5
                                                           
           

       http://www.amazon.com/Granville-David-Hughes-ebook/dp/B01BUACCZO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1456346710&sr=8-2&keywords=Granville

     I was lucky enough to have won a copy of Granville during the release party on Facebook, but that's not why I'm writing this review. It would be too easy to just write a fluff piece and hope that people buy this book. I had planned on buying this anyway. All it took was the front cover. I saw that and knew that I wanted to read this book. I read a blurb a few hours later and then I had to read this book. A cover can say a lot about a book and just seeing that image was all I needed. When I got my copy I immediately loaded it onto my Samsung Tab 3 and started reading. For those that haven't read it you have no idea what you're in for!

      This is a horror novella that doesn't offer anything new, and it doesn't go out of its way to be different. That's not a bad thing, or a knock against Alice and David because this is an addicting book that actually gives us a villain that you can cheer for. I love Friday 13th because I enjoy watching Jason stalk his prey and unleashing as much havoc as possible. He's the kind of guy that you want to see succeed because he's such a bad ass. Granville is the same type of villain. He's motivated by rage, and revenge and nothing is going to stand in his way. We've all known a Stanley and that's why it's so damn easy to cheer for him. Granville is almost like an intelligent version of Vorhees. There are countless movies that feature a villain like this. The obscure I Spit On Your Grave, and yes even the iconic Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.

      The writing here is where the strength of this novella lies. We have characters that we want to see die because they are truly despicable people. They fuel Stanley's metamorphosis into Granville, and once he shows up the novel veers away from any sense of morality, and makes the actions of Stanley almost justified. Of course I just like the character and enjoyed reign of terror, but I'm sure there will be countless people that won't find either Stanley or Granville as likable as I did. At its heart its a tribute the iconic Friday 13th franchise without trying to mimic it. It takes what makes that first film so good and builds upon it. It's also not a direct rip-off either. It's a great horror novella that truly captures the spirit of classic slasher films and updates it by using bullying and alienation as it's main motivator

      The truth is that Granville is a classic horror novella that follows in the footsteps of the masters while presenting an original story. These are two writers that offer no redemption and pisses all over the rules of horror by giving us a Laymonesque character that you can't help but like. Usually it's pretty clear that you aren't supposed to like the villain but here? He's a guy that you cheer on and want to see succeed. Alice And David have truly written an interesting piece of horror fiction that has to be read to be believed. This is without a doubt one of my favorite books of the new year and you should read it too.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Fuck Up

     The Fuck-up  Arthur Nersesian 5/5
                                                         

      Sometimes a book comes along with a title that limits its audience based on the title alone. This is one of those books, but if you're mature enough to look beyond that then you're in for one hell of a read. It's one of those rare novels that doesn't become a mission to tell a happy story or give a wide variety of reasons for the characters behavior. The title character is just a complete and total fuck-up and there's nothing at all redeeming about him. Nothing about him is remotely likable, but the book is like a really bad car crash. You know you should look away, but you just can't. You have to take a peek and see just how bad it is.

      What draws you in is Nersesian's writing style. He starts off slow and before you now it you're too invested to quit. His characters are all needy and self obsessed. Everyone is broken in some way  and that's what makes this such an interesting read. These are characters that seem to seek each other out and use each other. Somehow it seems as if all of these people are seeking for someone to repair the broken pieces within themselves. Problem is our title character is too much of a fuck-up to offer anything of any value to anyone. As a writer he creates a bleak, almost hopeless existence and you almost feel yourself feeling sorry for these people. It's a book for people that are drawn to broken, imperfect characters with an injection of black humor to balance it all out.

   
     The reviews on this are quite mixed and there are two camps. Those who either love it or hate it. You can look at a multitude of reviews and still feel as if maybe you shouldn't read it. The fact is you should. The Fuck-up is a novel that you have to experience for yourself. Not everyone is going to like it, but there's people like who see the brilliance underneath the grit there is our main character who seems to have no redeeming qualities at all but you should stick around and see what happens to him. This is an interesting book that isn't for everyone, but there is an audience for it somewhere. I had never heard of this novel and just stumbled onto it. I'm glad I did.

   

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Welcome To Slaphappy Jericho!!!!

     A Lion's Tale: Around The World In Spandex - Chris Jericho 5/5
                                                           
                                                                 
      It's true I'm that I'm a huge pro-wrestling fan, but the problem is that the bio's usually suffer from WWE censorship. The best ones are those that allow the whole story to be told. Warts and all. Those are rare and only one comes to mind and that's Mick Foley's. He proved that not only is his story one that needs to be read, but one that is not only full of hilarity but the stuff that we don't see behind the curtain. Foley's book proved that you can give away all of the secrets (we all know that wrestling is fake) while still capturing the reason why anyone would want to risk their bodies doing this shit. That was the water mark, but we always get the same watered down wrestling bio. I want dirt, I want a reason to read. Gimme something that doesn't reek of bullshit.

     The fact is if you're not a fan of wrestling or a Jerichoholic there's really no reason to read this, but for those who are fans of wrestling and maybe a casual fan of Jericho's then by all means pick this one up. The book details the early years of his career and ends right before his WWF debut. You get to read about the Jericho curse and his years in Japan and other countries as well as his stint in ECW. The book though is a bit different than others because he's not a bitter guy looking to take pot shots he doesn't like. The only displeasure here is his time spent with WCW and this is where the book really gets interesting because is you've ever seen Jericho wrestle or heard any of his promos you know the guy could have been huge in WCW but he was merely an afterthought and never given an opportunity to showcase his talent.

     The book is a tale of a kid with a dream and traveled all over the world to make it. It's not a solid read despite its lack of dirt or the typical addiction that seems to flow through all of these books. Jericho's book is as honest and much like his promos, never boring. It's rare that you actually read a biography that's this good without a nice view of the gutter. Aside from Mick's bio I can't honestly tell you the last wrestling book I read straight through without sipping pages or setting it down and forgetting to finish the damn thing. As a beginning to the Jericho trilogy this is a solid intro to Jericho's career. If you ever planned to read a wrestling bio snag this one and then read Mick's
   

 

                            

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Ball Washer

     The Ball Washer - Lance Manion 4/5  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/244563
                                         


      When you pick up a free book you really have no reason to complain. You took a risk and now there you are looking at your Kindle or tablet screen in either indifference or anger. The Ball Washer is a collection of flash fiction stories that range from out right hilarity to cringe inducing. There's no middle ground in Manion's collection and that's not a bad thing. He offers no apologies and you shouldn't ask for them because the book is free. It's an opportunity to check out a new writer and if you don't like it well you're not out anything. I had actually read this awhile ago and thought I'd check it out again. Sometimes a book just deserves a second read.

     Manion's collection isn't for everyone. Sometimes it's crude, and downright offensive, but not every book released is going to appeal to everyone. It's almost as if he just writes about the first thing that pops into his head. It makes sense when you read a story about a guy who finds random pubic hairs in sinks and realizes that someone is washing their balls in the sink. That's the first story mind you. It doesn't get any easier or less offensive. The thing to remember is that as long as the stories are good it doesn't matter how offensive or crude you are there's also an audience for your work. Manion's style is one of indifference. These are all very short so there's a lot of stories crammed into this collection.

      As you read though the length of these stories is what really weighs it down. It just feels too long and sometimes you do hit a clunker of a story. It's expected with flash fiction but overall the good outweigh the bad and you wind up laughing out loud at a man trying out different handicaps for a week. Manion  knows that he's never going to be a mainstream author and I don't think he cares as long as he connects with readers who share his sense of humor and don't mind that quite a few of his stories will no doubt offend someone. Regardless this is a freebie that introduces you to the writing of  Lance Manion and it's not a bad intro just not for everyone.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jeremy

     Jeremy - Matt Hickman 5/5 http://www.amazon.com/Jeremy-Evil-Name-Horror-Novella-ebook/dp/B019BGXKQ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1455374397&sr=8-1&keywords=Jeremy+Matt+Hickman
                                                             


     There a lot of great horror novels coming out from across the pond and we can add Jeremy to that growing list. Matt's debut novella is the kind of book you read and it stays with you long after you finish it. It's brutal reality based horror that links together bullying and alienation to tell a story that is utterly terrifying and brutal. As you read it you're sucked into the story and you actually can relate to Jeremy and can understand how lonely he feels. We have known kids like Jeremy and that makes the first half so good. Matt has a writing style that sucks you in and then when you hit the second half and all hell breaks loose you may want to turn away but you can't. This is where Matt truly hits his stride and everything just implodes.

     This is a debut that immediately grabs your attention and gets you noticed. Jeremy at times feels like a cautionary tale, but Hickman veers away from being preachy to being outright terrifying. You can relate to Jeremy simply because he's a product of his environment and his actions are almost justified. It's a unique story that truly takes the creepy aspect of kids and amplifies it. As a horror fan I've read countless novels that features kids, but Jeremy isn't like anything you've ever read before. It may seem as if you know where the story's going, but Hickman veers away from the predictability you're expecting.

    It certainly doesn't feel like a debut. This is a novella that moves quickly with excellent pacing and characters that you can identify with. Matt is a writer that allows you to not just view the characters but you feel as if you're one of them. It is a short read but one that is shocking and terrifying. This is a writer to watch and I have a feeling that the story of Jeremy is far from over. All I can say is well done, and congrats on a solid novella.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bloody Valentine

      Bloody Valentine (Quick Reads) - James Patterson 5/5
                                                           





     James Patterson is a guy that people love to hate and for good reason. He doesn't write his own books anymore and there's a simplicity that runs through all of them. Its that simplicity that has made him stupid rich. Soccer moms and people that are aren't readers will actually read this guys stuff because it's not going to demand a lot of thought. You can read a Patterson book and feel as if you're a reader even if you aren't. This is the measuring stick of popular, cookie cutter fiction. The stay at home moms, the grandmas, and the soccer moms are the audience you want if you want to be a best selling author. This is Patterson's fan base and as a writer I almost want to sell out and churn out some simple fiction just so I can be stupid popular and rich.

     Bloody Valentine isn't a bad novel at all. It's a novel you can read in about an hour and feel as if you've accomplished something. For a Patterson novel this is quite a good little mystery that gives you some rather weak characters and a murder mystery that evolves slowly. Due to its short length he doesn't waste a whole lot of time and gets right to the murder, and the subsequent investigation. This is a Patterson that readers will remember from the early Alex Cross novels. Simple story telling with an engaging plot that keeps the pages moving. At this point James knows what his readers want so he doesn't waste a lot of time here in loading the book down with stuff that will bore his core audience.

     What I loved about this was that it played out like a Lifetime movie, and the killer cut out a pregnant ladies heart and sends it to her husband! How cool is that?? This is one of those books that just fires on all cylinders and gives you the meat and no potatoes. At this point Patterson knows how to piss off his fans and it seems as if Bloody Valentine did just that. Whether it was a failed experiment or not this is a Patterson novel that doesn't waste a lot of time and shows that when Patterson wants to, he can write a short, yet engaging story. If you've never read Patterson before this is a nice place to start. It's good in its simplicity and is a great light piece of fiction. Nothing mind blowing or original here, but so what. It was still a blast to read.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Flowers In A Dumpster

     Flowers In A Dumpster - Mark Allan Gunnels 5/5    http://www.amazon.com/Flowers-Dumpster-Mark-Allan-Gunnells-ebook/dp/B018OJOJ3C/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

                                                             


     I read a lot of horror and it took me awhile to actually get into single author compilations from new authors. A lot of them seemed to consist of one or two good stories and the rest would be filler that was just thrown in to boost a word count. It happens a lot more than you would think and it makes it extremely difficult to invest in a full length novel. A shorty story collection is a great way to show off your range and depth unless you suck and then you have nothing going for you except for a book full of short stories that are mediocre at best. These collections are a crap shoot at best and not too many writers can pull this off. 

     As I began to read Dumpster I could tell that I was reading something unique. This is a guy that knows how tell a great story and style wise he's all over the place. He's a horror writer that you can't pin down. He has a style all his own and he has this ability to drag you into the stories he's writing. This is a horror writer that takes risks and doesn't care about rules or what subject you shouldn't write about. The guy has balls and in horror that's important. Each of these stories is unique and there's nothing that can prepare you for the onslaught that is Flowers In A Dumpster. 

     This is one collection that truly delivers. It's dark, it's a bit grungy and there were a few places I couldn't help but laugh but when you're reading a story about freeing Jesus from the cross and you realize that he's not coming back you can't help but chuckle. As I always do I'm judging this on the strength of each story. These are well written and there's no filler. Some do end quite abruptly but they're supposed to. This is a horror writer that I plan to read more of. If you're looking for something dark and different this is one that you should definitely pick up.   
     

                        

                                         

Sunday, February 7, 2016

  After (After Series Book 1) - Samantha Gregory 5/5   http://www.amazon.com/After-Book-1-Samantha-Gregory-ebook/dp/B00KQ3IY54/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454875011&sr=8-1&keywords=Samantha+Gregory


                                                         

   

     You're probably going to hear that this isn't your typical zombie novel or series and it's true. That's not a bad thing at all considering that every writer has attempted a zombie novel. Some of them stand out by being different while others stand out because they suck and just plod along rehashing the same ideas that everyone else has come up with. When I read a zombie novel I want to see something different, I want to be elevated beyond what everyone else has done and shown something different. The problem is that most writers don't like to venture beyond what everyone else expects and that makes for a boring read. No one wins when new zombie novels follow the same formula. You aren't winning new fans. That's not a good thing. 

     After shows us what happens after the zombie breakout. We see a new government in place and the zombies are non existent. For seasoned horror fans the lack of gore and horror may turn off a few readers but for those looking for an engaging story with a variety of interesting characters there's a lot to like here. At times it does become a bit predictable but Samantha's writing style is engaging enough so you don't even care that parts of this are a bit cheesy and better suited for female readers. What I failed to notice was that it was a young adult novel so I wasn't even in the right demographic for this novel. Despite that, I still enjoyed it.

     Gregory is a writer that knows exactly how to plot a story and keep the reader guessing. This is the first book in a series so she knows that if she wants you to come back there has to be a reason. You want to like these characters almost as much as the story. Jenna is a likable character and an integral part of the series. All of the other characters compliment each other well, and as the novel progresses we can tell that this is a series that we're going to want to finish. Samantha builds After to a cliff hanger conclusion that will certainly anger a majority of you, but you have a reason to come back and most of you will. You should come back because After is an addicting read that adds to a genre that is usually boring and predictable. I received this in exchange for an honest review and I'm not only a new fan of Gregory's work but I'll also be reading the rest of the books in this series. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Violators

    The Violators - Vincenzo Bilof  5/5

                                                                 



     I received a copy of The Violators quite a few months ago but I sat on it because I wanted to wait until the release date to review it. I got this in December and knew that it wasn't going to be released for another two months! Officially this is released on the 23rd of February, but I have yet to see any any pre-order info but It'll be there I promise. Once that info becomes available you should hit the pre-order button and this review will explain exactly why you should do that. Trust me, this is a book you want to purchase and forget the Kindle version. The cover alone deserves to be purchased as a paperback.

     The Violators is a novel that destroys everything you've been taught about art, and literature. Bilof's style is at times almost schizophrenic and even nonsensical. This is a book that barely has a plot and its place gives us cliches and violence. The women in The Violators are objectified and they want to be treated that way. Cindy is a whore because she wants to be and Alan is like a lost puppy that seems to just exist to inject a sense of morality into the story. Alan is the weakest character here, and you almost feel sorry for him. Bilof has a knack for artistry and creating a book that is almost a bitter rant against art and even the publishing world. It's a book that doesn't even follow a genre and borrows from a variety of them gleefully. There's nothing that can prepare you for the Violators. No review will some up what this novel is.

     This is a novel that has a multiple amount of meanings and themes. There is a lot here that is shocking and will no doubt offend a lot of readers. The thing to remember is that great books sometimes have to shock and offend because it's important to step out of your comfort zone. Bilof goes places that others probably won't go because they're too afraid of offending their core audience. It's an original anti-novel that dares you to follow along while throwing up a great deal of black humor just to see if you're paying attention. As a fan I would say that The Violators is the best book that Bilof has written. His characters are all cliches of other characters that we've all encountered in other novels and yes, he even breaks the fourth wall which is a big no no.

     As you read The Violators you are thrust into a world that has no rules and nothing is forbidden. You will either identify with Krang, and the other students in the class or you will identify with Alan. It's a book that will make you question everything you have ever read and lays it bare. We are all guilty of takng our books too seriously, but you can't do that with this one. Nothing is safe here and as you read The Violators you too become a member of the class, and that is the scariest part of all.