Thursday, March 31, 2016

     

The Hunted Tribe: Book 1: Declaration of War (Volume 1) - Roma Gray 5/5 stars 

                                                                  


     Roma was kind enough to give a copy of Hunted in exchange for an honest review, and I had no idea it was a young adult novel. If I had I'm not sure I would have read it, but then again I probably would have because when I was a kid I didn't read books that were age appropriate. As a writer she's got an amazing talent of pulling you into the story and you might even say that she tries too hard to make this a novel that would appeal to a wide range of readers. It's a smart novel that has a Stand By Me feel to it while incorporating witchcraft and a tribe of native Americans being hunted by the Grishla. The thing is that the novel works. The balancing act of creating a story that not only adults will read as well as their parents never crosses into the roll your eyes as Roma tries way too hard too please everyone territory. 

     This is a solid story that has characters that you can't help but like. Sean has the unfortunate task of saving the Dwanake tribe so he has to be flawed in some way, but no so much that you end up hating him. Roma has given us a story that flows well and keeps your eyes glued to the page. As the beginning of a series it doesn't grow too boring with the back story of how the Grishla came to exist. It's woven into the story in such a way that it doesn't halt the momentum of where the story is going. There are clues that tell you where the story could go next which is important in a story like this. We want a reason to keep reading the series and Roma gives us many. 
      
     We want to see Sean succeed and we see him growing into the strong character Roma sees him as. That's important because he's the hero in the book. If we don't like him, the book falls apart. Book 1 of the Declaration Of War series is the kind of novel that you don't just read. You become absorbed in it and hate to see it end, because now there's the long wait for the next one. Roma has talent and The Hunted Tribe is a novel that will no doubt appeal to a wide range of readers. 


Monday, March 14, 2016

No Reason To Live And He Likes It That Way


A Series of Pained Facial Expressions Made While Shredding Air Guitar: Poems, Observations, Lists, Letters, Notes, Bullshit Aphorisms, and General Tales of Ordinary Crabbiness - Brian Alan Ellis 5/5 stars


   



      If I give this a bad review I'm afraid that Ellis will RKO one of his cats, or quite possibly cry himself to sleep after binge watching John Cena's Greatest Hits so what am I supposed to do lie? Here's the interesting thing about Ellis. If you haven't heard of this dude you should have. He's taking bizarro and emo fiction to new levels and then if he's feeling sad he's going to jump from that level and damn it he's taking you all with him! This is a writer that clearly has either a lot issues or a sick sense of humor. Either way anytime you pick up one of his books you have no idea what you're in for. 

     This is a book of tweets, lists, and other randomness that should be on a Twitter feed somewhere. This is a book full of sadness and crushed dreams. It's that feeling you get when you wink at a girl and she looks at some other dude so all you can do is stand there and swallow sadness. That's what makes this book so damn good. You can't tell if he's kidding. You read some of this and you wonder if these are a cry for help or someone poking fun at people that are truly dead inside. We all are in some way and while you may cringe at most of these you can't help but laugh because they're all pretty damn funny. Ellis is the guy that's so Emo he might be actually be gay. He's every Bloodhound Gang lyric that Jimmy Pop was too busy to write. 

      A Series is a book that you either get or you don't. It's not a story just a series of random stuff. A few poems here and there and enough self hate and fear to make a therapist cry. For a moment it you think this is pretty bizarre but then you laugh and feel guilty because there millions of people out there just like this. They eat ice cream out of the carton, they throw on Kiss' Asylum and cry because this is the last great 80's Kiss album. Ellis is the kind of writer that uses whatever he can to fill pages and those pages are never boring. Just a lot of fun to read. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Succubus

     Succubus - Wesley Thomas 3/5 stars
                                                     



     I picked this up for my Kindle app for like 99 cents based on the cover and the blurb on the back. It seemed like the perfect little horror novel and for awhile it was. A little horror/mystery if you will. Leon wakes up after being in a coma for a year and then strange things begin to happen. It's a creepy tale that truly pulls you in and then the novel just seems to drag on, and on. For the most part Thomas is a good writer and gives you a likeable chap in Leon. You can relate to him, hell you want to believe that everything about Annabelle is the direct fault of his parents. There are a lot of questions that come up and then you hit the ending. It's almost like crashing into a brick wall. The pay off is surprising and laughable to say the least.

       I would have loved this book had it have been a bit shorter. There's a lot of filler here and I skimmed through a lot simply because it was starting to bore me. The fault is that the story seems to unravel and Leon's quest to find Annabelle seems to go on forever. By the end of the novel I was ready to be done with the damn thing. For a horror novel it's not bad, and there are a lot of reasons to check it, but it does have its faults. Thomas is a talented writer that often goes the creepy route. You feel bad for Leon, and that's what a good writer does. They allow you to invest in the characters and cheer them on. If the story starts to fall apart though the characters no longer matter. You just want to see how it all ends so you can say you read it.

     Is Succubus terrible? Not at all but for me it was just one hundred pages too long. Getting toward the end took forever and seemed a bit rushed. As a story it's interesting but the conclusion is where the wheels fall off. It tries to be shocking but instead makes you giggle at its ridiculousness. Casual horror fans may find this mind blowing, and maybe even brilliant, but seasoned horror fans will simply roll their eyes. There are moments here where Succubus is fantastic but in the end it's just an okay horror novel that you can read on a rainy afternoon. For the record I like the original cover better.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Kids

     Kids - Various Authors 5/5 stars
                                       
   

      http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Michael-Bray-ebook/dp/B01BYRVHX6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457742217&sr=8-2&keywords=Jack+Rollins

       Dark Chapter Press has made quite a name for themselves in the short time that they've been in existence. The amount of quality they have put into their releases is amazing, and the cover for Kids adds to their growing legacy. The theme itself is interesting because let's be honest and admit that children are creepy. They don't mean to be, they just are. Anyone with a child or knows someone with a child can attest to this. This anthology doesn't make them any less creepier. If anything you may want to lock your door before you go to sleep, and if you plan on having kids reading this anthology will take away that desire real quick.

     Kids is a horror anthology that reminds us that children are great subjects for horror. Look at Children Of The Corn, or The Omen. For some all you have to do is glance at the kid next door to see just how creepy kids are. This anthology will no doubt cause a few nightmares and may force you to sleep with a night light on. It's that creepy and unnerving. The editors here have done a great job picking these stories and you have a wealth of different elements that make this such an insanely good anthology. These are stories that stick with you and make you watch children a little closer. What exactly are they thinking? Why are they staring at me like that? The goal of Kids is to frighten you and these stories do that without a whole lot of gore. It's the kids themselves that make this so damn terrifying.

     This is easily one of my favorite anthologies and shows that if done right an anthology full of creepy, evil, and even zombie kids can be unsettling. All of these stories are well written and unforgettable. From beginning to end there isn't a bad story at all and the editors have truly picked the best of the best. None of these stories should be skimmed or skipped unless you feel uncomfortable and maybe need a break. Each of these stories make you  feel uneasy and you wonder how many of these authors have kids of their own. Kids have always been at the epicenter of great horror and this anthology is just another reason why Dark Chapter Press is one of the most talked about publishers out there. I received this in exchange for an honest review and cannot wait until volume 2 comes out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lita Ford

    Livin' Like A Runaway - Lita Ford 5/5 Stars
                                             
http://www.amazon.com/Living-Like-Runaway-Lita-Ford/dp/0062270648/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1457479470&sr=1-1&keywords=Lita+Ford


      Being a kid in the '80's Lita Ford was the shit. Not only was she hot as hell but she had the talent to almost make you forget how damn hot she was. I say almost because how could you forget? The videos for Hungry and even Kiss Me Deadly got a lot of guys through puberty. When I heard about the book I had to read it. It didn't matter that I had drifted away from her music or that I sometimes found her albums a bit uneven. This was going to be one hell of a book!! I waited and watched the internet for the release date and then finally ordered it. The only other music bio that I actually bought close to the release date was Paul Stanley's. That was an interesting read and I knew that Living Like A Runaway would be as well. This was Lita Ford! It had to be good.

 
       I delved in as soon as it dropped and I was a little disappointed by the lack of stuff on The Runaways. This was a group that paved the way for female fronted rock bands and put Lita on the map. The book isn't boring in the least and you get to see Lita warts and all. As a person she comes off at times a bit unstable and there's plenty of sex and drugs mixed in with the rock and roll. You would think that a woman writing a bio like this would leave out some of the sex but no, it's all here with her various relationships. You get to see these guys at their absolute worst, but the thing is that while she talks about their out of control drug use she's quite the drinker herself. It's a well written book that truly captures your attention. It's got enough dirt in here to keep you hooked. For some people that's what makes these so damn readable. You want someone talking shit about someone and this doesn't let you down.

     As far as memoirs go Living Like A Runaway is Lita's story and while she may have held some stuff back it doesn't matter because even a casual rock fan will find something to like about Lita's story. It's a book that I've wanted to read for awhile it certainly doesn't hold anything back. Will it give you a new found respect for the queen of metal? Maybe but you won't be bored. As a casual Lita fan it's a good bio and for Lita fans you'll find out a lot of interesting stuff and you'll find a reason to like her even more. For me this is what I was first drawn to and maybe it's sexist but she was and is still hot.

                                             

                               


     

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mas Tequila!!

    Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock - Sammy Hagar  2/5
                                                             


     I have no idea what I was expecting when I started reading this. Maybe a lot of dirt, a lot of drugs and alcohol maybe. What I didn't expect was Sammy being by far one of the sanest guys in rock and roll. This is a guy that made more money outside of music than he did inside. If there was money to be made he found a way to do it. You get an alcoholic father, a batshit crazy wife, and a batshit crazy guitarist named Eddie, but the problem is that Sammy comes off as a nice guy which is really unexpected. The problem is that the book truly captures Sammy's manic energy and the book often comes off incoherent. This isn't a bad biography. It's just boring.

     If you're a fan of Hagar this is going to be a good solid read. It really doesn't pick up until the Van Halen years or even the Geffen years. There's not a lot of detail in his dealings with Ronnie Montrose. I was expecting him to say something bad about the guy but he doesn't. These books were designed to start shit, yet Sammy truly comes off as a genuinely nice guy that never really seems affected by anything that happens to him. I wasn't a big Hagar fan and I wasn't a fan of Van Halen until 5150. As an artist his records were always a bit uneven and lacked something. It's funny that I would read Red and feel the same damn way about his book. I read this in a day just to get done with the damn thing.

     What you do get from the book is his dealings with David Lee Roth and of course Eddie Van Halen. That is reason enough to pick this up from your local library. Casual fans aren't going to care about Sammy's attitude toward the music business and how he became a millionaire. What's interesting is that he was actually worth more than Van Halen when he joined the band and when he did the reunion tour he did it for the fans not the cash and it quickly became one of the worst experiences of his life.

     He was able to take a mediocre band and inject some life into them. Van Halen was ten times better with Hagar but sadly egos clashed and the band found themselves becoming a nostalgia act while Sammy headed into the tequila business and laughed all the way to the bank. The best way to get revenge is to make money and lots of it. Sammy wins and he's able to hang out on the beach and enjoy life while most rock stars are struggling to survive.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016



          How To Survive A Horror Movie - Seth Grahame-Smith 4/4



                                                



     Let's be honest here and admit that for the most part that horror films are predictable. Scream gave us some easy to follow rules to survive a horror movie and now we have a survival guide written by the guy who gave us Pride Prejudice And Zombies and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. How you view this book depends on your views of the horror genre. If you aren't a fan then you'll hate this (if you hate horror films why are you even reading this review?). It's quite a humorous book that doesn't take a lot of time to read and there really useful information packed in here to ensure that you actually survive and live to breath another day.


     It clearly takes the piss to the entire genre and nothing is sacred. Everything that you could encounter in the terrorverse is covered. Zombies, vampires, and even killer dolls. Nothing in this book will save you from anything in the real world so if you're looking to fight of muggers or terrorists you are completely fucked. It's obvious that Seth is a fan and that's what makes the book so amusing. You can't help but laugh at these tips even though they could save your life if you're in a horror movie. As a fan and writer of the horror genre I become even more aware of just how predictable this genre is and I think we all know this, but that's why we're all fans. We know what's going to happen and now thanks to Seth we can survive!


     As good as this book is there's really no reason to re-read this so that drags it down a little. If you laughed the first time what are the odds that you'll find yourself laughing just as hard if you read it a second or third time. It's a great conversation starter for horror fans and it allows us to see the films through the eyes of their creator. When we watch a horror movie we will laugh as everyone dies and we know exactly how to survive. We can thank Seth for giving us the knowledge that will save our asses.