Showing posts from 2017
Beneath The Scars - A.M. Carroll 1/5 stars

     I received a copy of Beneath The Scars from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

      So what I thought would be a pretty decent suspense thriller turned out to be less about suspense, and more about romance, and annoying characters that almost induce vomiting. When you read a blurb you can almost guarantee that you know what you're getting into. Not the case here at all. If anything, the suspense is almost nonexistent, and the focus is mostly on Jay and Lacey, and it could work if they weren't so annoying, and well, let's just say they're boring. Nothing about this novel is suspenseful, and shouldn't even be classified as such. Even women who like this kind of stuff would be disappointed in Carroll's novel. It promises a great deal, but falls flat almost immediately,

      Part of the problem are the characters. In any novel you want characters you can like, or even identify with, but here, these aren'…
Fast Times At Cine Mega Plex High 5/5 stars

      This has been on my to be read list since it first came out, but then I got a bit sidetracked which happens more than I care to admit. As I looked through my Kindle app I rediscovered this and I began to read. Vaughn is a talented guy. He knows how to create these weird, sick stories, but they're well written, and laced with the right amount of black humor that you can't help but laugh at. It's a short story collection where all the stories are linked together, and influenced by various film genres. Thing is, Vaughn has put his own little spin on each genre so it becomes something a bit darker and far more twisted.

       While it may offend some readers, if you're a fan of weird fiction, this is a classic that spoofs some iconic films, but I won't tell you which ones. It's your job to read the book and find out what they are. All I will tell you is each story is sure to make you either chuckle, or close the boo…

Foxy Knoxy

Waiting To Be Heard - Amanda Knox 3/5 stars

       Books like these are expected to change the way people see you, and offer some sort of insight into who you are as a person. If you're Amanda Knox, odds are you're still going to hate you simply because she was the most hated woman in Italy, and who knows, maybe she still is. When you're paid 4 million bucks to write a book it better be good, or at the least try and convince people you're not a sadistic, heartless bitch. Amanda's book does that. It shows that she isn't just a pretty face for a penchant for casual sex, or a burning hate in her heart for Meredith Kirchner. Amanda spent four years of her life in an Italian prison for a crime she didn't commit, and the police were convinced that she and her boyfriend did it. Even when the facts failed to add up, or even point to Amanda and her boyfriend. If you hate Amanda, you will probably still hate her, but hey, at least we tried to get you to like her.


Youth Gone Wild?

Sebastian Bach - 18 And Life On Skid Row 3/5

      First off, I want to say how disappointed I am in the poster that came with the book. I was expecting the bloated, puffy, Sebastian Back circa 2017, but what I got was Sebastian Bach circa 1991. Isn't that false advertising? Why even include a poster on the back of a slip cover anyway? Secondly, did we even need this book? Skid Row's first two albums were perfect hard rock and metal,  and then they just disappeared because they started to suck. Of course we may have the answer we've all wanted for twenty years. Why did they fire this guy? Wasn't he after all the voice of Skid Row? I dunno, but when I saw the price of the hardcover vs the cost of the paperback I figured I should check it out. I was once a fan of Skid Row, and then there was that whole Vh1 show called Supergroups.

      So, the first mistake here is allowing Bach to write his own biography. The guy is all over the place and guess what? For a life story, …
Psycho Circus: A Collection Of Horror  - T.S. Woolard 5/5 stars

      I received a copy of Psycho Circus in exchange for an honest review

      When you call a book Psycho Circus, you better deliver something unique, or at least a little weird. I've read a lot of weird books, and I've read a lot of extreme books as well. To describe this one would be a mixture of the two. While it's not a straight up horror collection, it's still pretty damn good. The problem I find with a lot of extreme horror is that it lacks a clear plot, and only wants to beat the reader into submission with its brutality. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I crave a little more from my books.

       Woolard is a decent writer that explores the dark side of human nature and these tales aren't for everyone. Quite a few of them are pretty disturbing, but there's a reason for this. It's just the way the stories evolve, and you drift from story to story wondering what's …

The Rise And Fall Of WCW

Controversy Creates Cash - Eric Bischoff

       Here's the interesting thing about Bischoff's biography. It's not your typical bio, and for some it's exactly what you expect it to be. Not a story of a man's life, but a story about a company called WCW. That's why most of us picked up this book. Hell, it's why I paid 2.99 for it on Kindle. I'm sure Bischoff has lead an interesting life, but Eric himself knows why we're all gathered here to read his book. There are a few interesting notes about his personal life, but the focus here is on his career as the guy who killed WCW. He was the most hated man in professional wrestling and for good reason. I want some dirt, and I want to see pics of Eric hoisting that dirt onto the bodies of his enemies.

       Anyway, Controversy is an inside look at what exactly happened with WCW, and how he became the man in charge. From the way he talks, everything just fell into his lap, he never pursued anything. He doesn…
Halloween Carnival Vol 4 Various Authors  5/5 stars

     I received a copy of Halloween Carnival Volume 4 from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

     So far the series has been pretty decent, and I like that the series has remained strong throughout. These have all been great and each volume has kept the gore and violence down to a minimum. This is really a series for all fans of horror. Each volume has a little something for everyone which is what makes it so great. After reading volume 4 it's clear that if you want to start this series out of order, you should start here. This one is the one you must read, and the sad thing is I haven't even made it to the last volume yet, and I'm already declaring this one the clear cut winner.

     What makes this one so good? The novella Where The Leaves Fall is a head scratcher of a tale, but it's written so well, and is just creepy enough to make you keep reading to find out what's wrong with this town, and then of …
Brother Sam The Short, Spectacular Life Of Sam Kinison 3/5 stars

      I will never forget the first time I saw Kinison on HBO. It was late and I was probably 11 or 12 at the time, and it was about midnight which meant whatever I watched, I had to be quiet. Then I saw Sam, and I could not stop laughing. At the end of his set my stomach hurt, I had tears pouring out of my eyes, but I knew I saw something ground breaking. Sam was the voice of the people. He said what most guys thought, and even wished they had the balls to say. When he passed it stunned me, and I remember listening to Have You Seen Me Lately and tried to imagine a world without Sam. I heard about the book many years later, but it took me a while to track it down. Hell, I don't even think it's in print anymore. I own the hardback and when I did a search for it, that's all I could find.

      So, reading the book there was a lot that stood out. Sam was truly a genius, and he was out of control which really did…
Ketchup On Everything - Nathan Robinson 5/5 stars

     Okay, first things first. This is not a horror novel, at least it doesn't appear to be in the traditional sense. The only real horror comes toward the end of the novella, and that's where you have the obligatory: "Well, I didn't see that coming!" It's a huge moment, but up until that point, the only horror is the loss Elliot and his wife feel when their son disappears out of thin air. If anything, this is a sad, depressing book that you simply can't stop reading. How does a kid just vanish? Will they ever find him? If you're overly sensitive to missing kids, or know one who has recently gone missing, well, you should stop reading right away. Seriously, just don't even attempt reading this novella. Put it down and pick up something else.

     Ketchup is going to disappoint horror fans, but if you're a fan of well written books, this is a must read. Robinson taps into real grief so you know …
The Darkness In The Woods - Kasey Hill, and Elias Raven 5/5 stars

      I received a copy of The Darkness In The Woods in exchange for an honest review

      The Darkness In The Woods is the sort of horror novel that doesn't tread a lot of new ground, but works amazingly well for what it is. We've read stories like this before, and we know exactly what to expect, but sometimes, the best horror comes from the familiar. I know exactly what you're thinking. if it's unoriginal why are you giving it five stars? I'm glad you asked and I was going to tell you anyway. It's an occult/paranormal novel, and it's set up pretty well. You have a great back story that ties everything together, and let's be honest, if you have a story set in the woods with any sort of family drama ending in tragedy, shenanigans always ensue.

      What starts off as simple little horror novel twists itself into something creepy, and let's be honest here and admit that the character…
Boobageddon - Jimmy Pudge & Jack Savage 5/5 stars

       I'm a huge fan of Pudge's and was bummed out when he decided to stop writing. When I heard he was co-writing a book with Jack Savage I was excited and then sad to hear that this may in fact be the last book we see from the king of white trash fiction. It was great to see a final release, and it's nice to see that nothing has changed. It's still white trash fiction filled with larger than life characters and two heroes who are clueless, and then slowly turn into a pair of bad asses.  Pudge and Savage have created a fun book that will never be considered classy fiction, but who cares? These may be the only authors who have created a drinking game to go along with their book. Every time you see boobs mentioned, you have to drink. You should get a group of friends to read this with you. Makes those stuffy book reads a lot more entertaining.

      Boobageddon is the type of book you simply don't read if you…
Halloween Carnival Volume 3 - Various Authors

      I received a copy of Halloween Carnival in exchange for an honest review

       Wow, volume 3 already, and I have to say as a reviewer, and a fan of horror, this is one series of anthologies that shows no signs of slowing down at all. If you're a fan of either of those things, well, this is one series that delivers. These are short, easy reads with the theme being Halloween. I had planned on reading the entire series before Halloween but I fell behind, so here we are at the beginning of November and I have two books left. As a series, I love the idea behind it, and I love that a lot of these stories aren't built on gore, or even typical horror that we've all come to expect. As a horror fan, I like that it's trying something unique and putting out stories with a true sense of purpose. Even if you're not a big fan of horror, there's still something here to draw you in.

      I will even go out on a limb and say …
The Doll House - Phoebe Morgan 5/5 stars

      I received a copy of The Doll House in exchange for an honest review

      Phoebe Morgan is on hell of a writer. She has a talent here for creating characters that you can relate to even when they become slightly annoying. We know what's happening to Corinne, but no one believes her, and let's be honest, if we were telling people things like this were happening, who'd believe us? Are these the ravings of a woman slowly losing her mind? What's going on with her sister Ashley? Is her husband having an affair? These plot lines add to the underlying tension of the novel, and then you have this creepy third person who appears truly insane. It's clear she and her mom are following someone but who? The thing is, this type of novel has been done before, but Doll House holds its cards close to the vest. It's not an easy novel to figure out and no matter how much I tried to figure how all these things were connected, I …
Makeup To Breakup: My Life In And Out Of Kiss   3/5 stars/

      Just when you think you have the entire story behind Kisstory another book comes out, and it's just as ugly as the last one. I'm not talking about the bio Nothing To Lose because that was as close to the truth as you're going to get to the behind the scenes world of all things Kiss. Criss' bio is full of anger, and even bitterness. Every time he cries, you should take a drink. Hell, you should invite your friends over to group read this one just so you can create a new drinking game. This is an interesting read, and what surprised me was that Peter is supposed to be uneducated, yet he wrote a better book than Gene Simmons. You want dirt? Here is a book you full of it. Criss holds nothing back and just like all the other bios, you have no idea what's true, and what's pure fiction.

      It seems like all four members of Kiss wanted to tell their stories, and each book has differing events, and view…
Halloween Carnival Vol 2 - Various Authors  4/5 stars

       I received Halloween Carnival Vol 2 in exchange for an honest review

      It's hard to keep momentum going throughout an anthology series especially if the theme is Halloween. I liked this one better than the first volume because the stories here were a bit darker, and didn't start out wanting to depress you. I like where the series is going and each story presents you with something different. What I'm finding is that these stories aren't about the scares, but the atmosphere. These stories embody the dark, almost foreboding atmosphere of what the holiday is about.

      It does stumble a bit, but still, it's not a terrible read and shows a great deal of promise. These five stories are meant to be read in a dark room, or told around a bonfire. It reminds me a lot of the anthologies I read in the eighties. It all about finding a new author, and exposing myself to stuff I probably would never find on my o…
Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell With Black Sabbath 5/5

      At best, I would consider myself a casual fan of Black Sabbath. There's no denying the fact that they invented not only heavy metal, but paved the way for every other band after them to pledge their allegiance to Satan. I didn't get into the band until Ronnie James Dio joined and believe me, I got a lot of grief for not enjoying the original lineup as much as everyone else did. The point here is that Iommi's biography is meant for a wide audience. Even a casual fan can pick this book up and enjoy it which is cool. The book is merely the story of the band, not exactly Iommi and that makes the book a bit more interesting than most bio's.

       What's interesting is that Iommi really doesn't hold anything back when it comes to Sabbath and even comes clean when it comes to the question of the band being Satanic, and their run ins over the years with people of different faiths. With any bio…
Disturbed - Jennifer Jaynes 5/5 stars

      I received a copy of Disturbed from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

      You ever read a book that totally blows your mind, and leaves you wondering what the hell you just read? This is one such book. Seriously, Disturbed is the kind of book that dares you to figure out the who and the why, and even gives you some clues. Turns out, none of it matters! This is all about pacing, and creating characters that not only enhance the story, but keep the reader guessing until the very end. What happened to Chelsea that night? Why did she survive? Those are the recurring questions, and Jaynes even gives us a character from the past to enhance the mystery of it all. Disturbed slowly pulls you along slowly adding tension until the very end. 

      If you're looking for the perfect thriller that does everything right while staying original, without faltering, well this is one that I highly recommend. Everything about Disturbed is perfe…
It Always Bites You In The End - Michael Fisher  5/5 stars

      I have to admit that lately I haven't been reading a lot of horror, but it's not because I'm bored with the genre. I've become hooked on suspense thrillers. Why am I mentioning this while reviewing Michael Fisher's latest release? Because at it's core, it's exactly what a suspense thriller is, but there's also a bit of the supernatural in there as well to give it a little kick. Fisher is a talented writer that has essentially created the perfect book, and It Always Bites You In The End keeps you guessing until the very last page. The bodies began piling up, and they all seem to be linked to the tattoos that the deceased have recently acquired. Sounds pretty simple right? You would think so, but that's not true at all, and the mystery only seems to deepen the further you get.

      At the heart of it all is Mac, a cop who is assigned to these cases. This is a great character that injec…
Don't Wake Up - Liz Lawler 3/5 stars

      Not only did I receive a review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I also bought a copy through Amazon's Kindle First program

      Wow, this was one book that I was really not digging. Lawler sets us up with a great beginning, but Alex Taylor is not a great lead character. I get it in hindsight, I really do. This is a woman we're supposed to think is crazy, so crazy that she made this crazy abduction. From the outset it does seem that way. There's no evidence at all that Alex was abducted. Problem is, Alex is a borderline alcoholic and annoying. When writing a book like this it's important to have something about the lead character you can relate to, but here, not the case. I was ready to throw the towel in on this and just give it a bad review. Not because the story was bad, but the lead character was boring, and if anything I wanter to see her die a horrible death.

      Then something happened. Arou…
Halloween Carnival Vol 1 (Various Authors) 4/5 stars

     I received a copy of Haloween Carnival from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

      It's official, Halloween is officially upon us and Hydra has come to get us in the Halloween spirit with a new anthology series. I loved the cover, but let's go ahead and be honest here by admitting this isn't exactly what I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, but I wasn't exactly sure how this was going to end, or even what it was trying to achieve. When you think of Halloween stories you expect scary, but none of these are. That's not a bad thing, and if anything, it sets up the series to be something different which it achieves nicely. Two of these stories have a nice Twilight Zone feel to them, and are powerful in their delivery. The theme here is Halloween, and that's pretty much it.

      Demon Air, Strange Candy, and #makehalloweenscaryagain are the standout stories. Ea…
Stephen King - It

     It isn't an easy novel to read, but not because of its length. That's only a smart part of what makes it so hard to get through. It was written way back in 1986, a time when people weren't so politically correct, or required a trigger warning to go along with whatever they read or watched. People weren't easily offended so the themes that King places in his novel didn't seem so politically incorrect. If you're easily offended, this is clearly not a novel you should read. There is a bit of racism, and homophobia mixed into the central plot, but there's something march darker, and far more sinister to worry about here. If It had teeth, it would bite, and bite hard.

     It is simply put, a masterpiece of horror fiction and easily one of the best books that King has ever written. The story premise itself is simple, but King goes even further by placing the town of Derry as a character. The story of Pennywise is embedded in the town itsel…
Teeth Marks - Matthew Weber 5/5

   Once in awhile I get review copies of books from authors, but I've never gotten one with a barf bag. I’m serious, Matthew Webber sent me not one, but two barf bag with a couple of his releases. As I began to read Teeth Marks I prepared myself for the most vile horror money could buy, but then I relaxed because the bag isn't really necessary. It’s a great marketing tool, but I kept waiting to be horrified, or at least offended, but it just didn't happen. I’m not complaining at all because if anything, Teeth is exactly the kind of horror I enjoy. It jumps and jives all over the place, and it’s well written. The guy has talent, and I plan on reading more of his stuff as soon as I can get my hands on it.  

      The beauty of Teeth Marks is the originality of these stories. As a collection It flows well, and there’s a great deal of darkness mixed with black humor. Webber is the kind of writer who wants people to notice him and he does this  by …
Just Another Week In Suburbia - Les Zig 5/5

      I received a copy of Suburbia from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

       As I sit here trying to figure out my review, all I can say is this is a must read. It's anything but a typical week anywhere, and to think this all started over a condom that fell out a woman's purse. It's the catalyst for everything that suddenly goes wrong in Casper's life. This a meek man who slowly sees his entire life slipping away from him, and there's no way to stop the slide. It's more than just obsession that fuels Zig's novel. It's also how we see things, or even don't see them. Throughout the novel we see bits and pieces of just how much of a failure Casper is. The wall in the backyard, his dog who always seems to slip under the fence to irritate the neighbor, and even his own marriage.

      It's a powerful novel that bristles with intelligence, and black humor. Once you read it, there's no way t…
Fiends - Richard Laymon 4/5 stars

          Fiend is an interesting short story collection, and at times, it doesn't feel like a Richard Laymon book. The opening novella is classic Laymon, but it for all of its brutality, there's a bit of a disconnect. This is what we've come to expect from the guy, but here, it's just to lure in his faithful readers, and Fiends as a whole just feels nonsensical. Who acts this way? Why are these people so fucking stupid? Laymon is better than this, and as the collection rolls on it's clear that he is. There's a bit of humor that flows through some of these stories. You even have a story called Eats that follows the formula of a pulp detective story, but ends in a such an unexpected way, you can't help but laugh at how it all turns out. Who would have thought that Laymon of all people had a sense of humor?

       There are some horror stories, but they aren't what you would expect. Slit is a weird little piece about a ma…
Island - Richard Laymon - 5/5 stars

     Let's be perfectly honest here and admit that Island is not your typical horror novel. It's far darker, and way more sadistic. There's a layer of grit there too that adds to the tension and uneasiness of how it all develops. Is it perfect? No, it's not. The story is told through the journal of Rupert Conway, and we see things through the eyes of a horny teenager which makes sense because we can see early on that Rupert isn't exactly a hit with the ladies. Hell, when we were eighteen, being stranded on a deserted island with three women would be heaven. As a narrator, he's simply doing the best he can. Instead of telling us everything, he's telling us what he feels we should know. The facts of what's happening, and little else. We see things through his eyes which makes things interesting. It's a unique approach, and pays off well as the story begins hurtles to its conclusion.
     Laymon's hero, isn'…
Exposed - Lisa Scottoline 5/5 stars

      I received an advanced copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

      There's good news and bad news. The bad news is Exposed is part of an ongoing series, but the good news is you don't have to read the other books in the series to know what's going on. While the main characters remain intact through each book, there is a stand alone novel, but to be fair, I plan on reading the other books in the series just to see how they measure up. From just this novel alone, I like Bennie and Mary, but as the book goes on you can see cracks begin to form in their partnership because of a case that Mary has just taken on.

       Exposed starts out pretty simple. Lisa does mire us in legal hell for awhile, but once you get through that, it's smooth sailing. These parts of the book allow us to see that she's done her research, and it adds a tedious bit of realism to the novel. The draw here is Simon who is a character you can…
Rather Be Fishing - Lucretia Stanhope - 5/5

     Rather Be Fishing: Tales of A Monster Hunter was a lot of fun to read because it manages to do everything right. It takes risks, and best of all it places its tongue firmly in its cheek the entire time. Stanhope's novel seems pretty straight forward. Monster hunter battles a variety of monsters. You're expecting a lot of gore, a lot of horror, right? What you get is comedic tale with very little horror. Instead of being just a straight novel, we get short stories which are cases Mike has taken on. This makes the book unique and interesting because each case is different and shows us just how out of shape our hunter really is. You get Mike's story and how he became a monster hunter, but it's told slowly, and evolves organically.

     What makes this work is of course the title character. He's sarcastic, sometimes rude, and can never find enough time to fish with his dad. He's not the kind of guy you would expect to…
The Lake - Richard Laymon 3/5 stars

     The Lake was released after Richard Laymon’s untimely death, but is it really as bad as everyone says it is? This may be a trunk novel, but it’s actually not that bad. There are three major storylines, and one isn’t even introduced until the half way point of the novel. It seems as if Laymon was tinkering with the formula a little, and trying out a new way to tell a story without the usual amount of gore. At times, The Lake comes off as creepy at best, but the usual gore we’ve come to expect from Laymon is almost gone. Also, because this is a novel Laymon probably didn’t want released, there’s some issues. Storylines suddenly appear, but make no sense. They add nothing to the novel as a whole. If Laymon had lived, what would The Lake have eventually come to be? What storylines would have been cut, or even expanded upon? Was this a new direction his work may have gone in?
      As it is, The Lake is an enjoyable read, with some issues. The …
The Lies She Told - Cate Holahan 5/5

      I recieved a copy of Lies from Netgalley in Exchange for an honest review

      Lies She Told is the kind of book you start reading, but can't put down. The story is told from two perspectives, and I know it sounds confusing, but Cate does a great job at keeping things simple. You have the perspective of a character in a new novel, and the author herself who is going through her own personal crisis. As the novel progresses, things begin to spiral out of control, and fact blurs into fiction. Cate unravels the suspense slowly, just enough to tease you and then you're hit with an ending that I never saw coming. Liza is a character you can get behind, her story is interesting but not as interesting as the  character she's creating. The action moves slolwy, but not too slow to bore you. It's a pace that adds depth to the story. You become interested in the characters, and want to know what the link is. A great suspense novel is a …
Dead 'Til Dawn - Gerald Dean Rice  5/5 stars

      I recieved Dead in exchange for an honest review

      When I recieved this my first thought was of course; "Not another zombie novel!" Then, I began to read it, and I began to laugh at the plight of Gary and Jim. Gary is the kind of guy we all know. He has good intentions, but somehow he screws everything up. They take a pill that turns them into zombies for three days, but that's not the entire story. There's a cult called the Ascension after them and want the pill that they took. If you want to call Dead 'Til Dawn something, it would be a buddy comedy. These are two guys stuck in a situation that just keeps getting worse. Is it implausible? Of course it is, but it's a fun book that you can't help but laugh at. There is one plot line that doesn't fit but it doesn't detract from the story at all. Once you see it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

       Gerald is a talented writer, …