Tag Archives: horror novels

The Cannibal’s Guide To Fasting by Dana Hammer Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After being infected by a disease that turns people into cannibals, a former scientist turned bodybuilder living in a government rehabilitation facility for cannibals must stop a powerful cannibals rights group that his recently infected brother has joined in author Dana Hammer’s “The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting”. 

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The Synopsis

Igor Fenenko, a former research scientist, is a scary, scary man. Not only is he a massive bodybuilder with a spider tattooed on his face, but he has also been infected with Pestis Manducans — viral cannibalism. Igor tried to resist indulging, but his research specimens smelled so delicious. Who did it hurt, really, to nibble a corpse?

Caught, disgraced, and sent to a ‘rehabilitation’ center, Igor is now forced to live in a government-mandated Containment Center. He spends his days pressing wildflowers, growing blueberries, and doing his best to avoid human meat. More than anything, he wants a cure for the virus that has ruined his life.

Igor’s brother, Karl, is also infected with Pestis. But unlike Igor, he does not live in a Containment Center. He lives down by the river, where he runs a cannibal rights group. At first, the group seems harmless enough, if a bit creepy and overzealous. But when Igor discovers their evil practices, he is forced to intervene.

Aided and opposed by rich eccentrics who have their own agendas, Igor must use his brains and muscles to find a cure while fighting the urge to turn brains and muscles into a delicious lunch.

The Review

I absolutely loved this novel. The author did an incredible job of crafting a narrative that felt alive on the page. The character growth and dialogue felt very natural and captivating, albeit a little bit fantastic given the nature of the narrative. The atmosphere and imagery used to bring this story to life were so vivid in their delivery that readers instantly felt transported as if Igor was standing right there in the room with them.

Yet it was the themes the author explored that really allowed the plot to shine through. The use of themes that explore humanity’s propensity for judging and alienating an entire group of people based on preconceived notions about who they are and what they are capable of was felt heavily in this read, and it played so naturally with the very horror-centric idea of a cannibal virus. The way the author mirrors the world’s mistrust of cannibals both past and present with the way even Igor is perceived by others because of his appearance and his insecurities, as a result, to be viewed in a certain light really did a great job of reflecting this thought-provoking story device.

The Verdict

Haunting, impactful, and engaging, author Dana Hammer’s “The Cannibal’s Guide to Fasting” is a must-read bio-horror meets literary fiction read. The authors writing style allowed for a good balance of humor and wit with the more serious and macabre aspects of the cannibal storyline, while also showcasing a very human and emotional narrative of the power of judging others and how it impacts the world as a whole. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy today or pick up your copy on September 6th, 2022!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dana Hammer is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, and screenwriter living in Anaheim, California.

https://www.danahammer.com/

As Fast As She Can by E.F. Schraeder Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two young women dive deeper and deeper down into a blood-soaked world of carnage as they give into their unquenchable new appetites in author E.F. Schraeder’s “As Fast As She Can”.

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The Synopsis

Living in a quiet house on the outskirts of town, Ginger isn’t like

the other girls.

When she wakes up and discovers the unthinkable about her

adoptive parents, she runs away and goes on a rampage straight

to the only friend she has. Can she control what they both become?

With a violent, growing hunger and more questions than answers,

Ginger has nowhere to turn.

The Review

This was a shocking, pleasantly campy horror read! The humor and dark comedy aspects of the narrative are felt instantly, as the protagonist joke and go out for a “night on the town” as they make their way through a barrage of victims to satiate their appetites. And yet the charm and heart of their bond are felt instantly, as is their surreal approach to their newfound status as a zombie…of sorts. 

The mythos and world-building that the author was able to put together in such a short amount of time made this such a powerful read. The theme and atmosphere the author crafted out of this novel made this story feel like a late ’80s era horror comedy with an LGBTQ twist. The story moves quickly, and as the characters and world expand, so does the mythology surrounding their hunger and status in the world of the living, making this a shockingly delightful read. 

The Verdict

Haunted, entertaining, and brilliantly written, author E.F. Schraeder’s “As Fast As She Can” is a must-read horror novel that cannot be missed. The dedication to the genre and the almost cinematic way the story is written will keep readers invested in this story until the bloody end. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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As Fast as She Can - E. F. Schraeder

E. F. Schraeder has a new lesbian horror / coming of age book out: As Fast As She Can.

Living in a quiet house on the outskirts of town, Ginger isn’t like the other girls.

When she wakes up and discovers the unthinkable about her adoptive parents, she runs away and goes on a rampage straight to the only friend she has. Can she control what they both become?

With a violent, growing hunger and more questions than answers, Ginger has nowhere to turn.

Universal Buy Link


Excerpt

As Fast as She Can meme - E. F. Schraeder

Two dozen camps dotted the acreage around the five-mile perimeter of the lake. The trails that linked the parcels were scarcely marked. Off season, only half of the cottages would have guests, and even fewer would have phones or cell coverage. The land was big enough and remote enough for the girls to stay lost.

Cory and Ginger approached the first camp they saw and crept outside, peering into the windows to see what awaited them. Cory tripped over a rusted canoe leaning against the side of the house. As it crashed to the ground, a light flared on in the back of the house, illuminating the fifteen feet to the shed behind the house.

Cory yelped. “Shit.”

“Shh,” Ginger whispered. She set a hand on Cory’s shoulder. “They’ll think it’s an animal.”

“It is.” Cory bared her teeth and snarled. Cory crouched, her small frame hunched against the peeling blue paint of the cottage. Her slender shoulders pulled up, and the heavy gray hood of her sweatshirt drooped over her head. A shadow across her face accentuated the wide-eyed expression.

“You’re sort of hot when you’re hunting,” Ginger said. She bit her lower lip, immediately regretting the admission. Urgent, warm hunger pressed in Ginger’s stomach. She returned a low growl. “Let’s go,” she whispered, her voice hoarse.

They crashed into the front door, lunged onto the scrawny old man in the kitchen before he had time to squeeze the trigger of his shotgun. They tore the patchy pajama shirt from his lean body and shredded him in seconds.

“That’s it?” Cory asked. A dribble of saliva clung to her mouth as she licked her lips.

“Guess he lives alone.” Ginger wiped her face clean on her sleeve. They kicked through the house, looking for anything interesting to take. “Need a flashlight?” Ginger swatted the heavy silver flashlight that swung from a looped handle on a nail.

“No, I can see in the dark.” Cory paused. “Hey, I can see in the dark. Is that, like, a thing for us?” She smiled, her pupils returned to normal now that she’d fed.

“I guess. I don’t know. Not like I had a course in zombification before I got to you.” Ginger laughed. “How many camps are up here?” she asked.

Cory shrugged. “Hope there’s a bigger family or something we can sink our teeth into.” She rummaged through the old man’s desk drawers. She tossed stacks of papers onto the floor, they scattered in heaps. “Ah ha!” She pulled out a slim, golden-handled hunting knife. “Now this, I like!”

Ginger grabbed the knife, sliced a ‘Z’ shape into the air. “Nice, but I don’t think we need weapons.”

“Whatever. It’s still badass.” Cory tucked the blade into its sheath and undid her belt, slipping the knife holster into position at her waist. “Cool, right?”

“Okay, it does look badass. You’ve got a whole burnout serial killer look happening now.” Ginger clicked off the back porch light. “It’s really working for you.” She opened the door and waved Cory ahead of her.

“Hot, huh?” Cory winked as she walked by, her arm brushed Ginger’s hip.

Ginger let out a quick gasp before she could stop herself. Embarrassed that Cory had heard her and a little curious. She sighed. She wondered if something was going on between them, something way better than eating campers. Ginger bit down on the inside of her mouth briefly and giggled.

“Still hungry?” Cory asked.

Somehow, the question struck Ginger as flirtatious. She didn’t know what to say. I’ve got to be imagining this, right? Ginger shrugged, chasing behind Cory as she ran ahead in search of the next cabin. I mean, we’re pretty messed up right now . . .

For three hours, Cory and Ginger ransacked camps, devouring everyone they found, dragging the residents into the moonlight one at a time. The small camps around the pond were spread out, sparse enough among the trees to conceal the screams. As they gorged they left only blood and destruction in their wake.

Crickets fell quiet as the girls ran over boulders along the water’s edge. Their movements were smooth and silent. Cory stopped abruptly, balancing on one leg in a karate pose.

“>Ginger, do ya’ think the cops are after us?”

“Duh, of course they are! Or will be. Why?”

“I don’t know. It’s kind of awesome, that’s all.”

“Which part?” Ginger smiled.

“Well, the whole ‘killed my mom and took to the woods’ part, mostly. You know? Or is that like total after school special bullshit?”

“No, it’s way worse than some crap about bulimia or underage drinking.” Ginger’s laughter came in spurts. She wiped her brow. “I mean, I think we’re in a whole different league of problem children.”

“Hey, Ginger,” Cory said after a few moments of silence. “Aren’t we supposed to be like, all ‘uugh, brains’ and shit?” She waved her arms in front of her in a classic Frankenstein pose.

Ginger chuckled. This is perfect. The two of us against the world. What could be better? “No, I mean, I don’t know. We’re pretty quick though, right?” She pushed her hair out of her face and smiled.

“Totally!” Cory squatted low on the stone and then sprang up, kicking out one leg. “I’m like, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zombie.”

Ginger fell over laughing. It took her a minute to realize Cory had run ahead to another camp. She pushed herself up onto her elbows and ran to the house. Cory was already inside by the time Ginger arrived.

“Look at him!” Cory shrieked with pleasure tugging the long, wavy blonde hair of a thin teenage boy out the front door. He struggled while Cory dragged him easily into the grassy yard.

A motion activated security floodlight clicked on and shone white in their faces. The boy wiggled and winced, tried to yank himself away from her, but he only managed to rip the sleeve off his shirt. Cory sunk her fingers deep into the joint of his rotator cuff and pressed her face into the wound until she felt the dull thud of bone crack against her teeth. “He’s cute. Let’s keep him! Can we keep him?” she squealed.

The boy howled in agony, blood soaking his chest.

“He’s not a puppy, Cory. You can’t just decide to…” Ginger paused, watching Cory pull the boy back into her mouth. Ginger squinted at the boy and nodded. She pursed her lips like she was about to speak, but her expression went blank. She cocked her head to a distant noise. What was that? Voices? Ginger focused. There was nothing in the yard but corpses. Ginger tugged a tangle of auburn hair into a ponytail. She rested a hand on one hip then said, “If you like him, flip him.” She was surprised she felt so amicable to Cory’s idea, but maybe it made a certain sort of sense. Why not a third? Maybe three’s a charm.

The boy wriggled beneath Cory’s clutch for a few moments then the spasms settled. He groaned as if he knew the lucky ones died. Cory tore off the other sleeve of his blood-soaked shirt and gently wiped the mess from his shoulder.

Cory pulled out her hand from his shoulder muscles clenching a soft chunk of wet flesh. She lowered her lips to the fresh wound with a smile then pressed her teeth into him. A satisfying gush of blood spurted into her mouth. She moaned in satisfaction.

“Take it easy if you’re keeping him.” Ginger flung a dismembered hand from the boy’s father at Cory.


Author Bio

E. F. Schraeder

E.F. Schraeder is the author of the queer gothic novella Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021), which was an Imadjinn Award finalist in 2022. Schraeder is also the author of a story collection and two poetry chapbooks.

Schraeder’s recent work has appeared in Lost Contact, Strange Horizons, The Feminist Wire, Birthing Monsters, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Mystery Weekly Magazine, Lavender Review, and other journals and anthologies. Schraeder’s nonfiction has been included in Vastarien: A Literary Journal; Radical Teacher; the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom blog, and elsewhere. Awarded first place in Crystal Lake Publishing’s 2021 Poetry Contest, E.F. Schraeder’s work also placed as a semi-finalist in Headmistress Press’ Charlotte Mew Contest (2019). Current creative projects a full length manuscript of poems and an unruly collection of essays. An ex-professor and youth librarian, Schraeder holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. and advanced degree in Library Science. An Active Member in the Horror Writers Association and a Lifetime Member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, E. F. Schraeder believes in ghosts, magic, and dogs.

Author Website: https://www.efschraeder.com

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989787.E_F_Schraeder?f

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/e-f-schraeder-2/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/E-F-Schraeder/e/B014YYIOK0?

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Cardinals by Ian Conner Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two Scottish women who hope to stop an ancient vampire that nearly killed them discover she is on a path of revenge against God himself in author Ian Conner’s “Cardinals”.

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The Synopsis

Nine Hundred years before Christ, God has cast his wife, Asherah, out of heaven and condemned her to roam the earth as the first vampire. Over the centuries, she created other vampires. There are also those that she left for dead but survived her attack without being completely turned into vampires. These survivors are called Cardinals. Scottish Countess Kellena Donnachaidh and Lady Suzette Allard, our protagonists, are among these cardinals. They are searching out Asherah for a final conflict.

Asherah has discovered a way back to heaven so she can exact her vengeance. Using the Amulet of Cassiel she can call the Flaming chariot of Israel to return to heaven and exact her revenge on God.

Now, 3000 years later, the Vatican and other groups are working to destroy Asherah and the vampires., fearing their own destruction if she ascends, simply want to stop Asherah using the Amulet of Cassiel to re-enter heaven. The race and intrigue to recover the Amulet is full of intrigue, betrayal.

A completely new twist on Stoker’s tale.

The Review

The author did such an incredible job of crafting a memorable horror read. The mythos and world-building the author did in this novel were incredible, truly capturing the ancient origins of the world’s most powerful mythological figures. As a longtime fan of all things vampire-related horror, I loved this new take on vampire lore, delving into mythology and spirituality to explore the supernatural origins of the creatures. 

It was so amazing to read about these characters. The character development overall was just superb, as it allowed each character to have a chance to showcase their respective personalities and storylines. I loved the depth of backstory and richness of the antagonist’s story in particular, as readers discovered Asherah’s origins as God’s wife and the horrors that befell her for questioning him. What I really loved in particular about her story was that she represented a trope that has existed in our own world for so long, and that is the world’s tendency to always put the blame on women for life’s problems. From the Salem Witch Trials to modern-day America, women have always been the figureheads for life’s great tragedies in people’s eyes, and it’s something that needs to stop. The story is the perfect reflection of how we can be the cause of a villain’s rise to infamy. 

The Verdict

Entertaining, haunting, and adrenaline-fueled, author Ian Conner’s “Cardinals” is a must-read horror adventure novel! The unique mythos the author crafts, along with the in-depth character growth and emotional connection that develops between the narrative and readers made this a stellar read that I couldn’t put down. Be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ian Conner is retired and spent most of his adult life as a Marine and Army Infantry Sergeant. Now living near San Diego California with his wife Bonnie, a cellist, and their two dogs, Cookie and Isabella. Conner spends his days fostering kittens, gardening, crafting beautiful stained glass and creating worlds on the page.

Conner has authored several other novels 

     Cooper’s Ridge  –  Science Fiction 

     The Long Game – Political Thriller

     The Price of Partisanship – Political Thriller

     Solaris  – Political Thriller

     Griffins Perch – Epic Fantasy

     Ghost Witch  –  Horror

After a lifetime of destruction the thought of creating something tangible and lasting holds great appeal.  He finds writing a cathartic way to redefine himself both in his eyes and the eyes of others.

Conner can be reached at Ian@BlackRaptorBooks.com

http://www.blackraptorbooks.com

The 666 Murders: A Supernatural Thriller by Alan Golbourn Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A London investigator and a private eye in the late 60s must work together to stop a ritualistic killer before it’s too late in author Alan Golbourn’s “The 666 Murders: A Supernatural Thriller”.

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The Synopsis 

His time is now …

London, 1966

Fear grips the capital when a second ritualistically murdered victim is found in an alleyway — with their heart removed.

With no leads or motive, DCS Kendall Quincy is under intense pressure to find the sadistic killer before a third victim is claimed.

Out of luck Randolph Landon — disillusioned with his life as a private investigator and separated from his family, soon becomes embroiled with his biggest, challenging, and most terrifying case to date. The case leads him down a sinister road to a chilling discovery like no other, so that he regrets grumbling about his lack of work and misfortune …

The Review

This was such a chilling and haunting read. The author did an incredible job of building tension and layering the atmosphere with suspense that kept readers on the edge of their seats. The balance of mythos and world-building the author made with the complex yet nuanced character development was greatly felt throughout the reading and made the growing mystery of this series of occult murders so harrowing to read.

Yet it was the richness of the narrative itself and the slow growth of the characters and their backgrounds that really kept me invested. The ways in which the heroes all came together by the book’s end completely made me conjure up images of Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, and Quincy Morris traveling to Dracula’s castle to slay the immortal monster. The well-developed villain of the tale is quite horrifying and yet mesmerizing to read, and the way his backstory plays into the narrative and the mythos as a whole was so creative and unique, making me hooked on the author’s tale.

The Verdict

Brilliant, entertaining, and spookily delightful to behold, author Alan Golbourn’s “The 666 Murders” are a must-read suspense horror read. The equal ways in which the author develops the thriller aspects of the narrative with the supernatural mythos and action that takes place throughout the read made this story a classic horror tale in the making. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Alan Golbourn was born in Essex, England. He has enjoyed writing stories since a young age, when he was recognized early for his writing abilities. Amongst several interests and hobbies, including football and computer games, he holds a love and compassion for animals.

Lipstick Asylum by Nzondi Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

After being bitten by a shapeshifting she-wolf, a young woman who was hired to animate the dead for a zombie cruise finds herself instead working to find a cure for the human-extinction virus before it can spread beyond the point of no return in author Nzondi’s “Lipstick Asylum”.

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The Synopsis

The Scream Teens are hired to raise the dead as the necro-tainment for a zombie cruise, and the eighteen-year-old animator, Cozy Coleman, is bitten by a shapeshifting she-wolf. To Cozy’s surprise, she survives and with the aid of her friends, helps the government stop a human-extinction virus from spreading. Unfortunately, Cozy uncovers a secret so haunting, that her death is only the beginning of her problems.

The Review

This was a brilliant deep dive into the dark fantasy genre. The complex and engaging evolution of protagonist Cozy was a huge draw for the narrative. Although struggling with her own deep-seated issues, including grief and a complex relationship with her mother, the strength and courage for which Cozy throws herself into the path of danger to try and protect not only the people around her but those she loves as well makes her such a beloved protagonist, even when she struggles with her moment of darkness that threatens to consume her. 

Yet it was the atmosphere and shifting perspectives that really sold this narrative. The horror elements of the narrative added a depth of mythos to the novel, while the vacation setting makes this feel like a blockbuster film waiting to happen. The way the author was able to shift locations and settings around Cozy as her story progressed really spoke to both the general discussion surrounding mental health and the shifting nature of reality and perspective as a whole, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as the novel progresses.

The Verdict

Thrilling, entertaining, and action-packed, author Nzondi’s “Lipstick Asylum” is a memorable and brilliant dark fantasy and horror read! The twists and turns Cozy’s story takes, and the captivating mythology that drives this YA read will have readers hanging off of the author’s every word. With twists that include calls to some of the author’s previous work, readers will be eager to read more of this incredible author’s projects. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!


Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Nzondi (Ace Antonio Hall) was born Acemandese Nzondi Hall in Queens, New York on July 4th. Hall received his BFA from C. W. Post, Long Island University. His science fiction/horror work, Oware Mosaic (Omnium Gatherum, September 2019), is the 2019 Bram Stoker Awards® Winner for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel. Hall is a two-time Honorable Mention winner of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award. He is also the author of the novel, Confessions of Sylva Slasher, (Montag Press, April 2013) and a non-fiction book, Lord of the Flies: Fitness for Writers (Omnium Gatherum, April 2017).

https://www.aantoniohall.com/

Twisted Reveries III: More Tales of the Macabre by Meg Hafdahl Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Meg Hafdahl takes readers through a terrifying journey into the past in “Twisted Reveries III: More Tales of the Macabre”.

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The Synopsis

In Twisted Reveries 3, Bram Stoker Award nominated horror author Meg Hafdahl continues her twisted tradition of female-driven tales with a razor sharp bite. This third collection is steeped in the gothic and antique terrors of years past. Among an intriguing cast of characters, we meet a suffragette who has a sudden brush with telepathy; a deaf widow haunted by her own, devious past; and a young girl fixated on vanquishing the monster who killed her.

Travel into bygone eras and experience thirteen chilling stories that will undoubtedly make you question the shadowed, terrifying memories of the past.

The Review

Immediately upon reading this book, I found myself transported to the era of gothic horror that jump-started my love of all things horror. The haunting atmosphere and the author’s natural ability to build tension in the evolving narratives made this collection of horror stories shine brightly. The author’s ability to conjure up strong imagery that brought out the contrast of beautiful settings set against the dark and cruel nature of the darkness each story held was incredible to behold. 

One of the strongest aspects of this narrative and the overall collection was the use of strong female protagonists throughout the book. The exploration of themes such as feminism, LGBTQ romance, and more was greatly portrayed through these protagonists, especially set against the backdrop of the old stories of the past. One story, in particular, jumped out to me, with the narrative highlighting mankind’s ability to accept truly abhorrent and violent behavior and yet scoff and be disgusted by LGBTQ romance at its best, baffling the mind. The author’s ability to traverse these prominent themes while also entertaining and scaring the reader is truly amazing.

The Verdict

Haunting, shocking, and entertaining, author Meg Hafdahl’s “Twisted Reveries III: More Tales Of The Macabre” is a must-read horror collection. The stunning gothic imagery and setting played so well with the strong female-driven narratives and twisted horror elements that have made this author one of horror’s best voices in recent years. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bram Stoker Award nominated Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the upcoming The Science of Witchcraft lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota. 

https://www.meghafdahl.com/

Vlada, A Dracula Tale by Chris Denmead Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A horror tale as iconic as the genre itself takes the story fans to know and love and gives it a gender reversed turn as readers take in the story that is Vlada, A Dracula Tale by author Chris Denmead.

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The Synopsis

Gender Swapped the Cast of Dracula in a new and unique take on the characters with some new twists.

The Review

This was such a fantastic twist on the iconic horror story. The author found the perfect chord of harmonious storytelling between classic scenes from the original Stoker version of the narrative and updated details from the author himself. The artwork that accompanies this read is stunning, taking on that iconic and classic gothic horror feel that felt so close to the original novel’s era while maintaining a more updated setting.

The obvious yet still engaging change to this narrative was the gender-reversed roles of many of the characters. Turning Vlad Dracula into Vlada was such an important new direction to take the character, exploring the dark yet seductive nature of the character and yet giving readers a host of powerful female heroines and villains to face off against in this retelling, making the narrative feel more alive. Even the inclusion of some new characters really elevated the drama and familiar yet still entertaining narrative. 

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and delightfully chilling read, author Chris Denmead’s “Vlada: A Dracula Tale” is a must-read horror story that will delight those unfamiliar with the tale and yet engage with longtime fans of the lore of this narrative. The balance of nostalgia and updated horror and action and a twist ending to the narrative will leave readers eager to read more from this incredible author, and one can only hope we get more updated twists on iconic horror tales in the future. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Christopher Denmead is a passionate horror fan who wants to bring more awareness to the beauty and rawness of female vampires and treat them like the queens they are.

https://www.facebook.com/Vladagraphicnovel/

Grolar: Half Grizzly Half Polar Bear by Thorsten Nesch Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

When a child reveals a discovery to their parents near the edge of the woods, the family discovers a darkness threatening to overtake them all in author Thorsten Nesch’s “Grolar: Half Grizzly Half Polar Bear”.

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The Synopsis

Grolar:

half grizzly bear, half polar bear

Jon lost his job in Vancouver and finds work at a small gold mining camp. His wife and his young son join him. When the toddler shows them what he had found near the tree line, they know, there is something dark waiting for them.

The author Thorsten Nesch lives in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. He is an award-winning and traditionally published author. His novels are read in schools in Europe.

The Review

A truly gripping and chilling horror and thriller, author Thorsten Nesch expertly makes his way from YA into the adult mystery and suspense genres. The true terror that brings the horror genre into this narrative is the real-life inspiration for the “monster” of the novel, the self-titled Grolar. The descriptive imagery the author infuses into the narrative really brings this terrifying animal to life, but the way the author delves into the mind and behavior of the beast is what gives weight and gravity to the situation for the characters. 

The thing that fascinated me was the way the author managed to balance the narrative with more intimate and gripping personal drama. The characters, their fractured bonds, and the motivations each had for being at the site of this book’s main setting really elevated the danger and fear that the bear’s attack left on them all as the narrative progressed. 

The Verdict

A memorable, frightening, and entertaining read, author Thorsten Nesch’s “Grolar” is a must-read novel! Fans of the horror genre and creature-feature style narrative will absolutely become enthralled with this story. This novel is for the Canadian wilderness what Jaws was for the ocean. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Since 2014 I live in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

My stories received literary grants and awards nationally and internationally. In the last years I did more than 1500 readings in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and on two cruises.

My first novel was nominated Best German YA Debut and I won the Hans-im-Gluck-Award 2012

Jury: „His style is a stroke of luck for literature“

http://thorstennesch.com/

Edge of the Known Bus Line by James R. Gapinski Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A simple bus ride turns into a nightmare when a young woman finds herself forced into a hellish landscape with no means of escape in author James R. Gapinski’s “Edge of the Known Bus Line”. 

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The Synopsis

A woman’s daily commute takes an abrupt turn when she’s dropped off in a grotesque shantytown in Edge of the Known Bus Line. The townsfolk live in huts and tents scavenged from broken trinkets. They eat dead rats and human flesh. They’ve developed cult-like religions about miracle bus routes that will someday set them free. The narrator searches for a way out of this surreal hellscape while dredging up a few nightmares of her own.

The Review

A truly brilliant and memorable read, this short yet powerful novel does a great job of exploring the horror genre to the fullest. The fast-paced nature of the narrative is perfectly balanced with story development and horror-specific mythology that really draws the reader in. 

The atmosphere was really the biggest selling point of this novella. The book quickly thrusts the protagonist into the hell she has found herself in, allowing the reader to feel the shock and terror that the protagonist feels in this shocking situation. The author paints a grim and terrifying image to the reader, using imagery to really sell the spine-chilling nature of the world in which the author has created.

The Verdict

A gripping, entertaining, and at times even humorous read, author James R. Gapinski’s “The End of the Known Bus Line” is a must-read short novel horror story. A captivating and engaging story of trying to find hope in a sea of nightmares and horror, this is a fantastic story that is not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

James R. Gapinski is the author of the novella Edge of the Known Bus Line (Etchings Press; University of Indianapolis), named to Kirkus Reviews‘ Best Books of 2018 and a finalist for the 2019 Montaigne Medal. He is also the author of three chapbooks: The Last Dinosaurs of Portland (Bottlecap Press), Fruit Rot (Etchings Press), and Messiah Tortoise (Red Bird Chapbooks). His short fiction has previously appeared in Heavy Feather ReviewHobartJukedMonkeybicyclePaper DartsPsychopomp, and other publications. He’s managing editor of The Conium Review, an instructional specialist at Chemeketa Community College, and an instructor for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program.

http://jamesrgapinski.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/edge-of-the-known-bus-line-by-james-r-gapinski