Review: Slashvivor! by Stephen Kozeniewski and Stevie Kopas

Slashvivor! by Stephen Kozeniewski and Steve Kopas
Sinister Grin Press (September 2017)
296 pages; $16.99 paperback, $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

It’s 1983. An accidental nuclear war has left the U.S. with just 1% of its former 234 million residents. Stephen Kozeniewski and Stevie Kopas have created such a world and have decided to have some fun with it. Take for example the tagline for the TV ads for Albino Al’s Discount Surplus: “Come on down! It’s not illegal. In the Geiger Lands, nothing is!”Continue Reading

Review: The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen

The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen
Harmful Monkey Press (January 2018)
274 pages; $10.99 paperback, $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

At it’s heart, The Nightmare Room (The Messy Man Series Book 1) is a ghost story and a very good one to boot. Here’s a killer opening line for you…

The boy woke to the sound of his screams.Continue Reading

Review: The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle
Crystal Lake Publishing (December 2017)
189 pages; $11.44 paperback, $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I love everything about this wonderful collection from Willie Meikle. Take the concept of Willie’s Carnacki collections and replace the dinner guests with the literary greats of the Victorian era, each sharing a ghost story, and there you have the basic premise for this new work from William Meikle.Continue Reading

Review: Wicked Haunted: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers

Wicked Haunted: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers edited by Scott T. Goudsward, Daniel G. Keohane and David Price
NEHW Press (October 2017)
274 pages; $14.99 paperback, $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I am happy to report there isn’t a bad story in this entire anthology. Sure, some are better than others, but each original story has its own unique twist to the ghost story trope. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a good ghost story and this collection has filled that void nicely.Continue Reading

Review: A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as A Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power

A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as A Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power
Amazon Digital Services (November 2017)
268 pages; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Nearly two years ago to the day, I read and reviewed Godbomb! by Kit Power. It was one of the most amazing books I read in 2015. Now Kit has returned with a collection of short stories and essays which are hard to describe, but I’m willing to give it my best shot here.

A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss As a Collection of Short Fiction and Essays covers a lot of ground and is loosely woven together with a story set in a future where most of human history has been forgotten or purposely covered up. A mid-level government employee is doing his best to uncover the truth through a series of stories uncovered in a hidden mainframe.Continue Reading

Review: We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone by Ronald Malfi
JournalStone (November 2017)
299 pages; $29.95 hardcover; $16.67 paperback; $9.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone, the debut short story collection from Ronald Malfi, is a bit of a mixed bag. Although the twenty shorts included do make for an enjoyable read, I have to say I much prefer Malfi’s recent novels to the tales included here. Little Girls made my top ten list in 2015, The Night Parade did the same in 2016, and Bone White is my favorite read so far in 2017.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Cthulhu Blues: A SPECTRA Files Novel’ by Douglas Wynne

Cthulhu Blues: A SPECTRA Files Novel by Douglas Wynne
JournalStone (September 2017)
302 pages; $16.93 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Cthulhu Blues is a fitting conclusion to the SPECTRA Files series which began in 2015 with Red Equinox and continued last year with Black January. I’m going to miss Becca Philips and Jason Brooks as they battle the cosmic horrors found in the Lovecraftian mythos. I’ll even miss Becca’s dog Django.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Truants’ by Lee Markham

The Truants by Lee Markham
The Overlook Press (July 2017)
256 pages; $6.99 paperback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The Truants is Lee Markham’s debut novel and, in some ways, it shows.

I admit I had a love-hate relationship with this book. It was a bit esoteric for me and the author had an annoying habit of just listing the character’s actions. For example…Continue Reading

Review: ‘Indigo’ (Various Authors)

Indigo by Various Authors
St. Martin’s Press (June 2017)
352 pages; $19.27 hardback; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I found Indigo to be overall satisfying, but it was certainly not without its faults.

Indigo features the talents of great genre writers like Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Kelley Armstrong, Jonathan Maberry, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Cherie Priest, James Moore, and Mark Morris. However, with these many strong writers, each bringing their own voice to the story, there were times when, as a reader, it seemed the tale would be going in one direction and suddenly it would change dramatically as a new writer took the reins. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Monochromes and Other Stories’ by Matt Bechtel

Monochromes and Other Stories by Matt Bechtel
Haverhill House Publishing (April 2017)
148 pages; $12.95 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

“Some people just see the world differently. Matt Bechtel is one of those people.”—James A. Moore.

After reading this collection I’d have to agree with that assessment. Matt has an eye for detail and is masterful at shedding a unique light on the otherwise mundane.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Whispered Echoes’ by Paul F. Olson

Whispered Echoes by Paul F. Olson
Crystal Lake Publishing (June 21, 2017)
275 pages; $14.99 paperback; $0.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Admittedly, I have heard of Paul F. Olson, but up until now, I can’t say I’ve read any of his work. I can happily say I’ve now corrected that omission. Whispered Echoes is a wonderful collection of old and new.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Come to Dust’ by Bracken MacLeod

Come to Dust by Bracken MacLeod
JournalStone (June 23, 2017)
$17.95 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Last year, I got to read Bracken MacLeod’s Stranded. Sixteen crew members of the Arctic Promise become ice bound under strange circumstances. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s one of 2016’s better reads.

Bracken’s new release, Come To Dust, is even better. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Monstrumführer’ by Edward M. Erdelac

Monstrumführer by Edward M. Erdelac
Comet Press (January 2017)
335 pages; $15.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

If you read Edward M. Erdelac’s story, Andersonville, about the most sadistic rebel prison of the Civil War, with a supernatural twist, you likely have some idea where he’s going with this new novel, Monstrumführer, combining the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, with Frankenstein’s monster. Once again, this gifted storyteller plays with historic events and imbues his tale with elements of horror, as Josef Mengele endeavors to improve upon the work of Dr. Victor Frankenstein.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Crow Shine’ by Alan Baxter

Crow Shine by Alan Baxter
Ticonderoga Publications (November 2016)
$29.99 hardcover; $22.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The first short story I ever read by Alan Baxter was “In Vaulted Halls Entombed,” which featured a group of soldiers chasing terrorists into a cave in Afghanistan only to see them trapped by something their training never prepared them for. Since then, I always get excited when I see his name attached to an anthology.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Savage Jungle’ by Hunter Shea

Savage Jungle by Hunter Shea
Severed Press (April 2017)
198 pages; $11.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Fresh from their adventure in Scotland, Natalie McQueen and her brother Austin are called upon to aid Henrik Kooper in his quest to find the lost city Gadang Ur and the elusive Orang Pendek. Go ahead and Google it. You’ll find it’s every bit as much of a thing as Bigfoot, Yeti, The Jersey Devil, and The Loch Ness Monster—all cryptids Hunter Shea has written about in previous books. As a matter of fact, Savage Jungle is a sequel to his book Loch Ness Revenge.Continue Reading