Review: ‘Odd Adventures with Your Other Father’ by Norman Prentiss

OddAdventuresOdd Adventures with Your Other Father by Norman Prentiss
Kindle Press (May 2016)
217 pages; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Norman Prentiss immediately distinguished himself from average horror fare with his debut novella Invisible Fences. A brilliant character study about the fears we inherit from our parents, and also about the guilt we carry deep inside us, it embodied the best of the “quiet horror” sub-genre with powerful, creeping atmosphere and an exploration of the human psyche.

Invisible Fences won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in long fiction (as a novella), an award well-deserved. Norman followed this up with his mini-collection Four Legs in the Morning, another brilliant exercise in quiet horror, about the machinations of Dr. Sibley, Chair of the English Department at Graysonville University, and the unpleasant fates of those who try to oppose him. Personally, I can’t to read about this mysterious (maniacal?) character again.

With his first full-length novel, Odd Adventures with Your Other Father, Prentiss has once again distinguished himself from others in the horror/weird fiction field. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Wrath and Ruin’ by C.W. Briar

wrathandruinWrath and Ruin by C.W. Briar
Splickety Publishing Group (July 2016)
302 pages; $22.95 Hardcover; $12.45 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

A highly satisfying mix of genres, C.W. Briar’s debut short story collection Wrath and Ruin offers a voice reminiscent of George MacDonald and C. S. Lewis, with a healthy sampling of Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. With a clear moral compass, Briar has crafted several speculative tales which target demons of the human soul: lust, greed, obsession with fame and power, and pride.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Jedi Summer with The Magnetic Kid’ by John Boden

jedisummerJedi Summer with The Magnetic Kid by John Boden
Post Mortem Press (July 2016)
76 pages; $10.00 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

There’s something about coming-of-age stories that resonate with the child we used to be. The nostalgic longing for a simpler time allows us, just for a little while, to escape the often maddening grownup world we live in. When a writer is able to balance that nostalgia with a clear eye, avoiding romanticizing or demonizing the past, you’ve got something special indeed.

That’s what John Boden has done with Jedi Summer with the Magnetic Kid. He’s offered us a clear view to a simpler time which wasn’t without its own complications, but it isn’t a bitter, depressing tale either. It’s simply what it is: a story about childhood, a time which can never be again.Continue Reading