Review: 'Prince of Nightmares' by John McNee

PrincePrince of Nightmares by John McNee
Blood Bound Books (January 2016)
189 pages; $11.99 paperback/$3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Prince of Nightmares begins with a Traditional German charm against nightmares…

I lay me here to sleep;
No night-mare shall plague me,
Until they swim all the waters
That flow upon the earth,
And count all the stars
That appear in the firmament.
Thus help me God Father, Son, and Holy host.  Amen.

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Review: 'I Will Rot Without You' by Danger Slater

rotwithoutyouI Will Rot Without You by Danger Slater
Fungasm Press (February 8, 2016)
143 pages
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I Will Rot Without You is not a book I would have sought out on my own. I’ve never read anything by the author, other than some of the reviews he’s written on Goodreads. I’ve never read anything from the small press responsible for its publication, although I have read a number of short stories from John Skipp, the owner of Fungasm Press.

I Will Rot Without You was sent to Cemetery Dance for review and when I saw it on the list of books offered this month, I recognized the name from Goodreads and thought this might be interesting. I love it when I’m right.Continue Reading

Review: 'Dark City: A Novella Collection' by Brian Hodge and Gerard Houarner

darkcityDark City: A Novella Collection by Brian Hodge and Gerard Houarner
Necro Publications (August 2015)
240 pages; $11.95 paperback/$3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Dark City is a collection of three novellas with varying takes on the apocalypse and the times following such a catastrophic event. The book features one longer piece from Brian Hodge and a couple of smaller novellas by Gerard Houarner.Continue Reading

Review: 'Christmas Horror Volume 1' edited by Chris Morey

ChristmasChristmas Horror Volume 1 edited by Chris Morey
Dark Regions Press (November 2015)
134 pages; $15.00 paperback/$5.00 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

‘Tis the season…for horror? You betcha. Why should Halloween have all the fun? Editor Chris Morey and the team at Dark Regions Press put together an Indiegogo campaign earlier this year and the result is Christmas Horror Volume 1, a wonderfully enjoyable collection of horror stories for this horror fan’s second favorite holiday, right behind Halloween.Continue Reading

Review: 'Sacrificing Virgins' by John Everson

VirginsSacrificing Virgins by John Everson
Samhain Publishing (December 2015)
282 pages; $16.99 paperback/$5.00 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

First let me say I am ashamed I have never read anything from John Everson before. Why didn’t someone tell me about this guy? Wow. Sacrificing Virgins is Everson’s fourth collection and contains twenty-five of the darkest, most sexually perverse stories I’ve ever read, and I mean that as a complement. Continue Reading

Review: 'The Madness of Cthulhu Volume Two' edited by S.T. Joshi

madnessThe Madness of Cthulhu Volume Two edited by S.T. Joshi
Titan Books (2015)
304 pages; $13.01 paperback/$8.69 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

From the intro to The Madness of Cthulhu Volume Two – “If there is a dominant theme in this volume and its predecessor, it is that of alien incursion, the notion that ‘we are not alone in the universe.'” For me, it’s all about the stories and in this anthology the stories are, for the most part, excellent.Continue Reading

Review: 'Lost in the Dark: A Collection of Short Stories' by Joe Mynhardt

LostDarkLost In the Dark: A Collection of Short Stories by Joe Mynhardt
Crystal Lake Publishing (2012)
200 pages; $6.99 paperback/$0.99 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Joe Mynhardt is a South African writer of horror with more than 50 published short stories to his credit. He is also the owner and operator of Crystal Lake Publishing, publishers of horror and dark fantasy.

Lost In the Dark: A Collection of Short Stories contains a dozen examples of Joe’s writing covering a wide variety of horror tropes.Continue Reading

Review: 'Childhood Fears' by Various

Childhood Fears by Various
Samhain Publishing (October 2015)
306 pages, e-book $9.99, paperback $16.99
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

FearsIn May of 2015 Samhain Publishing released four new novellas exploring things that go bump in the night, the things that scared us as kids, and in many cases still frighten us as adults. Now, those four stories are available in a single volume called Childhood Fears.Continue Reading

Review: 'Brother' by Ania Ahlborn

Brother by Ania Ahlborn
Gallery Books (September 2015)
336 pages, e-book $7.99, paperback $12.97
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

brotherThis is the second book I’ve read this year from Ania Ahlborn, having read Within These Walls back in April and now Brother. Both works are fine examples of literary horror and each is well worth your time as a reader.

Brother is the disturbing story of the Morrow family who live deep in the heart of the Appalachians in West Virginia. This is a family that has managed to take all of the fun out of dysfunctional. There is definitely a strange family dynamic at play here, with abusive parents and siblings that are just as bad. “Folks like the Morrows didn’t have much. They got by living off the land.”  This is a quote that goes much deeper than what’s on the surface.Continue Reading

Review: 'GodBomb!' by Kit Power

GodBomb! by Kit Power
Sinister Horror Press (September 2015)
190 pages, e-book $3.99, paperback $11.99
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

GodbombI’ve been lucky enough to be reading Kit for a couple of years now. Admittedly, I have not always given him the most positive of reviews, but he’s always been gracious and has continued to work diligently on his craft.  I have to say his perseverance has paid off.

I think I’ve just read the best book I’m likely to read in 2015. Godbomb! is that good. No, not just good.  It’s great. Kit has written a story that takes the reader into the heart of the kind of story we see every day on the news. The kind of story that leaves us shaking our heads at how crazy this world we live in has become.Continue Reading

Review: 'Seize the Night' edited by Christopher Golden

Seize the Night edited by Christopher Golden
Gallery Books (October 2015)
544 pages, e-book $13.99, paperback $11.93
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

seizeChristopher Golden is a very busy writer. If a project involves the written word, it seems as if Christopher is willing to give it a go. This includes comics, media tie-ins, YA novels, and books for adults. Oh, and let’s not forget editing anthologies. Christopher’s latest project is one such anthology. Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror is built upon the premise that “once upon a time vampires were figures of terror…And they can be again.”

The twenty-one authors collected in this volume have accepted that challenge and have largely succeeded in returning vampires and their ilk back into our nightmares where they belong. Although a few stories had me scratching my head looking for the vampiric connection, each tale delivered the goods. And by goods, I mean terror.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Silent End' by Samuel Sattin

SilentEndCoverThe Silent End by Samuel Sattin
Ragnorak Publishing (September 2015)
524 pages; $20.95 paperback/$4.99 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Samuel Sattin makes his home in Oakland, California and has been writing for some time now. His prior novel was titled League of Somebodies which boldly combines comic book storytelling into a traditional novel format. The Silent End is his first novel with Ragnarok Publications and if I had to pigeonhole this work I would call it YA Horror.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Girl in the Maze' by R.K. Jackson

GirlMazeThe Girl in the Maze by R. K. Jackson
Alilbi: A Division of Random House (September 2015)
292 pages; $2.99 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The Girl In the Maze is a genre-crushing story that’s part mystery, part thriller, with elements of horror. The result is a terribly entertaining novel about Martha Covington, a schizophrenic, who with treatment is making her way back into the workplace.Continue Reading

Review: 'Mr. Suicide' by Nicole Cushing

MrSMr. Suicide by Nicole Cushing
Word Horde Publishing (July 2015)
228 pages; $14.99 paperback/$4.99 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Nicole Cushing is a Shirley Jackson Award finalist who’s written a number of stand-alone novellas and dozens of short stories. Nicole has been referred to as the literary equivalent of the love child between Jack Ketchum and Poppy Z. Bright. Raised in rural Maryland and now living in southern Indiana, Nicole counts master storyteller Edgar Allen Poe as having had a big influence on her as a writer.

In recent weeks, I’d noticed a bit of a buzz about her debut novel and knew I had to check it out. I’m so glad I did. When I opened the book I right away noticed some very positive blurbs from authors I respect a great deal, including Ray Garton and the aforementioned Jack Ketchum.Continue Reading

Review: 'Eulogies III' edited by Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta and Tony Tremblay

Eulogies III edited by Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta and Tony Tremblay
HW Press (May 2015)
264 pages; paperback $12.99; ebook $4.99
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

EulogiesIIIFirst there was Eulogies: A Horror World Yearbook 2005, then, two years ago, HW Press gave us Eulogies II: Tales From the Cellar, and now comes Eulogies III from editors Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta and Tony Tremblay.

The effort here is to shy away from the common tropes used in horror. There are no zombies, no vampires or werewolves, in this new anthology, just a wide variety of stories to make you think and perhaps to haunt your dreams.Continue Reading