Review: 'American Nocturne' by Hank Schwaeble

AmericanAmerican Nocturne by Hank Schwaeble
Cohesion Press (January 2016)
287 pages; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

There are so many talented writers working in the fields of horror and speculative fiction that I’m constantly discovering authors I’ve not read before who immediately leave me wanting to read more of their work. Case in point: Hank Schwaeble. Prior to being sent a copy of this new collection from Cohesion Press, I’d never even heard of him. Maybe I just need to get out more or stay in and read more.

Jonathan Maberry, an author I have read and greatly respect, has penned an excellent introduction to Hank Schwaeble in general and specifically to American Nocturne. In essence, he says Hank is the real deal, and that’s good enough for me.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Last Weekend: A Novel of Zombies, Booze, and Power Tools' by Nick Mamatas

LastThe Last Weekend: A Novel of Zombies, Booze, and Power Tools by Nick Mamatas
Night Shade Books (January 2016)
252 pages; $33 hardcover; $12.22 paperback; $9,99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Despite having the word “Zombies” in the title, this novel is far from your typical zombie fare. If you’re looking for a brain munching gore-fest, you may want to look elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you’re familiar with the Billy Wilder directed film-noir, The Lost Weekend,  based on Charles R. Jackson’s 1944 novel of the same name about an alcoholic writer, then you’re in for a real treat.Continue Reading

Review: 'Death Do Us Part' by JG Faherty

deathDeath Do Us Part by JG Faherty
Samhain Publishing (January 2016)
76 pages; $2.66 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

A marriage that’s falling apart, an apparent suicide, and a haunting that turns out to be so much more. Death Do Us Part by JG Faherty is a thrill ride from start to finish. A complex tale of the lengths one will go to for love and what the dead will do for revenge. This is one of those stories that just reaches out from the pages, grabs you by the collar, and shakes and shakes until you collapse from exhaustion.Continue Reading

Review: 'Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast' by Jonathan Winn

eidolonEidolon Avenue: The First Feast by Jonathan Winn
Crystal Lake Publishing (January 2016)
212 pages; $12.99 paperback/$3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

2016 is only a few weeks old and already it’s showing signs of being a banner year for horror.

Whether you’re snowbound or it’s too cold to venture outside or you’re just looking for a great read, Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast will keep you warm and entertained for hours.

From the description of the book on the publisher’s website:

One building. Five floors. Five doors per floor. Twenty-five nightmares feeding the hunger lurking between the bricks and waiting beneath the boards. 

If that’s not enough to drag you kicking and screaming through the front door, let me introduce you to the tenants on the first floor.Continue Reading

Review: 'Flowers In a Dumpster' by Mark Allan Gunnells

FlowersFlowers In a Dumpster by Mark Allan Gunnells
Crystal Lake Publications (November 2015)
314 pages; $13.99 paperback/$3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I’ve found myself reading more and more anthologies and collections these days. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy story-telling in the long form, but there’s something about anthologies that allow you to get to know a lot of new authors quickly, and then there are the collections for a single author which permit a more in-depth look into what makes a particular author tick.

Prior to reading Flowers In a Dumpster, I had not read anything by Mark Allan Gunnells. Now that I’ve gotten to know his work, I’m pretty sure I’ll be returning for more.Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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