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

Review: 'Andersonville' by Edward M. Erdelac

Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac
Hydra Press (August 2015)
340 pages; ebook $5.12
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

AndersonvilleEdward M. Erdelac is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the author of six novels (including the weird western series Merkbah Rider) and several short stories. He is also an independent filmmaker, an award-winning screenwriter, and sometimes Star Wars contributor. Born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, he resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife, children, and cats.

In Andersonville, Erdelac has taken the story of the Civil War’s most infamous prison camp and added a supernatural storyline that threatens to change the course of the war. Continue Reading

Review: 'Expiration Date' edited by Nancy Kilpatrick

Expiration Date edited by Nancy Kilpatrick
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (April 2015)
288 pages; paperback $11.93; ebook $5.99
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

ExpirationDateNancy Kilpatrick is a writer and editor. She has published 18 novels, 1 non-fiction book, over 200 short stories, 5 collections of stories, and has edited 12 anthologies.

Her latest is Expiration Date, an anthology of brilliant stories that examine all sorts of expirations, but mainly the ones that are personal, because those are the demises that matter most to us. The collection of stories is broken into 3 parts; Negotiating Oblivion (trying to reason with death); Resisting Extinction (trying to avoid death); and Best Before/Best After (a group of stories tied to death).Continue Reading

Review: 'Tortures of the Damned' by Hunter Shea

Tortures of the Damned by Hunter Shea
Pinnacle Books (July 2015)
439 pages, paperback $6.02, ebook $5.99
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

TorturesHunter Shea lives in New York with his family and one vindictive cat. Aside from writing horror he’s been involved in real life exploration of the paranormal, he interviews exorcists, and has been involved in other things that would keep normal people up at night.

Tortures of the Damned manages to avoid many of the clichés found in the typical apocalyptic horror novel and the result is a terrifying read that left me wanting more. Continue Reading

Review: 'Spore' by Tamara Jones

Spore by Tamara Jones
Samhain Publishing (June 2015)
266 pages, e-book $4.24, paperback $15.99
Reviewed by Frank Michael Errington

SporeThe author started her academic career as a science geek, earned a degree in art, and, when she’s not making quilts or herding cats, writes tense thrillers as Tamara Jones and the award-winning Dubric Byerly Mysteries series (Bantam Spectra), as Tamara Siler Jones. Despite the violent nature of her work, Tam’s easygoing and friendly. Not sick or twisted at all. Honest.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven' edited by Ellen Datlow

The Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven edited by Ellen Datlow
Night Shade Books (August 18, 2015)
416 pages; $7.64 paperback/$7.26 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

BestHorror7The Best Horror of the Year Volume 7, edited by the amazing Ellen Datlow, brings together twenty-two diverse authors in a collection that features a little bit of everything the horror genre has to offer. It truly does have something for everyone. Ellen has been at this for a long time. An editor of science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for more than 30 years and has more than 50 anthologies to her credit.Continue Reading

Review: 'King of the Bastards' by Brian Keene and Steven Shrewsbury

King of the Bastards by Brian Keene and Steven Shrewsbury
Apex Book Company (July 2015)
182 pages, e-book $6.99, paperback $15.95
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00021]Brian Keene, a name synonymous with horror, and Steven Shrewsbury, best known for his work in the sword-and-sorcery genre, have combined their considerable talents and given us King of the Bastards. Told as a story to a small group of children, it was to be about their grandfather, the king…

“Was grandfather king of the entire old world?”

“No, he ruled but a small part of it. But he was known, feared, and lusted after throughout the entire old world. Kings, women, brigands, and bards—all knew his name. It is KING OF THE BASTARDS.”Continue Reading