Review: ‘Sinister Stitches’ by Mark Cassell

stichesSinister Stitches by Mark Cassell
Herbs House (October 2015)
128 pages; $6.99 paperback; $1.99 e-book
Reviewed by Josh Black

Mark Cassell’s The Shadow Fabric (2014) was a fast-paced and entertaining romp through a mythos involving the extraction of evil, a unique take on the living dead, and the encroachment of primordial darkness into the modern world. Sinister Stitches collects twelve stories (thirteen in the paperback version) that expand on or relate to the mythos, and an extract of the novel.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Shadow Fabric’ by Mark Cassell

shadowfabricThe Shadow Fabric by Mark Cassell
Herbs House (September 2014)
340 pages; $12.99 paperback; $1.99 e-book
Reviewed by Josh Black

Leo remembers little of his past. Desperate for a new life, he snatches up the first job to come along. On his second day, he witnesses a murder, and the Shadow Fabric—a malevolent force that controls the darkness—takes the body and vanishes with it.

Uncovering secrets long hidden from humankind, Leo’s memory unravels. Not only haunted by his past, a sinister presence within the darkness threatens his existence and he soon doubts everything and everyone… including himself.

Now Leo must confront the truth about his past before he can embrace his future. But the future may not exist.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Psychopomp & Circumstance (Books of Nethermore #1)’ by Adrean Messmer

psychopompPsychopomp & Circumstance (Books of Nethermore #1) by Adrean Messmer
A Murder of Storytellers (April 2016)
186 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Josh Black

Psychopomp & Circumstance, the first in a series of standalone books, is Adrean Messmer’s first novel.

It follows a group of friends and “frenemies” somewhere between the carefree world of high school and the uncertainty of what comes next. Unfortunately for them, what’s going on in the present—and whether they’ll even live long enough to see college or careers take off—is just as uncertain. After one of them posts a Facebook update she has no recollection of, things get weird. People are missing. People are dying. Lurking somewhere around the periphery of it all is the Sewercide Man, a mysterious figure glimpsed only occasionally, but whose mere presence seems to bring chaos and have a disconcerting effect on the recently deceased.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Haunting of Lake Manor Hotel' edited by Nathan Hystad and Samanda R. Primeau

lakemanorThe Haunting of Lake Manor Hotel edited by Nathan Hystad and Samanda R. Primeau
WoodBridge Press (April 2016)
202 pages; $13.99 paperback; $0.99 e-book
Reviewed by Josh Black

It’s been over a hundred and fifty years since a plague ravaged the area around Lake Manor. With few left to bury them, the corpses were unceremoniously dumped into the lake by their surviving loved ones.

Years later, Lake Manor Hotel is alive with the shadows of the dead. Within the hotel’s 13 rooms, there are 13 tales to tell. Guests will face evil demons, ghosts, creatures from the lake, and the worst monsters of all: the ones within themselves.

13 will check in, but how many will check out?

Continue Reading

Review: 'Greener Pastures' by Michael Wehunt

greenerpastures_smGreener Pastures by Michael Wehunt
Shock Totem Publications (April 2016)
238 pages; $12.59 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Josh Black

With stories in publications like The Dark, Nightscript, and Shock Totem, Michael Wehunt has been making a name for himself and his own brand of dark, weird fiction. I hadn’t read anything of his before this, but if Greener Pastures is any indication, readers have some fantastic stories to look forward to. It’s a highly impressive debut collection; chock-full of imaginative plots, flesh and blood characters, and universal themes, all delivered through prose so lyrical it practically sings.Continue Reading