Review: Ghoul by Brian Keene

Ghoul by Brian Keene
Eraserhead Press (2012)

228 pages; $11.59 paperback; $7.95 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

“Boys have scars”, he thought. “Some of them fade—and others don’t. Some scars stay with us for life.”—Brian Keene, Ghoul

Even though this book was originally published some years ago, stories this good are timeless and a well-written book can find its audience yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Ghoul will now join the ranks of my favorite coming-of-age horror tales. And I know what some of you are thinking right now, “We know all about Brian Keene and Ghoul, Sadie. You’re a little late to the party!”Continue Reading

Review: A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben

A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben
Word Horde (March 2019)

270 pages; $15.42 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

This debut novel from Carrie Laben sure sticks to your ribs long after you’ve read it. The prose itself is rich but it’s all the subtext and symbolism that fills up your mind with food for thought. Continue Reading

Review: The Fearing, Book One: Fire & Rain by John F. D. Taff

The Fearing, Book One: Fire & Rain by John F.D. Taff
Grey Matter Press (July 9, 2019)

$3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

I think it’s a fact that human beings are obsessed with stories about our own cataclysmic demise. There’s something about this potential threat to the end of the world as we know it that inspires writers to pen epic sagas exploring humanity under extreme duress. Off the top of my head, I have enjoyed apocalyptic books like The Stand by Stephen King, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, and The Passage by Justin Cronin.Continue Reading

Review: The Bone Weaver’s Orchard by Sarah Read

The Bone Weaver’s Orchard by Sarah Read
Trepidatio Pub (February 2019)

194 pages; $12.36 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

Where are my fellow John Bellairs fans? Raise your hands and be counted. I need to know who you are. It’s important to this review because I’m an avid horror fan who was first nourished on the horror milk of John Bellairs novels. Bellairs wrote dark, gothic mysteries for young readers and he never shied away from being “too scary” for kids. I relished my time in those pages.

Here I am now at forty-two years of age and Sarah Read, the talented author of The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, has just rekindled that fire by tapping some of my favorite things I loved as a young reader.Continue Reading

Review: A Penny For Your Thoughts by Robert Ford and Matt Hayward

Cover of A Penny for Your Thoughts by Robert Ford and Matt HaywardA Penny For Your Thoughts by Robert Ford and Matt Hayward
Poltergeist Press (June 1, 2019)
264 pages; $21.99 hardcover; $15.99 paperback; $5.39 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

As far as introductions go, I couldn’t ask for a better way to familiarize myself with the talented voices of Bob Ford and Matt Hayward. A Penny For Your Thoughts is the collaborative effort of both authors. I’m impressed with how harmoniously they blended their storytelling because this read like one, seamless narrative.Continue Reading

Review: The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz
Flame Tree Press (April 2019)

352 pages; $16.48 hardcover; $10.37 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

2019 is the year of Jonathan Janz. There. I said it. Flame Tree Press performed the remarkable act of acquiring his previously released titles and then doling them out to us on a pretty aggressive schedule, which is an impressive gesture all on its own…but wait! There’s more. Flame Tree is also releasing new titles from Janz.Continue Reading

Review: In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson

In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson
Skyhorse (March 2019)

384 pages; $13.80 paperback; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

Stephen Graham Jones posted on social media a few times about a book called In the Valley of the Sun and I took note, but it wasn’t until he posted the book’s cover that I got excited. The cover boasts a human skull bleeding from the eye sockets. It’s wearing a cowboy hat and vampire incisors are clearly visible.

Interesting.Continue Reading

Review: Tribesmen by Adam Cesare

Tribesmen by Adam Cesare
Black T-Shirt Books (January 2019)

154 pages; $9.95 paperback; $32.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

You know, sometimes Mother Horror feels a little left out of the conversation. I don’t watch very many horror movies, so when some of my horror fiction friends start bringing movies into a bookish discussion, I’m often left standing alone in the corner with not much to say.Continue Reading

Women in Horror: An Interview with Ellen Datlow

If you’ve read an anthology of horror, science fiction or fantasy stories in the last couple of decades, chances are good it was edited by Ellen Datlow.  In addition to editing more than 100 anthologies over the course of her 35 year career, Datlow has served as the editor magazines such as OMNI and Event Horizon, and currently acquires fiction for Tor.com.

Datlow’s impeccably keen eye for talent has made her one of the most important figures working in modern horror fiction. We at Cemetery Dance are honored that she took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for us.

Continue Reading

Review: Foe by Iain Reid

Foe by Iain Reid
Gallery/Scout Press (September 2018)

272 pages; $17.10 paperback; $11.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Fans of Iain Reid’s first novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things already want this book. They’re looking for more of what he delivered in his debut novel — that  “unique, slightly off-kilter, unsettling prose that grabs you and pulls you into the story until it’s over” kind of thing. Rest assured, he’s done it again.Continue Reading