Review: These Evil Things We Do by Mick Garris

cover of these evil things we do by mick garrisThese Evil Things We Do by Mick Garris
Fangoria/Cinestate (May 2020)

$9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

I’m going to go with total honesty and transparency by revealing that I didn’t know who Mick Garris even was when I accepted the review copy from the team at Cinestate/FANGORIA. I just read whatever they give me because it’s always entertaining; if not amazing.

After finishing the first three stories of These Evil Things We Do and feeling totally blown away by how much I had enjoyed them, I decided to look this Mick Garris guy up on Google.

Oh.

Mick Garris is kind of a big deal.Continue Reading

Review: The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni
William Morrow (April 2020)

368 pages; $19.61 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

I have never wanted to live in the pages of a horror novel as much as I did while reading The Ancestor. Alberta Montebianco lives a stressful, emotionally complicated lifestyle in New York. With almost magical timing, a letter shows up addressed to her but with a new title in front of her name— “Countess.” As it turns out, Alberta discovers that she is possibly the sole, living heir to a noble title, and a castle in Turin, Italy.Continue Reading

Review: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Gallery/Saga Press (July 14, 2020)
320 pages: $20.63 hardcover; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

I read an interview with Stephen Graham Jones where he said, I just figure I am Blackfeet, so every story I tell’s going to be Blackfeet.” (Uncanny Magazine/Julia Rios)

This one, simple statement is manifested in SGJ’s body of work; each book wildly different from the last, but distinctly identifiable as his own because they bear his fingerprints, unique storytelling voice and personal context.Continue Reading

Review: The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson

cover of The Girl in the VideoThe Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson
Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing (April 28, 2020)

106 pages; $12.95 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

We all know Michael David Wilson from the infamous podcast, This is Horror. Michael is the one with the exceptionally wonderful British accent. If you haven’t listened to an episode, question what it is about your life that needs assistance and then at least start listening to This is Horror on a regular basis. It’s a great way to get your life back on track.

The Girl in the Video is Wilson’s first published book of any kind and I know exactly why Max Booth III picked it up for Perpetual Motion Machine…Continue Reading

Review: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Quirk Books (April 7, 2020)

408 pages; $15.29 paperback; $13.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

You might be a horror book consumer like me and have already bought into the Grady Hendrix brand. You come for the unique titles and clever packaging (My Best Friend’s Exorcism) but you stay for the alluring storytelling, memorable characters, and iconic cultural references.Continue Reading

Review: Whispers in the Ear of a Dreaming Ape by Joshua Chaplinsky

Whispers in the Ear of a Dreaming Ape by Joshua Chaplinsky
CLASH Books (October 2019)

185 pages; $13.95 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

It’s this reader’s opinion that short story collections are the best way to read a new author. It’s the quickest way to discover an author’s versatility; each story an opportunity to showcase a variety of unique skills without being locked into one narrative.

I also believe that a reader begins their relationship with a book with the cover. In this case, primate skulls in bold, appealing colors with a recognizable Matthew Revert style. A real winner for me. A cover-buy.Continue Reading

Till the Score is Paid by Gemma Amor

cover of Till the Score is Paid by Gemma AmorTill the Score is Paid by Gemma Amor
Giles Press (December 2019)

254 pages; $12.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Some authors have a storytelling voice that feels familiar to the reader. I often say that these authors’ books are like coming home after wearing formal clothes all day, and then putting on your favorite pajamas; the definition of comfort.

Gemma Amor’s writing style “fits me.” We are a perfect reader/author match. The minute I start reading one of her short stories I am immediately drawn in and compelled to finish. It’s difficult for me to put any story of her’s down until I’m done.Continue Reading

Women in Horror Month Interview: Becky Spratford

Becky Spratford, MLIS

Becky Spratford is an informed and passionate advocate of fiction (particularly horror fiction). She trains librarians to match readers with books they’ll enjoy — an amazingly important job, if you ask us! Becky maintains a magical presence on Twitter and a blog that gives great insight into the importance of the work she does.

We’re proud to feature Becky in this special Women in Horror Month interview.Continue Reading

Women in Horror Month Interview: Ania Ahlborn

Author and interview subject Ania Ahlborn
Ania Ahlborn

February is Women in Horror Month and I wanted to check in with some of my favorite writers of horror fiction. Ania Ahlborn is the author of several creepy books of which I would recommend, starting with Brother, and then working through her extensive back catalog. Her most recent release, If You See Her, is about buried mysteries, haunted houses, and the ghosts of past sins coming back to haunt you.

Ania and her husband, Will, have a toddler we will refer to as “R” in this interview. I wanted to find out how Ania has been balancing her writing career and motherhood. Continue Reading

Review: Miscreations edited by Doug Murano and Michael Bailey

Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors edited by Doug Murano and Michael Bailey
Written Backwards (February 2020)

342 pages; $29.95 hardcover; $16.95 paperback; $3.95 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

I clearly remember a debate that transpired last summer on social media about anthologies. An author wondered about the future of anthologies because it seemed to him they don’t make any money. Several industry people weighed in with their strong opinions either in support of anthologies or against them (not really opposed to anthologies in general but speaking more about the profitability, or lack thereof).

Watching from the sidelines, I was beside myself. Anthologies are some of my favorite books to read. I chimed in on the conversation, only to add that I enjoy a well put together, themed anthology and that I am wholeheartedly in support of their continued success. Miscreations, by award-winning editors Doug Murano and Michael Bailey, proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that anthologies are well worth any amount of effort, money, blood, sweat, and tears.Continue Reading

Review: The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson

The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson
MCDxFSG Originals (February 11, 2020)

416 pages; $10.99 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Last year, if I talked about highly anticipated novels in 2020, The Boatman’s Daughter was at the top of my list. This is Bram Stoker Award finalist Andy Davidson’s second novel. His debut, In the Valley of the Sun (2017) was one of the best books I read last year. Continue Reading

Review: Spungunion by John Boden

Spungunion by John Boden
Fungasm Press (January 15, 2020)
106 pages: $9.95 paperback
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Once every blue moon, a reader will encounter an author who possesses a storytelling style that works for them every damn time. I have a few of these authors. Let’s call them the “Do-No-Wrongs.”

John Boden is a “Do-No-Wrong.”Continue Reading

Review: Various States of Decay by Matt Hayward

Various States of Decay by Matt Hayward
Poltergeist Press (December 2019)
290 pages: $23.70 hardcover; $14.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

It comes as a surprise to me that Matt Hayward published his first book, Brain Dead Blues, just over two years ago in May of 2017. Since that release, he’s been nominated for Bram Stoker Awards, published two novels, and co-wrote two novels. Various States of Decay is his second short story collection. That’s an impressive two years worth of work!Continue Reading

Review: Trouble at Camp Still Waters by Eddie Generous

Trouble at Camp Still Waters by Eddie Generous
Severed Press (July 2019)
134 pages: $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Ben Ray Collins is a serial killer fanboy who gets caught trying to execute a copycat murder. By some stroke of luck, he manages to escape prison and finds himself at Camp Still Waters, but the waters are anything but still. Some kind of natural phenomenon is happening there and a team of scientists head out to learn more.Continue Reading

Review: Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp
Orbit (October 2019)

496 pages; $12.50 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

I think it’s important to tell readers straight away that Jason Arnopp writes modern horror stories like nobody else in this industry. His books are written for horror lovers alive today, in this cultural moment. Ghoster is for me, you and us—right here, right now.Continue Reading