Review: Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies by John Langan

cover of Children of the Fang by John LanganChildren of the Fang and Other Genealogies by John Langan
Word Horde (August 18, 2020)

388 pages; $19.99 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie Hartmann

First things first, the introduction to this book, written by Stephen Graham Jones, is so choice. Bonus points right away for mentioning one of my favorite childhood stories ever: The Monster at the End of This Book (narrated by your lovable ol’ pal, Grover).

Dr. Jones goes on to say, “John Langan, both delivering us some compelling horror but at the same time interrogating the basic form of horror.”Continue Reading

Review: A Complex Accident of Life by Jessica McHugh

A Complex Accident of Life: Blackout Poetry Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Jessica McHugh
Apokrupha (June 2020)
104 pages; $18.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Writing poetry is a tough gig. Trying to put together poems from someone else’s words, even tougher. Putting together personal, meaningful poems from someone else’s words and using their location to make for impactful, visually appealing art seems nigh impossible. So, of course the inimitable Jessica McHugh has done just that.Continue Reading

Review: Crossroads by Laurel Hightower

cover of Crossroads by Laurel HightowerCrossroads by Laurel Hightower
Off Limits Press (August 10, 2020)
93 pages; $12 hardcov $7.01 e-book
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

Thomas Campbell famously remarked: “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” This proves painfully true in Crossroads, the newest release from rising horror superstar Laurel Hightower. Her previous novel, Whispers in the Dark (2018), garnered tons of well-deserved accolades. This time around, Crossroads explores a mother, Chris, mourning the loss of her son, Trey. There is plenty of real-life horror in that itself. Things take a turn toward the supernatural as Chris recalls the concept of a crossroads demon, like the one that Robert Johnson was famously rumored to have sold his soul to in exchange for musical success. Continue Reading

Review: The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

cover of The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel KrausThe Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus
Tor Books (August 4, 2020)
656 pages; $25.19 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

George Romero’s impact on the horror genre cannot be overstated. It also cannot easily be summed up in a paragraph or two, so I won’t waste our time together. What I will tell you is that the things that made his work so impactful—the purity of his vision, the weaving of social commentary throughout his narratives, the unflinching approach to scenes of visceral horror—are preserved, upheld, and honored by the man chosen to finish Romero’s last work: Daniel Kraus.

Continue Reading

Review: Dead Girl Blues by David Sodergren

cover of Dead Girl Blues by David SodergrenDead Girl Blues by David Sodergren
Independently Published (March 2020)

275 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Janelle Janson

Dead Girl Blues is another knockout book from Scottish indie horror author David Sodergren. And let me say the cover artwork by Connor Leslie matches the story so perfectly. Its eye-catching yellow cover, with hints of retro-styled red, spoke to me on many levels and tickled my 1970s pulp horror-loving fancy…and then I opened the book. Once I started reading, I was overwhelmed by the story and further impressed.Continue Reading

Review: Escape from the Billings Mall: A Select Your Own Timeline Adventure by Chuck Tingle

cover of Escape from the Billings Mall by Chuck TingleEscape from the Billings Mall: A Select Your Own Timeline Adventure by Chuck Tingle
Independently Published (April 2020)
154 pages; $12.66 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Dr. Chuck Tingle tends to be treated as a joke. That guy who writes those silly Pounded books. However, that is only by those who have not bothered to read his work. No one can pull off weird like he can and still hold the humanity of it. Dr. Tingle knows people, hearts and what drives us.Continue Reading

Review: Devil’s Bane: Tales of a Fourth Grade Warrior by Ken MacGregor

cover of Devil's Bane by Ken MacGregorDevil’s Bane: Tales of a Fourth Grade Warrior by Ken MacGregor
Dragon’s Roost Press (May 2020)
160 pages; $8.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I know Ken MacGregor mostly for his harder stuff. That Burnt Fur, Sex and Centipedes stuff. I always liked it. He can be super abrasive, rambunctious, gross and fun while still keeping a fair amount of heart in the ordeal. But a middle grade book? I thought he was joking.Continue Reading

Review: A Route Obscure and Lonely by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

A Route Obscure and Lonely by LindaAnn LoSchiavo
The Wapshott Press (December 2019)

60 pages, $7.50 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

A Route Obscure and Lonely is a unique artifact in horror poetry. It’s primarily in blank verse, and while formal horror poetry isn’t rare, what makes LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s poetry unique is that she doesn’t let the form control her poems. While many formalist horror poets fall back on outdated tropes and clichés in their writing, LoSchiavo is able to use those tools and make a very rhythmic poem, while also using modern ideas and imagery to update her poems to 21st century pieces.Continue Reading

Review: Until Summer Comes Around by Glenn Rolfe

cover of Until Summer Comes Around by Glenn RolfeUntil Summer Comes Around by Glenn Rolfe
Flame Tree Press (May 2020)

288 pages; $24.95 hardcover $14.95 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Janelle Janson

Glenn Rolfe’s Until Summer Comes Around is an all-consuming, 1980s coming-of-age, nostalgic, vampire extravaganza of a story. I “summer breezed” right on through this entire book, and much like the vampires in this story, I was bloodthirsty for more.Continue Reading

Review: Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 3 edited by William Schafer

cover of Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 3 edited by William SchaferSubterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 3 edited by William Schafer
Subterranean Press (July 2020)
234 pages; $40 hardcover; $150 limited edition hardcover
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Like most anthologies, Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 3 is a bit of a mixed bag. There are no bad stories here, but some resonated with me more than others. No doubt each reader will have his or her own favorites; rather than try and predict what those will be, I’m just going to share a few of mine.Continue Reading

Review: Strange Ways by Gray Williams

cover of Strange Ways by Gray WilliamsStrange Ways by Gray Williams
Canelo (June 2020)

300 pages; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Janelle Janson

Strange Ways is the second book in the Black Market Magic series. I managed to read both books, including the first, The End of the Line. Even though I’m a reader who can skip around in a series, these books are short and easy to read. So in this review, there will be no question as to whether I understood the author’s foundational ideas or intentions.Continue Reading

Review: Malorie by Josh Malerman

Malorie by Josh Malerman
Del Rey (July 21, 2020)

304 pages; $19.29 hardcover; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

From my review of Bird Box in 2018:

Our protagonist, Malorie, is young and a little naive. There is a global calamity going on and she seems very preoccupied with her own circumstances. As a reader, you are concerned with our protagonist’s perspective—can she navigate through this story safely for us? I wanted a more reliable, capable protagonist to be honest but this is a horror novel and I came prepared for the worst. And the worst did come…

…This was an engaging, edge of your seat read. I loved every hair-raising moment. A solid work of horror, suspense and apocalyptic storytelling.

Continue Reading

Review: Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

cover of Survivor Song by Paul TremblaySurvivor Song by Paul Tremblay
William Morrow (July 2020)

320 pages; $25.19 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Beware! Paul Tremblay is not interested in writing stories readers can walk away from unscathed. Survivor Song will leave emotional trenches in your heart long after you’ve finished trying to ugly-cry and read at the same time.Continue Reading

Review: Murmur by Patrick Freivald

cover of Murmur by Patrick FreivaldMurmur by Patrick Freivald
Barking Deer Press (July 14, 2020)
223 pages; $4.89 e-book
Reviewed by A.E. Siraki

Patrick Freivald, author of novels and short story collections, presents his latest, an urban fantasy thriller set in New York City, high on the eroticism, high on the grittiness, and high on the compulsive readability. Continue Reading

Review: Signalz by F. Paul Wilson

cover of Signalz by F. Paul WilsonSignalz by F. Paul Wilson
Crossroad Press (July 7, 2020)
188 pages; $29.99 hardcover; $17.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Nightworld. For F. Paul Wilson fans, it’s often in the top two or three novels by the legend, surpassed only by the first book in the Repairman Jack series, The Tomb. Nightworld signaled the end of civilizations as we know it (kinda fitting these days, isn’t it?) and was so popular, Wilson rewrote it to fit the series canon after the original Adversary sextet concluded. While that novel hit on all cylinders and checked every box that satisfied both thriller and horror fans across the globe, plenty of mysteries remained. Wilson has plugged some of those, most notably with last year’s Jack novel, The Last Christmas, and prior to that, Wardenclyffe.Continue Reading