Review: The Fearing, Book Four: Earth & Ember by John F.D. Taff

The Fearing, Book Four: Earth & Ember by John F.D. Taff
Grey Matter Press (November 2019)
170 pages: $9.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

I like horror that fires on all cylinders, as I’ve said countless times in interviews. I want my horror to unnerve and disturb me, yes. But I also want it to make me feel love and sadness and regret and anger, too. And I want my characters to have some shot at redemption at the end, Some glimmer of hope, even if it’s obscured. —John F. D. Taff/Earth & Ember

Book four of John Taff’s epic apocalyptic series The Fearing is, sadly, the conclusion to one of the most interactive reading experiences I’ve had since Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.Continue Reading

Bev Vincent reviews Doctor Sleep

Stephen King News From the Dead Zone

“The World Will Shine Again”

I know, I’m seriously late in reviewing the latest big screen adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Hopefully better late than never! I finally got a chance to see Mike Flanagan’s tour-de-force film this week and I am so glad I got to see it on the big screen. And I can’t wait to see it again, although that may have to wait, because I don’t think it’s going to be in theaters much longer.
Continue Reading

Review: Teeth by Kelli Owen

Teeth by Kelli Owen
CreateSpace (June 2018)

248 pages; $12.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Sometimes I feel like a treasure hunter when I pick up a new book. I hold it in my hands and I think, “Will this book be a bright, shiny gem?” I get excited about the prospect of discovering something new and precious.

I think Teeth by Kelli Owen is such a treasure; a true gem in vampire fiction. Continue Reading

Review: A Place for Sinners by Aaron Dries

Cover of A Place for Sinners by Aaron DriesA Place for Sinners by Aaron Dries
Poltergeist Press (July 2019)

394 pages; $21.95 hardcover; $14.56 paperback; $5.39 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Sometimes, in the genre of horror, a reviewer stumbles upon a dark, glistening vein in the granite of horror. Maybe the reviewer reads a book from a specific indie press and enjoys it so much, they find themselves reading other books they have to offer. Or maybe the reviewer finds an author and they run in a circle of like-minded authors who do collaborative work—so the reviewer finds not just one new favorite author, but several!

I found Aaron Dries in one of the aforementioned dark veins in the granite. Being the excitable and curious reader that I am, I bought myself some of his books. A Place for Sinners entices you with an intriguing premise; boiled down it amounts to the simplest of tropes: A traveling experience to the jungles of Thailand goes terribly wrong.Continue Reading

Review: Dead Aware: A Zombie Journey by Eleanor Merry

Cover of Dead Aware by Eleanor MerryDead Aware: A Zombie Journey by Eleanor Merry
LAC (August 2019)
154 pages; $8.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

When does a zombie story become interesting again, after the glut that’s thicker than the goo between the undead’s ears? Answer: Dead Aware, a tale that’s enjoyable from start to finish, and was an unexpected pleasure. Told from the points of view of an undead couple—okay, that was enough to hook me from the get-go—Merry’s story chronicles Clara and Max Jacobs from living to dead to undead to… whatever.Continue Reading

Review: The Apocalyptic Mannequin by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Cover of The Apocalyptic Mannequin by Stephanie WytovichThe Apocalyptic Mannequin by Stephanie Wytovich
Raw Dog Screaming Press (September 2019)

114 pages, $13.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

The Apocalyptic Mannequin is a collection of poetry about the apocalypse, and those who survived. Wytovich attempts to tap into the emotions of survivors with her poetry, creating a cast of characters who explore their fears and pain; however, while there are some really inventive ideas and clever survivor stories in this collection, the majority of the poems ultimately fall short due to craft issues.Continue Reading

Review: The Films of Uwe Boll, Vol. 1: The Video Game Movies by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi

Cover of The FIlms of Uwe Boll Volume OneThe Films of Uwe Boll, Vol. 1: The Video Game Movies by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Moon Books (September 2019)
142 pages; $9.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

You read that right, folks. A book on the films of someone who has been often called one of the worst directors of our times. And it is only Volume One? They are making more? Someone has to watch 11 Uwe Boll films and then watch more of them?

Yup, and that person is Mat Bradley-Tschirgi. May some Being bless him, because this feels like a job of the damned right here.Continue Reading

Review: The Pale White by Chad Lutzke

Cover of The Pale White by Chad LutzkeThe Pale White by Chad Lutzke
Crystal Lake Publishing (September 2019)

118 pages; $10.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

On matters of horror fiction and what should or should not be defined as such, nobody gets the last word. For some people, a horror story is only as good as its ability to scare. For me, the horror genre is a spectrum, and feeling scared falls somewhere on that emotional spectrum along with a host of other feelings. Judging a book based on its ability to belong in a genre, employing the sole criteria of fear, is too subjective and limiting in my opinion.Continue Reading

Review: Whispers from the Depths by C.W. Briar

Whispers from the Depths by C.W. Briar
Uncommon Universes Press (February 2019)
296 pages; $24.99 hardcover; $17.58 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

I usually don’t read much fantasy. While a lot of it’s well-written, it’s just not necessarily my cup of tea. However, I thoroughly enjoyed C.W. Briar’s debut collection Wrath and Ruin a few years ago, so I felt more than confident in taking a chance on his fantasy about water witches. I’m happy to say it paid off. Continue Reading

Review: The Fearing, Book Three: Air & Dust by John F.D. Taff

Cover of The Fearing Book Three Air and Dust by John F. D. TaffThe Fearing, Book Three: Air & Dust by John F.D. Taff
Grey Matter Press (October 2019)

320 pages; $9.99 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

It’s hard to believe that we’re here. We’ve arrived at Book Three in The Fearing series by John F. D. Taff. There’s only one left! I freely admit, this makes me a little sad. I’m also wondering, is there anyone out there that hasn’t heard of this series? I’ll pretend for a moment that if you’re reading this review, you know nothing about it and this will make me excited to convince you of its epic awesomeness.Continue Reading

Review: In Dreams We Rot by Betty Rocksteady

Cover of In Dreams We Rot by Betty RocksteadyIn Dreams We Rot by Betty Rocksteady
Trepidatio Publishing (October 2019)
200 pages; $16.95 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’ve made no bones about my absolute adoration of Betty Rocksteady’s work. Her novellas have all kicked me squarely in the heart-booty and the couple of shorter works I have read in anthologies were great. So, I can save you a little time and just tell you to buy her first collection of short fiction, In Dreams We Rot.

Okay. Clearly some of you need convincing. That’s fine.Continue Reading

Review: Rose by Rami Ungar

Rose by Rami Ungar
Castrum Press (June 2019)
166 pages; $9.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’ll be honest; I’m particularly conflicted on Rami Ungar’s debut novel, Rose. On one hand, I dig the heck out of the story being told here. On the other hand, there are some severe problems with how it is told that rub me very much the wrong way.Continue Reading

Double Feature Review: Stephen King at the Movies & The World of IT

cover of Stephen King at the Movies by Ian NathanStephen King at the Movies by Ian Nathan
Palazzo Editions (October 2019)
224 pages; $28.93 hardcover

The World of IT by Alyse Wax
Harry N. Abrams (September 2019)
224 pages: $24.49 hardcover; $16.79 e-book

Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

If there’s one thing we as horror fans have never been deprived of, it’s Stephen King adaptations. From major novels like The Shining and Misery to minor stories like “The Mangler” and “Secret Window, Secret Garden,” virtually every corner of King’s bibliography has been mined. If you count sequels and remakes, there are more than 80 film and television adaptations of King’s work…and counting.Continue Reading

Review: glass slipper dreams, shattered by doungjai gam

cover of glass slipper dreams, shatteredglass slipper dreams, shattered by doungjai gam
Apokrupha (July 2019)
80 pages; $7.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Micro-fiction is a difficult genre to master. Like  poetry, it’s built on the art of distilled language. Expressions of thoughts, emotions, fear, pain, joy, nightmares, and dreams, conveyed through precise  word choice and imagery. And the key word here is precise. Micro-fiction can’t be just short. It  must be powerful, evocative, emotional…using the very essence of  language.Continue Reading

Review: How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith

Book cover of How to Survive a Horror Move by Seth Grahame-SmithHow to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith
Quirk Books (September 2019)
176 pages; $11.99 paperback; $9.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

It’s the middle of October, just a couple of weeks away from Halloween as I write this, and I find myself (like, doubtless, many of you) in the midst of a horror movie marathon leading into my favorite holiday. Most of what I watch this time of year are classics that I’ve seen a time or two (or ten) before, and — again, I suspect, like many of you — I find myself constantly second-guessing the actions of the characters on the screen.Continue Reading