Review: 'Seize the Night' edited by Christopher Golden

Seize the Night edited by Christopher Golden
Gallery Books (October 2015)
544 pages, e-book $13.99, paperback $11.93
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

seizeChristopher Golden is a very busy writer. If a project involves the written word, it seems as if Christopher is willing to give it a go. This includes comics, media tie-ins, YA novels, and books for adults. Oh, and let’s not forget editing anthologies. Christopher’s latest project is one such anthology. Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror is built upon the premise that “once upon a time vampires were figures of terror…And they can be again.”

The twenty-one authors collected in this volume have accepted that challenge and have largely succeeded in returning vampires and their ilk back into our nightmares where they belong. Although a few stories had me scratching my head looking for the vampiric connection, each tale delivered the goods. And by goods, I mean terror.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Art of Horrible People' by John Skipp

The Art of Horrible People by John Skipp
Lazy Fascist Press (August 2015)
176 pages, e-book $5.95, paperback $12.95
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

HorriblePeopleOn the back cover of John Skipp’s The Art of Horrible People, author Josh Malerman implores readers to “savor this book.” It’s a good suggestion, but difficult to follow with prose like this, which fully embodies the tried-and-true cliché of being difficult to put down.

The book collects nine stories written over the last decade, each of them featuring the razor-like wit and sharp insight which has characterized Skipp’s work all the way back to his days as a young (splatter)punk breaking into the business. Continue Reading

Review: 'Rage Master' by Simon Clark

Rage Master by Simon Clark
Earthling Publications (October 2015)
250 pages, signed/numbered hardcover $45
Reviewed by David Simms

RageMasterEach year as the special holiday approaches, Earthling Publications treats horror readers with a special book that harkens back to the good old days of the genre. The supernatural is at play with haunted houses, monstrous creatures, and otherworldly scares which make the Halloween Series such a fixture in horror fiction. Paul Miller has yet to produce a bad book, yet after last year’s stellar The Halloween Children, expectations were set at a high level.Continue Reading

Review: 'Blood Feud' #1 by Cullen Bunn, Drew Moss and Nick Filardi

blood-feud-1Blood Feud #1 by Cullen Bunn (W), Drew Moss (A), and Nick Filardi (C)
Oni Press (October 7, 2015)
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

A lot of people are going to look at the variant cover of Blood Feud #1 – the one modeled after the poster for the original Friday the 13th movie – and assume it’s a slasher series. I know I did. And while it’s definitely a horror book, there’s a lot more going on than a psycho stalker in a mask.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Stephen King Companion: Four Decades of Fear from the Master of Horror' by George Beahm

The Stephen King Companion: Four Decades of Fear from the Master of Horror by George Beahm
St. Martin’s Griffin (October 6, 2015)
624 pages, e-book $11.99, paperback $18.05
Reviewed by Kevin Quigley

SKCompanionDiscovering George Beahm’s first Stephen King Companion in 1989 was a revelation.  Even then, there had been plenty of books written on the subject, starting off with Douglas Winter’s prescient The Art of Darkness; since, most books on King had tended toward the academic or the hyperbolic, with little in the way of a middle ground for readers who wanted to know more but didn’t necessarily want to take an American Lit class. The Stephen King Companion filled that gap, offering plenty of background information on King and the books, transcripts of important talks King had given, statistics on limited editions and insights into the books and stories that made up the bulk of interest on King. Continue Reading

Review: 'The Silent End' by Samuel Sattin

SilentEndCoverThe Silent End by Samuel Sattin
Ragnorak Publishing (September 2015)
524 pages; $20.95 paperback/$4.99 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Samuel Sattin makes his home in Oakland, California and has been writing for some time now. His prior novel was titled League of Somebodies which boldly combines comic book storytelling into a traditional novel format. The Silent End is his first novel with Ragnarok Publications and if I had to pigeonhole this work I would call it YA Horror.Continue Reading

Review: 'A Head Full of Ghosts' by Paul Tremblay

HeadFullGhostsCoverA Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
William Morrow (June 2015)
304 pages; $14.58 paperback/$12.99 ebook
Reviewed by Michael Wilson

Paul Tremblay’s fiction has been gracing bookstores and bookshelves for well over a decade. No stranger to horror, Paul’s picked up three Stoker Award nominations – including First Novel for The Little Sleep – and has been on the Board of Directors for the Shirley Jackson Award since it was founded in 2007. In spite of all his accolades, A Head Full of Ghosts has put him on the horror map more than anything he’s released or achieved previously. It’s the horror novel of 2015 that everyone’s talking about. Even Stephen King took to Twitter to give his approval, declaring, “A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay: Scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare.” But is such unadulterated admiration really warranted or are we dealing with over-hyped and under-delivered horror art? Continue Reading

Review: 'The Girl in the Maze' by R.K. Jackson

GirlMazeThe Girl in the Maze by R. K. Jackson
Alilbi: A Division of Random House (September 2015)
292 pages; $2.99 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

The Girl In the Maze is a genre-crushing story that’s part mystery, part thriller, with elements of horror. The result is a terribly entertaining novel about Martha Covington, a schizophrenic, who with treatment is making her way back into the workplace.Continue Reading

Review: 'Where We Live and Die' by Brian Keene

WhereWhere We Live and Die by Brian Keene
Lazy Fascist Press (August 2015)
162 pages; $12.95 paperback/$5.95 ebook
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

If you’ve ever read anything by Brian Keene, then you’ve read something
about Brian Keene. I say this because the man doesn’t just pour himself
into his work; he tears pieces of himself away and fuses them into his
fiction. Check out his podcast and look for the “Secret Origins” episodes, and you’ll see what I mean.

Or, read his new collection from Lazy Fascist Press, Where We Live and Die.Continue Reading

Review: 'Mr. Suicide' by Nicole Cushing

MrSMr. Suicide by Nicole Cushing
Word Horde Publishing (July 2015)
228 pages; $14.99 paperback/$4.99 ebook
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

Nicole Cushing is a Shirley Jackson Award finalist who’s written a number of stand-alone novellas and dozens of short stories. Nicole has been referred to as the literary equivalent of the love child between Jack Ketchum and Poppy Z. Bright. Raised in rural Maryland and now living in southern Indiana, Nicole counts master storyteller Edgar Allen Poe as having had a big influence on her as a writer.

In recent weeks, I’d noticed a bit of a buzz about her debut novel and knew I had to check it out. I’m so glad I did. When I opened the book I right away noticed some very positive blurbs from authors I respect a great deal, including Ray Garton and the aforementioned Jack Ketchum.Continue Reading

Review: 'The Devil in the Clock' by Harry Shannon

The Devil In the Clock by Harry Shannon
CreateSpace (May 2015)
236 pages, paperback $11.99, ebook $3.29
Reviewed by W.D. Gagliani

DevilClockBack when I reviewed Memorial Day, Harry Shannon’s first Mick Callahan novel, I called it “a completely winning, engaging first mystery.” Further, I wrote: “Mick Callahan is no detective or cop. He’s no private dick. No, he’s a disgraced and defrocked television therapist – not your usual tough guy! Think a slicker, more photogenic Dr. Phil. But Shannon wisely hedges his bets and makes Callahan a washed-out Navy SEAL and one time kid boxer – enough pedigree for him to get into fights most of us would eagerly avoid.”Continue Reading

Review: 'Check-Out Time' by Mark Rigney

Check-Out Time by Mark Rigney
Samhain Publishing (October 2014)
229 pages; $12.32 paperback/$4.99 ebook
Reviewed by Damon Smith

check-out-timeCheck-Out Time is actually the fourth book in Mark Rigney’s “Renner & Quist” series, but outside of a few nods in the early part of the novel, knowledge of the prior books in the series are not necessary for you to enjoy this new entry.

While the book has a bit of trouble reaching its stride in its early pages, once it does, it truly becomes something unique, often showing a very refreshing take on what could be a run-of-the-mill ghost story in the hands of another writer. Continue Reading

Review: 'Red Equinox' by Douglas Wynne

Red Equinox by Douglas Wynne
JournalStone (January 2015)
278 pages; $17.95 paperback/$5.39 ebook
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

RedEquinoxRed Equinox places us in the shoes of Becca, an urban explorer whose Gramma was deep into cultish lore and who stumbles onto something far too real and far too sinister for her to believe. Soon, she finds herself caught between a cult that wants to bring the Elder Gods to bear on us all and a secret government agency that is definitely not the B.P.R.D. Dimensional walls are breached, horrific and barely describable monsters are summoned and it looks like the world may end.Continue Reading

Review: 'Eulogies III' edited by Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta and Tony Tremblay

Eulogies III edited by Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta and Tony Tremblay
HW Press (May 2015)
264 pages; paperback $12.99; ebook $4.99
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

EulogiesIIIFirst there was Eulogies: A Horror World Yearbook 2005, then, two years ago, HW Press gave us Eulogies II: Tales From the Cellar, and now comes Eulogies III from editors Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta and Tony Tremblay.

The effort here is to shy away from the common tropes used in horror. There are no zombies, no vampires or werewolves, in this new anthology, just a wide variety of stories to make you think and perhaps to haunt your dreams.Continue Reading

Review: 'Andersonville' by Edward M. Erdelac

Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac
Hydra Press (August 2015)
340 pages; ebook $5.12
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

AndersonvilleEdward M. Erdelac is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the author of six novels (including the weird western series Merkbah Rider) and several short stories. He is also an independent filmmaker, an award-winning screenwriter, and sometimes Star Wars contributor. Born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, he resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife, children, and cats.

In Andersonville, Erdelac has taken the story of the Civil War’s most infamous prison camp and added a supernatural storyline that threatens to change the course of the war. Continue Reading