Showing posts from May, 2021

It Calls from the Sea - Eerie River

Another strong collection of dark tales from Eerie River. I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this collection, though to be honest, I enjoyed their other anthologies more. There are a lot of creepy, well-written stories. However, I think since I grew up near a forest and nowhere near the ocean, collections like It Calls from the Forest affected me more. Even so, all of the authors do an excellent job orienting the reader, whether it be sailing a ship, surfing, or in a submarine. Normally I select three favourites, but this time I have five I really enjoyed: Abyssal Horror - Trey Dowell - I love how this one started with the POV of a whale. It's a tense apocalyptic tale that gave me shivers. The Ocean Sings Softly - Christopher Bond - A story about a woman and her grandchild coming together to face an ancient curse. Dead Ships - Georgia Cook - Possibly the one that scared me the most. Dead Ships plague a small oceanside town. Their mysterious presence has

The Dead Zone by Stephen King

Original Review from 2015: Instead of his usual aspiring writer struggling to be a good man through the weight of addiction and uncontrollable emotions, in The Dead Zone, King gives us John (No Middle Name) Smith, a man whose problems stem from external rather than internal factors. Johnny is crippled by a coma that robs him of 4.5 years of his life and leaves him with a ravaged body and a curious new ability – prophecy. When Johnny touches someone, he can see pieces of their soul. Sometimes he can see their future, their intentions, their thoughts – it is different with everyone. With this new power, he is able to thwart serial killers, save lives, and even prevent a nuclear war. Johnny is a reluctant hero and the secret saviour of the world, but this is not a novel about action heroes triumphing over evil; it is a story about the pain of loss and the agony of what might have been. King opens with a prologue about young Johnny nearly dying in a skating accident where he

Roadwork by Stephen King

Note from 2021: I have no interest in "bashing" books. If I dislike a book, I typically don't finish it or quietly give it a couple of stars and move on. I keep my reviews honest, but friendly. However, I really didn't like this one and I feel like Stephen King can handle it. He's my favourite author for a reason, but with the vast amount of work he's put out there, I'm not going to like all of it. This was one I did not like. I think it's important to acknowledge that the things and people we love aren't perfect.   Original 2015 Review: I did not like this book. Not at all. I listened to this one as an audiobook and regretted that choice the entire book. When reading words, it's easy to skim, but with an audiobook, I was forced to listen to every word. Every bitter, whiny, pouting thought that sprang into the mind of Barton George Dawes as he poured gasoline all over his life and struck a match. Dawes, despite what he may think, is not t

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1) by Stephen King

Original 2015 Review: I'm trying to think of another Stephen King book that doesn't have a supernatural element to it and it's hard - Delores Claiborne and Gerald's Game I guess. I spent the majority of my time reading this one expecting an alternate dimension to appear or a crazy ghost, but nothing did. And it was refreshing. I do love King's supernatural stories - even when they stray into the nonsensical, but it was a treat to have our bad guys just be awful people. Our main character is Bill Hodges, a retired cop, and as I understand it I have to get comfortable with him because he's around for at least two more books. Bill is a senior citizen; he is not an addict and he doesn't have a temper problem. He's very different from King's other protagonists. I like him. I've heard you shouldn't base your opinion of a book on whether or not you like the main character, but if I've gotta hang out with this guy for two more books,

Tenebrion by James H. Longmore

Note: I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have a lot of mixed feelings on this one. There is one very mild spoiler towards the end of the review. The Good: What drew me to Tenebrion was its intriguing premise - an amateur film maker recreates a Black Mass and accidentally summons a demon who hunts them down one by one. Along with haunted houses, demons and summonings are among my favourite types of horror stories. Longmore does excellent work with his descriptions and atmosphere. The book had a cinematic flavour and is filled with classic horror movie scares. There were many of the earlier scenes that sent shivers down my spine and had me doublechecking under the bed. But: This book is meant for someone with a stronger stomach than me. The summoning scene is straight-up gross. I had to set the book aside for a bit and be glad I hadn't been eating while reading.  I accept gore as part of horror, but a lot of this seemed unnecessarily gross. You've been warned.

Death House

     My favourite horror trope has always been a haunted house. Particularly, a young couple gets an excellent deal (or inherits) a country estate full of dark secrets. They unwittingly unleash an ancient evil and suffer a horrible fate. So when I saw that Raven and Drake Publishing had a death house book coming, I was excited to read it.      The stories in this collection do not disappoint. They vary widely in length from microfiction to full-length short stories. This variety kept me guessing about how long each story was going to be and added an air of mystery.      I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys haunted houses and general horror.

XCOM 2: Resurrection by Greg Keyes

Review is originally from 2015. I absolutely LOVE XCOM. I am still waiting for XCOM 3. Chimera Squad was fun, but not exactly what I need. Original Review XCOM: Enemy Unknown is my favourite video game and I have poured an embarrassing number of hours into it since its release. When they announced there would be a sequel released in November 2015, I was pumped. Then they delayed it until February 2016. In the meantime, they released this novel which bridges some of the story gap between the two games. The creators made the brilliant decision to base the sequel not on the ending the player receives when they win the game, but to follow the scenario that XCOM was crushed by the aliens almost immediately. Twenty years later, XCOM is struggling to regain the earth from the alien clutches. It will be an uphill battle of scrambling for resources and fighting against enemies that outclass your soldiers in almost every way. I love this idea. XCOM is one of those games that is meant