Category: Reviews

Book Review: The Last Temptation of Dr. Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert

The Last Temptation of Dr. Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert - cover

“The Last Temptation of Dr. Valentine is a fitting end to the trilogy and a rare sequel that manages to equal and even surpass what has gone before.” A few years ago—2012 to be precise—an exciting novella called The Nine Deaths of Dr. Valentine by UK horror writer John Llewellyn Probert was published through a …

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Book Review: Little Black Spots by John F.D. Taff

Little Black Spots by John FD Taff - cover

“From body horror, to vampires, to the downright strange, to horror of a quieter nature, the full spectrum of the genre is on display. The through line is the exquisite storytelling of a skilled and masterful author.”   Known to imbue his work with a sense of emotional tribulation, “King of Pain” John F.D. Taff …

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Book Review: Closer Still by Richard Farren Barber

Closer Still by Richard Farren Barber - cover

“Barber has created something marvelous here—a modern ghost story that manages to succeed as both supernatural chiller and high school drama.”   The small, independent presses have been killing it recently. While the bigger outfits may yet have a ways to go (though they too, have been impressing lately), smaller publishers have been absolutely spoiling fans …

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Book Review: The Broker of Nightmares by Jon Padgett

The Broker of Nightmares by Jon Padgett - cover

“The Broker of Nightmares is gorgeous, a strong work with which to launch the series, and sets the bar extremely high.”   Nightscape Press is a small, independent publisher, set up in 2012 by Author Robert S. Wilson and his wife, Jennifer. Between 2012 and 2015 the press released 24 books, including novels and novellas …

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Book Review: Bad Vision by Dave Jeffery

Bad Vision by Dave Jeffery - cover

“If you haven’t read anything by Jeffery, Bad Vision would be a fine place to start. If you have, then you already know you’re in for a treat.”   Something that has been mentioned with increasing frequency both on this site and elsewhere is the impressive quality of releases coming from the small presses. From …

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Book Review: Nothing is Everything by Simon Strantzas

Nothing is Everything by Simon Strantzas - cover

“A showcase for a writer who ought to be on the shelves of every devotee of dark, weird fiction.”   It’s safe to say that Undertow Publications—in addition to producing some of the most beautiful books around—is home to some fantastically talented writers. Look no further than the publisher’s annual Year’s Best Weird Fiction, guest …

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Book Review: The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism

The Silent Garden - cover

“There is the sense that something special is going on here. Despite the variety and differing types of contributions, it all hangs together like an intricate tapestry or jigsaw puzzle.”   It’s been said many times—both on this site and by various other people—that Undertow Publications are producing some of the most exciting books in …

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Book Review: 100 Fathoms Below by Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann

100 Fathoms Below by Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann - cover

“Kent and Kaufmann prove a potent partnership, having clearly done their homework and put a lot of effort into creating an action-packed and exciting page-turner.”   One has forged a career as a science fiction author, with the successful Clone Rebellion series of novels, after spending many years writing non-fiction about video games, while the …

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Book Review: Things You Need by Kevin Lucia

Things You Need by Kevin Lucia - cover

“The way Lucia creates his worlds and their inhabitants is masterful.”   A lifelong fan of the written word and stories, Kevin Lucia is a voracious reader. His two greatest literary influences are Charles L. Grant and Stephen King, the latter evidenced in his attention to creating everyday and relatable characters. He sold his first …

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Book Review: Maniac Gods by Rich Hawkins

Maniac Gods by Rich Hawkins - cover

“Another sterling example of Hawkins’ talent and continuing evidence that he deserves a place amongst the very best of horror writers.” It could be argued—and argued well—that horror is in something of a boom period just now. Movies are plentiful in the theatres and streaming platforms. More horror-themed TV shows are available or in the …

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Book Review: Teeth by Kelli Owen

Teeth by Kelli Owen -cover

“Owen has delivered a thrilling tale which has elements of crime and horror as well as social commentary. But she has also planted a seed that could grow and bear yet more promising fruit.”   Kelli Owen has been writing fiction since she was eight, and has been a part of the horror community since …

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Book Review: Hell Ship by Benedict J. Jones

Hell Ship by Benedict J. Jones - cover

“In Hell Ship, Benedict J. Jones brings fresh eyes to a common horror scenario, and he does so with enthusiasm and a clear love for the genre.” Benedict J. (Ben) Jones is a name familiar around the UK horror scene. His is a familiar face at conventions, in addition to having a number of short …

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Book Review: The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

The Book of M by Peng Shepherd - cover

“A harrowing and heartbreaking tale that will bend your mind while it crushes your soul.” A man in India loses his shadow. Doctors and scientists around the world are baffled by this phenomenon, unable to explain how or why this has happened. As they begin to study this man, others begin to lose their shadows. …

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Book Review: Visions from the Void, edited by Jonathan Butcher

Visions from the Void, edited by Jonathan Butcher - cover

“Though subject matter and genre, tone and style vary, each story seems to be connected in some way. By the writer’s commitment to the project, by the intent of each author to produce something distinctive and captivating.”   Putting out an anthology these days—especially a horror/dark fiction anthology—can be a risky venture. How do you …

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Book Review: Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3 edited by Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax

Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 3 - cover

“With such a strong line-up of stories, there is something for everyone in the third volume of hardcore horror.” Labels. How does the saying go? “They’re only good for one thing; marketing.” They can be very misleading. Take Hardcore Horror, for example. Some fans of horror fiction may be put off by that term. Gore …

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