Category: Reviews

Book Review: Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked by Christa Carmen

Book Review: Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked by Christa Carmen - cover

“As far as debut collections go, this offers so much and delivers it all … Carmen handles it with the assured touch of a seasoned storyteller.”   Christa Carmen’s short fiction has appeared in many magazines and venues, including the podcast Tales to Terrify, Comet Press’ Years Best Hardcore Horror Volume 2, and Unnerving Magazine, …

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Book Review: The Witch Elm by Tana French

The Witch Elm by Tana French - cover

“Never predictable, never cosy, her books are—in all but name—exercises in quiet, subtle, haunting horror.” At first, it might seem a little incongruous reviewing a novel by Tana French on a site dedicated to horror. After all, her work is marketed and sold as crime or thriller books. But a closer look—as anyone who’s read …

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Book Review: Scapegoat by Adam Howe and James Newman

Scapegoat by Adam Howe and James Newman - cover

“… gripping, exciting, at turns both funny and horrific. Action-packed and so much fun.”   British author Adam Howe won the international On Writing competition, his short story “Jumper” selected by Stephen King himself. He has since gone on to publish Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet (Comet Press, 2015) and Tijuana Donkey Showdown (Comet …

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Book Review: Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker - cover

“Not only influenced by its predecessor, Dracul also shows a knowledge of modern horror and isn’t afraid to show the gorier aspects of the vampire myth. ”   A novel that needs little introduction to horror fans—whether they’ve read it or not—is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. First appearing over 120 years ago in 1897, its popularity …

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Book Review: Twin Lakes: Autumn Fires by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

Twin Lakes- Autumn Fires by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason - cover

“Accessible and entertaining horror … the Sisters of Slaughter haven’t finished with the residents of Twin Lakes. And neither have we.”   2018 has been a very productive year for Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza, aka The Sisters of Slaughter. As well as working all year on Serial Box’s Silverwood: The Door with Brian Keene, …

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Book Review: Sleeping with the Lights On by Darryl Jones

Sleeping with the lights on

“For the fan of horror, Sleeping with the Lights On is a great companion to discover aspects of the history of horror, to dig deeper into films and books you may not be aware of.”   It has been mentioned numerous times, not least on this site, that horror seems to be in something of …

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Book Review: Elevation by Stephen King

Elevation by Stephen King -cover

” … shows flashes of what King is great at; giving the strangest of ideas plausibility, digging into the tics and quirks of what makes us individual and all too human, putting his finger on the pulse of small-town life.”   A new release from Stephen King is always an interesting prospect. First, it tends …

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Book Review: Strange Ink by Gary Kemble

Strange Ink by Gary Kemble - cover

“A lovely mash-up of genres, Strange Ink is a great start to what promises to be a cracking new series.”   Horror is a multi-faceted and chimeric beast. Though there are those who argue for narrow, limiting boundaries of what constitutes horror, there is no doubt its reach is wide and varied. It can be …

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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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