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Blood Tells True
Alan Ryker
Guide to the Foothills Trail
The Foothills Trail Conference
Under the Overtree
James A. Moore
Rage
Richard Bachman, Stephen King
Violet Eyes
John Everson
Rogues

Burden Kansas

Burden Kansas - Alan Ryker Blood sucking creatures of the night
Nocturnal spectre hiding from the light
Cries screaming out every fright
Eagerly awaiting plight
Apparitions from the pits of Hell
Death plagues the streets in which they dwell
Demented lust, the secrets they must keep
Addicted to your blood
At dawn they sleep

-Slayer, Hell Awaits

Fuckness

Fuckness - Andersen Prunty Five stars for the author's constant, repetitive use of the word fuckness throughout the novel... Novella... whatever all that fuckness means.

"Fuckness" was littered throughout the story and completely appropriate in every instance. Comically appropriate in most instances. I loved this story.

Highly recommended weird fiction. Not bizzaro. Just weird.

Dastardly Bastard

Dastardly Bastard - Edward Lorn I recently read Lorn's [b:Cruelty: Episode One|18627784|Cruelty Episode One (Cruelty #1)|Edward Lorn|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1380946955s/18627784.jpg|26418317], thought it was excellent and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. The writing in Dastardly Bastard was just as good - but for whatever reason I can't begin to hypothesize on - this story didn't blow me away. I enjoyed every page of the writing - 4+ stars on that - but the story wasn't my thing. Probably a personal issue. Whatever.

Regardless, I plan to continue reading Lorn. His prose is excellent. Bay's End was mentioned multiple times in this book so I think I'll line that one up next and any sequel to Cruelty is a no-brainer must add to tbr list.

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek - Jack Ketchum Four stars for the story. Five for the author's afterword which was mind-blowingly similar to a personal experience.

I'm going with the full five stars based on that alone. Ketchum consistently has an emotional impact on me but this was the creepiest one yet. I think Jack and I dated the same girl. Different time, different place, different name - but I'm still pretty sure it was the same girl.

The first 90% was a great Ketchum story; as I expect it should be. The last 10% floored my ass. It was like reading my own biography. Freaked me right the fuck out.

Read it.

The Abominable

The Abominable - Dan Simmons This has a wealth of low ratings with the main complaint seeming to be the ridiculously slow pacing. It is a valid complaint. All my clothes went out of style over the course of this novel.

I'm going five stars anyway. It think this was Simmons at his best regarding impeccable research, historical accuracy, characters that come to life, and all that other happy horseshit. The pacing was irrelevant to me personally.

If you enjoyed [b:The Terror|3974|The Terror|Dan Simmons|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386924551s/3974.jpg|3025639] then you should enjoy this. Was this as good as The Terror? Yeah, maybe. Should you read it? Not if you hated The Terror.

Survival Games

Survival Games - J.E. Taylor Unbelievable protagonist - her behavior in general. Basically torture porn without a deeper meaning. The writing was acceptable but the story wasn't there. Or it was but I couldn't tell because it was veiled by all the torture porn.

Btw... I'm a big fan of [b:The Girl Next Door|179735|The Girl Next Door|Jack Ketchum|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1298460378s/179735.jpg|1109091], [b:Let's Go Play At The Adams'|477801|Let's Go Play At The Adams'|Mendal W. Johnson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1326428642s/477801.jpg|465995], etc... so I don't tend to shy away from this stuff. I just thought it wasn't worth my time.

MILK-BLOOD

MILK-BLOOD - Mark  Matthews, Elderlemon Design, Richard   Thomas I don't think I'm out of line calling this book Ketchumesque. Fan's of Jack Ketchum probably know what I'm talking about but for the rest of you - both authors write about things that can be found in the newspaper on any given day. There are no zombies or vampires. Those are the things we read about when we want to escape the realities of the 'no-shit-this-is-happening-right-now' horror.

Milk-Blood is newspaper horror. It has no need for such fantastical creatures. This is one of the most powerful novels I have read this year and I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they can handle it. That is a disclosure to cover my own ass. Reading two or more Mark Matthews novels in a row may result in clinical depression so I only ask that you tread carefully while still encouraging you to read and reflect.

Highly recommended reality horror.

Rage

Rage - Richard Bachman, Stephen King An all time favorite. The dialogue from start to finish is brilliant. I read this story in [b:The Bachman Books|10617|The Bachman Books|Stephen King|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1374049003s/10617.jpg|1412598] but I'd love to own a copy of this paperback.

Seven Forges

Seven Forges - James A. Moore A pretty straight forward fantasy read but not exceptional IMHO. I'm familiar with Moore in the world of horror and the quality of his writing is top notch in any genre apparently but this particular story struck me as average.

The Damage Done

The Damage Done - Mark Matthews This was an excellent short read that depressed the hell out of me and I don't think I could ever read it again. Highly recommended.

Biters - The Reborn

Biters - The Reborn - Harry Shannon, Brett J. Talley I received a free copy from Mr. Talley in exchange for an honest review. He's cool like that.

We have two books here by two different authors in one volume:

This was my first Shannon read and I've been looking forward to his stuff ever since I saw the cover art for Pain. I didn't find his story in this duet to be particularly ground-breaking but the writing was excellent. I'll go 3.5 stars for the story and 5 stars for the writing. I'll be checking him out again. His bibliography just invaded my tbr list. His story was much shorter than Brett's follow-up, The Reborn.

---------

Brett Talley. Holy shit. I've read most of his work and consider myself a fan but this story was so imaginative that the premise alone gets five stars. I'm gonna do one of those idiot things and recommend this to "everyone."

(Nothing has ever been written that could possibly please everyone but I'm going with it anyway.)

This wasn't too heavy on the horror aspect; it was actually more sci-fi - but not too heavy there either. I'll call it "Near Future Speculative Fiction That Blew My Ass Away."

Therefore, it gets recommended to everyone. It tackles contemporary and frightenly real near-future possibilities. This is thriller ground. Not splatterpunk or anything I could think of as being specifically insensitive so everyone needs to grow a pair and read this one simply because I said so.

This 2 in 1 is highly recommended for Brett's story alone. It's one of the most imaginative stories I've read this year. It will make you think." Dare to think.

Half a King

Half a King - Joe Abercrombie This had that Abercrombie trademark proverbial prose and was worth reading but I gotta go with 3.5 stars when I compare it to his First Blade trilogy and it's spin-off [b:The Heroes|9300768|The Heroes|Joe Abercrombie|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1375671200s/9300768.jpg|12879765]. I miss Shivers and The Bloody Nine but I will continue this new series if it is in fact a series.

The Rats

The Rats - James Herbert I wanted some old school, campy horror and I got what I was looking for. The title alone was a no-brainer for fixing that urge.

Stolen Prey

Stolen Prey - John Sandford Pretty much the same as all his other books but I keep coming back for more. And will continue to do so.

Psycho II

Psycho II - Robert Bloch I knew in advance that Bloch wrote this primarily as a big "fuck you" to the movie industry but despite that, or perhaps because of it, I wanted to check it out. Most of it was a 3 star read that seemed to lack direction and I had no idea where everything was headed but my disappointment was a product of my own lack of imagination and faith in this author to impress me with a sequel. The ending changed all that and quickly brought this up to 4+ stars.

Brilliant. Highly recommended.

Midnight Rain

Midnight Rain - James Newman I'll try to review this without mentioning [b:Boy's Life|11553|Boy's Life|Robert McCammon|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1314302694s/11553.jpg|16685995]. Dammit!

I couldn't help it. It's an easy comparison. [b:The Body|11574|The Body|Stephen King|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328182521s/11574.jpg|2334601] and [b:Summer of Night|11279|Summer of Night|Dan Simmons|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400270646s/11279.jpg|1623734] also come to mind. Midnight Rain was less a horror novel and more of a coming of age story blended with mystery/crime elements. All in all, very well done and the tension really builds near the end. "Gripping" is a word I'll use for the last 15%.

I also want to note that I believe this is one of the first books published by the author (2004.) I've read three of his others, [b:Animosity|21466471|Animosity|James Newman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1394909462s/21466471.jpg|15946523], [b:Ugly As Sin|19440127|Ugly As Sin|James Newman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386927013s/19440127.jpg|25422093] and [b:The Wicked|13648459|The Wicked|James Newman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1336971941s/13648459.jpg|19267499]. I thought the writing was significantly smoother in his later works and couldn't help noticing how much he seems to have grown as a writer in between each of the four novels I have read. If by chance you just read Midnight Rain as your first Newman experience and it wasn't your thing, check out one of his more recent releases like Animosity. That book was a work of art.

I'm looking forward to all future releases by James Newman. I haven't been disappointed yet and he just keeps getting better.