This is the first book in a trilogy and what a start it was. Set in Newcastle of the late eighties, we delve into the world of emerging rock bands and the journalists that report on them. Philip Sturgess is one of those young journalists that write for a heavy metal magazine. He is happy with his life and girlfriend Shelley until he is sent to report on emerging rock group ‘Minstrels bargain’. The tension builds slowly as you realise Kick Bizarre is not your average rock star. The horror that follows comes as a shock, when people start to behave in rather zombie like trances and inflict gruesome acts. This horror novel has enough blood and gore to keep hardened horror fans on their toes. I liked the tension of the writing; it keeps up to the very end as Sturgess’ David takes on the Minstrel’s Goliath. We have seen the plot of good versus evil and a battle for the souls before, but Richard Ayre brings something fresh to the table by setting it in the eighties uk music scene. The writing was good and kept me hooked to the end. Couple of deep breaths now before I pick up the courage to buy the next one.
Thursday, 26 July 2018
I'm a sucker for a freebie and this one is free at the time of posting. Horror is not my favourite genre but I give it a try if free. If you're a horror fan and like your blood, gore and torture; you will like this. I gave it 4 stars.
Friday, 16 March 2018
This time you’re getting two reviews for the price of one. Both horror shorts and both excellent, with a good blend of gore and comedy. And both by women writers.
Christ on a Bike! by D.J. DoyleI loved the title of this book; Christ on a bike. It is an expression which is used a lot around the British Isles. I liked that the Irish writer has used her native language throughout and has created some great characters. It reminded me somewhat of ‘Father Ted’ with its flawed priests and the use of the word ‘feck’. It was a series I loved and I rather liked this book too. Tense horror, but also very funny.
Necrozmancy: A Short Horror Story by Lucretia Stanhope
This one was a horror reworking of the wizard of Oz. All the characters were there but Dorothy has a knack of raising the dead, aided by her familiar Toto. The bringing to life of a squirrel was as funny as it was gory. Some strong language which I didn’t mind as it fitted with the story. Witty, gory and strictly for an adult reader.
Friday, 26 January 2018
It has been a while since I reviewed Revenge of the Pumpins, so it was about time I reviewed the follow up. It is FREE on Amazon. I enjoyed this book too and the ending was great. I gave it 4 stars.
The Return of the Pumpkins is a nice little horror short. It follows on from the short story Revenge of the Pumpkins but it can be read on its own as Lacey Lane fills us in on the events that went before. A family brutally murdered and a boy, Peter left with horrendous injuries. We catch up with Peter many years later as he tries to put his live back together in a mental institution. This book mixes sweet young romance as Peter meets Sue, a fellow inmate, with horror as we edge towards the inevitable gory climax. This book was well written and held some surprises. Short and enjoyable.
Monday, 8 January 2018
So I finished 2017 having read and reviewed 52 books. Soon as it is the 8th of January I'd better get a review posted! This writer I liked a lot but it took me a while to get back to his work. I enjoy short stories as I mostly read in my lunch break. This bundle was great; 5 stars.
I’ve read a full length novel by this author before; Beyond the Pale; A dystopian fantasy with some very well written characters, thrown in with a good dose of humour. When I saw this bundle of shorts I was hoping to find more of the same but in bite size pieces. There is a strong common thread binding these stories together; time.
I loved how the writer used a number of genres (Sci-Fi, Horror, dystopian) to play with time in the narrative. I’m not normally a fan of Sci-Fi but I loved ‘Hold the bridge’ and it claustrophobic and tense atmosphere, as a space travelling officer wakes up from stasis before her crewmates do. Disoriented and with just one other crewmember awake she sets to work finding out why. The development and conclusion of this story was one of my favourites.
‘Hello Friend’ was also excellent, a satire of our reliance on technology but taking it a little step further into the future. The last story I was less keen on. Like the others it is narrated in the first person, but this one was told by a more advanced alien. I think this muddied the waters a little as we first had to get our head around this being, before we could get into the real story. I found myself drifting off a bit midway, but I did like the ending.
Altogether a bundle of stories that had a strong voice and a coherent theme. I enjoyed it and would recommend.
Tuesday, 26 September 2017
Regular readers of this blog will know that I have reviewed quite a few titles of this talented Irish writer. This is the second book to his Darkly Wood series. So when there was a free promotion I had no issue with snapping it up. It did not disappoint. 5 stars.Click on the picture to take you to Amazon.
Book one had a young girl Daisy May and a sweet love story at its heart. Book 2 has the same girl at its centre but she’s now a grandmother. She’s not a happy woman; shaped and scarred by her experience in Darkly Wood. Her obsession with finding out the truth about Darkly Wood has led her to be estranged from her daughter and granddaughter Holly. When Holly goes missing, Daisy knows that she is not finished with Darkly Wood, and Darkly Wood has not finished with her.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Darkly Wood (book1) but it must have made an impact as I had no problems remembering what happened. By the end of book 2 I realised this one would stay with me a while too. I’m sure a few gruesome and unpleasant characters will be featuring in my nightmares; I expect a visit from mr Wormhold any night now. Not something I look forwards to as he was a truly terrifying character. Darkly Wood is a dark Gothic horror with a fair amount of blood and gore. As in book 1 the main narrative alternates with other tales from the wood. This works well as it helps fill in the background of some of the other recurring characters, building to a climax where it all makes sense. The ending shows that there is more trouble to come and I know Max Power is putting the finishing touches to Darkly Wood 3. Recommended.