Char's Horror Corner

 Welcome to my Corner! I specialize in Dark Fiction reviews including Horror, Dark Fantasy, Splatterpunk, Horror of the 70's & 80's, and Graphic Novels. I also read and review classics, true crime, thrillers and audio books of all genres except Romance.

 

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Booklikes-opoly Roll 6

Current Bank: $27.00

 

Roll 5 sent me to Paradise Pier 31, but I couldn't come up with a carnival or circus book, (or a book that started with a letter in the word PIXAR), that I could squeeze into my reading schedule. So I sat out my day on Friday and Saturday was too busy to roll. but I'm ready now!

 

 

 

 

Which puts me at Start:

 

 

 

The START SPACE instructions read:

 

Start Space:

This is a free space - read any book!

 

 

 

I choose: 

 

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse - Amanda Horan,Graeme Parker,Jack Strange  

Soles by Kay Brandt

Soles - Kay Brandt

Soles has the most original premise of any book I've read so far this year!

 

Roland has inherited his family's shoe shop which has gone severely downhill since the violent death of his parents. His Aunt Grace has tried to keep it going, but is finally throwing in the towel and handing it over to Rolie. Problem is, he's not interested and...oh yeah, the place is haunted.

 

I'm not going to act like I understood everything that went on, but honestly, I don't need to understand every little thing. The atmosphere went from slightly silly when Rolie first took over the store and hired Stephanie, to deadly serious when Stephanie's friends came to rob the store. There were some extremely creepy moments,

especially when the shop kept locking its own doors, trapping Rolie inside. For some reason, that gave me the shudders.

(show spoiler)

 

  In the end, I'm not positive as to the cause of things, but I'm okay with that because I enjoy ambiguous stories and providing my own ideas as to what was happening :

my thoughts being that Rolie's father, literally, put his soul into the soles, (see what I did there?), and they carried it on, as did the shop itself, long after he was gone. Or perhaps the shop was haunted before Roland's dad ever took it over? 

(show spoiler)

Am I right or am I wrong? That's the beauty of ambiguous stories: I don't know. Perhaps you'll come up with your own theory and we can discuss it?

 

Soles is an original take on a haunting and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The writing was above average and in the creative department this tale knocked the ball out of the park. As such, I recommend it-especially to readers that don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow. If this sounds interesting to you, you can grab your copy here: Soles and we can discuss it when you're done!

 

*I was provided an e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

I've read 45 out of 144 pages and

The Creeps: A Deep Dark Fears Collection - Fran Krause

this is so cute! My Goodreads friend Spencer read it and gave it a good rating, so when I saw The Creeps available on NetGalley, I requested it. I just started it last night and it's cracking me up! These are comic strips based on the fears, (silly or real), of regular people. Like so:

 

 

 

 

Or like this:

 

 

Booklikes-opoly Update!

 

Yesterday, I landed on Paradise Pier!

 

 

I have SO MANY great horror books that have carnivals or circuses in them, but I just don't have the time to squeeze them into my reading schedule right now. 

I'm going to sit this one out and roll again, tomorrow or Sunday and see where that lands me. 

People of the Sun by Jason Parent

People of the Sun - Jason  Parent

People of the Sun is a science fiction tale with heart!

 

Have you ever wondered how the world would react if we ever made "first contact" (to borrow from Star Trek, that's right, I'm a Trekkie), with an alien race? As Dave Matthews asks in his song Time Bomb, "If Martians fell from the sky, what would that do to God? Would we put the weapons down, or aim them up at the sky?" This book has its own way of answering that question.

 

When we imagine aliens, we might think of little green men, or ET or perhaps "gray men." However we might think of them, we do seem to think of them as all alike. This book addresses the likely fact that they are NOT all the same, that each of them has a personality just as we do. What happens if some of them are good and some are not? Everything becomes that much more complicated, doesn't it?

 

I'm not going further into the plot because the synopsis and several other reviews already do that. I will say that this book made me think of our likely response,(as a nation), and what I came up with was not pretty. It gets exponentially worse when I think of our response as a WORLD, with all of our different governments, with great and petty leaders alike.

 

I think Mr. Parent's take on all this was realistic and it caused me to think about all of these issues and more. Even though this was mainly a science-fiction novel, it had elements of horror. It was also well written. A good story entertains, has complex characters and it makes you think. People of the Sun has all that and as such I recommend it!

 

*Thanks to the author for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it. Further, I consider this author to be a friend, but this did not affect the content of my review.*

Booklikes-opoly Roll 5!

I finished my last book and it's time to roll again!

 

 

That brings me to: 

 

I'm going to have to pick through my TBR and see what I can come up with!

 

Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

Amazing sea monkeys!! Remember those ads in the back of comic books? Didn't you always want them? I know I did. But my mean smart parents never let me order them because they were a "waste of money." That's what David and Patrick's parents told them too, but they ordered them anyway. Just Add Water is the story of what happened next.

 

 

This novella read so fast and was so much fun that I almost read it all in one sitting. It's exactly what a creature feature fan wants in a story. Lots of action? Check! High body count? Check! Lots of blood and gore? Check! This tale has the added bonus of being set in the 80's, and 80's nostalgia works for me.

 

All in all, I say "head's up" creature feature fans! This one is not to be missed! I highly recommend it!

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin/Random House for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

Booklikes-opoly Update!

Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

My last roll landed me here and I have a book that qualifies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woot! I don't even know what that thing is, so it's exotic to me! 

 

American Vampire Volume 4 by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Jordi Bernet

American Vampire, Vol. 4 - Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Jordi Bernet

There were three stories in this volume and I enjoyed them all!

 

Pre-vampire Skinner Sweet and his childhood friend Jim Book, , 50's greaser vampire-hunter Travis Kidd and his badass hot rod, and lastly Calvin Poole living life as a black vampire in the 60's.

 

We were all over the place, time-wise, in this one, but that was cool because the times were interesting. Also, Skinner Sweet wasn't in this one all that much, which I thought was a good thing.

 

I do wish we got to see more of Pearl and Henry, but what we did see has me stoked for the next volume, which luckily is sitting there waiting for me on my reading table at home. Onward!

 

These may not be the best graphic novels ever, but I sure am enjoying the hell out of them just the same.

Booklikes-opoly Roll 4

Current bank: $ 26.00

 

I rolled and finished my last book on Sunday and today I'm eligible to roll again!

I rolled:

 

Which brings me to:

 

I'm not sure I have anything that's going to fit this bill AND fit into my reading schedule, but I'll check. 

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott, narrated by Lauren Fortgang

You Will Know Me: A Novel - Hachette Audio, Megan Abbott, Lauren Fortgang

You Will Know Me is my first book by Megan Abbott. It will not be my last.

 

My on-line friend and author, Randy Chandler, recommended her work to me, and I filed it away under "authors to investigate." Then I ran across Ms. Abbott's intro to Ed Brubaker's FATALE: DELUXE EDITION and I liked her style, (AND I LOVED that incredible graphic novel), so when I saw You Will Know Me available at my local library on audio, I hopped on it.

 

In listening to this book, I experienced so much tension and apprehension, I couldn't wait to get back to it after being forced to, you know, work and feed my family. The narrator was fantastic and so was the story. I thought I had it all figured out early on, but I was only partly right. To me, it wasn't the mystery that appealed to me the most, in fact you might guess it right away. It was the way in which this tale was told that got to me; the family dynamics, their sacrifices and resentments all rang true, as did the characters of the family friends and fellow sports parents. (Gymnastics play a big part in this story and the parents of the children...well, some of them were just the worst.) Having dealt with similar parents when my son was growing up and playing baseball, all of this just felt like superior, honest, storytelling and to that I say BRAVO!

 

Highly recommended!

Booklikes-opoly Bank Update!

Yesterday I rolled and landed on New Orleans 19, aka The Perfect Spot for Char!

I chose:

American Vampire, Vol. 4 - Scott Snyder,Rafael Albuquerque,Jordi Bernet 

 

I finished it last night, (review to go up later), and now I'm updating my bank!

208 pages = $3.00

Bank total: $26.00

 

Tomorrow, I shall roll again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booklikes-opoly: Roll 3

I finished up my first book for Booklikes-opoly:

 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann  

 

I had to make a few adjustments. 

1. I was 5% into this book before I found out it was eligible for the BL square. -18 pages

2. The book ended at 73%, the rest being appendices, footnotes and acknowledgements. Since I don't feel it's fair to count those: -70 pages. The book is listed at Amazon as 352 pages total. 352-88=264.

264 pages read = $3.00

Bank now: $23.00

 

I was last on the BL square and now rolling again!

 

I rolled an 8 which lands me on New Orleans square 19. WHOOHOO!

 

 

 

I'm going for this one, which I was going to read anyway:

 

American Vampire, Vol. 4 - Scott Snyder,Rafael Albuquerque,Jordi Bernet 

 

There's my witch hat that doesn't quite fit, but who cares?

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon is the true story of the slaughter of dozens of Osage Indians and how MANY people got away with it. It's SO over the top that if this were a fiction story I would say the author had overwritten it and that it wasn't realistic. David Grann has come at this story from two angles.

 

The Osage tribe reigned over much of the mid-west back in the day. By the time of this book, roughly the early 1920's, they were mostly moved onto what was thought to be worthless land in Oklahoma. Then oil was discovered there and their lives changed forever. The first angle was how the Osage were changed by the sudden influx of millions of dollars and how the white man viewed that; how they were jealous over that, and what they did about that.

 

The second angle comes from the law enforcement side of the story, and specifically the building up of the FBI. At the time the first murders occurred the FBI wasn't the FBI yet. By the time the investigation was in full swing, (keeping in mind that the Osage tribe had to basically beg and pay through the nose to get anyone to investigate or do anything at all about these murders), the FBI was officially called that and Mr. Hoover was in charge.

 

There is a third portion of the book, not exactly another angle, but a portion so unbelievable yet proven,(to my mind at least), to be true that it actually brought tears to my eyes. I can't get into more detail but trust me on this: it was horrifying. It was shameful. It was a wrong that's never been righted and I don't believe it ever can be.

 

Bravo to Mr. Grann for his extensive research on this case. A case that, until now, I had never heard of. That is an injustice. I believe Mr. Grann has done his damnedest to bring to light the wrongs that were committed here, and that alone is the only justice that the Osage can hope for at this late date.

 

I think we owe it to the Osage to read this book, and as such, I highly recommend it.

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Doubleday for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

Booklikes-opoly Roll 2! (Adjustment)

After getting some clarification yesterday, I have an updated roll 2 post. My second roll landed me on:

 

Directions for this say: 

Roll the electronic dice, and perform the task that corresponds to your roll!

 

I then rolled a 7 which says: 7. Double your dollars on your next read!

 

I thought I had to wait it out until Friday and then roll again, but no!

So, since this is a free pick and I don't have to struggle to find some way for my scheduled reading to fit, I chose:

 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann 

 

Since I read about 5% of this before I knew it could count, I will not count that 5% towards my goal. So whoohoo! I'm building double money for my bank! (Which is perfect since I lost out and made nothing on my first roll.)

Thanks to Broken Tune for asking for clarification!

 

Current bank: $20.00

 

Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown, narrated by Matt Godfrey

Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey, Valancourt Books, Fredric Brown

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories, superbly narrated by Matt Godfrey. I can see now why Stephen King gave Fredric Brown and specifically this collection a special mention in his non fiction book about influential horror written during the 1950's through the 1970's: Danse Macabre.

 

Within this volume, there are nearly 50 stories, most of them very short. There were some sci-fi tales mixed in, but most of these were horror. For whatever reason, these tiny gems brought me back to the stories I read when I first got into horror. I would say the period after Poe, but before King. I did a lot of short story reading back then; I used them as a way to find new authors, and then longer works written by them. Somehow, I never discovered Mr. Brown back then, but I'm so glad that I've discovered him now.

 

There are too many tales to get into here, but a few of the standouts to me were:

 

The Geezenstacks This was Just. Plain. Fun! How can you go wrong with a horror story about dolls?!

 

Cat Burglar That ending cracked me the hell up!

 

There were several stories that began with "Nightmare in..." and I pretty much loved all of those.

 

Matt Godfrey does a tremendous job narrating these stories. I've listened to a few of his audios now, and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. Will Patton had better watch out!

 

This collection really stands above most others of its kind, not only from that time period, (the 60's), but this time period as well. That's not to say that some of these stories don't feel dated, because some do, but I don't feel as if that affected their impact. Also, Nightmares and Geezenstacks will not work for everyone, especially those who love their tales to be extra bloody or leaning towards bizarro. Horror was tamer in the 60's, and these stories are a product of their time.

 

That being said, I loved this collection. It had short stories that were actually short, it had a great deal of variety, most tales packed a real punch and the narration was wonderful. I give this my highest recommendation!

 

*I received this audio free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

Currently reading

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough, Edward Herrmann
Progress: 70%
The Creeps: A Deep Dark Fears Collection by Fran Krause
Progress: 45/144pages
Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse by Amanda Horan, Graeme Parker, Jack Strange
Progress: 32/268pages

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Horror Aficionados
Horror Aficionados 11358 members
If you love horror literature, movies, and culture, you're in the right place. Whether it's vampi...

Books we've read

The Stand
Dread in the Beast
The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales
Horror Library, Volume 1
Butcher Shop Quartet
Family Inheritance
'Salem's Lot
A Treasury of American Horror Stories
Heart-Shaped Box
20th Century Ghosts
The Revelation
Lowland Rider
Off Season
Neither the Sea Nor the Sand
The House Next Door
The Ceremonies
Nazareth Hill
The Light at the End
Ghoul
Billy


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