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.



Char’s quotes

Goodreads Quotes

Booklikes-opoly update!

Current Bank: $44.00


I'm still listening to Preet Bharara's book for:


17. Why? Read a book that is non-fiction or a book with the word "why" in the title.


 Doing Justice - Preet Bharara


But I can still roll!:


You rolled 2 dice:

3 2

Timestamp: 2019-06-15 15:05:42 UTC


Which brings me to:


21. The cat: Roll again & hold card to play later; be the cat. Read whatever the hell you want.


I'm going to roll again, just to see where I land and then decide what I want to do:


You rolled 2 dice:

3 2

Timestamp: 2019-06-15 15:09:56 UTC


26. How? Read a book that is science fiction or a book with the word "how" in the title.




I have nothing for this, so I'm going to play the CAT card and read whatever the hell I want!

Which happens to be:


Stoker's Wilde (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Steven Hopstaken,Melissa Prusi 

IN THE SCRAPE by James Newman and Mark Steensland

In The Scrape - Mark Steensland, James R. Newman

Two authors, writing seamlessly together, produced a coming of age novella that cracked my heart.


Matthew and Jacob just want to get away from their abusive father. Trying to put aside enough money to get to California where their mom is now living, there isn't much Jacob won't do. He's the oldest and he can't stand to see his little brother abused and beaten-not one more time. On top of all this, Jacob also has to deal with the local bully. Will Jacob and Matthew get away? Will they be able to find their mother in California? You'll have to read this to find out!


I read this novella in two sittings. The last half especially, hummed right along with a tension that was palpable. I wanted to reach out and hug these kids. I wanted to tell them several things throughout this book, but I never got the chance to breathe! As I said above, the writing style was seamless-I couldn't tell who wrote what and I didn't care. I just wanted these children to be okay.


I can't say too much more without spoiling everything, (and the synopsis gives away a lot already), but if you enjoy a good coming of age tale, scoop up this novella quick! Spend some time with Matthew and Jacob. They need your support!


Highly recommended!


Get your copy here: IN THE SCRAPE


*Thanks to Silver Shamrock Publishing for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

#FridayReads 6.14.19


Booklikes-opoly Update!

I’m rolling again! 


You rolled 2 dice:

3 3

Timestamp: 2019-06-13 19:27:09 UTC


7. Read a book that has a house on the cover, or that is related to something unique about your community (for example, if your community has a strawberry festival, read a book with strawberries on the cover.

Nothing I have coming up fits that, so I'll roll again, because doubles!


You rolled 2 dice:

5 6

Timestamp: 2019-06-13 19:32:46 UTC


17. Why? Read a book that is non-fiction or a book with the word "why" in the title.


I’m reading:

Doing Justice - Preet Bharara 




I've read 40% of Middlegame and I'm out!

Middlegame - Seanan McGuire

I'm throwing in the towel.


I like the story so far, I really do, but it's dragging. And I'm dragging my feet every time I have to pick it up again because of that. I feel like I've been reading forever and getting nowhere.


I fully admit this is my fault, not the fault of the book. Perhaps I'll go back to it at another time. Maybe then I'll find it more of a fun thing than a chore, which is how it's supposed to be.


*Thank you to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book. If I do go back to it, I will be sure to post a review.*

HOW TO FORGET: A DAUGHTER'S MEMOIR written and narrated by Kate Mulgrew

How to Forget: A Daughter's Memoir - HarperAudio, Kate Mulgrew, Kate Mulgrew

Narrated by the author, HOW TO FORGET: A DAUGHTER'S MEMOIR is an incredibly intimate and detailed account of how Kate Mulgrew and her family cared and provided for their sick parents.


In brief, her father had an aggressive form of lung cancer that spread throughout his body and her mother had Alzheimer's disease. I felt like I had to read this book as my dad also died from an aggressive form of lung cancer, and my mom is battling Alzheimer's disease right now. I read Mulgrew's previous memoir BORN WITH TEETH, and I enjoyed it. She narrated that book as well. (She's an EXCELLENT narrator overall; I loved her performance of Joe Hill's NOS4A2.) I found her account to be poignant and sad but I was also a bit peeved and I'll tell you why.


This is a purely personal thing, and maybe it has a tinge of envy on my part, to be honest. In America, it is much easier to get old, get sick, or get old AND sick, if you have money. The choices available to you when you have money are varied and numerous. When you are poor or even middle class, that is not the case. Not everyone can take leave from their job to nurse a sick parent. Not everyone can hire people to move in with their parents to help take some of the burden off the family. Not everyone can buy an entire house to make caring for a family member easier either. It irked me that Ms. Mulgrew never acknowledged such in this book.


*Gets up on soapbox.* Let me be clear, I am not envious of Kate's money, she's an excellent actress, narrator and writer, she earned it. What I am envious of is the QUALITY OF CARE that Kate and her family were able to provide to their parents. Being a working class/middle class person, I cannot even begin to provide my mother the care she deserves. Quality of medical care and end of life care should not be based on wallet size. *Steps down from soapbox.*


That aside, I'm glad that I listened to this book. I feel less alone-I feel like other people have gone through what I am going through right now, and somehow that helps lessen my pain. I think I'm also able to empathize a bit more with my mom's situation, though I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it was viewing what she is going through, through a different set of eyes? Whatever the reason, I found myself more patient yesterday with my mom and I think that made it easier on both of us.


I recommend this book, especially to those trying to deal with sick parents, while still trying to work and maintain their own sanity. If only for the reason that HOW TO FORGET makes you feel less alone. Because that is no small thing.


*Thank you to my public library for the free audio download. Libraries RULE!*

GROWING THINGS by Paul Tremblay

Growing Things and Other Stories - Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay first appeared on my radar with his book A HEAD OF FULL GHOSTS. Then came DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK, which really impressed me. He followed that up with CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD, which broke my heart. Now, here he is with a solid collection of stories that I ADORED.


GROWING THINGS is a hefty volume of tales, mostly told already in other publications, but they were almost all new to me. Among them, these stood out the most:


HER RED RIGHT HAND Something about this tale grabbed my imagination. There is a surprise well known figure comic figure within, but for me it was the young artist drawing the story that affected me the most.


NOTES FROM THE DOG WALKERS seemed like an experimental form of story telling to me, and as such, I was carried along from the normality of the day to day dog walker down into the heart of madness. This tale totally worked for me and I wanted to applaud when I finished.


NINETEEN SNAPSHOTS OF DENNISPORT Here is another story in which the way the tale is related is different and fascinating. Who doesn't sit down with their vacation pictures at some point or another? It's within these types of normal situations where Mr. Tremblay really shines. He takes those normal day to day things and twists them's really something to see.


WHERE WE WILL ALL BE Here we find another experimental tale and once again, it worked quite well. A young man wakes up and finds his parents confused and talking nonsense about how they all have to go "where we will all be." That's all I'm going to say because I don't want to ruin it, but I find myself still thinking about Zane and his family.


THE ICE TOWER I don't know what the heck was going on in this story, at least not for sure, but once again, Mr. Tremblay wove his spell around me, and I was immediately entranced.


A HAUNTED HOUSE IS A WHEEL ON WHICH SOME ARE BROKEN A tour through the home where you grew up with your family. Top that with a "Choose your own adventure" feel and you have this unique tale that turned around within itself and surprised me.


IT WON'T GO AWAY A few days after his brother's suicide, a man receives a letter from the deceased. Once again, the story twists and turns and before you know it, you are miles away from where you started.


I guess I'll leave it off here because I'm discovering that I can go on and on about this collection.


Usually, weird fiction doesn't work that well for me. While I can appreciate and enjoy ambiguous stories, certain authors considered masters of the form leave me a bit cold. (Robert Aickman, I'm looking at you!) I am unsettled by and enjoy the work of Tom Ligotti, but it often comes across as too nihilistic for my tastes. In this volume, Paul Tremblay appears to master the form, but in his own unique and brave style.


That's not to say this collection features only weird tales, because it doesn't. What it does feature is an author willing to experiment with all different types of dark fiction and nearly every one of them was a beauty to behold!


My highest recommendation!


*Thank you to Edelweiss, NetGalley, and to William Morrow for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback.*

#FridayReads 6.7.19


Reading progress update: I've read 1%

How to Forget: A Daughter's Memoir - HarperAudio, Kate Mulgrew, Kate Mulgrew

I felt that I had to read this for a number of reasons:


The first being that my father also had an aggressive form of lung cancer which spread to his brain.


The second being that my mom also has Alzheimer's Disease. 


The third is because I enjoyed her book BORN WITH TEETH.


The last is because she narrates this herself.


Once again, thank you to my public library. 

Reading progress update: I've read 80%

Lethal White - Robert Galbraith

I'm really hoping Robin gives Matt the boot FOR REAL this time!


This is one of the books I'm reading for Booklikes-opoly and it feels like I'll never finish this one or Seanan McGuire's MIDDLEGAME so that I can roll again! 

Friday Reads 5.31.19


THE DEAD ROOM by Luke Walker

The Dead Room - Luke Walker

Nicola and Cate-I'll never forget them! If you read THE DEAD ROOM, I bet you won't either.


In the late fall, bombs begin exploding all over large cities in the U.K. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of the terrorist activity. Shortly after the bombs, many of the remaining citizens started getting sick. That's how the survivors discovered there was also a biological component to the attacks. Few people who get the "Manc" ever recover.


This tale features two very strong women, who are just trying to live their lives, which in these times, is no small feat. One woman sets out on a trek to find her husband and daughter, and the other ends up with a group of people at a bombed out hospital. That's about all I can say about the plot without spoilers.


The main reason I liked this book so much was because of these well written women. I RARELY feel like any man knows what it's like to be a woman in the world in which we now live, never mind a post-apocalyptic world such as the one in this book. Women travelling alone become targets. You can trust no one. There is no longer any law or order. Unfortunately, this allows certain men to act with no regard for..well, anything. Nicola and Cate constantly had to hide from even a single man-the fear of beatings and/or murder paled in comparison to their fears of being raped. Some things are worse than death.


On top of all this real life stuff, there are also supernatural aspects to this tale. I feel that readers are going to read into these aspects what they will. I would be interested in speaking with someone else who reads this book to determine how they feel about what happened and what it means. In the meantime, I'll stick with my interpretation and say the denouement was poignant, sad, and I think I heard my heart crack a little bit.


The only negative thing I have to say is that this book could have been shortened a bit without having too much impact on the story as a whole. For this, I deducted 1 star. For now. I find myself thinking about Nicola and Cate almost constantly since I finished THE DEAD ROOM last night. Sometimes when that happens, I end up revising my rating upward, and I reserve the right to do just that, in this case.


Highly recommended, especially for fans of well written female characters, and post-apocalyptic tales!



Get your copy here: THE DEAD ROOM


*I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for review consideration. I considered it, (said Hell Yeah!), and read the book.*

Scottie Dog Fetched Me...MIDDLEGAME

Middlegame - Seanan McGuire

Middlegame - Seanan McGuire Thanks, everyone, for voting!


Current reads for Booklikes-opoly:


For spot 19: 19. Read a book with a cover that is more than 50% blue, or by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.


 The Dead Room - Luke Walker  


For spot #2:  2. Who? Read a mystery or detective story or a book with the word "who" in the title.


Lethal White - Robert Galbraith 


I'm currently on space 16: 16. Read a book that is a mystery or suspense, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N. I decided to skip this one and use my Scottie Dog to fetch me a book instead, which is:

Middlegame - Seanan McGuire 


My current bank is $28.00, but I should be collecting for THE DEAD ROOM soon. Tomorrow is another roll day for me, so we'll see what happens!


ARMADA by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton

Armada - Ernest Cline, Wil Wheaton

I gave this audio 20% of the total before throwing in the towel. DNF


I love Wil Wheaton's narration, but I have no interest or care for the main character, nor any of the battle games being played.


*Thanks to my library for the free download. Libraries RULE!*

Scottie Dog-Fetch Me A Book!

I'm pulling my Scottie Dog card. Which book should I read next?
Inside the Asylum by Mary SanGiovanni
The Castle on Sunset by Sean Levy
Stoker's Wild by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
More about the books below!
I will end the poll at 7pm EST tomorrow, 5.28.19! Thanks in advance for your help!
(And wish me luck that I created this properly! I have no idea what I'm doing.)
Inside the Asylum (Kathy Ryan Novel) - Mary SanGiovanni  From "master of cosmic horror" (Library Journal) Mary SanGiovanni, comes the latest terrifying novel featuring occult specialist Kathy Ryan . . . A mind is a terrible thing to destroy . . .

Kathy has been hired to assess the threat of patient Henry Banks, an inmate at the Connecticut-Newlyn Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the same hospital where her brother is housed. Her employers believe that Henry has the ability to open doors to other dimensions with his mind-making him one of the most dangerous men in modern history. Because unbeknownst to Kathy, her clients are affiliated with certain government organizations that investigate people like Henry-and the potential to weaponize such abilities.

What Kathy comes to understand in interviewing Henry, and in her unavoidable run-ins with her brother, is that Henry can indeed use his mind to create "Tulpas"-worlds, people, and creatures so vivid they come to actual life. But now they want life outside of Henry. And they'll stop at nothing to complete their emancipation. It's up to Kathy-with her brother's help-to stop them, and if possible, to save Henry before the Tulpas take him over-and everything else around him.
The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont - Shawn Levy 
A definitive history of Hollywood's most iconic, storied, and scandalous hotel. 

For nearly ninety years, Hollywood's brightest stars have favored the Chateau Marmont as a home away from home. An apartment house-turned-hotel, it has hosted generations of gossip and folklore: 1930s bombshell Jean Harlow took lovers during her third honeymoon there; director Nicholas Ray slept with his sixteen-year-old Rebel Without a Cause star Natalie Wood; Anthony Perkins and Tab Hunter met poolside and began a secret affair; Jim Morrison swung from the balconies, once falling nearly to his death; John Belushi suffered a fatal overdose in a private bungalow; Lindsay Lohan got the boot after racking up nearly $50,000 in charges in less than two months.

Perched above the Sunset Strip like a fairytale castle, the Chateau seems to come from another world entirely. Its singular appearance houses an equally singular history. While a city, an industry, and a culture have changed around it, Chateau Marmont has welcomed the most iconic and iconoclastic personalities in film, music, and media. It appeals to the rich and famous not just for its European ambiance but for its seclusion: Much of what's happened inside the Chateau's walls has eluded the public eye.

Until now. With wit and prowess, Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons; the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns; the births and deaths that the Chateau has been a party to. Vivid, salacious, and richly informed, his book is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel.
Stoker's Wilde (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Steven Hopstaken,Melissa Prusi  Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a mysterious madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will. With the help of a European vampire expert, a spirited actress and an American businessman, our heroes fight werewolves, vampires and the chains of Victorian morality. The action will take them to dark forests in Ireland, through the upper-class London theater world and culminates in an exciting showdown at Stonehenge, where Bram and Oscar must stop a vampire cult from opening the gates of Hell. FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
Middlegame - Seanan McGuire  Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

#FridayReads 5.24.19


Currently reading

Doing Justice by Preet Bharara
Progress: 80%
Stoker's Wilde (Fiction Without Frontiers) by Melissa Prusi, Steven Hopstaken
Progress: 32%
Detours by Dean Koontz, Michael Koryta, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Kelley Armstrong, David Morrell, Michael Marshall Smith, Michael Marshall Smith, Owen King, William Peter Blatty, Mark Stewart, Chet Williamson, Poppy Z. Brite, Brian James Freeman, Peter Straub
Progress: 125/400pages

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Horror Aficionados
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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

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