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

You know...

If you're my friend, I will defend you against all comers. If you're wrong, I will tell you, but I will still back you up, as best I can.

 

When all I do is support you and be there for you, and you lash out at me? Time and time again? We're all done. My life needs simplifying so...bye, now.

 

My second Bingo!

 

 

Straight across!

 

The Bare Naked Squares:

 

 

 

The Books:

Diverse Voices: Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin

New Release: Grind Your Bones to Dust by Nicholas Day

Center Square: The Half-Freaks by Nicole Cushing

Slasher Stories: Slash by Hunter Shea

Fear Street: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

THE HALF-FREAKS by Nicole Cushing

The Half-Freaks - Nicole Cushing

Harry keeps coming to visit Nicole so often, she had to write a book about him, and here it is. A twisted tale like NO other!

 

THE HALF-FREAKS defies neat genre labels; part character study, part weird tale, part awkwardly funny, it's hard to describe. Despite Harry vehemently stating often that he's no psycho like Norman Bates, (Nah! Nah!) he is still living with his mother, but he isn't a murderer. Or is he?

 

When his mother dies, Harry is forced to take part in the world, dealing with the hospital morgue and a less than savory funeral director. It's all way over his head..but not far enough so that he's going to let himself be ripped off.

 

Despite many disgusting traits, (this book delves deeply into them), there was something about Harry I found compelling. Even during his most repulsive actions, my eyes were glued to the page to see how it would all end up. I've been a fan of Nicole's work for a while now, and if this was any other author, I might have put this book down during an especially revolting moment Harry was having...with himself. But I trusted the author to bring it all home, which she did, just not in the way I expected.

 

Overall, THE HALF-FREAKS is guaranteed to be like nothing you've ever read before. Take that as a dare, if you will. I did!

 

Highly recommended!

 

 

Find out more and pre-order a copy here: THE HALF-FREAKS

 

*Thanks to Grimscribe Press for the paperback ARC of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

Paint it Black

Cardinal Black - Robert R. McCammon

I’m having a tough time in real life, mostly regarding mom’s health. I want to Paint it Black in reality and in Halloween Bingo. This has been sitting on my reading stack since release day. It’s time. 

 

 

I’m 

My First Bingo-WOOHOO!!!

  

 

The Bare Naked Squares:

 

 

The Books:

 

Elevation by Stephen King for King of Fear

TERMINAL by Michaelbrent Collings for American Horror Story

Slash by Hunter Shea

Violet by Scott Thomas for Genre: Horror

 Extinction Machine by Jonathan Maberry for Modern Masters of Horror

SLASH by Hunter Shea

Slash (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea

SLASH is the literary equivalent of a B-movie, and I thought it was a blast!

 

5 years after being the sole survivor in a real life urban-exploration trip gone wrong, Ashley is still trying to get over the murders of her friends and her survivor's guilt. The murderer, tagged "The Wraith" by the press, was never caught. Being celebrated as a "final girl" by groups of twisted followers doesn't help her to forget about it. Hearing the news that the site of the murders, the abandoned Hayden Resort, is about to be torn down, brings things even closer to the brink. Her fiancee, Todd, does his best to make sure Ashley feels loved, but even he cannot help her live with what happened. After she hangs herself, Todd discovers clues she left behind, and he, with a few of their very best friends, return to the resort to try to solve the mystery of the massacre, before the Hayden is torn down for good. Will Todd and his friends solve the mystery? Will they survive their visit? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I felt like SLASH was a lot shorter than it actually was, because it was very hard to put down. After a little time meeting the characters and getting to know them, the pace picks up and I actually felt breathless at a couple of points because everything was progressing so fast.

 

What better place than an abandoned resort to set a horror story? Imagine the Stanley Hotel from The Shining, 70 years after it was abandoned. How scary would that be? The isolation and the detritus built up over years of break-ins, kids partying, urban explorers, etc.. both contributed to how real the setting felt and also to an increasing sense of paranoia as our brave group searched for clues. What was that noise? Debris settling, or the Wraith?

 

I can't say anymore without spoiling anything, (the bit about Ash hanging herself is right there in the synopsis). Following along with the B movie spirit of SLASH was a big bunch of fun for me. It was exciting, fast paced, thrilling and, at times, heart breaking. If this sounds like your cuppa, pre-order your copy of SLASH here: SLASH

 

Highly recommended, especially to fans of B-movies! *Thanks to Flame Tree Press for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

#FridayReads 10.18.19

The Half-Freaks - Nicole Cushing Full Throttle: Stories - Joe Hill Code Zero - Jonathan Maberry

#FridayReads Today, I'm reading THE HALF-FREAKS by @NicoleCushing. I'm also reading FULL THROTTLE by @joe_hill. Lastly, I'm getting my listen on with @JonathanMaberry's CODE ZERO, narrated by @Ray__Porter. What are you reading? pic.twitter.com/yxUIK44J4G

— Char's Horror Corner

THE LAST CONVERSATION by Paul Tremblay

The Last Conversation - Paul Tremblay

THE LAST CONVERSATION is my second read in the Forward series from Amazon, curated by Blake Crouch.

 

I'm familiar with the works of Paul Tremblay and just read his latest collection GROWING THINGS a few months back. I felt that this story was a bit of a departure from his horror works and it was a change that I enjoyed. Being more of a mystery/science fiction tale, I found the end to be an unexpected surprise- and I love to be surprised!

 

Thanks to Amazon/Audible for the free reads and the original premises upon which these stories are based!

EMERGENCY SKIN by N.K. Jemisin

Emergency Skin - N.K. Jemisin

LOVED. THIS.

 

I don't know how to categorize it, and I don't know what else to say about it. It was intriguing and then it changed into something else altogether. A fable of sorts? Maybe. A warning of sorts? Maybe. Then again, maybe it was just created as a mirror so we could take a good look at ourselves? How about all of the above?

 

Highly recommended!

CARMILLA by Sheridan LeFanu, Narrated By A Full Cast

Carmilla - Hannah Genesius, Audible Studios, Leslie S. Rose, Susan Wooldridge, Phoebe Conn, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, David  Tennant, David Horovitch, James Wilby

Listening to this on audio was somehow a tad better than my last two reads of it.

 

The leanings toward a lesbian relationship comes through much more clearly on audio what with the heavy breathing and little noises of contentment and all.

 

Thanks to Audible Audio Originals for the free download.

IN DARKNESS DELIGHT: CREATURES OF THE NIGHT edited by Evans Light & Andrew Lennon

In Darkness, Delight: Creatures of the Night - Chad Lutzke, Tim Curran, Jeff Strand, Josh Malerman, Andrew Lennon, Glenn Rolfe, Evans Light, Mary SanGiovanni, Richard Chizmar, Ray Garton

Just like the first volume, (IN DARKNESS DELIGHT: MASTERS OF MIDNIGHT), IN DARKNESS DELIGHT: CREATURES OF THE NIGHT is an impressive collection of tales!

 

Creature features are one of my very favorite sub-genres of horror and in this volume, nearly every single story worked for me. There were creatures of all kinds, both great and small, both real and imaginary, (though figuring out which was sometimes difficult!). I can't get into every story within, but the ones that stood out the most were:

 

WHITE RABBIT by Tim Curran.

 

SCALES by Christopher Motz.

 

THE PEOPLE IN THE TOILET BY Mason Morgan. (What a way to kick of this anthology!)

 

SNAP by Kevin Harrison. 

 

INFESTATION by Mikal Trimm. (Roaches! UGH!)

 

RIVER OF NINE TAILS by Mark Cassell. (I got a BAD case of the heebie jeebies from this one.)

 

SURVIVOR by Ray Garton. (Most surprising tale award!)

 

 

HINKLES by Kristopher Rufty.

 

THE UGLY TREE by Gregor Xane (It's been a year since I read a story from this author. This one reminded me of how good he really is.)

 

THE GREEN MAN OF FREETOWN (It becomes clear at the end what the "creature" in this story was. When that happened, I wanted to cry. This was my favorite story in the book.)

 

THE WORMS TURN by Frank Oreto (This didn't turn out at all like I thought it would! Love when that happens.)

 

THE GIANT'S TABLE by Mary SanGiovanni. (The table doesn't belong to giants, but who it does belong to is scary as heck.)

 

I really wanted to write a little bit about each story, but time restraints are in play here. Even though I haven't listed every tale, (this isn't a table of contents, after all), that doesn't mean the ones that aren't listed weren't good. It's just that each of the those I've listed here were OUTSTANDING. I don't know how much more I can say except:

 

Highly recommended!

 

 

Get your copy here: IN DARKNESS, DELIGHT: CREATURES OF THE NIGHT

 

*Thanks to Corpus Press for the fine paperback copy they sent to me, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

#FridayReads 10.11.19

 

GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST by Nicholas Day

Grind Your Bones to Dust - Nicholas Sparks

GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST is a beautifully written, brutal horror novel, but it's also much more.

 

Separated into 4 sections, this book delves into creature feature territory, as well as philosophy, (does God exist? Is God insane? Maybe both, maybe neither?), religion, grief, loss, rape, sodomy, guilt and love. I wouldn't have thought that such a short book could cover so many subjects, but this one was full of surprises. Vicious and extreme horror really aren't my thing anymore, but this story was different. I think the beauty of the language used tempered the more brutal aspects of the scenes within, if that makes any sense.

 

Just when I thought I had mapped out the direction in which the story would go, it turned on me. I find that to be an excellent way of keeping the reader turning the pages. It certainly worked on me.

 

I'm finding it difficult to talk more about this story without spoilers. A few of these characters will remain in my mind for quite some time. One of them might haunt me forever, just because of how cold he was. Cold to every living thing, except for a talking raven that he befriended on his journey. He was so cold I'm surprised my fingers didn't get frostbite.

 

I consider myself to be a seasoned horror fan. For that reason, it's hard to discover plots I haven't come across before. It's hard to escape the same old tropes, final girls, haunted houses, unreliable narrators blah blah blah. This book DID escape them, and it escaped by using original ideas, beautiful prose, and by intertwining the normal with the most abnormal of situations I've ever come across. For this reason, GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST gets ALL THE DAMN STARS.

 

My highest recommendation!

 

Get your copy here: GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST

 

*I was provided an old school paper manuscript with illustrations by the author, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

THE GIRL WHO HID IN THE TREES by Steve Stred

The Girl Who Hid in the Trees - Steve Stred, Gavin Kendall

THE GIRL WHO HID IN THE TREES is a creepy novella that left me with a serious case of the willies!

 

In no-where town USA there is a forest-McConnell's Forest. Years ago, Jason lost his older brother, (as well as his brother's gang of friends), in that forest, and the mystery has never been solved. Now that Jason and HIS group of friends are grown, they're tired of hearing the rumors and stories, and they set out in the forest to find the truth. Will they discover what happened? More importantly, will they survive? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

On Saturday, sitting beside my sleeping mom in the nursing home, something rare happened. I found myself with nothing to read! I can think of only a few things more horrific for me. (Having my eyeball poked out with a fork, for instance.) I found this story on my Kindle app and have been meaning to read it for some time, so I did.

 

I immediately found myself drawn in to Jason's life and what it must be like to be "the boy whose brother was murdered in McConnell's Forest." A stigma of sorts was attached to Jason, (as does happen in small towns), but it eventually wore off as Jason got older. I loved the relationship he had with Vanessa and I thought that portion was well written. Once he and his girlfriend shared the fact that they both had had "experiences" in the forest, the fun begins.

 

I thought at that point, everything came racing at me much more quickly than it had in the first half (or so), of the book. I wouldn't have minded a little time spent with the entire group of friends, so that I could get to know them a wee bit better, thereby making what happened to them even more horrific. (Also, I thought it was pushing the envelope that the parents would allow the kids to do what they did so... easily, but I can't get into much more without spoilers.)

 

Overall though, I thought this tale fun, and about what you'd expect it to be from reading the synopsis. I look forward to reading more from this author!

 

Recommended!

#FridayReads 10.4.19

 

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE by Henry Farrell

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - Henry Farrell

Even though I've seen the film a few times when I saw this book available to download at my local library, I clicked! I'm glad I did.

 

This wasn't exactly like the film, but in all the important ways, it was about the same. I pictured the characters as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis portrayed them, and I think the narrator did a fantastic job.

 

Recommended!

 

*Thanks to my local library for the free download through the Libby app! Libraries RULE!*

Currently reading

A Sick Gray Laugh by Nicole Cushing
Progress: 5%
Kill Switch: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry
Progress: 80%
Midnight in the Graveyard by Jeremy Hepler, Chad Lutzke, Kenneth W. Cain, Jonathan Janz, Kealan Patrick Burke, John Everson, Elizabeth Massie, William Meikle, Thomas F. Monteleone, Robert R. McCammon
Progress: 75%

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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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