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

I CAN'T MAKE THIS UP: LIFE LESSONS by Kevin Hart

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons - Kevin Hart, Neil Strauss

 

I recently saw most of the film THE UPSIDE, starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman. I missed a little of the beginning but I watched and enjoyed the rest. I was surprised by how much I felt for Kevin Hart in the film, because I'd previously only seen him in commercials or very short comedic bits and he got on my nerves, to be honest.

 

In this book he tells the story of his life, his successes and failures, his positive and negative points, his love for his mom and family, and his willingness to work hard and get it done. It was not all fun and games, because a fair amount of the time he and his first wife were constantly fighting, (he was cheating, she might have been), and so on.

 

What impressed me the most was his ability to shrug things off and stay positive and I'm going to try to take that ability and incorporate it into my life.

 

This was hilarious and informative and fun to listen to, if maybe just a tad too long.

 

Highly recommended, especially to those who love to listen to the memoirs of comedians.

 

*I purchased this audiobook from Audible with my hard earned cash.*

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by Stephen Graham Jones

The Only Good Indians - Stephen Graham Jones

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a superb, gut wrenching novel, and it wrecked me.

 

I've been sitting here struggling to come up with some words that don't sound like the same old thing. This book is not the same old thing.

 

I've been sitting here struggling to find a way to relate to you the mind-warping effects of this novel, because it is mind warping.

 

I wish I had a way to explain how the guilt here was wrapped up and entwined with grief and shame and then buried under the burdens of Native American life.

 

I wish I could tell you that the tragic truths told in this book were not true, but I'd be lying if I did.

 

With beautifully written prose that demands your full attention, the ugliest of stories unfolds here. I loved every black and brutal, dark and gray minute of it. I don't what else to say.

 

My highest recommendation.

 

Available May 19th, 2020, but you can pre-order here: THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS

 

*Thank you to Saga Press and NetGalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

#FridayReads 2.28.2020

The Only Good Indians - Stephen Graham Jones The Deep - Alma Katsu Fear of Free Standing Objects: A Collection - Doug Rinaldi I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons - Kevin Hart, Neil Strauss

#FridayReads Today, I will finish THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by @SGJ72 Later, I will start THE DEEP by @almakatsu. I'm also reading Doug Rinaldi's FEAR OF FREE STANDING OBJECTS and lastly, I'm listening to Kevin Hart's YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS UP: LIFE LESSONS. What are you reading? pic.twitter.com/vpEEDglAKX

— Char's Horror Corner

Reading progress update: I've read 80%

The Only Good Indians - Stephen Graham Jones

And this book is phenomenal. Just...phenomenal. 

#FridayReads 2.21.20

The Only Good Indians - Stephen Graham Jones Me - John  Elton A Nest Of Nightmares - Lisa Tuttle

#FridayReads Today, I'm reading THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS by @SGJ72 I'm also reading NEST OF NIGHTMARES by Lisa Tuttle. Lastly, I'm listening to ME by Elton John. What are you reading? pic.twitter.com/WKg2JJN91m

— Char's Horror Corner

THE SINGULARITY TRAP by Dennis E. Taylor, narrated by Ray Porter

The Singularity Trap - Audible Original, Dennis Taylor, Ray Porter

I loved the Bobiverse books and thought I'd try this one which is by the same author and has the same audio narrator. 

 

This story is interesting though there seemed to be a couple of big holes in the narrative-mostly regarding the political situation and governmental administration in the U.S. Nevertheless, this was an interesting tale with a few Sci-Fi and Star Trek references which I enjoyed. I did miss the sense of humor I found in the Bob books, but this story didn't have a lot of room for comedy.

 

As usual, Ray Porter's narration was excellent and there were a few sound effects that I thought enhanced the story.

 

Recommended for fans of the Bobiverse books and other science fiction.

 

*I bought this audio from Audible with my own hard earned cash.*

VELOCITIES: STORIES by Kathe Koja

Velocities: Stories - Kathe Koja

VELOCITIES: STORIES is a diverse, energetic and mysterious collection of stories by a woman who has mastered the art of storytelling. 

 

I am a latecomer to Kathe Koja's work, having only read one novel to date, which was SKIN. It was quite far out of my comfort zone, but as such, her writing was like a revelation to me. When I saw this collection available as an ARC I requested it right away and here we are. 

 

Not all of the tales within worked for me, but in collections they rarely do. The stories that did work, worked so very well, they left me hungry for more. 

 

THE MARBLE LILY was my favorite tale in this volume. A story about a janitor working in the morgue has never been so mysterious and hidden such surprises.

 

ROAD TRIP is the story of a man looking for redemption. I don't think it can be found. 

 

LA REINE D'ENFER is a disturbing tale worthy of the title HELL QUEEN. The use of slang and language here was a wonder to behold. 

 

COYOTE PASS When a full time carer loses their patient, blood relative or not, it leaves a void. 

 

FAR AND WEE for me, had a distinct feel to it that I cannot describe. A farm boy comes to the city and says he's done with the farm and the beasts. "Plenty beasts in the City, young man." 

 

Kathe Koja uses language in such a way...it's very special. Sometimes sharp and staccato-like, sometimes lush and luxurious. Either way, her writing is magical and I plan to eventually read everything she has written. 

 

My highest recommendation!

 

Available April 2020, but you can pre-order here: VELOCITIES: STORIES

 

*Thank you to Meerkat Press via Edelweiss for the e-ARC of this collection in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

 

 

THE PRISONERS OF STEWARTVILLE by Shannon Felton

The Prisoners of Stewartville - Shannon Felton

Bravo to Shannon Felton on this, her debut novella! After reading her short story in MIDNIGHT AT THE GRAVEYARD, I was super excited to read more from this author and she did not disappoint!

 

Beneath a dying town, whose only means of support is the prison, a young man and his friend discover hidden tunnels one night when a brick fell out of the basement wall. From that point on, something seems to spread throughout this already bleak place. Were these tunnels used by escaped prisoners? What's causing the noises in the walls townsfolk are now hearing? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Stewartville as a town rang true to me. There are several places here in the northeast that have dwindled to nothing as manufacturing jobs have been moved overseas. Just driving through some of these places you feel suffocated with despair. There is also a severe opioid crisis going on in several of these towns as well. In this manner, Stewartville became an all too well known character in this tale. The despair....the grayness...it became an entity of its own.

 

Ms. Felton has demonstrated a command of language and characterization that, I'm sure, will hold her in good stead as she, (hopefully?), continues her career in dark fiction. As far as I'm concerned? You can sign me up right now for anything she writes in the future!

 

Highly recommended!

 

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

The Boatman's Daughter by Andy Davidson

Boatman's Daughter, The - Andy Davidson

From the first harrowing scenes all the way until the bittersweet end, this book had me enthralled!

 

Set along the rivers and bayous of Arkansas, this tale is about Miranda, and how she manages keeps her life afloat. Running drugs for the bad guys to help her support the local "witch" and the special boy the witch hides and cares for. Discarded and left for dead, this boy is very special indeed-and so is Miranda. A bow-hunting woman of the bayou, she is not to be taken lightly.

 

The drug runners, featuring locals and bikers, a dwarf of a man as their main grower, and a mad preacher man who basically does whatever he wants. Among these men, there is nothing considered taboo, and I mean nothing. Will Miranda, the witch and the boy be able to continue to survive and live life as they have been? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

In addition to the characters I've already mentioned, I also need to highlight the hot and humid atmosphere. All the bug infested routes throughout the bayou, rivers and streams. The old homes near the river that aren't fully vacated, but are crumbling prey to the humidity, the mold, and the heat. The old mercantile that Miranda's father once owned, falling prey to dust and disuse after her father died. In my head I pictured all of this perfectly and as such, these locations became characters to me as well.

 

I remain impressed with Andy Davidson's style of writing and how effortlessly he combines things like small town life, witches, Russian fairy tales and so on. He does it so deftly that I never questioned any of it. It just WAS. Davidson created people I feel for because they feel real. Then he put them all in danger and I found it difficult to pull myself away.

 

I read his previous book IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN and I knew I was on to something special with this author. Now, with THE BOATMAN'S DAUGHTER I'm more sure than ever that Davidson is the real deal and I will sign up for anything he writes from here on out.

 

Highly Recommended!

 

Available everywhere tomorrow, but you can pre-order here: THE BOATMAN'S DAUGHTER 

 

*Thanks go out to the author who saw my desperate plea for an ARC and sent me one in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

THE NEON RAIN by James Lee Burke, narrated by Will Patton

The Neon Rain  - James Lee Burke, Will Patton

A Twitter pal talked me into starting these books and I'm glad she did.

 

My husband and I went on a trip to New Orleans in 1995, (so pre-Katrina), and I loved it. To this day it was the best vacation we ever had and the very best food I ever ate. We went shortly after Mardi Gras and it was warm and beautiful. We visited the zoo and botanical gardens, had lunch on the banks of the Mississippi, rode a street car through the Garden District and had dinner in the French Quarter. This book took me back there completely. Not to the touristy areas though-not at all.

 

The writing here is top notch, and the characters are complicated-nothing is black and white. I developed a real feeling for Dave Robicheaux and I am looking forward to reading more of the series.

 

I bought this audio with my hard earned cash through Audible, but I won't be buying the second one from them! (See below)

 

**A note to Audible-What is up with the severely abridged version of the audio for book 2? It's only 3 hours long and many reviews are complaining about that. Looks like I'll be doing some actual reading on the second book.**

#FridayReads 2.7.20

Boatman's Daughter, The - Andy Davidson Velocities: Stories - Kathe Koja The Neon Rain  - James Lee Burke, Will Patton

#FridayReads Today I'm still reading @theandydavidson's THE BOATMAN'S DAUGHTER and @KatheKoja phenomenal collection: VELOCITIES. Lastly, I'm listening to James Lee Burke's THE NEON RAIN, narrated by Will Patton. What are you reading? pic.twitter.com/QvxPO6J1Ft

— Char's Horror Corner

LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING edited by Mark Matthews

Lullabies For Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror - Gabino Iglesias, Mercedes M. Yardley, Kealan Patrick Burke, Caroline Kepnes, John F.D. Taff, Mark Matthews

Heartbreaking, haunting and memorable, these LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING will stay with you for a long, long time.

 

Here we have a collection of 6 novellas, all of them from authors I've read before, so I was eager to start listening when my request to Audiobook Boom was approved.

 

Kealan Patrick Burke's SOMETIMES THEY SEE ME: When the lives of two addicts collide and interrupt suicide attempts, you know the story won't end well. Stories of addiction rarely do.

 

Caroline Kepnes' MONSTERS: This novella features Ms. Kepnes' excellent writing style and despite the addictions on display within, I couldn't help but come away from this tale with a feeling of (misplaced?) hope for the last two standing.

 

Mark Matthews' LIZARD went off the rails almost from the get-go. All I can say is I felt so sorry for almost every character in this story. I have been reading Mark's work for many years now, because he writes about addiction from a place that he really knows. I think his experiences make his work that much more powerful and poignant.

 

John F.D. Taff's THE MELTING POINT OF MEAT talks about a different kind of addiction, but that doesn't make his story any less difficult to read.

 

Gabino Iglesias' BEYOND THE REEF was my favorite tale in this collection because it was just so damn different from the others. Not only is this an addiction tale, but it also has a distinct Lovecraftian feel to it that I just adored.

 

Mercedes Yardley's LOVE IS A CREMATORIUM broke my damn heart. First with its depiction of family "love" between a father and daughter, but also a dark study of that crazy love that happens to some of us in high school. What would one teen do for another to help them escape a terrible home life situation? Was that the right thing to do? Of all the dark tales here, this is the one that made me cry. Neither of these kids started out with bad intentions-she left because of her dad, and he left because he loved her. What happens to them? You'll have to read this and see, but be sure to have some tissues nearby.

 

The narrator, Linda Jones, is one with which I was not familiar prior to listening to this collection. She's terrific and brought these tales home with humanity and care.

 

Overall, this is an incredible collection of stories from authors that are currently the best in the business as far as I'm concerned. Some names are bigger than others, some are more famous than others, but every one of them can write the hell out of a story and that's exactly what they do here.

 

HIGHLY recommended!

 

 

Get your copy here: LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING

 

*Thank you to Audiobook Boom for the audio version of this book which I freely chose to review.*

THE IMMEASURABLE CORPSE OF NATURE by Christopher Slatsky

The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature - Christopher Slatsky

 

THE IMMEASURABLE CORPSE OF NATURE blew away all of my preconceived notions about dark and weird fiction! I was exited to give these tales a chance as soon as I saw the cover of this book. As a lover of anthologies and collections, this was a great way to start off my reading year.

 

Stories centered around intense grief, like PHANTOM AIRFIELDS are among some of my favorites lately. Steve Rasnic Tem writes these so well and I found this tale reminiscent of Tem's work. (For me, this is among the highest of compliments.)

 

ENGINES OF THE OCEAN was another piece that deeply affected me, however the stories in the middle of this volume were the ones that told me that I held in my hands something very special indeed.

 

THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE, DEVIL GONNA CATCH YOU IN THE CORNERS, PROFESSOR COGNOSCENTE'S CALIGINOUS CHARMS CARNIVAL, (say that 5 times fast!), FROM A PEOPLE OF STRANGE LANGUAGE, and THE FIGURINE- were, for me, among the very best short, (or long), stories that I've ever read. Period!

 

This is the type of book that makes me feel inadequate as a reader and reviewer. I feel like anything I have to say could be said better by almost anyone else. I also feel a bit intimidated by the depth of these tales and the use of clear, concise language which, combined, often produced in me feelings of dread, suspense, sadness, and fear. I could never hope to write something, anything, as good as these stories.

 

Provided to me from Grimscribe Press, founded by a fan of Thomas Ligotti's work, I expected nihilism and helplessness, but these tales are a LOT more than that. It seems to me that I often like and admire the work of authors who adore Ligotti more than I enjoy the work of Ligotti himself. I'm not sure why that is, but it is a truth for me.

 

There are other reviews at Goodreads that are all more well written than this one, but so be it. I write reviews that are almost always about the feelings the author has inspired in me rather than clinical breakdowns of the text. I have been truthful with you all today about how I feel about this book and about Chrisopher Slatsky in general. Sign me the hell up for whatever else this man writes in the future, though I'm having a hard time imagining a book that I could love more than this one.

 

My highest recommendation!

 

*Thank you to Grimscribe Press and the author for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

#FridayReads 1.31.2020

Boatman's Daughter, The - Andy Davidson Velocities: Stories - Kathe Koja Lullabies For Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror - Gabino Iglesias, Mercedes M. Yardley, Kealan Patrick Burke, Caroline Kepnes, John F.D. Taff, Mark Matthews

#FridayReads Today, I'm reading THE BOATMAN'S DAUGHTER by @theandydavidson and I'm starting VELOCITIES: STORIES by @KatheKoja. Lastly, I'm listening to LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR edited by @matthews_mark. What are you reading? pic.twitter.com/YjnrTPl02r

— Char's Horror Corner

SUMMER FROST by Blake Crouch, narrated by Rosa Salazar

Summer Frost - Blake Crouch

Boom! Loved it! 

DEEP SILENCE by Jonathan Maberry, narrated by Ray Porter

Deep Silence (Joe Ledger #10) - Jonathan Maberry, Ray Porter

What a ride!

 

Here we join Captain Ledger and the DMS team, once again facing bad publicity and once again, saving the world.

 

Everyone is here, including Mr. Church, Aunt Sally and Ghost. Instead of Doctor Hu, we now have Doc Holiday, and, (of course), she's related to the real Doc Holiday.

 

This series has been a huge part of my life over the past 6 months. I feel like I know all of these people, (and Ghost), as well as, or maybe even better than, my own family. In fact, I like these people MORE than most of my own family.

 

Thanks to Jonathan Maberry and Ray Porter for the many, many hours of enjoyment I've spent with the Department of Military Sciences. I'm looking forward to joining everyone again in RAGE: ROGUE TEAM INTERNATIONAL.

 

Until then? HOOAH!

 

*I rejoined Audible solely due to this series. I was tired of waiting for the audios to come in at the library. Plus, the library didn't have them all on audio. I do not for one second regret this decision.*

Currently reading

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel by Grady Hendrix
Progress: 25%
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones
Come Join Us By The Fire by Nicholas Kaufman, Cassandra Khaw, Alyssa Wong, Gwendolyn Kiste, Kat Howard, Kristi DeMeester, Carmen Maria Machado, Michael Wehunt, Brooke Bolander, Kary English, Priya Sharma, Sam J. Miller, Nadia Bulkin, Molly Tanzer, Livia Llewellyn, Simon Strantzas, Robert Levy, Paul
Progress: 15%

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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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