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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#FridayReads 8.10.18

Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found - Gilbert King, Kimberly Farr Lucifer, Book Three - Ryan Kelly, Ted Naifeh, Dean Ormston, Peter Gross, David Hahn, Craig Hamilton, Mike Carey

 

ROGUE PROTOCOL by Martha Wells

Rogue Protocol - Martha Wells

 

ROGUE PROTOCOL, the third entry in the Murderbot series was a lot of fun!

 

This volume was a bit slow going at the beginning but once Murderbot got situated and the action started it became very difficult to put down. It is still trying to solve the mystery that started in the first volume and as more information is gleaned from various sources, Muderbot's position becomes more and more precarious.

 

What's fun about these books is that Murderbot isn't your average Security Unit (SecUnit) bot. It hacked its governor module a long while back and now, it has real feelings. It tries to ignore and/or deny them, but they're there. These emotions are not what it's used to and it has a hard time disguising them, and I think that's where the most interesting part of this story lives. It's not in the mystery it's trying to solve, it's in the mystery of Murderbot's feelings and how it deals with them. Oh, and it's also in the humor and sarcasm that it's now developing.

 

This was a fun addition to the series, even though it started a bit slow, and I'm very much looking forward to what happens next!

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and to Tor for the e-ARC of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

Reading progress update: I've read 53%

Rogue Protocol - Martha Wells

I had a hard time getting into this at first but now we’re rolling along!

Thanks to #HBO and #SharpObjects!

 I received an email via Goodreads a few weeks back asking if I would like a doll house like the one featured on HBO’s Sharp Objects. I said sure and here we are! 

 

 

 

 

BEHIND THE DOOR by Mary SanGiovanni

Behind the Door - Mary SanGiovanni

In the small town of Zarephath, PA there exists a door. Everyone knows about it, and everyone knows what it does. Everyone also knows not to open the door: as in NEVER, EVER open the door. But, of course, someone does, and this is the basis for BEHIND THE DOOR.

 

A slight spoiler follows:

 

 

In my mind, this is a novel of cosmic horror. It doesn't feature Cthulhu or any Lovecraftian creatures, (though there are tentacles), but major aspects of it are there. What's behind the door is not of this world. Check. What's behind the door doesn't give a hoot about humans or humanity in general. It is cold, indifferent and unfeeling. Check, check, check. Now, it could also be interpreted as supernatural horror, in general, and that's fine too. But this is MY review and here we are. 

 

(show spoiler)

 

Kathy Ryan is a fascinating character and I can't wait to read more about her. An occult specialist, she knows things. For this reason, she is called to Pennsylvania to help the town figure out what happened, and hopefully, how to undo it. She comes in and she's heard. Surprisingly, she's understood and respected-pretty much right off the bat, with the few naysayers quickly changing their tunes as the situation escalates. (As a women in a primarily male field, I felt that this was a bit optimistic, but hey, that's just me and again, my review.)

 

I thought the other characters were also well drawn and believable. I just wanted to hug both Kari and Cicely as much as I wanted to kick Ed and Toby. (And I wanted to kick a certain place on their bodies that isn't ladylike for me to mention.) Characters that inspire that kind of feeling in me demand to be heard.

 

To recap: BEHIND THE DOOR is a fast paced novel that moves right along. Evil in a small town is a favorite trope of mine, and combined with this type of horror, (see spoiler above), this was a must read for me. If any of this sounds vaguely good to you? This is a must read for you too!

 

My highest recommendation!

 

Available everywhere August 28th, 2018, but you can pre-order here: BEHIND THE DOOR

 

*Thank you to Kensington, Lyrical Underground and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

Halloween Bingo!

 

I LOVE MY CARD!!! Big thanks to MR and OB for putting this together again for us!

 

I love all of our interactions and excitement concerning this game and this time of year. I am really looking forward to picking my books. 

 

Friday Reads! 8.3.18

Behind the Door - Mary SanGiovanni The Freak Show Murders - Fredric Brown Mourning Jewelry - Stephanie M. Wytovich Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found - Gilbert King, Kimberly Farr

 

100th Book of the Year!

 

 

 

 

 

Fifty more to go to reach my goal! 

 

THE HOLY GHOST SPEAKEASY AND REVIVAL by Terry Roberts

The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival - Terry Roberts

 

The American South in the 1920's was an interesting region. With religious folk preaching against the sins of drinking alcohol, and prohibition making it a prominent job option for those looking to make some money, here comes Jedidiah Robbins on his gospel train. With his team selling bibles, (and bottles out the back), he is a man full of contradiction. He is what made this book so compulsively readable.

 

Jed and his group tour mostly in Appalachia and find themselves in trouble there from time to time. With local lawman trying to keep law and order, with the KKK, (unhappy with the colorful nature of Jed's team), and the additional appearance of H.L. Mencken trying to unveil a scam, it seems there is never a dull moment.

 

I myself am not a religious type and I usually do not appreciate novels that attempt to preach at me, however stealthily that attempt may be. I do think some of that was going on here. It was my fascination with Jed Robbins that kept me going. I admit there were a few other characters that interested me as well-oddly enough-one of them was God himself.

 

I think if Jed were a through and through man of the cloth this book would have been boring. But Jed was a man of the world, and even if it wasn't he himself that was distributing that bootleg liquor, it was his team doing so, and it was with his full knowledge. They did some other things that many would deem ungodly as well. Yet somehow Jed walked the walk of a true believer and he was sometimes so sweet and kind, he brought a tear to my eye.

 

A quick note about the writing-Terry Roberts has a deft hand with language and that's another reason this book was so difficult to put down. I have several highlighted passages that I thought were just beautiful, but I can't quote them here until the book is released. (August 21, 2018, people! Mark your calendars!) A few times I just had to marvel over sentences that flowed like a mountain stream through my mind and emptied into the river of my heart. I may not be a religious person, but I am a spiritual person and the language here touched my spirit.

 

THE HOLY GHOST SPEAKEASY AND REVIVAL is worthy of your time. Even if you're not religious, even if historical fiction isn't your true thing, (I'm not and it isn't, but the title sucked me in), this is a wonderfully written book that will lead you down through the paths of Appalachia into an America that is long gone, but fondly remembered here.

 

Highly recommended!

 

*Thanks to Edelweiss and Turner Publishing for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

THE AUCTIONEER by Joan Samson, narrated by Matt Godfrey

The Auctioneer: Valancourt 20th Century Classics - Matt Godfrey, Valancourt Books, Joan Samson

 

 Evil in a small town is one of my favorite horror tropes and books like this are the reason why!

 

Harlowe, New Hampshire is a small town surrounded by small farms. It's a tightly knit community, or at least the townsfolk believe it is, until an outsider comes to town and things begin to unravel.

 

Perly Dunsmore is an auctioneer. Taking over a recently available old mansion in town, (due to the death of the previous owner), Perly sets about "improving" Harlowe by holding auctions to benefit the police department. These auctions are funded by the generous donations of the townspeople. Until they're no longer able to do so, (eventually there's nothing left), in which case they are gently and quietly threatened to come up with more donations, or ELSE. Will Harlowe survive these auctions or will it rise up against Perly in protest? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I've been thinking about what this novel was really about and I'm still not quite sure. The strongest feeling I have about it relates to that old poem: "First they came for the Socialists...", but that's not quite right. Then I was wondering if it was really about fascism-the auctions after all first funded a police department, to the point of having almost as many officers and deputies as there were citizens in the entire town. But that doesn't quite fit the bill either, especially in light of the finale. Then I finally gave up the analyzing and endeavored to enjoy this novel for the yummy, atmospheric piece of horror fiction that it was.

 

If this is the type of story that usually works for you, (quiet, small town horror a la Tryon's HARVEST HOME, or maybe Michael Rowe's ENTER, NIGHT), I highly recommend you give this book a shot! I listened to it on audio, narrated by Matt Godfrey, whose voicing of Ma Moore I will never forget.

 

Atmospheric, full of tension and palpable fear, THE AUCTIONEER still holds up as an excellent tale, even now, 40 years later. I give it my highest recommendation!

 

*I received this audiobook gratis from the narrator in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it! Further, I consider Matt Godfrey to be a friend, although we've never met in person. This has not affected the content of this review.*

July 2018-That's A Wrap!

Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott Cold in July - Joe R. Lansdale Broken on the Inside - Phil Sloman The Moore House - Tony Tremblay Hope Never Dies - Andrew Shaffer The Unredeemed - Luke Walker Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea Hysteria: A Collection of Madness - Stephanie M. Wytovich, Steven Archer, Michael A. Arnzen, Teagan Gardner The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch, Michael Page

I read 13 books this month!

 

Graphic Novels

 

Lucifer, Book 2 by Mike Carey 5*

Total: 1

 

Novellas

 

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman 4.5*

 

Total: 1

 

Audiobooks 

 

White Death by Christine Morgan, narrated by Matt Godfrey 4*

The Shining, by Stephen King, narrated by Campbell Scott 5*

Hysteria by Stephanie M. Wytovich, narrated by Teagan Gardner (Poetry) 5*

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, narrated by Michael Page 5*

 

Total: 4

 

ARCS/Reads for Review

 

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott 5*

Cold in July by Joe Lansdale 4.5*

The Moore House by Tony Tremblay 4*

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer 3.5*

Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn 5*

The Unredeemed by Luke Walker 3.5*

Rattus New Yorkus by Hunter Shea 5*

 

Total: 7

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

(I'm failing miserably)

 

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

3. October by Michael Rowe

4. It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World by Curtis Lawson

5. Bad Pennies by John Leonard

6. Cold in July by Joe Lansdale

7. Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

 

 

Running Total: 98

 

 

#Friday Reads July 27, 2018

The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival - Terry Roberts Mourning Jewelry - Stephanie M. Wytovich Lucifer, Book Three - Ryan Kelly, Ted Naifeh, Dean Ormston, Peter Gross, David Hahn, Craig Hamilton, Mike Carey The Freak Show Murders - Fredric Brown The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch, Michael Page

 

RATTUS NEW YORKUS by Hunter Shea

Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea

 

How much more fun could this book could be? The answer is none! None more fun!

 

 

I had to hold myself back from finishing this novella in just one sitting. I wanted to try to savor it, but it was too hard.

 

A man and his soon to be ex-wife run an extermination company in Manhattan and are chosen to try out a new rat poison. After dispensing some healthy doses they thought their job was done, but it turns out the poison seems to have backfired, (isn't that always the way?) Now there are more rats than ever. Not only are there more, but they're more aggressive AND let's just say they're happier in their little rat bedrooms. Soon, they've taken over the sites where they were treated and many more sites as well. Can Manhattan escape this scourge of aggressive,  horny rats? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

RATTUS NEW YORKUS is flat out FUN! It doesn't get bogged down in philosophical questions or literary mumbo-jumbo. We're here for people killing rats and boy, do we get them!

 

I've been slow to come around to Hunter Shea and I'm not sure why, exactly. Maybe I was trying to fancy myself as more of a literary reader? Don't get me wrong, I love literary horror, cosmic horror and all kinds of stuff, but lately? Creature features have been bringing it as far as I'm concerned, and Hunter Shea is up there with the best writers of them, EVER. I love me some James Herbert and Guy N. Smith, but Hunter? This is pure unadulterated fun and if you want some for yourself? Pick up RATTUS NEW YORKUS when it comes out. You won't be disappointed!

 

This gets my highest recommendation! You can pre-order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Rattus-New-Yorkus-Hunter-Shea-ebook/dp/B078LPXDK1/chashorcor-20

 

*Thanks to Lyrical Underground and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

Buddy Read of DANDELION WINE by Ray Bradbury

Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury

A few friends and I have decided that it was high time to read this book. A few others on Goodreads have decided to join us and I thoughT I would post here and see if anyone else wanted to join us. 

 

Start date: 8.6.18

Pace: In our buddy reads we each go at our own pace, using spoiler tags. 

Cost: Free! One only needs to be on Goodreads and to join the Horror Aficionados group. 

 

Here's a link: DANDELION WINE

 

 

We hope to see you there! 

 

                                               

THE UNREDEEMED by Luke Walker

The Unredeemed - Luke Walker

 

Benjamin Harwood is a horrible man. I guess I should say "was" a horrible man, since he's been dead for about 4 centuries. He's been hanging around various places with his dead pals since then. The day he spots young Hayley and her family checking out a new house, he makes a decision that not only affects his life, but also that of all his ghostly friends and a few demons to boot. Will his decision pay off in the end? Will Hayley and her family be okay? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

The story's main base was the town of Dalry, (also the setting of Walker's book HOMETOWN), and though it sounds kind of charming, so many terrible, (yet fictional), things happen there I know I would never want to visit!

 

It's hard not to get too spoiler-y while reviewing this, but lots of action occurs once Ben "contacts" Hayley's family. Crossing the countryside while gathering an army of dead folk to battle demons, (one demon in particular who kept him out of Hell up until this point), there is no one safe from Ben. As he wheels and deals, he betrays everything that was ever important to him. At this point, I felt the pacing slowed down a bit leading up to the denouement. Then, all hell broke loose, so to speak!

 

A few times I had issues with Hayley's behavior, being that she was a 15 year old girl, but I chalked it up to her maturity level being a bit higher than her actual age.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and its original premise. (There's more to it than I can get into here.) Even though most of the characters were not likable at all, they made for fun villains, and I liked and did root for Hayley. I bet you will too!

 

Recommended!

 

*I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

THE AUCTIONEER (1975) BY JOAN SAMSON

Reblogged from Valancourt Books:

One of the finest and best-selling horror novels of the 1970s returns at last to chill a new generation of readers 

A masterpiece of terror whose sense of creeping menace and dread increases page by page, Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer (1975) is a rediscovered classic of 20th-century fiction. With echoes of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Stephen King’s Needful Things, Samson’s novel returns to print at last in this long-awaited new edition, which features an introduction by Grady Hendrix (HorrorstörPaperbacks from Hell) and an afterword by the author’s husband.

 

 

Book Description

In the isolated farming community of Harlowe, New Hampshire, where life has changed little over the past several decades, John Moore and his wife Mim work the land that has been in his family for generations. But from the moment the charismatic Perly Dinsmore arrives in town and starts soliciting donations for his auctions, things begin slowly and insidiously to change in Harlowe. As the auctioneer carries out his terrible, inscrutable plan, the Moores and their neighbors will find themselves gradually but inexorably stripped of their freedom, their possessions, and perhaps even their lives ...

Reviews

“Buy this book ... there is no way to stop reading it, once you’ve started!”—Baltimore Sun

“A well-made piece of dynamite ... For all their talk, the author seems to be saying, men will permit their souls to be carried away bit by bit and auctioned off to the highest bidder. Samson has written a suspenseful, engrossing novel with the most gripping and violent ending we’ve encountered for some time.”—Newsday

“A frightening novel . . . a powerful book from a powerful writer.”—The Grand Rapids Press

“A novel you may never forget . . . a tight classic.”—San Diego Tribune‚Äč

“Brilliant, compelling . . . Add a powerful twist at the end and you have a total novel that takes hold of the reader on Page One and never lets go until the finish. This just could prove to be one of the top thrillers of the year.”—Dayton News

Now available:

Hardcover
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paperback
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Ebook
Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Audiobook 
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible

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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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