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.
Once I realized there wasn't going to be a plot, but instead a loosely connected set of vignettes about boys coming of age, I relaxed and enjoyed DANDELION WINE. I marked several pages that I wanted to quote in my review, but now find myself thinking that reviewing it is going to take some of the magic out of it for me.
I absolutely adored the end, (Aunt Rose got sent packing!), and there's no doubt that this book is steeped in nostalgia, but overall, it was a little too wordy for me. I would have liked fewer pages full of solid text and more dialogue, but hey, this is Ray Bradbury and I love the guy but I think The October Country is still my favorite of all his works.
Lastly, much as I love Ray Bradbury, I still hold Robert McCammon's BOY'S LIFE as my favorite novel of all time.
The reason I requested this book from my library was because of Megan Abbott's
excellent, succinct review, which can be found here: BENEATH A RUTHLESS SUN
This is the shocking true story of a mentally challenged white man who was railroaded into confessing to a rape and who was then sent to a state hospital for over 14 years WITH NO TRIAL. It's a story of racism, small town corruption, networks made up of good old boys, and most importantly, a tenacious reporter named Mabel who never, ever gave up.
You know, I say it's a "shocking" story, but unfortunately, it's really not. Black or white, (mostly black), mentally challenged, and ALL poor-many people have not received a fair shake in this country over the years. It's unfortunate to note that many of them STILL are not receiving a fair shake. This book only proves how important a free press can be to the causes of justice and fair play.
Even though she has since passed of cancer, I feel the need to say WAY TO GO, Mabel! If it weren't for you, poor Jessie Daniels would probably have died in the state hospital.
Thanks to Megan Abbott for her intriguing review and thanks to my local library for providing the audiobook for free. Libraries RULE!
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.*
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:
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.*
#Fridayreads Today, I'm reading BEHIND THE DOOR by @marysangiovanni & THE FREAK SHOW MURDERS by Frederic Brown. I'm still making my way through MOURNING JEWELRY by @SWytovich & I'm listening to BENEATH A RUTHLESS SUN by Gilbert King. What are you reading? pic.twitter.com/ZwvpF0jF8e— Char's Horror Corner (@Charrlygirl) August 3, 2018
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.
*Thanks to Edelweiss and Turner Publishing for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
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.*
I read 13 books this month!
Lucifer, Book 2 by Mike Carey 5*
Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman 4.5*
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*
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*
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
#Fridayreads I'm starting THE HOLY GHOST SPEAKEASY AND REVIVAL SHOW by Terry Roberts. I'm working my way thru MOURNING JEWELRY by @SWytovich, LUCIFER, BOOK 3 and THE FREAKSHOW MURDERS by Frederic Brown. Lastly, I'm listening to THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by @scottlynch78. pic.twitter.com/hMD4OHggVk— Char's Horror Corner (@Charrlygirl) July 27, 2018
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!*