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






Edging by Michael Schutz

Edging - Michael Schutz, Michelle.Thompson


EDGING. That's what you call it when you take a dose of Intenze. First, you'll experience your mind's own little horror movie. You'll be scared, maybe even terrified, but afterward? You'll get an adrenaline rush like nothing you've ever experienced before. It's a great premise for what turned out to be a great story!


All of the characters in this book are well drawn, with realistic problems, hopes and dreams. The main protagonist Rick, is the father of creepy twins and husband to a cheating wife. He's a bit wishy-washy and slow to act on things until his his hand is forced. His wife Trish is unhappy and all too willing to try Intenze at the behest of her new hunk of a boyfriend, Steve. She soon becomes addicted and so do most of the other people who decide to EDGE. But what happens if you do too much? Will you overdose? What is up with the tall, dark, shadowy man that many who EDGE see while they're tripping? What would happen if the whole town was EDGING? You'll have to read it to find out!


This is an intricately plotted story and I loved seeing how everything slowly came together. In some ways it reminded me of Salem's Lot. We're introduced to people around town and get some insight into their daily lives. Once events ratcheted up, everything came together beautifully. I do think a few portions dragged just a bit around the 75% mark, but that didn't bother me too much, as I was so engaged with the characters I had to see what happened next.


There is an element of originality here with the introduction of Intenze, what it did, and how it was used. There are aspects of this tale that touched on why drug use is so popular, and also on bullies and what motivates them, as well as the acceptance, (or lack thereof) of homosexuality in our homes and in our schools. It is often easy to forget how horrible life can be when one is constantly reminded of, and being made to pay for, being "different." This book takes a hard look at some of those things and I respected and appreciated those bold looks.


EDGING was a nice surprise for me. I'm not sure what I expected, but it wasn't a book this compelling. It was well written, had engaging and interesting characters, an original premise and an exciting denouement. What more could you ask for?


Highly recommended for fans of dark, edgy, (see what I did there?!) fiction!


You can get your copy here: Edging


*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

Datyripper: Deluxe Edition

Daytripper Deluxe Edition - Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon

Daytripper: Deluxe Edition was an absolutely GORGEOUS volume, with a beautiful story to go along with it. .


Uniquely told, this poignant tale will affect you. Don't miss out!

Corpse Cold: New American Folklore by John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan

Corpse Cold: New American Folklore - Chad Wehrle, John Brhel, Joseph T. Sullivan

 CORPSE COLD: NEW AMERICAN FOLKLORE is a nice volume of tales which also includes outstanding illustrations. Just look at that impressive cover to get an idea of the drawings within.


The stories, however, didn't entirely float my boat. While well written for the most part, they are lacking that certain punch that I enjoy in short tales. This is just my personal view and for someone that hasn't read the hundreds of horror stories that I have? This may seem like the best collection of stories EVER.


My favorite was IT THAT DECAYS. If you weren't afraid of the dentist before, you will be now!


AUTOPLAY ON: This was a fun little tale featuring a You Tube channel that was left on all night. (I guess it's best not to do that?)


MOSS LAKE ISLAND was a neat story that took a weird turn about a third of the way in. It gave me the creeps much like IT THAT DECAYS. I like the creeps.


FRIENDSHIP: BURIED AND DEAD. This tale had a cool concept for a theme park. I would like to go there!


A CASKET FOR MY MOTHER cracked me up, especially since this book was funded in much the same way as the main character wants to fund the purchase of a casket for his mom. (I'm not sure it was meant to be funny, but hey, I'm a sick person-just look at the stuff I read!


A quick word about the illustrations? (Okay, two words.) They're fabulous!

CORPSE COLD would be a perfect introduction into the world of dark fiction for an adult who is not that familiar with or well-read in the genre. Perhaps someone who has participated in a round of campfire storytelling and wants more? Seasoned horror readers, like myself, prefer that extra punch to the gut and a tad more blood/gore as well.


Recommended for those new(er) to horror fiction and dark tales!


*I received an e-copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

Friday Reads!


The Listener by Robert McCammon

The Listener - Robert R. McCammon

(Since this book is finally being released next week, I thought I would re-post my review. Any McCammon lovers out there, don't let this one pass you by!)


What a great story this is! Set in the American south during the Great Depression, The Listener is a unique tale. Starting with a man we'll call Pearly and ending with the opening of a free clinic, Robert McCammon sucked me in as he always does and now I have another book to add to my All Time Favorites shelf!



With a young black man as the protagonist and a few visits to characters we've met in the past, (I want to say so much more about them, but I can't spoil the surprise for you!), I wasn't sure for the longest time where this story was going. But when Pearly meets Ginger LaFrance, and joins her cold quest for riches, I knew I was in for the long haul.


Not since the book MINE, has Robert McCammon created such a cunning female villain. Crafty and OH SO cold, Ginger is capable of anything. When she concocts her evil plan with Pearly as her back up, you just know it's not going to go well. And when another of her family members joins their crew, you cannot help but feel that it was a mistake on Ginger's part. You also hope that Ginger doesn't succeed.


At a certain point in The Listener, you just have to hold on for dear life because this tale races to the denouement and you HAVE to know what happens. I recommend shutting yourself in a room for the last 50 pages so you can read it without being bothered. Trust me on this! You will be rewarded with an ending so poignant, yet so perfect and totally satisfying that you might find yourself with a tear in your eye. Not saying that happened to me, (it TOTALLY happened to me), but you know, prepare yourself. Perfection in an ending is so rare, but I think McCammon achieved it here.


The only bad thing about getting an ARC, (and in this case it's a REAL ARC, that I can hold and hug tight to my chest, not that I did that), is that there isn't anyone to talk to about this story. I can't wait for you to read it so we can talk about Curtis and Pearly and good old Nilla.


In February when it's released, I hope you will remember my words here today and hop on the opportunity to read The Listener. Please come and share your thoughts with me when you're done. I hope that Curtis invades your mind space as he has invaded mine, and we can talk about how much we both love him. Or perhaps we can talk about THAT character that was such a memorable part of another GREAT, (maybe the best?) Robert McCammon book, and how much we loved seeing them again? I sure do hope that we can, my fellow readers. I sure do hope we can.


The Listener has earned my highest recommendation!


*Thanks to Cemetery Dance for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Booklikes is reposting reviews to Twitter and Facebook that were supposed to go up last week and which I have already manually shared. Sorry if my reviews are bombing your feeds! It's not me! Really, it's not!


West Cork by Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde

West Cork - Audible Originals, Jennifer Forde, J.H. Bungey


For a few years in my teens and early twenties, I considered myself a true crime buff. I especially liked the books written from a criminal profiling point of view-like the books of Robert Ressler or John Douglas. I also loved the books of Jack Olsen and still think about them quite often. When I saw WEST CORK was available as a free pre-order, I jumped on it and I'm told it's still free at Audible, in case you're interested.


Knowing going in that this case was still not solved made this a little different from the true crime I've read in the past. Those books generally involved cases that did have a verdict. This one doesn't and that makes the experience a little bit frustrating. But in the end, it can't be as frustrating as it is for the victim's family who is still pursuing the case to this very day.


WEST CORK is related as a series of half hour shows, (I guess this was originally a Podcast?), so there is a lot of repetition with the opening and closing of each episode. That said,  I appreciated how the story was presented, starting with the murder victim, Sophie Toscan du Plantier, and then proceeding to lay everything out in chronological order. At certain points, it is actually hard to believe how bungled things became during this investigation. Seriously, some of it seemed like it just could NOT be true...but it was. I'm not going to get into the specifics so as you can hear the details as the producers intended.


For myself, as a fan of true crime, I found this case fascinating. Not only as to how the investigation proceeded, but also, later on, as to how the laws for proceeding with criminal and/or civil charges vary from country to country. I was surprised, to be honest, that some of the people acting as eyewitnesses weren't criminally charged, (if you listen to this, you'll know why). Lastly, I was surprised by how much certain people want publicity, be it good or bad, THEY WANT IT. I can't for the life of me see why?


I enjoyed listening to this well put together presentation of the case(s), and I only wish my enjoyment didn't have to come at the expense of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. May she rest in peace.


*Thanks to Audible for the free download of this production.*

Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone

Zero Day: The Hatching Series, Book 3 (Hatching Series, The) - Ezekiel Boone

ZERO DAY was a fun wrap up to the trilogy that started with THE HATCHING.


The narrative is still following all the same people, people who are now facing the fallout from a few nuclear strikes across the U.S., and the previous ones which occurred in various places around the world. The spiders are still continuing to mutate and evolve with the most dangerous of them all appearing in this book.


I enjoyed following the characters around on each of their missions and adventures. What I did not like was the following, (do not click if you don't want to know): 

 where are the dead people? None of the main people die! I wish the story had more guts by sacrificing at least one of the main characters. Having them all live was just playing it too safe for my liking. Of course, I like it when everyone dies, so your mileage may vary.) I rarely felt anyone was in real danger.

(show spoiler)


Additionally, I wanted more spider action. In the previous two books, there was lots of it. They were both your usual quick chapter Creature Features with lots of spiders overcoming people, animals, etc... In this book there is little of that, other than during the denouement, which was disappointing.


As a whole, this series was a ton of fun! Even though I found this entry to be slightly wanting, the trilogy itself was a blast, with a couple of real twists that I enjoyed. And, I have to admit that at times, reading it made me itchy!


If Creature Features are your thing, then I highly recommend you check out this trilogy! I'd just advise you to have lots of lights on, so you can immediately spot any insects heading your way.


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

Corpus Press 99¢ eBook Sale

Reblogged from Gregor Xane:

Click the image below for 99¢ eBooks.

Friday Reads!


Tarnished City, (Dark Gifts #2) by Vic James

Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) - Vic James


TARNISHED CITY is an amazing follow-up to last year's GILDED CAGE. In fact, I think I liked this one just a little bit more!


Even though I see this listed and shelved as YA, it's much darker than most YA I've tried, (which admittedly is not a lot because it's usually too angst-y for me.) In this case however, the author nixes a lot of the extraneous stuff and focuses on the characters and the intricately plotted story.


It took me a little while to get back into the flow, (it's been just over a year since I've visited this world), but once I did, I was so happy to be there! There's no real re-cap, which I appreciated. I feel that if an author's characters are strong enough, they should come back without my having to be reminded and these certainly did. There's a large cast here and the characters refer to other characters using the names by which they know them-sometimes resulting in 2 or 3 different names for a person, depending upon the point of view at the time.


I noted that a lot of what is going on in this book is going on in the real world right now. Perhaps not slavery exactly, (those with no Skill must serve 10 years as a slave), but classism, (against those born with no Skill), and the increasingly outspoken attitudes and acceptance of those with racist views. It comes all the way up to the sanction of violence against those who disagree or who dare to stand up against those in power. I guess I'm trying to say that it's obvious to me that the author knows what she's talking about as far as how the story relates to the world today, and it's downright scary.


I feel like I needed to make these points, but now that I have, I want to say how much I loved this tale! I loved the characters, they're well drawn and oh, so human. They aren't perfect, in fact, many of them are downright horrible people, but they're fun to read about. The machinations and the conniving going on rival that in any adult fantasy that I've read-with the added bonus of not having to wait 5+ years for the next book.


I say BRAVO, Vic James! You've created a compelling, fun and interesting world, populated with deep, complicated characters and I can't wait to come back to it once again. Highly recommended!


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

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

What can I add to what everyone else has written? Nothing. This was awesome! That is all.


I posted this yesterday. It posted to Facebook and Twitter, but did not post here. I tried to post it again today. Nothing. Now I'm just creating an entire new post only because I'm so excited about how good this graphic novel was. 


This site is getting on my nerves.

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

What can I add to what everyone else has written? Nothing. This was awesome! That is all.

All the Names They Used For God by Anjali Sachdeva

All the Names They Used for God: Stories - Anjali Sachdeva

ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD is a collection of short literary fiction stories, the last two of which were absolutely brilliant.


The tales in this book are all over the place, but I think it's all the different facets of humanity that link them all together. No two stories here are even remotely alike and I enjoyed that diversity.


Among my favorites were:


LOGGING LAKE which involved a strange happening at an ill advised campsite.


ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD which was a heartbreaking story of two young girls who were kidnapped and forever changed by it.


ROBERT GREENMAN AND THE MERMAID: Once we glimpse something fantastic,(in the true sense of the word), it is very difficult to let it go.


MANUS was probably my favorite story here. After so many tales involving ordinary life, here's one that is totally out of left field. Gripping, poignant, and so creative-I'll never look at a human hand in the same way again.


And finally, PLEIADES: I don't even know what to say about this story. It's powerful, beautifully written and well told. I doubt anyone could read it and remain unmoved.


I liked the tales in this collection, but until the last two I didn't feel that this volume was anything special. MANUS and PLEIADES elevated this book to something really special in my eyes, and I highly recommend this book to fans of literary and speculative fiction.


*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*


**Also, thanks to my fellow book blogger Cody for turning me on to this collection. You can find his excellent reviews here: **

Reading progress update: I've read 210 out of 488 pages.

Vision: The Complete Series (Vision: Director's Cut (2017)) - Stephen King, Mike Del Mundo, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Michael Walsh

I'm enjoying my re-read so far. I'd forgotten how sad this story is, though. 


I have the day off today and am reading a few different things. It's great!

March: Book Two by John Lewis

March: Book Two - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Robert Lewis


Just like with The Complete Maus, (a graphic novel about the Holocaust), I learned a lot about the civil rights movement that I do not remember learning in school.


I knew about the Freedom Rides and the Lunch Counter Sit-ins, but I didn't know about  children getting hit with fire hoses or the repeated beatings and jailings of the peaceful protesters. 


Starting and ending with the swearing in of President Obama, I can't imagine what that must feel like to John Lewis. Starting life not being able to eat in certain restaurants and having to ride at the back of the bus, and getting all the way to a black president in one lifetime. It's an amazing accomplishment and John Lewis was a huge part of it. 


I wasn't all that crazy about the art in this volume, hence the 4 start rating. I will continue on to the next, (and last), volume. 

Currently reading

Video Night by Adam Cesare, Matt Godfrey
Jackrabbit Smile (Hap and Leonard) by Joe R. Lansdale
Progress: 35%
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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