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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The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger -The Little Sisters of Eluria

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Little Sisters of Eluria #5 (of 5) - Robin Furth, Peter David, Stephen King, Luke Ross, Richard Isanove

 

This was a disappointing foray into a side story of the Dark Tower.

 

What I liked about it was its connection to King/Straub's novel, The Talisman. (Which is one of my favorite books.) If you've read it, you know that young Jack is trying to save his mom, (who is a Queen in another world), and she is very sick. When we first meet her, she is in a huge tent, fighting for her life. That huge tent is the main setting for this story. (A nice explanation of this comes in the foreword.)

 

This tale comes before the last entry in the graphic novel series, so we've gone backwards a bit in the timeline. I was okay with that but I'm not really okay with the change in how Roland looks and the artwork. While I loved the pencil drawings in the back, Roland looks like an entirely different person than in all the previous comics. I am having a hard time dealing with that. I think that the graphics in the previous novels are superior than the ones in this volume.

 

Overall, I liked the story and the setting, just not as much as the previous entries in this series.

April 2017 Round up!

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson, Max Booth III, Glen Krisch, Jessica McHugh, Kealan Patrick Burke, Mark Matthews, Jack Ketchum Kindred - Octavia E. Butler Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz, Ken Greenhall, Jessica Hamilton Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King, Norman Prentiss, Richard Chizmar, Brian James Freeman, Joyce Carol Oates Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey, Valancourt Books, Fredric Brown The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead - Peter David, Stephen King, Richard Ianove, Robin Furth You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott People of the Sun - Jason  Parent

I read 20 books during April! That might be a personal record!

 

Graphic Novels:

 

The Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

The Dark Tower: The Battle of Jericho Hill

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (The Journey Begins)

American Vampire: Volume 4

 

Total: 5

 

Audio Books: 

 

Kindred by Octavia Butler

The Late Breakfasters by Robert Aickman

Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

 

Total: 4 

 

E-ARCS 

 

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror

Ararat by Christopher Golden

Elizabeth by Ken Greenhall

Jericho's Razor by Casey Doran

Dark Screams: Volume 6

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

 

Total: 7

 

Random Books 

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One

Nightmare of the Dead by Vincenzo Bilof

People of the Sun by Jason Parent

Soles by Kay Brandt

 

Total: 4

 

Total Books Read in April: 20

 

 

Reading Challenges

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

Running Count: 3

 

Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge: 

Goal: Read Horror Books!

 

January Books: 5

February Books: 3 

March Books: 4

April Books: 9

 

Running Count: 21

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017  

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

Running count: 17

 

Keep Calm and Read On!

 

 

Sci-Fi and Scary Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge-April Update

Soles - Kay Brandt Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King, Norman Prentiss, Richard Chizmar, Brian James Freeman, Joyce Carol Oates Nightmare Of The Dead - Vincenzo Bilof Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz, Ken Greenhall, Jessica Hamilton Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson, Max Booth III, Glen Krisch, Jessica McHugh, Kealan Patrick Burke, Mark Matthews, Jack Ketchum At The Cemetery Gates: Year One - Chad Wehrle, John Brhel, Joseph T. Sullivan Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey, Valancourt Books, Fredric Brown Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

 

I am participating in a Horror Reading Challenge over at the Sci-Fi and Scary blog. You can sign up yourself at the Sci-Fi and Scary Blog here: Sci-Fi and Scary

 

This month I've read 9  books towards the challenge this month:

 

Garden of Fiends (Tales of Addiction Horror)

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One 

 

Elizabeth 

 

Ararat 

 

Dark Screams: Volume 6

 

Nightmare of the Dead

 

Nightmares and Geezenstacks

 

Just Add Water

 

Soles

 

April Total: 9

March Total: 4

February Total: 3

January Total: 5

 

Total: 21

 

 

 

Booklikes-opoly Roll 6

Current Bank: $27.00

 

Roll 5 sent me to Paradise Pier 31, but I couldn't come up with a carnival or circus book, (or a book that started with a letter in the word PIXAR), that I could squeeze into my reading schedule. So I sat out my day on Friday and Saturday was too busy to roll. but I'm ready now!

 

 

 

 

Which puts me at Start:

 

 

 

The START SPACE instructions read:

 

Start Space:

This is a free space - read any book!

 

 

 

I choose: 

 

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse - Amanda Horan,Graeme Parker,Jack Strange  

Soles by Kay Brandt

Soles - Kay Brandt

Soles has the most original premise of any book I've read so far this year!

 

Roland has inherited his family's shoe shop which has gone severely downhill since the violent death of his parents. His Aunt Grace has tried to keep it going, but is finally throwing in the towel and handing it over to Rolie. Problem is, he's not interested and...oh yeah, the place is haunted.

 

I'm not going to act like I understood everything that went on, but honestly, I don't need to understand every little thing. The atmosphere went from slightly silly when Rolie first took over the store and hired Stephanie, to deadly serious when Stephanie's friends came to rob the store. There were some extremely creepy moments,

especially when the shop kept locking its own doors, trapping Rolie inside. For some reason, that gave me the shudders.

(show spoiler)

 

  In the end, I'm not positive as to the cause of things, but I'm okay with that because I enjoy ambiguous stories and providing my own ideas as to what was happening :

my thoughts being that Rolie's father, literally, put his soul into the soles, (see what I did there?), and they carried it on, as did the shop itself, long after he was gone. Or perhaps the shop was haunted before Roland's dad ever took it over? 

(show spoiler)

Am I right or am I wrong? That's the beauty of ambiguous stories: I don't know. Perhaps you'll come up with your own theory and we can discuss it?

 

Soles is an original take on a haunting and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The writing was above average and in the creative department this tale knocked the ball out of the park. As such, I recommend it-especially to readers that don't need everything tied up in a neat little bow. If this sounds interesting to you, you can grab your copy here: Soles and we can discuss it when you're done!

 

*I was provided an e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

I've read 45 out of 144 pages and

The Creeps: A Deep Dark Fears Collection - Fran Krause

this is so cute! My Goodreads friend Spencer read it and gave it a good rating, so when I saw The Creeps available on NetGalley, I requested it. I just started it last night and it's cracking me up! These are comic strips based on the fears, (silly or real), of regular people. Like so:

 

 

 

 

Or like this:

 

 

Booklikes-opoly Update!

 

Yesterday, I landed on Paradise Pier!

 

 

I have SO MANY great horror books that have carnivals or circuses in them, but I just don't have the time to squeeze them into my reading schedule right now. 

I'm going to sit this one out and roll again, tomorrow or Sunday and see where that lands me. 

People of the Sun by Jason Parent

People of the Sun - Jason  Parent

People of the Sun is a science fiction tale with heart!

 

Have you ever wondered how the world would react if we ever made "first contact" (to borrow from Star Trek, that's right, I'm a Trekkie), with an alien race? As Dave Matthews asks in his song Time Bomb, "If Martians fell from the sky, what would that do to God? Would we put the weapons down, or aim them up at the sky?" This book has its own way of answering that question.

 

When we imagine aliens, we might think of little green men, or ET or perhaps "gray men." However we might think of them, we do seem to think of them as all alike. This book addresses the likely fact that they are NOT all the same, that each of them has a personality just as we do. What happens if some of them are good and some are not? Everything becomes that much more complicated, doesn't it?

 

I'm not going further into the plot because the synopsis and several other reviews already do that. I will say that this book made me think of our likely response,(as a nation), and what I came up with was not pretty. It gets exponentially worse when I think of our response as a WORLD, with all of our different governments, with great and petty leaders alike.

 

I think Mr. Parent's take on all this was realistic and it caused me to think about all of these issues and more. Even though this was mainly a science-fiction novel, it had elements of horror. It was also well written. A good story entertains, has complex characters and it makes you think. People of the Sun has all that and as such I recommend it!

 

*Thanks to the author for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it. Further, I consider this author to be a friend, but this did not affect the content of my review.*

Booklikes-opoly Roll 5!

I finished my last book and it's time to roll again!

 

 

That brings me to: 

 

I'm going to have to pick through my TBR and see what I can come up with!

 

Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

Amazing sea monkeys!! Remember those ads in the back of comic books? Didn't you always want them? I know I did. But my mean smart parents never let me order them because they were a "waste of money." That's what David and Patrick's parents told them too, but they ordered them anyway. Just Add Water is the story of what happened next.

 

 

This novella read so fast and was so much fun that I almost read it all in one sitting. It's exactly what a creature feature fan wants in a story. Lots of action? Check! High body count? Check! Lots of blood and gore? Check! This tale has the added bonus of being set in the 80's, and 80's nostalgia works for me.

 

All in all, I say "head's up" creature feature fans! This one is not to be missed! I highly recommend it!

 

*Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin/Random House for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

Booklikes-opoly Update!

Just Add Water - Hunter Shea

My last roll landed me here and I have a book that qualifies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woot! I don't even know what that thing is, so it's exotic to me! 

 

American Vampire Volume 4 by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Jordi Bernet

American Vampire, Vol. 4 - Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Jordi Bernet

There were three stories in this volume and I enjoyed them all!

 

Pre-vampire Skinner Sweet and his childhood friend Jim Book, , 50's greaser vampire-hunter Travis Kidd and his badass hot rod, and lastly Calvin Poole living life as a black vampire in the 60's.

 

We were all over the place, time-wise, in this one, but that was cool because the times were interesting. Also, Skinner Sweet wasn't in this one all that much, which I thought was a good thing.

 

I do wish we got to see more of Pearl and Henry, but what we did see has me stoked for the next volume, which luckily is sitting there waiting for me on my reading table at home. Onward!

 

These may not be the best graphic novels ever, but I sure am enjoying the hell out of them just the same.

Booklikes-opoly Roll 4

Current bank: $ 26.00

 

I rolled and finished my last book on Sunday and today I'm eligible to roll again!

I rolled:

 

Which brings me to:

 

I'm not sure I have anything that's going to fit this bill AND fit into my reading schedule, but I'll check. 

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott, narrated by Lauren Fortgang

You Will Know Me: A Novel - Hachette Audio, Megan Abbott, Lauren Fortgang

You Will Know Me is my first book by Megan Abbott. It will not be my last.

 

My on-line friend and author, Randy Chandler, recommended her work to me, and I filed it away under "authors to investigate." Then I ran across Ms. Abbott's intro to Ed Brubaker's FATALE: DELUXE EDITION and I liked her style, (AND I LOVED that incredible graphic novel), so when I saw You Will Know Me available at my local library on audio, I hopped on it.

 

In listening to this book, I experienced so much tension and apprehension, I couldn't wait to get back to it after being forced to, you know, work and feed my family. The narrator was fantastic and so was the story. I thought I had it all figured out early on, but I was only partly right. To me, it wasn't the mystery that appealed to me the most, in fact you might guess it right away. It was the way in which this tale was told that got to me; the family dynamics, their sacrifices and resentments all rang true, as did the characters of the family friends and fellow sports parents. (Gymnastics play a big part in this story and the parents of the children...well, some of them were just the worst.) Having dealt with similar parents when my son was growing up and playing baseball, all of this just felt like superior, honest, storytelling and to that I say BRAVO!

 

Highly recommended!

Booklikes-opoly Bank Update!

Yesterday I rolled and landed on New Orleans 19, aka The Perfect Spot for Char!

I chose:

American Vampire, Vol. 4 - Scott Snyder,Rafael Albuquerque,Jordi Bernet 

 

I finished it last night, (review to go up later), and now I'm updating my bank!

208 pages = $3.00

Bank total: $26.00

 

Tomorrow, I shall roll again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booklikes-opoly: Roll 3

I finished up my first book for Booklikes-opoly:

 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann  

 

I had to make a few adjustments. 

1. I was 5% into this book before I found out it was eligible for the BL square. -18 pages

2. The book ended at 73%, the rest being appendices, footnotes and acknowledgements. Since I don't feel it's fair to count those: -70 pages. The book is listed at Amazon as 352 pages total. 352-88=264.

264 pages read = $3.00

Bank now: $23.00

 

I was last on the BL square and now rolling again!

 

I rolled an 8 which lands me on New Orleans square 19. WHOOHOO!

 

 

 

I'm going for this one, which I was going to read anyway:

 

American Vampire, Vol. 4 - Scott Snyder,Rafael Albuquerque,Jordi Bernet 

 

There's my witch hat that doesn't quite fit, but who cares?

Currently reading

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman, Steve West
Progress: 82%
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Way Station by Peter David, Stephen King, Richard Ianove, Laurence Campbell, Robin Furth
The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith, Jon Stewart
Progress: 37%
Saffron And Brimstone: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand
Progress: 75%
Boo! by David Haynes
Progress: 60%

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Horror Aficionados
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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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