16. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocolyptic, Fiction, Horror, Teen Books · Tags:

Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee , read by Angie, on 09/15/2013

Gospel and Merciful Truth live in a cabin in the woods with their mother, who has just died. Their only neighbors are Widow Cally and Jenny Gone and the Minister, a made thing who preaches the word of God. They are surrounded by a closing fog that leaves nothingness in their wake. Merciful thinks her mother is up and moving even though she is dead. The minister is keeping secrets. The world is ending and strange things are happening.

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book about the world ending because God is punishing humanity. Most apocalyptic books have some references to God and religion (not always positive), but I don’t think God is often shouldering responsibility for the end of the world. This is an interesting mix of horror and spirituality. The characters are confined to the cabin because of a snow storm for the majority of the book which makes it very claustrophobic. Gospel and Merciful have to rely on themselves for most of what they know. Everyone is hiding things from them or lying and it is up to them to discern the truth. I’m not sure it all makes sense; the backstory is not adequately explained in my opinion. There is a sense of mystery and unknowingness that permeates the entire thing. There is also a beauty in Merciful’s story as she tries to figure things out. Ultimately she is responsible for her choices and the decisions she makes and she accepts that. There is no happy ending for our characters; just choices, mistakes and an ending.

I received a copy of this book at ALA 2013 and from the publishers on Netgalley.com.

16. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Horror, Science Fiction, Teen Books

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman , read by Angie, on 09/15/2013

Oleander is your typical small town in Kansas, nothing much happens there until the day people went on a crazy murder spree. It is now one year later and the town has settled down, but they can’t forget the horror of the Killing Day. Daniel was the only survivor of a drug store shooting; Jule saw her aunt and uncle die; Ellie witnessed the crucifixion of a man; Matt, closeted gay jock, watched his lover get hit by a car repeatedly; and Cass is the only killer who lived, she killed a baby she was babysitting and has been in an institution ever since. So life returns to normal until a massive F5 tornado destroys half the town. Now everyone is going a little crazy, impulse control has been tossed aside, and the town is quarantined by soldiers. Oleander turns into a powder keg of religious zealots, power-hungry politicians, meth lords and crazy football jocks. Everyone is out to get someone and nowhere is safe. Daniel, Jule, Matt, Ellie, and Cass band together for survival, but will all of them survive?

This is a seat-of-your-pants horror thrill ride. It would actually make a great movie. It reminded me of Stephen King in its cast of characters and storytelling. You feel very claustrophobic in this small town with nowhere to go and no one to trust. Even a little old lady can be a killer in Oleander. I’m not sure I buy the science explanation behind the crazy, but if you take that with a grain of salt and just enjoy the ride you will not be disappointed. I really couldn’t put this book down. Wasserman is not afraid to go dark or to kill off characters. I like the question of whether the drug made everyone crazy or if it just brought out what was already there. Any author who starts a book off with the killing of a baby and then makes you sympathetic to the baby-killer is one twisted writer…and makes for a great book!

I received a copy of this book from the publishers at Netgalley.com.

09. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Horror

Funland by Richard Laymon, read by Helen, on 08/29/2013

The Funland Amusement Park provides more fear than fun these days. A vicious pack known as the Trolls are preying on anyone foolish enough to be alone at night. Folks in the area blame them for the recent mysterious disappearances, and a gang of local teenagers has decided to fight back. But nothing is ever what it seems in an amusement park. Behind the garish paint and bright lights waits a horror far worse than anything found in the freak show. Step right up. The terror is about to begin!

09. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Apocolyptic, Fiction, Helen, Horror

The stand by Stephen King, read by Helen, on 08/25/2013

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides–or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail–and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.

05. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Horror, Kim

N0S4A2 by Joe Hill, read by Kim, on 09/04/2013

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photography, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing–and terrifying–playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble–and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Great book!!! Joe Hill follows in his father’s footsteps as a classic horror writer!!!!!

31. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Horror, Tracy

Stokers Manuscript, by Royce Prouty, read by Tracy, on 08/23/2013

When rare-manuscript expert Joseph Barkeley is hired to authenticate and purchase the original draft and notes for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, little does he know that the reclusive buyer is a member of the oldest family in Transylvania.

After delivering the manuscript to the legendary Bran Castle in Romania, Barkeley—a Romanian orphan himself—realizes to his horror that he’s become a prisoner to the son of Vlad Dracul. To earn his freedom, Barkeley must decipher cryptic messages hidden in the text of the original Dracula that reveal the burial sites of certain Dracul family members. Barkeley’s only hope is to ensure that he does not exhaust his usefulness to his captor until he’s able to escape. Soon he discovers secrets about his own lineage that suggest his selection for the task was more than coincidence. In this knowledge may lie Barkeley’s salvation—or his doom. For now he must choose between a coward’s flight and a mortal conflict against an ancient foe.

Building on actual international events surrounding the publication of Bram Stoker’s original novel, Royce Prouty has written a spellbinding debut novel that ranges from 1890s Chicago, London, and Transylvania to the perilous present.

27. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror · Tags:

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, read by Brian, on 08/17/2013

American Vampire is the first in series about a new breed of vampire in America.  This breed is more cunning and vicious compared to most vampires portrayed in literature, hence, they don’t sparkle in the sunlight.  Stephen King wrote this novels with long time graphic novelist Scott Snyder.

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26. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal

Joyland by Stephan King, read by Brian, on 08/23/2013

I’ve got the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in Joyland. Where? Down in Joyland.  Stephen King has once again delivered another masterpiece of a short story.  Joyland isn’t scary or sexy but more of a mystery.  Sure there is a ghost a bad guy and a pretty lady but this story has a sweetness to it and heartache as well.  Character development is King’s greatest strength and I thank him for it.  The carnival has always been a fascination with me.  It is mysterious and creepy and even though I’m a rube, I just love the atmosphere of it.

joy

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Courtney, Horror, Science Fiction, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad, read by Courtney, on 07/07/2013

In the not-too-distant future, plans are being made to bring mankind back to the moon. It’s been decades since the first astronauts set foot on the lunar surface and NASA has now decided to send a new crew up. The twist this time is that they’ve decided to send three teenagers (for the ratings, ostensibly). A giant, world-wide lottery is held and three are chosen: Midori (a trendy Harajuku girl who longs to see the world), Antoine (the broken-hearted Parisian who wants to get as far away from his ex as possibly), and Mia (a musican from Norway who honestly has no desire to go to the moon, but is signed up by her parents and goes anyway). After their training, they’re off to be the first inhabitants on DARLAH-2, a space station that was built in the ’70′s but the existence of which has only just been made known to the public. Things go smoothly until the teens and their accompanying astronauts arrive at the station. First, the power goes out. Then people start dying.
I picked this up, thinking it was going to be a sci-fi book but was surprised to discover that this book is far more horror than sci-fi. The setting, however, did add to the claustrophobic feel- earth is days away, which means no rescue and nowhere to run. There’s a pervasive feeling of dread throughout in spite of the excitement that surrounds the fanfare put forth by NASA (the narrative is interspersed with advertisements promoting the lottery, as well as photos and diagrams from the mission itself).
I wound up using this book as one of my high school book group’s selections, with great success. There was plenty to discuss and all agreed that the book was definitely creepy. One girl claimed to have screamed. I, personally, had a few issues with the premise itself (i.e. who would ever think it’s a good idea to send minors into space?). I was also very unclear as to the nature of the menace facing the kids and crew. This was likely intentional, but still a bit frustrating. Overall, an unusual reading experience. Gotta love YA lit for its genre-blending tendencies.

27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Helen, Horror, Mystery

Joyland by Stephen King, read by Helen, on 06/05/2013

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Tammy · Tags: ,

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, read by Tammy, on 06/24/2013

Moving and thought-provoking. Definitely not two words I thought I’d ever use to describe a zombie novel.

world war zIt didn’t dwell on the gore of a zombie attack and killing zombies though some of that action is described. Instead it is a collection of first person accounts from doctors to soldiers to individual citizens and political leaders in a variety of countries and cultures. It clearly brings home the emotional, social and economic damage caused by world-wide plague conditions or even an individual country laid low by a plague outbreak. It deftly combines the two (war and plague) never completely forgetting that the enemy were once other human beings often neighbors and friends or family who did not choose to become the enemy but for your survival and the survival of the human race and the human spirit — they all have to die.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Elizabeth, Horror

London Falling by Paul Cornell, read by Elizabeth, on 06/16/2013

London Falling

I was excited when I picked up a copy of Paul Cornell’s London Falling. The book has been widely described as urban fantasy, a genre that I really enjoy. I knew of Cornell from his work on the television program Doctor Who. I immensely enjoyed London Falling, but I do not consider it to be a wholly urban fantasy novel.

London Falling tells the story of a group of police officers who have worked to find enough evidence against a local gang leader to put him behind bars. When the suspect is gruesomely killed in a locked room, the police are baffled. Their investigation leads them to discover another London, one filled with magic, witchcraft and evil.

While I understand why the novel is being described as urban fantasy, I disagree with that assessment. Perhaps it has some elements of the genre, but I would describe London Falling as a police procedural supernatural horror with a very British sense of humor. The result is a horrifyingly exciting story that I would recommend to fans of supernatural horror, police procedurals and English football (soccer) humor.

 

 

04. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror · Tags:

Fall of Night by Rachel Caine, read by Brian, on 06/04/2013

Fall of Night is the fourteenth book in the Morganville Vampire series.  This is the first book that takes place out of Morganville.  Why? Morganville is ruled by vampires and no one leaves Morganville without permission from the vamps.  Claire the main character of the story is has permission to leave and attend college at MIT.  Claire will be working with a professor and former resident of Morganville to a machine that can slow down a vampires attack.  Most of the main characters are back for a thrill ride that doesn’t stop until the last page.

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03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Brian, Fantasy, Fiction, Food, Horror · Tags:

Apocaylpse Cow by Michael Logan, read by Brian, on 06/01/2013

Do you want to stop eating meat?  Read Apocalypse Cow and your meat eating days will be in the past.  The setting starts out at a slaughter house outside of Great Britain.  A cow dies and then comes back to life to attack the owner of the establishment.  Without warning all the cows start attacking the humans.  A special group of men are sent  to take care of the problem.  The only issue, a cow gets away starting and an epidemic of animals turning into zombies begins.  This book could have been called, “Revenge of the Animals”, as the human population [Great Britain area] starts to head towards extinction.

cow

31. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Helen, Horror, Paranormal

Abandon by Blake Crouch, read by Helen, on 05/30/2013

On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins; and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so that they can learn what happened. With them is a psychic, and a paranormal photographer—as the town is rumored to be haunted. A party that tried to explore the town years ago was never heard from again. What this crew is about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive.

31. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Helen, Horror

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill , read by Helen, on 05/09/2013

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photography, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing–and terrifying–playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble–and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

06. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Horror, Tammy, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense · Tags:

Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine, read by Tammy, on 05/06/2013

bitter blood Book 13 in the Morganville series and Rachel Caine is back on her game. After a couple of books in the series seeming to drag, this one flew by and had several surprises and concentrates on Claire and her relationships and her feelings of growing up.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Fiction, Helen, Horror, Science Fiction

The Remaining by D.J. Molles, read by Helen, on 04/25/2013

In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 40 feet below the basement level of his house, Captain Lee Harden of the United States Army waits. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace. The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts. The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed. Some day soon, Captain Harden will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his very simple mission: Subvenire Refectus.

To Rescue and Rebuild.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Helen, Horror

Bottled Abyss by Benjamin Kane Ethridge, read by Helen, on 04/04/2013

YOU’VE TAKEN PAYMENT FOR A DEATH THAT DOESN’T BELONG TO YOU. WHAT WERE THREE ARE NOW ONE, AND I AM FURY…
Herman and Janet Erikson are going through a crisis of grief and suffering after losing their daughter in a hit and run. They’ve given up on each other, they’ve given up on themselves. They are living day by day. One afternoon, to make a horrible situation worse, their dog goes missing in the coyote-infested badlands behind their property. Herman, resolved in preventing another tragedy, goes to find the dog, completely unaware he’s on a hike to the River Styx, which according to Greek myth was the border between the Living World and the world of the Dead. Long ago the gods died and the River dried up, but a bottle containing its waters still remains in the badlands. What Herman discovers about the dark power contained in those waters will change his life forever…

24. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Brian, Fiction, Horror · Tags:

World War Z by Max Brooks, read by Brian, on 04/22/2013

World War Z is the first hand account of those around the world who survived the near extinction of the Zombie War.  Max Brooks travels the world to interview men, women and children to document this historical event.  The book is chilling and makes you think of present times.  My favorite part is when a man commented on how whales got the worst of it when the plague broke out.

worldwarz