Tag Archives: horror

NetGalley Review: Salvage by Duncan Ralston

Forsaken Publishing To Be Published Nov. 10, 2015 Kindle 304 pages
Forsaken Publishing
To Be Published Nov. 10, 2015
Kindle 304 pages

Thirty years earlier Peace Falls was flooded to build a dam leaving ruins under Chapel Lake. A pastor and his parishioners have strangely disappeared, leaving a town divided and haunted.

Owen Saddler is a loner; not very close to his mother and hates his Step-Father. All he has is his little sister, Lori. When she mysteriously drowns at the “haunted” waters of Chapel Lake he decides to follow in her footsteps and discover the truth. 

This was a creepy book. But it was good despite some issues.

It is slightly hard for me to rate the characters within this book because for the most part I have no idea why the author describes Owen as a loner, mama’s boy for most of the book. Owen it in very easily with people and although he was feeling some type of way about life he wasn’t as depressing as described, even when he was by himself.

I liked Owen not as a accelerator of the story but as average guy; because to be perfectly honest he isn’t spectacular and the events that happen to him when they do happen are lack luster. The tension you feel through the entire book isn’t fixed by amazing dramatic scenes if nothing else you wish for more . . . I wished for.

As for the other characters .  .  . there wasn’t enough about them for me to feel that if they were missing from the book I would be upset. Even the “romance” didn’t add anything or make Owen more human.

The book was slow and this was because of the lack luster drama scenes. Do not get me wrong it was creepy and almost scary but there wasn’t enough to give this book a higher rating.

However, the author Ralston, can write. Although it took me a while, I finished the book and I liked it. He was able to pull me into the tension, give me goosebumps and make me semi content with the ending.

Overall I did like the book despite the issues I had.

3 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Tell the Story to Its End by Simon P. Clark

St. Martin's Griffin To Be Published Oct. 20, 2015 208 Pages
St. Martin’s Griffin
To Be Published Oct. 20, 2015
208 Pages

Oli is has been taken from his home and with his mom moved to the countryside for the summer to live with an Uncle and Aunt he never met. Oli knows that everyone is keeping a secret from him especially since he hasn’t heard from his dad and his mom won’t talk to him about it. 

So Oil discovers a secret of his own; a creature in the attic. His name is Eren and he likes stories. Soon Oli is sharing his story and slowly discovers the secrets his family is hiding. 

Short review*

This book was painfully slow and although I understood why people thought it to be creepy, the creepiness didn’t last long at all.

When you met Eren that is when it is creepy and the thought of not knowing if he is real or part of Oli’s imagination makes it creepy but the book itself isn’t creepy. To be honest by the end of the book, I thought it was in Oli’s head as a way to cope with the fact that he was away from his home, his mother wasn’t really speaking to him and his father was gone.

I felt that the author was trying too hard to make this book more of a realistic horror than actually a book that makes you uneasy in your seat. I can’t say I enjoyed the book it was okay. I don’t feel the author was creative enough nor was the characters interesting enough for an adult let alone a child.

The cover offers horror, the title offers mystery but the book itself doesn’t offer anything. Other people love it I don’t.

2 Pickles

Impatiently Waiting For: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

 G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015 352 Pages
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015
352 Pages

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.- Goodreads

NetGalley Review: Don’t Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine

St. Martin's Griffin To Be Published April 17, 2015 304 Pages
St. Martin’s Griffin
To Be Published April 17, 2015
304 Pages

After the car accident that left her father dead and her mother in a case, Lisa has been haunted by nightmares and is forced to see a doctor.

When her doctor suggests for Lisa to take a job baby sitting, she immediately find a position watching a young boy on fear street. But what she thought would be easy money turned out to be the biggest mistake of her life. 

I love R. L. Stine. I am a loyal fan for life but that doesn’t mean that I will always love his stuff. The thing about this read is that it was good but I would love it more if I was 13 years old.

Lisa isn’t really like-able. She was a brat before the accident and a brat after. She also couldn’t tell the truth for the life of her, which is interesting because the only thing she felt comfortable telling anyone was the monsters she sees.

Another issue I had with this book was the “romance.” I feel that it was added to appeal to Young Adults but it was as lackluster and felt forced. Lisa made it seem as if she was forced to be with him. There was also an issue with all the relationships. I didn’t understand why Lisa or any of the characters are friends. It doesn’t feel like a friendship there is no emotions no love within it.

Also the book was misleading. You feel that Lisa’s nightmares are tied into what she thinks she sees but that isn’t the case. I felt that this read although filled my need for a R.L. Stine it didn’t meet the expectations of a horror book.

2 Pickles

Manga Review: Resident Evil, Vol 1: The Marhawa Desire by Capcom (Creator), Naoki Serizawa

VIZ Media LLC Published Nov. 18 2014 176 Pages
VIZ Media LLC
Published Nov. 18 2014
176 Pages

*Prequel to Resident Evil 6 game*

At elite an Marhawa High School in Singapore, a student is infected and is suffering from a horrific transformation. As a favor to the headmaster, Professor Doug Wright and his nephew Ricky attend this school in order to help with the outbreak.

But they are unaware that Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance are looking for Wright and are close behind.

I am a fan of resident evil. So this book was an immediate grab. Let’s talk about the artwork first.

Graphic, bloody the definition of zombie horror. There was also great care in details not just in the gore but in all of the characters. No one look exactly the same and there wasn’t cliche Japanese characters either.

What I liked about the story line was that it didn’t leave you in the dark. Even if you don’t know the original story you don’t feel as if you are completely missing things. The relationship between Chris and Professor Wright is interesting and I am hoping that volume two will explain more because for the life of me I don’t fully understand why Chris wanted to see Wright.

The thing about this volume is it opens the door for a lot of possibilities for what can happen next and I feel not only will it have to do with the past but with Ricky. There was a really good flow of characters, creepiness and excitement in this volume.

Overall 3 Pickles 

Manga Review: Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida

Glénat  Published Sept. 27, 2013 224 Pages
Glénat
Published Sept. 27, 2013
224 Pages

Tokyo has a ghoul problem. Ghouls who eat humans in order to Haise Sasaki, the number one ghoul investigator, is working as the leader of The Quinx Squad in order to eliminate this threat to society. 

This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. When you talk about ghouls, especially flesh eating ghouls, you expect a certain type of horror, blood and gore. But this first book didn’t really provide that.

It provided a decent back-story, not necessarily where ghouls from. It is a bit of a touch and go. However, what I did like about this manga was the creativity in regards to the ghouls and some of their everyday life.

Yes, it did leave a lot (seriously a lot) to the imagination,  which is a good thing because this is a pretty long series. But based off what I read, I am sensing some predictability not in the whole series but in certain aspects.

As for the artwork, it was creepy but there wasn’t enough detail in the gore. There are scenes but if there is a state of emergency, there should be more even if it is the first book in the series.

Overall, it worth continuing

2.5 Pickles

Year in Review: Pretty Covers

What Tanya Wants: October 2014

 

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker: Family issues, a swamp and some romance? Count me in!

A Shard of Ice (The Black Symphony #1) by Alivia Anders: A young girl slowly remembers the details of her kidnapping realizing it is much more paranormal than she thought.

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez: She tested her father’s gangsta by falling for boy now a boy is dead and a girl must hide for her life.

The Fall by Bethany Griffin:  A play on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. . .  I have to read this.

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah: Small town girl leaves for the big city only to go back to the small town to stop running from her secrets.

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow, Jen Wang (illustrator): What happens when your online life starts to get involved with your real life.

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis: Snow White retelling WOOT WOOT!

NetGalley Review: Unwept (The Nightbirds #1) by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman

Tor Books To Be Published July 1, 2014 272 Pages
Tor Books
To Be Published July 1, 2014
272 Pages

Gamin, Maine is a remote seaside town in which Ellis Harkington has returned. Ellis has no memory of who she is or her memories of Gamin due to a unknown accident but everyone in town knows who she is or who she was. 

Ellis is trying to get her memory back in a town that offers no answers willingly. With no one to trust not even her own cousin or the Nightbirds, a group of men and women that claim Ellis as one of them, Ellis must figure out the mystery of the town, what happened to her and why she wanted to forget.

Firstly, isn’t that cover beautiful! I can tell you now that is exactly why I wanted to read this book. But despite the beautiful cover, the book was not my cup of tea.

The beginning of the book was the best part of the book. It was creepy, descriptive and left a lot to my imagination. It was such a high starting point that I was disappointed that by chapter 14 nothing was really going on.

Ellis wasn’t as detective as I thought she would. She was for the most part obedient and very “eh.” She wasn’t a spectacular character which was sad because her back-story had a lot of potential for her to be great. I didn’t feel that Ellis was very motivated to find the truth.

The writing itself was boring. The story stalled. You can really tell when the book shifts to a different author because there are a few parts that make you think ‘Hey! Now we are getting somewhere.’ But then it would stop.

I was really disappointed in this book because the beginning was perfect. Overall, this effort gets 2 Pickles

The Frustrated Reader: Horror

I am a fan of horror, thrillers and words like grim, psychological and scary. I am a fan of these things because I understand what they mean. Lately I haven’t had much luck with stories that claim to represent these words. So I am going to break it down.

Definitions (As per Dictionary.com);

Horror: an overwhelming and painful feeling 

caused by something frightfully shocking, 

terrifying, or revolting;a shuddering fear.

 

Thriller: an exciting, suspenseful play

or story, especially a mystery story.

 

Grim: of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent.

 

Psychological: of, pertaining to, dealing with,

 or affecting the mind, especially as 

a function of awareness, feeling, or motivation.

 

Scary: causing fright or alarm.

Now a lot of author or even their publicist constantly attach these words to books without actually realizing that the books do not live up to their word. Here are some examples:

This book is a collection of short stories by some of the most beloved authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Kimberly Derting and Sarah Rees-Brennan.

These were stories based off the Grimm Fairy Tales and while some were very creative others were very bad. But no matter how good they were (or bad) the stories didn’t scream scary or grim for that matter.

Let’s make this clear when the Brothers Grimm produces their stories, during their time it was scary; they did move people to re-think the shadows. But these stories are only grim in the sense of you finding out your secret boyfriend killed his girlfriend. Like come on. None of the stories made you think or even gave a chill up the back. They didn’t provide the reaction the word grim is known for.

This book was supposedly based off the horrible true story of Amityville Horror. Now there have been countless of stories and movies that shake your core, so if there is going to be a comparison there is a huge expectation. This book didn’t deliver in any kind of shock or scary factor. It was told in two points of view the past and present and both of the kids were weird but in a lacking type of way. For more details check out my review here.

 

These two books were my biggest horror let down’s this year thus far. The expectation that was there for these books really hyped them to a point of excitement.

What makes a good horror novel is suspense, unexpected twist, realistic twist, believable characters, a great mystery and a great setting.