July 31, 2011

Highways to Hell by Bryan Smith Review

By Bryan Smith
Deadite Press
Review by: Gina Desory
Review posted 07/31/2011

Highways to Hell by Bryan Smith is a collection of 13 stories that are often bizarre, thrilling and just plain scarey. The list includes:

Living Dead Bitch- Rick and Danny are in the car, hopped up on drugs and discover a woman's body in their car. It looks like a ghost, but acts like a zombie. After that, it becomes a matter of how the two handle this new found item.

Slugger- Walter Percy has a hard life. He eats to make up for any bad things that has happened to him, gets ridiculed for it and through an injury gets out of baseball. However, soon Walter gets to play a new type of game, one in which he relives the thrill of being someone in control.

Pizza Face- Will Hopkins, a pizza delivery guy, delivers a pizza to a house that is experiencing a home invasion. After the door opens for Will, his world changes forever.

Remorse- Jack Roth killed his girlfriend and what he figured was her lover. He gets a second chance to relive his life through a strange new guardian. But does getting a second chance always mean it's the right choice?

Jarhead-Craig meets up with a lost friend Mark. He takes his love, Jenny, with him. Questions are asked what happened to Mark for so long. Some are answered and others are left hanging. After a brief time, Mark takes Craig into his van to show him a head in a jar. What happens next is something Craig could not have possibly ever imagined.

Sustenance- Kent Hogan one day leaves his wife. He has no reason, just does it. He waits at a light thinking about his wife and his life, that perhaps he regrets it. When soon he sees a woman walking in front of his car. She doesn't look good and collapses. He runs to her, with thoughts he doesn't think are right, but will act on them. But soon after meeting this woman, there are things that he discovers that will never make him the same again.

Killers on the Road
- Heather and Josh went to rob a store. What they didn't expect was who would be coming there as well and what they would have hoped would never have happened.

Brain worms crave soul food- Rafe Martin is a writer with a very bad relationship. He feels stuck and with writer's block becomes worried. A strange headache forms. It seems okay until little things come out of his nose, relieving the headache, but causing chaos like he has never known.

- Ray Webber is getting annoyed by this person they calle Rattlehead. The man never shuts up. One night he gets the urge to just kill him. And the urge produces a very strange result that will change Ray's life forever.

-Kyle Miller has nightmares of killing. He doesn't want to sleep or think of these dreaded dreams. But are the dreams real or is it just a way for Kyle to get out his frustrations of life? The truth for Kyle is worse than his nightmares.

Left for Dead (Moon child ascending)
- Mitch MacCaffrey gets shot one day and left for dead where all he sees is the moon in the sky. Then a woman appears and Mitch is given strange powers that he uses to seek one thing, revenge.

Walk among us- Jack Grimm and Andy O'Day are time travelers who use their magic and wisdom to track down creatures with unexpected results.

Hell ain't a bad place to be- John Marlowe wants to be a serial killer and he succeeds. Then one day one of his victims starts talking to him, one that he has already killed. He soon discovers they are a match made for each other. But where does this take John? To a place he finally feels he belongs to.

This collection often made me think, at times even cringe. The stories played out so well together except for one and that was 'Walk among Us.' This story was often too jumbled and confusing at times. While the other stories talked of revenge, even a moral in there somewhere, this particular story left me with confusion and questions, making it hard to get through.

The best story out of this collection is 'Killers on the Road.' If you like twists that seem to bring justice to bad actions, this one is for you. It had a certain niche that made me want to read more about these characters. I was thrilled to see such a story in this collection.

Highways to Hell
is not a collection for those who like light horror or not bizarre type situations. However, this collection will bring the fear out of you like nothing you have ever experienced. But be warned, if you are not sure you can handle it, take care in turning the pages.