May 27, 2011

Sustenance by Nate D. Burleigh Review

by Nate D. Burleigh
Panic Press
Review by Terry Morgan
Review posted 05/27/2011

Coert was dealing with everyday stresses of a high school student. However, the concerns of prom and graduation take a back seat to what horror. is unleashed.

Sustenance is a young adult novel that has the horror and suspense you would expect for younger readers. I was able to tell the plot very easily, which in some ways for what was supposed to be a somewhat suspenseful book was disappointing. There were moments in the story where Coert was confused and scared. The author did a wonderful job at detailing this particular character out.

The story was overall was a decent read. But do remember that if you are looking for a hardcore scare, this book may not be for you.

May 24, 2011

Rope of Thorns by Gemma Files Review

by Gemma Files
ChiZine Publications
ISBN: 978-1926851143
Review by Robert Walter
Review posted 05/24/2011

This is Gemma Files second book in the three part Hexslinger series published by Chizine Publications. The first The Book of Tongues was published in April 2010.

This book continues where The Book of Tongues left off. It is a bit confusing in the prologue due to the choppy writing to give the effect of old-time Western Union wire messages, but this gives way fairly quickly to the story itself. We come back to the characters “Reverand” Asher Rook, Chess Pargeter, Ed Morrow etc and get to know some new ones as well and leaves the reader ready for the third and final book in the series, A Tree of Bones, due in 2012.

Ms. Files has a unique style that melds magic hexes with Mayan mythology along with fantasy in a wild-west setting heading for an end of the world apocalypse. While much is familiar to the wild-west fan (Pinkerton Detectives looking for criminals) there is plenty different as well (In this wild-west the characters don’t use six-guns, they use hex-guns). It does get difficult at times to recognize which point of view is speaking as well as understand all of the action, but this book pulls the reader in past these difficulties into the world of the characters.

As with the previous book, there are some homosexual language/scenes in the book which seemed a bit too raw and graphic for the purpose of the story. This does add to the unique nature of this book since homosexuality in a western story is so rare.

This book overall has enjoyable writing and characters as well as a richness to the story. Due to the unique mix of the story, I recommend it to anyone of age, even if they don’t normally enjoy westerns or fantasy.

May 22, 2011

Mind Rotting Tales by Kevin and Ken L. Jones Review

by Kevin and Ken L. Jones
Panic Press
Review by Dana Bell
Review posted 05/22/2011

If the reader enjoys gore, which there is a lot of, sexual themes and acts enjoyable, then many of these stories will fulfill the current mentality that in order to be scary, there must violence, blood and sex.

Cumbersome are the long, rambling paragraphs which are difficult for the reader to get through. Also, the 'telling' rather than 'showing' in many of the stories, causing many of what must be important details to be skipped over to get to the heart of what is supposed to be going on.

The continual and brutal murder of women, some of which are the murderer's spouse, causes a sickening sensation in the stomach of the female reader. Very few of the dealers of death are feminine and when they are, they are often portrayed as mythic creatures such as a vampire or succubus.

The writers used a good mix of popular culture, including well known people, infamous serial killers, and current eating establishments. Their readers must know these references in order to understand the story, for instance the Sugar Plum Fairy and her role in Christmas traditions. Also included is a tale about a revolting porn film style where animals are stomped to death. Granted, it is twisted differently, but the end result is just as disgusting.

None of these stories hold any type of redemption for the main character. They are shown as the worst of human nature and pure evil, taking joy in the pain and suffering inflicted upon their victims. Few are caught and run free to inflict their sickness upon others. Granted it is a true insight into what really happens in our society, but makes one wish for the outcome and them being hunted down and then captured as happens on the TV show 'Criminal Minds'.