by Timothy W Long & Tim Marqitz:
Damaged have had the music career people sell their souls for, it turns out that Wex, Michael, Seth, and Sunny may have done just that; but Satan always has a price and the question is “do they want to pay it”?
A great and diverse collection of stories, all from the “gentler” sex! Ha Billie Sue Mosiman is an artist in her own right, a brilliant one too, but here she gathers some amazing women to scare the socks of you.
Little Bios of the ladies post each story, which was lovely, this is packed full of scares.
Constance Craving by Raven Dane: When Constance is forced into going on a bible thumpers Sunday outing by her mother the day does not go as planned, nor is it as boring as she thought. Trailed by some unseen monster the tension and build up were very atmospheric in RD s decorative prose. As the story reveals its twist I was genuinely surprised at her choice of monster and what became of Constance. A great start to an anthology.
Goblin Box by Hilary Lyon: Linda is a self-obsessed, must get “one up” on her friends type of woman, not pleasant in any way, perfectly set up by HL in her introductory scene. One of her “finds” is a cute little Jack in the Box, a unique addition to collection of oddities to show off. After one if her many off parties Linda appears to have a change of personality and is cornered into playing the truth game with her strange neighbour. The consequences are weird and wonderful, the writing so easy to read and I thought the twisty ending was just perfect.
Tintype by Elizabeth Massie: Set just past the American civil war a young soldier, Oliver, struggles with the nightmares that he brought back from his PoW camp. He has focused his life into a search, for a Dr who gave him an impossible choice. Both revolting and riveting to say I enjoyed the story would make me weird but hey ho! I liked how EM brought her characters to fullness with only brief description of them. Sharp and short, another perfect addition to this anthology.
The Whole of the Widens of the Night by Nina Kiriki Hoffman: Lizzie has three older brothers who just love to hear her scream, steal from and generally be cruel too. Her parents are no help or salvation. One weekend the carnival comes and Lizzie agrees to swap her much loved protection stone for a scare her brothers will never forget. Cue weirdness! Up until the spell this was a sad and uncomfy story, then bam the terror hits. NK did well to evoke such sadness.
Snow Angel by Amy Grech: Little Suzy is special, but special enough to be a snow Angel?? A heart rending decision by parents for a beloved child. At first read I couldn’t understand why this story was in this collection, but not all horror is splat and gore, this has a gentle, niggly horror.
Secrets of the Sargasso by Morgan Griffith: Kasey has a birth defect or is it a blessed piece of de/evolution that has shaped her life. On one of her searches for treasure she goes looking in the depths of the ocean for a rare, possibly non-existent artefact. Instead she opens a portal…… monsters and emotions a beautiful mix of writing.
The Ouroborus Bite by Marie Victoria Robertson: Elsebeth is teaching Carmen a spell, that of no fear, but we should be careful what we wish for. MVR sculptors her story well to gradually build the tension and fear.
Here I Lie by Lorraine Versini: A tale of revenge but so fast paced I could feel my brain making ooooh and argh sounds, LV draws on some primal fears, fabulous!
Sakura Time by Loran Rhoads: Set in Japan, this pulls on the culture of doll collecting, linking in sexual abuse and shattered souls. A riveting, enthralling and terrifying story I loved how it was written, definately my favourite story this anthology.
Promises, Bliss and Lies by Rose Blaxkthorn: In a future or alien world a girl is kept captive, as the story unfolds memories surface and the world she lives in are exposed. Enjoyed all they fantasy building but felt a little lost at the end, wanted more.
Dead Messengers by Lucy Taylor: A tale of black magic, sex and murder. A bit too intense and foreign for my liking but gripping nonetheless.
Peguses by Myra Buck: There is usually one story you don’t gel with in an anthology and this was it I’m afraid, I did not fully get the plot for or the circumstance but that’s the joy of anthologies, move on.
Backside by K L Napppier: Reincarnation seems to be the topic, but unsure on the ending. Another story I did not gel with.
City Girl by Kathryn Ptacek: Didn’t connect with this story, again, I kept waiting for it to start and then it sorted of fizzled out for me.
What Storms Bring by KC Grifant: A haunting tale of a woman losing herself, filled with beautiful imagery this is juxtaposed with the terror of what is happening. A real blast back in to the book for me.
Third Times a Charm by Tonia Brown: A young boy has nightmares post his birthday wish to meet G’ma, scary in itself is the love between mother and son that haunted me with all that occurs at a horrid little ending.
Ballerina by Sandra Dobereiner: Another strange and sad tale about talking curtains basically, but this little story has stayed with me for days. I found it odd when I read it, but it has wiggled under my skin and stayed there.
One dark hour before dawn by Mary Ann Peden-Coviello: The zompoc arrives as one desperate woman and her faithful pup try to get the children to safety. Mixed in amongst the normal horror that is the zompoc MAPC breaks your heart with the love shown. The horror is two-fold for me, the gore and the impending doom you know is coming. Fabulous in an awful way.
Sin by C.W.Lesart: A mans final attempt at absolution for a childhood prank gone wrong. Slowly building using the information surrounding the deed, the tension unfolding slowly, the real horror comes in the last few paragraphs for me as CWL describes the “man” at the window.
Sense Deprived by Kristal Stittel: What a strange yet beautiful story. Telepathic women awaken from a vegetative state to aid in a war. The outcome is wonderful and KS describes some powerful emotions and stimuli wonderfully gently.
It’s a B-rate “movie” read at its best, but it is a fun, fast read if all you want is monsters, weapons and YaHoo/Gung Ho for humanity!
As a virgin of Creature Feature books I really enjoyed the fantastic description of the beasts. Rapid and hungry for human flesh. Smaller “dogs” and huge “mothers”. I think another review calls it “Pacific Rim meets Starship Troopers”!! and yes that’s exactly what it is.
The opening lines were brilliant and I found Commander Jorgs death to be amazing in its grossness! And it just goes on from there really.
The history of how the Earth fell and how the Kaiju rose is told succinctly within a few lines. The premise is that Pacifica Base has fallen leaving just one strong hold of humanity left. The last remaining Governor and Minister of War set about trying to find the possibly mythical OverMind, alleged to be the hive mind of the Kaiju.
With his superdooper new “DogKiller” (that’s the little kaiju!) amour, which has some splendidly fun weapons and abilities Ryan West sets out with his battalion to find this place and destroy it.
Basically just monsters wreaking havoc, and humans trying to fight back! There is no character growth or development but they do have humour and as most people die anyway and it races through the story you don’t have time to get to know them! Which is a shame really as I thought the book could have been extensively extended and more emphasis put on the characters, their relationships and back history and then maybe I would have routed for them more than the Kaiju!
Very militarized in some of its prose yet easily accessible as well described and not laden down with technicalities. It is a bit gung ho and “into battle we ride” type fodder too but that goes along with the story really well.
There are some really obvious grammar and spelling errors, especially from the middle to the end of the story, and a good editor/beta reader would have picked these up – just because its B rate doesn’t mean it should be published in that state.
Overall I did enjoy the read, it was an afternoon of fun, but it is left open for a sequel I just think the authors should clean this one up, even extend it a little and then maybe it would make a great series.
Don’t forget Eric S. Brown & Jason Cordova’s great sequel to Kaiju Apocalypse.
Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works, often leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep viewers and readers on their toes.
This is a brilliant novella! I love Johnny B. Truant’s sense of humour!
No real gore just some splatter horror, unless you are a fatophob!
An unfortunate accident ensures that Reginald stays the 350lb slob, that he was as a human, for eternity as a vampire!
His mentor may be centuries old but not really much help, especially as he looks like a 19 year old skinny Goth kid!
Having befriended his first intended meal, little Claire now helps him feed with defrosted steaks!
The ending was explosive, well timed and brilliant!
Really enjoying this series, such a sense of humour, this has not diminished in the 2nd book.
Lots of ongoing surprises and themes as the Angels now get in on the act and try to “kill off” the Vampire race.
The ongoing love/sex affair of Reginald and Nikki’s relationship is an amusing side line when you consider today’s vanity issues!
It turns out that Reginald is a Vampire genius, which makes for some more humour moments, but brings in some plot twists and turns too
JBT clearly had great fun writing this…as before we are left on a cliff hanger!!
The humour continues in this series re Reginald the 350+lb vampire!! and yet again you feel that JBT has had a good old jolly writing this.
Reginald is still fat and feasting on Chinese, Tacos & Pizzas and anything else he can get delivered. Nikki has turned into a blood and sex crazed fiend!
An insight into the two Century old Maurice and his home, wife and hobbies; just what do you do with infinity?
Quite alot of moving and shaking/legal and politics in this episode, so concentrate!
Reginald getting stuck in a manhole cover is a brilliant mental visual!
Big changes to the council and Reginald develops his new skill!!
How can you go wrong with this series…. well add a little too much politics maybe?
A bit more serious in this instalment, but then the story does demand it, and JBT certainly rises to the occasion with his writing skills.
Along with the normal humour, tales of gut busting chow downs and sexy interludes (although I would love to see more of these!) we reach a new level in the story….
Lets start off with the negative! There are some small editing mistakes in here, the odd missing word or repetition. It felt a little slow and ploddy, almost like it had lost some of its bite! “The pot is boiling” – I got it!! plus why did they need a plane from Africa to USA when they were already in an ocean going ship!?
I did struggle a bit to get interested in this 5th book, but as the first 3 were excellent (the 4th was a little too political for me) I carried on, because ultimately I wanted to know what the outcome of this human vs vampire war would be, what the angels had to say, what the codex was and would poor Claire get what she wanted.
It took till 86% for any real vampire action and not just political shuffling and mopping but wow it was worth it and the ending was splendid!
Fantastic the humour is back, in bundles. The innovation and thinking re 40 years into the future is pretty impressive too, I loved the idea of the snack food.
Ok, with the negatives, it did have a bit of repetitiveness, its almost like JBT forgot what he was writing and needed to repeat himself a few times. Claire and her amazing abilities only pop into their thoughts when they need something, some friends! and what real use is she??
What have Reginald and Nikki done for 40 years? did he not work out in ALL that time, with his super brain, that Nikki never learnt a new skill? that Maurice in millennia never learnt new things?
Maybe I missed something but he never mentions his nieces in all the endless listing of who he cares about. And why, oh why did they go through ALL that rigmarole of contacting Walker to get to Paul, a random character, to get to Lafontaine when Claire with all her abilities could have just rung his mobile!
The codex was well worth the wait, the ending was neatly tied up. Is this one of my favourite series, no….. would I recommend it? YES!! it does have some brilliant humour, original thoughts and creative writing.
Visit Johnny B. Truant Amazon author page for a complete list of his books
Chris Philbrook is the creator and author of Tesser:A Dragon Among Us as well as Elmoryn and Adrian’s Undead Diary. AUD is Chris’ sprawling zombie epic currently available on the AUD website and via the Kindle. Tesser was inspired by decade old Role Playing sessions, and has been percolating ever since.
Adrian’s Undead Diary, the story that got Chris on the literary map now has five titles available. Book One: Dark Recollections, Book Two: Alone No More, Book Three: Midnight, Book Four: The Failed Coward, and Book Five: Wrath are all available. Book six is slated for a May release.
Chris’ first book in print was The Wrath of the Orphans, the initial book of the Kinless Trilogy, set in his Elmoryn fantasy world. You can get it here on Amazon in print and for the Kindle as well.
Tesser: A Dragon Among Us released to critical acclaim in April, and readers raving as well. His entrance into the urban fantasy genre was exciting for existing fans, as well as new readers to his writing.
For the 2014 calendar year, Chris has multiple releases planned. Roughly every 6-8 weeks another of the core AUD novels will be released until the full series of eight books is out, as well as book two of The Kinless Trilogy; The Motive for Massacre, and the third and final book of the trilogy.