Showing posts with label horror books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horror books. Show all posts
January 14, 2014

Review - Flowers In The Attic

Flowers in the Attic
The Dollanganger Family Series
By V.C. Andrews
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
ISBN: 978-1476775852
Pages: 400


It’s hard to believe the guilty pleasure novel Flowers in the Attic is over 34-years-old! I wasn't even born back in 1979 when Flowers in the Attic written by newcomer V.C. Andrews was published. The book about four siblings being locked up in a bedroom and attic for over three years was a huge success, but there was major controversy involving the incest theme involving a teenage brother and sister. The book has been banned from libraries and schools because of this, though over time some have put the book back on the shelves, it is still banded in some locations.

The book is told from the point-of-view of Catherine Leigh "Cathy" Dollanganger and centers on the there and half years when her siblings, Chris and twins Cory and Carrie, are hidden away in the vast Foxworth mansion. After their father died in a car accident, their mother, Corrine, drags them to live in her parent's house, where they are locked in a bedroom by their wicked Grandmother.

Their mother had been disinherited years ago when she married their father Christopher, and now the only way to get back in her father's grace is if she never had any children with her husband, so the Dollanganger children must be  away in a bedroom, which has access to the attic, until their grandfather dies.

During the first year their mother visits them on a daily basis, but as she starts to establish herself back into society, she distance herself from her children. Meanwhile, Chris and Cathy become less like brother and sister to the twins and more like farther and mother, as they take care of them and continue their schooling (well as much as they can). They’re fearful of their Grandmother, whom will give them severe punishment what she considers sinning. Being locked away has put stress on the twins and they are physically becoming ill. As for Chris and Cathy, they are starting to have intimate feelings for each other, despite the fact they are brother and sister.

October 5, 2013

Review & Giveaway - Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep
By Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Retail: $30.00
ISBN: 978-1476727653
Pages: 544


In 1977, author Stephen King scared millions of readers with the horror novel The Shining, which was about a recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance becoming the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel during the isolated winter months. He lived in the hotel his wife Wendy and their five-year-old son Danny. Of course the hotel was haunted and chaos stirs about. The book was made into a feature film in 1980 directed by Stanley Kubrick and was made into a television mini-series in 1997.

Now, Stephen King has written the long awaited sequel called Doctor Sleep with the opening pages picking up where the 1977 original left off, showing the physical and emotional trauma left upon Wendy, Danny and Dick Hallorann (the chef of the Overlook Hotel). Starting their life over isn't easy as the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel won't leave poor Danny alone. After a frightening encounter with woman from Room 217, Dick teaches young Danny how to put those unwanted spirits into a "locked box" and store it away forever.

After the death of his mother, Danny (known to most as Dan) has become an alcoholic just like his father, but for him the alcohol is the only thing that can numb his shining (telepathic abilities, including seeing the dead). Things get worse for Dan after a one nightstand with a junkie and an odd encounter with her son. He moves every little bit, not wanting to stay in one place for very long, taking any job he can get.

Luckily, things do turn around for Dan, as he finally quits drinking and enters AA. His years of drifting is over and he take a steady job at a nursing home in Teenytown, New Hampshire, where he quickly earns the nickname "Doctor Sleep", as he helps the dying find comfort before their passing.

October 24, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Review - Shockers: Grave Doubts by John Peel

Shockers: Grave Doubts 
By John Peel
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
ISBN: 978-0448405285
Pub. Date: June 23, 1993
Pages: 160


Grave Doubts is simply one of my favorite books from my childhood as it has always stuck in my mind after almost twenty-years later. I recall ordering many books from the Scholastic flyers when I was an elementary student. I was in the sixth grade (aka - the year I got glasses) when I read Grave Doubts during study hall.

In book three of the Shockers series, Matt Howard had blocked out the murder of his older sister, Penny, for ten years, but now those unwanted memories have resurfaced. A family friend, Mr. Ciprelli or known as Uncle Joey, went to a mental hospital shortly after Penny's brutal murder, but he has now returned and is moving into the house next door. Matt finds the man to be very odd as he is always watching him.

Matt doesn't have many memories about his sister, except for what people have told him about her. It seems that Penny was the perfect daughter and student. Matt gets into trouble at home and at school. He is told constantly from his parents and teachers that he was nothing like Penny and that she shouldn't have been the one to die.
October 19, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Review - Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask

Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask
By R. L. Stine
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 9780545417938
Pub. Date: July 1, 2012
Pages: 240

A few months ago R. L. Stine released a new book, Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask, in a rare hardback edition. The new sequel doesn't include the characters of Carly Beth and Sabrina, but focuses on two new kids, Lu-Ann Franklin and Devin O'Bannon.

The books begins at William's Mask Emporium, in which the owner and his dog, Hansel, get a late night visitor - his brother, Randolph, who happens to brought along a few creepy masks that were made from human flesh. William recognizes that the masks are nothing but pure evil. He plans on destroying the masks, but the masks may get him first.

The plot jumps forty years into the future, where twelve-year-old Lu-Ann and her friend Devin are dreading the upcoming annual Halloween party that is being hosted by their classmate Polly Martin. Every year the party gets more boring and if Lu-Ann has to attend, she is going to make it a frightening evening by pulling some pranks with her best-friend Devin. Her plan changes when she learns that Devin can't come to the party. She attends the party anyway and talks two other friends, Marcus and Brad, into following her to Polly's Attic while the other kids played a silly balloon game. They hear an unknown voice coming from a closet - a half skeleton, half human corpse holding the green haunted mask falls out of the closet when Lu-Ann yanked it open. It was the ugliest mask that Lu-Ann had ever seen and it would make the perfect prank, but once she slips the mask on, the mask becomes part of her flesh.
September 19, 2012

DVD Review - The Broken

The Broken
Director: Sean Ellis
Starring: Lena Headey, Ulrich Thomsen, Melvil Poupaud, Michelle Duncan, Asier Newman
Studio: Lionsgate
ASIN: B001P9N944
Release Date: March 31, 2009
Rated R for some violence, brief sexuality, nudity and language

The Broken starts off with Gina McVey having dinner with her family, friends and her boyfriend, Stefan. Suddenly, and without a reason, a mirror in the room falls and crashes to the floor. While she is heading to work the next day, she could have sworn that she saw herself driving a car. She follows the woman and sneaks into her house only to find a photo of Gina and her father. Not knowing what is going on, she hops into her car and gets into a car accident.

September 3, 2012

Audio Review - Dead Men Kill

Dead Men Kill
By: L. Ron Hubbard
Voice Cast: John Mariano, Jennifer Aspen, R.F. Daley, Lori Jablons, Jim Meskimen and Matt Scott
Publisher: Galaxy Press
ISBN: 978-1592123506
Pub Date: January 1, 2010
Approx: 2 hours 5 minutes

Stories from the Golden Age from Galaxy Press are a line of audiobooks and paperbacks, in which all titles are by the short stories written L. Ron Hubbard in the 1930s and 1940s. The stories appeared in Pulp Magazines. Galaxy Press was nice enough to send me several free audiobooks in exchange for an honest review. Yes, I'm aware that L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of Scientology. People tend to ignore his writings because of his religion. I'm a Christian and it doesn't bother what religion L. Ron Hubbard believed in as he was a talented author, writing in many genres.

All 150 short stories written by the author are being released in both audio and paperback from Stories from the Golden Age. For each story they use a variety of talented voice actors, such as John Mariano, Jennifer Aspen, R.F. Daley, Lori Jablons, Jim Meskimen and Matt Scott. 

July 28, 2012

ARC Review - Road Rage

Road Rage
Adapted by: Chris Ryall
Based on the short story "Throttle" by Stephen King & Joe Hill
Artist: Raffa Garres  and Nelson Daniel
Publisher: IDW Publishing
ISBN: 978-1613772829
Pub Date: August 21, 2012
Pages: 120

Inspired by "Duel" by Richard Matheson, the father/son team of Stephen King and Joe Hill wrote the short story "Throttle" that has been adapted into a comic book series by Chris Ryall. NetGalley and IDW Publishing have kindly allowed me to review issue one of the upcoming hardback Road Rage that will contain the entire series.
July 12, 2012

Review - This Dark Earth

Published by:  GALLERY BOOKS
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6666-3
Pages: 342
Pub Date: July 2012

    There is a viral outbreak across the United States causing people to literally eat their selves, followed by uncontrollable seizures; spasms, and Tourette’s. Your heart will race like crazy until it finally explodes, but your body won’t die as you’ll become one of the undead or more commonly known as a zombie. 

    The infected are sent to White Hall, where doctors and nurses attend to the victims. Eventually, they turn into zombies and chaos occurs, but not just inside White Hall. Planes drop nuclear bombs upon the United States. Is this our own government or an enemy country? They may never know exactly how it happens, but for one doctor, Lucy, all she cares about is finding her family. With the help of Knock-Out, a non-violent man, Lucy makes it to her home where she finds that her husband has turned. She finds her ten-year-old son, Gus, has survived.

    It’s not safe staying at Lucy's home, so they leave, mostly on foot due to the nuclear bomb knocked out most electrical devices. They come upon a small band of military men, whose crooked leaders has just fallen. There’s no hope for survival or a future, until the young Gus comes up with the idea to build their own city, or more like a fortress around a bridge in Arkansas.

June 21, 2012

Review - Survivors by Z.A. Recht

Written by: Z.A. RECHT with Thom Brannan
ISBN: 978-1-4516-28882-1
Pages: 312
Pub Date: June 2012

    The Morningstar Strain outbreak first occurred in Africa, in which US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases expert Anna DeMilio begged the government to strictly isolate the infected, but instead they tried to isolate the continent resulting in the virus going worldwide, turning billions into zombies.

    With Agent Mason at her side, Anna is escorted by General Sherman and his men to a top secret, hi-tech bio-hazard lab in Omaha, Nebraska, so Anna can work on a cure for the virus. Meanwhile, the Chairman orders Agent Sawyer and his rogue Reunited States of America army to track down Anna and bring her to him as he believes she already has an antidote. They are to capture her at any cost. Another small army led by General Shannon is looking for Anna too, as one of the soldiers may be immune to the zombie virus.
June 17, 2012

Review - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
AUTHOR: Seth Grahame-Smith
PUBLISHED BY: Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 978-0-446-56308-6
PAGES: 340

    After his mother’s death, an eleven-year-old Abraham Lincoln is told the truth about vampires from his father. His grandfather, who was also called Abraham Lincoln, was killed by a vampire. To make matters worse, he learns that because his father could not pay a debt, his mother was given a high dose of vampire blood, resulting in her death. From that day forward Abraham vowed to kill every last bloodsucker that came into his path.

    At the age of seventeen, he befriends a vampire Henry Sturges, who informs him that there are good vampires and then there are evil ones. Henry sees potential in the young Abe and spends the summer training him to become a vampire hunter, especially on how to use an axe.

    For the next several years they worked as a team, with Henry providing Abe with vampire names and addresses, and Abe killed them one by one. Abe learns that vampires own slaves and  they use them not as workers, but as meals. He is horrified of this and realizes that there is only one way to get rid of vampires - starve them by ending slavery.

May 11, 2012

Review - Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch

Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch
BY: Lara Parker
PUBLISHED IN: First Mass Market Edition 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7653-7002-0
PAGES: 336

    The now human Barnabas Collins is ready to start a new life with his fiancée Dr. Julia Hoffman, who curried him from the vampire curse set upon him by the witch Angelique. The Old House, which was mostly burnt in the previous novel, is now owned by the mysterious flower child named Antoinette, who is the split image of Angelique. Julia tells him to forget about it, but he can’t forget about all the horror the witch has put him through.

    Barnabas, along with his manservant Willie Loomis, stumbles into the reconstructed Old House and he shockingly finds that the interior is the exact duplicate, as if the fire never occurred. Now he is more than sure that Angelique has returned from the grave. Before leaving, they find a corpse with bite marks on the neck. Is there another vampire in Collinsport?

    Barnabas is determined to find out the truth, which takes him and young David Collins to Salem, where he starts to have doubts about who Antoinette is. He even starts to fall in love with her. Barnabas is soon encountered with the so-called-vampire and is bitten. Now to save the Collins family he may have to return to his curse.

May 9, 2012

Review - Dark Shadows: Angelique's Descent

Dark Shadows: Angelique’s Descent
BY: Lara Parker
PUBLISHED IN: First Mass Market Edition 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7653-7002-0
PAGES: 336

    Now cured of the vampire curse, Barnabas is ready to start a new live as a mortal, starting by furthering his relationship with his savior Dr. Julia Hoffman. He is now living in the Collinwood estate and plans on becoming a productive member of the family. The night before the demolition crew is scheduled to tear down the Old House, he returns there just before a mysterious fire occurs, burning down almost the entire house. The only item that survived the burning was a journal. The journal of the witch Angelique Bouchard.

    Despite of Julia’s demands for him to toss the book into the fireplace, Barnabas begins reading the haunted tale that takes place on island of Martinique. At a young age Angelique is ripped from her mother’s arms and forced to live with her father, a plantation owner. Voodoo witchcraft had been in her family line and at an early age her father recognized it in her. Angelique is treated more like a slave than a daughter as she is used in her father’s scheme to control his slaves, leading her into pledging her soul to darkness and becoming immortal.

May 6, 2012

Review - Dark Lullaby by Mayra Calvari

Dark Lullaby

BY: Mayra Caivani

PUBLISHED BY: Smashwords


ISBN: 978-1-4658-6204-4

Words: 67971 (approximate)

    Gabriel Diaz, an astrophysicist, thought he was living a normal life, well as normal as it can be. He’s getting over the three-year relationship with Liz, who he is still friends with. Despite her affections for him, he only thinks of her as a friend. He’s excited that his twin sister Elena is about to deliver her first child.

    Everything changes the night he meets the exotic Kamilah and is instantly seduced by her. Before he knows it, he is traveling with Kamilah to the mountains of the Black Sea, where she has a family cottage in Rize. Strange thing begin to happen to Gabriel starting with his cell phone, his only connection to the outside world, disappearing. Weird nightmare haunts him, followed by hallucinations that make him physically and mentally ill. Gabriel learns that Kamilah isn’t the beautiful innocent woman she claimed to be, as she targeted him with a specific agenda that involves Elena.

April 21, 2011

Book Review - Hungry for You

Hungry For YouHungry for You
BY: A.M. Harte
PUBLISHED BY: 1889 Labs Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1926959047
Pages: 84
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

I never thought an author could combine romance and zombies, but that is exactly what A.M. Harte has done in the anthology Hungry for You. Yes, even in an apocalypse, zombies need love to. The book is a fast read at under a hundred pages, covering eleven beautifully written stories of love, heartache, and the dead rising. Over the last few years, there have been countless zombie books and movies, so it was nice to read a new take on the genre.

The anthology starts out with Promises, a haunting tale of a newly turned zombie and his soon-to-be zombie love. My favorite is Hungry for You, taking place after the dead has risen, and where there is a ZombieAide helping the dead and zombie prostitutes walking the street. Other great reads is Dead Man’s Rose, a tale you will remember long after you finished reading it, and A Prayer for Garlic, a twisted tale.

I do not read many anthologies, mostly because it is difficult to review them. Normally, by the time I am finished reading the book I have forgotten what the stories where about. Hungry for You is a short read, and the stories are memorable. I recommend the anthology to horror readers, and zombie lovers.
February 20, 2011

Book Review - Jane Goes Batty

Jane Goes Batty: A NovelJane Goes Batty
BY: Michael Thomas Ford
PUBLISHED BY: Ballantine Books Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-345-51366-3
Pages: 295
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this sequel to Jane Bites Back, the vampire Jane Austen continues to live her life under the name Jane Fairfax. She is running a book store and her new novel Constance is a bestseller. The book is being made into a movie.

Jane’s life sounds great, but she does have her problems. Her boyfriend’s, Walter, mother is in town and thinks Jane is Jewish. Her new editor is a handful, and a Hollywood camera crew follow her round for the extras on the soon to be filmed Constance DVD. And there is a little situation with a bloodsucking Bronte sister.

I have never read the first book, but found it easy to jump into Jane Goes Batty. If you are a vampire fan, you will enjoy reading about the undead Jane Austen. The novel is fast paced and fun to read.

*I would like to thank the author/publisher for sending me a copy to review.
October 6, 2010

Book Review - The Fall

The Fall: Book Two of the Strain TrilogyThe Fall
BY: Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
PUBLISHED BY: Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-06-155822-1
Pages: 308
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

I have never read the first book, The Strain, but I easily picked up the previous plot by reading the first few chapters. The vampire plaque is spreading and consuming the world. The Master’s grand plan is to start a war between the Old and New Vampires. Hidden, is a book detailing the vampire’s history and their darkest secrets. This book has the key to killing the virus.

A brilliant professor Abraham Setrakian, Vasiliy Fest, Eph and other survivors plan on stopping the vampires before the infest the world.

The Fall is dark and chilling. It takes the vampire legend and brings it into the real world. The plot is easily believable; a vampire virus is spreading all over the world. Abraham Setrakian reminds me of Van Helsing. I can see this book series becoming a movie.
October 5, 2010

Book Review - Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box: A NovelHeart-Shaped Box
BY: Joe Hill
PUBLISHED BY: William Morrow
ISBN: 978-0-06-114793-7
Pages: 376
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Ex-band-member Judas Coyne buys a dead-man’s suit from an eBay-like action website. The suit is supposed to be haunted by the seller’s father. The suit arrives in a heart-shape box. Judas puts the suit away, but soon realizes the ghost is real. Soon he starts seeing the deceased in his Mustang, standing outside windows, sitting on his bed. He even sees the dead-man in his widescreen TV.

Judas learns that the seller targeted him. The suit’s owner wants revenge - from the dead.

I have wanted to read this book since I read 20th Century Ghosts, and stumbled upon it at my local library. I flew through the pages in two days, and I enjoyed the overall plot of a haunted suit, instead of the overused haunted house theme. I recommend The Heart-Shaped Box to all horror fans.
August 26, 2010

Book Review - Universal Monsters #3 Anatomy of Terror: Frankenstein

Frankenstein: Anatomy of Terror (Universal Monsters, 3)Universal Monsters #3 Anatomy of Terror: Frankenstein
By: Larry Mike Garmon
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 0-439-30344-3
Pages: 187

I stumbled upon this book at a thrift shop. I didn’t even know that there was a book series out about the Universal Monsters that I grew up watching. Even though this is the third book, you can easily catch up as the characters Nina, Joe and Bob explain what happen in the previous book.

While visiting Universal Studios Theme park, Nina, Joe and Bob accidentally release the monsters from the remastered Universal film when lighting struck. The monsters don’t take the bodies form the movies, they take new ones. In book one, they battled Dracula and in book two the battled the Wolf Man.

Dead bodies are going missing, and that can mean only one thing. Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant, Fritz, are up to their old tricks. They are going to build another monster. Just like in the movie, Fritz grabs the wrong brain, and the monster is once again - brain-dead.

Dr. Frankenstein needs a new brain for his creation, and has eyes on the new student at Nina, Joes and Bob’s school. Can the kids stop the mad scientist in time?

I quickly read through this book. It was a fun read. I hope I can find the other books in the series. The author and Universal Studios came up with a great idea to bring in a new generation of monster fans. If you are a fan of the old monster movies, then, you’ll love “Anatomy of Terror.”
April 22, 2010

Blog Tour - Firefly Rain by Richard Dansky

Firefly RainFirefly Rain
BY: Richard Dansky
PUBLISHED BY: Gallery Books
PUBLISHED IN: April 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4391-4863-1
Pages: 343
Ages: Adult
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

“Firefly Rain” tells the tale of Jacob Logan, a failed businessman. After going away to college, he never returned to home to visit his parents. His parents are now deceased. With his life plans up in the air, he returns to his hometown in Mayfield, North Carolina. The town has barely grown since the last time he saw it. The old family house is still there.

Since his parents death, the caretaker Carl has been taking care of the family property. Weird things start to occur. His car is stolen from the driveway, and all of his belongings are destroyed in a highway accident.

Jacob starts remembering about his childhood, and starts learning about the strange myths of the town.

The beginning of “Firefly Rain” opens as good as any great horror film. The creepy setting and eerie descriptions of the house make this tale a great read late at night. Jacob Logan is your typical horror novel character. He’s going back to the home that he didn’t really want. Towards the middle of the book, the plot starts to go downhill fast, leading to a disappointing ending. Despite this, I still enjoyed reading the book. If you like haunted house tales or if just want to read a spine-chilling story, check this book out.

Note: I would like to thank Gallery Books for sending me this complimentary copy to review.


Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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