It is officially October and that means it is time for Halloween and time for horror. It was this line of thinking that led me upon a quest to find a good, blood-filled, murderous horror novel and I happened to stumble upon All Night Terror.
A deranged late night public access employee gets fired and takes over the station, forcing viewers to watch some of the most twisted, sickening, and wonderful tales of fright, gore, and horror. What the reader gets are short stories with original concepts that are quick and action packed, never leaving a dull moment.
Cesare and Serafini do a fantastic job at making the reader know this book is designed for one purpose: to scare the reader with one solid punch after another. My personal favorite was "Incident at Night" which chronicles the story of a girl on the run from a murderous mysterious figure. She stumbles upon a convenience store employee who reluctantly agrees to help. Everything goes along swimmingly when the author pulls out a twist that changes everything.
And that's just what this collection of stories are, tight-knit scary stories that are engaging yet filled with twists. So if you're looking for a good scare that doesn't take weeks to read, look no further. This is your book.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PUBLICATION: Scribner, March 7th, 2017
Oftentimes the premise of a novel can be misleading. In some instances, this can be a bad thing. If a reader picks up a novel thinking it is about one thing when in reality it is about something completely different, the reader will feel disappointed and believe his/her time to be wasted. Other times, the premise is nothing more than a shallow brief synopsis that is designed to hook a reader into picking up the novel when in fact the book is about something so much deeper that the back of the book is just not enough real estate to delve into what the author is really trying to convey. I have found in these instances, a misleading synopsis is a good thing because I go into the book thinking it will shallow and vapid and leave the book feeling something wholeheartedly more than I felt prior to picking it up.This was the case with "Next Year, for Sure".
Chris and Kathryn decide to have an open relationship in which they are free to date other people without any recourse from their mate. Essentially, this is all I knew going into this book. Open relationship? Lots of drama? Sure, sign me up. How bad can it be?
But in fact it wasn't bad. At all. I actually enjoyed most everything about this book because it took a topic that I had never read about and turned it into a deeper, richer, discussion of the feelings people have when they are in an open relationship. The reader finds out fairly early on that this whole idea was mostly Chris' because he became interested in Emily, a free-spirited, beautiful girl who is okay with the fact that he has a serious girlfriend. Kathryn agrees to let him go on a date with Emily without being jealous. But jealousy is a fickle thing.
Kathryn cannot really complain about Chris though as he is basically the perfect boyfriend. Attractive, attentive, and caring, Chris really has it all so why should she stand in his way over this?
What Peterson slowly unravels in the next 300 pages is beautiful, sad, and beautifully sad. She does an incredible job at letting the reader see the hearts of these two individuals shift into something different than they were on page one. By the time the book is over, I put it down and felt genuine emotions from a book that I haven't felt in quite a while.
I read many reviews about this book prior to picking it up and a lot of them weren't good. In fact, I began to question whether or not I even wanted to read this book but having read it (devoured it), I understand why those people weren't happy with this book. If you pick this novel up thinking it will be a light-hearted book about open relationships, put it down. You will be disappointed. Instead, Peterson gives the reader a realistic look into this type of courtship accompanied by true feelings of anger, jealousy, complacency, love, regret, and a whole bag of others. In short, Peterson pours on the feels with this one.
Next Year, for Sure has a great ending as well, one that is perfectly suitable for this style of book. I won't ruin it for you, but suffice to say, if you are looking for a book that wraps everything up neatly and cleanly, keep looking. For me, this was the best part of the book. I've said it before, this book is real.
Over all the book was great. Peterson keeps the pacing steady and doesn't drag on with boring and unnecessary details. I constantly found myself wanting to finish the book simply because of the investment in the characters. They felt like real people facing real problems.
If you're looking for a great book on something you probably haven't read before, pick this up. Personally, it was wonderful. But it hasn't come out yet. So you can't buy it.
But next year, for sure.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PUBLICATION: October 24th, 2016 - Rebellion Publishing
A few years ago my mother asked me to stop by my local bookstore and pick up a few books that she would take from me, wrap, and present to me on Christmas morning. This was mostly done due to the fact that my mother has no idea what interests me other than reading and sci-fi and to avoid the potential gift I already own, this method has worked well for years.
So I began walking up and down the sci-fi/fantasy aisle at my local bookstore and I stumbled across a book with an interesting name: The Devil's Nebula. A quick Google search told me it was published by some British sci-fi company I had never heard of and was supposed to spark a whole new sci-fi world that would later allow authors to come in and expand upon. This was a bold yet interesting concept so I picked it up, gave it to my mother, who in turn gave it to me.
I had no idea at the time that book would change my literary life forever.
I devoured the novel and wanted more. The plot was original, the writing was flawless, and I've raved about the book to anyone who will listen. When the sequel came out, Satan's Reach, I snatched it up and consumed it as quickly as my little myopic eyes could read.
I later began reviewing books and got to know that little British sci-fi giant, Rebellion Publishing, and have been honored to read many things from their extensive and brilliant catalog. Last year, I was blessed to have been chosen to read book three in the Weird Space series, The Baba Yaga, and like the first two, it was read in a matter of days.
So here I sit, on my computer on my lunch break, having just finished the fourth book, Star of the Sea, and I am not disappointed in the least.
Stella Maris is a planet rumored to have a Weird portal in which Delia Walker jumped through at the end of the book three. Everyone is living in peace until a stranger approaches and claims to be the Walker's daughter, warning of impending danger to their peaceful settlement. A group of characters, some you may recall from the previous book, plan their escape on the Baba Yaga and begin a journey across the universe in an attempt to save their settlement and families. But the question that starts to seep through the pages is: exactly who are they trying to save it from?
Initially, one of my first thoughts about this book during the first two chapters was that it had a very different tone than the first three. It started off reading more like a mystery than a sci-fi novel. Sure, this book had less action than before, but this book was brilliant. McCormack does a magnificent job at setting up this series to really go to the next level. She has taken the previous three novel’s story arc and given it such depth, danger, and despair that the whole series feels richer and more substantial. Any author can throw flashy battle scenes at the reader but after a while, these grow tiring and trite. McCormack has taken a good story and made it great.
But I will give you a warning: the book jumps right in so if you haven't read the first three, do so. You will be utterly lost and confused.
The story moves along at a good pace all leading and building to something, though for most of the book the reader is unsure of exactly what. The bad guys we’ve come to know, fear, and love, the Weird, are back but this time things are a little “different” (though I won’t explain exactly how - why ruin this for you, right?), but it is a little murky as to how they fit into this story. Unlike the previous books where the Weird had a prominent place, they sit quietly and idly in the background here. Until the ending, where all hell breaks loose.
McCormack really grabs the reader’s attention by giving slight, subtle twists in the action, keeping the reader guessing for most of the book, but by the end, I was left with a strong sense of satisfaction. Her strength is obvious after reading this book. She does a tremendous job at character development, making the characters jump off the page with such vivid descriptions, dialog, and an overall dimensionality that is unrivaled in this field.
I really want to commend Eric Brown, Rebellion Publishing, and Una McCormack for taking an off-the-wall story line and breathing fresh air into a genre that had started to grow old and stale. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this before and I genuinely look forward to the new release in this series every year.
So be like me, run to your bookstore, grab a copy of The Devil’s Nebula, and get to know a wonderful cast, an incredible story, and some imaginative sci-fi that will leave you wanting more.
Now, when is book five coming out...
A hidden assassin has been stalking members of Faerun's group, the Harpers. With quick, silent, mysterious deaths, everyone is baffled as to who keeps killing. But then enter Arilyn, the recipient of a magical, mystical, and rare Moonblade who has unknown and yet widely known powers that makes itself stronger with each generation. Arilyn is taken in by Kymil and trained then set off on a mission to find and stop the Harper assassin but along the way she meets lots of trouble including...
Danilo, a wise-cracking, none-too-bright, bard that decides he is going to accompany her on the journey despite her best attempts at getting rid of him. Can the two together stop the assassin before one of them is the next target?
Overall this book was fairly good though it started quite strong and end a little muddled and confusing. The writing is fairly straightforward and Cunningham does a tremendous job at making the characters believable and have depth. My favorite, of course, was Danilo, who kept a fairly serious story light. A few times he even had me laughing out loud.
This book read like a typical Dungeons and Dragons adventure and had every ingredient one could ask for: tavern brawls, big dumb bad guys, poitical discussions, and magical weapons. Sparking a series, this book does a good job at leading the reader into the next one which I hope to read one day.
Cunningham does just enough in the end to keep a reader's attention, tossing in mild twists and turns that keep the story fresh. I would definitely recommend this book if you're a fan of DND-type fantasy novels (i.e. Dragonlance, Margaret Weis, etc) but I don't think it'll be your all time favorite book.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.