Uncomfortably Dark Book Reviews

Now taking review requests for Jan. -March.  Books will be scheduled in the order they are requested.  Acceptance of a book is NOT a guarantee of a review. Reviews are still subject to our policy.

We do not read or review romance or erotica of any kind.  We do not read or review any explicit content depicting graphic child rape and/or sexual abuse. 

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Godless Book Reviews

Short Reviews for Shocking Tales

This section will contain our short reviews for the many short but shocking stories on Godless.com. They will not show book covers or contain links for each one. The direct link to Godless.com is below.

Rayne Havok

01/15/2022- Lost Soul

This was my introduction to Rayne Havok, and even though I understand this is not her usual offering, I found this story to be devastatingly beautiful. So much emotion captured within a few short pages, a lifetime of love and pain poured into such a short tale of love, and loss.  I will say that I hope she does more stories like this one and continues her usual offering of savagery and gore.
4 stars

Nikolas P. Robinson

01/15/2022- When You're Here, You're Fatalities!

I found this short tale of murder and mayhem highly amusing. Not only because I am familiar with the person being portrayed in it, but also the restaurant that is being spoofed. I admit to loving those breadsticks.  This reads like an Olympic sprint, short, quick and to the point. The ending was a nice surprise that I greatly approved of, I cannot share it. You will need to read it for yourself. 
3.5 stars.

The Professor

01/15/2022- Distinctly, I Remember

The Professor has done Poe proud. I would almost believe you if you told me that Poe himself had been privately tutoring The Professor from beyond. This is a new author for me, and I am sure that he will become a favorite. While the subject matter made me raise an eyebrow, the prose was too beautiful to stop reading entirely. I was thoroughly delighted at the handling of the story and the beautiful way in which it was written. A perfect decent into madness, told by a madman? 
4.5 stars.

Nikolas P. Robinson

01/22/2022-Innocence Ends

I went into this blind, not having any idea of the book synopsis or the reviews and just read it. I knew the author’s name, I expected horror. I did not expect what this book turned out to be; to say I was blind-sided would be to put it lightly. I was enjoying a tightly written tale of friendship, going by the title, I was expecting some type of tragedy to befall the group that would result in such a sad title.
Innocence Ends will grip you and pull you along into a beautifully written story of friendship, long-term friendship, each person with their owns strengths and weakness, each one with their own peculiar quirks and traits, each one that handles grief and loss in their own way.  A sudden invitation to a week-long vacation arrives to coincide with the anniversary of a death of a friend and what better way to honor their friend, and their friendships than by going?  The vacation quickly unravels into a small-town bloodbath as the group realizes just how far one of them went to try to save a friend.
4 solid gold grenades for Innocence Lost

 

01/22/2022
Serial

by Justin Boote

Serial will grab you by the balls and yank you along by the short and curly’s on an adrenaline-fueled psychotic roller coaster of death, mayhem, and murder.
Robert Mackenzie and Jeremy Gomez are scientists investigating what triggers psychotic behavior and if they can cause the same behavior in a “normal person“ using a drug cocktail they created.  They are testing their compound on humans to time and study their reactions, and then would apply an antidote, to reverse the effects of their drug once they conclude their study.   The results were better than they expected, and the Nobel prize was sure to be theirs. After all, more than 10 percent of all prisoners in England had been diagnosed as psychotics, far more than in America even and Dr. Mackenzie had visions of reducing this number and the crime rate by drastic proportions. Imagine a cure to psychosis!
When young Ann Wilson shows up looking for a quick payout to buy some proper clothes for job interviews, she feels odd during the experiment but does not relay any of this information to the doctors, thinking she will not get the money she needs.  They let her leave without giving her the antidote, thinking Ann was the exception to the rule, or rather, the exception to their drug. The doctors have no idea what they just unleashed.
The way this story unfolds will leave your jaw on the floor and the amount of carnage in this book is nothing short of incredible. You may think you know how this will play out, but I promise you, you do not.
4.5 stars for Serial

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01/15/2022
Monochrome Noir

by Jack Wells

New author Jack Wells has hit the scene running with his take on a detective story with a twist. Giving us an alternate world to traverse and a supernatural element to add to its intrigue, he delivers a gripping private eye story as told through the eyes of grumpy gumshoe Henry Hardcastle. As Hardcastle attempts to unravel the mystery unfolding in Angel City, Charlie Grant is just trying to deal with her own hardships but finds herself set on a different path.  That path happens to be leading to the deadliest person in town.  
Wells creates an interesting story, within a unique setting, that makes use of dynamic and relatable characters in a perfect noir mystery that would rival any of the original detective stories out there.  I am anxious to see the next installment in this series, as I happen to know that more are planned which will bring more to this unfolding story. 4 stars for this highly original tale.

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01/15/2022
Left to You

Daniel Volpe

Volpe continues to raise the bar with every book he puts out, his writing is clean and tight, delivering each story with machine gun precision. Filler words do not find homes within his pages. The characters are your brothers and sisters, your grandpa, and the lady next door, perfectly relatable, and acceptably mysterious as only our elders and our acquaintances can be.


Left To You brings us Robert, a young man doing his part to take care of his mom as she is dying from cancer. He works two jobs to keep the bills paid and spends his evenings taking care of his very sick mother after the nurse leaves.  He is torn apart from his grief, a tangible thing, that has settled deep in his bones as he watches her waste away, a little bit more gone, every day. But he puts on the mask that we all wear and tells her that he is fine, that things will be fine. He can’t let her see his pain, not when she suffers so much.


A kind old man from the store has taken a liking to Robert and often spends time there chatting with him as he shops.  Robert also sees him at the diner for his evening meals. Josef may be old, but he has good stories to tell. Josef has seen many cruel and unusual things, he knows suffering like no other, having been a Holocaust survivor. He is also nearing the end of his life, but he has one more task to handle. Something he wants to leave for Robert, something to help him.


When Robert finds out what has been left to him, it is up to him to decide what to do. What would you do to save the only family you have left?  What would you give up?


Left to You reads like a roller coaster carrying you through a tidal wave of emotion. This book will tear you apart and make you angry. It will hurt you and make you cry. It will make you suffer because this is what has been left to You.  


5 Golden Souls Left to Daniel Volpe, and one broken heart.

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01/08/2022
Piece by Piece

by Daemon Manx
Published by Last Waltz Publishing

Piece by Piece is an interesting tale that looks at that age-old question “would you want to know when you die?”  However, you pose the question to someone, you always get interesting questions back.  “Well, Do I know what year I die or just a month and day?  Is there a time involved?  Do I get to know how I die, and can I avoid it?” On and on, etc. You can formulate some of the responses for yourselves.  I’m sure many of us have had this question asked of us or have asked it ourselves.

Bobby Canfield is told at a very young age when he is going to die. An experience with three little neighbor girls and their Ouija board reveals a bit more than Bobby had bargained for, so much so that he blocks it out for years, decades even as he goes about his life.  Bobby is a good kid, a good son, a good student.  He leaves for college, meets the love of his life, Carolyn and begins building a life a with her.

A sudden injury and a visit to his parents brings back a long-forgotten memory and Bobby begins putting the pieces back together. Slowly, he begins to understand what his message from so long ago was and what he must do.

Daemon delivers another superior short story with a very emotional undertone. While this story still fits the horror genre theme, being bone-chilling and haunting, the heart of it speaks directly to yours. 

At the risk of spoilers, I will leave this as it stands.

Simple, haunting, and beautifully written, 4 stars for Piece by Piece.

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01/08/2022
Verum Malum

by Michael R. Collins
Published by Gloom House Publishing

First review for Gloom House Publishing, guaranteed not to be the last.  Author Michael R. Collins takes us on a ride for the ultimate horror story.  This story checks all the boxes, a crazed cult, close friends, a man with a dark past, a deep love, demons that will not be tamed, and a person, that is ready to sacrifice all.

Brief Overview:

What would you do to save the soul of the only person that ever mattered to you?  Newlywed partners Ben and Noah have nothing but time ahead of them. Time to live, love, and grow into a life that they both want, with each other and for each other.  Ben has a dark past that he spent years healing from and hiding from, but he knew one day it would come crashing down.

Noah loves Ben with emotions that are so deep, he can forgive him his secrets.  When a close party with friends brings a man from Ben’s past straight to his doorstep, Ben knows he cannot hide any longer.  He tells Noah and their close friend, Jackie, everything.

Crazed cult leader, Marius, let Ben run away years ago, willing to bid his time. Now that he is ready to complete his quest to find the Verum Malum and to know its secrets, he needs Ben back. He believes Ben is the key to what he has been seeking.

As the cult forces Ben to do their bidding, Noah, and Jackie race against time to find him and to save him, even if saving him, means sacrificing themselves and their very souls.

Review:

This story is a gut-wrenching, tragically horrifying tale of a young man trying to overcome his past and not being allowed to do so. It shows us the lengths that we are willing to go to for our friends, our family, for those that we hold most dear.  It is a most gruesome tour of a landscape our minds are not prepared for and a quest that we cannot hope to return from, but Noah is willing to do it anyway.

Ben is worth that and more.  Short, but nerve-wracking, I loved this story in its entirety. The characters were well-written, the pacing is on point, and the descriptions vivid enough to paint full scenes in your mind, scenes that you may not want to remember after.

This is a great first read for me from author Michael R. Collins and Gloom House Publishing and I look forward to more.

4 stars for Verum Malum.

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The Best of Indie Horror
Christmas Edition

Presented by Kevin Kennedy

Kudo's to Kevin Kennedy for yet another fantastic anthology, just in time for Slayin' Season! 

I had the honor of reading this anthology early and was blown away by the quality of the stories contained within these pages.  Just when I think I could not be any more impressed by the amazing authors that surround me, I receive an anthology like this and am overwhelmed and surprised by the sheer talent that pours from the fingertips of these authors.  


Eric Butler nails a truly creepy tale in his story, The Mall Santa, while Steve Stred showers us with plenty of nightmare fuel in Tradition.  Lex H. Jones, a new to me author, penned a disturbing tale in a story called Top Floor: Seasonal Furnishings and Christmas Decorations. This one left a shiver going up my spine, while Clitoris Krampus made me cringe in places that I didn’t know I had.

So many good stories here, too difficult to name a favorite, but well worth your time in reading over the wonder winter season.  Be sure to pick this one up, it’ll become a favorite Christmas read. 

Four Christmas Stars! 

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Of Witches

by Steve Stred

Brief Overview:

Steve Stred brings us eight horror tales about witches, right in time for Spooky Season.  The collection also includes incredible photography and illustrations by Amanda Crites, as well as a foreword.


My Review:
What’s not to like?  It’s witches. Steve Stred has created a nice blend of witch stories, most short and deeply disturbing, all within just a few pages. The stories all set in a variety of time periods and locations, only lending further credence to Stred’s range as an author. The characters become quickly relatable and believable, expertly done within a few sentences. Most of these, I did not see the disturbing turn of events that lie hidden just around the corner and I applaud Steve for being able to pen so many short stories without making them slightly predictable. The choice of artwork that was used helps to deepen the atmosphere and tone of the overall collection as well as enhancing each reading experience.  This a solid collection, well worth a read and including in your yearly October read list.

4 dark stars.

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Beneath A Pale Sky

Philip Fracassi

Book Synopsis:

Beneath a Pale Sky is a collection of eight short but dark stories by author Philip Fracassi.  Booklist says “This is a collection that articulates the dark emotions of the genre itself-unease, anxiety, and dread-as each tale turns on a dime from slightly unsettling to palpably terrifying, often with a single sentence, and the results are breathtaking.”


My Review:

I happen to agree completely with the quote from Booklist above. This is an incredible collection of stories by a supremely talented author. Starting with the gorgeously designed book cover that alludes perfectly to what you will find within the pages, to the stories themselves that only get better the further you read. Fracassi captures the atmosphere and the emotions of each story with perfectly penned details, beautifully imagery and descriptions so vivid you can almost smell the air.

I must admit that I read this collection twice, having fallen in love with several of the stories. Harvest and The Wheel both spoke to me with their lush descriptions and near perfection of the stories being told.  The Soda Jerk was deeply unsettling, the more I read it, the more it disturbed me, which is exactly what we hope for in our genre. Fracassi has reached perfection in his mastery of the short horror story and each one in this collection delivers.

5 stars from Uncomfortably Dark.

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Gone to See The River Man

Kristopher Triana

Book Synopsis:

Super Fans. Groupies. Stalkers.


These people will do anything for the idols they worship, be they rock stars, actors, authors, or even serial killers. Lori’s obsession is with Edmund Cox, who was convicted of butchering more than twenty women. She will do anything to get close to him, so when he gives her a task, she accepts. She has no idea of the horror that awaits her. 


Edmund says she must go to his cabin in the woods and retrieve a key to deliver to a mysterious figure known only as the River Man.  She brings her sister along and the trip becomes a surreal nightmare, one that digs up Lori’s personal demons, the ones that she feels bonds her to Edmund. Soon she will learn The River Man is not quite fact or folklore, and definitely not human, at least not anymore.


My Review:

There are not many books that leave me at a loss for words for days after reading it. I still am not sure that this review will even do this book justice. I will let the synopsis above speak to most of it and allow you to find out for yourself the horror that lies on every single page of this book. I can honestly say that this book rocked me to my core and not in a good way. For the first time in many years, I had nightmares for several days after reading this.  This book will take you to dark and disturbing places as Lori’s story unfolds. 


Exceptionally well-written, brutally raw and devastatingly dark. 5 stars

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They All Died Screaming

Kristopher Triana

Book Synopsis:

In A World Full of Monsters, Even Heroes Have Fangs. It’s called The Scream. Once you get it, you simply cannot stop screaming. You can’t eat or sleep. It drives you more and more insane until you can’t stand to be alive a second longer.

They All Died Screaming is a plague novel by Splatterpunk Award-Winning Author Kristopher Triana. It is a pitch-black book about the lowly and downtrodden being the last people on earth.


My Review:

Triana does it again with another exceptionally written novel full of the most depraved and disturbing images of humanity that have ever been captured in ink. There are really 2 stories in this book that unfold simultaneously, one just as disturbing as the other. Tragic is also a suitable word, deeply tragic stories are contained within these pages. Not only are the characters relatable, but they are deeply complex, full of their own backstory and they all play very full roles within the story being told. You cannot help feeling pity or sympathy for even the foulest of the characters once you see behind the curtain, so to speak. As the tagline insists, even heroes have fangs. The hero of this story will certainly give you pause while you try to decide if the term hero truly fits here.

This is an uncomfortably dark 5 star read.

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Giving the Devil His Due

Edited by Rebecca Brewer
A Charity Anthology by The Pixel Project

“Giving the Devil His Due” is a worthy anthology published for a good cause by The Pixel Project. All net proceeds from the anthology will be going to the Pixel Project’s anti-violence against women programs, campaigns and resources. This is for any female that has ever been abused at the hands of a man, the survivors of rape, incest, domestic abuse, and trafficking. Any and all survivors of, this anthology is for you, by authors like you, that hear you and support you. 


The authors have penned a relentless collection of stories of anger, loss, grief, justice and revenge, each one carries the same message. Survivors can and will overcome, they will see the sun again, reclaim their identity and their power, they will exact their justice, all in due time. A couple of standouts for me were “Hell on the Homefront too” by Stephen Graham Jones, “Just Us League” by Angela Yuriko Smith, and “The Little Thing” by Christina Henry.  These lingered with me well after I finished reading but there is not a disappointing story in the bunch. 


I fully support anthologies of this nature and this cause. Five stars for this superb collection for a very worthy cause. Kudo’s to each author for shedding more light on this truly dark topic. 

 
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In Somino
A Collection of Gothic Horror

Edited by Alex Woodroe
Published by Tenebrous Press

“In Somino: a Collection of Gothic Horror,” bring something for everyone with its eclectic mix of modern gothic horror tales. Quietly chilling and disturbing, these tales slowly work their magic as the lush prose creeps into your mind and the small details start a slow chill along your spine. 


There are plenty of stories to pick from for a quiet evening at home with biscuits and tea, but some of my favorites were ‘The Blight of Black Creek” by Mary Rajotte,”Wild Thing” by S.E. Zeller, and “Self-Storage” by Barbara A. Bennett.  I love reading new anthologies because there are always a variety of authors to discover, and I know that I will be adding several of these authors to my list. 


Pick up “In Somino” for yourself and enjoy an evening or two by your fireplace this fall, discovering some great new authors and delighting in the darkness that this anthology brings. 

4 dark stars for “In Somino”.  

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The Bad Book

Published by Bleeding Edge Books

The overall concept of “The Bad Book” pleased me a great deal. I’ve often thought of myself as a rebel against the norm, the accepted, the revered. Cause, why not?  I’ve never been one to follow the crowd, religious or otherwise.  I was raised in religion, Catholic, been confirmed and all and then nothing. I only attended church because my parents attended church and after I was confirmed, we almost immediately stopped going, except for Easter and Christmas, of course. 


But I digress, the concept of “The Bad Book” was meant to be in direct contradiction to that famous Good Book, but is it really? The sheer amount of brutality contained within the pages of the Good Book can give any horror author a run for their money.  The authors that took part in this anthology were challenged to take bible stories and turn them into horror, and they delivered.  Some of the stories you may recognize for the bible story they were meant to be, others you will not.  Each author nailed it, forgive the pun, and offered up a tale of terror sure to rival any offering in the Old Testament.  I loved how each section was named for the author that wrote it, rather than giving the actual story name, that was a nice feature to find, that further lends credence to the origin of the book's concept. 


I was not able to pick a favorite but I devoured this book much like Eve devoured the forbidden fruit. 4.5 stars for The Bad Book. 

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New from Night Terror Novels!

This is Not a Horror Story

“This is Not a Horror Story” is not a horror story, but many, set in a giant collection of stories, penned by some of today's newest horror authors.  This collection takes the entire list of trigger warnings and applies it to the pages within, there is truly something in every tale that may disturb and unsettle some readers.  Please be warned, the trigger warnings are listed for your comfort and sanity, proceed wisely at your discretion.  Reading some of these tales sent tendrils of unease down my spine and up into my brain, icy cold tendrils of shock, disbelief, and slow-growing horror as each story unfolded before me, each darker than the last. 


Read with the lights on and a fire burning to chase away the chill that will settle deep in your soul, from page one until the very end. The Puppy Farm, not as cozy as the name implies, will haunt you.  The Gallery of Discarded Things will make you question your own reality as it ends, moments away from making you feel completely unhinged and uncomfortably in your skin. The horror does not ease up there, keep going until you reach The Fates and Tricks with Antlers and Horns.  Try not to shudder as you put the book down, already being bombarded with haunting thoughts and images. A  hot shower will not ease that chill in your bones, trust me, I tried. 

Five stars for making me question my own sanity. 

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October Nights

by Kevin Lucia

Book Synopsis:


This Halloween…

On a night when anything seems possible...

We dare you to spend an evening in the small town of Clifton Heights.

October nights here are long and strange, filled with both dread and transformation, and in these four shared-world tales of small-town Halloween horror, you'll encounter things both wondrous and terrifying, in equal measure:


- A priest hears a ghostly confession on Halloween night which will mark him forever.

- A young man is offered a supernatural chance to remake his fortune, at the risk of losing everything.

- A pastor fleeing the death of his daughter comes to Clifton Heights to face his fears, but finds himself living a nightmare instead.

- Two people with supernatural talents face-off with an engine of darkness and pain on Halloween night.


Four connected Halloween tales, evoking echoes of Ray Bradbury and Charles L. Grant, taking place in a town where every day is All Hallow's Eve.


Review:

The synopsis sums up this collection perfectly, wherein the last line states “evoking echoes of Ray Bradbury and Charles L. Grant.”  This is an excellent collection of hauntingly bone-chilling stories that are perfect for Halloween and any other dark night of the year.  Each story woven in and around the town of Clifton Heights, which takes on a personality all its own. 


Each story is well-written, with relatable complex characters and an unsettling sense of dread and horror that sneaks up on you as the story unfolds. I read this twice simply because I wanted to enjoy them again.

5 stars for this great collection. 

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Starlight Drive

by John Palisano

Brief Synopsis:

In “Starlight Drive”, two boys find allies through unexpected friends who help them confront a neighbor from Hell. 


“Outlaws of Hill County,” a small town finds themselves terrorized by a creature that only comes on on Halloween. 


“Samhainophobia,” a group of college kids still find Halloween terrifying, although for a very different reason than they did growing up. 


In “Fantasma,” a young boy searches for his lost cousin during a chilling Dios De La Muertos Celebration. 


Review:

This is a great collection of chilling tales that are perfect for a fall night. Each one is well-written, highly imaginative, creative, and just disturbing enough to linger for a while, in the back of your mind, making you look over your shoulder as you lock up your house for the night. You might want to check those locks just one more time before you drift off to sleep. Starlight Drive is well worth becoming an annual fall read, 4.5 stars. 

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The End of Halloween

by Greg Chapman

Brief Synopsis:

Five short tales of terror.  The death of a twin sister is more than what it seems. A sudden car crash leads an injured man to a very eerie town with a Halloween obsession. A child’s longing to escape an abusive home, leads him down a very dark road. Trick or Treating in Hell, what could go wrong. Cold observances by Death, himself. 


Review:

This collection of creepy and creative tales are brought to you by Greg Chapman. Each is well-written, with relatable characters and scenarios. I really liked how each one had its own unique plot twist, allowing the story to end in a much different manner than you might predict. I love having the unexpected in a story and this short collection delivers that very well. 


4 solid stars for this great fall read.  

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The Smell of Cedar

By River Dixon

Brief Synopsis:

Sarah is already having a bad day when a mysterious package arrives that sends her spiraling into a state of paranoia. Memories of a horrible childhood spent in her grandmother's care haunt her as she tries to piece together the events of the past few months, the events that have led up to today. For Sarah, it becomes a race against time and her descending madness as she tries to figure out who is coming for her. 


Review:

River Dixon has expertly penned a deeply haunting story that speaks of tragedy upon tragedy as a middle-aged woman experiences a crisis within herself. Paranoia, trauma, and horrific memories set the course as she takes a disturbing walk through her memories and recalls being brought up by her sadistic grandmother. When she learns that her grandmother has passed, she goes back to the old house to set those affairs in order, seeing firsthand the nightmares of her past.  

As she returns home, her confused state of mind only deepens as she becomes convinced that someone is stalking her, hunting her and she becomes determined to become the hunter instead, even as her mind slips further from reality.

“The Smell of Cedar” is truly a disturbing read, one that will haunt you for a long time after you read it.

Four stars for a truly uncomfortably dark book. 

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Back From the Dead

by C.M. Saunders

This collection of dreadfully disturbing tales is by C.M Saunders and  it did not disappoint. This would be a great October read for all of you horror fiends out there.  Six short stories with loads of zombies, death and gore. 


In “Dead of Night”, new couple Nick and Maggie set off on a weekend camping trip. Hoping for time to snuggle, cuddle and copulate in their own bit of paradise. What comes stumbling out of the woods late in the night is much more than they bargained for. 


Another creepy tale tells us about “The Plague Pit.”  Owen knew there was one up in the mountain behind his house. The plague pits were the mass burial sites for victims of the Bubonic Plague from the 14th century.  At 15, Owen was finally going to go see for himself if the pit really existed, once and for all.  None of his months of planning would have prepared him for what he finds beneath the old church. 


“Human Waste’” is as disturbing as it gets as prepper Dan finally finds himself in the very situation he had spent his whole life  planning for, zombies, everywhere.  He’s got his weapon and his bug-out bag ready but still needs to grab some supplies. Those zombies outside still seem to be doing human things but Dan dismisses it as routines just ingrained in their DNA, like muscle memory. Dan ventures out, gun in hand, ready to take on the infestation, or is he?


“Til Death Do Us Part” is a cheeky little tale that you’ll need to read to believe. Dark humor at its finest, I enjoyed the chuckle and the humor hidden in this dark little deed. Margaret and Ronald may not agree.


“Roadkill” is a terrifying tale of private ambulances in Brazil and how they make money by carrying victims of accidents and crimes to the hospitals due to lack of social services there. Partners Tito and Jimmy belong to the less than scrupulous of those street cleaners and find a fresh road accident victim to transport.  The victim, however, seems to have other  plans. 


“Dead Men Don’t Bleed” is another intensely dark tale of the dead, or perhaps, the undead. Private investigator Mike Malone is hired by dead man John Maplin to find out who killed him and why. But Malone may have bit off more than he can chew in this mysterious tale of terror. 


Strong writing, relatable characters and riveting situations combine to hold your interest until the last page. I highly recommend this book for your October reads. 4.5 stars.

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H/ARMED

Dustin LaValley

Wow. Just, wow. I went into this with zero expectations but somehow, it still was not what I was expecting.  


Premise: Hell in a Cell, in a fully stocked superstore, with only one winner. 


Outcome: as you would expect. A bloody, fast-paced, action-packed kill fest by the most unlikely mix of people ever found in a battle. 


Reaction: Hell Yea! Followed by a bit of shame, and the need for a shower.  The playlist to go with this story was epic. I highly recommend it for an immersive experience. This was more fun than I had expected with an unexpected outcome. 


Four stars for a fun, intense, rock-worthy experience. 

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Slattery Falls

by Brennan LaFaro

Book Synopsis:

Travis, Elsie, and Josh, college kids with a ghost-hunting habit, scour New England for the most interesting haunted locales. Their journey eventually leads them to Slattery Falls, a small Massachusetts town living in the shadow of the Weeks House. The former home of the town’s most sinister and feared resident sits empty. At least that’s what the citizens say. It’s all in good fun. But after navigating the strange home, they find the residents couldn’t be more wrong. And now the roles are reversed. The hunters have become the hunted. Something evil refuses to release its grip, forcing the trio into one last adventure.


Book Review:

Every so often a book comes along that fully captivates you and swallows you whole, lost between the pages until the very last word has passed through your soul. Slattery Falls is one of those books and it is so much more than a book about ghost hunters. This is a story about the bonds of friendship, about love, and about sacrifice. It's about finding the answers that no one else can and about answering a call that no one else can seem to heed. This tale was the whole package, intrigue, terror, fear, curiosity, coming of age and beyond, love and loss. 


LaFaro has penned an excellent tale in his Slattery Falls. Get it for the ghost story, love it for the real story it hides. 


Five huge Platinum stars and a standing ovation. 

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Tent Revival

by Edmund Stone

Tent Revival-Book One of the Rebecca Mythos


Tent Revival follows Allen Sutton as he miraculously recovers from a horrible injury after his young wife passes away. His father Sy, goes to see Allen at the hospital, where he had been wasting away for weeks, determined to bring him home and care for him there. Within a day of bringing him home, against medical orders, young nurse Rhonda shows up offering to care for Allen in exchange for room & board. Within 24 hours, Allen is awake, walking and talking as if nothing had happened.  Rhonda admits to knowing Allen from before his accident but Sy and Allen’s sister, Sally, are too overjoyed to be suspicious of her sudden appearance or Allen’s sudden recovery. 


Meanwhile, the small town of Salt Flat has been preparing for an event, a tent revival of all things, the likes of which the small town has not seen in years. Flyers are everywhere and the whole town is buzzing with gossip of the mysterious magic man known only as “The Sage”.  

Sy Sutton and his new friend Patty quickly realize that things are no longer what they seem and become determined to save Allen from an ancient evil intent on claiming him for her own. 


Tent Revival is cosmic horror at its best, mixing in fresh concepts with ancient beings, dynamic writing with relatable characters and subtle terror on each page, each more graphic and  intense than the last, so expertly done that you no longer remember when you first began holding your breath as you read, page by page.  I look forward to the next installment in this series. 


4.5 stars for Tent Revival by Edmund Stone. 

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Mr. Salina's Seven Scary Stories

Matthew P. S. Salinas

Overview:

This is a debut collection of short stories by Matthew Salinas and it did not disappoint. Seven stories in all, with an introduction by the author, each one is incredibly well-written and as different from the last one as it can possibly be. 


Review:

Another new-to-me author with an excellent debut collection, I highly recommend picking this up to add to your Fall reads. This is one for campfires, late-nights and thunderstorms. From the haunting story of a young boy trying to complete a dare at the local graveyard, to a young girl trying desperately to complete her quilt before her birthday, to an intriguing lyrical tale about a king and his silver, this collection puts forth an intriguing mix of tales sure to linger with you for long moments after you finish reading. 


Short tales, perfect to read with that late night coffee or whiskey by the fire. I found each one to be excellently written, with just the right amount of chilling atmosphere thrown in to make you look over your shoulder a few times while reading. 


4 solid stars for Mr. Salina’s Seven Scary Stories. 

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Tales From The Parkland

by Ronald McGillvray

Brief Synopsis:

11 short stories and one novella of horror for late at night. Welcome to the many “What If?” scenarios of Ronald McGillvray’s imagination.


Review:

Ronald McGillvray is a “new-to-me” author and I was thoroughly pleased with this collection of stories.  Tales From The Parkland brings something for everyone, throwing out its stories with wild abandon upon the table, ripe for the collective to feast upon. There is no theme amongst the pages, no common thread save one, horror. Ripe with terror, each tale takes you through a most disconcerting scenario and throws you headlong down the rabbit hole of McGillvrays mind. 


From a town with no way out, where garbage collectors are more than they seem, to the end of days as seen through the eyes of a small child at his daycare, Tales From the Parkland, runs you through the gauntlet of emotions as death, and decay, monsters and chaos leak from the pages. 


Pick this one up for yourself and get comfortable, right around midnight, and visit Tales From the Parkland for yourself. 


Four Solid Gold Stars. 

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