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  • Writer's pictureChristina Pfeiffer

5-26-24 -Christina Critiques

This week is bananas! Haunted houses, orcs, homes not on the range, serial killers on a river, and SO MUCH MORE! All of these are so darn different, you will have to add at least one to your TBR. Let me know which one! And TWO hit my Top Ten of 2024.

Stop writing books, friends. I am running out of numbers!

Let’s get into them!


ORCSLAYER (Gotrek and Felix #8)

By Nathan Long

New author, end of the line of goodness? Ab-so-freaking-lutely not! Long came thundering out of the gates (merchant ship) and didn’t let up until the last word.

We jump twenty years in the future and things are STILL pandemonium. The beginning few scenes set us up for Gotrek being thrown from one ship to another to slay orcs and damage their ships just to attempt to get to land. Phew. Then when Gotrek is forced to back an oath he made with Hamnir, a fellow dwarf and ex-bestie, guess what happens? RIGHT!, shenanigans. Orcs, dwarfs, secrets, and oaths all come together for a shocker of a novel.

Guys, seriously. If you aren’t reading along with me, I can’t help you. This series is BANANAS! I was worried when there was an author switch but it feels like “dad”, William King, has passed the torch to his “kid”, Nathan Long. Long’s writing is tighter and the descriptions are a bit lacking from King. But let me tell you, Long can hold his own. The characters, Gotrek and Felix, feel as though nothing has changed and that was perfection.

I have read some of the reviews (after I read it, of course) and there are polarizing opinions. But for this gal, I can’t help but be excited to see where Long will take us in the continuation of the story.

This is a top 3 so far for me in the series. Don’t tell the die hard fans, though. They may come after me. Still a HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.




by Eric Butler

Is there anything Butler can’t write? Splatterwesterns, short stories, novels, ghosts, slashers, and the list goes on. A SMASHING GOOD TIME gives us all the awesome that is Butler in seven short stories that will horrify AND delight. Let’s check them out…

Mall Santa - After Willie’s sister went missing, four friends come back together for the perfect heist and promise of finding Alice. But not everything will be merry and bright.

Best of Friends - Three friends find Crystal on the side of the road. She was running from her worst nightmare and it’s about to become theirs too.

Donn, TX 1952 - Debbie and Jerry stopped at a road side motel. When some crows attack Debbie, it awakens an evil neither of them are prepared for.

In Search of the Blue-Footed Booby - (ha, booby) Three friends are out looking for boobies —- I mean a bird. What they stumble upon is straight out of a horror film.

The Hellhole - Van and Abe believe sacrificing Carl to a literal hell hole will give them wishes. You can bet one wish will eventually be that they never met Carl.

The Fixer Upper - Joanie can’t catch a break. Out of the fire, in the pan, as they say.

The Quilt - Susan and Chris are looking for Jimmy after he goes missing after a week. Is it adultery or something more sinister?

This is the perfect way to jump into a Eric Butler book binge. You get a little something from every story that continues into other stories. And a special shout out to the narrator, Micah Cottingham, she was a star at the voices and pacing.





By Ed Brubaker

RELEASE: August 27, 2024

Natalie Burns is a private kidnapper of sorts. She kidnaps those who are being looked for by family because they are in a cult. It is all going great until she mucks her latest up and the FBI gets involved. Natalie was part of a Satanic Panic group of children when she was five. And FBI Agent West has found that someone is picking off the group one by one. Between West, her flashbacks, and her nutter of a brother, getting past this will be hell.

Wow. Just wow. Talk about storytelling in a short graphic novel. Brubaker comes out, guns a blazing and doesn’t stop until the last bullet is spent. Between the old detective comic style of the drawing, the epic detail on everything (including a sex scene, spicy), and the stellar horror scenes this is a winner on all accounts.

Keep your eyes peeled for this one, friends. And load up on the Holy water.





Sue Rovens

Do you like haunted houses? Weird supernatural shenanigans? Real estate? Religious tomfoolery?  Well, this is your book then!

Ed has retired and man is he bored six months in. When his wife, Alma, suggests he gets a real estate license, by golly that’s the ticket! His first clients are the only known lesbian couple in town and his wife is none too happy. Add in a haunted house and weird real estate shenanigans and you have a recipe for disaster. Too bad not everyone knows the score.

SANCTUM is a fun read but also frustrating. Alma and her hens at the church group will infuriate you to the core. What I loved most about this novel was that it had supernatural elements added in to the drama. I mean, I guess haunted houses would be drama too but not as much as wife drama, am I right?

If you want something spooky and fast paced, pick this one up ASAP.

A definite recommend 4/5.




Micah Castle

I’ve been a fan of Micah’s since I read, RECONSTRUCTING A RELATIONSHIP. The way he flips the script on themes and perspective is second to none. And his latest offering is no different.

Four strangers wake up in a house that is anything but normal. With everyone possibly lying and the house ever-changing, can Heather figure everything out before it’s too late. Oh, and they are in the middle of never-ending darkness.

I have my theories on this story and it’s short at 51 pages. I could be completely wrong but I believe it’s a metaphor for life. The whole story. From how we sometimes have no idea where we are, things we believed to be there are unreliable in our memories, people changing, etc. And it’s goddamn brilliant. Castle is one that I yearn to read more from him even it’s a grocery list because it will be complex and inspired.

A HOME IN THE DARKNESS is a top 5 for me this year.




Splatterpunk Award Nominee


By Kristopher Triana

Oh buddy. I was not a huge fan of GONE TO SEE THE RIVER MAN and I was a wee bit worried that this one was not going to be my cup of tea. But I was WROOOOOOOONG. This is Triana at his best, tbh.

Edmund Cox is going back to see the River Man. With a suspended cop, Keith, and a private eye, Gary, hot on his trail he is racing the clock. And then you add in little Ms. June and well, it gets a bit more wild. Word to the wise though, if you meet the River Man, make sure to have something to offer him in return.

I’m not sure why the first one didn’t hit me the way this one did. The characters were more fleshed out and maybe because it just felt more… hell, I don’t know. All I can tell you is this was superb. It’s gritty, disturbing, supernatural, and so much more. And it’s a definite Top Ten for this year. I see this or DEAD END HOUSE winning the award this year.

Absolutely stellar! A DOUBLE HIGHLY RECOMMEND 10/5.



Booker Prize Nominee


Selva Almada

Oh, friends. Friends, you need to read this one.

Two friends, El Negro and Enero, take their best friend’s son, Tilo, out for a weekend fishing trip. They shoot a stingray and well, the butterfly effect begins but on this island. Their best friend, Eusebio, died years ago in the same river. When secrets and revenge are handed out like the smile from a beautiful girl, things get a bit more complicated.

This short novella is steeped in Argentinian culture and lore as well as supernatural elements. Almada puts such an emphasis on nature, friendship, and tradition that the reader becomes so immersed they feel like they are drowning. I couldn’t put it down. The translation is phenomenal (though I will warn the whiners of the reading community that there are no quotation marks, so take that as you will.) But for those of you that can handle it, I promise you will fall in love with it as I did.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Sometimes dreams are echoes of the future.”

“It must be that part of a person stays behind in the place where they die.”



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