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  • Writer's pictureChristina Pfeiffer

Christina Critiques


HAPPY 2024 and welcome back to the insanity of my reviews.



I have read some amazing stories for you to add to that never-ending TBR. Let’s get into them:

 







PROMETHEUS IN CHAINS

by Rich Davis


Friends, FRIENDS, listen to me.  I love comics and horror. But when I get to read BOTH at the same time, I get a bit excitable. And then you add in literary references AND a place I know? Pfft.


Dr. Frankenstein and his wife also Dr. Frankenstein are working with Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Albert Einstein on top secret research. When Liz Frankenstein becomes ill, Victor must come to terms with what happens to her. But it isn’t so easy for him and things get a bit… animated?


I can’t tell anyone how it ends because this series isn’t finished. I read Issues 1-4 and I cannot get enough! Davis plays with alternate history, guilt, the inability to let go, imagery, and my favorite, literary references so brilliantly! It has a CREEPSHOW comic style while being creative with the interconnection of panels and story line. Seriously, I’m not sure who this author is but I’m addicted and a huge fangirl.


Don’t be scared of the price tag at $4.99 an issue. It’s 100% worth it, actually I would have paid more. The story, world building, and artwork are some of the best I have seen in a while.


A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


ORDER HERE:

 


WYTCHCULT RISING

by Philip LoPresti


Oh, Mr. LoPresti, is there anything you can’t write including an incestuous cult of deformed killers who are bathed in menstrual blood?  Answer: no.


Our narrator of this short story is a young child who tells of the family and rituals that are performed in order to continue tradition. Incest, cult rituals, murder, cannibalism, and the internal questioning of this young child take the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions in only 36 pages.


LoPresti can’t be truly reviewed unless I share some of the stunning quotes from WYTCHCULT RISING.


“These stones that with one movement of the wrist become death stones, breath stones, little inscribed death stones. Tonight, an archaic alphabet will end a life. Who says words can’t kill?”


“But we hear the chants like the caterwauling dead ghosting out over our heads.”


“The dead do not float,” she says, “They lay stagnant and silent through all our grief and madness.””


“I curse the heavens from inside my head, knowing full well that my words will never be carried off into the ether, but left instead to rot inside my brittle skull.”


This one is a favorite because its prose is so beautiful but the story is so filthy and repulsive. What this cult does and what the young are forced to watch and endure, is not for the faint of heart. But somehow, LoPresti writes in such a way, we much continue to read until the final word.


No surprise here: A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


ORDER HERE:

 

ALL I WANT IS TO TAKE SHROOMS AND LISTEN TO THE COLOR OF NAZIS SCREAM

by John Baltisberger


When you pick up a John Baltisberger story, poetry collection, or novel, you know you are in for a treat. But this one is special and in my opinion, his best work yet.


I can’t really give a synopsis because it’s a bizarro, coming of age story that mixes politics, mythology (both religious and other) with eroticism, fatherhood, and what it means to have devotion. Plus, it’s autobiographical! So how exactly can that be explained without reading it?


It’s another short read coming in at less than 80 pages but holy shit, friends. Imagine Allen Ginsberg’s personal and political lyrical poetry with Franz Kafka’s railing against societal norms and coming of age prose and you MAY have an idea of what this novella could read like. Here are two quotes that really stood out to me:


“I wanted to carve the holy symbols I saw in my mind on his teeth, but each time I pressed hard enough to make a dent in the enamel, the tooth would break or be forced out of his gums.”


“It was all the same, these camps geared towards indoctrination to a cult that worshipped not a deity but the words written by a man who had once met a man. We worshipped gossip and half remembered lies turned into myths.”


If you want a read that will make you questions some of your beliefs or ideas while being enthralled with the beauty of words, this one is for you.


A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


ORDER HERE:

 

FAMILY ‘TIL IT CAN’T BE, GANG ‘TIL IT AIN’T

by Chaz Williams


Well, well, well. If we don’t have another talented member of the review team. But friends, this was insanity. Pure. 100%. Insanity.


What happens when four best friends have not only been together for years but have also held secrets for as long? What would make them question their alliance to one another to the point of breaking the bond? Well… Derrick, AJ, Kevin, and Trey are forced to confront the past and their possibly troublesome future.


Chaz, I tell you. He sucks you into the story on the first page and doesn’t let go even after. FTICB, GTIA has been on my mind since I finished it. The way Williams refuses to fall in the common traps of typical horror or writing in general, make this story a stand out. The gore is there, the uncomfortable situations are present and accounted for, but it’s the way he writes the characters and their bond with one another that is superior in my opinion. This is not a story to sleep on. Williams is going to be one to watch this year and I can’t wait for more!


A HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND 5/5.


ORDER HERE:



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