Tag Archives: MonsterLibrarian

2013 Brings Changes To My Book Reviewing

2 Jan

As most of you know, I’ve been reviewing for Monster Librarian for the past several years.  For the last year or so I’ve really fallen behind on writing up reviews.  It seemed like I could read a ton of review books, but then I’d put off writing the review, even as long as a year later.  At that point I barely remembered what the book was about and practically had to re-read the book to be able to write the review.  I know, I know, I should’ve taken notes and/or wrote the review immediately upon finishing the book, but with the stresses of work and every day problems, I just didn’t always have the energy to do it immediately.  And then, of course, there was the “I’ll do it tomorrow” problem and as everyone knows, tomorrow never comes.  So… after a LOT of thinking and I do mean a LOT… I’ve decided to give up my reviewing gig with ML.  However, I will still be doing some reviewing.  I know several publishers/authors have sent me books directly to review and those reviews will be going up here on my blog (and most likely cross-posted to Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and GoodReads), though I’m not sure of the exact time frame.  I have a lot of non-review books I’ve been wanting to catch up on so I will be mixing them into my pile as well.  Some of the non-review books might get a quick mention/blurb on this blog, but I will definitely be writing up reviews of the books that have been requested of me.  This might only be one or two a month and if I really don’t care for a review book, it might never get a mention (however that is a rarity for me as I can usually find something to like in all books).  I already have a few reviews to work on posting up here, but I need to get into my New Year groove with working out, housecleaning, etc… as I’ve made several goals for myself  So, I ask of all publishers/authors to please be patient with me as I do want to read & review your books, I just need to limit the stress behind it a bit.  

Yes, I am still accepting review books, but I am limiting what all I take in.  If you would like to submit a book for review, please contact me at my email:  sanddanz at gmail dot com.  I’m not promising a review, but I’ll see how the review pile stands at that point.  

I really hope everyone understands the reasons I’m backing off of things and also appreciate the patience those have shown in the past for my delay in writing up reviews.  I truly am not a flake, but I will be the first to admit that I took on a bit more than I could chew. So… with the new year, I’ve just decided to try to make things a bit more manageable.

Thanks again to all publishers & authors for their contributions and be sure to check back as your review(s) might be the next thing published here.

Happy New Year!

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Review: Desdaemona by Ben Macallan

30 Jul

Desdaemona follows the story of Jordan, on the run from his parents, who plan to make him immortal when he becomes of age. While on the run, he helps find other runaways–because who better to find a runaway than another runaway that knows all the best hiding spots and tricks? Enter Desdaemona, or Desi for short, who enlists Jordan’s help to find her sister Fay, who has gotten herself mixed up with some very bad immortals. Jordan attempts to turn down her request, but, as he’s a horny teenager, it doesn’t take much for Desi to convince him to help her out. As their search begins, so do a lot of crazy and dangerous escapades that make Jordan second-guess his decision to help out Desi, despite his raging hormones.

Honestly, I had a really hard time getting through this novel. Some sections of the book I really got into, but then others made me wish I was already on the final chapter. I am glad I stuck through to the end, though, as some of the stuff near the end of the book was quite intense, and I really liked one of the characters introduced late in the book. I will most likely read the next book in the series to see how things go now that the characters have been fleshed out. This first book just felt like the author was struggling a bit with getting his voice and writing style sorted out, but I have hope that in future books this won’t be an issue for Macallan, as he does seem to have some really good tales to tell. The fact that he pulls in so many different creatures, going beyond just the typical vampires and werewolves found in urban fantasy, makes him stand out drastically from many of today’s urban fantasy authors. I would definitely recommend giving Desdaemona a try if you can handle a little frustration along the way, as the book does turn out to be well worth it in the end. Recommended.

Contains: Adult language and situations

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.

Review: Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski

30 Jul

Claire left her past life as far behind as possible, and didn’t want to return home when she received the call that her father had been hospitalized.  He had abused her growing up, which was the main reason she had left in the first place, but she decided to be the bigger person and went home to check on him.  Claire didn’t expect to find that she was expected to use her training as a paramedic to act as a home nurse to him until his condition improved. Nor did she expect her best friend’s suggestion that this would be the perfect opportunity for the two of them to get their revenge on the man that had abused them for the biggest part of their life.  

Intense from start to finish, this book keeps you biting your nails the entire time.  Kozlowski keeps the momentum going throughout this book, giving the reader no chance to come up for air.  Ravenous Shadows promised novellas that could “pack as much punch, personality, and plot as books three times their size” and that they did with Die, You Bastard, Die!  If I didn’t have other obligations in life I would’ve read this in one setting easily, as it was THAT good!  This is a revenge story.  This is an extremely gory revenge story.  I don’t say that lightly.  If you are hesitant to read books that have to do with revenge or contain gore, I’d pass this one by.  However, if you don’t mind either of those things, make sure this one goes to the top of your must-read pile.  Trust me, it won’t take up much of your reading time and you won’t regret it.  I know I can’t wait to read more from Ravenous Shadows and especially from Jan Kozlowski.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Contains:  Adult language, Adult Situations, Sex, Rape, Violence, Gore

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.

Review: Unspeakable and Other Stories by Lucy Taylor

30 Jul

Lucy Taylor’s work has been recommended to me frequently, due to my love for erotic horror.  Earlier this year, I finally got to read a short story by her, and I enjoyed every word of it.  So I was ecstatic when our site was contacted by the author about reviewing her short story collection Unspeakable and Other Stories.  The collection is made up of eight short stories, which I believe have all been published previously in various anthologies/magazines.  There was not a story in this collection that I did not enjoy, but my three favorites would have to be (in no particular order) “Wall of Words”, “The Family Underwater”, and “A Hairy Chest, A Big Dick, and a Harley”.  Taylor has a special way of playing with words and twisting them around, making the reader think one thing, and then, when she unravels it all, showing  something entirely different.  Her endings were always a surprise to me, especially in “A Hairy Chest, A Big Dick, and a Harley”. Yes, her stories would be classified as erotic horror, but I don’t think many readers would find themselves wanting a warm body to make love to after having read her work.  Taylor’s stories are sensual yet disturbing and are more likely leave you fearing the lover beside you.  Gripping and chilling, I devoured this collection in small doses to make it last longer.  Highly Recommended!

Contains:  Adult language, Adult Situations, Sex

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.

Review: Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi

29 Mar

Author Travis Glasgow recently completed a novel titled The Ocean Serene, written as Travis’s way of dealing with the death of his brother Kyle, whom he felt he had killed years ago.  Thinking he had put his past behind him, he and his wife, Jodie, move to Westlake, Maryland to be closer to his living brother, Adam.  However, upon arrival to the house, Travis starts noticing strange happenings.  He is hearing noises and seeing strange sights in the basement.  What he witnesses makes him believe that Kyle’s spirit has followed him all this way and is trying to tell him something.  Then one day Travis notices another oddity; a staircase, floating in the middle of the lake outside their house.  As Travis’s confusion and fears increase, he decides to do an investigation of his own, wondering if there is more to the house than just a ghost from his own past.  Taking his research skills to the local library, he soon discovers that the previous owners of his new house have something in common with him; they also dealt with the death of a drowning boy in their family.  Travis becomes obsessed with finding out as much as he can about the previous owners of his house in order to find out what message the being that has been reaching out to him is trying to get across.

Of all the books I read in 2011, Floating Staircase was at the top of my list!  From start to finish I could not put this book down.  Having not previously read anything by Ronald Malfi I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this one, but I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be looking up his other reads.  I’ve always been a fan of ghost stories and this book is definitely that.  In the beginning, Malfi leaves you wondering if maybe Travis Glasgow has gone just a bit crazy over the years due to the blame he had put on himself after his brother’s death.  But once he discovers that there is another presence in the house other than what Travis originally thought was his brother’s spirit, things really take off.  Mixing elements of both horror and mystery, Malfi has put together a page-turner that, even when finished, leaves you wanting more.  Powerful and chilling, Floating Staircase is one ghost story that horror fans should not miss.  Highly Recommended!

Contains: Adult Language & Adult Situations

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian

Review: Help! Wanted: Tales of On-the-Job Terror edited by Peter Giglio

6 Mar

For most people, there is nothing more terrifying than waking up and going into work day after day.  Peter Giglio shows just how valid this fear is as he brings together twenty-five authors and stories in Help! Wanted.  As with all anthologies, some stories will be favored by one reader while other readers will prefer the ones that reader didn’t care for.  For me, some of the stories that truly stood out were Lisa Morton’s “Face Out”, where a spell goes wrong for a bookstore owner; Mark Allan Gunnells’ “Must Be Something in the Water”, which will make you hesitant to ever drink from a water cooler again; Gregory L. Norris’ “Carpool”, in which a man finally goes crazy from driving to work each day; and Jeff Strand’s “Work/Life Balance”, which shows how things really can be too good to be true.  These are just a few of the magnificent and utterly terrifying stories in this collection.  Do yourself a favor and read this book… unless, of course, you think it will make it that much more difficult to get out of bed in the morning.  Consider yourself warned! Highly recommended for all library collections.

Contains:  Adult Language & Adult Situations

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.

Review: Cut Corners Vol. 1 by Various Authors

6 Mar

The first ever book release from Sinister Grin Press is a mini-collection of three short stories by three VERY well-known authors: Ramsey Campbell, Bentley Little, and Ray Garton.  Ramsey Campbell starts off this collection with a story titled “The Address”, which tells of the events an elderly man goes through as he tries to find his way home.  Second up is Bentley Little, with a darkly humorous tale called “Conversation Between Two Women Overheard At My Dentist’s Office”, which gets increasingly more terrifying as the conversation between the two females plays out.  Ray Garton ends the collection with his story “Autophagy”, which is still giving me the creepy crawly feeling as the characters in this tale describe how they have strange “things” coming out of their bodies.  All three stories were terrifying in a different way and most enjoyable.  For readers not familiar with these three authors, this is a great introduction to each of them.  Seasoned fans of these authors won’t be disappointed in their latest release.  For a new press, this is an impressive first lineup and will leave readers curious as to what will be coming out next from this small press.  Highly recommended for all library collections.

Includes:  Adult Language

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.