Tag Archives: Review

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

Movie Review: John Carter

7 Mar

Was given the chance to go check out the Sneak Peek of the new Disney movie, John Carter, tonight thanks to a co-worker of mine.  Craig and my friend Wendy also went with.  I think the consensus from all three of us was that it was a very fun movie!

The pre-movie awesomeness was seeing the Avengers trailer in all its glorious 3D.  It was all I could do to contain myself having Thor, Chris Hemsworth almost falling out the screen at me.  I was SO ready to catch him!  *grin*

I’ll try to make a few comments (spoiler free) on my thoughts of the movie:

I’ll start with the biggest concern I was hearing about… the worry regarding Disney having produced this movie.  Yes, you can probably tell what influence Disney had on it.  The “alien dog” in the movie is definitely something that Disney influenced as he’s playful and adds a lot of comic relief to the movie.  It’s a great character though, despite the Disney influence.  Additionally, there are quite a few light jokes throughout, which didn’t seem to take away from the movie, but rather helped keep things light-hearted a bit as some of the scenes got a bit serious.  I didn’t think that the stuff Disney probably was mostly involved with took away from the movie though, so hopefully you Disney haters out there can overlook that aspect of the movie.  🙂

Throughout the movie, I was getting a lot of Deja vu feelings as many things reminded me of the Star Wars movies.  The flight machines being used in the movie seemed  a LOT like the Pod Racers… the aliens themselves looked a lot like Jar Jar Binks (though MAJORLY less annoying!!!)… and other little things throughout.  Again, this didn’t take away from the movie, just something I noticed as I was watching.  Not sure if it was an intentional thing or not.

This could definitely be considered a family movie, though a few of the fight scenes might disturb very young children.  (not that it stopped the few people tonight that brought crying babies with them *grumble grumble*)  Overall, there is something for MOST all ages in the movie.  If you like 3D movies, DEFINITELY go see it.  This was probably the best 3D movie I’ve seen in a long time.  It fully utilized everything that 3D has to offer.  It’s visually stunning throughout and the fight scenes have you feeling like you are right there with everyone.

My only complaint was there was a part maybe 45-60 minutes into the movie that seemed a little slow, but I was also running on about five hours of sleep so it could’ve been that I was just tired and having trouble focusing.  Other than that, I had a fun time with this movie and hope all of you out there that go see it enjoy it as well.

Oh… and ladies… yes, Taylor Kitsch, is VERY nice eye candy!  *drool*  There were even scenes where I found myself comparing his image to some of Johnny Depp’s in various movies.  And on a non-guy front… I absolutely LOVED the wedding dress of the lead girl, Lynn Collins.

One last thing… as I wasn’t familiar with the books before.  This movie is actually based off of a series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  You can buy the first five of the series for Kindle for just $0.99 so you might want to check that out as well if you do decide to see the movie, whether before or after.

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.

Wild Girls by Lisa Morton

26 Feb

The “wild girls” mentioned in this novella’s title are Jessie and Dens.  Jessie has had a rough life growing up and Dens has decided to take her in and try to help her out.  Little did Dens know that when she offered Jessie a place to stay for the night that her life was going to change so much.  That’s just what happens, though, as Jessie seeks out the ultimate revenge on her father, and men in general.

As a seasoned fan of Morton’s work, the contents of this book were not at all what I was expecting from her.  Yes, it included her typical tougher-than-nails female lead character, but it also included mutilation, rape, and lots of killings.  This is not her typical style, which made it a bit humorous in the sense of being able to tell that it was a bit of a jab at some of the other authors in the field that tend to write solely about these kinds of things.  However, Morton’s spin on this was that she reversed the roles, and instead of the typical dynamic of males attacking females, she wrote about the females attacking the males.  That being said, she held her own in this sub-genre of the horror industry and wrote a fun and gruesome novella.  Readers that don’t take kindly to rape and mutilation, please pass on this particular Morton title, but be sure to check out one of her other books as I promise you will enjoy this author.  For those of you that don’t mind a bit of violence and abuse in your books, be sure to give this one a try, as it’s only a $0.99 download for your Kindle. Highly Recommended!

Contains:  Adult Language, Adult Situations, Mutilation, Rape, Violence

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.

Monsters of L.A. by Lisa Morton

26 Feb

        In Monsters of L.A., Lisa Morton takes twenty “monsters” (some more known than others) and adds her own spin on their stories based on her experiences in Los Angeles.  For example, this collection starts off with a very well-known monster, Frankenstein.  However, Morton’s Frankenstein doesn’t come with bolts in the side of his head, but rather is a Vietnam vet that suffered a lot of physical ailments in his past that involved him being pieced back together, and earning him the name “Frank” from a lot of people.  At the end of this collection of stories, Morton details a bit about who/what influenced the stories she wrote in this book and the story behind Frankenstein, in particular, is very touching.

    Additional stories in this collection that I truly loved I’ll list below, in no particular order, with a brief description:

    “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” – Dr. Jekyll in this story is in the process of creating a new method for gender reassignment, but instead of testing it out on animals, decides to test it out on herself with some adverse effects.  She isn’t aware at first of what all goes on after she injects herself, but soon learns.

    “Dracula” – Dracula is an actor in this story and doesn’t get along so well with his co-star, Eddie, which leads to some major tension.  Not only was this story fun, but it also made me groan out loud!  I won’t say why and give things away, but if you read this story you will definitely figure it out!

    “The Killer Clown” – With my fear of clowns, I was dreading getting to this story in the collection.  As expected, it made me even more afraid of clowns, as the girl in the story is practically terrorized by numerous clowns while at a liquor store.

    These are just a few examples of the amazing contents of this book.  I am typically not a fan of short stories, but Morton has made me second guess myself on this opinion with her stand-out collection.  Do yourself a favor and check out this Stoker-nominated collection! Highly recommended for all library collections.

Contains:  Adult Language & Adult Situations

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.

Book Review: Creep by Jennifer Hillier

6 Feb

 

    Newly engaged professor Sheila Tao is looking to end the three-month long affair she has been having with her student/assistant, Ethan Wolfe. Problem is… Ethan has grown more attached to his professor than she realizes, and he starts stalking her. Ethan goes out of his way to learn as much as he can about Sheila’s fiancé, Morris, in order to find out what she truly sees in him, and also digs into some of Sheila’s deepest secrets, ones she has even kept from Morris. With the information he collects, he sets out to stop their wedding, no matter what it takes.

    Jennifer Hillier strikes it big with this first book in a new series. The reader follows Ethan’s thoughts and movements, as he stops at nothing to keep Sheila for himself. Hillier weaves a vicious web of twists and turns, leaving the reader unsure up to the bitter end of how things are going to turn out for both Ethan and Sheila. This novel kept me turning page after page wanting to know the final outcome, and at the end I was already eagerly awaiting the sequel, Freak (due out in August 2012). I would recommend Creep to any fans of psychological thrillers or mysteries. Jennifer Hillier may be new on the publishing scene, but she’s far from being an amateur. Even if you don’t try any other new authors this year, at least check out Jennifer Hillier! Highly recommended for public libraries.

Contains: Sexual situations, adult language, adult situations, violence

Review also posted at MonsterLibrarian.

Wicked Winter Read-a-thon – Feb. 3 – 5

3 Feb

Saw where my friend Shaunesay was doing yet ANOTHER Read-a-thon this weekend.  I swear that girl finds one for almost every weekend.  LOL!  At any rate, I decided to try to give it a go.  I’m sure I won’t be devoting all weekend to it, but I will post when I can and read what I can around doing other things that are going on this weekend.

To start things off, I was currently in the middle of two books when this day had started:  Peter Straub’s GHOST STORY  (at the halfway mark) and an anthology edited by Jack Burton titled STEAMY SCREAMS (about 1/3 of the way through).

Today I ended up starting another book however, A HOLLOW CUBE IS A LONELY SPACE by Jack Burton.  I also read a short children’s picture book by Scott Nicholson called IDA CLAIRE and posted a review on Amazon.  Please note that if you go today you an check this Kindle book out for FREE!!!  I’ll paste it here as well:

“Fabulous kid’s picture book by mystery/horror author Scott Nicholson. This story, however, is not a scary tale, but rather a cute poetic story about a father and daughter. The rhymes within this book are both clever and cute and show the love the father has for his daughter Ida. Both the poetic rhythm of this short tale and the colorful artwork by Lee Davis will have kids wanting their parents to read this book over and over again!”

I chose to read & review IDA CLAIRE as part of Scott Nicholson’s amazing Kindle Fire giveaway he has going on.  I had been wanting to read something of his for a while now anyway, so that gave me an excuse.  Of course, I still want to read something of more note by him.  This was just a cute little kid’s tale and I have a feeling his horror books are going to be amazing.  Maybe I’ll get into some of his other shorter fiction this weekend as well!

I doubt that I’ll get to finish any of these books today, but I’ve obviously got a dent going in them all now and hope to at least knock out the two short story collections this weekend, make more progress in GHOST STORY, and possibly read some other stuff as well.

I’ll post more as I can.

Thanks to the person(s) running this Read-a-thon for putting it together and thanks to Shaunesay for pimping it so that I could find another thing to keep my already busy life busy this weekend.  🙂

Review: Me, Myself, and Why

10 Apr

Me, Myself, and Why (Cadence Jones, #1)Me, Myself, and Why by MaryJanice Davidson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Readathon Book #4 – Yet another great novel by MJD. This one actually has a bit more meat to it compared to her other series so it wasn’t as fast a read as I was expecting, but still a fun read all-around. The main character… err… characters is a girl(s) with a split personality disorder. The three personalities that she has are all hilarious in their own ways. I think my favorite of the three was Adrienne just because she was SO bizarre and random. LOL! Definitely looking forward to the next book in this series to come out.

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Review: Future Diary, Volume 2

8 Apr

Future Diary, Volume 2Future Diary, Volume 2 by Sakae Esuno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Still not in love with this story, but am interested enough to continue reading to see what is going to happen to the #1.

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