Thursday, June 29, 2017


I was provided a print copy of Tongues by Sam Joyce for review.

Tongues is a horror story from the beginning. It does take a bit to understand what exactly the focus of the horror is. The story moves from one anti social group to another before telling us what the real evil is. The horror is a practitioner of a voodoo-type spirituality, Palo Mayumbe. Carmen (the practitioner) unleashes a sinister spell in a small Texas town.

I have to say I was a little disappointed in how this story played out. I'm not sure if I received a galley or uncorrected proof. There weren't typos but there were issues of continuity at times. For example: in one sentence the heroine jerks a gun out of the bad guys hands. Two sentences later she struggles with the bad guy to take the gun away from him. That kind of continuity issue.

The story itself was scary enough and I did like it over all. Serious evil running rampant with no way to stop it. But some of the depictions of the evil people were doing just seemed too jarring. Not just graphic (which I have no problem with) but seemingly included more for shock value than story progression. Graphic violence, graphic sexuality (at one point bordering on the absurd). A six hour or so road trip took up a major portion of the book, bogging it down for me.

The ending didn't really resolve the problem and didn't really set us up for any future books.  I always strive to be positive in my reviews, and Tongues by Sam Joyce, is an o.k. book, but for me it fell a bit flat. If you like horror stories about evil spirituality, and can get past a few continuity issues, you'll probably like Tongues. Enjoy!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Edge of End: A Novel

I received an e-version of Edge of End: A Novel by H. G. Suren aka Suren Hakobyan.

I have read this author's work before and enjoyed it immensely (since I have seen the name Suren presented first and last, I don't know whether it is his first or last name, I am proceeding with the belief that Suren is his surname).  For me Edge of End far surpasses what I've read from him in the past, and that is saying a lot since as I recall, I rated The Silent City five stars.

Edge of End reads like an extended Twilight Zone (and that is a very good thing). Our main character is caught in an incomprehensible situation. He has to learn as he goes along and the consequences for making a mistake are dire indeed. Edge of End is presented as a horror story, and no doubt it is, but it also is extremely suspenseful. Graphic, gruesome, violent, action, almost graphic sexuality, intrigue, romance, heroism and psychological mind games.

Edge of End begins in a life or death struggle and continues non-stop (literally) for the entire book. There is no let up in the story at all. It kept me riveted (I even had a dream set in this story, and that does not happen to me often). Though I was not able to read it in one setting, I was able to pick up the story with no problem when I came back to it.

A very scary thought to even imagine this story in anyway approaching reality (talk about scared straight). But there is no denying the spiritual aspects to this story. It is a story of right and vs wrong, good vs evil, redemption, and selfishness vs. selflessness.

Edge of End : A Novel by H. G. Suren (that's how his name is presented on this book) is an awesome story to get lost in and scare the snot out of yourself with. Enjoy!


Friday, June 9, 2017

Cannibal Moon

Cannibal Moon is the 77th book in the Deathlands series under the house name James Axler.

First and foremost, I am a fan of the Deathlands series, it is one of my guilty little pleasures. I say "guilty" because they are pulp, formulaic, predictable, violent, often misogynist and anti-social. Thank goodness they are not racist. Apparently the nuclear holocaust eliminated racism (guess it's not all bad).

Cannibal Moon is focused on (you guessed it) cannibalism. Cannibals often play a part in the deathlands saga. Until this book however, they were usually loosely organized, poorly equipped and easily dispatched by the companions. In Cannibal Moon this is not the case. The cannibals here are organized, very well outfitted and threatening to take over.

Books in this series often focus on different companions as the main character being affected by the story line. In Cannibal Moon it happens to be Mildred. What struck me with this story was how little the rest of the companions contributed. Since Mildred and J.B. have a romantic connection it was surprising to me that he had such a small impact here. Also Jak seemed to be almost a disinterested party to what was happening.

Although I read Deathlands books expecting just what I get; over the top violence, machismo, dystopian societies, and heroes that emerge victorious no matter the odds. I don't expect high quality writing, lofty prose. I expect down and dirty, gritty, in-your-face descriptions of the horrors of the "hellscape". I was a bit disappointed in Cannibal Moon. It struck me as a little flat. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as others in the series. I guess that is to be expected with such a large series; not every book is going to thrill every reader.

Deathlands is still my not so secret pleasure, and  Cannibal Moon may not be the pinnacle of the series but it was enjoyable enough. Fans of the series will still like it. Enjoy!


Monday, June 5, 2017

The Devil's Due

I received an e-copy of The Devil's Due by L. D. Beyer for review.

This is the third book I have read by author L. D. Beyer and I have to say that they just keep getting better.

The Devil's Due is set in Ireland shortly after World War I. It follows Frank Kelleher, IRA soldier, as he copes with being falsely accused of betraying his comrades. We follow his attempts to clear his name and reputation, and reclaiming his life in his beloved Ireland.

We also get a history of the fight for independence in Ireland and the civil unrest of the time. Kelleher is the epitome of anti-hero (the crux of the story so, you'll have to read that part for yourself). He is an honorable man caught in the wheels of history.

I could hear the Irish lilt in his voice as he tells his story. It made the story that much more enjoyable. I can not speak to the historical accuracy of the story, but that is not really the point of the book to me. The story is Kelleher and his family and friends. It is a compelling, touching story. Honor, loyalty, patriotism, are key to Kelleher's life. His stubborn insistence in holding true to his values in the face of events which would prompt many to abandon them is inspiring. Author Beyer excels at painting a verbal picture that places the reader right in the heart of the story. His description of the beauty of Ireland is nothing short of breathtaking.

There is, of course, a lot of violent action. But there is also a lot of introspection and soul searching, making The Devil's Due more than just an action packed story of violence, retribution and redemption. It is a well rounded, balanced story of a man's life.

Readers whose tastes in action extend beyond kill everybody and let God sort them out, who like more depth to their reading will find this book fills that interest in a most satisfying read. I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil's Due, and as I said earlier, L. D. Beyer's work gets better with each book I read. Enjoy!