Category Archives: Horror

Skinshifter (Sylvan Cycle Book One) by Alycia Christine (Kindle Edition)

Skinshifter

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

As involved as it is vividly eloquent, Alycia Christine’s Skinshifter (Sylvan Cycle Book One), will satisfy any reader of young adult high fantasy. This multifaceted coming-of-age, YA fantasy read is fueled by engagingly twisted fantasy elements, vivid imagery, appealing characters, rousing adventure and terse storytelling. Skinshifter is the first book in this promising Sylvan Cycle series.

The story’s young protagonist Katja Escari is a truly engaging character; she is tough, brave, stalwart and a female werecat. But there is something deeply different about her that she struggles to keep hidden. It is a secret that not only endangers her, but those around her as well. When the other members of her Feliconas Clan are ruthlessly murdered by the greatly feared Asheken deadwalkers, Carrying the weight of survivorship guilt, Katja flees–determined to survive and seek vengeance.

While en route, Katja meets human, high-born Princess Lauraisha another young and resolute character who is also on the run for her life from the evil machinations of her wicked king father. The two females, although quite different in some ways, soon learn just how similar they are and what eventually develops is a friendship so deep, it is like they are sisters. After agreeing to help each other achieve their respective goals against the predominant evils in their lives, their direction is unexpectedly altered by a plea for help from a surprising source that sends them running into the adventure of a lifetime to save the Sylvans from the coming Asheken hordes. With danger at every turn, they join forces with other Sylvans in a race against time, profound magic and pure evil. Their journey is extraordinary as they encounter the denizens of the magical world they are risking life and limb to save.

I enjoyed Skinshifter. Author Alycia Christine developed an entertaining story that was well suited to the genre. Chock full of fantasy elements, moments of tense action, and populated with intriguing characters this book presents a great introduction to the series that not only deals with the coming-of-age theme well, but also approaches tolerance of cultural and physiological differences. Skinshifter was a worthwhile read and I look forward to the next in the series. This book is definitely recommended reading for Fantasy buffs.

Click Here to Purchase Skinshifter (Sylvan Cycle Book 1)

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Unholy Bargain by Travis Hallden Holt

Unholy Bargain

Reviewed by Teri Davis

“People created the world around them, as if their lives, their stories, they themselves authored.”

Can we control our lives so well that we each “author” our individual lives?
For Kaitlyn Spencer and Nate Barrington, there definitely seem to be forces working on each of them that they cannot control. Being that they are two very different people, will they ever be able to be a successful couple raising their child?

“I teach the invisible side of life. The existence you can’t remember. I teach our origin. The journey of our soul. Our evolution.”

Revival: A Novel by Stephen King

Revival

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Though not a reader of true horror or supernatural stories I have ventured into the world of Stephen King once before. I read Mister Mercedes which turned out to be a really great story and was not really much of a horror/supernatural tale.

Revival, however, does lean a little further into that genre of storytelling. And though I cannot say that I am a fan of those types of stories I do have to admit that this one did hold my interest and I am sure it will keep many a reader turned on to it to the final ending.

It is not a tale of goblins and other types of strange folks but because of some of the happenings there definitely is a solid touch of the unknown or strange universe.

Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates

Suicide Forest

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Jeremy Bates has written a spellbinding horror story that steadily heightens in suspense until the tension of individuals in desperate straits reaches epic proportions, resulting in an explosive climax followed by a nerve-racking scene in the epilogue.

An eclectic group of seven people make a spur-of-the-moment decision to go camping in Japan’s Aokigahara Jukai, a dense forest located at the base of Mount Fuji. The group believes it will be an adventure and ignores the ominous warnings to stay out of the forest. Aokigahara Jukai is also known by the name of Suicide Forest, and it is viewed as being haunted by the ghosts of the people who have committed suicide.

The deeper into the forest the group hikes, the more anxious and unsettled each person becomes. The forest is deathly quiet, and little sunlight is able to penetrate the thick canopies of trees. When the group comes upon two oddly shaped fused trees with arrows pointing in two different directions, they decide to split up and do some exploring. Lives are changed forever from that moment.

Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat by Patrick McCabe

Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Acclaimed author Patrick McCabe gives readers the creeps in his recent horror fueled contribution, Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat. The book features two eerily disturbing novellas both of which have central characters that narrate their tales from beyond the grave.

In the first novella, Hello Mr. Bones, child abuser Balthazar Bowen aka Mr. Bones observes his victim/accuser Valentine Shannon waiting for the right time to reach out and assert his brand of dark vengeance. Bowen is a bitter and maniacal sort whose observations and rhetoric become creepier by the word. This tale becomes especially creepy when Mr. Bones sets his sights on Valentine’s disabled son.

Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash

Stillwell

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Any young family with one parent suffering from cancer has immense challenges that few people can really comprehend. Sometimes just maintaining a career, a marriage, and raising three children is overwhelming.

For Paul Russo, this is his life.

Paul has been a successful real estate agent in the Long Island area. Fortunately, his financial situation is healthy enough that he can take off time to be with his dying wife. However, a year with cancer treatments, death, and three children can be taxing on anyone financially, physically, and most of all, emotionally.

The Flip by Michael Phillip Cash

The Flip

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

A well-spun tale of romance, paranormal beings, and a dilapidated haunted Victorian mansion, The Flip is a horror story will keep you rapt in its pages as the lives of house flippers Brad and Julie become entwined with the spectral beings that inhabit Hemmings house.

For house flipper Julie Evans, Hemming house is a dream, when she looks at the dilapidated mess she sees nothing but potential for it to be turned into a successful Bed and Breakfast however for her husband and fellow flipper Brad it is nothing but a burdensome eyesore that he wants to get rid of it as fast as possible. Little do Brad and Julie know that the house harbors a dark past, full of secrets and phantoms from the past that can and will affect their lives in the corporeal world. The experiences of Brad and Julie in the house soon become the fodder of nightmares leaving them with a lasting impression of the afterlife and stark lessons about life and love.

Saint Nellie (Kindle Edition) by Odal Madsen

Saint Nellie

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

As a fan of horror genre books, I must say that this is indeed one of the best I have read in a long time. In a market overflowing with horror novels, Saint Nellie makes a tour de force debut; it is a riveting story told with such literate dexterity that it truly makes an indelible impression on the reader’s psyche. This is a horror read that snatches you by your hackles and keeps you rapt in its horror- filled pages until the last bittersweet word.

The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill

The Mist in the Mirror

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Susan Hill has written a chilling and spine-tingling ghost story set in Victorian London. Vivid descriptions of moonlit moors, ancient stone churches, haunted country manors, and gloomy weather add to the atmospheric creepiness of the story.

The Mist in the Mirror opens with an unnamed narrator engaging in conversation with Sir James Monmouth at a gentlemen’s club in London. This encounter leads to Sir James entrusting the narrator with a manuscript about his life. The narrator retires to his lodgings and reads Sir James’ story. The book ends with a postscript that focuses on the narrator and has an unexpected twist.

The Troop by Nick Cutter

The Troop

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Many scouting troops have camping traditions. Taking five boys in their teens onto an island in the Canadian wilderness is an annual event for Tim Riggs who is the scoutmaster as well as the local doctor of this close-knit community. He realizes the value of taking the boys away from their families for a weekend to an uninhabited nearby island with a cabin. They can camp outside or use the cabin if it rains. What could possibly go wrong in three days?

For Kent this trip is tolerated. He is accustomed to being a leader among his peers being both popular and athletic. At the other end of this small social hierarchy is Shelley who is strange along with his nerdy friend, Newt. Ephraim and Max are likable and get along with almost everyone. As expected the relationships between these five is teasing with sometimes a streak of meanness from Kent.