The Only Good Indians: SO SO GOOD!

Unique and scary as hell. Revenge is a messy business and that’s exactly the case in “The Only Good Indians”. Four men are individually reminded of the tragedy they incited on a fateful November day ten years prior by someone…or something that holds a grudge against them. Jones’s writing is vivid and brutal and had me turning pages in anticipation of what came next.

Spoilers ahead. Read on if you dare.

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Mexican Gothic: “Absolutely Chilling” Review

Mexican Gothic

Absolutely chilling. That’s the best thing I can come up with to describe Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest release, Mexican Gothic. When this book popped up on my radar over a month ago, I knew it was going to be incredible. I haven’t read any of Moreno-Garcia’s other books, but I had heard a lot about Certain Dark Things when it came out and had it on my list of vampire books to check out eventually.

Mexican Gothic had a strong marketing campaign. It started appearing all over the place when I was searching for random things online. The more I read about it, the more I convinced myself it was going to be a killer read. The quintessential gothic styled novel, updated for today’s reader and presented in a location underutilized in that genre and with unsettling, brooding characters. As soon as my pre-ordered copy hit my desk, I dove in. Glorious terror and creepiness abounds in Mexican Gothic.

Beware: a few spoilers lie ahead.

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Bird Box: A Review

Bird Box by Josh Malerman, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

I know I’m in the non-unique position of having read Josh Malerman’s Bird Box after having first seen the Netflix film adaption. Bird Box was a book that I always had on my list of “must-reads” but just never got around to. With the news of the upcoming sequel, Malorie, releasing later this month, I decided it was high time I order and read one of the top horror novels of the last few years (as it has been purported by many reviewers). I wasn’t disappointed.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

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This Book is Full of Spiders: A Review

This Book Is Full of Spiders by David Wong

Oh my god. Wow. Where to begin?

My book tastes are all over the place. Of course,  most people know that my affinity is for the weird and wonderful: horror, fantasy, suspense, humor… you name it. If it has a unique voice, a plot that I can’t anticipate, and memorable characters, I’m onboard for sure.

My boyfriend recommended that I read the first book in David Wong’s trilogy, John Dies at the End, months ago before COVID quarantine officially began. My diligence at reading books has been pretty on and off. I can race through and love a book and then start another one soon after and take months to finish it. I’d like to say that work, owning a cat, writing, house chores, and all other aspects of my life get in the way of reading, but it’s a simply not true. I love reading. I don’t do enough of it. So, I chose to sit down with John Dies at the End over a month ago and read it.

It was nothing like I’d ever read before and I loved it.

Spoilers are probably ahead. Best be warned.

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Annihilation, a film review

Image result for annihilation

For someone who absolutely loved the intelligent, slow burn that is Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation novel, I had a hard time swallowing Alex Garland’s film version which recently hit theaters. I spent the better part of two weeks thinking over the similarities between the two because, let’s face it, they are almost two different stories with only a couple of shared aspects between them. Garland had intended Annihilation to exist as its own entity which almost begs the question, why not call it something else…and well, make the last couple of changes that it needed to be its own unique entity. While I spent a solid week being kind of upset that it wasn’t a screen adaption of what I’d read, I have come to the acceptance that as its own film, it did some really amazing things and I do understand why so many people have given this amazing reviews. Now…where do I begin?


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Horror-FAVE SATURDAY – Tormentum: Dark Sorrow

I cannot say enough good things about this game. It’s just…kind of perfect. The artwork is phenomenal, the atmosphere is grim and depressing, the characters multi-faceted and intriguing, the plot easy to follow and engaging, and the music…is absolutely divine!

While Tormentum: Dark Sorrow isn’t strictly in the horror genre, it does have some dark fantasy elements to it and definitely features some horrifying plot-points and imagery. It tells the story of a nameless protagonist who finds himself caged by an empire set on making people suffer for the sins they’ve committed, often through gruesome torture. The protagonist doesn’t remember what he’s done, nor does he remember his life before being captured. In addition to seeking an escape from his captors, he seeks to understand what led him down this dark road, often encountering tests of his morality along the way.

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“The Alienist” Review

Good morning, readers!

I will be frank when I say that I am not the fastest book reader. In fact, when I’m reading a book, it usually takes me several months to finish it. There’s work, there’s writing, cleaning, and paying bills… all of the other chores that make it difficult to find time to sit down and relax into a great book. It has been several years since I’ve read a book that I couldn’t put down. Well, my friends, I’ve recently read a book that was so thrilling and suspenseful, that I just COULD NOT put it down. I’d read for hours everyday just because I was so excited to find out what would happen next. That book, as you may have guessed, is “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr.

I’ve seen this book in many places and have always been intrigued by its cover art and the time period it was set in, 1896 New York City. Finally while browsing through a second hand bookshop down the road from me, I saw it again and knew that I had to buy it and read it.

I had just finished reading “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson. It struck me as kind of coincidental that “The Alienist” should start only one year after the finish of that book. There is even mention of the murders of H.H. Holmes within the first chapter. It felt almost like a seamless transition from that book to this one.

The first thing that struck me in this book is Carr’s masterful use of the English language to describe his surroundings. While reading, I actually felt as if I was hurtling down the dark roads of a Victorian Era New York along side the main character, John Schuyler Moore.  Carr always makes sure that you can see, touch, smell, and hear the malevolent places that the characters visit, which heightens the terror even more for the reader.

I have to admit, too, that I fell deeply in love with the main characters of this novel within the first twenty pages. While reading about Dr. Laszlo Kriesler and John Moore, I was instantly and fondly reminded of the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Kriesler is the brilliant alienist (or psychologist) who seems emotionally detached while Moore is very much disturbed by the killings. However, the two have their differences from Conan Doyle’s pair and its easy to see how their friendship has grown closer over the years. John, undoubtedly, was my favorite character. As a NY Times journalist, John’s contacts extend through out the city and having his press badge comes in handy on more than one occasion through the course o f the book. Sarah, John’s childhood friend and Theodore Roosevelt’s secretary at police headquarters, is a smart addition to the group and brings a necessary punch of feminine genius and feeling to the book. The Isaacsons are also a particular favorite of mine in the novel.

The subject matter is definitely dark. The story follows an unofficial investigation led by Kriesler, into the murders of young boys. Each one has been killed in a gruesome manner [one particular mutilation is that the eyes are missing]. The further revelation that the young boys are employed in brothels as transvestites, plunges this story into the snarls of some pitch black content. There are grisly scenes that are definitely not for some people. I, being a writer of horror, was actually surprised by a few of them, but it only reeled me in further because of the level of danger these characters now faced in trying to capture the killer of these boys.

The story takes you from the upper crust opera houses, down into dingy shacks and gloomy tenements, through shady brothels, and ominous asylums. At every part of the novel, you become a part of the investigation as you follow the characters as they use what were then very uncommon practices such as fingerprinting and psychological profiling to capture a serial murderer, bent on killing until someone makes him stop. This is a five star book in my rating and it immediately goes on my favorites list.

When I finished the book yesterday, my feeling of triumph was smudged by a feeling of sadness as well in that the adventure was over. Then, I discovered Carr had written a sequel. “The Angel of Darkness”. I’m ecstatic to hunt down that book and rejoin some of my favorite characters as they pursue another murderer.

While I search for the sequel, I’ve decided to read from one of my other favorite authors, Anthony Bourdain. I’d finished reading “Kitchen Confidential” in the spring and absolutely adored Bourdain’s tales of how he negotiated the food underworld from the beginning of his career up until about twelve years ago. Now, I’ve got “Medium Raw”. Bourdain wrote this 10 years after he finished “Kitchen Confidential” and much had changed in the food industry in that time. I already know it won’t be a disappointing read.

Tomorrow, I will be posting the potential cover image for “Aequitas”!