Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Carnival of Tears

That Summer Night by Joriah Wood is much better than his story, Demon In The Lines. I think the author does better with real life horror than supernatural drama. I have to admit, I was expecting something along the lines of the movie Ghoulies (Google it), but Wood's use of suspense is the perfect way to keep readers interested, and the abrupt ending is quite appropriate in this case.

I think the author should consider writing a mini-series around the character, Madam Zazim, or maybe give the group of girls, with Miranda, their own short story.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Wahrer 2017

After reading The Hunter, a suspense-thriller, by Zachariah Wahrer last year, I decided to read a couple more of his short stories...

Diesel left me with mixed feelings...I expected Wahrer to be more original, but instead he begins with stereotypical characters and a mundane setting...the author almost lost me, but the airport scene truly had me on edge. I don't even think I breathed until the very last word.

Utopia Gone, on the other hand, is a science fiction piece...Wahrer's best story of the three I've read. The psychological and sociological aspects mixed with the dystopian future in space are quite interesting. I think Wahrer should consider expanding this story into a novel, or a novella, at the very least.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tales of the Executioners, Book 3

From a mini-series, set in the world of Amaranthine...

Verchiel: Never Ending Question- Verchiel wakes up in an unfamiliar room with a busty woman standing over him. He can't recall who she is - or even who he is - let alone how he's become an immortal blood drinker. As he tries to discover the answers, he must also learn to control his blood lust or fight an entire village of panicked people.

Verchiel: Never Ending Question is, I think, the third book in the Executioner series by Joleene Naylor, based on the publication date, but I can't be certain because of some discrepancies between product information on Smashwords, Amazon and the author's website.

In any case, unlike the first two, Verchiel's story is set in the distant past, when he is first turned. I'm not sure if his amnesia is a blessing or a curse...the loss of memory seems to make killing easier for him, but it seems to put him at a serious disadvantage with his maker, Kateesha. There is far more bloody action in this story than the previous two. With each installment, I feel readers are given another piece of the puzzle that is to be the essence of the Executioners.


Keep checking back for my reviews of the remaining stories.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tales of the Executioners, Book 2

From a mini-series, set in the world of Amaranthine...


Ark: Echo from the Past- Ark has been an Executioner for two hundred and fifty years, and has always done his duty, but when he's handed an assignment with a familiar perpetrator, will he be able to follow orders?


Ark: Echo from the Past by Joleene Naylor is much better than the first story in the Executioner series. The flashbacks made this piece a very emotional story, with a depth not present in the first installment. I love the irony of the vampire struggling with his humanity. Not only are readers given insight about this particular executioner, but we are given a glimpse of Malick through Ark's thoughts.


Keep checking back for my reviews of the remaining stories.

As always,
AstraDaemon






Sunday, August 6, 2017

Tales of the Executioners, Book 1

Back in May 2017, I read Road to Darkness by Joleene Naylor. I decided to look for more short stories by the author, and I found a mini-series called Tales of the Executioners, set in the world of Amaranthine...

Aine: Another Complication As one of the newest, Aine gets the job nobody wants: arresting a vampire for breaking The Laws. As if everything going wrong wasn't bad enough, things are complicated when he discovers that his target has broken yet another one.

Aine: Another Complication by Joleene Naylor failed to impress me. For a vampire story, I expected some action, or, at the very least, some dark horror. Instead, this read more like a regular crime piece, aside from a mention here and there about the vampires' special talents. However, I enjoy Naylor's writing style and there is just enough to this story to get me interested in this mini-series.

Check back for my reviews of the remaining stories.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Much More Than Eye Damage

The Eclipse by DJ Umber is the perfect story to read before the upcoming solar eclipse. I've never read anything like it, and I think the author should seriously consider turning this into a novel, or a novella, at the very least. The main character's playground battle, during his early years, is the perfect way to capture readers' imaginations. The creatures in this piece are both frightening and mysterious...I have so many questions about their existence. I'd love to see more revealed.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dixon Returns

Night Night by R.H. Dixon is another entertaining story by an author I have reviewed here before, and it's the best revenge story I've read in a long time. The unusual weapon of choice is quite disturbing, and part of me wanted to puke. I may even have nightmares, but it is totally worth it. Dixon is definitely on my short story radar...

As always,
AstraDaemon

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Horror Needs More Stories Like This

The Murder Seat by Noel Coughlan reminds me of a classic horror story along the lines of Edgar Allan Poe. The suspense is well-written, and I felt the fear and guilt that overwhelms Herbert as if it were my own. I loved it...I never knew what to expect, and the ending is a perfect tragedy.

I think if more people read stories like this one, the horror genre wouldn't have the reputation of the predictable, all-special-effects-no-plot garbage fest Hollywood has turned it into. I truly wish writers like Noel Coughlan were given more attention than sell-out Stephen King...maybe then, readers would be reminded of why they fell in love with books in the first place.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Monster vs. Monster

Best Served Cold by Aubrea Summer is surprisingly good, considering the story falls into one of those sub-genres of horror that has been done to death (being vague to avoid a possible spoiler). Any time an author can find a new way to tell an old tale, it's a pleasure to read...Summer does a good job taking a real-life threat and mixing it with a supernatural terror. The ending felt slightly rushed, especially after the way the pickup ride is drawn out, but the plot is solid nonetheless. I think Aubrea Summer should continue with this particular theme and see where her characters take readers next.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sometimes Less Really Is More

A Pound of Flesh by Fred Venturini is a horror-drama that will have me thinking deep, heart-wrenching thoughts for a quite some time. Normally, I can't stand slow build-ups, but, in this case, the set-up is crucial to the story. I was ready to write this off as a torture porn piece, but the author held off on glorifying the violence and kept the graphic details somewhat low-key. The best part is how the Venturini uses a minimalist flashback of a single moment between the husband and wife to tie everything together and deliver one of the most spectacular yet simple endings.

As always,
AstraDaemon