Wednesday, August 5, 2020

An Ancestral Revenge

MOUSE AND OWL by Bracken McLeod is dark short story about revenge, written in the style of folklore. While the main character carries out her plan, details of the dystopian society are revealed. The erasure of a culture, while placed in a fantasy setting, is reminiscent of real life history.

The ending has the perfect touch of horror, without taking away from the message of standing up to genocide. I recommend this one to all readers.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Lots of Bad Guys

THE DRAIN by Victor Vilestone has been revised and re-released. In my review of the original version, I stated the author should've included a twist or two because the story was predictable. This ending is far superior, and I LOVE the changes. In fact, I think Vilestone should consider writing a follow-up short because the characters are so much more intriguing this time around.

MESSED WITH THE WRONG GUY is filled with raw emotion, leading up to one hell of a shock. Dave only wanted revenge, but he found a horrifying truth instead.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Monday, August 3, 2020

Lovecraft Being Racist

THE TERRIBLE OLD MAN by H.P. Lovecraft, set in the fishing village of Kingsport, isn't much of a story as it is a set-up...shadow without the substance. The author has a talent for creating, but not story-telling. His pieces are intriguing, but how he moves them lacks skill.

I'm amazed at how much of an influence Lovecraft has over present-day authors, many of which write far better stories. I also noticed his racism showing in this one.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Supernatural or Imagined?

THE VISITOR by Clark Roberts is disappointing, nothing like what I've come to expect from the author. However, this one is older than the previous two I've read/reviewed, so it seems Roberts has improved his storytelling over time.

The ending isn't clear enough for me. Not sure if the story is supernatural or something imagined by the main character.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Survivors or Terrorists?

THE HIM DEEP DOWN by Chad Lutzke and Terry M. West begins with one of the most horrifying sentences I've ever read, only to have the story grow darker with every page. I don't know what I expected, but it sure as hell wasn't the wicked twist, crack and crunch.

This is less about the undead and more about the horrible things people do in the name of survival. Well-written and filled with gore.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Friday, July 31, 2020

Microscopic Invasion

THE WILL OF ARANAXXIS by Kyle J. Franklin begins with a slow setup, much of which is unnecessary. While disturbing, with a Lovecraft creepiness, not much takes place in the story. Readers never learn much about the mystery behind the meteorite, and there isn't much dialogue or action between the characters.

Instead of this short, I recommend STAY WITH US by Franklin, similar to 80s horror.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Sasquatch and Zombies

LAST STAND IN A DEAD LAND by Eric S. Brown is a unique blend of folklore, science fiction and horror spun into an undead thriller. Whether you read Brown’s work for the gory action, the mix of monsters, or his sick humor, readers will be quite pleased to sink their teeth into this tale.

There’s so much controversy around the nature of the undead and possible outbreak scenarios, it’s easy to forget the other monsters lurking throughout our history, but Brown has created a brutal reminder: crap can always get worse during a zombie outbreak, especially if humans aren’t the top of the food chain in the first place.

I think this is the very first story I read by Eric S. Brown, making me an instant fan. Years later, stories such as HUNTERS has kept the author on my favorites list.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A New Metal Monster

MILE 81 by Stephen King is a novella I haven't read before, and I must admit, I have been reluctant to read anything King has written after THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON. I am so glad I gave this story a chance because this is one of my new King favorites.

King appears to have channeled several of his older stories for this one: Christine, Trucks and The Raft. Even with all the horror elements, this is more or less Pete Simmons' coming-of-age story. All he wants is a cool adventure to share with his older brother and his bicycle gang, but he soon finds himself in a supernatural battle for survival.

The author torments readers further by including a horse as well as three children...kids and a defenseless animal? Nothing scares the crap out of me more than placing innocent lives within the grasp of a monster. I really wish King would stick with this style of storytelling.

As much as I enjoy the rest area nightmare, my favorite King story is still THE EYES OF THE DRAGON, and I highly recommend both to all readers.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Evil Trinity

HOUSE OF THE GOAT by A.P. Sessler is a collection of three stories. The first, House of the Goat, would make a great horror film, especially if Rob Zombie directed. The second, Death in Black Light, is even more terrifying, with a Tales From The Darkside feel. The third story, Aquarius Working, confused me to the point where I needed to re-read several passages. I still don't understand it.

Death in Black Light is definitely my favorite, and reason enough to buy a copy of this book.

I also recommend BRAIN ATTACK by Sessler, with the feel of an 80s chiller-thriller and the drama of a modern scifi-horror flick.

As always,
AstraDaemon

Monday, July 27, 2020

Terrifying Truth

In the 1950s, a man takes on a new administrative job in the city. Or at least, that's what he told his wife...

THE BREADWINNER by Lemi K is a flash fiction feature with a rather sinister ending. The story description doesn't even hint at the terrifying truth within these few pages, but, I assure you, horror fans will not want to skip this one.

I also recommend Polarized by this same author.

As always,
AstraDaemon