Welcome to the Lair!

Exploring dark alleys. Discovering new nightmares. Revisiting the masters.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Ghost Depot | Supernatural Review

SCARE AT THE SQUARE by Scott Donnelly gave me the sense of watching a docudrama on the History Channel late at night. Not so much a story about a person or a group of people, but more of a timeline for horrible and supernatural events because of an abandoned train station.

While Donnelly's short held my interest from beginning to end, this isn't nearly as ghastly and thrilling as his pervious work. THE WHOOL is still my favorite by this author.

As always,

Friday, November 12, 2021

Water of the Womb | Horror Review

FLOWERS FOR THE SEA by Zin E. Rocklyn is a dark fantasy novella full of powerful imagery, with elements of Lovecraftian horror and mythology.

The author has a quite a talent for creating a strong female character with a rich ancestral history full of mysticism.

If you'd like a taste of Rocklyn's writing style before you decide on this one, I highly recommend THE NIGHT SUN.

As always,

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Unearthed | Horror Review

OGROMNY by Armand Rosamilia is a horror novella which shares the same fictional world as THE BEAST, FROZEN IN ICE, THE SEA WAS ANGRY, ABANDONED and TRAPPED (and I recommend all of them, just read TRAPPED last).

"Ogromny Means Huge.

Twelve years ago something massive burst from the mountains near Okha, Russia, shedding wicked creatures when attacked, before walking into the Pacific Ocean.

Walking directly toward the United States coastline.

Four thousand miles later it is headed straight toward San Francisco and the destruction of a city and its inhabitants, unless doctors Volkoff and Sokolov can figure out how to stop it."

This is my new favorite story by Rosamilia. To be brutally honest, I didn't read it when it first came out because I'm not really a fan of the Kaiju genre. I only read this because this story is linked to another. I'm so glad I gave this novella a chance. The description of the huge creatures is absolutely enthralling.

The ending is horrifying, and I'm hoping the author might write sequel. Usually I'm upset if I'm left with questions, but, in this case, the missing information heightens the terror. I highly recommend this one to all readers.

As always,

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Forced Migration | Horror Book Review | AstraDaemon

THE BREEDING SEASON by Kody Boye is the third book in the Dagana series. In the first installment, THE LAST MERMAID, Jessica's parents are both found dead, their bodies savagely mutilated by some unidentifiable creature. Jessica and her friends realize they are dealing with a blood-thirsty mermaid. The three teens decide to battle the deadly creature. In the sequel, THE SECOND SPAWN, Jessica and her friends learn a wealthy man with misguided "good" intentions has undone everything the the three friends accomplished, making their shorelines a hunting ground once again.

This book centers on betrayal. Despite all the evidence, there are still attempts to cover up the deadly threat the creatures pose to the residents of Mermaid Cove. Someone close to Jessica takes credit for the discovery of the mermaids, and lies about the events leading up to big reveal. As if the situation couldn't be more out of control, an enemy from the past threatens to kill Jessica and anyone who tries to protect her.

This installment is definitely a rollercoaster compared to the previous two books. The ending left me wondering if there might be another book. Highly recommend this series.

As always,

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Baby Step | Horror Review | AstraDaemon

THE LAST CALL HOME by Matt Shaw should not be read by anyone home alone at night. While this is not nearly as shocking and gore-filled as most of his other stories, the likelihood of this happening in real life is too damn high for comfort. I'm just glad my dog is more reactive than Dexter.

The ending is nothing close to anything I imagined. I thought maybe Ben went off the rails, or Jim had some kind of personality disorder. I also couldn't help but wonder why they never changed the bloody locks.

This may not be a favorite with Shaw's extreme fans, but this is a great starter for tourists to the horror genre...if you like the author's writing style, you should read Octopus afterwards.

As always,

Monday, November 8, 2021

Over-Hyped | Horror Review | AstraDaemon

NOTHING BUT BLACKENED TEETH by Cassandra Khaw is one of the most over-hyped stories I've ever read. While well-written, and steeped in suspense, there's not much in the way of action, dialogue, or the supernatural. I expected to be frightened, but She-With-The-Blackened-Teeth doesn't even come close to the Japanese horror I hoped for.

The characters are the weakest part of the story. You have the pretty boy who has apparently slept with both the females in the group. The narrator who is suffering from mental illness, and has had a dysfunctional relationship with all three guys. The chick who can't stand the narrator because of jealousy issues. The guy hopelessly in love the jealous chick, and the married guy who only showed up to see his ex-girlfriend. Zero character development, and pitiful interactions.

I wanted them all to die, but, alas, no happy ending for the reader, just a really self-centered summary, courtesy of the narrator, who manages to make everything be about her.

I very rarely bring up the cost of a book (because I really do try to respect the time and effort authors put into their creations), but I don't think this story is worth the full price I paid...not for a lackluster novella.

As always,

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Falling | Horror Review | AstraDaemon

IMMORTAL SHADOWS by Matt Shaw almost made me cry. At first, I thought this would simply be a story about a patient who sees some terrifying apparitions in a hospital, perhaps fight a demonic force during recovery. No such luck.

I arrogantly thought I had guessed correctly what had happened to the main character, until the horrific reveal towards the end. Shaw leads readers to the metaphorical elevator, letting them think they know where it will take them, and, once the doors open as expected, promptly shoves them down the dark shaft.

Much like THE SUICIDE CLUB, Matt Shaw has blended real-life fears with thought-provoking terror to create a ghost story readers won't soon forget.

As always,

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Digging Up The Truth | Short Story Review | AstraDaemon

THE CAIRN IN SLATER WOODS by Gina Rosati has a lot going on for a short story format. All of the characters are well- defined, and I'd love to read a longer version with more info about Vanessa and Aunt Z. Perhaps a flashback with the two of them interacting.

I also enjoyed the preview provided afterwards...Rosati has a captivating writing style, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of her work.

As always,

Friday, November 5, 2021

Reading Impaired | Short Story Review | AstraDaemon

COMET by JT Lawrence is more about the husband Grant than the dog Comet. I never know what to expect from this author. I prefer her darker stories such as STAY THE NIGHT or HONEY TRAP.

As always,

Thursday, November 4, 2021

No Solace | Short Story Review | AstraDaemon

HOUR OF POWER by P.J. Douglas is a story I found doing a specific search for horror...this is more of a family drama. Two men play a drinking game and reminisce about their wild adventures as young teens, but one of them has decided this will be his last round.

The other one thinks he managed to keep a secret to himself (the only way two people can keep a secret is if one is dead), but he thought wrong. The last sentence seemed completely out of place.

Well-written, but presented all wrong.

As always,