Plague Town by Dana Fredsti

Posted on 8th July 2012 in Reviews

Many have written entertaining, chilling renditions of zombie lit to keep the horror fiction fan entertained; though as many, if not more, have stumbled in their attempt to frame this area of the dread-literature canon. With Plague Town we’ve a zombie book aimed at the more mainstream pulp-horror audience, and it’s one whose author Dana Fredsti has balanced decently, and with a nod to those finest traditions which have gone before, ideas and their implementation to create an entertaining – though quite clich├ęd – read.

Plague Town focuses on the plight surrounding Ashley Parker, a student in the college town of Redwood Grove. Lots of folks in the town have been suffering from a highly contagious, not to mention downright nasty, strain of the flu that’s going by the nickname of Walker’s. The reader soon learns that this flu is fatal – but that there’s also a lingering undeath after-life effect for those who succumb to it. So it is that many of the victims of the dreaded z-bug expire only to start the dreaded undead-shuffle, with a good dose of flesh-eating desire thrown in for good measure. Click here to read more.. »

Double Dead by Chuck Wendig

Posted on 19th June 2012 in Reviews

There’s definitely something of the tongue-in-cheek to Chuck Wendig’s sublime horror writing. At times Double Dead veers to the comedic, but the element of genre fiction, the scares, terror and downright dread, are still quite apparent and well implemented. It’s a fine balancing act, and one which Wendig pulls-off distinctly and without need for any inappropriately over-kill horror writing apparatus.

When we meet our anti-hero, the leather-jacket clad Coburn, he’s just awoken from a slumber during what has clearly been several highly eventful and doom-laden years for the human race. Emerging from his torpor, having been awoken by some ‘stray’ blood, he is confused by what he finds. New York has definitely changed – but not for the better by any means. The streets are packed full of the walking dead – and unfortunately for him that’s a major issue as it means his food source has pretty much just dried up. Click here to read more.. »

Nightmare by Stephen Leather

Posted on 15th May 2012 in Reviews

When we last left hard-boiled and supernaturally-inclined PI Jack Nightingale (in Nightmare‘s prequel Midnight) he’d met with the demon Proserpine to discuss her numerous and quite flagrant attempts to kill him. That meeting had concluded with something of an uncomfortable revelation for Jack, and a realisation that he really needed to stop trying to read the intentions and guesswork of the otherworldly and diabolically-evil-influenced party-set.

Nightmare, the third book in the series, opens at a rapid pace. Leather is an author adept at getting his readers turning the pages of his books eagerly, and there’s little time for dallying around here. So it is that Jack’s pulled from his flat by the police, who seem to perpetually flick between both needing and deploring him in some way or other, and carted off swiftly to assist them with their enquiries. Click here to read more.. »

Phantoms by Dean Koontz

Posted on 27th April 2012 in Reviews

Dr. Jenny Paige’s mother has just died, and taking up the maternal mantel she collects her younger sister Lisa to come and live with her in the remote mountain community of Snowfield. On returning home the town seems strangely deserted. But then Jenny comes upon the body of her housekeeper and things begin to worsen, to quite horrific levels.

A little more investigation reveals that Snowfield is far more than simply desolate, that the body count is escalating, and it seems that a fair few inhabitants of the town are also missing. So begins our journey alongside Dr. Paige in Dean Koontz’s 1983 novel Phantoms. And for those who were wondering, yes, this is the same book upon which the 1998 film of the same name, starring Peter O’Toole and Ben Affleck, is based. Click here to read more.. »

Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem

Posted on 18th April 2012 in Reviews

Deadfall HotelI sought a suitable metaphor to describe my experiences with Deadfall Hotel. I thought about using the patchwork quilt, with its multi-segmented, sometimes jarring and other times interweaving and flowing nature. That might have been more than adequate.

Then something more appropriate fell into place, as I recalled a scene from the book where hotel manager Richard Carter is assigned a task by the caretaker to check on some cleaning work recently undertaken by some contractors. Richard has put together his own proprietary map: “now several sheets taped together, walls drawn with pencil, erased, and redrawn, arrows used to indicate geometries that made no logical sense.” Click here to read more.. »