The Frighteners – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review

The Frighteners

Peter Laws

“The Frighteners follows the quest of Peter Laws, a Baptist minister with a penchant for the macabre, to understand why so many people love things that are spooky, morbid and downright repellent. He meets vampires, hunts werewolves in Hull, talks to a man who has slept on a mortuary slab to help him deal with a diagnosis, and is chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac through a farmhouse full of hanging bodies.

Staring into the darkness of a Transylvanian night, he asks: What is it that makes millions of people seek to be disgusted and freaked out? And, in a world that worships rationality and points an accusing finger at violent video games and gruesome films, can an interest in horror culture actually give us safe ways to confront our mortality? Might it even have power to re-enchant our jaded world?

Grab your crucifixes, pack the silver bullets, and join the Sinister Minister on his romp into our morbid curiosities.”

This was a fun and interesting read, delving into the mind of a horror enthusiast, the Sinister Minister himself, Peter Laws.

I have always been interested in the scary, the dark and twisted, the gothic, and the gruesome. I have always been ridiculed for it too. You know, I’m sure a lot of us have heard the same… “It’s a phase” “she will grow out of it” “why can’t you like nice things?” “You won’t meet anyone looking like that” “what’s wrong with you watching those kinds of films?” …the usual. I must admit I have gone to the ‘dark side’ with my outfits and bit since I started my current day job (legal cashier) and wear pretty dresses and the likes. I got many a surprised look that day from people who know me.

Anyways, moving on from my ramblings, the book, The Frighteners, it’s a fun read. It’s very much a memoir of Peter Laws’ life with the horror genre, mixed with a lot of researched facts relating to the macabre and the morbid.

It’s very well written, well laid out and a hoot to read. He has a great sense of humour I found and he knows how to spin a tale.

The book opens with his recounting of his bucket list birthday trip to Transylvania (what a treat). The excited recanting of the trip and meeting like minding people was a pleasure to read. You can tell straight away that Peter Laws is truly passionate about his love affair with the genre, it radiates so brightly through his writing.

There is a great deal of information within The Frighteners. The author has had many an experience, with death, zombies, werewolves, crypts and the likes. He gives us a wonderful descriptive read of all his encounters, and a very informed insight into the genre of the weird, the wonderful and the macabre.

I really don’t want to delve too much into the content as I feel I would spoil the read for you folks somewhat. I really recommend checking this book out though, it’s a wonderful read and a great glimpse into the mindset of the horror fan.

Seriously… you won’t be sorry. Find it here on Amazon:

5/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

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Sugar Skulls – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review ***Spoilers***

Sugar Skulls

36409212

M. R. Tapia

Hindered Souls Press

“”Life is a matter of death. Death is a matter of fact.”

Micah DeAtta learns this as he awakens with Death seated across from him, whetting his sickle. Micah has no choice but to converse with Death in order to figure out his own demise. As their conversations become a battle of wits, Micah is forced to relive prominent deaths of family and friends before learning of his own. Each death happens in real time, each correlating with the nine levels of the Aztec underworld. Before it is said and done, Micah will have been forced to face his fears, his losses, and the fact that although life may be too short, death is forever.”

First of all, may I say thank you to M. R. Tapia for sending copy of ‘Sugar Skulls’ in exchange for an honest review.

A conversation with Death himself. It’s not something you would expect to wake up too is it? But that is what happened to Micah. He woke to Death sitting across from him.

“Tonight I have the displeasure of meeting Death”

He doesn’t know what is happening to him. Death is not quite ready to take him yet. They must sit, talk and relive his past experiences, his regrets and his heartache.

This is a wonderfully written piece. The conversation between Micha and Death is riveting to read. It’s a two man show, two main characters who compliment each other very well.

I love M.R. Tapia’s writing style. I find it very easy to read, it has a constantly good steady flow. The pacing and the characterization are just perfect.

I would highly recommend this, M. R. Tapia is a wonderful author. I have read a few of his works now, and I am happy to say that they are consistently good.

4/5

Lesley-Ann

Housewife of Horror

Night Shift -⭐️⭐️⭐️Book Review ***spoilers***

Night Shift

42792835

Robin Triggs

“Anders Nordvelt, last-minute replacement as head of security, has no time to integrate himself into the crew before an act of sabotage threatens the project. He must untangle a complex web of relationships from his position as prime suspect.

Then a body is found in the ice. Systems fail as the long night falls. Now Anders must do more than find a murderer: he must find a way to survive.

Will anyone endure the night shift, or will ice and frozen corpses be all that remains?”

Thank you to Flame Tree Press for this copy of Night Shift by author Robin Triggs to read in exchange for an honest review.

This a nice little read, a thriller set in a remote mining base situated in Antarctica. Anders Nordvelt finds himself as the new head of security for a mining project. This should be a routine job, there are only a handful of workers on the base, and there have never been any problems, until now. He unfortunately finds himself instantly hurled into what first seems like a sabotage plot, and then a body is found. Murder? Being the new guy on the block, no one trusts him,and of course they all suspect him. Are they right? Can Anders be trusted? Will the crew survive the night shift?

I enjoyed this novel, I did find it a little slow in parts, and to be honest, to me it didn’t feel like a lot really happened. It felt like a slow-moving slow burn thriller, keeping the reader guessing on the culprit of the sabotage and the murder right until the end. An Agatha Christie-esque suspense mystery. As much as I enjoyed it, and I was very excited by the cover (I love a dramatic cover), I did struggle with it. The slow pace, and the not very likable characters make it a difficult read in places. There was no one who I was really rooting for to be ok, not even the main protagonist Anders Nordvelt. As far as the ending, it felt very matter-of-fact, it seemed to lack the drama that should have been associated with it.

I would recommend giving it a read, Night Shift like I say is a great little mystery thriller, perfect for those winter nights in the comfort of your own home. The frosty Antarctic atmosphere really adds to the winter scene.

3/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Whiteout -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Book Review ***spoilers***

Whiteout

Gabriel Dylan

“‘She sat us all down and told us a story. About things that lived in the woods. Things that only came out at night.’

For Charlie, a school ski trip is the perfect escape from his unhappy home life. Until a storm blows in and the resort town is cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped on the mountain, the students wait for the blizzards to pass, along with mysterious ski guide Hanna. 

But as night falls and the town’s long buried secrets begin to surface, the storm is the least of their problems….

A chilling RED EYE horror, perfect for fans of Dawn Kurtagich, Juno Dawson and Charlie Higson.”

This was a thrilling read, I became quite wrapped up in the story and with the characters early on. A group of teenagers, on a school skiing trip to a remote resort, what could possibly go wrong? Plenty it would seem, for this particular ski resort is like no other. A storm is heading in, meaning that there will be no skiing happening for a day or two. Both the students and their teachers, lead by their guides, head back to the lodge. A lot of the workers and regular townsfolk head back down the mountain before the storm hits to avoid being stranded. This place has a dark secret, for there are monsters, vampire like creatures who every so many years, awaken to feed on the unsuspecting tourists. The locals though cover it up, sacrificing them like lambs to the slaughter to keep themselves safe. High on a remote mountain, it’s very easy to say it was an avalanche, or a skiing accident. It’s too easy to lie.

Hanna is desperate to find out what became of her brother. She was told it was a skiing accident, she knows something doesn’t quite fit, it doesn’t feel right. She has heard the stories, the tales told to children to keep them away from the edge of the mountain. To keep them safe.

A terrifying night ensues, leaving a group of lone teenagers in fear for their lives.

Thank you to NetGalley for this copy of Whiteout to read and review. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was pretty fast paced, lots of action with a good mix of character development intertwined. There are quite a few characters in this book, and I feel they were all given adequate time, letting the reader get to know them and subsequently be rooting for them, even if they are not the nicest of people.

For me, what knocked this off from being a 5* book, is the ending. The discovery in the cave somewhat took away from the terror of the creatures, causing it to lose some of its claustrophobic intense atmosphere. By far though this is a great read. As the reader you are pulled deep into the narrative from the beginning, developing a relationship with the characters and feeling the same fear and trepidation as them. This book contains some very gory moments, and some pretty good scares.

I would highly recommend giving it a read.

Find it here on Amazon UK –

4/5

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Siphon (A.A.Medina) – 5* book review

Siphon

Siphon

A.A. Medina

5* review           

Hindered Souls Press

 

“There is an urge inside you”

 


“Dr. Gary Phillips, the resident hematopathologist at Claybrook Medical Center, is a lonely man struggling with the duress of an all work and no play lifestyle.
Burdened with an unhealthy infatuation with his co-worker, a burning disdain for his boss, and an abusive relationship with his grandfather, Gary just can’t catch a break.

That is, until a workplace accident ushers in a bizarre, but empowering experience that evokes a new sense of self, forcing repressed memories to surface while encouraging him to pursue his fantasies with unconventional methods.”

 

Well what can I say? WOW… this is a really great intense story. I got lost within this during my lunch breaks at work. They say everyone finds something different within a story, a different meaning. To me this was a story of neglect, a boy who lost his parents when he was small. He was never told the whole truth on the matter, and was forced to live with his cold unsympathetic grandfather. This is also a story of resentment, a man, trapped in the mundane cycle of day to day life. In a job that he didn’t really want; a hard ass boss always on his case; a turbulent home life; and the unrequited love of a woman. It is also a story of obsession. Gary is infatuated, lustful, completely obsessed with his colleague Wendy. He is obsessed with her to a dangerous level; this obsession becomes his eventual undoing.

I was bearing witness to a descent into madness. This was the steady mental decline of Gary as the tolls of his work, his grandfather and his isolation fed on him, akin to vultures preying on the wounded.

His unquiet mind is silenced by the blood; it felt like this was his comfort, and his release. It presented him with something tangible to focus on during his waking hours. His ‘possession’ by another force was his mind’s way of dealing with the unnatural acts he was participating in. I feel it was also his mind’s way of processing his guilt over the eventual murder of his grandfather. The idea of this split personality, a separate being, a godlike creature, taking over one’s body and doing what he couldn’t do gave him the sense of self he needed. The blood, giving him a new found confidence, as what do they say ‘blood is life’.

 

I highly regard this story; this is a most definite re reader for me. It will be going on my personal favourites shelf. I felt a real sense of connection with Gary. He is just a guy, struggling to find his true way in the world and he lack of self identity, his fear and his repression is his eventual downfall. It’s heartbreaking in its own way.

I cannot recommend this enough. A.A. Medina is one talented writer and I for one cannot wait to read more from him!

 

5/5 – Perfect in every way

Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach – Book Review ***Spoilers***

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach

Ramsey Campbell

Flame Tree Press

Publication Date: 6th September 2018

 Book Review

 

 

“They feed so Skiá feeds”

 

I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of this book to review in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press.

 

My fiancé is a huge Ramsey Campbell fan so he was just as excited as me for me to begin. His writing has been a great source of comfort for Andy over the years and he takes every opportunity he can to re read the books he owns. I can see why, the writing is so fluid and detailed, pulling you in one sentence at a time, engulfing you with this feeling that you are there, right in the middle of the unfolding drama. I was dragged in from the start with this book; the increasing tension, the desperation to know just exactly what was happening, I found it hard to put down, only stopping when real life traumas like work got in my way (even then I was reading it on my lunch break, so engrossed that I didn’t hear my colleague trying to talk to me for over 10 minutes).

 

I really appreciated that we were never given the full picture of what was happening until quite near the end. I knew from the start there was something ‘off’ with the Greek Island of Vasilema, there was something unseen and unspoken, a darkness that lingered and terrified. Only the locals seemed to know, but they appeared to ignore it, or at least pretend to.

 

The tone of the story was very much about our mortality and prolonging life. The focus of the book surrounded Ray and Sandra, as well as their children and grandchildren. We are aware from the beginning that something is wrong with Sandra, we can feel the concern and protectiveness that Ray has for her, confirmed when he proceeds to put on a facade of normality for the rest of the family. He doesn’t want to ruin the family vacation. The descriptiveness of how frail Sandra was, the writing was both delicate and yet intense, fully encompassing just how brittle she appeared to be, and how she was deteriorating before Ray. The way she was then invigorated, seemingly from a bite, or the island, or a combination, gathering her strength back very slowly over the two weeks, was beautiful to read yet unnerving all the same.

I found all the subtle references throughout the book relating to mortality, and the curse of immortality I felt, very well thought out and very well placed. The driving force of the story, the family, their relationships, and their coming to terms with Sandra’s illness, was so well integrated with the underlying tension of darkness. It was claustrophobic in parts, this all encompassing, all controlling darkness; it seemed to be the all powerful force on the island. Even the buses wouldn’t stop after dark.

After the initial night, Sandra had been bitten by some kind of insect after falling asleep on the balcony outside their room. While Ray and Sandra awaited the rest of the family at a local taverna, Chloe’s Garden, the waitress seemed to be quite disconcerted with Sandra’s bite. Responding with “I pray not” when Ray comments “at least my wife won’t get bitten here”. There were also the seemingly religious women on the bus, blessing Sandra, Tim and Jonquil (the three members of the family in total who had been bitten) every time they boarded; we found near the end of the book that it was only these three family members whom the women had been blessing, and no one else. They appeared to know that they had been tainted in some way by the island. I particularly enjoyed a scene over dinner one evening in Chloe’s Garden, in which birthday greetings of a long life were conveyed, and rebuked, as they are seen to be more than a curse by the locals.

From the start you could feel the underlying oppression, a dark force, something that wanted to feed, that needed to feed. The phrase, “They feed so Skiá feeds” becomes more and more unsettling. Even more unnerving was what felt like captivity in some ways, they just couldn’t leave the island. Boat trips cancelled, the owners of tour boats and fishing boats refusing to take them – ‘them’ referring to Sandra, Tim and Jonquil. There is a notion mentioned several times relating to ‘coming back to find your memories’, rather than to re-live them, I found this to be very unsettling indeed, what happens to you here that you forget after you leave? The story ended with the family leaving on the ferry away from the island, with Sandra, Jonquil and Tim trying to remember the details of their two week vacation. It was ambiguous yet implied that they were beginning to forget.

 

5/5 – If I could give it more I would. This book is beautifully thought out and so amazingly written. It really gets you thinking, and stays with you afterwards.

Lesley-Ann (The Housewife of Horror)

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