Saturday, 31 December 2016

Review: Under a Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill

Under a Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill

My Rating:

I would like to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

I have had this book on the go for a few weeks now and it's not holding my interest. I'm a fan of the author's other works, but for some reason, I'm just not feeling this one. There's is too much dialogue and not enough storyline or action, and it's slow. Too slow - Over half way through the book and it feels like nothing has happened kind of slow. I also don't care enough about the main character to want to keep reading. I find him really irritating and have no interest in where his story is heading.

When I put the book down I'm not drawn to pick it back up. When I do pick it up, in the hope that perhaps in just one more page things will change and I'll begin to enjoy it, I find myself getting bored and my mind wandering. I'm constantly wondering if, or when, something is finally going to happen, or I find myself thinking of other books I could be reading instead.

I have given it a good go, I'm past the 50% reading mark, but it's not holding my attention or drawing me back to it. So, I think it's time to put this one aside and accept that it's just not for me.

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Monday, 26 December 2016

Friday, 16 December 2016

Review: Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House - David Mitchell

Slade House by David Mitchell

My Rating:

The entrance to Slade House appears every nine years, but only a select few have the ability to see it. What lies ahead for those who enter is a large mysterious house that holds their fate in its hands.

Slade House is a collection of connected short stories each set nine years apart and centres around the house and its inhabitants. Spanning from 1979 to 2015 each story takes you on a fantastical mind bending journey as you watch and learn the fate of it's latest victim. As each story progresses you learn a little more about the house and its inhabitants until the ultimate conclusion in 2015 reveals all.

The writing is extremely vivid and paints a strikingly haunting picture of both the house and it's surroundings, and of the characters. The author made it extremely easy for me to picture what I was reading, but at the same time left room for my imagination to fill in the rest. Even though each story had a nine year gap and introduced new characters, there was still a consistency there that held them all together. The atmosphere rolled over me like a fog, becoming darker, thicker, and more menacing as the book progressed. As I read on I started to notice small inconsequential details that appeared in each story. Details which in the larger scheme of things meant nothing, but were cleverly thrown in there to show just how much each character was manipulated beforehand.

Definitely one I would recommend, it was a lot of fun to read and exceeded my expectations.

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Monday, 12 December 2016

Review: Confrontation with Evil by Steven LaChance

Confrontation with Evil: An In-Depth Review of the 1949 Possession that Inspired The Exorcist - Steven A. LaChance

Confrontation with Evil by Steven LaChance

My Rating:

I would like to thank Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. for providing me with an advanced reading copy of Confrontation with Evil.

This wasn't what I was expecting. The author is giving his own interpretation of what happened from evidence found in diaries and through research. For the most part, it was an interesting to read, but I started to lose interest later on in the book.

I didn't find the author's voice engaging and even though I was interested in reading about the real story his voice didn't inspire me or make me want to keep reading. I'm not sure that he managed to convincingly suggest an alternative interpretation because much of what he writes is just pure speculation and it was rather drawn out and repetitive.

I started to lose interest in the last third of the book. I felt that a lot of what was being said was repetitive, preachy, drawn out, and bordering on unbelievable fiction in order to fill pages and make the book longer.

All in all, there was some interesting facts and interpretations in the book but the author's voice came across as a little too judgemental, flat, and repetitive at times and he just didn't hold my interest.

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Friday, 9 December 2016

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

My Rating:

I would like to thank Random House UK, Ebury Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of The Bear and the Nightingale.

The Bear and the Nightingale is a bit of a mixed bag. There were parts of this book that I loved and there were parts that I found unnecessary or a bit of a slog to get through.

Near the beginning of the book when Vasya's father and brothers travel to Moscow I found that it slowed right down and I began to become a little bored. There were so many new names and characters there that it started to feel like I was losing track of them all, and because I didn't know if the characters were going to feature as a constant in the story I felt the need to try and commit them to memory. I soon discovered that after slogging through this section and trying to keep everyone right in my mind, that it was a waste of time because the majority of them are not a part of the rest of the story. Almost the whole section could have been removed from the book without it having any negative effect on the story.

Once I got past the section mentioned above I really started to enjoy the book a lot more. The descriptions of the surroundings and atmosphere were done very well. So well that I could almost feel the intense cold creeping over me as I read. I kept expecting to see snow outside my window when I looked up from the book.

I particularly enjoyed the Russian folklore and fairytales that run throughout the story. The author paints a vivid world full of magic, danger, and imagination, and the writing style was a pleasure to read. The creatures and characters really came alive and I found myself completely wrapped up in their lives and their story.

Highly recommended. I would love to see this book made into a movie.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Review: Where the Dead Go to Die

Where the Dead Go to Die

My Rating:

I would like to thank Crystal Lake Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of Where the Dead Go to Die, and for providing me with copies of the amazing art from within the book.

I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive going into this one. I usually avoid zombie books as I feel it's been done many times before - and to be honest I'm really rather bored of them - but Where the Dead Go to Die is a unique take and I was pleasantly surprised. I was intrigued by the concept. A hospice for zombies is a fresh twist that had me going against my usual rule of bypassing any book that has to do with zombies, and I'm really glad that I decided to give this book a try. However, this is more than just a zombie novel, it shines a light on the bond between family members and explores the different ways that people cope with tragedy.

We have hospices that provide care for many different illnesses, so why not provide the same kind of care for victims of a virus that slowly turns your loved one into a cannibalistic killer? How would you cope should you find someone you love infected? Would you fear for your own life and turn your back on them, or would you make sure they had all the love and care that they need in the time they have left? This is just one of the dilemmas you'll come across in Where the Dead Go to Die.

The storyline switches between two different timelines, one being present day, and the other being an earlier timeline that slowly reveals the background of the main character. I found this odd at first because the earlier timeline started off with just a few lines of text and didn't really make sense, but the sections gradually got longer as the book progressed and I quickly realised what the author was doing.

Where the Dead Go to Die really packs a punch. I don't want to say too much in order to avoid spoilers, but this was quite the emotional roller-coaster. By the time the book was finished I have to say I was both delighted, and gutted, by where the story went.

I never thought I would be typing this, but I'm actually recommending a zombie novel!

Definitely one I would recommend.

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There are monsters in this world. And they used to be us. Now it's time to euthanize to survive in a hospice where Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible.

Post-infection Chicago. Christmas.

Inside The Hospice, Emily and her fellow nurses do their rounds. Here, men and women live out their final days in comfort, segregated from society, and are then humanely terminated before fate turns them into marrow-craving monsters known as ‘Smilers.’ Outside these imposing walls, rabid protesters swarm with signs, caught up in the heat of their hatred.

Emily, a woman haunted by her past, only wants to do her job and be the best mother possible. But in a world where mortality means nothing, where guns are drawn in fear and nobody seems safe anymore – at what cost will this pursuit come? And through it all, the soon to be dead remain silent, ever smiling. Such is their curse.

This emotional, political novel comes from two of horror’s freshest voices, and puts a new spin on an eternal topic: the undead. In the spirit of George A Romero meets Jack Ketchum, Where the Dead Go to Die it is an unforgettable epilogue to the zombie genre, one that will leave you shaken and questioning right from wrong…even when it’s the only right left.

It won't be long before that snow-speckled ground will be salted by blood.


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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Review: Loch Ness Revenge by Hunter Shea

Loch Ness Revenge - Hunter Shea

Loch Ness Revenge by Hunter Shea

My Rating:

I received a free copy of Loch Ness Revenge from Erin over at Oh, for the Hook of a Book in return for an honest review.

I enjoyed Loch Ness Revenge, it felt rather like watching an old creature feature and laughing at the ridiculousness and unbelievability of what was going on.

There was a lot of humour and usually I'm not a fan of humour in horror unless it's sarcasm, but in this case, it worked and I enjoyed it. I want to say I found it rather cheesy at times, but I'm not sure if it was supposed to come across as such. I know there is a lot of humour throughout the book but I felt the whole package was rather comical, perhaps it's because I know the Loch Ness area well. There is no way any of the goings on in the loch could go unnoticed, and there's no way you could fire weapons and not have the armed response unit turn up pretty quickly. You'd be locked up in no time! And, sure it rains a lot in Scotland, but if we were to stay indoors every time there was a heavy rain storm, or the weather was bad, we'd all starve in our homes. Another day, another storm, welcome to Scotland!

All in all, Loch Ness Revenge was a fast, fun, and easy read and I read it in one sitting. I did have to make a point of not taking it seriously and to just enjoy the madness. Which is something I usually find hard with this kind of story, but not in this case.

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Loch Ness Revenge, Synopsis

  • File Size: 2713 KB
  • Print Length: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Severed Press (November 1, 2016)
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2016 

Deep in the murky waters of Loch Ness, the creature known as Nessie has returned.

Twins Natalie and Austin McQueen watched in horror as their parents were devoured by the world’s most infamous lake monster.

Two decades later, it’s their turn to hunt the legend. But what lurks in the Loch is not what they expected. Nessie is devouring everything in and around the Loch, and it’s not alone.

Hell has come to the Scottish Highlands. In a fierce battle between man and monster, the world may never be the same.



Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel, Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Praise for Hunter Shea
“Loch Ness Revenge is not only monsterific, but it's also comedic.” – Tim Meyer, author of Worlds Between My Teeth
Shea delivers a tense and intriguing work of escalating tension splattered with a clever, extensive cast of bystanders turned victims…An otherwise excellent, tightly delivered plot…Fans of cryptid creatures are likely to revel in this love letter to a legendary menace.”– Publishers Weekly
Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre
Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” – Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast


Media, information and review copy provided as part of the Hook of a Book blog tour by Erin Al-Mehairi from Hook of a Book Media & Publicity.
Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #LochNessRevenge #HunterShea #Nessie #Creatures #Legends #Monsters


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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Ten books for a tenner from the charity shop, bargain!

I had the dentist yesterday and decided to cheer myself up with some books afterwards. Ten books for a tenner from the charity shop, bargain!