A Collection of Nightmares by Christina Sng

2018 was the year that I decided to do things that are outside of my comfort zone. One of the things that I decided to do was to read more poetry. At first I was like I will read some non-genre poetry. That went pretty well. So I started venturing out into horror poetry. I am glad to say that I am never looking back. I have read more poetry in the last year then I had since I was in school. I love it though. There are so many talented poets. Christina Sng is defiantly one of the top tier.

Synopsis: A amazing poetry collection based on nightmares.

What I liked: Sng’s ability to weave nightmare scenarios with pretty language really made my heart happy as I read this. She is so skillful at choosing just the right imagery to create the creepy feeling of many of these poems. Sng takes these dreams that we all have at night and puts them to words. It is like she has snuck into our minds while we are sleeping and took all the bad dreams and put them between the cover of this book.

What I didn’t like: It ended to soon.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts: I really loved Sng’s writing style. I had a really hard time putting this collection down. The art on the cover was beautiful. This collection made my heart happy and I can’t wait to read more from Sng. If everything else is as wonderful as A Collection of Nightmares then I can’t wait!!

Return to Dyatlov Pass By J.H. Moncreiff

When I was a kid there was a show called Unsolved Mysteries. I read recently Netflix is going to be resurrecting it. I am SUPER excited. I also listen to the awesome Astonishing Legends podcast, which is where I first learned about Dyatlov Pass. Once I heard about the mystery I had to know more!! I read Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of Dyatlov Pass by Donny Eicher as well as the movie that was made about Dyatlov pass. Yes I am that person. I was super excited when I saw Return to Dyatlov Pass I knew I had to read it.

Synopsis: A podcast crew tries to find out what happened at Dyatlov Pass.

What I liked: I love that Moncreiff took this mystery and ran with it. I really liked the way that she setup the ending of the story. The characters were well written and three dimensional. I love the character twist that was introduced in the middle story. I also really liked the ending. I wasn’t expecting that ending and to be honest I believe that it would play well on the big screen. Actually, I think that the entire story would play out well, I digress. The pacing kept me engaged and interested in the story and what was happening to the characters. I really appreciated that there was quite a bit of history woven into the fiction that Moncreiff posted which I believe was very well done.

What I didn’t like: The only thing that I would have liked it more information about what the snowmen could have been.

Star Rating 4.5 Snowmen in the sky

My thoughts: I really enjoyed the story. Personally, I love that the characters talked about the different theories that have been mentioned surrounding Dyatlov Pass. I can’t wait to see what else Moncreiff has up her sleeve.

Zombieville by CV Hunt

I love a good zombie book. Zombie books make me happy. The mindless creature that doesn’t stop for any reason. It is the one monster that always gets me. It is hard to imagine a monster that never gets tired who is only fueled by hunger. But what if the rhythm of music is what brought the body back from the dead? Zombieville gives us a different type of zombie story

Synopsis: A girl and a funeral director begin a relationship that involves zombies.

What I liked: I really appreciated a different take on zombies. Yes you still got the chomping but there was a bit more to it. With the juju bags and etc. Now what I found interesting is that music brought the zombie alive. Not alive but with music he would move and in one line it was noted that he was bopping along to the music. It makes me actually think of hoodoo and I found that was an interesting detail in the story. The romantic angle in the story was interesting and not saccharine. It fit the narrative really well.

What I didn’t Like: I was a little confused to begin with as the cover shows a female zombie. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story or from my rating.

Star Rating: 4.0 Stars

My thoughts: I really appreciated the twist in the Zombie genre. It didn’t follow the normally formulaic story lines. The love story within the story was sweet in a twisted way and I really appreciated that. It wasn’t over done. I find that a romance in a book can really mess up the flow for me. But Hunt handled the romance just perfectly for me.

Ghost Story By Peter Straub

Take four old men and a deep dark hidden secret and you get Ghost Story. I’ve heard a lot about this story over the years but didn’t really have a chance to read it until I did a group read with my friends in the LOHF. As with most literary horror the group was spilt. With those thinking the story was boring and others thinking it was great. What camp do you think I was in?

Synopsis: Four friends with a secret start to die off in a small town.

What I liked: I loved this story. It sucked me in from the first page. I wanted to know more about the chowder society and it’s members. Straub makes these central characters engaging and three dimensional. You do care about what happens to these characters. The story is also multi-layered. So each characters story is layered with another. It is mysterious and I really appreciated that. The horror wasn’t so much in your face but the way that all the stories fit together. I also loved that the beginning of the book didn’t really give away the story.

What I didn’t like: I felt like the ending wasn’t the end. So I don’t feel that closure you get with some books. I say this but it is a great thing, as it means that there are parts of the story that are staying with me.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts: I love horror. I love the gore and the splatter and the gross. But I do like the quiet horror. The horror that burns in your belly. I know some of the other ladies didn’t really like the pacing of Ghost Story but I did. I loved the slow and quiet burn. The feeling of uneasy you feel when you truly like the characters that you are reading. This will be a Winter reread for me I think. If you haven’t picked it up please do if you like literary horror.

Stranded By Renee Miller

This is my last read of 2018. The last blog post that I am going to write this year. It is 10:55 PM and I just finished my first read by Renee Miller. It made me think of what I would do for a lot of money. How greed manifests itself in many different ways and what it can do to a person or make a person do. I wanted something I could read for my last day of 2018 and I am very glad I picked this chomp and stomp that was much deeper then the average monster story.

Synopsis: A realty show set on a deserted island in the Arctic mets a horrible end.

What I liked: The pacing of the story was perfect for a chomp and stomp. The characters while you knew their motivations where well written and you had feelings about each one of them. Whether it was hate or a little bit of sympathy. I liked the Miller’s fresh voice in a genre where you at times feel you are reading the same story line over and over again. I appreciated the reality show angle. I will defiantly be reading more by Miller in the upcoming year.

What I didn’t like: I wanted it to be longer. I wanted to know what happened after the end.

Star Rating 4.5 Stars

My Thoughts: I feel like there is a lot to this story. I would like to reread it again next year. I really watch reality shows. I am not a fan of the tropes that are portrayed in them and well I think that they send bad messages to children especially young girls. I found it interesting that when I was reading the story I felt like it was a monster story about good, evil and greed. That the monster was a manifestation of whether the person was good. With that being said it was a really great read to end 2018 on. I can’t wait to read more from Miller in the upcoming year.

A World Of Horror Edited by Eric J. Guignard

When you look at your shelves…what authors do you see? I see a lot of diversity in some of my genres. But not as much within the genre that I read the most…horror. When Eric J. Guignard contacted me to review a book that has horror stories from around the world I jumped at the chance. To say that I am happy that I did would be an understatement. I fell like my horror world opened up after reading A World of Horror.

Synopsis: Horror and dark speculative fiction anthology with stories from around the world.

What I liked: Anthologies can be hard to review. In this case it isn’t. All the stories range from 4.5 to 5 stars for me. I love hearing all the different voices from around the world and seeing the different stories. I had heard of a couple of authors but most were new to me. The stories in the anthology were well chosen and fit together well. I loved the amount of women that were featured in this anthology. I felt like I was able to get a glimpse into the world of horror in each of these different countries and I loved that.

What I didn’t like: There was nothing that I didn’t like about the anthology.

Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

My thoughts: I want to read more stories from around the world. The fact that all these authors where in one place was amazing. I will be diving down the rabbit hole of gathering more of their stories in the new year. I would love if Dark Moon Books would put out another one of these anthologies. I think they are awesome as they list so many new too reader authors. So please Dark Moon and Mr. Guignard please put out another one!!

A BIG THANKS to Eric J. Guignar for sending me a review copy!!

Teeth By Kelli Owen

I have a lot of feelings about equality and diversity. I come from a family that holds a rainbow of different people. I am lucky that is the world that I grew up in. So many different people and different life experiences to learn from. Teeth made me wonder if my family would be so open if one of us was a vampire otherwise known as a Lamian…..

Synopsis: Coming of age Vampire novel with a serial killer thrown in.

What I liked: Kelli’s characters are well rounded and three dimensional. You can tell that Owen took time in crafting each one. I loved the premise. It was very much a coming of age novel with multiple story lines. The story lines are well crafted and they dip in and out of each other. I really liked how Owen wrote the serial killer story line. The build up to Henry’s mania was perfect and followed the pattern that serial killers normally follow. I really appreciated that. The ending was on point and I wasn’t sure who was going to do the deed (no spoilers) but I was happy with who did the deed.

What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything that I didn’t enjoy in the writing nor the crafting of the story.

Star Rating: 4 stars

My Thoughts: There was a lot to this novel and I appreciated that. It wasn’t just a story but rather there was a lot built into the story about tolerance and equality. I really appreciated that. Too often we find ourselves hearing stories of intolerance on the news and within our own communities. Owen took a lot of what is going around us and placed into into her story. One of the story lines made me sad. There are a lot of people that have experienced that type of intolerance and hatred. That story line made me want to hug that character. All in all it was a well crafted story of tolerance and equality set in a slightly different world.

A big thanks goes out to the Author for sending me a copy of the book for review.