Tuesday 24 February 2015

REVIEW: Geoff Brown - SNAFU: Heroes: An Anthology of Military Horror

Genre: War / Military / Horror / Anthologies
Publisher: Cohesion Press
Publication Date: 31st Oct 2014
Pages: 260


This is another sent into Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review of the book. This is an anthology of 4 military horror short stories.

I decided to grab this one because it features four different authors, two of which, Joseph Nassise and James A. Moore, I have read before and two others I have wanted to read, Jonathan Maberry and Weston Ochse. Military horror is a favourite of mine, if it’s done right. I have seen good reports about previous SNAFU anthologies so was looking forward to this one.


Knight Commander Cade and his unit made up of Olsen, Riley and Duncan are sent to the remote village of Durbandorf in the Black Forest to investigate reports of strange creatures and unusual behaviour. On arrival they discover the place has been overrun by protean demons, they must try to keep the few remaining survivors alive while hunting down, and attempting to destroy the host demon.

I absolutely love books that feature the Knights Templar. I normally find them in historical / mystery thrillers so finding them in the middle of a horror story was great.

Right from the first paragraph this one kicks off with creepy scenes that perfectly set the atmosphere for the rest of the story. It’s dark, very dark. You can just imagine yourself in the middle of nowhere, with no resources, in the middle of a snowy, dark scene with no idea of what might jump out on you from a side street.

The idea of modern day Knights Templars is interesting. The characters in this are great. The four members of the team complement each other perfectly with the Knight Commander Cade, a perfect leader. They all have their own stories and, as it emerges, their own special “gifts”. There is an abundance of monsters in this. All horrifically mutilated and scary in their own ways.

It’s got the right amount of military action and an equal amount of creepiness, gore and tension. Extremely well written to make all of the above very effective. Only criticism I have is that the ending comes around way to quick. I know it’s a short but even a few more pages would have done the job.



The Sonoran Rift was caused by something. It’s four miles long, hundreds of feet wide and more than a thousand feet deep. There is something in it that the military don’t want to escape. Andy is a reporter. Repeated attempts by his colleagues to find out what is in it have achieved nothing, No one has ever come back. Andy has a novel, yet dangerous suggestion for getting close to the rift. What he finds is way beyond anything he could have expected.

Superb. Sort of aliens land on earth, but not really, you never find out really. Plenty of monsters. Very scary for reasons that will become apparent. Reminded me a little of the film “Starship Troopers” only it was never in space, always on earth.

Really good tension and flashback’s to Andy’s past and his love of Tarzan novels. Scary, tense and very imaginative. I would absolutely love to see a full novel of this.



Eddie is just back from Nam. He isn’t coping well. He is struggling with the traumas he saw. He feels guilty for coming home. His Grandpa served in WWII. He sits Eddie down one night to relate some stories to try and make him see how life should be after war. He tells the most horrifying story he can recall of a strange ally and Himmler’s monsters born of the occult.

This is without doubt one of the greatest short stories I have ever read. James A Moore has written something so beautifully atmospheric that it is mesmerising. He has taken a subject that still, so very little is known, and crafted an extremely creepy, scary and powerful story, it will stay with me for years.

Storytelling at its best. Nothing else to add!!



The Koenig Group have been developing some things nobody knows about. Now they have been closed down and every government agency wants to know what secrets are held in their now empty building. A Captain of the DMS is first in. He has to battle his own demons, the ones in his head, before he can hope to uncover the real monsters.

To me this is more a thriller than a horror story but a good thriller it was. It’s a plot that’s been done before – secret government agency tries to solve the mysteries and strange goings on and uncover the rumoured monsters. The difference is Jonathan Maberry’s writing. He sucked me in from very early on with endearing and believable characters.

This story gets very creepy towards the end with a little supernatural thrown in as well.


Well there you have it. My first experience of SNAFU. This is an excellent concept for bringing together a particular brand within the horror genre. You know exactly what you are going to get. Military horror. Apart from that you get to read a lot of different authors you might never pick up.

Although I would have liked a bit more of the horror side of things, I really enjoyed this. It’s worth getting purely for James A Moore’s War Stories. I will definitely be picking up more SNAFU tales.

General rating:

★★★★ Close to perfect.

Horror rating:

★★★★ This was verrrrry creepy.

See more at Ginger Nuts of Horror.

You can buy SNAFU: Heroes: An Anthology of Military Horror here.  

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Book Synopsis:

Four tales of military horror from Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Joseph Nassise, and James A Moore.

A supplemental volume to SNAFU, this book contains short stories and novellas from four of the best military horror writers in the field.

From demons to horrors from the deep, the battles keep on coming.

Fight or die…

50,000 words to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Geoff is an Australian writer and Australian Shadows Award finalist-editor raised in Melbourne’s gritty Western Suburbs. He is a trained nurse, and holds a Cert. IV in Professional Writing and Editing, as well as a Dip. Arts (Professional Writing and Editing). At graduation, Geoff was awarded ‘Vocational Student of the Year’ and ’2012 Student of the Year’ by his college. He is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Publishing.

Geoff writes fiction across various genres, and is the author of many published short stories. He has had numerous articles published in newspapers, both regional and metropolitan. He is the past president of the Australian Horror Writers Association (2011-2013), as well as the past director of the Australian Shadows Awards.  He is also an editor and columnist for UK site This is Horror, and was the guest editor for Midnight Echo #9.

His memoir, Hammered, was released in early 2012 by Legumeman Books and has been extensively reviewed.

He is the owner of Cohesion Editing and Proofreading.

You can see more of Geoff at Cohesion Press website.

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

His novels include the Pine Deep Trilogy: GHOST ROAD BLUES (Pinnacle books; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2006), DEAD MAN’S SONG (2007) and BAD MOON RISING (2008); the Joe Ledger series of action thrillers from St. Martin’s Griffin: PATIENT ZERO (2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel), THE DRAGON FACTORY (2010; now available), THE KING OF PLAGUES (March 2011), ASSASSIN’S CODE (March 2012), EXTINCTION MACHINE (2013); THE WOLFMAN (NY Times bestseller from Tor, based on the Universal Pictures film starring Benecio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Sir Anthony Hopkins; winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation); the forthcoming standalone zombie thriller DEAD OF NIGHT (Oct 25 2011); and the Benny Imura series of Young Adult dystopian zombie thrillers from Simon & Schuster: ROT & RUIN (2011; named in Booklist’s Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award finalist; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards), DUST & DECAY (Aug 30 2011), FLESH & BONE (2012) and FIRE & ASH (21013).

You can see more of Jonathan at his website.

Weston Ochse is the author of more than twenty books, most recently two SEAL Team 666 books, which the New York Post called 'required reading' and USA Today placed on their 'New and Notable Lists,' and his military sci fi novel Grunt Life. His first novel, Scarecrow Gods, won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel and his short fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work as appeared in comic books, and magazines such as Cemetery Dance and Soldier of Fortune. 

His work has been lauded by Joe R. Lansdale, Peter Straub, Kevin J. Anderson, John Skipp, Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, and many more, including the New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, Denver Post, The Financial Times of London, and The Examiner (UK).

You can see more about Weston at his website.

Weston's author page can be found here.

James A Moore is the author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Fireworks, Under The Overtree, Blood Red, Deeper, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley) and his most recent novels Blind Shadows as well as Seven Forges and the forthcoming sequel The Blasted Lands.

He has twice been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and spent three years as an officer in the Horror Writers Association, first as Secretary and later as Vice President.

The author cut his teeth in the industry writing for Marvel Comics and authoring over twenty role-playing supplements for White Wolf Games, including Berlin by Night, Land of 1,000,000 Dreams and The Get of Fenris tribe. He also penned the White Wolf novels Vampire: House of Secrets and Werewolf: Hellstorm.

Moore’s first short story collection, Slices, sold out before ever seeing print.

You can see more about James at his website.

Joseph Nassise is the author of more than a twenty novels, including the internationally bestselling Templar Chronicles series, the Jeremiah Hunt trilogy, and the Great Undead War series. He has also written several installments in the internationally bestselling adventure series Rogue Angel from Harlequin/Gold Eagle.

He's a former president of the Horror Writers Association, the world's largest organization of professional horror writers, and a two-time Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Award nominee..

You can see more about Joseph at his website.

Joseph's author page can be found here.

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