Friday, 18 December 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A REVIEWER TOP FIVE 2015: THE HORRORS!



Welcome back to the Confessions of a Reviewer’s top five lists for 2015!

Tonight we have the top five Horrors! My definition of a horror for this list is a novel written by a single author that would obviously fall under the horror genre and, eh, scare me a bit. Some books that I would put in this class will have psychological horror elements in the story, as well as jump out your skin horror elements. To me horror covers a very large range of writing as you will see in my list.

This list is made up of books I have read this year so the books may not necessarily have been published this year.

I have judged these books purely on the basis of how much they entertained me individually. The books will be listed first, with links to reviews and links you can use to buy them. At the bottom of the page you will find all the info you need on the individual authors.

This is a category I struggled to narrow down to just five books so please forgive me for having a couple of joint positions. Plus, it’s my blog so I get to choose. Na na na naaaaah nah!

Also I don’t subscribe to the adage that, if say, first position was a tie, that second position is skipped and the next falls into third.

So let’s get to it and don’t forget to buy buy buy!


In reverse order:


In joint fifth position!





The Nightmare Girl, by Jonathan Janz, was my first experience of his writing. This book took me back to my childhood, of picking up old horror books and turning into a complete horror freak. It’s non-stop action from start to finish with a classic, mental, epic close to the story that will have you totally breathless by the finish. Superb stuff.

You can read my review of The Nightmare Girl, here.

You can buy The Nightmare Girl, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK








Blood and Rain, by Glenn Rolfe, is a book that I am so happy to have in my top five for the year. I have read a few books by Mr Rolfe this year and make a comment in the review of this one of how far his writing has come on. This, again, is old skool werewolf horror at its best. Blindingly fast from start to finish, this is one that you must have in your collection. Trust me, this boy is going to be big!

You can read my review of Blood and Rain, here.

You can buy Blood and Rain, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK










Braineater Jones, by Stephen Kozeniewski, is a noir, zombie horror set in the 1930’s. This is just an absolutely superb variation on a zombie story. Full of loads of dark humour, along with the zombies and the noir, this is another you must read. This is probably the most fun you can have reading about zombies in the 1930’s! You will read some of this thinking what the actual…… but you will be delighted you did!

You can read my review of Braineater Jones, here.

You can buy Braineater Jones, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK










The Gates: An Apocalyptic Horror Novel, by Iain Rob Wright, is just one of his releases this year, and quite possibly the best he has written to date. This is written in typical Mr Wright style but with an added zing this time. He has gone worldwide in this one and as well as his normal, wonderfully scary suburban horror, he has filled this with blockbusting scenes that any Hollywood director would be proud of!

You can read my review of The Gates, here.

You can buy The Gates, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK







In joint second position!




Salvage, by Duncan Ralston, is his debut novel. This is essentially a ghost story but falls under the horror banner because it is, in places, scary as anything. It is also one of the most mesmerising and atmospheric books I have ever read. Mixed in with all of that, you have examinations of depression, religious cults and the human psyche in general. The writing in this is just superb. Duncan Ralston has proved with this novel that he is going to be a very big force to be reckoned with in the very near future. This book had a huge effect on me.

You can read my review of Salvage, here.

You can buy Salvage, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK





Dwelling (Subdue #1), by Thomas S Flowers, is one of my most recent reads. This is, again, a novel that affected me in so many different ways. It is a horror story but it also is an examination of the human psyche and how veterans deal with PTSD. This is an emotional story that will have you on the verge of tears. It is harrowing and horrific. This is a beautifully written story that will open people’s eyes to things they need to know about, and horrors they will wish they hadn’t discovered.

You can read my review of Dwelling, here.

You can buy Dwelling, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK






And so to the Confessions of a Reviewer number one horror of 2015!

I make no apologies, because it is a tie again!




The Cabinet of Dr Blessing, by Jack Rollins, is another gothic, horror masterpiece. This is a story of a Dr in Victorian times who, quite frankly, is a bit mad. It’s an old Hammer Horror style story with lots of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee types from secret organisations running around looking for mysterious monsters and vampires. I have struggled to find a modern day author who can write the Victorian prose that reading William Hope Hodgson made me fall in love with. I think I have finally found that in Jack Rollins. This story left me gobsmacked and speechless. It had to be my joint number one!

You can read my review of The Cabinet of Dr Blessing, here.

You can buy The Cabinet of Dr Blessing, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



GodBomb!, by Kit Power, is another debut that completely blew my socks off. This is storytelling at its very best. Again, as well as being a horror story in so many different ways, it is also a book that examines the very essence of the human nature. The good sides and the bad sides. There is a scene in this story that is probably one of my all-time favourite scenes in any of the hundreds of books I have read since I was a kid. Kit Power is another writer that has an unbelievable talent and wonderful future ahead of him.

You can read my review of GodBomb!, here.

You can buy GodBomb!, here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



With this one being a tie, it means that both The Cabinet of Dr Blessing and GodBomb! will be going through to the overall winners list on Saturday.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night when I will be listing the Confessions of a Reviewer’s overall top five books of 2015!



The Authors!


Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a way, that explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012." The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, "reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub's Ghost Story."

In 2013 Samhain Horror published his novel of vampirism and demonic possession The Darkest Lullaby, as well as his serialized horror novel Savage Species. Of Savage Species Publishers Weekly said, "Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror--Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows--will find much to relish." Jonathan's Kindle Worlds novel Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows marked his first foray into the superhero/action genre.

Jack Ketchum called his vampire western Dust Devils a "Rousing-good weird western," and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) was selected one of 2014's top three novels by Pod of Horror. His newest release is called The Nightmare Girl. He has also written four novellas (Exorcist Road, The Clearing of Travis Coble, Old Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.

His primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true.

And for more about Jonathan, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels, The Haunted Halls, and this October's, Blood and Rain.

His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

And for more about Glenn, visit his site or find him on social media:



Stephen Kozeniewski (pronounced "causin' ooze key") lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. During his time as a Field Artillery officer, he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor's degree is in German.










And for more about Stephen, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page



Iain Rob Wright is from the English town of Redditch, where he worked for many years as a mobile telephone salesman. After publishing his debut novel, THE FINAL WINTER, in 2011 to great success, he quit his job and became a full time writer. He now has over a dozen novels, and in 2013 he co-wrote a book with bestselling author, J.A.Konrath.

The three most important things in his life are his wife, his son, and his fans.

His work is currently being adapted for graphic novels, audio books, and foreign audiences. He's an active member of the Horror Writer's Association and a massive animal lover. Join his mailing list and receive five FREE books, as well as all the latest news and releases.





And for more about Iain, visit his site or find him on social media:



Duncan Ralston was born in Toronto, and spent his teens in a small town. As a "grown-up," Duncan lives with his girlfriend and their dog in Toronto, where he writes about the things that frighten and disturb him. In addition to his twisted short stories found in GRISTLE & BONE, THE ANIMAL, and the charity anthology THE BLACK ROOM MANUSCRIPTS, his debut novel SALVAGE is available now.

"Mr. Ralston writes horror fiction that is unflinching and pulls no punches." - Kit Power.

"Duncan Ralston is writing honest stories about real people, pitched headlong into extraordinary situations. And that is what makes them so horrifying." - Ken Preston, Dirge Magazine

And for more about Duncan, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


Thomas S Flowers was born in Walter Reed Medical Center, Maryland to a military family. He grew up in RAF Chicksands, England and then later Fort Meade, and finally Roanoke, Virginia. Thomas graduated high school in 2000 and on September 11, 2001, joined the U.S. Army. From 2001-2008, Thomas served in the military police corps, with one tour in South Korea and three tours serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. While stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, between deployments, Thomas met his wife and following his third and final tour to Iraq, decided to re-join the civilian ranks. Thomas was discharged honorably in February 2008 and moved to Houston, Texas where he found employment and attended night school. In 2014, Thomas graduated with a Bachelor in Arts in History from University of Houston-Clear Lake. Thomas blogs at www.machinemean.org, commenting and reviewing movies, books, shows, and historical content.

Thomas is living a rather simple and quite life with his beautiful wife and amazing daughter, just south of Houston, Texas.

And for more about Thomas, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page


Jack was born and raised among the twisting cobbled streets and lanes, ruined forts and rolling moors of a medieval market town in Northumberland, England. He claims to have been adopted by Leeds in West Yorkshire, and he spends as much time as possible immersed in the shadowy heart of that city. Fascinated by all things Victorian Jack often writes within that era and his period gothic horror works include The Séance and The Cabinet of Dr Blessing.













And for more about Jack, visit his site or find him on social media:

WebsiteFacebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page - Dark Chapter Press


Kit Power lives in the UK and writes fiction that lurks at the boundaries of the horror, fantasy, and thriller genres, trying to bum a smoke or hitch a ride from the unwary.

In his secret alter ego of Kit Gonzo, he also performs as front man (and occasionally blogs) for death cult and popular beat combo The Disciples Of Gonzo, 

www.disciplesofgonzo.com


And for more about Kit, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads – Amazon Page

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