Monday 30 November 2015

REVIEW: Harvey Click - Demon Mania (Demon Frenzy Series Book 2)

Genre: Horror / Fantasy
Publisher: Harvey Click
Publication Date: 20th April 2015
Pages: 258


A copy of Demon Mania was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Harvey Click in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

This is the second book I have read by Harvey Click. The first was the opening book in this series, Demon Frenzy. You can read my review of it here. Although enjoyable, it did have its negatives. I was hoping for more from the second in the series.

It’s eighteen months after the attack at Blackwood. Amy Malone along with her husband Shane and daughter Emily think they are safe and sound in their new life. They are wrong. The Lost Society have found them again.

Amy is attacked and Emily kidnapped. What follows is a race against time and evil to try and find out where Emily is being held and rescue her. This brings old friends back together in a fight to the death between good and evil.

The only question that remains is who, if anyone, they can trust.

Now, being that this is book two in the series, if you haven’t read book one and want to, I would do that before reading any further. There won’t be any spoilers in this review about the current book but obviously it may give away some stuff that happened in book one. It would be useless to try and read this book as a stand-alone novel. You really need to read book one to follow things.

Sunday 29 November 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #20 - Jeremy Thompson 29/11/2015

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Jeremy Thompson

The Past

As a child, I read plenty of horror. I devoured every Goosebumps book within reach, along with much of Christopher Pike’s young-adult fiction—with Whisper of Death and the Final Friends Trilogy being favorites. Reading Stephen King’s Night Shift collection as a grade-schooler, I was terrified by Jerusalem’s Lot and The Boogeyman. Still, the title that most enthralled my young mentality wasn’t horror, but SF: Arthur C. Clarke’s masterpiece, Childhood’s End. Like no other literature that I read at that age, the novel had an elegiac quality that really resonated with me.

The fear that Clarke’s tale engendered wasn’t that of being attacked, or of loved ones being imperilled. No, the author was subtler than that. Reaching the novel’s back cover, I was disquieted by a notion I’d never previously encountered: that one day, the human race as we know it could be rendered irrelevant.

Aiming to avert extinction, aliens visited Earth. And peace was achieved…for a while. But then children started exhibiting inhuman capabilities—telekinesis and telepathy—even as human creativity began dying off. “Humanity had lost its ancient gods,” Clarke wrote, “now it was old enough to have no need for new ones.”

I was stunned by the author’s description of the extra-terrestrial Overlords: “the leathery wings, the little horns, and the barbed tail.” At that impressionable age, still half-believing the Bible, I experienced the guilty thrill of perceived blasphemy, rooting for benign extra-terrestrials whose “ebon majesty” seemed demonic.

Unlike the “To Serve Man” Kanamits—whom as a Twilight Zone marathon fanatic, I was well familiar with—the Overlords were actually sympathetic. Unable to join the Overmind, they were forced to watch other species’ ascend time and time again, while themselves remaining stagnant. “When our race is forgotten, part of yours will still exist,” Karellen the Supervisor explained. “Do not, therefore, condemn us for what we were compelled to do. And remember this—we shall always envy you.”

Friday 27 November 2015

REVIEW: William Meikle - Blacktop

Genre: Horror / Dark Fiction
Publisher: William Meikle
Publication Date: 17th May 2015
Pages: 34


I picked up this copy of Blacktop by William Meikle a few weeks ago when it was going cheap on Amazon. It may even have been free, I can’t remember. I wanted something short to read so slotted it in. Generally Mr Meikle’s stuff is top notch reading. This was a bit different to others of his I have read but was it worth it?

A man picks up his latest object of desire, Ellen. He has had a few drinks in a bar before getting behind the wheel of his pickup truck. His baby.

Not far into the journey he has an accident and wakes up wandering along an abandoned road. There is nothing there to see other than the blacktop and Nobody constantly following him, ten yards behind.

He needs to find his baby. He needs to understand.

This one is certainly different. This is a story told in the first person by a person you know next to nothing about other than the fact they have made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after having a drink. In this story you witness, through their eyes, what it must be like to be eternally tortured in your own personal purgatory. This is what it could be like in your own personal hell after making the mistake of your life.

I don’t want to tell you what happens in the story to spoil things for you but to be honest, after you read this, it will make you think about every little thing you have done wrong in your life or every little thing you may be contemplating doing wrong in your future.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #16 - James Newman - People Are Strange

#16 in this feature takes me back to one of my favourite discoveries (for me) of this past couple of years, James Newman. I have already shown off my copy of Widowmakers. If you didn’t see it then you can have a look at it here.

When I received that copy, the box felt a little bit heavier than normal.

That could have been because Widowmakers weighs more than a house brick but it was also because Mr Newman had included this little beauty in the box. People Are Strange.

Monday 23 November 2015

REVIEW: Craig Saunders - Left To Darkness

Genre: Horror
Publisher: DarkFuse
Publication Date: 11th Aug 2015
Pages: 239


I received an advance copy of Left To Darkness by Craig Saunders from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by DarkFuse.

So the only other thing I have read from Craig Saunders was Masters of Blood and Bone. It didn’t do an awful lot for me. I found it a bit weird. However, I did find it very dark and very funny in parts, and it had one of my favourite characters ever in the detective, Holland. As you can see, it by no means put me off reading Mr Saunders again. With Left To Darkness I was hoping for the same dark style without the weirdness. Do you think I got it?

A meteor is heading on a collision course with Earth. There is no stopping it and no one has any clue as to the amount of devastation it will cause.

Some people do survive but it is a continuous battle to stay that way. There is a strange cult on the go, dead set on destroying what human life is left. Paul, a policeman and Dawn, a pregnant woman, must do all they can to get to safety. Their unlikely ally is a brutal killer, Frank.

And so begins their journey to find sanctuary and stay clear of the cult. One person who seems to have control over everything is “the naked man”. No one knows who he is or what he wants but he seems very certain he will get it.

Sunday 22 November 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #19 - Angela Marsons

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Angela Marsons

The Past

The only book that ever caused me to call in sick to work was Disclosure by Michael Crichton.

As the mastermind behind Jurassic Park, a genre I don’t read, I was intrigued by the author’s premise of turning the idea of sexual harassment in the workplace on its head. My curiosity lasted for only a minute before I was picked up and swept away. The novel is expertly written and beautifully crafted so that questions that you desperately want answered, are only answered once more questions have been asked, that you then have to have answered before you can put the book down.

This theme continues throughout the book making it completely unputdownable. I read this in my twenties so although I was writing at the time I was not submitting. At a later date I re-read the book again, with my analytical brain, to better understand the techniques the author had used to grab and hold my attention so thoroughly that it was like he had put invisible superglue to the book cover. After reading it I knew that I wanted to be able to do that. I wanted to write books that posed and answered questions in the same way.

Friday 20 November 2015

REVIEW: Jon Bassoff - The Disassembled Man

Genre: Horror / Noir
Publisher: DarkFuse
Publication Date: 31st May 2015
Pages: 180

I received an advance copy of The Disassembled Man by Jon Bassoff from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by DarkFuse.

This is my first outing into the world of Jon Bassoff. I have heard many a good thing about his work but just never got around to reading any of it. I have had this one on the Kindle for a while but couldn’t ever get myself in the general mood to read it for some reason. What happened when I finally did?

Frankie Avicious has no hope left. He has a colourful past but a very bleak future. Stuck in a dead end job slaughtering cattle on a conveyor belt, his wife threatening to leave him and a local nutcase threatening to kill him because of his affair with the local stripper Scarlett, where does he turn?

When a mysterious travelling salesman tries to guide him in a direction that will change his life forever, Frankie takes his advice and embarks on a journey of murder, some more murder, and a little bit of murder for good measure.

If Frankie doesn’t stop soon, that future is just going to keep getting darker and darker.

Well now. Surreal is a word that pops into my head after reading this one. Definitely surreal. With a bit of dark noir, blood and guts and definitely a bit of WTF?

Thursday 19 November 2015


So here we are again. Another milestone in the life of Confessions of a Reviewer. To be honest this is a milestone I never thought I would be in a position to achieve whenever I started this journey in February.

Yesterday, Confessions of a Reviewer hit 25,000 page views.

Again, my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who have visited in the past and continue to do so on a regular basis. I honestly cannot thank you enough.

I am just a little one man show doing everything by myself. All the reading, all the writing of the reviews and the many, many hours spent editing, formatting and uploading the content to make it fit for viewing by you, is done by me and me alone.

This, at times, makes it difficult to keep going. When all you seem to do with your spare time is dedicated to one thing, it can be tough and tiring and sometimes extra motivation is needed. Watching the viewing figures go up and up is one of the things I use as motivation to keep myself going.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #15 - Kealan Patrick Burke - Xmas Card

#15 in the Show-off and tell is probably one of the first things that was added to my new signed collection. This was a surprise when I got it because it was organised by my beautiful wife Jo.

Back in 2012 I was having a difficult time and as a surprise Jo wanted to get me something nice to cheer me up. At the time I was ranting and raving about the books of Kealan Patrick Burke, having just completed the Timmy Quinn series of books. She contacted Kealan and asked if he could send me a Xmas card.

This is what arrived.

Monday 16 November 2015

REVIEW: Keith Deininger - The Blood of Talos (The Godgame #2)

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: A Meridian Codex Book
Publication Date: 1st October 2015
Pages: 229


A copy of The Blood of Talos (The Godgame #2) was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Keith Deininger in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Meridian Codex.

So book two in this epic tale from Keith Deininger. If you need to reacquaint yourself, you can read my review of the extended prologue, Marrow’s Legacy (The Godgame #0) here and book one, The Godgame (The Godgame #1) here. I use the term “epic tale” because this is what Mr Deininger wanted to achieve with this series of books. Has he hit his goal? Read on……

Nova is in ruins after the invasion of the Talosian forces. People are running in all directions. Although he doesn’t know it, Ash is on his way to Talos for reasons even he cannot fathom. Others thought dead, are rising from the ashes, to positions of power to unite what is left of Nova, and take it to Talos.

As both sides head for a battle that will leave one side victorious and the other wiped out, Trevor hangs on to his power by a very thin thread. Embla’s quest is still ongoing and Marrow has still to come.

The stench of evil is getting stronger. The confusion and the lies are never ending. Will Marrow ever come? Can he save anyone?

Sunday 15 November 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #18 - Patrick C. Greene

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Patrick C. Greene

The Past

My father had a massive collection of books; so many we eventually had a library built onto our house. When I was still too young to read, I was already poring over dinosaur books; the more vividly illustrated the more attractive. But on one occasion, I ventured into my father's collection, perhaps hoping to at least find a colorful cover or a something with a few photos or illustrations. Though it seems wildly incongruous now, there was a paperback-sized Tales from the Crypt comic collection hidden among these many boring and wordy tomes; perhaps borrowed -or taken as punishment- from one of his college students.

Here was a book I could understand, despite the incomprehensible text. This began my love affair with comics, and probably jump started me on not only horror but reading in general as well.

I still have that little paperback, though it’s now yellow and ragged –hardly mint condition. The art was by the legendary Bernie Wrightson, with his signature moody underlit depictions of frightened (and often very guilty) "protagonists" stumbling toward their comeuppance in the final panels. The psycho Santa tale was there, as was the one about the director of the home for the blind who cut corners on his patients to bankroll his own luxurious lifestyle. It was lurid, terrifying morality at its best. It's probably where I learned that the "good guys" and "bad guys" might just be "guys" doing what their circumstances dictate.

Thursday 12 November 2015

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #14 - Kit Power - GodBomb!

#14 in my Show-off and tell is one of my most recent arrivals. I was expecting this one to come and almost sat on the front step watching for the postman to bring it to me, I was so excited to get my hands on it!

It’s the one and only GodBomb! by Kit power.

I, like many others, have been waiting for a long time to have this in my hands for a few reasons. Number one is purely and simply because it is an absolutely superb novel.

Kit Power has written something here that will stay with me for a very long time and he deserves every accolade coming to him for this work.

This is my copy:

Wednesday 11 November 2015

REVIEW: Ian and Rosi Taylor - The Other Boy

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Dark Chapter Press
Publication Date: 10th Nov 2015
Pages: 126


A copy of The Other Boy was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Dark Chapter Press in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This is a book I would class as a novella.

Now, for whatever reason, I didn’t fancy this one. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. I think it may be because I have never heard of either authors. I am generally a bit sceptical of collaborations, especially when it is authors I have never heard of. Very especially if it’s a husband and wife team. I have been there before. It didn’t work out so well.

However, I have faith in the chaps at Dark Chapter Press so decided to give it a go. How did it work out?

Alice and her husband Will have moved into a house in the country with their seven year old son Toby. Things haven’t been good for the family in recent times. Will has been naughty boy and had a fling. This is an attempt to make things better.

The area they have moved too seems to be steeped in pagan history and folklore. There are certain places that are “sacred” to the locals and they don’t seem to like new blood coming into the area. Apart from their neighbour Simon, a sort of Lord of the Manor.

Not long after they move there. Toby briefly disappears during a walk with his dad. No one can explain where he went or what exactly happened. When he comes back he is acting a bit strange. Almost as if he has been replaced by another.

And that my friends is all you are going to get about this little gem.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

REVIEW: Duncan Ralston - Salvage

Genre: Horror / Paranormal
Publisher: Forsaken
Publication Date: 10th Nov 2015
Pages: 304


A copy of Salvage was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Duncan Ralston in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Forsaken.

So I have read Gristle and Bone which is a short story collection by Mr Ralston. You can read the review of it here. I loved it. It was brutal and horrifying and bloody and just all round good fun. This is his debut novel and labelled as a ghost story. I was hoping for more of the same with all of the above attached. Did I get it?

Owen Saddler’s life is in turmoil. His little sister Lori has just died in a tragic diving accident in Chapel Lake. Some say the lake is haunted. It’s actually a man-made hydroelectric dam that totally covers the old town of Peace Falls.

Owen feels the need to retrace Lori’s footsteps to find out why she was there and how the accident happened.

What follows is a harrowing tale of discovery, taking Owen on a trip that will delve deep into his and his mother’s past, uncovering a trail of deceit, depression, madness and murder. Will Owen survive long enough to uncover the truth?

Monday 9 November 2015

REVIEW: David C. Hayes - Greasepaint 09/11/2015

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: 3rd Nov 2015
Pages: 119


I received an advance copy of Greasepaint by David C. Hayes from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Samhain.

Never read anything by David C. Hayes before but this came out with a bevy of books from Samhain on NetGalley so decided to give it a go along with the others. Novellas are good when it’s an author you have never read before. Being short, they tend to give you a general feel for the authors work in a short space of time. I got my general feeling on this one fairly quickly.

Michael is the only survivor after serial killer Reginald Bent, otherwise known as TV star, Orzo the Clown, is finally caught and killed by the police.

Many years later, the son of Orzo’s sidekick, Dumpy Dan, decides to release a DVD special of all the Orzo the Clown shows ever made. When this happens, people start to die. Michael is plagued by the memory of Orzo. Worse than that, he has seen Orzo again. He has seen him kill again. He knows he is after him. Again.

OK this is probably going to be a short review of a short book. I didn’t like it. I wanted to like it but I just couldn’t.

Sunday 8 November 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #17 - Duncan Ralston

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Duncan Ralston

I was one of those fortunate kids whose parents read bedtime stories to as a child. You know, the kids philosopher Adam Swift said “unfairly disadvantage” children are ones whose parents didn’t read to them. Yeah, I’m one of those fortunate jerks. And while I feel maybe those other children got a raw deal, I certainly wouldn’t go back in time to tell my parents they shouldn’t read to me because little Timmy’s father is semi-literate and can’t read him bedtime stories, thereby depriving Timmy of a lifelong love of reading and perhaps stunting his educational growth.

I don’t think that’s the sort of “level playing field” (as Swift called for in his interview with ABC Radio) that any of us should be considering. I think maybe involving kids in reading more is the answer. Maybe promoting literacy and reading programs the way we used to before all everyone cared about was their new cell phone or the Real Housewives of Whothefuckcares is the key.

Then again, maybe I’m old fashioned.

Friday 6 November 2015

REVIEW: Angela Marsons - Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone #3)

Genre: Crime / Thriller
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 6th Nov 2015
Pages: 359


I received an advance copy of Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone #3) by Angela Marsons from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bookouture.

So number three in the Kim Stone series. It was a no brainer that I was going to try and pick this up for review after reading the first two. You can read my review of Silent Scream (D.I. Kim Stone #1) here and Evil Games (D.I. Kim Stone #2) here. This is a series that, I was hoping, would just keep getting better and better. Was I right?

D.I. Kim Stone and her team have been given a case that they normally wouldn’t have. They have got it against her superiors wishes and only because she was specifically requested. It is a case that will test the resolve of her and her team to the bitter end.

Two young girls have been abducted. Text messages are received from the abductors to advise they are well and to await further instructions. The two families know each other and are best of friends. How long they will stay friends is in doubt after the next text is received. It’s simple and to the point. The abductors want money, but they will only take the money from one family. The highest bidder gets their girl back. The girl from the lowest bidding family dies.

Kim and her team must battle against time and everything else that is thrown at them to try and make sure both girls come back alive.

This is one of those times where the review should read as follows

Bloody amazing. Just go buy the damn thing.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #13 - Iain Rob Wright - Savage

#13 in my Show-Off and Tell is another one dear to my heart. Savage by Iain Rob Wright.

The reason it holds a special place for me? Well there are a couple actually. It was one of the first books I read by Mr Wright. It was the first book I did a beta read on and it was the first time I ever had my name in print in a book.

Iain Rob Wright is undoubtedly one of the hottest properties around in the British Horror scene and if you haven’t read any of his stuff then shame on you.

Get on over to Amazon and sort that issue out.

This is my copy.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

REVIEW: Jonathan Janz - Wolf Land

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: 3rd November 2015
Pages: 415


I received an advance copy of Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Samhain Publishing Ltd.

So, giving the fact I have other books by Jonathan Janz and I know how good his writing is, I’m rather embarrassed to say this is only the second thing I have read by him. The other one was The Nightmare Girl and you can read my review of it here. I absolutely loved it so felt I just had to nab this one from NetGalley and give it a whirl. A totally different style of book. Would it give me a totally different result?

Lakeview is a quiet enough town. It’s had its fair share of woes and its fair share of successes. A group of friends gather for a few drinks, a week before their 10th High School reunion, anticipating a night of drinks and laughs. They didn’t expect the werewolf.

With seven people dead and four people severely injured, the town tries to recover from the disaster and regroup for the reunion.

They didn’t expect the four injured people to start to change. Change into something they never seemed possible. They also didn’t expect the original, centuries old evil to crash the party.

Monday 2 November 2015

REVIEW: Adam Cesare - The First One You Expect

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Broken River Books
Publication Date: 31st Jan 2015
Pages: 77


So earlier in the year I read Mercy House by Adam Cesare. You can read my review of it here. I think it was around that time that The First One You Expect dropped to 99p for a while. After reading, and loving, Mercy House, I thought I would risk a quid and pick this little one up as well.

This is a short story and you will have it read in about an hour and a half. Probably take me longer to write my review. So was it worth the one Great British Pound I spent on it?

Tony Anastos hasn’t got a lot. He works part time at his local Stop and Shop and lives in his parent’s basement. Apart from this, he makes ultra-low budget horror movies with his friend, Burt. These normally involve hiring ultra-low budget, ageing strippers to play the roles of the victims with Burt being the killer.

His new co-worker, Anna seems to be very interested in his films. She is young and sexy and eager to appear in his movies. She wants to be famous. Tony sees this as a way out of having to hire the old girls and brings her on board.

When they start a Kickstarter for the next movie, Anna’s methods for the introduction video seem a bit extreme, but they work. From here on in, Tony is just a passenger as everything kicks off around him with devastating effect.

Sunday 1 November 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #16 - Jonathan Janz

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Jonathan Janz

The Past

A transformative moment in my life occurred when I was fourteen. I’d gone to a Hallmark gift shop to buy a card for my mom (or some girl, I can’t really remember, and it doesn’t really matter) and was passing by a rotating rack of paperback novels. Up until that point, I wasn’t a reader. I’d become skilled at pretending to read while in school, but I never actually processed the words in the open book in front of me.

This time, though, something about one book grabbed my attention. It was either the eerie green-and-black cover (which looked like the aurora borealis on a really creepy night) or the weird title, The Tommyknockers. I knew the author’s name, had heard of Stephen King, and had idly wondered about him from time to time. I knew he was supposed to be scary, and scary was good. Horror movies were my favorites back then.

I took the book home, sat out on our dock, and began to read it. It was the summer before my freshman year in high school, and though I didn’t realize it at the time, my life was being changed by the thick paperback in my hands.