Death Crawlers – Gerry Griffiths (Review)

51L813kfIJL._SY346_An entomologist’s plane goes down in a national park, releasing giant centipedes into rural America. The arthropods are aggressive, numerous, and venomous, attacking animals and people alike.

A cast of characters including a small-town sheriff, a (different) entomologist and a seedy trucker find themselves locked in an unexpected and desperate battle for survival.   Continue reading “Death Crawlers – Gerry Griffiths (Review)”

Faithless – Graham Austin-King (Review)

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In the temple of the Forgefather, fallen priests chant endlessly to an absent god, shaping metal through ritual and half-forgotten arts. Beneath them, in the subterranean city of Aspiration, miners scrabble for ore in cramped tunnels and try to resist the lure of the hungry dark. Continue reading “Faithless – Graham Austin-King (Review)”

Lurk – Adam Vine (Review)

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Drew is a loser. He’s fat, awkward, and hopelessly infatuated with a girl who doesn’t share his feelings. He has good friends though, and throws great parties. Sunny Hill, the house he shares with those friends, has been a party house for decades.

When Drew finds an old camera in the basement beneath the house, it leads him into a downward spiral of jealousy and rage. The pictures show some of the house’s previous inhabitants, and sometimes they seem to change.

Lurk is a story of corruption and degradation, of creeping evil and the underside of human happiness. It’s my kind of horror.  Continue reading “Lurk – Adam Vine (Review)”

It Follows (2014) – Review

downloadThe title of this film is also the basic description of the problem – it follows. “It”, in this case, is a supernatural creature that stalks and kills people. It doesn’t run, and it isn’t fanged or clawed. It looks like a person – any given person, whoever it chooses – and it walks. Slowly, inexorably, it walks towards its chosen victim.

Victimhood is transferable through sex; a target who has sex with someone passes the monster on to that person. The film focuses on one primary character, Jay, and her attempts to escape the monster after having had it passed to her.
Continue reading “It Follows (2014) – Review”

Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison (Review)

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It took me a long time to get round to reading Dead Witch Walking. The book gets a lot of praise, but it was first mentioned to me as “urban fantasy about killer tomatoes,” and that description did nothing for me. It sounded like comic fantasy, and the list of authors who can manage to do that well is extremely short.

Dead Witch Walking is not comic fantasy, and killer tomatoes don’t really feature. Instead, a weaponised virus used tomatoes as a carrier, eventually wiping out a significant proportion of the human population. In the aftermath of this tragedy, vampires/witches/et cetera revealed themselves to humanity. The book takes place long after this, in a post-masquerade world where monsters are feared but accepted as part of reality.

Rachel Morgan is tired of dealing with bad assignments and unreasonable orders. For years, she’s been an employee of Inderland Security, tasked with solving supernatural problems – rogue vampires, black magic, that sort of thing. Now she’s ready to strike out on her own.

Life outside the I.S. isn’t easy though. With only a pixie and a vampire as backup, Rachel has to find steady work and stay alive, all the while dealing with demons, drug lords, and an agency that really doesn’t like people breaking their contracts.    Continue reading “Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison (Review)”

Feed – Michael Bray (Review)

51+6gbKFBqLThe dive bars of Australia are filled with unlikely and unverified rumours. Rumours of an area where ships go mysteriously missing. Rumours of sunken wrecks and scattered bars of shining gold. Rumours – the most ridiculous and unbelievable of all, of a vast dark shape gliding through the water, territorial and shockingly violent.

Tyler Matthews is an alcoholic with an ex-wife and a rapidly shrinking bank account. A scarred stranger, met in yet another bar, offers him a chance at solving the third of those issues. All he has to do is retrieve a possibly-mythical fortune while avoiding an almost-certainly mythical prehistoric shark.

Feed is a story of treasure hunting, redemption, and man-eating marine fauna. It’s also a story about cannibalism, desperation, and exactly how far people will go to survive.
Continue reading “Feed – Michael Bray (Review)”

Beck – Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Review)

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Beck is the story of an eponymous mixed-race orphan in an uncaring world. After the death of his mother, Beck is shipped off to Canada, where he deals with abusive priests, abusive farmers, and violent mobsters (plus more) while he searches for a place to belong.

This is a book that desperately wants to have an important message. It’s just not clear what that message is. Every event drips with unused significance. He is neglected and abused as an orphan, but it ends there – any larger point about man’s inhumanity to man or poverty fizzle out as he pushed the memories behind him and wanders on. Instead of an exploration of society or identity or anything else, each plot point is simply another event in a series of them with no real purpose. Continue reading “Beck – Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Review)”