Stalker – Lars Kepler (Review)

51fPJZKNKIL._SY346_A video is sent to the National Crime Investigation Department in Stockholm. It shows a normal woman in her own home, doing nothing very exciting. By the time the police identify her, she’s dead. More victims are found, and it becomes clear that the killer is not going to stop. Each video sent to the police means another butchered woman.

Margot Silverman is tasked with catching the killer. Heavily pregnant, she’s determined to solve the case before going on leave. Erik Maria Bark is a hypnotist who thinks the crimes may be linked to a case he worked on years ago. And everyone thought Joona Linna was dead.  Continue reading “Stalker – Lars Kepler (Review)”

Thaumatology 101 – Niall Teasdale (Review)

T101I was warned off from Thaumatology 101 before I started reading it. Reviews are rather mixed – some people think it’s a fun and flirty urban fantasy romp, and some people think it’s objectionable smut about unrealistic cardboard characters.

I thought the massively polarised reviews were fascinating. Normally there’s majority agreement on whether a book is urban fantasy or paranormal romance, and similar agreement on whether it is worth reading.

Ceridwyn Brent is a magical research assistant who can’t do magic. She’s also the heir to a wizard mansion, protected by burning tattoos and with a half-succubus for a housemate. She starts of her series with the kind of assests and confidants that it takes most urban fantasy protagonists at least a trilogy to acquire. Continue reading “Thaumatology 101 – Niall Teasdale (Review)”

A Passport to a Nation of Talking Slugs – Andrew Kozma (Review)

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The full title of this book is A Passport to a Nation of Talking Slugs and Other Stories, but that seemed like too long a title for this blog post. There are four stories in total, and they are all independent, very different in settings and ideas.

A lonely tourist visits a city built by giant slugs. A prisoner contemplates the different kinds of possible escape. A man waits to be asked a question. People search for each other in a world of possibilities.

Continue reading “A Passport to a Nation of Talking Slugs – Andrew Kozma (Review)”

The Paper Magician Series – Charlie N. Holmberg (Review)

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Ceony Twill wants to be a smelter – a magician bonded to metal. She wants to enchant bullets and send railway lines across the country. She doesn’t want to be a paper magician, sending letters and making decorations for children’s parties.

But she doesn’t get the chance to pick her material. Faced with the option of no magic or paper magic, Ceony reluctantly begins her studies with the eccentric Emery Thane. Soon, she starts to find that both her instructor and paper magic are far more interesting than she first assumed. Continue reading “The Paper Magician Series – Charlie N. Holmberg (Review)”

Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space (Review)

Cover-1“Trust me – it’s not porn.”

That’s a line – the most memorable line – from a review request I received. It’s not a common line in review requests; off-hand, I can’t think of anything I’ve reviewed, or even read, that the author felt needed the same disclaimer. Given the title, and the cover, and the concept, and the characters though, I do understand.

After a glowing green meteor crashes down into the woods outside of town, lesbian zombies start seducing women and devouring men. I know that sounds ridiculous. It’s up to a lesbian-obsessed loser and a practical lesbian (not a zombie one) to save the day. I know that sounds ridiculous as well.
Continue reading “Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space (Review)”

Hex-Rated – Jason Ridler (Review)

Hex-rated.jpgJames Brimstone doesn’t want to have anything to do with magic anymore. With the burial of his cruel mentor, all his remaining bridges to the world of hexes and demons have been burnt. He can start work as a private investigator and leave the supernatural behind him.

His first case, predictably enough, plunges him right back into it all. A actress with hideous facial scarring – scarring that tastes of magic – begs for his help. James Brimstone finds himself going up against Nazi occultists, monstrous snakes and rage-filled gladiators as he investigates the seamier side of Hollywood. Continue reading “Hex-Rated – Jason Ridler (Review)”

Mashed: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror (Review)

MASHED-Vol1-Cover-MedWebThe best horror, I always find, is concerned with things we aren’t normally afraid of – things that we view positively. Unpleasant things are already unpleasant, and therefore difficult to mine for fear. It’s much more effective, albeit harder, to take things we want and make them terrifying – to take the familiar and expose a darker side.

Food and sex are relatively universal human desires. Things we want and enjoy. Mashed is  an anthology of stories linking those two positives to horror – turning what people most want into nightmares. Instant mashed potato, kitchen renovations, animal rescue – these are some of the starting points for a group of stories that are by turns violent, disturbing, satisfying and sometimes even funny.  Continue reading “Mashed: The Culinary Delights of Twisted Erotic Horror (Review)”