Thursday, February 4, 2016

Animal Kingdom [Book Review]

This (author) recommendation comes from Nev Murray​ (who I definitely recommend that you follow, as he pumps out some terrific book reviews!)

When you subscribe to this author's website, (iainrobwright.com) he, in turn, gives you 5! (I repeat, five!) Free books!

After I downloaded my free books, and perused the summaries of each, I decided on this one.
So, on with the review. . .

Genre - Horror/Apocalyptic Thriller
Year Published - 2011
Length - 230 (digital) pages
Written by Iain Robert Wright​

Tagline: "Welcome to the Bottom of the Food Chain!"

Rating: 5 Skulls

Plot Summary:
An ordinary day is about to turn very, very bad.

Divorcee, Joe, takes his wrestling-mad son, Danny, to the zoo for his weekend of custody. Everything goes great until a bizarre snake attack sends everybody running for cover. It's a horrific attack, one Joe's poor son is unlikely to ever forget, but the terror has just started.

There's a lot more going on than just a simple snake attack - and if the hungry lions and rampaging elephants  have anything to do with it, there will be more bloodshed to come. The animals are attacking all at once. Almost like they have a plan.

Review:
Iain Rob Wright has a tagline of his own - "Fear on Every Page" - now, I am not sure if that is on all of his books or not, but it fits well with this book!

Wright wastes absolutely no time , jumping right into the meat of the story, and continues the thrills with rapid-fire precision!

In this book, Wright has created a rag-tag group of both likeable and unlikeable characters who are trapped within the zoo during an animal uprising.
(After reading this book, I am beginning to think twice about renewing my local zoo's yearly membership, next month)

The characters in this book have to deal with lions, monkeys, elephants, reptiles, spiders, scorpions, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, etc. (all except for birds) Now, think about All of the animals in the world, (even just our own pets - dogs, cats, rats, etc.) and imagine if they all turned against humanity. . .!

By the end of this book you are questioning why is this happening?!? And then, brilliantly, After the epilogue, like an "after-credits-scene" in a movie, Wright ties it all together with "mini-stories" that have little tidbits that link directly into the main story. As if this book wasn't already awesome enough - the way Wright pulled off the end solidified me as a true fan!

I will definitely be reading his other books, and I will be hoping for a future sequel to this one!

If you are burned out on zombie novels, this is a fresh take on what could possibly be part of the apocalypse, definitely check this one out!

Jason

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The First Hostage

This is the highly anticipated sequel to last year's 'The Third Target' (which was my favorite thriller novel of last year).

Rosenberg has upped the ante this time around, crafting a brilliant "who-dunnit" intertwined within the main storyline.

The main character is brilliantly used, placing you smack dab in the middle of the "behind the scenes" action sequences.

This is one of those books that is literally hard-to-put-down, as the majority of the chapters end in mini-cliffhangers, making you want to keep turning the pages.

Jason

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Naughty List [Short Film News]

If funding indie projects is your thing, then have I got a great one for you!!

Based on the short story 'The Siqquism Who Stole Christmas' by Bram Stoker Award Winner and Grand Master of Horror author Brian Keene​ (sold!) and directed by Paul Campion - 'Night of the Hell Hamsters'/'Eel Girl'/'The Devil's Rock' (sold again!) and described as "Reservoir Dogs meets Elf" (triple-sold!) this project needs your help to get fully funded.

The official launch is on Wednesday, however you can watch the short video and read further information, and donate now (if you wish) at the below link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulcampion/the-naughty-list-a-wicked-black-comedy-short-film/description

Feel free to share this to help spread the word,

Thank you!

Jason

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Joe Coffin (Season One) [Book Review]

This year I have decided to focus, predominantly, on book recommendations, which brings us to my first reviewed book of the year, recommended by David Dubrow​.

Genre - Horror/Crime-Thriller/Suspense/Vampire
Year Published - 2015
Length - 457 (digital) pages
Written by Ken Preston​

Tagline: "Get ready. Joe Coffin is on his way. And he's mad as hell."

Rating: 5/5 Skulls

Plot Summary:
On the day that Joe Coffin, hitman for Birmingham gang The Slaughterhouse Mob, is released from jail he has nothing but murder on his mind.
While inside his wife and young son were killed, and now he is out for bloody revenge.
The problem is, Coffin's enemies are circling, and his wife might not be quite as dead as she should be.

Review:
If you are like me, you are probably wondering what's up with the "Season One" on the book cover. Let me explain in the author's own words...

"Joe Coffin is a vampire horror story and a gritty gangster thriller, written TV style in episodes and seasons. If you liked Breaking Bad and Dexter, and if you prefer your vampires bloody and brutal then you will love Joe Coffin..."

Season One is episodes 1 - 4.

I am not sure if the tv series format is Preston's idea or not, but I am in love with Preston's style. He has written an extremely fast-paced, character-driven story that does not shy away from anything!
(You know the author means business when a ten-year-old kid gets his throat torn open in the first chapter/episode of the book!)

Preston immediately draws you into his story, and his writing is very realistic. (You feel as if you are a part of the story, as if it could actually be true.)
Preston is also a Master of suspense! (there are several "hold-your-breath" moments)
I also enjoyed the names of each chapter, and I hope to see more of Mr. Corpse & Mrs. Stump - two very intriguing side-characters.

As for Coffin, he is the perfect protagonist to the story. For you comic book fans, he reminds me of 'Joe Fixit' which is funny, considering that shortly after I told my wife that, Preston wrote the line, "The man was huge. Paint him green and rip his trouser legs off at the knee, and he'd be the Incredible Hulk." (too funny!)

If you have an e-reader or a book app, I encourage you to visit the author's website: kenpreston.co.uk - who knows, you may even get a free copy of Season One!

Season Two (episodes 5 - 8) is already out, so you can expect a future review of that book, guaranteed!

In the meantime, someone needs to turn this series into an actual television show, pronto!

Jason

Monday, December 28, 2015

Out Are The Lights

One more book recommendation before the year's end...

Aside from being one of Laymon's more depraved stories, what makes this one special is the included "and other tales" portion of the book, including 'Mess Hall' (about a serial killer), 'Dinker's Pond' (a tall tale), the infamous 'Madman Stan' (which didn't disappoint), my favorite of the short stories, 'Bad News' (nightmarish!), and 'The Tub' (a jaw-dropping tale).

Jason

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015: Year in Review

In case you are still looking for a Christmas gift, here are my favorite books that I read this year - recommended for the readers in your life. . .

Rather than just giving you my "Top Ten", this year I have categorized my favorites in each genre.
(An * denotes the book was published this year)

Best Adventure Novel(s):
'The Loch' and its sequel *'Vostok' - both by Steve Alten

Best "Based on a Television Series" Novel:
'Sons of Anarchy: Bratva' by Christopher Golden

Best "Beginning of a New Series" Novel:
*'Blade of the Destroyer' by Andy Peloquin

Best Biography Novel:
*'My Fight/Your Fight' by Ronda Rousey

Best Christian Fiction Novel:
'Rooms' by James L. Rubart

Best "Drama" Novel(s):
'The Brotherhood'/'The Betrayal'/'The Breakthrough' ("Precinct 11" trilogy) by Jerry B. Jenkins

Best "End of a Series" Novel:
*'Warheart' by Terry Goodkind

Best Historical Fiction Novel:
'The Auschwitz Escape' by Joel C. Rosenberg

Best Horror Novel:
*'Nightwalk' by D. Nathan Hilliard

Best "Book of Novellas":
*'Black Cat Mojo' & *'Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet' both by Adam Howe

Best "Stand-Alone Novella":
*'Sailor's Cove' by Franklin E. Wales

Best Self-Help Book:
*'Unhealthy Anonymous' by Dr. Pete Sulak

Best Thriller Novel:
*'The Third Target' by Joel C. Rosenberg

Hopefully you can find something of interest from the above list.

As for movies - in my opinion, it has been another blah-kind of year, this year, for movies.
With that having been said, here are my top ten favorite films this year (in alphabetical order):

This is a somewhat generic list, but these are the films that entertained me the most...

Ant Man
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
Burying the Ex
Chappie
Fast & Furious: Furious 7
Jurassic World
Pixels
San Andreas
Sean the Sheep
Tomorrowland

The Best Movie of the Year, this year, goes to 'American Ultra' - if you haven't watched it yet, definitely do so!

Some "Notable Mentions":
[Non-2015 films that I enjoyed this year]

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

John Wick

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Whiplash

So, just to break it down, once more, for those who skip to the end...

My favorite film this year is 'American Ultra' and my top three most recommended books would be:

#1) The Third Target and/or 'The Auschwitz Escape' both by Joel C. Rosenberg

#2) Nightwalk by D. Nathan Hilliard

and for those who like their stories on the short side:

#3) Black Cat Mojo and/or Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet both by Adam Howe, who, by the way, is my "favorite new author" that I discovered this year.

Jason

Thursday, December 10, 2015

High Moor III: BloodMoon

Wrapping-up the year with a series that I started at the very beginning of the year...

It took a while for this final book in the trilogy to get released, however it was worth the wait!

While not as good as the first two books, once this one kicks into high gear, it is great!

Now, just to elaborate a little bit more on my above comment - I read the first two books back-to-back which may have made a vast difference.
The start of this one seemed a bit sluggish, but it could have just been due to the time span in-between books.

I definitely recommend reading the entire trilogy as one book.

When you start the third one, if it still seems a bit slow, just wait until the werewolves retaliate against the town... non-stop action after that! 

Jason