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Kitty Horror

i'm an avid reader whose first love is horror. Come join me over on the dark side.

Unsaid

Unsaid: A Novel - Neil Abramson, Angela Brazil, Hachette Audio

I thought this had a great premise, a newly deceased vet, Helena, watches over her lawyer husband David, friends and pets whilst they cope with their loss. Helena's friend, J.C, asks David to take on a case involving a chimpanzee used for research, Cindy. Cindy can sign and J.C wants her recognised as a non human person and not put back into the pool of chimps used for research where she will most likely die. A difficult case and one where David learns a few home truths about his wife, friends and animals.
I was really expecting this to be a much more emotional read and whilst I did wipe away a few tears it all felt a little anticlimactic by the end. I enjoyed Helena's stories of how she met people in her life through their pets, bonding over the loss of a beloved animal but towards the end I felt the writing was emotionally manipulative without managing to draw me into the situation enough.
I listened to this through Scribd audible and I thought the narrator wasn't that great, perhaps the read would have had more impact with someone different.
An interesting premise that didn't quite deliver enough.

Entire Charley Davidson Series on Sale!!

Second Grave on the Left - Darynda Jones Sixth Grave on the Edge  - Darynda Jones Eighth Grave After Dark  - Darynda Jones The Dirt on Ninth Grave - Darynda Jones Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet - Darynda Jones

All of the series is on sale for $2.99 or under.

 

I've bought up to the fifth book, just wondering if I should pick up any more since they're on sale. Any thoughts???

 

Link here - Charley Davidson Series

Dog Years 1: Moreau Labs

Dog Years 1: Moreau Labs - Thom Brannan, D.L. Snell

A prequel to Pavlov's Dogs, Dr Crispin has managed to successfully reanimate his test subjects, before he can present his research something goes wrong in the labs and his test subjects are wrecking havoc. A rival scientist has new technology that could stop his creations before they infect everyone in the facility.
A short, fun read about a lab where monsters are created and what happens when it all goes out of control. The lead character is fairly well fleshed out for such a short read. My only real issue was that the science behind the Hide suits was a bit confusing but perhaps that was just me.

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)

The Gunslinger - Stephen King

Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger is on a mission to track the man in black whom he thinks will be able to tell him where the Dark Tower is. He journeys through a desert wasteland, encountering others along the way including Jake, a boy who has seen the man in black in a previous life and travels with the gunslinger as he closes in on his quarry.
This was a bit hard to get into at first and it wasn't til the story of Tull that I became a lot more invested in the read. Roland is a complex character and not a straight out 'good' guy, his single minded obsession with the man in black sees him making some questionable choices that really test you as a reader.
The world building is interesting and fairly sparse in some ways, you don't get a clear idea of what kind of world Roland is living in, part western, part medieval but with some modern touches brought in, it keeps you off balance and is a bit disorientating. The ending was a bit disappointing but I guess it's the end of the beginning of a much bigger story and not something to dwell on.
I finished the book feeling unsure of who Roland really was but overall I enjoyed it a lot and am looking at picking up the next book in the series.

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web - E.B. White

Wilbur the pig is the runt of the litter, saved by the farmer's daughter, Fern, she raises him until he is sent to her uncle's farm. Although Fern visits him most days, Wilbur is lonely and asks for a friend to keep him company, he gets one in the form of Charlotte, a large grey spider.
As it becomes clear that Wilbur is destined for Christmas lunch, Charlotte comes up with an ingenious idea to save him.
This touches upon some serious issues for a kids book, death; which is spoken of frequently, friendship and making sacrifices for those you love but most of all that life is precious no matter how long or short your time is here.
A wonderful story for both children and adults and probably the only time I will even cry over the death of a spider.

Suicide Squad Volume 2

Suicide Squad Vol. 2: Basilisk Rising - Geoff Johns, Fernando Dagnino

The suicide come together again to attain an asset called Resurrection Man and also kill arch villian Regulus. There is also an issue completely focused on Amanda Waller and how the suicide squad came to be.
I couldn't remember a lot of what happened in volume 1 but this was still pretty enjoyable. Character wise Harley Quinn still somewhat steals the show although I did like King Shark as well. I really detested Deadshot in this issue, although I did enjoy his time with Captain Boomerang which mixed in a bit of humour to proceedings. Amanda Waller is still tough as nails but some back story with a family member saw her looking more human and frail.
The artwork is amazing in this volume although there did seem to be some consistency problems in the second issue with how Amanda Wallers character was drawn.

Donut Does It

Donut Does It - David Hudnut

Not really much to this story, a tale of an over weight man who decides to buy 2 boxes of doughnuts and then eats them.
I did feel sorry for Randy, his home life was one of shame and neglect at the hands of his parents who certainly contributed to his lifetime of gluttony.
The writing was okay but the story was pretty boring.

The Girl From The Blood Coven

The Girl from the Blood Coven - Brian Moreland

A prequel to The Witching House, this story also sort of works as a standalone.
Abigail walks into the local bar covered in blood and claiming her entire commune family have been slaughtered. Sheriff Travis Keagan goes out to investigate and wishes he hadn't.
Nicely paced read with engaging characters and a disturbingly gory storyline. It is the perfect prelude to The Witching House and has me eager to get to the novel.

Deck The Halls

Deck the Halls: A Christmas Horror: War on Christmas #2 - Edward Lorn

2nd part to the short story Christmas horror series.
This sees Santa coming home to find his house and workshop in ruins, reindeer slaughtered and Mrs Claus missing. He decides to seek out help in the form of Krampus and together they devise to get revenge on the Naughties.
Fun read that I enjoyed more than the first installment. The writing flowed better in this one and I now wish I had picked up the 3rd story whilst it was available.

Memory Lane

Memory Lane: A Short Story (The Cassandra Quinn Series Book 0) - Kealan Patrick Burke

A standalone prequel to a new series, this short read details the beginnings of a town affected by amnesia. Glenn is a resident of Kincaid, his life is slipping out of control a little as he is passed over for promotion and has had no luck getting a second job to maintain his family's financial security.
He begins to feel that something is off in Kincaid as he encounters acquaintances and neighbours who don't seem to know who he is. As he begins to experience headaches and sees shadows, he fears he too if affected by the strange happenings in the town.
This packs a lot into just over 20 pages, the character of Glenn is really well fleshed out for such a short read and as with most of KPB's work the prose is engaging and flows beautifully.
Although the end doesn't have any resolution it is quite chilling and a great way to end the story.
I'm not sure what's happening with the series, nothing appears to be out yet but this let's hope it comes out soon.
Recommended

Death Moon

Death Moon - Sandy DeLuca

A serial killer is on the loose, the lead detective, Tom, is haunted by the dead and heads to a dive bar to seek out a drink and some company. He meets Lila and quickly becomes infatuated. Her mysterious rituals point to darker secrets, ones that Tom is unaware he shares.

This was a pretty good story, very heavy on gore and some sexual content. I found the ending to be a bit confusing but with a good twist to it.
I disliked the main character, Tom. I thought he was a jerk but I think the author did this on purpose to foreshadow later events although the ending was still shocking.
I'm not sure I got everything out of this story that the author intended but it was a good short read.

Babylon Terminal

Babylon Terminal - Greg F. Gifune

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Monk is a dreamcatcher, a law enforcer who is sent to catch those that run and return them to the city. When he finds out his wife is now a runner, he takes it upon himself to catch her before another enforcer is given the job and terminates her.

Monk goes further out to the wastelands of society and comes across those he thought were only myths. He begins to question his society, his dreams, is anything real or is it all a dream? He thinks Julia is running towards the fabled promised land but has no idea what he will find there, a safe haven or a new hell.

This was a trippy and confusing read and I was enjoying it up til the last 3/4 chapters and then, for me, it started to unravel just a bit. I have no idea if Monk encountered anything real or if it was just all a dream, was he real or was he someone else just dreaming about another life as his own comes to an end.

Like a cross between Mad Max and Bladerunner, its dark and violent and I would have given this a higher rating if not for the weaker ending.

 

Vision Volume 1

Vision Vol. 1: Little Worse Than A Man (Vision (2015-)) - Mike Del Mundo, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Tom King

Due to stellar reviews from Grim and Char, I decided to pick this up. I'm not familiar with the Marvel universe so I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought it would have action, perhaps some humour thrown in but I wasn't prepared for the themes this comic dealt with.

Vision craves the dream of having a family and as he was created, he creates a family to give him the life he thinks he needs to fit in and be normal. His wife Virginia and his twin teenage children, Viv and Vin move with him to suburbia and try to settle into a life that is ordinary.

Things take a dark turn when Virginia has to protect herself and her children from a threat but doesn't want to disrupt their 'normal' life so does not tell Vision about the outcome of the altercation. Things spiral out of control as secrets come to light and their perfect family existence starts to crumble.

This read brought up all kinds of questions regarding humanity, family life, social norms and prejudice. For me this was far more emotional than expected, I felt sad as I was drawn deeper in the story. Each member of the family had different stresses but they were of the same theme, the need to appear normal, at all costs, no matter the personal sacrifice.

Tragic and a little heartbreaking, this was a far different super hero comic than I expected.

 

Top 10 Books/Audiobooks from 2016

The Girl on the Glider - Brian Keene, Keith Minnion The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate Written in Red - Anne Bishop Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop Gilded Needles (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Christopher Fowler, Michael McDowell, Mike Mignola Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride The 45% Hangover [A Logan and Steel novella] (Kindle Single) - Stuart MacBride Close to the Bone - Stuart MacBride The Elementals - Michael Rowe, Michael McDowell

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Last year I read 212 books.

 

A breakdown of my reads:

 

Graphic Novels/comics - 146

Audiobooks - 5

Novels/Novellas - 61

 

Here are some of my book stats

 

 

My Favourite Reads of the Year

 

The Girl on the Glider - Brian Keene,Keith Minnion 

 

Author Brian Keene tells a tale of being haunted by a young girl. This story works best as a glimpse into the life of the author as he tries to manage work against family life. This for me was a brutally honest and personal read, kudos to the author for baring so much of his day to day life, warts and all.

 

The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao,Katherine Applegate 

 

Ivan is a captive gorilla, housed in mall zoo!! He and other animal residents seem resigned to their life until Ruby arrives and Ivan decides he wants more for her.

Beautifully told, heartbreaking at times but ultimately uplifting. Ivan's observations on humans had me laughing as well as crying at the senseless cruelty that is meted out to  animals.

 

Written in Red - Anne Bishop  Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop  Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop  

 

The Others series is the book equivalent of crack. I literally can't get enough even though this series should bug the shit out of me, it works. I never expected to like this series as much as I have and I'm grateful to the BL peeps who put up such great reviews that piqued my interest.

 

Gilded Needles (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Christopher Fowler,Michael McDowell,Mike Mignola 

 

1880s New York, a power struggle between Black Lena and the upper class Stallworths begins as the Stallworths sentence 3 of Lena's family members to be hanged.

I loved the period feel to this read, there was a lot of detail that went into each area, the dirty, debauchery of The Black Triangle which contrasted sharply with the sterile elegance of Washington Square.

This tale of revenge was brutal and shocking but I still felt myself cheering Lena on.

 

Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride 

 

Gritty and disturbing as most of Macbrides work is, this was still able to deliver a gut punch at the end that left me reeling. Scottish noir at it's best.

 

The 45% Hangover [A Logan and Steel novella] (Kindle Single) - Stuart MacBride 

 

A novella that highlights the relationship between Logan Macrae and DCI Steel who find themselves in a tricky but hilarious situation.

 

Close to the Bone - Stuart MacBride 

 

Although this book had me disliking the caricature that DCI Steel is becoming it was still a strong read for me. I do feel sorry for poor Logan and hope that Macbride gives him a happier home life at some point.

 

The Elementals - Michael Rowe,Michael McDowell 

 

Creepy and something I couldn't read when it got dark as it was freaking me out too much. Amazing to think how much horror you can get out of sand and a dysfunctional family.

Simple but very effective

Top 5 Graphic Novel reads from 2016

Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass, Ryan Benjamin The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, Mike Dringenberg Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley, Jeremy Haun The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to read 143 comics last year which was a bit more than anticipated and came at the expense of neglecting novels and audiobooks.

 

 

 

I love my comics but this year I'll be trying to pare it back a little and concentrate on getting my novel/novella TBR under control.

 

Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass,Ryan Benjamin 

 

A fun first outing for me with the Suicide Squad team, the star is of course Harley Quinn and I'm looking forward to reading more of her this year.

 

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman,Sam Keith,Mike Dringenberg 

 

A beautiful start to the Sandman series with the Robert Smith inspired Dream escaping capture and returning to his kingdom.

 

Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon 

 

I loved all six books in this series but the reason I picked this one was due to Herr Starr. He is left wounded by Preacher, his head now resembles a penis and there are some hilarious panels that show him trying on wigs and hats with the same sour expression on his face until the last panel when he finds something he likes.

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

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The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley,Jeremy Haun 

 

Great premise of beauty being a STD and how society values outer beauty at any cost. Amazing artwork makes this a must read.

 

The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis 

 

A shocking end to an amazing series. Garth Ennis is a genius.

Psycho

Psycho - Robert Bloch, Paul Michael Garcia

My first read for 2017 and a great way to start the year.

 

Everyone knows the story about Norman Bates and his mother issues but it was interesting to listen to the audio and view the story through a different medium. The narrator was William Hootkins and I whilst a couple of the character voices didn't work for me I thought he was creepy and disturbing as Norman/mother.

This is a very short book and it only took me just over three hours to finish the audiobook. The pacing is quick without being frenetic, the different povs giving balance to the storyline but it's Normans story that pulls you in. The story skips along nicely until the end and that's when it starts to get really creepy, the end scenes give new meaning to the word disturbing.

Classic horror that was great fun to read.

Currently reading

Mr. Mercedes: A Novel by Stephen King
Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko, Andrew Bromfield
Progress: 31%
Little Girls by Ronald Malfi
Progress: 40%
Serial Killers Uncut by J.A. Konrath, Jack Kilborn, Blake Crouch
Progress: 79%