Review of “Bad Sunset”, by Alex S. Johnson

Bad SunsetBad Sunset by Alex S. Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Malpuesta Del Sol, or Bad Sunset, is a true Bizarro novel in every sense of the word, and one that I hope readers and critics alike will hold high and show reverence to in the same manner that the Chinese revere Chairman Mao Tse-Tung’s “The Little Red Book”.
The genius of Alex S. Johnson is revealed in this book, which has taken over three years to write and refine. Who in their right mind would even consider weaving a tale comprised of elements such as a Wild West town; the second coming of Jesus Christ in the form of The Christo Kid; an Aztec death deity; a six thousand year-old mystic who rides around on a salamander and his student, Juan; Satan in the role of the Contessa, a flame-haired temptress; a saloon brawler with enough power in his punch to tear apart the fabric between the nine universes and set loose an unspeakable, nameless evil which in turn, raises the dead, and much, much more?
Did I fail to mention the copious amount of violence, gore, depraved sex performed upon every body orifice available, and the ingestion of sexual body fluids as a teaching aid and a method of expanding one’s understanding of the self and of cosmic consciousness? My apologies. I’m just so blown away by this masterpiece of fiction. I need to lie down and reflect further on what I’ve just read.
Outstanding, highly recommended and well deserving of five stars.

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Review of “Mountain Home”, by Bracken McLeod

Mountain HomeMountain Home by Bracken MacLeod

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Mountain Home” is a huge display firework of a novel, and the audience (you, the readers)are invited to watch the display that Bracken McLeod has painstakingly set up for us. The touch paper has been lit, and we’re all now just waiting for the inevitable explosion to happen.
It seems like it’s just another day at the “Your Mountain Home Kitchen”, until the owner of the house opposite the diner decides otherwise, unleashing an all-out assault on the building and its occupants, with deadly consequences.
We learn through flashbacks exactly what Joanie Myer, an ex-Air Force sniper has suffered, and why purchasing her dream home in the mountains was the last chance to bring peace into her life.
That plan to hold on to just one thing, something to keep her grounded and give her a chance to heal is short-lived, no thanks to an avaricious and vindictive property developer and Beau, his manager, who runs “Your Mountain Home Kitchen”.
Joanie is not going to surrender her home without a fight, and fighting is something she’s extremely good at, as those inside “Your Mountain Home Kitchen” are about to find out.
Brilliantly written, with well thought-out characters who really stand out from the “page”, and there are a few who I know you’ll dislike intensely, I assure you!
A wonderful debut novel that I highly recommend, one that is totally deserving of 5 stars.

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Review of “Six of the Best: A Hellish Half Dozen”, by Kevin G. Bufton

Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-DozenSix of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen by Kevin G. Bufton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Kevin Bufton’s debut collection of short stories features re-edited versions of stories previously included in other anthologies, and though I’ve not read the original versions, I can say in all honesty that reading this collection was an absolute delight!
The opening story, “Mother’s Milk” is a dark look at a young mother’s experience of delivering and living with a stillborn baby in an evacuated city apartment block, with no escape route and rapidly dwindling supplies. It’s heartbreaking.
“The Shoot” is the story of a journalist who, while interviewing a legendary masked wrestling star who has never before given an interview, learns the truth behind the wrestler’s anonymity – with dire consequences.
“53 Minutes” is an unusual zombie story, and apart from that little snippet of information, I’ll say no more, because I don’t want to spoil the readers’ enjoyment.
“Roots” is a great tale of what could happen when trouble comes rolling your way, but it’s not what you’d think!
“The Wren” would be a perfect tale for inclusion in one of the old Hammer films. It has a quality that reminds me of horror stories from the 60s and 70’s which, for me, was a golden age of horror. It has a shock value comparable to “The Wicker Man”.
“Hooked” is a nautical tale of a man’s search for retribution over the loss of his hand, and features the zombie in its classic form. Somehow, it reminded me of “Moby Dick”. Absolutely wonderful stuff!

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Review of “Discoredia”, by J.C. Michael

DiscorediaDiscoredia by J.C. Michael

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Written in a style reminiscent of Stephen King/Peter Straub collaborative novels “The Talisman” and “Black House”, “Discoredia” is a book that gets the heart pumping, and the pace increases, transporting the reader to a night out at a top-notch rave.
The characters are well-developed and typical of the kind of people one would expect to see frequenting a rave.
Dodgy business practices; drug dealing; gut-wrenching violence; murder; heroes; people you would happily punch in the face all day if you met them; ancient supernatural forces; a mysterious serial killer, and so many unfortunate, innocent victims. “Discoredia” has it all.
All of the elements in the book combine wonderfully to create a delicious and very deadly cocktail that has a mind-altering effect on the reader, not unlike the mysterious Pandemonium pills central to the story, and the New Year’s Eve finale is deserving of a screen adaptation.

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Review of “They Might Be Demons”, by Max Booth III

They Might Be DemonsThey Might Be Demons by Max Booth III

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Funnier than watching a sword swallower get the hiccups, more addictive than peanut butter cups, and far deadlier than accepting a drink of Kool-Aid from a guy called Jim Jones.
All of the above apply to Max Booth III’s book, “They Might Be Demons”, a collection of flash fiction, short stories and other oddities that will have you rolling in the aisles (and possibly the subject of exorcism by a Priest and his over-enthusiastic congregation if you happen to be reading it during a Catholic funeral).
To achieve maximum stimulation, the author recommends that the book be read while sitting on the toilet. Not wanting to miss out on something, I did indeed follow Max’s recommendation, and the experience was, in a word, cleansing.
A hearty 5 stars, with added fist pump.
What? I’ve not said anything in detail about any of the stories in the book? You’re damn right I haven’t! Buy a copy and find out what you’re missing out on.

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Review of “Dead of Eve”, by Pam Godwin

Dead of Eve (Trilogy of Eve, #1)Dead of Eve by Pam Godwin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wow! Pam Godwin can write, let me tell you!
I had no idea what to expect from this book, but within the first few minutes of reading, I couldn’t put it down!
It is a fantastic story of survival and hope for the future in a world ravaged by “Aphids”, the result of a terrorist attack on the world, delivered in the form of a virus that more or less wipes out humankind and replaces it with a race of genetically mutated insect people that roam the earth feeding off any and all who have managed to avoid contamination.
It is a deeply personal story, and we first see Evie as a woman in a state of complete self-neglect, wishing for her life to be over after losing her two children, but with the love and care of her husband, we see her not only nursed back to health, but transformed, and in more ways than you could possibly imagine!
This woman could be Batman! Eve is just awesome, and the book delivers masses of violence, gore, and graphic sex. She certainly knows how to fight, displaying expertise not only in the use of weapons, but also in Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai, boxing and Wing Chun kung fu.
There is a supernatural element to the story too, which I loved. Eve is able to see her dead children on occasion, and they seem to guide her, but towards what?
Read the book, folks, because I’ll say no more, other than that it deserves a 5 star rating, and I can’t wait to read the other two books in the trilogy.

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Review of “Uniquely Unwelcome”, by Brandy Nacole

Uniquely Unwelcome (The Shadow World, #1)Uniquely Unwelcome by Brandy Nacole

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Shadow World” series promises to be very interesting reading, if this first volume is anything to go by.
In “Uniquely Unwelcome”, we are introduced to Racquel, a young woman who has spent the last few years travelling around the world on a journey of self-discovery. She is the product of generations of mixed breeding between the most powerful beings in the Shadow World – part shifter, part vampire, part werewolf, and part witch.
Shunned by every species, including humans, Raquel returns home to find her half-sister has disappeared, along with a number of others from the Shadow World, including vampires, witches and werewolves. What malevolent force could possibly be behind all of these disappearances, and why is Racquel so central in the scheme of things?
Thus begins a mystery that takes Racquel around the world, accompanied by a handful of Shadow beings. It is a mystery that is the key to unlocking the true potential of Racquel’s powers – and her past!
This edited second edition is a vast improvement on the ARC that I originally received from the author, which I found to be horrendously clunky, to say the least!
The new version is a wonderful piece of editing; it’s like a completely different animal, and I’m eager to read the next book in the series.
Now I can say with confidence that it’s worthy of a 5 star rating.

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Review of “The Firebird”, by Bret Allen

The FirebirdThe Firebird by Bret Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Firebird” is a publishing test and is also the first publication by an author who shows great storytelling ability.
It is a fable and a fairy tale rolled into one, and is a delight to read, taking me back to younger days when absolutely everybody read books, because that, apart from going to see a movie, watching TV or listening to the radio was a primary source of entertainment.
It is the story of Ekaterina, a girl who makes what she believes to be good choices, only to find out that her choices could not have been any worse.
Wishing to be thought of as being as good as or better than the men when it comes to being a hunter, she sets out to kill the firebird, a creature of legend, meeting a variety of characters along the way who persuade her to give up certain aspects of herself in order to enhance her hunting abilities.
A great read, told in a natural style that makes the reader want more from the author.
The good news is that Bret has a collection of stories that he is currently editing which will be ready for publication in the New Year, so look out for “Splinters of Truth” early in 2014.

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Review of “The Daemon Whisperer” by Candice Bundy

The Daemon WhispererThe Daemon Whisperer by Candice Bundy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of “The Daemon Whisperer” from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Set in a future where government has failed and giant Corporations now vie against each other to gain a larger share of land, wealth and power, “The Daemon Whisperer” is the first volume in a series that delivers adventure, intrigue, paranormality, magic, daemons, heroes, romance, and a fair amount of steamy sex that is truly erotica.
What starts out as one girl’s quest for vengeance against the murder of her Summoner parents by an unknown daemon, it quickly becomes clear that Meriwether Storm’s world is about to change forever as she becomes embroiled in something that goes far deeper than she could ever imagine, and not only does she have to fight daemons, she has to fight to control her feelings for Azimuth, a daemon who promises to reveal the identity of her parents’ killer in return for her assistance in aiding his cabal in a mission of their own.
She joins the cabal and is soon fighting a battle on more than one front as she seeks to adjust to her new life as a “Liminal” while trying to destroy daemons belonging to a rival cabal, save the souls of countless Summoners and hold on to what remains of her own soul.
A fantastic beginning to what I know will be a huge success, and I can’t wait to read the second book of “The Liminals” series when it is published.
Highly recommended!

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Review of “On the Lips of Children”, by Mark Matthews

On the Lips of ChildrenOn the Lips of Children by Mark Matthews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance review copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I know that this book has both male and female leads who are marathon runners, but it has the pace of a world-class sprinter!
The opening epilogue is something I read quite a while ago, and it sickened me to the point where I thought “Wow! I need to read all of this book!”
Macon and Erin have travelled to San Diego with their 6 year-old daughter, Lyric, so that the girls can watch Macon run his first marathon.
Both Macon and Erin have their secrets and their demons, and have overcome them together, but now, as the three of them fall foul of a cannibalistic family who live in the tunnels originally dug by drug smugglers beneath the overpass, it becomes a race against time as they try to both survive and escape the drug-crazed Dante, his woman Lupita and their twin little horror, Q and T.
There is no lull in pace whatsoever in this book, and Mark Matthews delivers his tale with tremendous impact. From the epilogue, it shows just what a mother will do to look after her children.
Highly recommended!

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