Book Reviews M-O

TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey


This is the first book I’ve read by D.E. McCluskey and it won’t be the last. TimeRipper is a wonderfully inventive tale involving time travel and Jack the Ripper, with believable characters, great pacing, and plenty of twists and turns. A blend of science fiction and thriller, it’s probably not something I would have picked up, but I’m very glad I did. I look forward to diving into more of the author’s work very soon. Buy UK and US

Dragon’s Trail by Joseph Malik



Dragon’s Trail tells the story of Jarrod, a former Olympic saber, who is pulled out of the modern world as he knows it, finding himself somewhere very different…somewhere medieval. Jarrod is to be the hero, stop a magical war, and stay alive in two very different worlds. In a story filled with sorcerers, warriors, and elves, Malik brings fight scenes to life, making the reader feel as though they are there, almost smelling the blood, hoping Jarrod and his team live to see another day. An epic read.  Buy UK and US

The New Magic by Joseph Malik



I couldn’t wait to read the sequel to Dragon’s Trail! I needed to know how the hero, Jarrod, was living in the new world he had fought to protect. But wait…the war isn’t over. Jarrod and his new friends have another mission, another war. Malik’s book is a must-read. I felt suspicious about every new character that Jarrod came to meet, every fight scene had me twitching in my seat, and a few times I felt I was going to lose Jarrod for good. I truly enjoyed this crazy, magical journey Malik sent me on. I hope there will be a third book… Buy UK and US

The Crimson Curse by William McCorbin



Crimson Curse tells the story of two police inspectors investigating a series of mysterious suicides, and a possible link to a Voodoo priest. The author blends a quick paced story with witty dialogue, and sinister undertones. The reader is drawn in as the body count rises and the police draw closer to solving the case. Buy UK and US

The Pagoda by Shane McIntire


the Pagoda

The Pagoda by Shane McIntire is a beautiful novel, and one of the most well written stories I have read recently. It tells the story of a young woman in Japan, who goes in search of her father who left the family home a few days prior. The book is compelling, eerie throughout, and completely absorbing. The author skilfully blends genuine characters with a supernatural, demonic theme, set in beautiful surroundings. This is the first I have read from McIntire, and I’ll be sure to check out more in the future. Highly recommended.  Buy UK and US

Pandemonium by JC Michael



Pandemonium is set on New Years Eve, at a new rave club, where things don’t go to plan for those attending. The author gives a believable portrayal of rave culture, as clubbers from across the country make their way to Discoredia for the end of year party. Throw in an other-worldly creature with a batch of spiked pills, and read how the biggest club night of the year descends into Pandemonium. Chaos soon ensues, with much blood shed, graphic violence, and generally crazy behaviour! Pandemonium was a fun read, quick-paced, and thoroughly entertaining. Perhaps a perfect read for this New Years?  Buy UK and US

You Only Get One Shot by Kevin J. Kennedy & J.C. Michael



This was a really enjoyable, very original story. You Only Get One Shot is a clever way of bringing a collection of short stories together and adding a frightening connection between them all. A real pleasure to read, and strongly recommended to all horror fans, and those looking for a book with real originality. Buy UK and US

Church by Renee Miller



Church tells the story of a cult, portraying the predatory nature of cult leaders and the susceptibility of their followers to be brainwashed. The story was gripping, (I read it in one sitting), and I could really envisage the setting and the characters. The torture was perfectly placed, without excessive gore, and presented a believable way that such a ‘leader’ would try to convert people to the way of thinking that he desired. Overall, a great read. Buy UK and US

Higher Learning by Renee Miller


higher learning

Higher Learning is a short story, available in limited edition chapbook format direct from the publisher’s website. Having read other work from Miller in the past, I was excited to check out this one. I won’t give too much away, but the writing was superb, and the story was filled with tension from the outset. If creepy children frighten you, then this story is definitely for you. Buy here

Swarm by Anthony Morgan-Clark


Anthony Morgan-Clark Swarm Cover

Swarm by Anthony Morgan-Clark is a very enjoyable story, centring around an outbreak at a research laboratory in the English countryside, and the efforts made to try to contain it. The author balances mystery and intrigue with a dose of horror, as the events quickly unfold. Fast paced, and well written. Buy UK and US

Last Stop to Saskatoon by Tony Nesca



Last Stop to Saskatoon is described as an “unadulterated, uncensored, stream of consciousness protest against the state of the world” and that perfectly summarises it. I hadn’t read a lot of the lyrical, free-flowing style of writing that both Tony and Nicole use before reading Howls from the Underground, but it is a form of writing which I am becoming fond of. Saskatoon reads as a continuous stream of thought, well written, and conveying meaningful protests about the current state of the world. Buy UK and US

Let it Bleed by Nicole Nesca


let it bleed

Let it Bleed is a collection of poetry and prose, often written in a free-flowing, street lyric style. Nesca is a talented writer, pouring emotion into each piece of writing. As with Howls from the Underground, there is a uniqueness to the style of writing, and again I found the pieces in this book both fascinating and impressive, as the author contemplates life, love, and losses. Buy UK and US

The House That Evil Made by Sarah Northwood


evil house

This is a short story and is a beautifully descriptive tale. Both captivating and terrifying, The House That Evil Made is a wonderful short story that any horror reader would enjoy. It is hard to review short stories without giving too much away, but this one comes highly recommended. Buy UK and US

Hag’s Breath by S. P. Oldham



Hag’s Breath is a collection of tales which feature witches and, after having read the excellent Wakeful Children by the same author, I was looking forward to getting started on this one. Witches aren’t usually my thing, but this collection may have changed my mind. The Witch’s Kiss was my favourite story, but each tale was well written and intriguing. Oldham has managed to put together several stories with a central theme but create enough diversity in the plots to keep the book interesting. Buy UK and US

The Dragon Had Wings by S.P. Oldham



WOW! If you love adventure and dragons then this is the book for you. Young Crystin is forced to flee her home after her mother, The Dragon Queen, is overthrown and murdered by her own guards, known as The Six. This evil bunch will do anything to capture Crystin, knowing she is the next in line to be The Dragon Queen. Crystin has to go through hell before she can return home to Carreg Tan and take back what is rightfully hers. This book was a fantastic, action-packed read and had me wanting more. Buy UK and US

Wakeful Children by S P Oldham



Wakeful Children is a collection of eleven short stories and is the first I have read from this author. I read a lot of anthologies and collections of shorts, and it is unusual for me to thoroughly enjoy every one if the stories. Wakeful Children was an exception. The first story, Joe Gallows, was more brutal than I had expected, and is probably my favourite if I had to choose one, closely followed by The Orchard, and The Face of the Gale. All in all, Wakeful Children is a fantastic collection, beautifully written, completely absorbing, and highly recommended. Buy UK and US