Mini Reviews!

Hello fellow bloggers! I have a couple of mini reviews to share with you of books I read recently! They weren’t long enough for a full review so I’ve just done a few lines on each.

Kellie’s Diary #1 by Thomas Jenner.

Overall rating – 2 stars.

The story itself and how it was presented to us, reading a book in a diary format from a child’s perspective as they navigate the end of the world. It was a completely different take on the world ending trope. I will admit I did find it difficult to warm to Kellie (our narrator and child) for no other reason than I just felt she was a bit annoying…

There are other books in the series after this one, but I felt like it still cut off really abruptly and felt like a marketing ploy to get others to buy the next book.

I will say I was really bugged by this one once I reached the end of the book, the kindle version had a text only format at the end (the story was actually done as if written in a diary on lined paper, with childlike handwriting) and it made it feel as if the book was much longer.

The Killing Type by Jane Corry.

Overall rating – 2 stars.

My main issue with this book was it’s length, it could have easily been a longer story and had so much more value and quality to it.

No sooner had I started reading this book I guessed where it was going and how it would end, I feel if it was longer it wouldn’t have been so easy to do so, the author could have spent more time building up to the story, teasing us with little hints and comments.

The story itself was clever, the premise was good I just felt like it lacked that length to make it into a really good plot and book.

Until next time, Em xxx

Horror Stories, Various Authors – A Review.

Aloha my fellow book blogger pals! I’m here again with another (kinda late) October book review, and I’m really excited about this one as it was one of my favourites that I read!

Horror Stories by various authors.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

My review…

Going For A Walk by Ron Ripley. This one started us off with a bang, I literally had no idea what was going to happen in this one and it ended up being something completely different to what I expected, which I loved. The ending was brilliant. This was just an all around good story.

The Doctors Questions by Eric Whittle. Another one that I absolutely loved, it was so fast paced that whilst I feel like we didn’t stop but in a good way. The only criticism I have is that the ending was very ambiguous which frustrated me.

Urbex by David Longhorn. Urbex was somewhat of a disappointment for me, I figured out what the story within the first few sentences. That being said, it was very well written and cleverly done.

Museum Quality by Ron Ripley. This one actually made me feel physically sick. I was going to skip it to begin with but I’m so glad I stuck with it, it cleverly built up a story that got just under my skin and not in a good way…

Tell Me Your Name by A I Nasser. I really enjoyed this one even though it didn’t have the same scare factor as the others it was incredibly well written and still managed to make me feel unnerved.

His Neighbours Garden by Ron Ripley. Omg I adored this one! Even though I figured out a little bit of what was going on nothing could prepare me for the ending, it shocked me to my core. I think this one was my favourite story from the collection.

The Sin Eater by David Longhorn. This one was a close second to be my favourite. The story itself was original, well written and I loved how it let us make our own assumptions at the end…

Kimberley by Sara Clancy. I had goosebumps from start to finish whilst I read this story. Every line I read I got more and more on edge and creeped out. The atmosphere that was built up was brilliant, I cannot fault this story.

Scarecrow by A I Nasser. Again, I enjoyed this one it had a sort of mature rated goosebumps feel to it which I really liked. It kept my attention throughout and I definitely didn’t want it to end!

Graveyard Shift. I’m quite disappointed with this one, I figured out the story from the beginning and it felt really rushed compared to the other stories which is super annoying because it didn’t have the same feel and atmosphere as the rest of them.

On the whole, I really loved these stories! They all brought something different but managed to maintain the same quality pretty much right the way through with an exception or two.

Let me know if you’ve read this book as I would love to know what you thought about it!

Em xxx

Mini reviews!

Sleeping Beauti by D B Green and A K Steen. Published December 2019.

I wanted to enjoy this book so much, it sounded absolutely amazing from the description. Individually, each section of this book was excellent, but when you put them together to form a story it didn’t gel. I felt confused by Rose and Philip to begin with and then even more so later in the story, which definitely did not help with the lack of gelling.

Sleeping Beauti had all the makings of a good story, and I do think it would have been better had the story been longer and allowed the author to expand more on the background, which would have enhanced the story. 

Secrets on Sale by Willow Morgan. Published September 2020.

I don’t want to sound horrible but I’m just going to say this… I hated this story.

There were far too many people introduced to us in such a short space of time, which made it incredibly difficult to keep up with and to know what was going on. Which was made worse when the plot was all over the place and seemed to at one point focus on something entirely different to the end game.

And the “romance” aspect was just downright unnecessary in the grand scheme of the book…

It’s hard with a short story, I find, to get the balance between including enough and then including too much. There has to be a good plot but that also has to be well developed within the few pages the author is allowing themselves, something I felt neither of these books did well.

Until next time, Em xxx

NETGALLEY – It Came from the Multiplex, various authors – A Review.

It Came from the Multiplex by various authors. Published 15.9.2020 by Hex Publishers. Provided by NetGalley.

Synopsis… Welcome to tonight’s feature presentation, brought to you by an unholy alliance of our spellcasters at Hex Publishers and movie-mages at the Colorado Festival of Horror. Please be advised that all emergency exits have been locked for this special nostalgia-curdled premiere of death. From crinkling celluloid to ferocious flesh—from the silver screen to your hammering heart—behold as a swarm of werewolves, serial killers, Satanists, Elder Gods, aliens, ghosts, and unclassifiable monsters are loosed upon your auditorium. Relax, and allow our ushers to help with your buckets of popcorn—and blood; your ticket stubs—and severed limbs; your comfort candy—and body bags. Kick back and scream as you settle into a fate worse than Hell. Tonight’s director’s cut is guaranteed to slash you apart“.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

My review…

A huge thank you to Hex Publishers and NetGalley for my ARC of this book, I requested it after reading the synopsis and I didn’t think I’d be approved as my feedback ratio was so low but the book gods smiled down!

It Came from the Multiplex was amazing, a horror anthology with an 80s horror theme flowing through, and featured so many stories that just got under my skin and they were so cleverly done.

There were a couple of stories I didn’t read and I did rate the book 4 stars because of that and some formatting issues that frustrated me.

I moved past it though and enjoyed every second of this read.

Alien Parasite from Outer Space by Warren Hammond. I loved this one so much, it was the perfect opener for what was to come! The ending came from no where, I did not expect it at all.

Return of the alien parasites from Outer Space by Angie Hodapp. This was a continuation of the first story, it wasn’t as good as the first but it was cracking continuation.

Negative Creep by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro. This short story was SO GOOD, I just loved how it progressed and the ending was brilliant. I just wish the actual monster within this story was explained in a bit more detail instead of being so mysterious.

Helluloid by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore. I actually thought this was the best of the bunch, which it was hard to pick just one! But I had literal goosebumps throughout this book. Everything came together in the end but still left just enough to mystify us with the final line…

Rise Ye Vermin by Betty Rocksteady. I’m really glad this book had a sort of happy ending, especially compared to all the others I’d read. It did make me feel ill at points though, like parts it of were vomit worthy for me.

The Cronenberg Concert by Keith Ferrell. This one really took me by surprise, I did not see the ending coming at all and all I will say this one got under my skin…

Creature Feature by Gary Jonas. This one came a very close second to my favourite of this little series. The whole story and the way it was portrayed and written was amazing, and it had the best ending EVER.

Invisible by Mario Acevdeo. This one got a bit weird for me and I struggled to see the point to it, like the actual story line, it wasn’t the best of the bunch.

Screen Haunt by Orrin Grey. I think my initial feelings on this book were just erm what? I was hooked instantly and I loved how the story progressed but then the ending just completely ruined this for me and I felt it didn’t relate to the rest of the story at all.

The Devils Reel by Sean Eads and Joshua Viola. DNFR.

On The Rocks by K Nicole Davis. OKAY so this one had so much potential and I think it disappointed me that it didn’t live up to it. I guessed almost straight away what was going on and I wish that the author had focused on a different aspect if she was going make it so obvious what was going on.

Coming Attractions by Stephen Graham Jones. I’m in two minds about this one, while I did enjoy it I had to read some parts a few times just to understand what was going on. Definitely not the best of the bunch.

Late Sleepers by Steve Rasnic Tem. Again, I enjoyed this one it just didn’t really stand out for me.

Special Make Up by Kevin J Anderson. DNFR.

And there are my reviews for It Came From The Multiplex. As always thank you so much to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC!

Until next time, Em xxx

Mini Reviews!

Hey everyone! Here are a selection of mini reviews for short stories I read during July. I’ll put their title, author and length, along with a short description prior to the review of them.

Turn Her Face to the Wall by William Hussey. 45 pages on Kindle.

Synopsis… Turn Her Face to the Wall is a free short story so chilling, it is sure to leave your blood running cold. In this creepy tale, the twist comes with the very last word…

I was so excited to read this story no sooner had I read the first couple of pages, Hussey really builds up our intrigue from the get go. The story builds up perfectly and you can feel the emotions written on the page.

The ending was wild, I was not expecting it and the twist was left until the very last sentence, we were kept on edge until the last second and even then, we were still left wondering exactly what happened.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

The Garage by J Dispenza. 27 pages on Kindle.

Synopsis… “It’s 1996 and high school sweethearts, Zoe and Stefano, are enjoying a valentine’s night in when Zoe realizes she is about to miss her midnight curfew. Worried about losing her car privileges, she jumps into her Ford Escort and begins the long and dark drive home. Meanwhile, Stefano is caught off guard by a troubling psychic premonition of blood – lots of blood. As the clock ticks down to midnight, Zoe comes to the bone-chilling realization that she has a bigger problem than answering to her strict father about the time. Will Zoe and Stefano survive the night?”

In such a short space of story the author definitely built up the suspense and had us questioning every little thing! In the end, it turned out to be something so completely different to what we expected that I think I’m still digesting what happened.

I honestly expected this to be like so many urban legends I’ve read so I was pleasantly surprised with how this one turned out! The ending was just CRAZY.

The only criticism I have is that we didn’t really get introduced to Zoe, who the story focused around, and we were left to imagine her in our own mind. I feel the author could have taken an extra few lines to describe her.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Mini Reviews!

What Em's Reading (4)

Hey guys, doing two little mini reviews of some short stories I read. The reason they’re mini reviews is that they were literally tiny, but I still wanted to review them. 

I read Treehouse by J Sharpe and Dark Web by Kelvin Teo. 

Treehouse review – I know this book was a short story but it was literally 2 or 3 pages? The idea was so good, and I did get goosebumps just reading the short passages. But, it would need to be expanded upon to warrant a story, it was more of a short creepy pasta!

Dark Web review – This story had so much potential! I really enjoyed what was written and the author did really well to fit everything in but I just wish it wasn’t so cut off at the end – it could have continued just a few more pages! 

So there we have 2 very mini reviews to go with the very mini books that I read. Hope you enjoyed them and let me know if you’ve read either of these and what you thought. 

Em xxx

Night Shift, Stephen King – A Review. [LOTS OF SPOILERS].

What Em's Reading (4)

Hey everyone and welcome to my blog! Over the past 4 or 5 days, I’ve been treating myself to the delights of some of Stephen King’s short stories, from his Night Shift collection. I skipped a few that I just wasn’t interested in reading and then rated the rest individually.

Buckle up cos we’re in it for the long haul now!!!

I have a hardback copy of this book, and inside the cover, it says… “In the stories that follow you will encounter all manner of night creatures… None of them are real. The thing under my bed… isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle” which instantly drew me to reading this collection.

The order these stories are reviewed is the order I read them, and without any more of me rambling, let’s get into the reviews…

  • Graveyard Shift – 4 out of 5 stars. I literally hate rats, so this story was beyond creepy for me, the thought of mutant rodents? NO THANK YOU.
  • Night Surf – 4 out of 5 stars. I was intrigued by this one more than scared, the opening line really caught my attention and I do wish it was longer so we could delve further into this virus that they appear to have.
  • I Am the Doorway – 5 out of 5 stars. Wowzers, I did not see this one coming, it was the perfect weave of curiosity and eeriness that kept you hanging on a cliff edge…
  • The Mangler – 5 out of 5 stars. I had a rough idea of this story already before I read it, but nothing could prepare me for the thought of a demon possessed mangler. I think because it was a household item that made it feel all the scarier, plus the descriptions of how it was mangling people, grim.
  • The Bogeyman – 5 out of 5 stars. “All I did was kill my kids” and I’m not going to lie, I was waaaay off with this one, I thought he made up the Bogeyman because he was beating his wife/kids, NOPE, the shock of my life at the end! I kind of closed the book and just sat there for a few seconds digesting what I had read lmao.
  • Gray Matter – 5 out of 5 stars. For the sheer disgustingness (is that a word??? I guess so Grammarly didn’t pick it up) of the blob described, and whilst the ending left us on a cliffhanger it also seemed like THE perfect way to round off the story.
  • Sometimes They Come Back – 5 out of 5 stars. This was sheer terror for me, this is what I want from a short story, I want to be scared! And I was, I had a nightmare after reading this story…
  • The Ledge – 3.5 out of 5 stars. This one was kind of a let down for me after the high quality of the others, it just didn’t feel so scary. Maybe I’ve read too many other things similar but I just didn’t enjoy it that much compared to the others.
  • The Lawnmower Man – 4 out of 5 stars. I was eating my lunch while I read this story and let me tell you it nearly came back up again 😦 I honestly felt sick reading this, not out of fear but sheer disgust at the guy eating the grass? NAH.
  • Quitters Inc – 5 out of 5 stars. WOW, I mean it’s a pretty simple premise about aversion therapy, but the line where he shakes the hand of McCann’s wife, it got me…
  • I know what you need – 3 out of 5 stars. This one seemed a bit flat compared to the others, to me it just didn’t make that much sense at the end? And I felt quite disappointed after I finished reading it, almost like I would have ended it differently.
  • The Man Who Loved Flowers – 4 out of 5 stars. I genuinely did not see this coming, at all. But when it hit me (pardon the pun – if you’ve read it you’ll understand) I was shook. And then it clicked in my head a line earlier in the book, about a man attacking with a hammer, who hadn’t yet been found and the seed had been planted on the very first page but it was never obvious it was him!
  • The Last Rung on the Ladder – 5 out of 5 stars. For me, this was by far the most poignant story in the book. After an accident when they were younger involving a ladder and a broken ankle it just goes to show how we get so caught up in our own lives (not intentionally) and then we miss catching up with family or friends who need us. It really made me think.
  • The Woman in the Room – 2 out of 5 stars. I’m really sad that I read this last as I thought it was shit, I’m not sure if I was spoilt with the other stories or it just wasn’t as good but it never really got going, which was disappointing.

There are a few that I skipped, including Children of the Corn (I did try and read it but I was so damn tired I fell asleep halfway through soooo). 

On the whole, I really enjoyed the short stories in Night Shift, some of them were downright creepy and others were just excellent pieces of storytelling. My overall rating… 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Have you read any of the short stories in Night Shift? Let me know, I’d be keen to hear what you thought. Em xx