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Saturday, December 20, 2014
REVIEW: LA BELLE FEMME by Aine Greaney This is the second time I've been privileged to read an Aine Greaney story published by the illustrious Pixel Hall Press, and I continue to be a convert to Ms. Greaney' s style and substance. LA BELLE FEMME is a short story of four individuals in two marriages, their selfishness and foibles, their inability to see beyond the force field concealing their individual consciousness, and the ineffectual ways they struggle on, blaming others and avoiding assumption of responsibility. I couldn't elicit much sympathy, but in the end, both of the wives do act to change themselves and their situations.
Friday, December 19, 2014
REVIEW: DAIMONES (DAIMONES TRILOGY BOOK ONE) by Massimo Marino A really scary apocalyptic novel which interleaves metaphysics, science, and science fiction, with contemporary events--especially the bird and wildlife mass deaths occurring globally over the last several years. Eventually, not only animal species are extinguished; but, literally overnight, almost all humans are also. All that remain are a few individuals, the Selected. I don't remember an apocalyptic story this hair-raising since my first reading of Philip Wylie' s TOMORROW! over five decades ago.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
REVIEW: WALKING THE LABYRINTH by Lisa Goldstein "Magic, magic, all is magic--" or so the reader feels of this very magical (in so many senses) tale. Stage magic is basically illusion, sleight-of-hand, trickery of the observer's eye; but then, so are con games like three-card Monte and shell games. Interpersonal con artists use illusion too, as do Faery, and with them it's called Glamour. All that brings us to the elusive (definitely, "now you see them, now you don't) Allalie Family: brother Callan, sisters Fentrice and Thorne (and aren't these just magical names?) In 1935, a local reporter tried to interview this illustrious family of stage illusionists, walked away with this conclusion: "Truth? Lies?" Sixty years later, Molly, granddaughter of Callan, orphaned as a toddler, raised by Fentrice, is abruptly accosted by a alleged private detective, about details of the family she doesn't know: all is concealed behind a veil of illusion, and perhaps--chicanery.
REVIEW: REINDEER DUST by Kate Dwyer Glowing with holiday cheer and goodwill, REINDEER DUST demonstrates the value of intuition and determination, of teamwork and cooperation, and a beautiful thematic: "I will always believe." Families will enjoy sharing the story, illustrations, and recipe.
REVIEW: HOW SANTA MET THE ELFS A delightfully new perspective on Santa's companions, HOW SANTA MET THE ELFS is a heartwarming addition to holiday stories. This is a good gift for readers who love science, meteorite lore, and extraterrestrials galore.
REVIEW: THE PACT by George Mahaffey Classic horror with twists! In the tiny Appalachian community of Furnace Creek, there are worse dangers than driving drunk off a mountain ridge or hypothermia in the winters. SOMETHING is out there in the woods, and it's not bears or bobcats. It wants sacrifices, and it takes whenever it can. Then begins the cover-up: closed caskets containing boulders, cause of Death announced as vehicular accident, hunting, heart attack, etc. Chris was sent away by his mother when he was small, and raised away. He returns only for his dear cousin's funeral. But Jack is not in his coffin, nor is Chris' late mother Beth in hers. THE PACT is a hair-raiser: read only with the doors locked and the lights on.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
REVIEW: THE GIRL FROM THE WELL by Rin Chupeco A lyrical and literary excursion along the paths of the Other Side, through the first-person narrative of Okiku, a centuries-dead murdered spirit who spends eternity releasing murdered victims from the killers to whom they are attached. She leads a purposeful but singularly lonesome existence, until she encounters Tarquin, a tattooed, demon-ridden, adolescent, and discovers she has another cause.
REVIEW: MENTION MY NAME IN ATLANTIS by John Jakes A riproaring science fiction fantasy tribute to legendary author Robert E. Howard, whose Conan the Barbarian stories are beloved of so many rapt readers, MENTION MY NAME IN ATLANTIS features barbarian Conax the Chimerical and the hapless Hopter whose first-person narrative memoir is the modus OF the story. If you've ever pondered the end of Atlantis, check this version out.
Monday, December 15, 2014
REVIEW: GHOST CAMERA by Darcy Coates An intriguingly vivid Supernatural about hungry, angry, ghosts; a failed, though widely-praised, paranormal investigator; and a pair of long-time best friends, GHOST CAMERA will have you checking that only.digital cameras are in your home! The theme here is dissimilar to the prior treatments I'd read or seen, when such a cursed camera either photographs those whose death is imminent, or causes the photographed to die soon. This active little Polaroid is quite different; it parts the veil between living and dead. Go ahead and find out.
REVIEW: VAGRANTS Some years back I read David Morrell' s excellent novel CREEPERS, which effectively introduced the practice of Urban Creeping, in which intrepid (or foolish) individuals (often, but not always, university students) explore abandoned function of the urban landscape: subway tunnels, ex-factories, subterranean tunnels under hospitals, etc. The "Seekers" who have such an important role in this story are similar, except that they pursue a "prophet" calling himself Mordecai, who promises the imminent return of the subterranean-dwelling Old Gods. Add a sometimes-failing hero, his dad and girlfriend, and a sadistic Irish criminal clan. Prepare to be quite thoroughly frightened.