A Night at the Dream Theater by Mark Taylor

A Night at the Dream Theater by Mark Taylor

A Night at the Dream Theater by Mark Taylor

ASIN: B06VSBR1CS

ISBN-10: 1943755183

ISBN-13: 978-1943755189

Publisher: Eleventh Hour Literary Press, 2017

 

Mark Taylor transports the reader to a whole new world…of our possible future. He builds the scene and culture from top to bottom, shoves the reader in, and then shakes them senseless with a mind-bending experience.

 

Damien is addicted to what Total Entertainment offers, but his wife doesn’t like it. He doesn’t listen to her concerns and keeps giving in to the desires only Total Entertainment, with its simulated experiences, can fulfill.

Leander is a man who finds himself without employ. In the futuristic society he lives in this means he’s without a home, food, money, or any kind of social status. In less than a day he becomes human trash with a single box of random items from his life. No one will help him, not even his family.

With the few possessions Leander has, he is able to barter a place to sleep for a few nights, while he seeks new employ. During this time, he meets and makes friends with a man named Charles (a.k.a. Chimp).

Chimp tells Leander that Total Entertainment is hiring, if he can’t find employ elsewhere, and heads off to procure a job there.

After Leander exhausts his last option – an ex-girlfriend who lives on the fringes of society – he follows up on the tip from Chimp.

Leander gets a job at Total Entertainment, in the Consternation department. His odd and surreal dreams are harvested for people like Damien to enjoy as entertainment. But with his new job comes complications more powerful than he could have ever imagined.

Together Leander and Chimp try to survive the crazy culture and lifestyle Total Entertainment provides…since their contracts with the company are absolute.

 

Mark Taylor is one of my favorite Indie authors. He has the ability to write creative works that make you think deeper about yourself and the world around you. So, in a way, I’m crying inside a little as I write this review, since there are some negative things about this title I have to consider and that affect my rating.

I’ll start with the things I like about the book… The world the author creates is clear. It’s set in a future world with new technology and a more controlled culture. The language used to achieve this was clear as far as portraying the environment and the consequences of social nonconformity.

Secondly, the main character, Leander, is being robbed of his dreams and his sleep by his job. At points in the book, I thought there were missing scene breaks to clearly mark when the character was in reality and when the character was in one of his “awakenings.” But, the more I read, the more I realized it was brilliantly designed to blur dream and reality, because the character himself, as his mind broke, didn’t know if he was in a dream or in reality. This odd and interesting format allowed me, as the reader, to take the confusing journey of the character’s broken psyche on a personal level. The confusion and frustration was creatively translated.

Now, for the downfalls of the book… There were many, many missing, extra, and wrong words in the book. The editing was horrible! So horrible, that I will never read anything from the publisher again. And I’m blaming the publisher and their editing because I’ve read many of Mark Taylor’s other works (some self-published) and they all had better editing and quality than what was presented in this book.

Also, the Damien storyline wasn’t completed. It just stops in the late middle of the book with no conclusion. The reader never finds out what happens between Damien and his wife or why she disliked him going to Total Entertainment. It’s hinted that the experiences change him, but there’s never an explanation. This makes me feel the character and his bit of story could have been left out altogether; it brought no value or meaning to the pages.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS.

2Q

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Muti Nation by Monique Snyman

muti-nation-cover

Muti Nation by Monique Snyman

Muti Nation by Monique Snyman

ASIN: B01H63QO1W

ISBN-10: 0692741674

ISBN-13: 978-0692741672

Publisher: Omnium Gatherum Media, 2016

 

Monique Snyman takes her readers on a bloody ride through the horrors of muti and dark magic in South Africa. She shines a bright light on the brutality some will inflict…just to have power.

 

Esmé Snyders is an occult-crime investigator. She is called in to examine scenes brutality painted on the world using the blood of innocents.

She knows someone is inflicting pain and mutilating the bodies of their victims for power, but she doesn’t understand the scope of what she’s up against. She doesn’t understand that she has been targeted by the man who is using muti to become a god on Earth.

Esmé is attacked by unseen…things in her own home, but she doesn’t let that scare her away from hunting down the truth.

Her love life gets in the way of her handling things, but it doesn’t stop her from finding the answers she’s looking for.

 

Monique Snyman knows how to get her hands bloody, and she has no qualms finger painting her readers’ brains with her dark visions. She pulls no punches, and I love and respect her for that. After all, that’s what the horror genre is all about.

Muti Nation was a fun read, and I enjoyed it, but there were a couple things that bugged me. The main character, Esmé was referred to as an “expert” multiple times, but I didn’t feel she did any real “experting” in the book. She seems somewhat knowledgeable and capable, but that’s about all.

There were sections of the book that were nothing but news reports with social media comments and victim interviews. I personally didn’t care for them, since they weren’t directly connected to the actual story as far as something the characters were doing. The characters didn’t sit down and read the reports or anything. So, for me, it was jarring. But, if you’re going to do something like that in a book, it was done well. I consider this a personal preference issue, since others might not mind it at all.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS.

2Q

The Klinik by Eric Dimbleby

The Klinik by Eric Dimbleby

The Klinik by Eric Dimbleby

 

The Klink by Eric Dimbleby

ASIN: B00AH85TLA

ISBN-10: 1615728112

ISBN-13: 978-1615728114

Publisher: Damnation Books, LLC

 

Eric Dimbleby’s healthcare system will take you well beyond co-pays and medical insurance; it defies the very idea that medical establishments and professionals are there to help and heal.

 

When Ken has an accident playing sports with his friends, he has to limp home to his pregnant wife. She takes him to a new health clinic in the area that is odd.

After treatment is not viable because of faulty machinery, they flee and go to the local hospital.

A short while later, the bills from the strange new clinic start to arrive…and then the harassment begins.

No matter how they fight the inflated charges they’re being billed for, Ken and his wife get sucked deeper and deeper into the horror and unconventional operations of The Klinik.

 

I always enjoy the dark and horrific tales Eric Dimbleby spins. This one didn’t disappoint. We all hate the healthcare system for one reason or another, but it will never be as bad as the system portrayed in this book. The book is complex, disturbing, and makes you scared to go get treatment.

There are a few editing issues, but nothing super horrible.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q

Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

Monstrosities by Jeremy C. Shipp

ASIN: B00EQESHAQ

Publisher: Attic Clown Press

 

Jeremy C. Shipp takes readers on a dark adventure in his playfully twisted imagination.

 

Monstrosities is a short story collection of ten stories: Figs, The Tunnel, Almost Paradise, Worms, The Little Glass Soul, Clown Hands, Cold, Flesh and Blood, Buried, and Googly.

Figs: A man is haunted by someone from his past.

The Tunnel: A man goes on a “trippy” voyage through a tunnel.

Almost Paradise: Halloween means different things to different people. To some, it’s the freedom to let their darkness out.

Worms: Sometimes, no matter how comfortable someone tries to make one feel, it’s not as good as the real thing.

The Little Glass Soul: Fairytales are usually a happily-ever-after affair, but not this time.

Clown Hands: A man’s body turns against him with other personalities and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Cold: An intense re-enactment turns into revenge.

Flesh and Blood: Sometimes flesh and blood are the price you have to pay for something you want.

Buried: A misguided man tries to rid the world of those he believes are soiling humanity with their existence.

Googly: A young man goes through his parents’ right of passage to survive.

 

This is the first I’ve sampled Jeremy C. Shipp’s writing; he is insanely imaginative, literally! The stories in this collect are bizarre and unique – I don’t you’ll find anything like them somewhere else. The collection is well written. The only thing I didn’t really care for was that some of the endings were a bit too vague.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q

White Out by Eric Dimbleby

White Out by Eric Dimbleby

White Out by Eric Dimbleby

White Out by Eric Dimbleby

ASIN: B00LGFX028

ISBN-10: 1925047938

ISBN-13: 978-1925047936

Publisher: Severed Press

 

Eric Dimbleby enjoys twisting a sick web of horror for his readers that stays with them long after they read his tales.

 

The world is coming to a slow, frozen end. Few people are left alive to deal with it and the other survivors – the ones who don’t want to get along and play nice.

Violence and death fall upon those who aren’t prepared to do what’s necessary. Some are forced to…

A woman is trapped at work and wants to get home to her husband and son, but she can’t. Not without the help of a man who would rather keep her all to himself.

They manage to make it a few miles in the snow, only to be attacked.

She has to find the darkness inside herself to survive if she ever wants to see her son again.

Meanwhile…a man who has vile intentions takes up residency in her home, with her family.

Will anything be left if she does manage to make it home alive?

 

This book shows the twisted darkness that lives inside those we don’t want to think about – the bad people who are evil for no reason, or just for the pleasure of hurting others. In that way, it’s excellent. I would have liked to see more strength in the seemly bipolar, weak-willed female that is the center of this tale; it would have gone a long way in making her more interesting overall. There are many, many grammar issues with this title, but it’s still worth the read.

I give this book: 2Q

2Q

Poisoned Web by Crista McHugh

Poisoned Web by Crista McHugh

Poisoned Web by Crista McHugh

Poisoned Web (Diezian Empire Book 2) by Crista McHugh

ASIN: B00GKZNFZ6

ISBN-10: 1940559995

ISBN-13: 978-1940559995

Publisher: Crista McHugh

 

Crista McHugh rockets readers into her created world with style and grace.

 

A slave assists the investigator who is helping her mistress uncover the secrets of poison and murder. They dig deep into the past and a forbidden culture that holds not only the answers, but countless dangers for many.

Their investigation turns up way more than they planned on, but will they find the answers in time to save the life of their current emperor?

 

This book was interesting and the characters were relatable. I could tell where the story was going, but I still enjoyed the journey. There was plenty of conflict to build tension and a satisfying resolution. There were some grammar mistakes, but nothing overly major that took away from the story.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q

Spoil of War by Phoenix Sullivan

Spoil of War by Phoenix Sullivan

Spoil of War by Phoenix Sullivan

ASIN: B004UH7Z7U

Publisher: Dare To Dream Press

 

Elsbeth loses everything she has ever held dear when her home falls to the enemy in a war. She finds herself at the mercy of men she despises. Her freedom is lost.

While in captivity, she sees the powerlessness of herself and her people in graphic and disgustingly brutal detail.

Over time, she accepts her fate and falls in love with the king that holds her as his personal property and prisoner. But things never go as planned, and when a strange man comes to the castle while the king is away and takes an unwelcome liking to her, it leads her to do things that result in her suffering more abuse at the hands of cruel men.

Will she ever find freedom and happiness again? In a world where a woman is nothing more than property of men?

 

I struggled to decide if the main character was stupid or just so damn spirited she wanted to make life harder on herself. I found some of her self-made conflict over the top (but she was a redhead…). I also found that no matter where she turned she was being used sexually or flat out raped the entire book. I know that at the time period women were used with no thought as to their comfort or desire, but shouldn’t there have at least been a couple decent men around? The king was about halfway decent, but that was the closest any man in the title was to having a heart.

Despite all of that, the time period was believable, as were a majority of the characters. I did like the book, and although there were some grammar mistakes, they were few and far between.

 

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q