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

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The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

 

The Red Empire and Other Stories by Joe McKinney

ISBN-10: 0984751904

ISBN-13: 978-0984751907

ASIN: B006S3FB52

Publisher: Redrum Horror

 

Joe McKinney grabs ahold of his readers and pulls them inside his stories. He makes sure he carries you along in his worlds so that the one around you fades away.

The Red Empire and Other Stories is made up of eight stories. I’ll comment briefly on each:

Story One – The Red Empire: The first story of the collection is the longest. It’s based on a military experiment that gets unleashed on the public. At the same time, a convict escapes. A young woman and her daughter (who just had surgery on her eyes) have to deal with both. Luckily for them, one of their new neighbors cares enough to make sure they’re okay.

Story Two – Blemish: A man is haunted by a choice from his past. He didn’t step in when he knew that one of his old girlfriends was being abused by her new boyfriend. She ended up dead. He sees the dead girl’s ghost…from time to time, and this costs him his sanity and his job. The regret and guilt over knowing he could have done something about it eats up his entire life. He meets back up with his main girlfriend from college who always seems to be taking care of him, but her dad dies, and for once he has to step up and take care of her. They decide in the end, that it’s best if they take care of each other.

Story Three – Cold Case: A man who is joining the police force is awed by the pictures and stories of past servicemen who grace the wall. He becomes fixated on a certain one and vows to himself to find out what happened to him. He searches and searches, only to find out through old records what caused the man’s death, but he was never able to find the man’s grave… Still he searches.

Story Four – The Old Man Under the Sea: A man by the name of Ernest Hemmingway wins a boxing match and saves a rich man’s daughter. He and the daughter stumble upon strange wreckage while strolling on the beach. The father appears and tells Hemmingway to stay away from his daughter, but he doesn’t listen. In the morning, he is ordered by the father to assist them in finding out about the wreck, as it was his nephew’s boat. Reluctant, but curious, Hemmingway goes. What he finds is completely beyond what he could have ever dreamed up.

Story Five – The Millstone: A woman comes home from work to find the police surrounding her house. Her boyfriend has been murdered. Her younger sister, who is beautiful and home all day, tells her that her boyfriend came in jealous and killed him. The woman tries to deal with her loss, but soon finds out that her sister had been having sex with her boyfriend. She ends up killing the neighbor lady when she shows her the murder weapon as proof. She kills her neighbor and her sister, and gets away with it.

Story Six – Empty Room: A man and his friend are outside a party, having drinks. The man starts talking about his failed divorce…and about ghosts. His friend listens and tries to comfort and reason with him. But, the man claims to be haunted and blows his brains out with a gun he has with him.

Story Seven – Burning Finger Man: A cop is assigned the slums, and he has to deal with everything that’s going on, from drug dealers to crazy women with mentally retarded daughters who live in the complex. A rash of sexual assaults happen in the area and they can’t find the man responsible. The cop finds the man’s hiding place and blocks it off, but doesn’t tell anyone. This leads to the people of the slums capturing the man and taking him down to the furnace room while he’s on another call. He gets there in time to see what they do, and even though he pleads for them not to punish the man, he doesn’t stand up to stop them either.

Story Eight – Eyes Open: A police officer and his partner try to help a homeless man. They succeed in getting him to a hospital right before he rips his own eyes out. He warns the officer that he’s now marked and he’ll be seen; soon his eyes will be open. The officer doesn’t know what the homeless man means, but the next day his life begins to change. He ends up following homeless people into a barn…and something tries to attach him. After that, his eyes are open, and he becomes the crazy homeless man on the street that his old partner tries to take care of.

 

The Red Empire and Other Stories is an eclectic mix of heart felt and twisted stories. Each one has their own draw and pull. Of all of them…Blemish, Burning Finger Man, and Eyes Open are my favorites.

As far as technical errors, there was some missing punctuation and a couple missing words here and there.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS

2Q

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

 

Shutter Speed by Mark Taylor

ISBN-10: 1496190246

ISBN-13: 978-1496190246

ASIN: B00JPKOBUG

Publisher: Nocturnal Press Publications

 

Mark Taylor brings a fresh burn of imagination to the reader with his suspense, thriller Shutter Speed.

Shutter Speed starts out with a young boy named Jimmy, who has an abusive father. Jimmy likes to take pictures. Well, more than that… He likes to let places tell stories through his pictures. All of this leads him to being away from home a lot, taking pictures.

When a particular old building under renovations catches his eye and he can’t resist the urge to tell its story, even though he has to sneak in through the window. Everything is old, beautiful, and full of secrets, but it’s definitely not safe.

Two older boys also break into the building, and what they do to Jimmy really burns him up and changes his family life forever.

After what happened…his family had to move, and he had to change his name. The past was just too much for them to carry around for the rest of their lives.

Fast forward YEARS later…

The reader is introduced to a group of young men on the wrong side of the law and you start wondering… “Which one of them is Jimmy?” And just when you think you know, your mind is spun again with an evil laugh from the author while Jimmy strikes again, and again, and again.

In the end…everything comes back to that old building, the one with stories to tell through the lense of Jimmy’s camera. And even though he’s the one taking the pictures, he’s wrong about how the building’s story turns out.

 

Shutter Speed was a fun story that kept me guessing through most of the book. The characters are interesting, but are many for such a short book. I found it confusing at times, but they all served their purpose to the story in some way.

There were some formatting issues with the book – the words overlapped onto the header in a couple places, but I could still read it. There were extra spaces between paragraphs and breaks here and there, and there were a lot of wrong, missing, or extra words. There were also a few issues with punctuation.

I give this book: 2 QUILLS.

2Q

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

ISBN: 978-1-61638-610-8

ASIN: B005IYEQKI

Publisher: FrontLine

Age Group: YA and up

A man (a writer) receives a mysterious item in the mail – something old and unfamiliar. He ponders on the sender and seeks to find a reason for the unexpected arrival.

He finds the answers he seeks from someone even more mysterious than the object, but with answers come more questions.

Seeking to find more answers, the man searches and investigates possibilities to find truths. Those truths will change his life and his thinking forever. They will also lead him to tell his story, in hopes of reaching a nation oblivious to its fate.

 

The Harbinger was brought to my attention by a friend. He linked me to some information on Jonathan Cahn and I was further intrigued. Being of a strong Christian based background I wanted to follow this up and see just how linked events of today were to something that happened long ago. Honestly, the book freaked me out a little at parts, because it made me think of my own choices during the times and events that were mentioned in the story. Yes, this is a story. A story based on truths (so it says in the beginning of the book).

Most of this may sound bogus, but the bibliography in the back of the book and the background of the author suggests a well-educated account that can’t easy be dismissed.

Once you’ve read the book, you’ll be thinking not only if there is real truth behind it all, but about your own mortality and salvation. As well as, the fate of our nation as it fails to uphold the promises of our foundation.

What will you deduce from this tangible and moving story? Is our departure from God and His ways what’s causing America to slowly fall into a decline? I leave it to you to decide after you’ve read this book.

 

The only “technical” issue I noticed with this book was missing quotes, which could be confusing. Also, some of the dialogue gets more confusing with few tags and short answers. Otherwise, the formatting was quite innovative and interesting in how it was presented – the confusion could have been way worse without the helpful breaks.

I give the book 3 QUILL.

Rating: 3Q