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

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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

Wild Girls by Lisa Morton

Wild Girls by Lisa Morton

Wild Girls by Lisa Morton

Wild Girls by Lisa Morton

ASIN: B00NXCED9Q

Publisher: Crossroad Press & Bad Moon Books

 

Lisa Morton violently violates taboo and shocks the reader with the darkness humans can possess.

 

Men are showing up dead…and violated. No one has any idea who is committing the murders or why.

A reporter defies what local officials think and throws out the idea that maybe women are committing the horrendous acts; it is rejected.

More murders occur and it spins law officials and the murders closer together until everything becomes clear and others become collateral damage.

 

While the book is well written, I wasn’t overly impressed with the story or plot. Almost every character was messed up in some dark way. There were few people who were actually decent. This creates a one dimensional existence of all involved – they’re all focused on hurting someone because they are evil or were hurt and trying to get revenge. Even the characters that create the conflict to move the story forward are only involved in selfish actions to cause pain. Heck, even the character you believe will be the hero ends up turning to the dark side by the end. According to this story, there are no good people to save the world – everyone is evil and everyone is going to be abused and die a painful death.

I give this book: 1 QUILLS

1Q

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

Zombies Don’t Cry: A Living Dead Love Story by Rusty Fischer

Zombies Don't Cry: A Living Dead Love Story by Rusty Fischer

Zombies Don’t Cry: A Living Dead Love Story by Rusty Fischer

 

Zombies Don’t Cry: A Living Dead Love Story by Rusty Fischer

ISBN-10: 1605423823

ISBN-13: 978-1605423821

ASIN: B004TH67CU

Publisher: Medallion Press

 

Rusty Fischer turns the zombie genre on its head; nothing is of the norm, but it’s all still fun.

A seventeen-year-old girl named Maddy thinks her life is just starting to look up when the newest, hottest guy at her school asks her to a party. She doesn’t tell her best friend, because Hazel always has to be the center of attention and gets pissed off when she’s not.

Maddy sneaks out to go to the party, but it starts to storm while she’s walking there. She gets struck by lightning and goes down – she thinks for a few minutes, but for a couple hours – and turns for home because she’s a muddy mess and the lights are out at the house where the party was.

Once she gets home she realizes she doesn’t have a heartbeat and she’s not breathing. She panics and goes online to do a search for the “norms” of zombies. She’s informed, after taking a brief test, that she is a zombie and unless she wants to die for real, she has to eat brains, and soon!

She sneaks out again, this time to go to the all night grocer to ask for brains (an odd request). While she’s waiting, two odd-balls from her school show up and ask what she’s doing there. She fakes like she needed something else, but when the butcher brings out her brains, she’s busted.

They follow her out to the parking lot and she learns she’s not the only zombie around. As a matter of fact, they have to take her to register with the zombie counsel. They soon become her two new best friends.

Things just keep getting worse as Hazel gets curious as to the changes in Maddy’s life and appearance, Maddy learns there are bad zombies, and all hell breaks loose at their school dance.

Maddy has to choose between her life as she once knew it, and her new life as a zombie. And, on top of that, she’s confused about her feeling for two completely different guys.

 

I enjoyed this book (I read it in three days). I can see teen girls loving it. It’s a fun zombie story without the gore type horror. The book was extremely well edited – mistakes were few and far between.

I give this book: 3 QUILL

3Q

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

Death in the Times of Madness by Michael S. Gardner

Death in the Times of Madness by Michael S. Garnder

Death in the Times of Madness by Michael S. Garnder

 

Death in the Times of Madness by Michael S. Gardner

ISBN-10: 1481228196

ISBN-13: 978-1481228190

ASIN: B00AQQXZGO

 

Michael S. Gardner is comfortable in the dark, and he takes the reader with him to search the shadows for sparks of fear.

 

Death in the Times of Madness is a short story collection consisting of many stories, the majority of them zombie related.

I would have liked to see more diversification, but if you like zombie stories, I’m sure there’s a tale or two in this collection that you’ll enjoy.

Some of the shorter stories, I would have liked to see fleshed out a bit more. Some didn’t feel complete to me.

My favorite story, by far, in the collection was Don’t (My Buddy Benny). The story was so clear and made you hate one of the characters and want slap some sense into him.

The story is about a man (an older man, a veteran) who is prepared to stay in his house if something should happen to bring the world to its knees.

A family shows up on his doorstep and he allows them entrance, for the sake of the woman and child.

The man of the family just can’t handle staying put, where it’s safe.

Loving him, his family is compelled to follow him.

This leads to all kinds of danger and pain for the family.

That’s all I’m going to tell you because I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

 

There were minor grammar issues, but nothing so bad as to ruin the book for you.

 

I give the book: 2 QUILL.

 

2Q