Monday, 22 August 2016

A Review of The Devil Will Come by Justin Gustainis

I received an ARC of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review.
 
Back Cover Blurb

Twenty-one stories that will scare you to death. 

You may or may not believe in the old gentleman known variously as Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness, Satan, or simply the devil – but it is impossible to deny the existence of evil in the world. And all those arguments about whether evil originates in the fires of Hades or in the smoldering heart of humankind don’t change the fact that evil has always been with us – and, most likely, always will be.

The stories you are about to read are about evil, in one form or another. Several of them give evil a supernatural origin, but others place it squarely in the lap of ordinary (or maybe not so ordinary) human beings. Some of the people you are about to meet will overcome the evil that confronts them, while others won’t be quite so fortunate. Either way, all of them are going to be changed by the encounter.
These stories are best read late at night, preferably while you’re alone in the house. I recommend leaving only a single light on. Try to use a reading lamp that illuminates the page while throwing the rest of the room into shadows – shadows where anything might be hiding.

Anything.

Later, as you lie in the iron dark, waiting for sleep, perhaps you’ll start to wonder if there really is a Devil, and if this is the night he might choose to come – for you.

I wish you pleasant dreams.

Well, no – not really.

Author Bio

Justin Gustainis has been an Army officer, speechwriter and professional bodyguard. He is currently a college professor living in upstate New York. He is the author of The Hades Project, Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways, Hard Spell and Sympathy for the Devil. He has also published a number of short stories, two of which won the Graverson Award for Horror in consecutive years. He is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. 
  
Publisher Info

EDGE-Lite and EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing publish thought-provoking full length novels, collections and anthologies of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Featuring works by established authors and emerging new voices, we are pleased to provide quality literary entertainment in both print and pixels.
"Enjoyable in Print and Pixels"
Website: http://www.edgewebsite.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EDGEfbpage
Twitter: EDGEpublishing


Amazon Buy Link

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/search/ref=x_gr_w_bb?keywords=9781770530904&index=books&linkCode=qs&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20


Review

This is an entertaining collection of short stories that examines the Devil in his various guises. 

The author uses both historical and literary references--Jack the Ripper, Nazi Germany, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, and Stephen King's Carrie, to name a few examples--as backdrops to his depictions of evil.

I especially enjoyed the stories in which the author combines the paranormal with crime fiction, as well as those with plot twists.

This collection will appeal to readers of supernatural, paranormal, and horror fiction.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Time for Some Original Content?

We see it again and again: an inferior sequel to an original movie in an attempt to create a franchise and earn more money for the studios. For me, it was the disappointing sequels to Alien and Aliens, in my mind among the best science fiction/horror movies ever created. You can probably think of many other examples.

It is not surprising, then, that Horror News Network reports there will be no sequel to the new Ghostbusters movie, as originally promised by the studio. There are diminished returns at the box office, as well as dwindling fan interest. Sony, with its partner Village Roadshow, is preparing for steep losses after spending an exorbitant amount in advertising costs for the new movie. Sony is now focusing on the lucrative animated film/television market.

For the full text of the article, please see http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/ghostbusters-box-office-sinks-plans-sequel/.

Am I the only one who is sequel-fatigued? Obviously not. . .

Monday, 8 August 2016

Books for the Dog Days of Summer

If you're heading for the cottage or beach and are looking for some good books to take with you, here are a few of the 2016 horror releases that you might like to consider:


 End of Watch by Stephen King - This is the third and final book in the Bill Hodges' trilogy, the first two being Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. Brady Hartsfield, responsible for the Mercedes massacre, has spent five years in a vegetative state in a traumatic brain injury clinic. But he is now awake and possesses deadly new powers. He is planning revenge not only against Bill Hodges--the hero of the previous two novels--and his friends but against an entire city.






  Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay - A fourteen-year-old boy vanishes without a trace, and the ensuing search turns up nothing. But his ghost keeps appearing, as well as random pages from his journal. This book has been described as a blend of literary fiction, psychological suspense, and supernatural horror.
 

 
  
Fellside by M.R. Carey - Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of England's Yorkshire moors. It's the kind of place where even the walls whisper. And for Jess Moulson, one of the voices belongs to a young boy who says he has a message for her.

 
Medusa's Web by Tim Powers - A haunted house in the Hollywood Hills is the backdrop for this tale of speculative fiction in which a man must uncover cult secrets to save his sister, who has fallen under the spell of the house.
  
The Fireman by Joe Hill - Please see my previous post which featured this novel.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Summer Reading



If you're planning a vacation and would like to stock up on books--electronic or paper--please consider The Home Child, Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, and The Accusers. They are reasonably priced and can be read in one or two sittings while you're relaxing on the beach or by the pool.

The Home Child is the story of Jake Hall, a transplanted city dweller trying to adjust to the realities of country life. He knows it isn't going to be an easy transition. He's prepared for major renovations to the old farm house he's bought, but what he hasn't counted on is finding a former resident still inhabiting the house in spirit form! Set in eastern Ontario, Canada, against the backdrop of a rural town in transition, this story combines historical detail and the supernatural in the poignant tale of a home child wanting simply to be reunited with the family he lost so many years ago.

 
 
"Fire Whisperer" - Injured in a hotel fire, Keva Tait experiences auditory and visual hallucinations and is diagnosed with schizophrenia. But is this illness really at the root of her constant encounters with a young, dark-haired woman and an elder who materializes at night on her bed? With the tenth anniversary of the fire looming, Keva wants to take back her life by confronting what really happened when she was seventeen years old.

"Circle of Souls" - A young woman doing research at a small museum in Ottawa is almost pushed down a set of stairs. Her sister-in-law, who restores fossils at a museum of natural history, is touched by an unseen presence. A videographer glimpses unsettling images in his work. A paranormal team leader encounters the inexplicable as he investigates an old mill. A student working part time at an old jail experiences the despair of its former inmates. All of these locations are said to be haunted, but who exactly is the ghost? Or are there many ghosts seeking human intervention?

The Accusers - At first glance, Berwick Street is a quiet cul-de-sac: a safe place to raise a family and enjoy retirement. But in the dead of winter when most Berwick Street residents have gone south to escape the bitter cold, there is something evil lurking in the coming snowstorm. A group of followers with specially-honed powers of destruction seeks final retribution for events that occurred more than four hundred years ago. Aided by a teenager with precognitive abilities, an unlikely trio of women - Cassie, an introvert in her twenties, Rebecca, a sixty-five-year-old grandmother, and Mabel, an ailing octogenarian - must face the coming onslaught. Who will prevail?
 
 These books are available through Amazon and other outlets.

To read Goodreads reviews, please see https://www.goodreads.com/author/list....

Happy reading!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Third Installment of Summer Viewing

Two final recommendations for you if you're interested in TV series on DVD/Blu-Ray:


Wayward Pines is based on the novels of Blake Crouch. The pilot was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and he is one of the executive producers of the series. The inhabitants of Wayward Pines are trapped there by an electrified fence, and any attempt to escape is punished by a public execution known as a "reckoning". This is an offbeat series where what is going on beyond the confines of the small town is gradually revealed to the viewer. (The series reminds me of  Shyamalan's film The Village.)  I've watched only the first season; the second season is currently airing on television.


Although Fargo doesn't fit into the horror/science fiction category, it's excellent viewing for those who enjoy black comedy and missed the first two seasons when they aired on television. The series was inspired by the movie Fargo, and the Coen brothers are executive producers of the show. Fargo has won a series of awards and stars an excellent cast.  I was especially impressed by Ted Danson's performance and that of Kirsten Dunst in Season 2.


NOTE: Both series contain violent content.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Second Installment of Summer Viewing

Continuing with the theme of science fiction/horror series on DVD and Blu-Ray for summer viewing, you might like to check out Falling Skies, a very classy science fiction production with Steven Spielberg as executive producer.  It is a post-apocalyptic drama that follows the resistance mounted by humans against alien invaders who have conquered the earth. The special effects are well-done and the acting is top-notch. Fans of the Star Wars movies will no doubt enjoy this series with its exotic array of extraterrestrials and its classic battles between good and evil.



Extant, another Steven Spielberg production, combines the themes of space travel, alien incubation in
humans, and artificial intelligence.  Although the series lasted only two seasons, it has a very interesting dual story line and features Halle Berry in the lead role as an astronaut who discovers upon her return to earth that she is pregnant. The series has overtones of the Alien franchise, as well as Spielberg's AI movie.


Stay tuned for more suggestions next week.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Summer Viewing

If you're interested in some summer viewing on DVD or Blu-Ray and didn't catch these series when they were televised, here's a couple of suggestions:

The Leftovers - In the aftermath of the unexplained disappearance of 2 per cent of the world's population,
those who were spared must deal with their survivors' guilt and try to go on with their lives while not knowing if or when another such event will occur. Generally, a good cast and intriguing story, although the "Guilty Remnants," who want to inflict as much misery on themselves and others so as not to forget the event, become a bit tiresome after a while.






  
The 4400 - In this series, 4400 people who have disappeared from earth beginning in 1946 are suddenly returned. Why did they disappear, what changes did they undergo
and what danger do they now pose? These three questions provide the basis for the series. Generally well-acted and suspenseful.

 
I'll return with some other suggestions in next week's blog.