Tag: horror

Book Review: The Dark Beneath the Ice, by Amelinda Berube

the dark beneath the ice
Image belongs to Sourcebooks Fire.

Title:  The Dark Beneath the Ice
Author:   Amelinda Berube
Genre:   YA, thriller
Rating:   3 out of 5

Marianne’s parents have split up—she doesn’t know why—and her mother won’t stop crying before dropping her off to stay with her aunt. Her aunt won’t say, either. So, Marianne tries to make sense of the world, which hasn’t felt right since she stopped dancing.

But Marianne’s losing time. She does things but doesn’t remember doing them. Her mom is in the hospital because of something that happened on a night Marianna can’t remember. Things break around her, and she’s drawn to the cold, dark, icy river that threatens to overflow its banks.

Something is after her, and now she has its full attention—and its rage. It wants back what she stole from it, but Marianna has no idea what that is.

This book creeped me out a bit—in a bad-horror-movie-way (Why yes, I know something is chasing me, but I think I’ll go out into the night all alone!)—but that was its strong point. I wasn’t too invested in any of the characters, or what was going on. It was a decent read, but not something I’d pick up again. (I don’t really read horror much anymore, though, so my reaction could have been linked to that.)

Amelinda Berube lives and writes in Canada. The Dark Beneath the Ice is her new novel.

(Galley provided by Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.)

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Left to Darkness, by Craig Saunders

(I do not own this image.  Image belongs to DarkFuse.)
(I do not own this image. Image belongs to DarkFuse.)

Craig Saunders is an English author who writes dark fiction and horror. His latest novel, Left to Darkness, hits shelves today.

“Death by meteor” is an epitaph that only a few people ever imagined, but now it is the future for the entire planet. A meteor is coming. Large enough for catastrophic, world-ending destruction. And even knowing about it in advance doesn’t give humanity any chance of escape. But the end of the world takes an unexpected turn. Darkness holds sway, with cannibalistic cult members wearing barbed wire crowns, led by their king, James Finley. Not to mention sadistic siblings Sid and Silvia.

Paul Deacon is a long-time police officer who ends up blind after the meteor hits. Dawn Graves is a very pregnant woman whose husband was recently murdered. And Frank Liebowicz is a hit man out for revenge. Dawn is desperate to find a safe place to have her baby. Paul needs help to survive. Frank is gravely injured but still looking to defeat his enemy. The three must survive the end of the world and avoid the Little Kings if they are to reach safety and security. But they don’t realize that the cult is after Dawn’s baby, and will allow nothing—or no one—to stand in their way.

Left to Darkness is a dark, disturbing novel about the end of the world and the evil that results. Graphic violence shares space with a fight for survival in this novel filled with unexpected heroes facing a menace with a thirst for cruelty.

(Galley provided by DarkFuse via NetGalley.)

Spore, by Tamara Jones

(I do not own this image. Image property of Tamara Jones and Samhain Publishing.)
(I do not own this image. Image property of Tamara Jones and Samhain Publishing.)

Tamara Jones has written the Dubric Byerly Mysteries series, forensic murder mysteries in a fantasy setting, as Tamara Siler Jones. However, these dark and gripping novels are not hallmarks of her personality at all. In addition to writing gory murder scenes, Ms. Jones also likes quilting and cats. Her newest book, Spore, is a departure from the fantasy setting, but it keeps the mysterious and creepy vibe that Jones does so well.

When Sean Casey wakes up that morning, he has no idea the entire world is about to change. It’s a normal day, and he plans to spend it working at his normal job, artist for the comic Ghoulbane. Until the first naked person wanders into his back yard from the cemetery next door.

The ten people are naked, confused…and they used to be dead. Now they’ve regenerated and want to reclaim their old lives. One of them, Mindy, stays with Sean while they try to figure out what’s going on. Her ex-husband prefers that she stays dead, and will do anything to make that happen. And Sean’s nightmares, relic of childhood terror, grow worse, spilling over into his waking world. A world now inhabited by the spreading Spore People and all of the horrors from the past.

Spore is a fast-paced novel filled with action, a bit of gore, and haunting terror from bygone days. Sean falls headfirst into the new world created by the awakening of the Spore People. As he tries to help them, and others desperate to bring back the past, he becomes a target for the fear and anger of those surrounding him. Spore is tightly written, compelling, and will appeal to readers who love mysteries, a touch of horror, or even zombies (though this is not a zombie story). Definitely a must-read for anyone looking to liven up their reading list!

Side note: Tamara Jones was a member of the first crit group I was ever a part of, way back when I started writing, something like 15 years ago. I read part of her original version of the first Dubric book, and loved it. Fantasy and forensics? How cool is that? Spore is pretty different from the Dubric books, but the writing is definitely on par. Ms Jones is a writer you should definitely read.

The Devil’s Hour

I was supposed to read The Devil’s Hour, by Raymond Esposito, months ago and post a review, however….well, having no Internet since the end of April has put a cramp in my style (whatever that is). My limited Internet time went for school. Now that my summer classes are over, I’m hoping to get caught up on a lot of things. My apologies to Raymond for the delay.

The Devil's Hour, by Raymond Esposito
The Devil’s Hour, by Raymond Esposito

Raymond Esposito writes stories tinted with edge-of-your-seat horror, and that also explore the darker, hidden side of people. He is the author of the Creepers Saga, which currently consists of You and Me Against the World and All Our Foolish Schemes. His newest work is The Devil’s Hour, a book certain to keep the reader up at night.

Sam Drake has a pretty good life…if you consider being divorced and supported by your ex wife while you write about thing that go bump in the night good. He has a big house in a nice neighborhood, neighbors that he likes, and a few he doesn’t. Life, so far as Sam is concerned, is good, now that the divorce is behind him and he’s finally moved on with his life. But “good” vanishes in moments when a car crashes in Sam’s neighborhood, and a wall of black smoke wipes out the outside world.

The car crash is bad enough. The things inside the wall of black smoke are worse. Suddenly, being outside in this crazy new world is more than Sam and his neighbors can handle. But not everyone makes it back inside. And those that do must face creatures from their worst nightmares. Sam’s neighborhood is no longer a sanctuary from the world. Now it’s a demented funhouse filled with terrifying things that used to be familiar and ordinary. And not all of the nightmares came from the cloud of black smoke. Some of them were hidden in the neighborhood all along….

The Devil’s Hour is not for the faint of heart. Creatures straight out of nightmares haunt these pages, stalking both the characters and the reader. Fear comes alive on the page, as the reader becomes comfortable with Sam, a man haunted by fears like any other person. Except his fears live and breathe, instead of merely keeping him awake at night. The pages fly by, racing from one crisis to the next, leaving the reader breathless with adrenaline… and fear.

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Raymond….I know I told you I don’t do horror very often, being something of a chicken (More accurately, I have an overactive imagination and a lot of things scare me that shouldn’t. Chickens, for example….) But seriously? This book creeped me out a lot. I found myself staying up way too late reading it…and flinching every time the air conditioner clicked on. You took some of my worst fears and brought them to life. (Clowns AND dolls? Are you kidding me? Are you a mind-reader? Maybe I need one of those tinfoil hats…) In all seriousness, this book scared the crap out of me, but I couldn’t put it down. Well done, sir. Well done.