the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Archive for the tag “horror”

Book Review – Breed by Chase Novak


imagesThis book seemed to hold some promise as I read the blurb on the back, an interesting plot that had me chomping (excuse the pun, somewhat) to read it (even despite the second book I got from the library which really looked to be the one to tickle my fancy)  however despite good descriptive writing it failed to excite me.

This is a shame as there were bits here and there that really got the pages turning, but then as it reached a crescendo it hit like only an anticlimax could.

Alex and Leslie have everything; a huge house in New York, he a partner in a law firm, she a publisher. Money, old money, from his side keep them in a lifestyle they become (and who wouldn’t?) accustomed to except for one glaringly obvious hole. They can’t have kids. And while medically, and fertility-wise they are in full working order producing an ‘heir’ to the Twisden roll of honour is a pipe dream despite all the money and experts in the world…

…until a chance meeting in a park where they catch up with a couple from the same infertility support group, she fit to burst with child. As men do, negotiation takes place and Alex and Les get details of the doctor involved so he can work in the same law firm. Seems reasonable…

Flying to some bum-fuck town in Slovenia they meet someone who appears to be a cross of Dr Krippen and Dr WHo, a strange man with a fool-proof fertility plan, and after he basically rapes them with his syringes it has miraculously worked…

But all is not rosy in the upper-class reaches of parenthood – sure, there are twins (with a third ‘killed’ at birth) – the second book takes us ten years later where the kids are locked in their rooms at night, free from harm, but not of fear…

…what is it they fear? The one thing they shouldn’t.

 

Again, good premise, badly executed. Worth a read if the theory of fucking around with DNA is your kind of thing but if you are like me and run to the safety of your bed after you flick the hallway light off, then even this isn’t going to have you checking under the mattress tonight.

Book Review; What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz


If nothing else I am a man of my word; after reading my first Koontz novel some time back which I didn’t like, I did offer to read one again and duly did so with this one.

The story follows Detective Calvino who starts (unofficially) investigating a gruesome murder in which a 14 year-old slays, and I use the term lightly, his entire family. It mirrors similar murders from 20 years before which raises some nightmares for Calvino.

With what proved to be a gripping concept of horror story-telling this book dives right into the worst man can do to his fellow human-beings and if you have a low threshold for depravity, this might not be you. However, in saying that while I enjoyed the story the horror and gruesomeness was way too far and between as it was interspersed with some psychological mind-fucking and God-awful biographies on Calvino’s wife and kids…no family is that perfect, not even the Keatons.

While you expect some way out concepts and crazy shit in the paranormal, I have to say that the ending was like a king hit, but one that didn’t connect right. It was bullshit way to finish the book…but I won’t spoil it for you.

All in all a goodie but at times dull and drawn out. However it may well have sparked interest in reading another Koontz book, I just wish it would get a bit more scary. I guess it can’t be easy writing in the same genre as Stephen King…

Book Review; The Bad Place by Dean Koontz


Believe it or not this is the first ever Koontz novel I have read. And if I were to be so shallow and regard the entire collection by one reading, I wouldn’t read another again. However I am fair if not judgemental and the guy must have something as he has written and sold so many novels so I will endeavour to find another. I just hope he doesn’t turn out to be a massive disappointment as Richard Laymon proved to be.

This book promised so much and yet delivered so little although it is well written in that it is easy to picture the scenes no matter how far-fetched and silly they may appear to be. But by no stretch of the imagination was this scary, and I am easily scared. in fact the only time in the whole 500 pages where I was mildly uncomfortable was the introduction of some spider-like creature (I’m a chronic arachnophobic) and even this proved to be nothing more than some semi-mechanical, GM-ed space worker-type insect. Meh.

And as Americans are want to do, there has to be a romance or love somewhere intertwined in amongst the horror and deprivation. Meh, again.

Call me cynical but I like my make-believe to actually be believable in some sort of unlikely but possible way, but this book wasn’t. Even throwing in some hermaphrodite-incestual in-breeding (yep, you heard me) only served to push way beyond the realms of what is fiction and what is just ‘words on a page’. I’m still uncertain if Candy (not really a name befitting the ‘monster’ in this book) was a vampire or just someone with a neck/blood fetish??

Listen to me, like I’m sort of story writer…maybe not, but I am still a reader and like my rants on fast foods here in NZ, I sometimes feel I have been cheated when a book is raved about only to turn out like seeing your hot sister in the buff; unacceptable and ultimately disappointing.

Book Review – Outpost by Adam Baker


 

Chilling tale of choices...

Now I have damned to hell a lot of the recent books I have read, so-called ‘number ones’…well Messers Laymon, King, Koontz et al, meet Mr Baker, one of the best horror/thriller writers I have ever read.

This book puts all other zombie and apocalyptic novels to shame.

The plot has a little over a dozen skeleton crew on a disused oil rig inside the Arctic Circle biding their time however they can until they are relieved by the next watch in about six months time. But they are unaware that the world as they knew it is slowly being destroyed by something which is slowly, but surely, making its way to them, and once this realisation has been made they try to figure out how to survive and escape their frozen hell. It is an eclectic gathering of people with their own personal torment to deal while melding into a workable solution while being picked off one by one.

Gravedigger Extraordinaire

I don’t wish to ruin this too much for anyone who might be interested in reading it, other than it is gripping, scary, and thought-provoking all at once. As the catch-cry for it says;

When the end of the world comes, do you want to be the first to go? Or the last to survive?

The must-read book of the year as far as this little known critic is concerned.

And to seal the fact that this is worth reading, the description of the author reads;

Before writing Outpost, Adam Baker worked as a gravedigger and a film projectionist…

You just know with a mix like that he is an expert on his subject matter. Bet his career’s counsellor at high school didn’t see that coming!

Book Review – Play Dead by Ryan Brown


 

Not a handbook for possums

In the search for a new writer to enjoy, I stumbled upon this book, a new release on feature in my local library (Trevor Inch Memorial Library, Rangiora) and due to the jacket, decided to give it a go. When it is advertised as “the zombie novel of the year. The comeback story of the season”, you cannot help but be intrigued by this story, and as writing goes, this is a pretty good one for a debut writer.

It follows the pending clash in High School Gridiron between two neighbouring towns who hate each others guts, and when one team dies in a horrific bus crash, it seems all bets are off. But in an effort to keep the story going, the author introduces a bit of black magic, a pact that lays souls on the line, and a team doing more steroids than a Tour de France stage. I found it tongue in cheek, and suspect that is was the intent of Brown, and if so he has done it well. While there are a couple of bits that push the already distended boundaries of possibility too far, it is graphic, gripping, and American High School humourous – this would make an interesting movie. I read it in three days so it is a testament to either a) I have no life, and/or b) it is well written.

Just like looking in a mirror.

 

Now, a little about the writer himself, it seems he has been in movies and TV (including that hit drama Young & Restless – so he must know horror!) – I showed my wife his photo and yes, he is not a bad looker (as guys go), but strikingly like a morph between Pitt and Kilmer. Judge for yourself.

Thanks Gael for recommending another writer to me, I will sample a book of hers after my next book I also got out of the library. Watch these spaces…

 

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