51 Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade is a remarkable collection of short stories about what the author describes as demons, the undead, paranormal, psychopaths, spirits, aliens, and a few mysteries thrown in. That variety is what makes the collection remarkable. As I read through the stories, I looked for instances of similarities between the selections. I couldn’t find any. Which means the reader can look forward to 51 different themes. This amount of creativity is something I rarely see in literature; I see it more in stand-up comedic or political commentary.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that some readers don’t pay too much attention to book covers. I believe that to be the case with Temp Girl by Stephanie Bond. Her cover with cool tag line invites a reader’s interest. Then there is the other side of the coin. I received an alert from Brendan Detzner about the publication of this short story (it wasn’t described as a short story in the alert). I have been entertained by Detzner writings for a long time and, even more important, they spurred my son’s interest in reading. With a title like Hot Chicks Infected With Stomach Parasites, there was no way I was not going to read it and then post some comments. A provocative title like this dares the reader to ignore it. (Yep, I know about the earlier double negative. Dare to break the rules).
Final Thoughts by Jaxon Reed is a very short story with a very abrupt, definite, short ending. We don’t know the narrator’s name but he won’t be around long enough for us to worry about. He is about to be executed. While the ending is definite, he has some choices about the method. Lethal injection looks like the best bet, the least painless. The firing squad is definitely out. He might get poor marksmen. Doc offered him the guillotine. What?? Why would anyone do that?
Tiny Trophies by Adam Hughes is an extremely short story which is also extremely weird. This is one of those you probably don’t want your kids to read although it is in the tradition of the original before it was cleaned up for children, Brothers Grimm. The selection is only eight Kindle pages which I believe to be more like flash fiction.
“Tiny” is a size. That is apparent from the story. But it also might be the narrator’s name. I am going to assume so because it is convenient to have the one word serve two meanings.
One of the first things a reader might note in You by Caroline Kepnes is the cover endorsement by Stephen King. It is a very strong endorsement; it is not on the back cover or in the first few pages preceding a table of contents; no, there it is on the front cover as it serves up a very strong endorsement of the talent of Kepnes. I kept this in mind as I read and found the endorsement, unlike many, to be completely appropriate even without the many references that Kepnes makes to King throughout the novel. By themselves, these references are clever and fun.
I downloaded Dinners with Satan by Lou Sopher from the author’s website through Instafreebie. I probably would not have selected the download if I had seen the tag “the first five chapters.” I consider this a weakness of the Instafreebie site. Perhaps I should blame the author website. The subordinate annotations, almost subtitles, are not always visible and led me to download something I would not have if more complete information about the novel were visible. Nevertheless, the books are free and fulfill my goal of finding something my students can acquire without irritating import fees.
The Ghost of Molly Holt by Amy Cross is a 2017 publication by this very prolific writer of horror fiction. I read a lot of her novels and have never been bored by her writing until this novel. It was probably bound to happen. But I can not resist comparing this novel to her other novels I have read. This one just doesn’t match up as far as quality of plot and characters. So, what happened?