Carly was a very serious student of the Bible. She listened to the Pastor’s sermon every week and followed up with research to find Bible quotations that would illustrate and supplement the weekly message given by the Pastor. In Hypocrites by LuAnne Turnage, we meet Carly as she attempts to get in serious morning study before husband Paul woke up and prepared for work. Luckily, Paul was knowledgeable of Bible verses and could direct her studies. She had so many questions.
In Peace and Goodwill by LuAnne Turnage, we have a short horror story of medical research run amok. The night should have been a great one for Senator Ted Stone. His signature bill, one he had worked for with all his strength had passed. He had worked hard in the Senate and hard at home. His wife Carol had not supported him at home and, from her elevated position of morality bolstered by religious faith, had even opposed him. It didn’t help that the new law had the unfortunate title Mandatory Flu Vaccine Bill 666, it further incited the ultra-religious fanatics.
After completing the novel Sedition and writing the review below, I want to emphasize that (IMO) this is a highly recommended five-star Amazon read I label a Political Horror Thriller. At 615 pages, it created havoc with my reading schedule. It was scary enough that I woke up in the middle of the night to continue reading. I will post most of my comments on Amazon, but this paragraph and the final two rant paragraphs below will appear only on my blog. This book affected me more than anything I read last year (2018). I don’t want to make a comparison to this year because it is only February.
The House of Twelve by Sean Davies will deceive the reader many times. The idea seems familiar. Twelve people wake up in a house but can’t remember how they got there. They don’t know each other and can’t figure out a connection that will tie them together. It is almost as if they had been drugged, kidnapped, and imprisoned in one house. That they were imprisoned is obvious from many indicators. Doors are steel, reinforced, and locked. Where there should be windows, the glass has been replaced by thick constructions of brick. And on a coffee table in the living room, there is a document with House Rules. The first one says they will never be allowed to escape, the second rations the food and water, and the third relates to their imminent deaths. There is constant background music; think elevator music. Each evening at 2300 the music will stop, and one person must die. The victim can die by suicide or be killed by others. If no selection or volunteer happens before 2400, gas will kill all of them.
Don’t Bury Me by Nick Younker begins as a dystopian novel, provides a steadily increasing supply of despair and pathos and ends with a twisted presentation of what may be described as social justice. This is not a spoiler because the interesting element of the short story is the process by which it gets there. Plus, there are two rewarding surprises for the reader who has taken the journey through all the negative sludge. To phrase this in a way that is not a spoiler, the reader might find an answer to the problems of income inequality.
I received this book through Booksprout as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for a review. I received no compensation other than the fun of reading the book. This was a challenging book to read for two main reasons. The style of writing in which the story was written made it occasionally difficult to determine which character was dominant and presenting a point of view. The second difficulty might be due to the format of an ARC. There are distracting spelling irregularities and clumsy phrasing such as “Could have they come all the way here …” (Kindle locations 1814-1815). While I do not consider the phrase wrong, it reads like an outdated, formal style. I don’t know whether changes are planned before final publication but I feel this novel should go through one more examination by a copy editor. Otherwise, it reads as if it were written by an accomplished writer whose second language is English.
Tavistock Galleria is a collection of fourteen short horror stories by multiple authors. Their origin is “America’s Retail Wasteland.” (cover blurb). The stories are best read in order because of connecting threads that can pop up without warning that will tie a story to the one which came before. Or maybe two stories before. But let’s say you are familiar with some of the authors and want to skip to their contribution first. OK, it’s allowed; all stories can stand alone except the last one, The End of Tavistock. The last story won’t make sense without references found in all other stories.
Duncan Ralston describes Video Nasties as a “Horror Mixtape.” The descriptive writing in each story of this sixteen story collection will allow the reader to “see” or experience dread and horror for 426 (Kindle) pages. Readers can then close the book and go back to a cheerful, safe, and sane real world. If that were only so.
Cruel Works of Nature by Amor Gemma is billed as a collection of 11 illustrated horror novellas. This is from Haunted House Publishing, an enterprise associated with Tobias Wade. His recommendations have always assured me a good read in the horror genre. The illustrations show up in Kindle as a series of attractive drawings that precede each chapter. This is a concern for me because Kindle books with illustrations are not always compatible with all devices. This collection worked, and the illustrations were a nice touch.
Shifter by Miguel Estrada is a horror short story of revenge on a couple of levels. Clancy Reynolds and Christina were in love. They agreed on that. He had told her he loved her. She had replied with similar words. On the night they met in the restaurant when Clancy intended to seal the deal with a proposal of marriage, something had changed. They both had something important to say. For Clancy, it was “I love you.” For Christina, it was “I’m leaving you.” Not only was Christina leaving, but she was leaving Clancy for someone else.