Pulled into the Lair…

Here is my latest interview as I was featured today on Ursula K. Raphael’s literary blog “AstraDaemon’s Lair.” She reviewed Into Darkness and also asked a few questions, but you can read all of that on her site.

AstraDaemon’s Lair

Book Review: Terror Byte by J. R. Park

Detective Norton is thought to be one of London’s best detectives but lately he is a haunted man. Just weeks ago his girlfriend was murdered leaving him with nothing but the job which he focuses on relentlessly. Then he is called in to investigate an office building where the entire staff is found brutally murdered. His only clue is the flash drive that curiously has his dead girlfriend’s name printed on it.

I must admit I have a lot of mixed feeling about this book. It’s short, and part me feels that it works because of it. However I also feel like the hindrance of the book is it’s brevity and that it should be longer with twists, turns, and added suspense. As it stands, it is an interesting book that is never sure what genre it wants to be a part of so it takes a limitless from each. You have the grotesque beginning with the gratuitous sex scene, and then you stumble through the noir until you find yourself reading a techno-thriller.

Now don’t get me wrong, I found the book to be engaging and worked my way through the short fiction rather quickly, however this book was not one of my favorites.

Rating: 3/5

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Book Review: The Family Tree by John Everson

Everson is at his best when he can write a compelling story that mixes horror with sex and in The Family Tree there is a lot of sex.

Scott Belvedere just inherited the Family Tree in from a relative he has met only once in a part of the country Scott’s father fled from. Not knowing his family history, Scott returns to his ancestral home to decide if he wants to sell the inn or continue to run it. Once there, he is shown the family tree, a tree that the inn was built around and has become rooted into the local traditions due largely to the healing qualities of its sap.

Everson has managed to craft a wonderful tale, following Scott as he leaves his home in Chicago to check out his inheritance. Scott isn’t too sure what he is going to do with the inn and barely remembers it from the one time his father visited home. Scott was much too young, and his father hasn’t talked about his family, making them all the more mysterious. Unfortunately for Scott, curiosity is what killed the cat. Now if he isn’t careful, it might also kill him.

There is a lot of sex in this novel. I knew coming into it that it was horror erotica, but it isn’t what I normally read so for people who know my normal tastes, I wanted to prepare you. The sap of the tree that heals as well as may just be the fountain of youth also tends to make people horny. At one point a couple starts having full on sex at the dinner table with everyone else there watching eagerly.

Which made me think of lot of the Bowie film, The Hunger. I haven’t seen that film in a long time, but I kept getting that vibe. This book isn’t about vampires, but there was a certain amount of creepiness that felt similar to me.

Overall, I liked this quite a bit and feel it to be one of my favorite Everson novels. I would recommend reading it.

4/5

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Book Review: An Unwelcome Quest

An Unwelcome Quest (Magic 2.0 book 3) by Scott Meyer

We are back in the world of Magic 2.0, following the adventures of Phillip and Martin. For those who are unfamiliar with these ‘wizards’, they are two time traveling men who happened across a computer file that gave them unlimited access to influence the world around them. See, all of life is a computer program, and these two as well as many others have found away to use that, propel themselves into the past and proclaim themselves as wizards.

Book 3 in the series follows these men as a former ‘wizard’ who had been banished and stripped of his powers reclaims said powers and forces our heroes with their friends into a fantasy video game. There, they must complete and epic quest to find out who is the chosen one that will live.

I just finished reading this novel, and I will start of by saying that I found this book to be the best of the series so far. The first in the book I had many issues with and it took me nearly a year before I finally worked up desire to read the second book. The second book was better and enjoyable enough that I went ahead and went right into the third book. I didn’t regret it.

This book was a lot of fun, and the characters are entertaining with most of them being fully developed with their own personalties. That alone is pretty good considering how many characters we had to deal with in this novel. The story itself flowed well, and continued at a good pace that I burned through the book at a good pace even with many of life’s interruptions.

The quest they are sent on was one of my favorite parts as it had a lot of fun poking holes in many of the fantasy game tropes that I myself have on occasion found frustrating. Have two separate parties going through the quest allowed for some fun moments as we got to see how two different sets of characters interact with the challenges that they faced and was quiet humorous as they came across some of the game’s glitches.

The book is a light hearted, fun read and for anyone looking for something like that, I would recommend. Though to really get a feel for the characters, you will probably need to read the other two books. It does try to tell you everything that had happened before, and you will probably be able to get the full story without them. Still, to really understand who Phillip and Martin as well as Jimmy and Gary are, you’ll want those additional stories.

4/5

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