Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Book Review | Terror is Our Business: Dana Roberts' Casebook of Horrors by Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale

Terror is Our Business is a collection of "supernormal" investigation short stories by Joe Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale.

Award-winning author and “Champion Mojo Storyteller” Joe R. Lansdale (Hap & Leonard, Bubba Ho Tep) and his daughter, author / country singer Kasey Lansdale, have joined forces to bring you a short story collection showcasing the new dynamic duo of supernatural sleuthing, Dana Roberts and her sidekick Jana!

Terror is Our Business gathers together all of Dana’s and Jana’s previous cases in a single volume, and features an all-new adventure, “The Case of the Ragman’s Anguish,” written exclusively for this collection.

Join Dana and Jana as they investigate—and battle—angry jinns, malevolent shadows, ancient travelers, and soul-sucking shapeshifters. With two tough, resourceful women on the case, the specters from “the other side” won’t know what hit them!

Terror is Our Business was such a fun read for me. The stories in this collection were influenced by Algernon Blackwood, William Hope Hodgson, and Seabury Quinn. If you've known me for a while, you know how much I love Algernon Blackwood. I will be bumping my Seabury Quinn collection up the TBR immediately.

I could see the Algernon Blackwood influence immediately in the first story The Case of the Lighthouse Shambler. A solid mix of Blackwood and Lansdale was a slice of heaven for me.

I mentioned earlier this month that I was craving creatures that dwell in the dark. The setting in The Case of the Angry Traveler absolutely satisfied that craving for me. It was perfect timing!

The only complaints I had were actually addressed in Joe Lansdale's introduction to the collection. The beginning stories were framed with an old school storytelling device that put a bit of a wall between the reader and the story. There were also a lot of similarities between the original Dana Roberts tales. These minor complaints dropped off midway, though, as the character Jana entered the book and offered a fresh perspective on the remaining stories.

Overall, I had a blast with Terror is Our Business. It hit on so many supernatural elements that I love. If you are a Lansdale fan or you love weird fiction reminiscent of Algernon Blackwood, H.P. Lovecraft, or H.G. Wells, you will want to read this collection. I'm sad that I don't have any more Dana Roberts stories. I will be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to read more.

7/10: Recommended Read

Review copy provided by publisher


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Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Review | Odd Man Out by James Newman

Odd Man Out is a horror novella from James Newman.

Odd Man Out by James Newman

The Black Mountain Camp for Boys. Summer of ’89. It is a time for splashing in the lake and exploring the wilderness, for nine teenagers to bond together and create friendships that could last the rest of their lives.

But among this group there is a young man with a secret — a secret that, in this time and place, is unthinkable to his peers.

When the others discover the truth, it will change each of them forever. They will all have blood on their hands.

This novella packs quite the emotional punch. It's a short book, but it took me a couple of weeks or so to get through it because my heart was terrified.

Odd Man Out is a great read, but I'm not going to give it a blanket recommendation to everyone. If you love horror or you've been tempted by all of the amazing reviews for Odd Man Out, I say absolutely download it and give it a read. The story is foreshadowed from the very beginning. If you find yourself terrified that something is going to happen, I think it's safe to say you'll be forewarned.

Odd Man Out is about a group of teenage boys who are spending the week at summer camp. It takes an honest look at bigotry and the fear of standing up for the odd man out. It's a brutal book and it's heartbreaking, but it's one of the best books I've read this year.

9/10: Highly Recommended


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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | May 13

Happy Mother's Day! I hope you all are having a beautiful weekend. I have no activity to report on Turtle Watch 2018™. I'm pretty sure they are snapping turtle eggs, though. I hope the little guys are able to make an appearance soon.

Read Last Week

Odd Man Out by James Newman All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells

Odd Man Out by James Newman - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Odd Man Out was a great novella. I'm hoping to have a short review out for this one this week.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells - ⭐⭐⭐ I also enjoyed reading All Systems Red. Many thanks to Tor for giving this to readers through their ebook club.

Recent Acquisitions

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi Obscura by Joe Hart The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (Translator)

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi - I bought this in hardcover several weeks ago, but I'm terrible at keeping track and posting my recent purchases. Confession: I usually just pick 3 or 6 of my new books kind of randomly for my updates. Have you read this? I got caught up in the hype and the beauty of the cover. I'm a little nervous about reading it, though!

Obscura by Joe Hart - There has been a lot of hype for this one, too. I bought the audio this week, and I've already listened to a little bit out of curiosity. I think I'm going to love it.

The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (Translator) - I was very excited to find this one at a thrift store this week. So many people have this on their favorites list, and I can't wait to find out why!

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

On My Wishlist {15}

On My Wishlist is where I share books that have recently made it on to my radar. These are the books I added to my wishlist in the past week:

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

In this smart, suspenseful, and intense literary thriller, debut novelist Iain Reid explores the depths of the human psyche, questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear, and the limitations of solitude. Reminiscent of Jose Saramago’s early work, Michel Faber’s cult classic Under the Skin, and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an edgy, haunting debut. Tense, gripping, and atmospheric, this novel pulls you in from the very first page…and never lets you go.

Many of you guys did not like I'm Thinking of Ending Things so I've put off adding it to my wishlist until now. My curiosity has gotten the better of me, and I just can't help myself. I really want to read it.

Gilchrist by Christian Galacar

Gilchrist is as beautiful as it is terrifying—a novel of mounting suspense, with an unsettlingly human heart at its core. . . black as it may be.

Two years after losing their infant son to a tragic accident, Peter Martell, a novelist with a peculiar knack for finding lost things, and his wife, Sylvia, are devastated to learn they may no longer be able to have children. In need of a fresh start, and compelled by strange dreams, the couple decide to rent a lake house in the idyllic town of Gilchrist, Massachusetts, a place where bad things might just happen for a reason. As bizarre events begin to unfold around them—a chance encounter with a gifted six-year-old boy, a series of violent deaths, and repeated sightings of a strange creature with a terrifying nature—Peter and Sylvia find themselves drawn into the chaos and soon discover that coming to Gilchrist may not have been their decision at all.

Set against a small New England town in the summer of 1966, Gilchrist is a sinister tale about the haunting origins of violence, evil, and the undying power of memory.

Gilchrist was highly recommended to me by Lilyn. One of my audible credits has Gilchrist written all over it!

Obscura by Joe Hart

She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

The reviews are so good for Obscura. It comes out next week, and I need it!

Have you read or are you planning to read any of these? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?


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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Top Ten Creatures I Want to See in Creature Features

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, I'm joining in on Scifi and Scary's topic of Top Ten Creatures I Want to See in Creature Features. As much as I love creature features, I definitely haven’t read enough of them. Be sure to let me know if there are any books that will fill these cravings:


I’m probably craving some crustacean horror due to the Clickers: Forever tribute, but I’ve also had the lobstrocities from The Dark Tower on my mind lately. One thing I know for sure, I love for my creatures to come from the sea.


I know you guys can help me with this one! I loved Scott Smith’s The Ruins. I think the only other book I’ve read with plant horror (that wasn’t related to fungus/cordyceps) is Goosebumps #2. I need more plant horror.

Mutated Monsters

I would love more monsters like the ones in Relic, Watchers, and Annihilation (the movie, let’s be honest).


Does this exist?! A couple of years ago local ladybugs were clinging to the inside of dogs’ mouths and wreaking havoc. I need a creature feature about a bug with less than 8 legs. Not your average roach, but ladybugs or grasshoppers. Give me something to start side-eyeing the cute ones.

Sea Monsters

This is a blanket statement for monsters of the sea. I will take them all.


I want more horror books where the creatures comes from within the weather. I don't just want books set in bad weather. Give me books where there are creatures in the weather!


I need more alien horror like Stinger, The Border, and Dreamcatcher.

Mutated Men

I specifically want creatures like the Morlocks in The Time Machine and the creatures in The Descent that have mutated to live in the dark. Those are some of the best creatures to discover!

Ancient Evil

I want more creatures that have been around longer than we have.

Talk to me about creature features! What creatures would you like to see in creature features?


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