Welcome back readers. The days are getting shorter and the nights are
colder. Makes it perfect time to crawl under the covers and read a good
book. Not only a good book but a scary good book. Well, I got a few
selections that might fit the bill. We got Satan looking to take over the
earth, voodoo magic in Africa, a collection of horror westerns and scary
creatures in Pennsylvania. So read up and yeah, it’s only the branches
scraping the window, I think.
A Satan Carol by Alan S. Kessler
With Christmas around the corner, with a title like A Satan
Carol can do nothing but intrigue you. And the cover art is
really good. This was sent to us and I was instantly curious.
And I was right to be because even though it starts off slow, it
grabs you and hooks you in to the very end.
The story is about Satan. Tired of being second best, he
has finally found a way to be on top. But it revolves around a
special soul. He tried to get it when it was in a young boy in
Ireland in 1848 during the Great Famine but failed. Now this
soul is looking for the right body. This is the chance Satan has been looking for.
Flash forward to the present. Young Katie Katz found out that she is pregnant.
But too young to have a child, she wants an abortion. Little does she know that
her unborn child is destined to have the special soul. But Satan knows that and
will do almost anything to have Katie do what she wants. If he succeeds, he will
have access to the soul and it could literally by hell on earth. He manipulates
everyone around her to have his plan go through. Will Satan win just days before
Kessler does a great job telling this story and continues to keep you hooked all
along. His character are real and are flawed greatly. He doesn’t make Satan the
stereotypical demon but as someone who has limits and needs. As I said before
the story starts slow and takes a little time before you get into the meat of the plot
but when it does, he viewpoints and conversations will have you constantly
thinking along with the usual gore.
I would recommend getting this book for it’s unique story and ability to make you
think and entertain you at the same time. You won’t think about religion in the
same way. This book is available on Amazon.com.
Devil’s Drum by Vivian Meik
Here is the fourth book we have reviewed from Medusa
Press and they continue to impress me with the books they
have brought back to life. The Devil’s Drum is actually a
collection of stories that connect not with a thread of storyline
but with the characters. Recurring characters go throughout
the book along with the central theme of the book, the drums
which are played or mention in every story.
One of my favorite stories from my collection is The Doll of
Death. A doctor goes to help a friend in the mist of a crisis with
her husband and the man she left him for. But as the doctor
finds out more information, things are way out of his league as
the ways of Africa and voodoo magic are far more powerful than
his medicine. It is a great story that leads you to a great finish that show to do bad
on someone will always come back to haunt you.
Another story I enjoyed was The Man Who Sold His Shadow. It’s about a
woman who’s greed for gold and diamonds in Africa. To get it, she made a deal
with a witch doctor to find where it was at and sent her loving husband, who would
do anything for her to get it. Will her greed cost her husband or will he be saved
The original author Meik, tells great stories and brings all of Africa into his
tales. Some of them remind them of the fables that I grew up with. His storytelling
can be tough if not used to the older style of writing similarly to Edgar Allen Poe
and the like.
I recommend this book for some exciting tale and commend Medusa Press for
reprinting these books that are probably lost to many new readers today. You can
pick this up at medusapress.com.
Low Noon: Tales of Horror & Dark Fantasy by David B.
This is our second book by Riley and it is the second
collection of horror western to come from them to us. You
would never think of putting westerns and horror together but
apparently there is enough out there to bring us a second book.
It’s a good thing because Riley has put together another suc-
cessful collection (12 stories) that is a must read.
One of the stories I enjoyed was The Five Disciples. This
brings several genres together besides the western and horror
to blend into one action packed bloodfest. It tells the story of
Lone Crow, bounty hunter tracking down a killer when they are both set up by a
bewitching woman. In order to survive now, they must put aside their differences
to fight for survival. Can the good and bad trust each other another to live to see
I also enjoyed The Temptation of Darcy Morgan. This tells of a young lady who
deals cards for a saloon. A stranger comes into town and beats Darcy every deal
of the cards. Then he makes her a wager with a card game that can lead to her
never worrying about money again but at a cost of her town. Something is not
right and Darcy must figure it out before she loses everything and everyone she
cares about. This is a great story because it is not about action like the last story
but a battle of the mind.
Riley has put together a great selection of authors who give a variety of stories,
each one just as good as the next. They all give you a feeling of the west while
keeping the horror in that time and still making you feel it as a reader. I
recommend this book for anyone who wants something different with a quick
pace. You can get this at Amazon.com.
Strange Pennsylvania Monsters by Michael Newton
At first glance, I thought this was going to be a collections
of stories and myths about mysterious creatures. I was wrong.
It is actually a collection of real accounts of real life monsters
roaming around the Keystone State. I don’t mean monsters like
fire breathing dragons and the such. I mean real life creatures
like large cats that stalk the woods and 25 foot snakes looking
for its next meal.
The book is divided up into categories like Alien Invaders
(invasive species), The ABC’s (Alien Big Cats), Unidentified
Swimming Objects and to end it all is Something Else. While
there are a lot of accounts that go back to the 1800's and hard to take seriously
today, there are many official accounts that are documented.
What I found really interesting is that despite the title, there are many animals
because of their size and not seeing them except in a zoo, that we would be very
afraid of as if it was a werewolf or vampire. And the fact that these are the real
monsters should have you looking over your shoulder.
I do recommend this book for those curious and want to know what is lurking out
there, especially in the woods, which are aplenty in Pennsylvania But beware,
there are sightings of Bigfoot and the Mothman here so beware the lonely roads
with no lights. You can pick this book up at the Schiffer Publishing website,
City of the Mirage by Jerome Brooke
This book was another one that was sent to our magazine.
It is more of the fantasy than horror but with the action Brooke
puts into the short story, it is well worth the read.
The story is about a man who is brought to an unknown
world. He meets the Lady of the Myst who guides him to the
nearest city. There he is cared for and brought into the fold as
a warrior. His exploits in this new world is noticed by Queen
Astarte. She wants him to be part of her army leading her to
victory. But her ferocity worries him and wonders if he can
Brooke tells a great story and packs the 16 pages of his story with plenty of
action. And while it is not the traditional horror tale, it has its share of gore. I won’
t give away too much because it is a short story. I recommend this book more for
the fantasy group like those who enjoy the movie 300. You can pick up this story
at bookstogonow.com or barnesandnoble.com.
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