Squelch, Slither, & Slime – John Halkin (Review)

There are reports of new, never-before seen creatures in the South of England. At first, people think little of them, dismissing them as fictional or no more dangerous than ferrets. But the creatures grow, and multiply, and spread, their lust for human flesh increasing every day. As the death toll rises, humanity is forced to confront a new and horrifying idea: we are no longer top of the food chain.

The above description applies equally well to three different books, all by John Halkin, and all having a single-word title beginning with “S”. In Squelch, the menace is large, carnivorous caterpillars and poison-spitting moths. In Slither, hypnotic worms (the reptile-kind, limbless lizards) hunt humans in the sewers. And in Slime, evil hordes of jellyfish are the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Review)

Hello and, er, hail Satan, I guess? One of the hallmarks of this three-season Netflix revival of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is how the writers have carefully amended every phrase to be more witchy. So we tell our enemies to go to heaven, commend our friends as hell-sent, and so on.

Like most of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the effect is unsettling, engaging… and it almost works. But not quite. Let’s talk about the good parts of Chilling Adventures, and the parts where it left me cold.

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Crabs – Guy N. Smith (Review)

night crabs

Books about monsters rising from the oceans to wreak havoc upon humanity are some of my favourite things, and the ones that I turn to in times of stress or boredom. I have read reams of books about sharks and squid and jellyfish, but was delighted recently to discover a whole stash of books focusing on monstrous crabs. I initially intended this review to focus on one book only – Night of the Crabs – but lately I have had a lot of long & boring train journeys, so instead will focus on all eight books in the Crabs series.

Luckily, the books – all the way up to The Charnel Caves – share many common elements, and can be usefully all discussed together. The plot of each book may vary in specifics, but the core narrative is the same – gigantic, hate-filled crustaceans emerge from the oceans, and humanity must fight for its survival in the face of this new and ever-unanticipated menace.

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Priest (2011) – Review

pVampires have existed alongside humanity since the dawn of time – a separate, nocturnal race of predators, building vast hives in service of their queen. For millenia, mankind has waged war against the vampire menace, and now, for the first time in history, there is peace.

Vampires exist only in reservations and will never emerge to menace us again. Priests – super-powered vampire slayers – have been forcibly retired. Humanity is safe and sound in vast cities protected by a benevolent ecclesiarchy that only limits freedom and does dystopic stuff for the good of the citizenry.

Obviously, everything is about to go horribly wrong.  Continue reading “Priest (2011) – Review”

Manga Classics: The stories of Edgar Allen Poe (Review)

poe.jpgEdgar Allen Poe is one of those authors who casts an extremely long shadow. References to and reimaginings of his work are absolutely everywhere, and despite his relatively small output, he’s someone you need to be familiar with in order to fully engage with all sorts of things.

This book contains manga versions of five of his best-known stories. Each narrative is fully illustrated by a different artist giving their own spin on the story. I was curious at first to see how they managed to do that with The Pit and the Pendulum, given that the story takes place in almost total darkness, but it turns out that one is not included. Continue reading “Manga Classics: The stories of Edgar Allen Poe (Review)”

Pumpkinhead – Cullen Bunn (Review)

pumpkinheadVengeance is a common human desire and, like other human desires, also a dreadful sin. For each sin, there is a demon; the sin given flesh and summoned into the world by people who think they can survive the experience.

After a hit-and-run leaves children dead, a vengeance demon is raised to hunt down those responsible. With no other hope for survival, the demon’s victims raise demons of their own. A rural American community is torn apart – both metaphorically and literally – by inter-demon conflict.
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The Haunting of Natalie Glasgow – Hailey Piper (Review)

41961939There’s something inside Natalie. Something hungry and fierce and far more dangerous than the eleven-year-old girl it’s living inside. By day, an exhausted Natalie sleeps; by night, the thing inside her prowls the house while her mother cowers upstairs.

When doctors are unable to do anything, Natalie’s mother turns to more exotic solutions. The thing grows stronger as Natalie wastes away; there is not much time to find some kind of cure.

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