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.
Continue reading “Squelch, Slither, & Slime – John Halkin (Review)”
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.
Continue reading “Crabs – Guy N. Smith (Review)”
Witchers are mutants – monsters created to defend normal people from worse monsters. They take dangerous jobs for little pay and less thanks. Geralt of Rivia is the most famous of witchers, but he doesn’t know that – he’s forgotten all of his pasts and all of his monster-hunting knowledge.
You take on the role of Geralt as he struggles to recover his memories, do witcher work, and navigate the complex politics of a kingdom riven by sectarian and inter-species conflict. Continue reading “The Witcher (2007) – Review”
Vengeance 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.
Continue reading “Pumpkinhead – Cullen Bunn (Review)”
Luc is an innocent. He loves his family, spending his days helping his father on the farm and defending his disabled brother. He doesn’t get on well with his step-mother, but he tries to, and he’s not really sure how to deal with pretty girls showing an interest in him. He’s a nice lad.
One failed exam and a string of poor decisions later, Luc winds up the de-facto leader of a band of unsavoury mercenaries. His new companions are thieves, murderers, and rapists. Unable to return to his placid life, Luc has no choice but to fulfil the mercenaries’ contract as best he is able, despite the dangers he faces and the secrets he uncovers. Continue reading “Blackwoods Marauders – K. S. Villoso (Review)”
Some things just naturally belong together: horses and carriages, swallows and summer, quiet seaside towns that need a lucrative tourist season and giant shark attacks.
The peaceful seaside town of Merit is about to host a sailing competition. There’s a lot of opportunity for profit, and the acting mayor has decreed that nothing must go wrong. Unfortunately, there’s something in the water.
A rookie cop gets partnered with an alcoholic veteran; a marine biologist makes the find of his career; an acting Mayor ignores the truth. And beneath the waves, something hunts. Something vast and merciless and hungry. Continue reading “Thresher – Michael Cole (Review)”
You know that house, the one at the end of the street? The one with the overgrown garden or the broken windows or the gate that creaks open when you walk past? The one kids tell stories about and dare each other to approach? That’s the one in Don’t Knock Twice.
Long ago – though still within recent living memory – a witch died in there. Or maybe she wasn’t a witch. Anyway, when you knock on the door twice, she comes and kills you. Everyone knows this, and a bunch of them knock on the door anyway. Continue reading “Don’t Knock Twice (2016) – Review”