The Scarlet Plague - Gordon Grant, Jack London


That was a depressing little story.


According to Jack London, the end of civilization comes in 2013 on the a wave of a plague no one catches in time.


The story is told by a survivor 60 years later, in California, where the survivors grouped up into tribes from Santa Rosa to San Francisco, with some scattered farther south if my geography is correct without looking at a map.  (my geography and spatial locations is horrible, so don't quote me on that LOL)  


I lived in the area for a time, so a lot of the place names were familiar.  Places I've been to, some I lived in or right next to.  I'm trying to picture Niles with no people, Hayward as farmland, and no Fremont.  Palo Alto as a small community, and the San Joaquin valley now full of horses.  Carmel as an after thought. 


None of the sprawl that connects most of the cities and towns in the area between Oakland San Jose.

The Cry of the Owl - Patricia Highsmith


Way better than A Game for the Living.


The interaction with the police still comes across as odd and not quite right.

Who lets a horde of neighbors into a crime scene to trample evidence, even back then?


Nickie was a right piece of nasty work.  


And all the internal musings got tedious.


You know from the get go who did what and to whom, so no real mystery, but the interactions of the characters gives a peek into peoples minds and how they react when bad stuff happens.  And it ain't pretty.

Reading progress update: I've read 36%.

The Child Thief - Brom


My memories of Peter Pan and The Mists of Avalon may never recover.

Like ghosts enacting a murder mystery.

A Game for the Living - Patricia Highsmith

 This was a buddy read with BrokenTune and Lillelara.


Lelia is murdered.

And no one really seems to care.


Except Ramon, but all he seems to want to do is confess whether he did it or not.

And that seems to stem mostly from his religious views and mild brain damage from a heavy beating he received from the police in jail years before.  


Though he did love her. That's the only thing that seems real.


Everyone else is just drifting around and interacting like puppets in a play reading lines.

And everything is scattered. Information just barely touched on with no real depth.


Very unfulfilling all the way around.

Reading progress update: I've read 92%.

Ravage - Iain Rob Wright


Coming to the end, some of the humor in this is face palm stuff that has me snorting.

It's horribly executed, but keeps making me laugh.


Someone planted a bomb on the ship, he was going to be executed, and managed to hand the detonator off to another guy about to be executed along with a woman.  Damien sets off the bomb and covers Anna with his body and hangs on so they don't both go sliding off the now sinking ship.


They get up, and she asks:


"What's the plan, Rambo?"


Damien shrugged.  "We could go to the bow and cuddle. I could shout 'I'm King of the world'?"


Anna frowned.  "I'm more of a Terminator 2 kind of gal."


Damien held his hand out to her.  "Then come with me if you want to live."



I don't know if the author is having a difficult time wrapping up the story or if he just wants to use all the famous lines, or maybe that was the goal from the start.  Earlier in the story some one yelled "Game over. man! Game over!"


At least we don't YET have Conans famous line:

"To crush your enemies -- See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!"


Reading progress update: I've read 88%.

Ravage - Iain Rob Wright



OMG, I'm dying here.


I don't think the book is supposed to be funny, and it's not the best written thing out there, and it's #3 in the series, but the plot holds you if can deal with the writing. Not a lot of spelling or grammatical issues, just feels like young writing.


The zombies are swarming.


But this:


We're screwed,” Jimmy fretted.

We're like hamsters up a butthole.”


Made think think of this:


and I can't stop laughing.

I'm going to spend the rest of the day yelling ARMAGEDDON! at odd times.


I don't know how to add a video, but the link just takes you YouTube.

Sorry for the weird font and big paragraph spaces.  I typed it up first in an open office doc.

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Rise Headless and Ride (Jason Crane) - Richard Gleaves


Wonderful revisitation on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

But, since the author seems to be an asshole when it comes to readers giving any criticism of his books, I will not be reading the sequels.

A modern telling of Jack the Ripper?

— feeling sad
Birdman - Mo Hayder


It felt like that sometimes.

It picked up very  nicely, though it took long enough though.


A shitty way for Essex to take his leave.

It should have been Diamond.


Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

Birdman - Mo Hayder


Okay, I take it back.  At least some of it.  :  )


It's still feels slow, but we've got a twofer, and it's skin crawling creepy.


 edit:  and my favorite characters are:


Quinn, a no nonsense, stick her arm into a nastily (and i do mean nasty - made my lip curl while reading it) clogged toilet to pull out some tights and comment that they'll have to be dried while the detectives are trying not to puke.  She also crawled head first and waist deep into a dumpster (wheelie bin) without batting an eye.


Essex, the comedian unless stuff gets serious then he's rock solid so far.

After they see curtains opened with large hands:

"I don't like this, Jack."

"What're you talking about? It's just a little old lady."

"Dressed to Kill," he hissed. "Dressed to fucking kill, that's what I'm talking about."

Reading progress update: I've read 45%.

Birdman - Mo Hayder


This has to be the most boring thriller I have ever read.

We know who, we know why.

Unless there's some weird surprise, we're just hanging out waiting for the police to find who it is.  And for DI Diamond to be handed his ass.

I can't let this book go!

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield


I'm dwelling!


It made me want to cry at the end.

She had written so many books that people loved.

But never had a name she could call her own til she became a famous writer.


But, no one except the woman (twin?) hidden away in her house knew who she was.

And in the end , we don't know who, which one, she was either. 


Except, maybe through the stories she wrote.





This turned out to be an emotionally intense book.   

And I don't really know which twin it was at the end.


And what this woman's name was if she ever really had one.

Which is a very heart wrenching thought.



Getting sucked into another series

Demonworld - Kyle B. Stiff


I'm about 20% in.


I haven't quite yet managed to wrap my brain around the entire premise, though it is highly promising.

I rarely read the chapter titles until I get confused,so there's that.  LOL


We have seven disparate people (only one woman) who have been dumped into the hinterlands filled with beings (flesh demons) who want humanity exterminated.  

However, apparently they need DNA from the humans. I think.

The dumping appears to be political, but also comes across as who will survive and make it back to save humanity.


A little confusing at the moment, and the writing comes across as young, but if this guy matures in his writing he's going to be good.

There are glimpses.



Reading progress update: I've read 82%.

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield


It starts off with twins.  


Now I'm wondering:  Triplets? 2 sets of twins? A single no one talks about?  Aaarrgg!!!  

And now I have to interrupt the story because the geese and goats need to be fed!



Reading progress update: I've read 70%.

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield


This section made me laugh twice.


Margaret gets sick from wandering the moor in the freezing rain, so the doctor is called.

Once she comes around he's back for a check up, and asks her what she reads.


Wuthering Heights?  Jane Eyre?  Sense and Sensibility?  Read them more than once since childhood?


She's confused and wondering why he's asking about her reading habits.  Has decided he's laughing at her, and he pronounces that she is


"...suffering from an ailment that afflicts ladies of romantic imagination.  Symptoms include fainting, weariness, loss of appetite, low spirits.  While on one level the crisis can be ascribed to wandering about in the freezing rain without benefit of adequate waterproofing, the deeper cause is more likely to be found in some emotional trauma.  However, unlike the heroines of your favorite novels, your constitution has not been weakened by the privations of life in earlier, harsher centuries. No tuberculosis, no childhood polio, no unhygienic living conditions.  You'll survive."  




He then asks about her appetite, and tells her it will come back if she feeds it. He writes her a prescription and tells her the weakness and fatigue will be gone in a few days.


The prescription reads:


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes.  Take ten pages, twice a day, till end of course.


That make me snort and laugh out loud.


Many thanks to Moonlight Madness and Obsidian Black Plague for another fun filled Halloween Bingo!



Fear the Drowning Deep:  Meg  by Steve Alton

Supernatural:  House Beneath the bridge  by Iain Rob Wright

Terrifying Women:  Pig Island by Mo Hayder

Slasher Stories: Video Night: A Novel of Alien Horror by Adam Cesare

Cryptozoologist:  Dweller  by Jeff Strand

Genre: Horror:  Goddamned Freaky Monsters by Rick Gualtieri 

Shifters:  Half a Prayer  by Rick Gualtieri 

Deadlands:  The Wicked Dead  by Rick Gualtieri   

Spellbound:  The Last Coven  by Rick Gualtieri

Cozy Mystery:  Witch is When It All Began by Adele Abbott

Baker Street Irregulars: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Suspense:  The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted by  Andrew E. Kaufman

Gothic:  Harvest Home  by Tryon Thomas

Ghost Stories:  No One Gets Out Alive  by Adam Nevill

Southern Gothic:  Usher's Passing  by  Robert R. McCammon

Doomsday:  The Gates  by Iain Rob Wright

Modern Masters of Horror: Legion  by Iain Rob Wright

Free space:  Extinction  by Iain Rob Wright

A Grimm Tale:  Hunted  by Meagan Spooner

Creepy Carnivals:  The Traveling Vampire Show  by Richard Laymon

13:  Demon's Play  by David McBride

Relics and Curiosities:  The Skin Game by William Meikle

Classic Horror:  Benighted by J.B. Priestly

Terror in a Small Town:  Blackwater Val  by  William Gorman

New Release:  The Nightmare Room  by Chris Sorensen

Reading progress update: I've read 14%.

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield


   'She was mid-yawn when something began to happen to her face. First it was a sudden blurring in the center of her forehead, like a blister. Another mark appeared on her cheek, then beneath her eye, on her nose, on her lips. Each new blemish was accompanied by a dull thud, a percussion that grew faster and faster. In a few seconds her entire face, it seemed, had decomposed.

    But it was not the work of death. I was only rain. The long-awaited rain.'


That is the creepiest description of rain falling on a window reflection I have ever read.

Currently reading

City of Golden Shadow
Tad Williams