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Horror

The Fireman – Joe Hill

The Fireman – Joe Hill

The Fireman

4 Stars (4 / 5)

It must be hard for Joe Hill to follow in his fathers footsteps as an author. As the son of Stephen King it’s not really surprising that Joe Hill is well known now for his horror writing, however he is an extremely talented author in his own right. I am sure he gets even more criticism than your usual author for having one of the most renowned writers of our time as his father. However I think he probably gets a lot MORE ATTENTION than your average writer probably would because of this fact. No doubt about it, The Fireman is a good book. But I did compare! As much as I told myself I wouldn’t! I couldn’t stop myself! The Fireman was almost a homage to The Stand. When at first I was slightly disappointed, I soon realised that this was obviously totally intentional. Character names and traits were similar or the same, parts of the story that I picked up were the same or mirrored, and probably a lot that I didn’t pick up (its been a very long time since I read The Stand!) And at the age I was, I am sure I didn’t appreciate The Stand as much as I probably would now. The Stand was a 3 star read for me at the time. Despite this, I have given The Fireman 4. So I obviously still enjoyed it, actually more than his fathers work.

Harper is working as a school nurse when Draco Incendia Trychophyton makes its way to her city. Soon the disease has taken over the whole world. Otherwise known as Dragonscale, this deadly spore covers the sufferer with black and gold markings as it enters the blood stream and overtakes the whole body and brain, before literally burning the victim from the inside out. Spontaneous combustion. Before they know it the world is in ruin and the healthy turn on the diseased to try to eradicate them. Harper and her husband Jakob decide that if they get infected that they would both end their own lives, together. However this all becomes complicated when Harper discovers she is pregnant, soon before discovering the marks all over her body.

I really did like this book. I listened to the audio version narrated by Kate Mulgrew. The first half of The Fireman especially was extremely riveting. I really enjoyed listening about the progress of the disease and the deterioration of the world. Being a nurse too I think I really enjoyed Harper’s character and resonated with her. Although I found her to be just TOO good, and it annoyed me at times. The Fireman himself was nothing like I expected him to be. I thought he would be a larger part of the book, having the title role, however the book was all about Harper.

The length of the book and the slow parts were what brought this book down for me. I found the narration to be excellent in general, however I am not sure if perhaps I would have enjoyed the book more listeneing to the characters in my head instead. I guess that’s the risk with all audio books that you listen to. Even the most wonderful of books can be brought down by a bad narrator, and a horrible book can be made magical by a good one. I didn’t like the way she portrayed The Fireman. This could have just been her feminine voice with the English accent.

Also the ending just didn’t do it for me. I was expecting it and felt a bit let down. I found a lot of the novel predictable. I was also surprised by the constant Merry Poppins references. I understand that he was aiming for that sort of vibe with Harper and that Merry Poppins was an influence for him. However it really started getting on my nerves.

The majority of the book however, was superb. I loved the chase with the exterminators, the camp, and the fact that the disease wasn’t exactly a disease as such, and gave the sufferers something very special… The fact that the world split into healthy versus diseased was depressing, but made every move they made even more dangerous and exciting. And you could imagine easily that humanity might actually do that if there was an event like that. All these excellent qualities of this book was still not quite enough to give it 5 stars for me, but its a strong 4!

Would I recommend The Fireman?

Yes, I think its worth a read even if this isn’t your usual genre. And if you enjoyed the stand you will appreciate (or maybe not) the references made throughout this book.

I only wish I had been able to have such an opportunity to learn from such an inspirational author from birth. Its no wonder he paid homage to him!

*I bought this book myself on Audible.com

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What the Night Knows – Dean Koontz

What the Night Knows – Dean Koontz

What The Night Knows

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 Not one of his best I must admit. Overall it was an entertaining story but ultimately left me feeling more unsatisfied than satisfied.

John is a homicide detective who lost his entire family to a serial killer when he was a teenager 20 years earlier. He killed Alton Turner Blackwood that night, but Blackwood is back. Using the bodies of less than wholesome people, he uses person after person until his ultimate goal can be completed… Revenge on John and his family. And to finish the killing spree that he started.

I enjoyed the start of the book and how Koontz gradually gave away piece by piece of information. It kept me enthralled through the first few chapters. In fact, the whole book was quite good up until the chapters from the children’s point of view. I don’t think I have ever heard such poor portrayal of children. All three of them were so completely unbelievable it pretty much turned me off the entire book. Then some more chapters with the adults point of view would make me forget that I wasn’t enjoying it… And then the children would have a point of view again… And cue the eye rolling.

I did enjoy the diary of Blackwood. It was interesting hearing how he turned into such a monster. I just found it frustrating that every character either had some innate evil, or they were so inherently good. No character seemed to be in the middle.

It had some spooky moments, but overall it was more frustrating than frightening. And what is with all the big words that he uses!? I’m fairly sure he used his spell-check thesaurus quite a bit while writing this! And when the children started using those big words.. It was just too much for me.

I did enjoy it overall though. The storyline made up for the poorly portrayed characters, and I enjoyed the narrator of the audio version.

Would I recommend What the Night Knows?

Maybe. Die hard Koontz and horror fans would probably enjoy it. However I am sure there are better possession stories out there.

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If you enjoy What the Night Knows, you may enjoy:

the servants of twilight

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Kraken Rising – Greig Beck

Kraken Rising (Alex Hunter #6)

Kraken Rising

5 Stars (5 / 5)

WOW! This was the best Alex Hunter novel yet!

An American submarine with superior weapons technology was lost at sea years ago. Suddenly, its distress call is discovered pulsing under the dark ice of the Antarctic. So it’s back to where it all began. Alex must go down under the Antarctic and face the foe he was introduced to in the first novel, who is very much still alive. Also, he must beat the Chinese from getting to the submarine first, and prevent a devastating nuclear war. Meanwhile, Jack convinces Aimee to go back under the dark ice in order to help save her son from the looming nuclear disaster.

Well, I know its only February, but this is my pick of the year so far. I can’t remember enjoying an action book as much as I enjoyed this one! Absolutely fantastic!

If you are an action/adventure fan and have not read a Greig Beck novel yet, do yourself a massive favour and grab one! You will not be disappointed! In this one alone there was a giant monster, giant killer turtle, flesh eating worms, deadly humanoid creatures – that’s just the start, and all with the backdrop of impending nuclear war. There is never a dull moment. It goes from action to action, but also has an intriguing and gripping back story and plot with Alex and his relationship with Aimee, and their son Joshua.

I absolutely love all the characters, the good and bad guys! I am quite attached to them all now, I worry that they are going to die, as Beck doesn’t exactly hold back from killing off big characters! That’s a really good thing though, you never know what’s going to happen!

The audio version, yet again was performed by Sean Mangan. What a superb narrator he is for this kind of book! So entertaining!

I LOVE that Aimee is back! I was REALLY looking forward to their reunion, as its been looming for a two novels and a novella now! I was not disappointed! Although, I wish that she would have found out he was alive in another way, it was still ultimately extremely satisfying!

As always, the science and research that goes into the novel was fantastic! There is SO MUCH information not only in the book itself but at the very end with the scientific explanations and information. I’m not sure how he does it, but he manages to weave a whole lot of interesting scientific aspects into every one of his novels, and it is fantastic!

I absolutely cannot wait to see where Beck goes with this series! There is SO MUCH potential for more absolutely awesome stories in regards to Alex and Joshua as he grows up. I’m hoping there are going to be some father/son adventure novels and then perhaps change focus to Joshua for the next generation. That’s just what I’m hoping for! Perhaps like Dirk Pitt and Dirk Jr – Only even more exciting!! Can’t wait to see where it goes!

Beck has become one of my all time favourite authors, one that I will read without hesitation and recommend unconditionally to anyone who loves a bit of adventure and horror (and blood and guts)!

Would I recommend Kraken Rising?

YES YES YES!!!! It is absolutely fantastic! I recommend the entire series, especially the audio books! So entertaining!  They can all be read as stand alone novels, but if you want to experience the whole Arcadian experience and back story, Beneath the Dark Ice is the first one.

Big thanks to Greig Beck for an audio copy of Kraken Rising in exchange for my honest review.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

I’m an Australian author residing in Sydney with my wife, son and oversized black German Shepherd named Jess. My novels are now available globally, also in Large Print and now in full AUDIO format.
Greig Beck
I grew up spending my days surfing at Bondi Beach before entering a career in Information technology which took me around the world. After completing an MBA, i was appointed both an Australasian director of a multinational software company, and tasked with setting up the USA arm of the organisation.

Today, I’m still involved in IT, but spend most of my time writing… with plenty left over for surfing.

More information about me and my works can be found at either www.greigbeck.com, or join me on FaceBook (Greig Beck Author).

(From GoodReads)

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If you enjoy Kraken Rising, you may enjoy:

This Green Hell   Black Mountain   image   Hammer of God

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Hammer of God – Greig Beck

Hammer of God (Alex Hunter #5.5)

Hammer of God

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 Loved this little novella in between the two latest full size books from one of my favourite series! I listened (yet again) to the audio version with Sean Mangan. I’m not sure if I would appreciate this series as much if I were to read it instead of listening to his awesome narration!! I am so used to it! No, who am I kidding I would still love it!

Alex Hunter is back in Hammer of God (Alex Hunter #5.5). Following the events of Black Mountain and Gorgon, Alex is back in full force with the HAWC’s. When someone or SOMETHING is setting off nuclear bombs in the middle east, Alex and his team join forces with Mossad (YAY HI AGAIN ADIRA!) to try and save the world! Add in a whole lot of action, creatures, monsters, and a bit of lovelorn and you have one awesome little book!

I know I am just repeating myself when I say I love this series… But I do… And this was a fantastic little gem!  I liked that it was only 4 hours or so long, so I got through it quite quickly in comparison to his others, and ADIRA IS BACK!!! YAY!! I feel so sorry for her, she loves Alex so much, but he is all “Thanks but no thanks, my heart belongs to someone else”.

I am SO EAGER to read (or listen to) Kraken Rising (Alex Hunter #6) to see what happens, because I read in the synopsis that Aimee is back! I am really excited to see how she reacts when she discovers that Alex is alive!

Would I recommend Hammer of God?

YES! This is one of my favourite series! Highly recommend them all! I enjoyed this little teaser before Kraken Rising! I have it waiting on my phone ready to go!! Can’t wait!!

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If you enjoy Hammer of God, you may enjoy:

This Green Hell   Black Mountain   image

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Gorgon – Greig Beck

Gorgon – Alex Hunter #5

Gorgon

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I must admit, the Alex Hunter series is fast becoming one of my favourite series of all time, absolutely my favourite adventure/action series. I love the characters, I love the story and I LOVE the narrator of the audio versions Sean Mangan! Even though it wasn’t my favourite of the series so far, I still enjoyed the action-packed Gorgon!

Alex Hunter is back… He has had enough of wandering the country, and contacts Jack, who convinces him to come back to work for the Hawc’s. Meanwhile over in Istanbul, a creature that was hidden in an ancient chamber has escaped and is turning thousands of people to stone. What is this creature? And how can the Hawc’s stop it before it reaches a NATO base?

Like any Alex Hunter book, it was filled with action from start to finish. Beck takes you on a wild ride with each novel and it doesn’t let up until the very last word. This was probably more action packed than the last few novels actually, and that’s saying something. However I felt it was all action and I missed Aimee, I missed Adira, and I missed a bit of the whole romantic/sexual attraction element from the previous novels. Although I love the twist in the story that we find out right at the beginning…

However, nobody can say that Gorgon wasn’t exciting! Action packed. I also LOVED the subtle teasing about where the story is going to go next…? Perhaps bringing Aimee and her family back into it in future novels. I know its not over!!!

I enjoyed that the Hawc’s were back together. I enjoy Sam and Casey’s adventures, and I love that Sam is up and running again!

I loved the audio version of Gorgon. As always, Mangan does a fantastic job narrating. Nobody else could portray Alex Hunter as well as he does. I have enjoyed listening to his narration of this whole series.

Would I recommend Gorgon?

Absolutely! Action, adventure, thrills, violence, mystery, blood, guts, gore, creatures, aliens… What more do you need in a book?

However, I absolutely advise you read the earlier books. Even though this one can be read as a stand alone, you will miss a lot of the story, characters and feel of the story without reading the previous ones.

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If you enjoy Gorgon, you may enjoy:

This Green Hell   Black Mountain   image

Black Mountain – Greig Beck

Black Mountain

Black Mountain

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 I LOVE THIS SERIES! Mr Beck I salute you! What an exciting ride!

Alex Hunter is back in the 4th instalment of the Alex Hunt/Arcadian series. After surviving the horrible virus he contracted at the end of This Green Hell, Alex awakens in Israel with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Meanwhile back in the USA at Black Mountain, there has been an earthquake and the movement of the mountain has opened a doorway to an ancient cave, where a monster is released from its prison.

OH MY GOODNESS! What a FABULOUS read! Think Matthew Riley on steroids! Absolutely action packed and FANTASTIC!

This is only the second book I have read written by Greig Beck, and it is going to be the second of many I predict! This Green Hell was extremely impressive, and Black Mountain was even better!

Non stop action, thrills, blood, guts, gore, a bit of romance and angst, violence, monsters.

WOW!

Loved the characters! I have a bit of a book crush on Alex Hunter, I just think he is fantastic! But where was Aimee??? I hope she comes back into the story in subsequent books! But it was nice to have a different focus I guess.

Really enjoyed all the different plot lines throughout the story and one of the things I really like about Black Mountain, and find really refreshing, is that it doesn’t exactly have the happy ending vibe that a lot of books have. People you don’t want to die, die… Gruesome and grizzly deaths.

I don’t know what else to say! Black Mountain is just great! If you are a fan of action books absolutely check this series out. I started at the third one and haven’t read the first two yet so you don’t HAVE to start at the first one – Enough of the story is set up throughout the novel so you are not lost at all. However the beginning is always a great place to start.

The audio version?? FANTASTIC!!! Sean Mangan is SO GREAT narrating this series! One of my favourite narrators ever!

Would I recommend it?

YES YES YES!!! Remember where I said non stop action? Thrills? Blood and guts? Gore? Romance and MONSTERS?? If you like that you will love this series!

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If you enjoyed Black Mountain you should enjoy:

This Green Hell

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The Fold – Peter Clines (Audio Version)

The Fold

The Fold: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

The fold is another great science fiction/horror by Peter Clines. It is a stand alone novel but if you have read his previous novel “14” you will be pleasantly surprised by some merging stories and characters.

Mike Erikson likes to think of himself as a normal guy… Your average high school teacher. However he has a special ability, a eidetic memory. He is able to remember everything he has ever seen or heard, replaying it exactly like it just happened. His old friend Reggie convinces him to come and work for him, assessing a top secret project. A group of scientists and computer experts have created a doorway that “folds” time and space. Those who walk through the doorway are teleported to a matching doorway somewhere else. However, the doorway isn’t quite what it seems…

I have read some reviews of this book who loved it up until the last third or so of the book, saying that it takes a strange turn and becomes unrecoverable. In some ways I tend to agree. However I suppose because I read 14 (which does the EXACT same thing) I was expecting the specific twists and turns. However I admit I preferred 14.

I enjoyed all the characters in The Fold, however they are quite a similar bunch to the characters in 14. The male main character Mike in The Fold bared some striking similarities in personality to Nate in 14, and the same for the female leading character Jamie, who was very similar to Veek. Arthur was similar to Tim, and the other secondary characters also bared similarities to their counterparts in 14. This wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that 14’s characters and storyline were superior. The endings of both were extremely similar and I just wish there was a bit more.

I loved the monsters and creatures in The Fold. They were a bit more detailed and gruesome than they were in 14 and I enjoyed that.

The romance in The Fold was a bit of a let down. I think it was just too similar to 14 because the characters were so alike… It just didn’t do it for me.

Overall I enjoyed the story. The story itself I give 3.5 Stars..

However

What jacked this review up to 4 Stars?? THE NARRATOR!!! Oh my GOSH Ray Porter is a FANTASTIC narrator!!! I am so amazed how good he is! Seriously, there is a reason why he won best narrator for 2015 in the audible awards! When you listen to him, its like you are listening to 12 different people. He is so amazingly talented! I want to go out now and get everything he has ever narrated and listen to it! I am going to miss his voice now I have listened to over 20 hours of him total!

Would I recommend it?

The story? Yes it was a good read, even if it takes you in places most people didn’t want to go towards the end. However the audio version was FANTASTIC despite the story, and I would recommend listening to it to anyone! I think especially those who are new to audio books and get annoyed with monotone narrators, because Ray Porter is NOT ONE!

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If you like The Fold, you may enjoy:

14

14 – Peter Clines

14

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Well, what an unexpected gem 14 was! Loved the audiobook! What an amazing performance by Ray Porter! I honestly thought at times that I was listening to ten totally different voices! Extremely impressive! Got LOST in it!

Nate has just moved into a new and dirt cheap apartment, and something isn’t quite right. With all the rooms of the building in fact… And the basement… And who is across the street in the car monitoring the building 24/7? What are the property managers hiding? And what on earth is in room 14? Its up to Nate and the other residents of the Kavach building to find out what is going on.

Wow! What an AMAZING bunch of characters. The characters in the Kavach building, were probably one of the most fun groups of people I have ever read about! What a diverse and entertaining group of people! Nate, the main character is probably the most dull of the lot, yet he was still extremely enjoyable to read about! “Only a publisher” Tim across the hall, sun baking artist Xela, the subtle as a sledgehammer computer geek Veek, not to mention the rest… Their interactions were witty and clever, making me laugh out loud on numerous occasions.

I loved the blossoming romance, and Veek was by far my favourite character! I loved her blunt attitude.

It took me in a direction I wasn’t expecting it to go to be honest. I had no idea what I was in for when I started listening to it. Not at all disappointed! I would class it as a cross between a horror/mystery/adventure/sci-fi/thriller.

I found the premise to be extremely clever. Really original. I’m looking forward to reading “The Fold” and the “Ex Heroes” series, also by Peter Clines.

I am a bit mixed about the ending. On one hand I really enjoyed it, but on the other, I feel it didn’t really answer all my questions as much as it could have. Ultimately though it was still a satisfying conclusion. It just could have been more I think. That’s the main reason for my 4 and not 5 star rating.

Would I recommend 14?

Yup! Especially the audio version! Great performance, was kinda sad when it was over! And it really made me want to invite all my friends over for a beer on the roof!

“A ladder’s a flag pole with delusions of grandeur.”

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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October 32nd – Larry Rodness

October 32nd

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This book took me completely by surprise. October 32nd wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be and was a lot of fun to read!

Alexander Malefant is making a living day by day travelling as an insurance salesman following the tragic death of his daughter. When he gets sent to the small town of Elora on Halloween, strange things begin to happen! A child is nearly drowned when bobbing for apples, some crows attack a bunch of children, and then mysteriously all the children in the town disappear without a trace, their shoes left hanging from a tree! What on earth is going on in this little town? What has Alex gotten himself into? Will he discover where the missing kids are? And will this experience bring him any peace with his life?

FEAR NOT all you readers that don’t like horror books! I wouldn’t actually class this as a horror book, even though it has some spooky elements. It was more of a mystery. The tone of the book was hard to explain. It was like poor Alex was shoved into an episode of scooby doo crossed with a dodgy soap opera, and he had to figure out what on earth was going on in this little town! I found it more ‘quirky’ than ‘scary’ actually, (I’m hopefully that was what the author was going for!) I really enjoyed the fact that I too had NO IDEA what on earth was going to happen. It was a really fun ride! One minute you thought it was going one way, only to have it go in another direction entirely!

Alex was a great character. I just loved how he got to the town and was completely taken back by what was happening around him. The characters of the town were all fabulous. There were perhaps a few too many of them for me to easily keep track of them but it didn’t make me like it any less.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the ending! I totally didn’t see it coming – Totally unexpected!

What a clever, fun book! I’m looking forward to reading others from this author!

Would I recommend it?

Yes it was an entertaining story that was light and easy to read. It was so different to anything that I have ever read before. Very refreshing!

Many thanks to author Larry Rodness for a copy of October 32nd in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Larry Rodness began his entertainmentrod_promo_0026 career as a professional singer at the age of 19 and has been performing in Toronto for over 35 years with his wife and singing partner, Jodi, at venues such as The Old Mill, Royal York Hotel, Skyline and Bristol Place Hotel as well as countless corporate and private functions.

In the 80’s Larry studied musical theatre writing with PRO under Broadway conductor Layman Engel, which led him to write for dinner theater. He then moved into the screenplay arena where he has written over a dozen screenplays and has had 3 scripts optioned to date. “October 32nd” is his third published novel. His previous two were “Perverse” and “Today I Am A Man”.

Information on all his published works can be found on site pages at www.larryrodness.com

 

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Gravity – Tess Gerritsen (Audio Version)

Gravity

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This is my first Tess Gerritsen book. I know right? I’m a crime and thriller fan, AND a nurse… I should have read all the Rizzole and Isles by now!?? Well I never intended to, but having read this one I am inclined to give all of her books a go!

To quickly summarise it, some bizarre virus is killing off the crew of the international space station. Where did it come from?? How are they going to stop it? Doctor on board Emma must try to keep everyone alive whilst her husband back on earth goes on a mission to discover the origins of the pathogen.

Great read! Extremely suspenseful and exciting! Loved the whole thing! Yes, it was pretty corny… But it was supposed to be! I thought it was fantastic!

The characters were great! Soon to be ex husband and wife Emma and Jack are a great team.

The audio version was fantastic. The narrator was wonderfully talented and probably the best narrator of any audio book I have listened to so far. Even his portrayal of the female characters was fantastic and he really captured the emotion of all the characters.

There was quite a bit of blood and gore in this book and I really enjoyed it! Because most of the gory scenes happen in space it added an extra grossness… Floating blood etc. Thought it was really well done.

Some of the medical scenes were totally over the top, but Dr Gerritsen obviously knows her stuff as everything was quite accurate. I guess that is what makes her one of the top medical thriller authors.

Would I recommend it?

Yes it was great fun! Really enjoyed it. Any thriller and fan of a little space blood and guts will love Gravity! I’ve already started putting her other books on my TBR list!

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