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Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey Review

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey Review

Usually when I watch the live adaptation I'll avoid reading the books because it ruins the reading experience for me. I enjoyed The Expanse more than I thought I would have and after hearing that the books continue beyond where the series went, I decided to give the books a try. There wasn't a whole lot of surprises from the television series, but I do see Miller much differently now. I feel as though his character had a lot of time in the show but I didn't understand his motivations nearly

Steve

Steve

Obsidian: Awakening by Sienna Frost Review

Obsidian: Awakening by Sienna Frost Review

Obsidian Awakening is one of those books that feel easy to read, but when you look back you realize how much depth it had. How much you've learned about the world, the politics and the characters without feeling like you at the time.  The characters and world are so clear and defined that you feel like you've read a few books in the series already. All of the characters have something they struggle with or something that happens to them that changes them in a positive or negative way. How t

Steve

Steve

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones Review

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones Review

My Heart is a Chainsaw is a love letter to slasher movies. It reads like a slasher movie, there are a ton of references and call backs to slasher movies. While I've seen my share of slasher movies in my time, a lot of the references went way over my head. There were so many of them that it took me out of the story and just wasn't interesting. It is almost like showing up to a party that you meet up with a group of friends who are really close friends and you're kind of the outsider. You're

Steve

Steve

Seraphina's Lament by Sarah Chorn

Seraphina's Lament by Sarah Chorn

Before we get into the review, we should talk first about Sarah Chorn.  Sarah is an author, editor, blogger, reviewer and editor at Grimdark Magazine.  I don't know how she finds time in the day. I wasn't quite sure to what to expect with Seraphina's Lament.  The over looks like a dark fantasy and grimdark mix with a touch of horror.  That's pretty much what it is, but it managed to have me invested in the characters and world in ways that doesn't happen too often.  The story revolves aroun

Steve

Steve

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby

I had high expectations for this book, it's been one I've been looking forward to for a while.  But I didn't expect it to have this much of an impact on me. This is one of the few books I didn't mind reading the synopsis, it gives you just enough detail to tell you about the story without spoiling anything.  We follow Teyr, who is on a mission to travel through the Circle, which is an untamed land full of warlords and warring clans she used to call home.  This book starts off with a ba

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Steve

Mark Lawrence Interview

Mark Lawrence Interview

Mark Lawrence was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.  Thanks to those of you who submitted questions:   11.)    In your bio it mentions you were surprised after a half hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a publishing deal.  What was your reaction at the time to that offer so suddenly?  How did that change your perspective?   Well, I was very pleased. It was a lot of money!     As far as changing perspective … well, I suddenly had 2 more

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Steve

Edge of the Breach by Halo Scot

Edge of the Breach by Halo Scot

Before I started Edge of the Breach, I heard about how dark and brutal it is.  That piqued my interest.  I don't put much stock into reviews but when a book has been described as grimdark and has a high rating average it's pretty unusual.  Usually a book that's really dark will have some lower ratings because people can't stomach it.  Then I found author Halo Scot on Twitter and it's the funniest account I follow.  So, what gives? This is a post apocalyptic world where the season of your bi

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Steve

The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis

The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis

The Hay Bale is written by Priscilla Bettis, who is a huge supporter of many booktube channels including mine. The Hay Bale is 42 pages, but reads like 20.  I flew through this story.  Because it's very short, I can't give too many details without ruining the story but I found a lot of meaning in the choices made here. Our main character's history hit close to home for me.  The objects in the story and the memories the main character experiences represented emotional and physical scars

Steve

Steve

Gunmetal Gods by Zamil Akhtar

Gunmetal Gods by Zamil Akhtar

On rare occasions I start a book and immediately feel like the book was written for me.  When I started Gunmetal Gods I felt like I was home.  Too often in fantasy characters are one dimensional.  This is the hero.  This is the villain.  Here are reasons to love the hero and hate the villain.  In Gunmetal Gods the characters are complex and leave you questioning who you should be rooting for or against.  Wait, can you be rooting for all of them?  They do evil things, good things, terrible t

Steve

Steve

Stone & Shield by Thomas J. Devens

Stone & Shield by Thomas J. Devens

Stone and Shield is the first entry in the Fall of Emros series and a good way to describe the genre would be grimdark adjacent.  It rides the line between fantasy and grimdark but I would say leans more into grimdark territory maybe if it's just a little bit. The first half or so of the book is setting up the world, establishing the players and giving you a feel for how everything works.  In the second half the action really ramps up and there are some fun battle scenes.  The battle scenes

Steve

Steve

GhostCityGirl by Simon Paul Wilson

GhostCityGirl by Simon Paul Wilson

GhostCityGirl is part cyberpunk and part horror, mixing them together seamlessly. In a relatively short book, Simon Paul Wilson manages to do quite a bit of world building.  Now I know what some people think when they hear world building.  Oh no, here come the info dumps!  Not here.  The information we do get is sprinkled throughout the book and in a way that keeps you wondering what the hell is going on but still answering enough questions to keep you hooked.  The bits and pieces we do get

Steve

Steve

Dark Sea's End by Richard Nell

Dark Sea's End by Richard Nell

Two things before I share my thoughts on Dark Sea's End: The Ash and Sand trilogy is my all-time favorite series. I like going into books totally blind, not knowing anything if possible. Excited to start Dark Sea's End, I tried to avoid any spoilers.  I watched a YouTube video that named this book as one of their favorites and during that quick mention the YouTuber gave away parts of the story that I wish I didn't know going into it.  It's not a huge deal, but I would have

Steve

Steve

Fear Farm No Trespassers by S.J. Krandall

Fear Farm No Trespassers by S.J. Krandall

Fear Farm No Trespassers is a quick and addictive read. I'm not the fastest reader but I devoured this book in about two hours over two days. Each story is a piece of a larger story being told.  The points of view are very immersive.  The writing is clean and crisp and the stories are exactly what you'd hear around a campfire. There are some gruesome and terrifying moments without it being graphic or gratuitous.  A story or two felt like you're reading a 80's slasher flick. 

Steve

Steve

Seasons of Albadone by Élan Marché & Christopher Warman

Seasons of Albadone by Élan Marché & Christopher Warman

We've all walked past NPC's in a video game while playing. They walk around saying unimportant things and living their little lives. We never pay much attention to them, but they are there. We have more important side quests to complete, like collecting 20 mushrooms from a certain area of the map. Sadly, all but a few of us would be considered useless NPC's in real life. We have our own lives and struggles, but we're on the sidelines watching the really big events happen that shape our lives.

Steve

Steve

Malice by John Gwynne

Malice by John Gwynne

The Faithful and the Fallen series seems to be beloved by many in the fantasy community.  After hearing so much about it I went out and bought the entire series, confident I was going to love it. I was wrong. The characters are all cardboard cutouts of exactly what you'd expect in a story like this.  They do exactly what you'd expect them to do.  They say exactly what you'd expect them to say when you expect them to say it.  There are no surprises here.  Nothing is ever in doubt.  The

Steve

Steve

Birthday Treat by Anthony Self

Birthday Treat by Anthony Self

Think about The Purge and The Running Man in a sandwich together without bread. The story and world were more fleshed out than I expected it to be and the characters all had their own identities and clear motivations. The scary part this world isn’t as unbelievable as it would have been a couple of years ago.  Between some chapters there are some posts from imaginary social media platforms that don't sound all that far off and some TV show ideas that I wondered if they've already been made

Steve

Steve

Beguiled by Night by Nicole Eigener

Beguiled by Night by Nicole Eigener

This book is hard to describe. It's part horror, vampire tale, paranormal, drama, with some romance sprinkled in. It's one of those books you can't dive into much detail without spoiling the story. I went into this one blind (as I normally do) and had fun with the story unraveling and learning about the characters. It's the story about a vampire and his life, the good and the bad. There's plenty of vampire lore here for vampire and horror lovers but heart and passion to satisfy those who love dr

Steve

Steve

Cannibal Creator by Chad Lutzke

Cannibal Creator by Chad Lutzke

Read the title and undoubtedly one word stands out. Cannibal.  Your mind probably goes to dark places immediately. It's easy to see the title and think it's a just story about cannibals that's aim is to shock and disturb.  It's much more than that.  There's a lot of themes at play and I always appreciate when an author throws them at you in a subtle way, just enough for them to peek out at you but not shoving them down your throat.  I love when stories like this don't waste any ti

Steve

Steve

The Thirteen Black Cats of Edith Penn by Sean McDonough

The Thirteen Black Cats of Edith Penn by Sean McDonough

I knew there was a reason I never trusted cats. There were a few portions of this book that contained gruesome scenes that I found myself laughing out loud.  Then I stopped laughing because I wondered if I should be laughing.  It was one of those moments you look around to see if anyone else can read what you're reading and start to wonder if you can be trusted.  There were also some scary and horrifying portions with some great descriptions of gore and violence but the humor comes in

Steve

Steve

Crossroads by Laurel Hightower

Crossroads by Laurel Hightower

Guttural is a great way to describe the feeling you get reading Crossroads and long after you finish. I haven't had a book get to me the way Crossroads did. There are no wasted words or sentences, smoothly flows from beginning to end. Lots to unpack here with grief, parenthood, sacrifice and loss. It's not easy to convey loss and grief in text, but Laurel Hightower does it perfectly. I'm not pretending to know how it's done, I just know when it's done right. It was like crawling into

Steve

Steve

The Banquet by Villimey Mist

The Banquet by Villimey Mist

The banquet is a short novella that feels like a novel.  I don't say that because it's a slog to read, but because the world and characters are so rich and full.  There are so many potential stories to be told in this world. For those who aren't familiar with this one, it's basically revenge porn at it's finest.  The prose is clean and easy to read and it flows nicely from start to finish.  After reading Nocturnal Blood by Villimey I can really see her writing f

Steve

Steve

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

After hearing everyone talk about this book incessantly on social media, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.  Yeah, I admit it. The story is told through email and messenger correspondence between our two main characters.  I may be 100 pages or so but it's really a 40 page book if you were telling it in a traditional style. While I enjoyed the writing style, it would have been much more impactful in a different storytelling format. Because we're reading

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Steve

Cold Comforts by Marianne Halbert

Cold Comforts by Marianne Halbert

Cold Comforts was recommended to me by H.B. Diaz.  So you know I had to give it a try. Cold Comforts is described as 'quiet horror' or 'literary horror'.  What does that mean?  Here's a portion of an article from mobidlybeautiful.com After reading Cold Comforts, quiet horror is my favorite horror sub genre. In this collection the stories creep up on you.  You get bits of pieces of a mystery that slowly unfolds and before you know it what started as something creeping up you're f

Steve

Steve

The Virus by Damien Lee

The Virus by Damien Lee

First we have to start with talking about the cover.  😎 Looking at that cover I expected this to be an unrelenting, brutal and terrifying read.  And it was at some points, but it also had lots of dark humor. The Virus is a fast paced zombie horror book that surprises you with humor.  I like information about what is turning people into flesh eating zombies as much as the next guy, but it doesn't get bogged down in details.  It's a fun zombie story with some really great action scenes,

Steve

Steve

Aching God by Mike Shell

Aching God by Mike Shell

I was a little nervous going into Aching God.  Hadn't had too much luck with fantasy for a couple of books and I was feeling a little burnout.  After talking with Mike I was even more excited to read it but it exceeded my expectations. It's a great mix of epic fantasy, dark fantasy and even a touch of horror. Wait, horror? Yep.  There are some great horror moments in this book that will have you hoping Mike Shell writes a fantasy horror series one day. In Aching God the characters

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