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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

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Customer Comments

BLZBUB has commented on (11) products.

Autumn: Purification by David Moody
Autumn: Purification

BLZBUB, October 16, 2011

Previously, in AUTUMN: THE CITY

Michael and Emma have continued to make their way across the countryside, stumbling across a military convoy in the process. Out of options, they make a last ditch effort to reach the safety of the military’s underground bunker. In a thrilling, balls-out run, their RV bumps, slides, and crushes its way across an open field of undead before finally skidding to a halt with the bunker doors closed securely behind them.

PURIFICATION opens a few weeks after the harrowing race to the security of the military bunker. Cramped and closed in tight quarters with distrusting soldiers, it’s not long before the mass of undead attention they’ve drawn starts causing problems for the remaining survivors. In an effort to remedy some of the issues the undead have inadvertently caused, a catastrophic error in judgment is made and turns the refuge into a slaughter-house.

With what little supplies they have, the survivors gather into the remaining vehicles and race off into the dead-infested dark, once again faced with an uncertain future.

PURIFICATION is an adrenaline laced cocktail that will have you screaming at the pages to RUN! Gorier and more violent that any of its two precursors, this is most the fulfilling AUTUMN yet, and believe me, IT WILL THRILL YOU.

The action scenes are nothing short of phenomenal. The race across an athletics field through a crowd of undead will leave you breathless until the last survivor claws his way onto a hovering helicopter. A group of survivors struggle for survival by crowding into a standing room only bathroom in a scene of terror that will crank your claustrophobia to a hundred and have you screaming to be let out.

David Moody has definitely hit his stride with PURIFICATION and one can only hope that this series get turned into a movie or another TV hit like THE WALKING DEAD.

Final Verdict:

Not since Stephen King’s THE STAND have I read such an in-depth, character driven post apocalyptic story that’s been baptized in the simplest of human instincts: survival.

What makes David’s AUTUMN series scary isn’t the dead coming back to life; it’s the emotional realism that he exposes. Whether it’s a person who’s been pushed to the edge and charges out into the mass of the undead out of desperation, or the person who’s chosen to give up, accept his fate and enjoy one last cigarette before the door comes crashing down, David makes you feel every touch, fall, and last gasp of breath.

The fourth entry to the AUTUMN series, DISINTERGRATION, is slated for a November 22nd release and will bring this epic series to an end. While I’m looking forward to this final chapter, I’m also saddened because I’ll be saying goodbye to an old group of friends that have been with me since the very first page.
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The Painted Darkness
The Painted Darkness

BLZBUB, September 5, 2010

Henry is a boy with a gift. The gift of imagination. Whether he’s a secret agent out on a mission, dodging bullets and killing bad guys, or a boy following a group of rabbits, his imagination is so vivid that at times it’s difficult for him to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. Funny thing about imagination though—it can play tricks on you; tricks that can make you want to forget the past ... “Just start at the beginning,” Henry’s dad says, “and the rest will take care of itself.”

Brian Freeman’s THE PAINTED DARKNESS can be described in two words: Fucking Awesome.

At times The Painted Darkness reads like a mix of Stephen King’s IT, DUMA KEY and THE MANGLER, with parts of ALICE IN WONDER LAND to boot. And, just when you think you have it all figured out, well, let’s just say: What Brian giveth, Brian can taketh away.

There’s no question (in my opinion) as to whether or not Uncle Stevie has been an influence in Brian’s writing—as his writing oozes with classic Stephen King style. Brian’s pacing and storytelling were spot-on, invoking a sense of fear and chills as I read, and in the end he took me by surprise with a refreshing twist.

The Painted Darkness (CEMETERY DANCE PUBLICATIONS) is scheduled for a November release in hardcover and can be pre-ordered now at CemeteryDance.com.

FINAL VERDICT

A 5 out of 5. With an opening from horror-master, Brian Keene (an honor in-and-of itself), clever interior illustrations by Jill Bauman, and a tale so wickedly told it begs to be re-read, this is “one for the books” that all the cool kids will be reading. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!

And remember …

Just start at the beginning and the rest will take care of itself …
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Seeking Spirits: The Lost Cases of the Atlantic Paranormal Society by Jason Hawes
Seeking Spirits: The Lost Cases of the Atlantic Paranormal Society

BLZBUB, March 27, 2010

In 1984 the question: "Who you gonna call?" was forever immortalized on the silver screen in Ivan Reitman’s GHOST BUSTERS. For those of you who somehow slept through the eighties and managed to miss this movie, it was a about an outcast team of professors with an affinity for investigating the paranormal and capturing ghosts.

In the movie Dan Aykroyd (Stantz), Bill Murray (Venkman) and Harold Ramis (Spengler) strap on proton packs and blast away at evil spirits with particle beams and containment traps, eventually saving New York City from a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. While far from reality, the movie entertained and started what some might call an obsession with the paranormal, second only to William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.

Unlike GHOST BUSTERS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.) is a seasoned team of professionals who research and help in very real cases of the paranormal. SEEKING SPIRITS: The Lost Cases of The Atlantic Paranormal Society is the follow-up to T.A.P.S. bestselling GHOST HUNTING: True Stories of Unexplained Phenomena from The Atlantic Paranormal Society.

The same reading formula of CASE-ADVICE exists here as is the glossary in the back, defining some of the terms used by today’s ghost hunting experts. Thirty-six cases of some of the most spine-tingling, thought-provoking, head-scratching WTFs T.A.P.S. has experienced in its 10+ years, make this a read that will please anyone’s appetite for a taste of the late night jitters.

Several of the cases really intrigued me (or left me wondering rather), like in the case of POTS AND PANS, where a man is plagued with a spirit that moves his furniture and stacks his cookware into a neat pile on the kitchen floor. I mean seriously, I’m ghost trapped on earth and that’s what I choose to do? Or, in a more serious case, BESIDE HERSELF, where a woman finds that forgetfulness is a result of living with her own doppelganger.

OUR BIGGEST REGRET stands out most though. Ontario Canada native, April Singer, has been relentlessly attacked in her bathroom and she reaches out to T.A.P.S. for help. Unfortunately, this is before the success of SYFY and T.A.P.S. lacks the resources to fly to Canada and help; however, they do aid in trying to find another group in Canada that might—to no avail. Eventually the calls from the woman stop and theirs go unanswered, until one evening they receive a call from a distraught woman informing them that her sister [April] is dead, and that she hit her head on the bathroom sink and then drowned in the tub that was over ten feet away.

No matter what your belief in the paranormal, there’s no doubt that the team over to T.A.P.S. has helped numerous people who’ve struggled with the unknown. Be it a case of someone who just wants to get on TV, or a family who’s in desperate need for answers, they’ve consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty, applying best practices and setting the standards in this truly unconventional science. My hat's off to these guys and their ongoing efforts.

Final Verdict:

For whatever the reason, the paranormal has always held a fascination with me. SEEKING SPIRITS has afforded me a brief, vicarious glimpse at some of the most intense and thrilling documented cases on the subject. If you’re looking for some real-life experiences by two of the most respected men in this field, then this is one read you won’t want to miss.
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Tomes of the Dead: Way of the Barefoot Zombie (Tomes of the Dead) by Jasper Bark
Tomes of the Dead: Way of the Barefoot Zombie (Tomes of the Dead)

BLZBUB, March 7, 2010

Looking to maximize your income? Already among the world’s richest elite? Then for the small price of five million dollars you too can attend Doc Papa’s Way of the Barefoot Zombie. Learn to set aside distracting human feelings like guilt, sympathy and fear. Maximize your potential for wealth, power and personal gain. You must remember the five rules though, for these rules are all that stand between the living and the dead.

Zombies, Voodoo and Magic. Oh My!

Jasper Bark’s WAY OF THE BAREFOOT ZOMBIE is in a league all its own. I’m not even sure how I’d classify it. I guess somewhere between Dawn of the Dead, The Serpent and the Rainbow and Silent Hill. If you’re a fan of any of the afore mentioned, then this is a read that you won't want to miss.

I’d thought I’d seen everything that a Zombie book/movie has to offer. I was wrong. Some of the scenes Jasper paints are so obscene that you have to wonder if he has a little red phone on his writing desk that’s a direct line to the gore-fairy himself. Intestines wrapped around boat’s propeller, still-seeing eyeballs removed from their owner’s heads then crushed like grapes, and for the first time ever I think, a man sodomized by a fly infested Zombie. Crap, just writing all that is giving me the willies again.

Final Verdict:

I loved this book. This is a must-have for all you Zombie lovers out there. It read quick and smooth, and was extremely entertaining. Jasper has a unique voice and if Way of the Barefoot Zombie is any hint to what goes on in that head of his, then I’m not sure if I want to know any more. :)
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Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene
Darkness on the Edge of Town

BLZBUB, March 5, 2010

When the residents of Walden, Virginia wake to find the sun hasn’t risen and the town is surrounded in total darkness, they think nothing of it. They get up, shower, and head off to work, some even driving off into the black abyss. However, it’s not long before they realize the darkness is more than a simple storm front that’s blocked the sun’s illuminating rays… something is in the darkness…something that wants them.

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN is one man’s account of what happens to his town as the surrounding darkness slowly consumes it and sends the inhabitants into an eventual state of primeval carnage. Reminiscent of Stephen King’s THE MIST, which Keene makes reference to, DOTEOT plays on the human fear of the unknown, of ‘there’s something in the darkness,’ that drives a stimulating curiosity and fear that’ll keep you turning pages. Brian Keene’s writing reads effortlessly and whether he intended to or not, he had me laughing out loud several times, partly out of finding humor in a given situation and partly out of a tingle of fear that made me wonder what would I do in that situation?

In one scene our ‘hero’ (anti-hero?) is trying to enlist a crew to venture into the darkness. He finds the people of the crowd all staring at him, waiting to hear his words and thinks, “Suddenly, I had to take a massive shit.” This had me laughing long after I’d closed the book, as I could relate to addressing a group of people and some of the anxieties that come along with it and lets face it, it's just funny.

Brian Keene is consistent. He always creates a fun story that reads so smoothly you forget you’re reading. Honestly, I don’t know how he does it. Some of my all-time favorite authors, ones that I’d wait in line for on the day of a new release, have written stories I’ve started but never finished, either out of boredom or just a simple lack of interest. Over fourteen novels of reading later, Keene continues to keep my interest and the pages turning.

Final Verdict:

Keene delivers again in Darkness on the Edge of Town. His intense situations that force you to consider what you’d do and how you’d react, make this a personable read that yields a sharpness rarely found in a horror novel.
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