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MACABRE REVIEWS

Sunday, November 13, 2016

MACABRE REVIEW: It Sustains by Mark Morris


Picked up a copy of this hard cover book in a fortunate trunk hall. The book is a short novel with a fast-paced, tight writing style. A commercial approach to writing and characterization that delivers a professional product, the writing also has a slight literary bent, reminiscent of Clive Barker and Phil Rickman.

Set in rural England, the book has a dark, isolated feel in which Morris leaves the reader feeling slightly claustrophobic. The characters' plight is driven by supernatural forces and realistic misgivings, rather than fortuitous bad decisions sometimes found in the genre.
Read more . . .


Saturday, November 29, 2014

MACABRE REVIEW: SNAFU Heroes. Like

SNAFU Heroes hits hard and keeps on hitting.This military anthology of horror/science fiction stories opens with a new novella by Joseph Nassise based upon his Templar Chronicles series.

The story is fast-paced and keeps the reader engaged, not wanting to put the book down. A blend of action adventure and dark urban fantasy, the story turns on a sophisticated plot where a team of special operatives confront creatures that are zombie-like but controlled by a higher being, demon. Nassise is at his best in this book, making it worth the purchase.

Weston Ochse delivers in a near future story that takes places in a desert. The characterization is as compelling as the imaginative world Ochse creates in his desert rift that releases creatures from the depths. The anthology shifts gears with a thoughtful story by James A Moore that draws the reader in with a literary quality, but continues to meet our expectations in the SNAFU series with its powerful images of a Nazi scheme gone awry.

The last story in this book is a Jonathan Maberry Captain Ledger tale. Like Moore, he draws the reader in with an appeal for a humanity quality, but then turns up the action and the supernatural elements. Another page turner that keeps you glued to this story.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

MACABRE REVIEW: The Grey Matter

Billie Sue Mosiman weaves an intricate tale of suspense in her recent novel The Grey Matter. The book is well written, combining strong plot and characterization that glue the reader to her work. A serial killer goes about his crimes undetected for years. Then he encounters a crew of young folk trying to make their way in a cabin nestled in the Alabama mountains.

Mosiman captures the people of her native state with a distinctive voice. The reader quickly gets to know Abe, Caleb, Ben and Josie. More importantly, we reader is taken inside the mind of John Grey, seeing things from his point of view. A nationwide blackout sends the nearby rural town into chaos. Josie and her friends are forced to contend with the elements of nature, a nearby serial killer, and a world in disruption. At the same time, they are pitted with internal conflicts.

Not since Jack Ketchum's novel Red have we seen such a fine development of plot, development of character, and precise writing. You can't go wrong with this book by Post Mortem Press. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this book and hope to see it recognized for the craft required to being it all together.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

More Military Horror with SNAFU: Wolves at the Door

Cohesion Press has launched the primer anthology series for Military Horror/Science Fiction.

The first book in the series was SNAFU, An Anthology of Military Horror. The book was a major success bringing stories from the best writers in the Horror/Action Adventure realm, including Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Greig Beck, and James A. Moore, as well as emerging writers who draw the reader in and hold suspense like the big writers. At 446 pages of packed adventure, this book is well worth the purchase.

A second anthology is being release soon titled SNAFU: Heroes, Editor Geoff Brown brings back writers like Maberry, Ochse and Moore, but also adds everyone's favor big Joseph Nassise of Templar Chronicles fame. This book weaves together an impressive collection of stories and novellas, each one can be read in a single session. A good buy of 50,000 words- equal to a novel- for $2.99.

Later this year Cohesion returns with SNAFU: Wolves at the Door. this book is expected to run 80,000 words and will include a novella by James M. Moore. A collection of chilling tales bringing warriors and werewolves into conflict. Not too far down the road we will see SNAFU II: Survival of the Fittest in which more big name writers and emerging scribes will come together in what is expected to be another bestselling collection.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

MACABRE REVIEW: The New Black

The New Black, a neo noir anthology by Dark House Press, edited by Richard Thomas.

The New Black drew me in quickly and held my interest from cover to cover. Although I often read a few books at a time, mixing them up, I kept reaching for it. 

This is a boundary breaking anthology that hopefully gets the attention that it deserves- a book with the appeal of genre fiction, but the quality writing of literary fiction. Thomas shows us that literary writing style can compel a story along. The New Black also demonstrates some of the range possible with neo noir. The New Black reflects that genre writers can be literary and literary writers can work within a genre. Hemingway and Fitzgerald wrote to the popular culture and now are considered literary. To that end, The New Black takes us back a century and hopefully helps moves us forward in the next decade.  


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