Monday, July 26, 2010

Animal Behavior and other tales of Lycanthropy by Keith Gouveia

Animal Behavior and other tales of Lycanthropy.
Keith Gouveia
ISBN 978-1-926712-42-0
Pages: 114
Review of eBook Edition

Table of Contents:
Introduction || The Beast of Garden Row || Lycanthropy || The Wolf Maiden || The Guardian || Dance of the Wolf || Voodoo Moon || Lady of the Forest || War Dog || Shadows of the Wolf || Animal Behavior || Mind, Body, and Soul

Lycanthropy, werewolves, my favorite horror genre arrived in my email box the other day. I converted it from PDF to epub and loaded it on my Kobo so I could read anywhere. The book is a nice collection of short stories and unlike many other collections, not all the stories were the same.

The collection starts off with a bang, a priest attends an exorcism only to find out the man is not possessed by a demon. The guardian had so much potential but for this reviewer the story failed. It would work better as a standalone novella or novel. A little rewriting and it would slip into the YA genre easily. Animal Behavior and Mind, Body and Soul, Dance of the wolf and Lady of the Forest really make this collection rock. Although for this reviewer, The Wolf Maiden is one of the best stories in this collection, though in saying that the human emotions displayed by the wolf were off-putting. Still, this story grabbed me and drew me in. it is the story of a wolf having lost its pups and she watches a young couple with a new born.

This is a short and fast paced book that will keep you engrossed in the characters and what they face. No two stories are the same and you’ll be pleased to have they collection on your shelf.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey

Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
(c)2007 Night Shade Books
ISBN: 978-1-59780-086-0
Second Printing
Trade Paperback 257 pages

Butcher Bird is an interesting book. The story is about a tattoo artist who, after being bitten by a demon, suddenly sees the world in a different light. The city of San Francisco is no longer the city he knows. Demons are attached to the back of humans, buildings aren’t where they should be, and some people are skinless. Oh, and there’s the Black Clerks. Their role is to keep the balance. The book revolves around heaven, hell, and different spheres of existence.

The story is told in sixty-one short chapters. Some chapters seem like they are only there to fill pages. A lot of the chapter I saw little reason for them being there. Other chapters are scattered throughout the book written in italic and they give a kind of history and explanation of the spheres and the black clerks. The descriptiveness is left pretty much blank, leaving a lot to the reader’s imagination. The lead character Spyder accepts the changes a little too easily and calmly. The chapters themselves are over edited – the length did not concern me – what did concern me was the lack of substance per chapter. Things just seem to happen. And it’s not until you’re past the halfway mark that you start to like the main character, Spyder. I don’t quite understand why he and Shrike ‘got it on’ at the beginning of the book, especially when he doesn’t know her and she has treated him rather unkindly.  

But, once you get used to the style and the characters the story does grow on you. Once you get past the first hundred pages the worlds Richard Kadrey builds are expertly constructed. And the end is a kicker. I especially like Lucifer, in this book he is an alright kind of guy (demon). He tortures souls in his free time buy, hell, I’d have a beer with him.  

The book did have some engaging battle scenes involving magic.
Favourite quote: Lust is all that’s amusing about talking meat.  

This is a specialist book, by that I mean it is not general novel that follows general guidelines. I doubt many readers will get into the story and lose themselves in Kadrey’s worlds and characters. 


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Origin by J.A. Konrath

Origin by J. A. Konrath
Publisher: self
This version: 23/11/2007
Epub version.

J. A. Konrath wrote nine books before finally getting published. He decided to release his earlier books as PDF downloads for free. I was looking for something to read on my Kobo Reader and thought I'd give him a try. I have read his blog many times and it is always fun and interesting, so it was time to try his books.

After I converted his book into epub format (which is used for reading on the Kobo, I settled down for a good dose of horror.

And I got it.

I love the idea behind this story (even though some things don't quite add up). The back stories half way through the book, I feel, weren't needed (apart from doctor Harker who lost her baby--but I also believe this was added just to keep the plot moving along. Only problem it was obvious and the doctor is never fully fleshed out, unlike three of the other characters). But overall, this book was a fun, fast read.

Bub is awesome and funny and tricky as he should be.
Andy and Sun are a good team, but she fell into his arms a little too easily. She was hard core and cold when they first met but a chapter later she was warming to him and thought he was cute.

The story revolves around the finding of Bub in 1906, and upon discovery the government built an underground bunker (super large) and found people to work in it. People they knew could keep their mouth shut. Not all did, and the government stepped in quickly. The Area 51 question is answered and so is an assassination. lol. Nicely Done.

Bub was found in a 'coffin' and in a coma. Now he has awoken. No one can understand his language, so the government finds a linguist, Andy, and brings him into the fold. Andy speaks every language imaginable. He speaks to Bub, and translates. English is new to Bub, and he masters English in one day. And goes to work.

Bub has amazing abilities and can perform (what appear to be) miracles, giving some of the team their greatest needs. But Bub has a plan, and he's put it into action.

This is what a horror should be and I don't understand why it wasn't picked up for publication in paperback form. Oh well. Lucky for me. I intend to download his other free books and make sure this wasn't a one-off.