Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Christmas to Remember by Matt Shaw

A Christmas to Remember by Matt Shaw
A choose the story book
Kindle Edition

I haven't read one of these kinds of books for a long time, not since I was in high school. so when I discovered this book on Amazon, I grabbed a copy and was rearing to get into it.

These books have always gotten to me, only once had I reached the proper ending of the countless 'Choose your own adventure' books (as they were called in NZ). This book took three reads to reach the happy ending but there are several dead ends along the way. I think there are only three possible endings in this short book. Hats off to Matt Shaw for compiling such a tale.

One of the links was a tad annoying as it was the panic link, from two completely different sections of the tale. This link went directly from the current scene to him standing in the kitchen. A little confusing when he was in the bedroom with the ex wife.

Ah, the ex-wife. He hates her, her boyfriend and he wants revenge. That's the basis of the plot. The BF is already chopped up and baking in the oven. The ex-wife also comments on how great dinner smells (LOL). The kids are staring at the amount of presents under the tree. There is no star on top of the tree, he is saving that for the ex's head.

The writing style is not really to my taste but Matt does write well and a lot of people will enjoy this book. I enjoyed it, I just like more meat in sentences I read.

Speaking of meat, this book is not for you if you are adverse to horror.

3 out of 5 stars

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cold Skies and other tales of fear by Paul McAvoy

Cold Skies and other tales of fear by Paul McAvoy
PDF Kindled Version


Short story collections are difficult to review for me. Sometimes there are stories that shine and other times there aren't. Short stories are usually a mixed bag. This is one of these collections -- almost. Why almost? As a reviewer and a writer myself I can be highly critical of what I read and the words I use to review. I like to find the best in a book and lay it out for the reader, but I don't hold anything back. I believe a reader should be well informed before a purchase.

In this case, Paul McAvoy has over edited his tales leaving only skeletons of what could be great stories. The opening story is one of the best in this collection but it lacks a decent ending and the tale seems rushed. There are also instances where a gerund should have been used and not the plain verb form. This is constant throughout the entire collection. The word 'dead' is spelt as 'led' which can be off-putting and very confusing. Also floor is used when the character is outside 'I was under the car. I got up off the floor and...'. Many writers do this. It is wrong. (I recently had a Facebook discussion about it.)

All the stories in this collection are great ideas (even read one I had done several years ago -- there are no new ideas only new spins) that would have been great just the delivery--the execution--was wrong. There was no meat and no flow to most of the tales and not much of an ending in several of these. Naturally this is just my opinion, several of these tales were previously published.

The fear in these stories did not resonate with me (except the first).

1 star out of 5.