Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Snuff Syndicate by Keith Gouveia

The Snuff Syndicate by Keith Gouveia
Beating Windward Press LLC
Paperback 193 pages
Copyright 2012

The back of this book tells us that it is about serial killers and an online forum they use to tell their tales. Sounds awesome, right? But it doesn't come across the way it is billed.

Keith Gouveia has had a brilliant idea (I had a similar thought last year regarding Cthulhu tales). He has written the base of a novella, the spine and ribcage. And he has 8 authors write stories to add arms, legs, and meat. And every single story bar one, are awesome, and I like how Keith uses characters mentioned in the stories as his base tale progresses.

All tales are about serial killers.
All involve murder, gory and unabashed. 
All the tales are linked by Keith Gouveia's story.

I enjoyed the tales but as with every collection (linked or not) there are a few that stand out:
Hackwork, Tipping the odds, Snuffingly Yours, and NSFW kicked major butt.

Keith Gouveia has put together a great collection with a solid base story, that is, in itself, a more than decent addition to the rest.

You won't be disappointed shelling out a few dollars on this.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Meat by Joseph D'Lacey

Meat by Joseph D'Lacey
Bloody Books UK
Paperback: 343 pages

I've read Joseph before and enjoyed his novella (I think it was Kill Crew--don't quote me on that); it was an exciting and tense read, it is reviewed here on this site somewhere.

Meat is the story of a town called Abyrne where meat is the answer to everything. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyone eats meat. The innards of the cattle gives power to the city. There are two major powers in the city: Parsons of Welfare (religious group) they have a lot of power and then there is: Magnus who controls the meat. Throw in, John Collins, the leader of a group of vegetarians, and a man nicknamed Ice Pick and a milker who falls in love/lust for one of his cows and you have the ingredients of an explosive novel.

That failed. Sorry. I think D'Lacey tried to put too much into the story, I got lost and there seems to be an awful lot of padding (more than character building), things were not all that clear (cattle don't have palms to my knowledge and I thought perhaps the cattle were actually humans, but that didn't seem to be the case. Things happened for reasons that were not fully explained and just kind of happen out of the blue (build up here would have been nice, especially one part of the storyline). It is a slow moving story that builds up as characters are introduced and the plot moves along.

This book didn't resonate with me. Maybe the message behind the story did not interest me.
From Amazon about the author: Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer, D'Lacey is best known for his shocking eco-horror novel MEAT. The book has been widely translated and prompted Stephen King to say "Joseph D'Lacey rocks!".

And judging by the reviews on Amazon, I obviously didn't get it.
I simply wasn't for me.


Friday, February 1, 2013

The Ritual by Adam Nevill

The Ritual by Adam Nevill
Pan Horror Books
Copyright 2011
Paperback version 418 pages.

This is my first time reading Adam Nevill. I heard about Apartment 16 awhile back but never got around to ordering a copy. I decided it was time to get a copy when I stumbled onto the Ritual. The story is about four old college friends who meet up once a year for a holiday. This year they decide to go camping. 
The book opens with the four friends on top of some rocks. One has banged up his knee quite well and the other is overweight and unfit for such a trip. Trying to make the best of a bad situation, Hutch and Luke know they have to get proactive and make a decision regarding Dom's knee and Phil's inability to keep up the pace, and Hutch (the leader) decides to take a short cut through a forest. 
Worst decision ever. 
The forest is very old--very, very old. And something is alive in that forest...and it's hungry.

Nevill has written a great tale with characters that jump off the page. I know someone like, Dom, Phil and Hutch. I don't know anyone like Luke but I could connect with him, more than the others. And there's a reason for that.

There were parts of the book that I felt were filler and Luke's anger seemed to come from nowhere, even with his explanation later. There was no hint or leaning toward it, no building frustration and annoyance. So I was a little taken aback by that.

However in saying that it was a great tale that moved at a decent pace, and kept me reading. And isn't that what all writer's want: readers glued to the page.