Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wanna Win This Lottery

Dreading your next family reunion? Wondering if your next lottery ticket just might be the big one? In need of a really good scare? Let me introduce you to The Killing Room... part mystery/part horror and all around ghost story.

The Young family has a secret. Every ten years they have a family reunion and every ten years a lottery. One member is drawn to spend the night in a room, a dark one in the old servant quarters... Doesn't sound too bad... except this room, well, it kills. And in ways no one could imagine....

This book is definitely a good old fashion ghost story. It scares, it terrifies, and it makes all the tingles people want when reading a horror tale. Reminding me of something told around a campfire, The Killing Room is well written, though predictable at times. Its host of characters are easy to relate to, and make you like or hate them with just a few lines. The mystery behind the room holds the reader well, but for me, the clues were too often and had me solving it far before the end.

As a whole, this book is definitely not for the tender readers or children. I would be even careful with the young adult group. Strong language, scary moments, gore, and some sexual scenes were present, but it wasn't extremely graphic in nature, but blood as well as some violent deaths could keep those with weak stomachs from daring this story.

In truth, I liked The Killing Room. It was a great read for an afternoon and definitely worth the time of any ghost story enthusiast. Give it a try and toss your name in the lottery. Just don't ABANDON HOPE.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Monster May I

It begins with a poem, just that and nothing more, but someone decided the story needed to be told. The beast has haunted lives since Lewis Carroll dreamed him up so long ago, in a simple verse that left more questions than answers. One line... Beware the Jabberwocky...

Jabberwocky by David Coleman is quite the little fairy tale, of love and betrayal, of pride and humility, but most of all, of honor and friendship. Having read Hatter before, I was familiar with his version of Wonderland, but new comers will have no trouble finding their way into this delightful like tome.

It begins with a monster, one whose mere shadow darkens the hearts of the people of Wonderland, yet, it starts with small village and a boy with a dream. Along the way to achieve it, he must show himself honorable among men and courageous in the fierce battle to claim back the one he loves.

As with Hatter, I was impressed with the way Coleman writes Wonderland as well as its famous inhabitants. Bringing forth such a wonderful spin on just a few lined poem, the reader is shown what makes a monster truly a monster. Above all, this is a story that makes us remember there are still good storytellers out there.

Besides a little gore, this book is perfect for the YA crowd as well as adults. It's full of action as well as mystery, plus some good old fashion humor and wit. The characters will steal your heart and leave you ready for another trip down the rabbit hole. Just remember... beware the Jabberwocky.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Haunting Insanity

Ghost stories are the perfect way to send tingles down your spin, but add a creepy run down asylum to the mix and you've got Ghosts of Rosewood by Stephen Prosapio. Part paranormal thriller, part psychological thriller, this book takes you from the first sentence and possesses your mind 'til the final end. A can't put down, stay up all night ride of pure adrenaline...

Zach, leader of the XPI, is a mystery in and of himself, haunted and waiting for answers he's not sure he's ready for. His crew, a band of misfits that have become quite the efficient ghost hunting team, though maybe not ready for what this new place entails... The assignment, Rosewood Asylum, a place that has seen its share of suicides, fires, and something even more sinister....

The state wants it cleared out of ghosts, the network wants a big story, and the other team they have to work with just wants their name in lights, even if it means faking the evidence. Best laid plans of mice and men... never had these spirits to deal with...

Ghosts of Rosewood is a gripping read. Starting with the first sentence, the reader is pulled into the story from past to present in a fluid motion and it keeps you interested throughout the story. I felt myself at Rosewood, enjoying the smells of dust and candles, hearing the moans of ghostly hauntings, and seeing the fading shapes of spirits as each word brought me deeper into the climatic end.

Zach and his team as well as many other wonderful characters leaped from the pages, making me feel like I wasn't just watching their lives unfold, but that I was part of them. The spirits were frightening, yet, left the reader to work out the mystery as it unfolded. Clues slowly formed instead of being predictable or giving too much away. It made for an enjoyable read.

This book is not for young children and readers who get scared easily. There is a bit of language, some very scary moment, and some gore, but very little sexual content. I recommend it for anyone looking for a great afternoon read or if one dares, a bedtime read, though I assure once you start, it's really hard to put down. Enjoy the madness, but beware of the Soul Collector!

Monday, March 5, 2012

One More Trip Down the Rabbit Hole...

Mad as a hatter? Wondering about Ravens and Writing Desks? Or just know a cat named Cheshire? Answer yes to these questions and you are definitely ready to read Hatter by Daniel Coleman.

Enter our heroes. Chism... a '13', useless, weak, a throwaway... yet, he walks into battle ready to save a duke, a peasant, and maybe his own skin just to show the world that honor isn't just for the rich man. Hatta... funny, odd, and maybe slightly mad... he is just the kind of person you want at your side if you are going off on an adventure as long as it doesn't mean anything dangerous and colors are a plus. Together, they are destine to save their kingdoms or die trying.

I love Wonderland. Since the first time I watched Alice on TV to the day i was old enough to read the book, I have been smitten with the characters as well as the world. To say, I'm very weary of books that are written about Wonderland is an understatement, and when I say that this is a top notch book, I'm not kidding.

Hatter is wonderfully written and creative without taking away the magic that is Wonderland. Using these beloved characters to weave a story about brotherhood, friendship, and love, Coleman has given us more reasons to cherish this world than ever before. Plot twists that weave into an almost poetry like end, he gives more essence to characters like Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and even the Queen of Hearts. He also brings in new ones to love and shows us that even though the creator may have passed away, his world can be given life by new writers.

Hatter is one of those rare gems that needs exploring again and again... trust me when I say, take a dive down that rabbit hole for this maddening little tale of fun... after all, we are all mad here, are we not?!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Southern Mystery Done Right

Who says life ends when you're sixty? Not the case for Mary Alice and her often reluctant sister, Patricia Anne in this cozy mystery by Anne George...

Retired school teacher Patricia Anne is happy being a housewife... making applesauce, cookies, and taking care of her husband, Fred. This all changes when her often eccentric sister, Mary Alice buys a western night club called the Boot'n Skoot and promptly tells Patricia she wants her help. Travelling to the boot themed night club, the sisters meet the owner, a nice middle aged man named Ed, who can make his hula girl tattoo dance. Patricia isn't exactly ready to start line dancing into the act, but her sister basically volunteers her to help with the set up. It isn't until they find Ed murdered that things get really really weird and Patricia Alice starts playing private eye.

Truly, this is a great book. Miss George makes you fall in love with her characters from the get go and anyone who has ever spent time in the South will laugh out loud at how well she captures the Down South lifestyle. As mysteries go, it kept me guessing right up to the end and spun each web at the right time, not giving too much away. Easily read, there is very little graphic nature in this book or vulgar language so most anyone can read it. As for the age of the characters being a factor, I am in my thirties and I thoroughly enjoyed it from cover to cover.

So... sit down with a cup of hot tea and join the Southern sisters in their first mystery... I promise you will come back for more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spider? Check. Assassin? Check.

Fascination with spiders? Assassins? Or do you just need a good romp to get your heart pumping? All the above are here in this great book from Jennifer Estep. Gin, named after the liquor, is the Spider, an assassin known for her patience and cold hearted nature. She is beautiful, clever, and deadly.

When hired to do a seamlessly easy job that will give her enough money to retire, she and her handler jumped at it. Still, Gin's gut churns with uneasiness and in a matter of minutes, her entire world is turned upside down with betrayal, loss, and a strange alliance even she doesn't see coming.

Without giving away the entire plot, I believe this is a great book for anyone who loves good action, a wonderful plot, and of course, a strong female character. Her character voices are their own and not carbon copies of one another. Even those you meet for a short time, keep your attention and you are sad to see them pass on. The plot lends enough to your imagination without giving too much away keeping your interest, clues dropped indiscreetly as you weave around her web with ease.

For the romantic, there is a little for you, though in the first book, she concentrates on delivering a well rounded introduction to the people you will deal with further in the series. Gore is kept to a minimum, but there are some more graphic intimate scenes not for the younger or more sensitive crowds. As a whole, I give this book five stars. Best enjoyed with a cup of red wine or a hot cup of coffee...