Category: Staff Picks
David Moody -- the next great voice in horror
Highly recommended for Scott Sigler fans,
and Apocalypse addicts everywhere!
by David Moody
"A head-spinning thrill ride ... Hater will haunt you long after you read the last page" --Guillermo Del Toro, director Pan's Labyrinth
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), and directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), Hater is the story of Danny McCoyne, an everyman forced to contend with a world gone mad. For reasons unknown, vast numbers of the human population suddenly become irrationally violent, killing all who cross their path.
Dog Blood (2010) New and popular!
...the electrifying sequel to Hater where humanity fights itself to the death against a backdrop of ultimate apocalyptic destruction
The Earth has been torn into two parts...everyone is now either Human or Hater. Victim or killer. Governments have fallen, command structures have collapsed, and relationships have crumbled. Major cities have become refugee camps where human survivors cower together in fear. Amidst this indiscriminate carnage, Danny McCoyne is on a mission to find his daughter Ellis, convinced that her shared Hater condition means her allegiance is to people like him. Free of inhibitions, unrestricted by memories of peace, and driven by instinct, children are pure Haters, and may well define the future of the Hater race. But, as McCoyne makes his way into the heart of human territory, an incident on the battlefield sets in place an unexpected chain of events, forcing him to question everything he believes he knows about the new order that has arisen, and the dynamic of the Hate itself.
Click here for author's official website!
Review: Legends: The Enchanted
Courtesy of the Graphic Novels Blog...
Legends: the Enchanted by Nick Percival
May's Review: Wow! If you prefer your fairy tales extremely dark mixed with steampunk elements, then this graphic novel is for you!
A band of supernatural but very familiar fairy tale characters including as Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, and the giant-killer Jack have been charged with the protecting the lands from the never-ending horde of nightmarish creatures. Unfortunately, this supernatural band of heroes' greatest weapon--their immortality spell--has been broken and now they must race against time to identify and stop their mysterious nemesis before it's too late.
This is an incredibly dark and gritty story with multiple references to torture and sexual violence that may cause some to be slightly squeamish. This is certainly not the "happily ever after" type of graphic novel. The artwork is gorgeous but slightly twisted in a surreal kind of way. Definitely a recommended read for the Fables fan who is looking for a more adult graphic novel series.
Wanna go for a joyride?
Joyride (Leisure, 2010)
by Jack Ketchum
I love Leisure Books and here's why -- as publishers they rescue some of the best horror out there from oblivion (the hard to find stuff where the original publication was for maybe 350 copies) -- and re-release it as mass market paperbacks. Now authors who you might never have discovered are easy to find at your local bookstore -- and library!
Authors like Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, Edward Lee and last but never least ... Jack Ketchum. Like Laymon, Ketchum is not for the faint of heart. His books are white-knucklers that go straight for the jugular. But if you like your horror horrific, then you simply must give Ketchum a try, especially his classic The Girl Next Door.
Joyride (2010) was previously published as Road Kill (1995) Summary: Hoping to escape from her abusive ex-husband, a woman and her lover successfully carry out their plot to murder him, only to find themselves at the mercy of an obsessive, twisted stranger who witnessed the crime.
Not Your Average Serial Killer
The Face of Death (2007)
By Cody McFadyen
After witnessing the torture and murder of her beloved family at age 6, Sarah Langstorm has lived a lifetime’s worth of anguish and despair. A sadist serial killer known as “The Stranger” has targeted 16 year old Sarah for nearly a decade by slaughtering everyone she has ever cared about calling it “his Justice”. But when her latest foster family is found maimed and dead, she enlists the help of Smoky Barrett and her Violent Crimes Team to catch this sicko once and for all.
Smoky, scarred both physically and emotionally is still recovering from her previous case which saw the murder of her beloved husband, daughter and best friend. Unsure of her readiness to return to work, Smoky is thrown back in the midst of one of her most disturbing cases to date.
This sequel to McFadyen’s debut The Shadow Man is just as good (and disturbing) as the first. The premise of the story—systematically ruining a single victim’s life (but not outright killing her) similar to the way the perpetrator’s life was ruined— is very different from the usual serial killer police procedural. Horrific, haunting, yet compulsively readable, The Face of Death will keep you up at night!
The Darker Side, which is the third book in the series, is also currently available at RPL as is the fourth book Abandoned.
Scott Sigler: rollicking, plot driven page-turners
Summary: CIA operative Dew Phillips, working together with CDC epidemiologist Margaret Montoya, race to stop the spread of a mysterious disease that is turning ordinary people into murderers. A former football player who has become infected with the deadly bioengineered parasite may carry the cure.
The Cryptkeeper says: I worried about starting this one. It's tough for a book with so much hype surrounding it to meet reader expectations, but it did that and more. Sigler's writing style is lean and mean. Several scenes rank among the grossest I've ever read, to the point where I'm laughing and cringing at the same time. Funny and scary, my favorite combination.
This book is 90% plot-driven. It moves from one action sequence to the next, and I usually tire of that type of story-telling pretty quickly. But not so with Sigler. What a ride. His powers of description are enormous. If Hollywood doesn't option this for a movie I'll be gob-smacked. So this book won't change your life or anything, but it's a fun, high-octane read, and there's nothing wrong with that. Beware the triangles!
Summary: Picking up immediately where Infected ended, Contagious continues the story of CIA operative Dew Phillips, CDC epidemiologist Margaret Montoya, and the only survivor of the original triangles infection, Perry Dawsey....the disease responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence.
The Cryptkeeper says: I really enjoyed this one - not as much as Infected, but it's still a rollicking, rousing read. For readers who like plot driven page-turners, you will definitely want to give Scott Sigler a try. Sigler has a very American sense of humor that reminds me a lot of Stephen King -- it's crass, downhome, good 'ol boy stuff. For example: "Donald Jewell ... did not feel good. Perhaps it was more accurate to say that he felt like a tainted can of boiled elephant ass." This line got me giggling so hard I had to put the book down for a minute. And there's lots of gems like that to look forward to.
Sigler does an amazing job of developing the relationship between the old and crusty CIA veteran Dew Phillips and the young, troubled, violent Perry Dawsey who is desperately trying to outrun his demons. For a book that's mostly action sequences, there are moments shared between these two men that are thoughtful and believable and cut to the heart of what motivates each man. The ass-whupping scene is not one I will forget soon either. Priceless!
For all you hardcore sci-fi geeks out there, Sigler goes the extra mile and explains in great detail a lot of the science and technological components that drive the plot.
2 horror classics get the graphic novel treatment
Richard Matheson has long been recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern horror. Stephen King has called Matheson: "the author who influenced me most as a writer."
An American literary legend, Matheson has not only published some of the most well-known and influential horror novels out there (Hell House; I Am Legend; The Incredible Shrinking Man; Stir of Echoes), he has also written countless short stories, including many teleplays for the original Twilight Zone series. Steven Spielberg's directorial debut, the 1971 made-for-TV Duel was also a Richard Matheson screenplay based on one of his short stories.
Now two of Matheson's most famous novels are available in graphic novel format, in black and white drawings that perfectly capture mood and action. Filled with moments of dreadful anticipation and hair-raising sequences. Whether you know the original Matheson novels or not, you will not want to miss out on these visual treats!
Richard Matheson's I Am Legend
adapted by Steve Niles and illustrated by Elman Brown.
Summary: The tale of the last human on an Earth overrun by the undead - returns to graphic novel format in a single volume collection of four long out-of-print books. A pandemic is unleashed upon the world, the symptoms of which are very similar to vampirism. The lone “survivor” of this apocalypse is Robert Neville and his solitary battles to remain uninfected and fight off numerous nocturnal attacks makes for riveting storytelling. Fantastic in premise yet firmly grounded in reality, I Am Legend is an original "vampire" story unlike any other. Even if vampires aren't your thing, this apocalyptic tale of survival is a must read.
Richard Matheson's Hell House
adapation by Ian Edginton ; illustrated by Simon Fraser
Summary: IDW brings you this lavishly illustrated adaptation of Richard Matheson's tale of newspaper publisher Rudolph Deutsch facing his impending demise. To help Deutsch forestall his death and to learn the secrets of life after death, a team of experts must survive a night in Belasco House, a place known amongst the local townsfolk as "Hell House." The notorious Belasco House starts to exert its dark influence on the group of scientists and spiritualists as they unearth the perverse and wretched secrets from within its walls. Hell House has let them in... but will it ever let them leave?
New Richard Laymon now available!
Thanks to the new One Province One Library Card system, it's now easier than ever to get your hands on some of the hottest horror out there. Books are just a click of the Request It button away, like these two Laymon classics, re-released by Leisure Books in 2009 -- Dark Mountain and Flesh.
Even when Laymon isn't at his best, I still find myself turning the pages and unable to put the book down. His books are often dreadful, compelling stuff -- trashy but satisfying, everything a pulp-riff-page-turner should be. For me, Laymon is the equivalent of a greasy cheeseburger and fries -- consume in moderation and enjoy -- and try not to feel guilty about it later!
Find Richard Laymon in the all-new One Province Encore catalogue!!!!
Paranormal Activity "too scary" for Italian moviegoers
According to Sci-Fi Wire, the Italian government is considering restricting the blockbuster horror hit Paranormal Activity because it's "too scary".
The article goes on to describe that: "some Italian moviegoers have actually suffered panic attacks after watching the documentary-style movie, sparking protests by children's and consumer groups."
I find it hard to believe that Italian movie-goers should be so .... ahem.... sensitive shall we say. After all, Italy is the birthplace of zombie gore godfather, Lucio Fulci, and slasher maestro Dario Argento.
For the record, I really enjoyed Paranormal Activity. It was supremely creepy -- so little actually happens, but my stomach was in knots the entire time -- the knockings, thumps and bumps are adrenaline inducing. Because action is minimal, the few violent, thrashing scenes that occur are quite a rush!
But is it a ban-worthy experience? No, not in the least. Like The Blair Witch Project, what you imagine is much worse than what you actually see. Now The Exorcist -- there's a movie that remains truly horrifying and disturbing on so many levels. I still think no one under 18 should see this movie.
Supernatural Season 6 confirmed
The boys will be back! According to SciFi Wire, the CW series Supernatural is returning this fall with Season 6 - but without series creator Eric Kripke.
Plot Summary: The series begins as two brothers travel America's back roads in a '68 Chevy Impala. They are searching for a missing father who raised them to hunt and destroy every evil supernatural incarnation they encounter. On the top of their hit-list is the Yellow-Eyed Demon that killed their mother 22 years previously. As the series progresses the brothers discover they have a much larger role to play that involves the end of the world.
Not a fan yet? Find Supernatural in the RPL Catalogue:
Supernatural: The complete 1st season (DVD)
Supernatural: The complete 2nd season (DVD)
Supernatural: The complete 3rd season (DVD)
Supernatural: The complete 4th season (DVD)
A sequel you don't want to miss!
Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009)
Summary: Sam has an extraordinary talent. He has the ability to travel through time. He can use his gift to help the police solve cases, but he must never intervene with the past as it could alter the present in horrific ways. When a woman from Sam's past begs him to help find her sister's killer, Sam breaks his own rule, causing all hell to break loose.
The Cryptkeeper says: I tend not to get too excited about the inevitable multiple sequels the horror genre spawns ad nauseum. Did we really need a Jason Vorhees in space movie? -- I believe that made it Friday the 13th part 10 -- and Hollywood is draining every last bit of originality and purpose out of the SAW franchise this October with SAW VII. Where does it end? Most often in dreadful, lazy movie-making. But every now and then a real diamond appears amongst the dreck.
The original Butterfly Effect released in 2004 and starring Ashton Kutcher is an awesome movie. Ashton Kutcher successfully breaks out of his moronic Michael Kelso / Punk'd persona to turn in a mesmerizing and unforgettable performance. I for one did not think he had it in him. Kutcher plays Evan Treborn, a young man struggling to suppress traumatic childhood events. His recovery of certain memories leads him to believe he can make things better by righting past wrongs -- a dangerous assumption. By altering certain significant details from the past, Evan discovers life changes for everyone in the present, and not always for the better. The more Evan tries to fix things, the more broken they become. The supporting cast is superb, particularly Amy Smart who plays Evan's lifelong love interest, Kayleigh. I've seen this movie several times now, and I take something new away with every viewing. Intense and bittersweet with a heartbreaking ending.
Butterfly Effect 2 (2006) is awful, disappointing on so many levels compared to the original that there is really nothing more to say.
Now along comes part 3, and I thought to myself, "are they mad? what could they possibly offer here other than a great big giant bowl of waste of my time?" I'm glad I watch movies anyway even though I'm positive I'm going to hate them, because sometimes I'm completely wrong and delightfully surprised. Butterfly Effect 3 is a much darker and gruesome departure from the original. It's a gritty who-dun-it police procedural with a time travel twist that works on so many levels. While part of a franchise, it is a stand alone film, and it's not necessary that you see the original before sitting down to watch this one. It's not a classic or anything (or even as good as the original), but well-deserving of 90 minutes of your time.
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