Category: What's New

02/16/11

Dog Blood - the Hater trilogy continues

Dog Blood (Hater #2)

David Moody

This is turning out to be a great series, so if you're a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction with an original twist on the zombie theme, then don't miss out.

Dog Blood is not as strong as Hater but a decent sequel that achieves the necessary plot development to move the story along to what will hopefully be a rousing finale. By now, we know what's going on so there's no mystery there (even though we still don't know why and for what purpose).

Even though Dog Blood lacks the fever-pitch level of suspense that grabs you by the throat in Hater, it is a gripping read nonetheless in the way it shows how most humans are "dealing with" the crisis. Most are refugees locked behind a perimeter that surrounds their ravaged cities, existing under martial law, depending on the military for every basic human need. All the while government soldiers and pseudo-conscripted volunteers, wage a war on the Haters in their attempt to wipe them out.

Dog Blood also raises some interesting questions about the Hate, whether it is a disease, an alien influence, or a genetic malfunction in some humans triggering an evolutionary dichotomy between man and Hater. Other than the bloodlust and insatiable need to kill the Unchanged, Haters remain recognizably human. But cannot or will not co-exist with non-Haters. So my hope for Book 3 is that we learn the true nature and purpose of the Hate and that Moody will take a closer look at the Hater goal -- if they succeed in wiping out the Unchanged and in taking over the planet, what will that "new world" look like, and how will they choose to live in it with no one ostensibly left to hate?

::::::::::::::BEWARE SPOILERS::::::::::::::::
What I did find totally engaging here is Danny McCoyne's quest to find his five year old daughter, also a Hater. The ramifications of child Haters, and their possible role in the on-going war against humans, is chilling. What's remarkable is that McCoyne is no less sympathetic now, as a blood-thirsty full-on Hater, then he is in Book 1 as a normal Joe Blow underachiever trying to protect his family from the exploding violence. That's good writing. ::::::::::::::::::::END SPOILER:::::::::::::::::::::

Don't miss out on David Moody's Autumn series

The online zombie sensation that has been downloaded more than half a million times is finally available as a novel - including brand new material available for the first time!!!

Autumn (Book 1)

Autumn: The City

Zombie fans rejoice! One of the original zombie novels is back from the grave to remind us all why the walking dead are so scary, and what it means to have a front-row seat for the end of the world. AUTUMN is genuinely creepy, an atmospheric study of what happens when the dead come back--and what we have to do just to survive. -- David Wellington

In less than twenty-four hours a vicious and virulent disease destroys virtually all of the population. Billions are killed. Thousands die every second. There are no symptoms and no warnings. Within moments of infection each victim suffers a violent and agonizing death. Only a handful of survivors remain. By the end of the first day those survivors wish they were dead.

Then the disease strikes again, and all hell breaks loose. Read more here!


02/10/11

He is legend

He is Legend

An Anthology Celebrating Richard Mateheson

Richard Matheson, the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, has inspired a generation of storytellers. Now an outstanding cast of top writers pays tribute to his legacy with an all-new collection of original stories set in Matheson's own fictional universes, including sequels, prequels, and companion stories to I Am Legend, Hell House, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, Duel, and Button, Button. (Product Description)

Featuring new short stories by:

Nancy A. Collins
Joe R. Lansdale
William F. Nolan
Whitley Strieber
F. Paul Wilson
Richard Christian Matheson

...and collaborating together for the first time, Stephen King and his son, best-selling novelist
Joe Hill.


01/06/11

Be careful who you slight


Slights by Kaaron Warren

After an accident in which her mother dies, Stevie has a near-death experience, and finds herself in a room full of people - everyone she's ever annoyed. They clutch at her, scratch and tear at her. But she finds herself drawn back to this place, again and again, determined to unlock its secrets. Which means she has to die, again and again. And Stevie starts to wonder whether other people see the same room...when they die (Product Description)

First of all, can I just say how much I love this cover? A bunch of new paperbacks arrived at the library a few months ago, and this immediately caught my eye for its supreme creepiness. For some reason it reminded me of that movie Jacob's Ladder, but I digress.

This is an exceptionally well-written book, with an original premise that's solidly executed, but reader beware: it is a dark, depressing, claustrophobic read that never lets up. It is a richly textured novel, quite literary, but also ruthless in its barbarity. This book will shock you and make you squirm, of that I am certain. It is a mystery wrapped up in devastating family secrets.

Stevie is a villain like no other I've read in a very long time. Getting inside her head is akin to cracking open a log on the forest floor and having all sorts of creepy crawlies come pouring out -- beetles, centipedes, maggots, you name it. The ick factor is off the charts. I wanted to feel sorry for her, find some reason for empathy, but she is just so completely rotten to her core that you can't. I'm telling you, you can't! Just when I felt myself starting to soften, my burgeoning empathy was squashed by a cruel or selfish word, thought or deed.

And it's not just Stevie: no one is likable in this book. There is no one to root for and I struggle with that kind of post-modern existential reading experience. I need a hero, or at least an anti-hero, someone with one redeeming quality to hang my hat on. But everyone is horrible. Maybe it's because they're seen through Stevie's eyes, but it doesn't matter because the end result is the same.

The first half of the novel reads like a coming-of-age story with lots of jagged edges. It's a slow build, but Stevie's reminisces are painful, ugly and uncomfortable to read because Warren's language is graphic, brutalizing, and scalpel sharp. Certainly not for everyone, but an intriguing and impressive debut.

-Trudi


12/22/10

Judge a book by its cover (December 2010)

Even though we're told we never should, I love judging books by their covers, and here's one that caught my immediate attention! When I first saw that antique "English" carriage, all I could think of was Rosemary's Baby. When I read what it was about -- changelings and the dark underworld called "Gentry" I was reminded of the film Labyrinth. Either way, I definitely want to read this!!

The Replacement (2010)

by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs

-Trudi



Categories: What's New, Staff Picks

RPL wishes you a very scary Christmas!


A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter (2010)

by Peter Straub

Young Keith Hayward idolizes his charming, charismatic Uncle Till. When Keith's mother asks Till to talk to Keith after the boy is found dismembering a dead cat, Till recognizes a kindred spirit and begins to instruct Keith on smart, secret ways to pursue his evil endeavors. As the years pass, Keith grows older and bolder in his sadistic pleasures, and when Till comes back into town, Keith finds the perfect way to impress him. Vivid but never overly graphic or grotesque, Straub's words paint horrific pictures of two depraved men. The violence is minimal, but understood in the most subtle of ways. This beautifully horrifying, delightfully disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will stay with the reader long after the last page is done (Publisher's Weekly Starred Review)

Feed (2010)

by Mira Grant

Large, sprawling, detailed world building delivered with a punch to the solar plexis. If zombies are your thing, then don't miss this above-average romp that distinguished itself from the pack this year.

The good news: we survived. The bad news: so did they.
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.




Full Dark No Stars (2010)
by Stephen King

The master of the macabre is back with this chilling collection of four spine-tingling novellas that downplay the supernatural and focus on the jagged edges of real world fears. Ordinary people forced to make extraordinary choices and the horrible consequences that follow ... curl up tight under a warm blanket with a mug of hot chocolate ... you are in for a holiday treat you won't soon forget!!!


Joyride (2010)

by Jack Ketchum

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. Joyride (2010) was previously published as Road Kill (1995)

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.


The Killing Kind (2010)

by Bryan Smith

In the tradition of a 1980's slasher flick, Bryan Smith offers up a truly grisly tale that will keep you reading long after midnight. Fans of Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum will not want to miss this thrilling ride of terror and carnage!

A group of college friends are ready for a week of partying at their rented beach house. They didn’t count on a pair of homicidal maniacs crashing the party.


Neverland (2010)

by Douglas Clegg

...a southern gothic tale of family secrets and games of innocence turned to darkness.

Neverland has a secret history, unknown to the children....The rundown shack in the woods is the key to an age-old mystery, a place forbidden to all. But Sumter and his cousins gather in its dusty shadows to escape the tensions at their grandmother's house. Neverland becomes the place where children begin to worship a creature of shadows, which Sumter calls "Lucy."

....It begins with small sacrifices, little games, strange imaginings. While Sumter's games spiral out of control, twisting from the mysterious to the macabre, a nightmarish presence rises among the straggly trees beyond the bluffs overlooking the sea.

-Trudi


12/15/10

How 'bout some thinking, feeling zombies?

Dust (2010) New!

by Joan Frances Turner

A zombie book told from the p.o.v of the zombies? Okay, I'll bite...

Reviews on this one have been mixed, but some people are raving. It's gory, gooshy, zombie fun and a whole new take on the genre.

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.

Now, she’s not.

After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights.... She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death (Book Description)

-Trudi


11/26/10

A best of collection you don't want to miss!


The Best of Joe R. Lansdale (2010) New!

If you've never heard of Lansdale, now's your chance to catch up with this solid collection of short stories. Lansdale has become a legend in his own time, definitely one of the most innovative voices writing in horror today. His stories run the gamut of weird, wild, wacky and wonderful. Have you seen the movie Bubba Ho-Tep? That's Lansdale.

One online reviewer describes his writing as:

Texan storytelling at its best – rude, crude and offensive! His stories have a tall tale feel to them, and though they contain many unpleasant circumstances and characters there is also an underlying sentimentality to them.... The strength of Lansdale’s stories rest squarely on the shoulders of his colorful characters, who are usually piss-full of vinegar and colorful language. They mainly hail from the hearty backwoods of Texas or other rural places, living hard lives and encountering many strange creatures, including zombies, mummies and even albino mules.


11/16/10

Judge a book by its cover (November 2010)


Slights (2009) New!

by Kaaron Warren

"Sickening ... Gruesome... Outstanding." Publisher's Weekly Starred Review

I was browsing through some new paperbacks last week and my eyes were immediately drawn to this cover for Slights by Kaaron Warren ... creepy, wouldn't you agree? Then there's what the book is about:

STEVIE IS A KILLER.

But she brings her victims back to life to demand of them: "WHAT DO YOU SEE?"

Now she's about to find out for herself...

Cue appropriately ominous organ music ...

So now it's become a must-read. Review to follow!


11/08/10

David Moody -- the next great voice in horror

Highly recommended for Scott Sigler fans,
and Apocalypse addicts everywhere!


Hater (2009)

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

Product Description:
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!

Product Description:

...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!

The Cryptkeeper


11/03/10

The King of Horror gets back to the basics

Full Dark, No Stars

by Stephen King

The master of the macabre returns with four spine-tingling novellas, meant to thrill and chill!!

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: When a master of horror and heebie-jeebies like Stephen King calls his book Full Dark, No Stars, you know you’re in for a treat--that is, if your idea of a good time is spent curled up in a ball wondering why-oh-why you started reading after dark. King fans (and those who have always wanted to give him a shot) will devour this collection of campfire tales where marriages sway under the weight of pitch-black secrets, greed and guilt poison and fester, and the only thing you can count on is that "there are always worse things waiting." Full Dark, No Stars features four one-sitting yarns showcasing King at his gritty, gruesome, giddy best, so be sure to check under the bed before getting started. --Daphne Durham

Product Description:

1922: "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger . . ." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922," the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

Big Driver: In "Big Driver," a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face-to-face with another stranger: the one inside herself.

Fair Extension: "Fair Extension," the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Dave Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment.

A Good Marriage: When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage.

Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.


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