Tag Archives: Horror

Insanity – Cameron Jace

I’ll be honest, I knew nothing of Cameron Jace…never heard of him, never seen any of his work when one day I received an email from an ebook service that I subscribe to that described one of his books that was on sale (OK free) and the description intrigued me…since the price was right I went and “purchased” it.  I didn’t get around to reading it for quite some time but finally did just before the holidays.

According to Mr. Jace’s web site, he isn’t a professional writer but likes writing stories that he always wanted to read but couldn’t find already done. There’s really not much more I can tell you about the author…which bothers me as I tend to like to know at least something about the author I’m reading so I can get an idea of how their background and experiences have molded their writing.

Insanity is the first book of a series of books that he refers to collectively as Insanity; however, I think a more accurate title would be the Wonderland Wars….but, we’ll see.

Years ago, I purchased and absolutely adored a computer game called American McGee’s Alice.  It tells a very dark tale of Alice (as in Alice in Wonderland) who accidentally set fire to her home as a child which resulted in everything and everyone she loved to be destroyed or killed.  She gets institutionalized in an insane asylum and is eventually called back to a much more dark and twisted Wonderland.

The reason I mention this game is because Mr. Jace’s stories have a striking resemblance to the concept (but not execution).  In Insanity, Alice Wonder is in an institution for having killed her classmates on a school bus.  There she meets Professor Pillar, a serial killer (a-la Hannibal Lector) who believes that she is “THE” Alice and that he is The Caterpiller from Wonderland.  Together they are trying to stop a Wonderland monster that is in the real world who is brutally killing people, leaving a sewn up grin on their faces.

The story is at turns bizarre, humorous, educational and dark…very much like the real Alice In Wonderland books.

Honestly, I could not put the book down (a rarity for me).  Once finished, I actually wrote a review on Amazon.com…which I seldom do and have never done so for a freebie.  I have since purchased the collection for the first 3 ebooks and will likely buy books 4 and 5 (I think that’s as far as it goes so far).   Honestly, I was afraid to start book 2 since often books that may have been intended to be one-off frequently doesn’t translate well into a series, completely changes the characters or changes the sense of wonder…..so far, I’m happy to report that book 2 “Figment” is every bit as much fun as book 1 although perhaps a bit darker.

 

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The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror – Christopher Moore

I know I’ve written about Christopher Moore before, so I won’t describe him much here other than to say that this story proves that he is one man with a fertile, wickedly funny and weird imagination.

I chose this book to write about merely because it’s getting so close to the Christmas season and frankly, I’ve been dying to do so.  This story has it all, Santa Claus (well someone dressed up as one), murder, betraying, Christmas angels, and zombies, what more could you ask for?

The angel Raziel, last seen in Moore’s “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal“, comes down to Pine Cove (a small coastal California town which is frequently a location in Moore’s novels) to grant one child a Christmas wish.  Raziel is not the sharpest tool in the celestial shed…and when he grants the wish of a small boy (who saw the local land developer dressed up as Santa killed and buried in a shallow grave on a Christmas tree farm a short distance from the town’s cemetery) to not let Santa be dead, he mistakenly resurrects not only “Santa” but all of the dead in the cemetery all of which reek mayhem and death and terror on the towns folk collecting for a Christmas gathering.  Will anyone survive?  Will anyone want to?

This is one of Moore’s funniest (and shortest) books to date and the first of Moore’s books to begin production into a film (although others have been discussed, options sold, etc..).  The films web site is claiming that principal photography is supposed to begin in 2013, they’re kind of running behind if they haven’t at least started.

If you like this, read:

  • Practical Demonkeeping
  • Bloodsucking Fiends
  • Island of the Sequined Love Nun
  • The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
  • Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

The Stand – Stephen King

Mr. King’s long career has had many successful novels, many of which have been turned into movies or mini-series (although in my honest opinion few of them worth watching).  This was my first foray into King’s volume of work (oddly enough my paperback copy has an added label that says “Soon to be a major motion picture by George Romero”, I wonder if it’s a collectors item since it never happened)…and my favorite by far over every other one of them.  It’s a massive epic spanning the inception of a planetary cataclysm, the travels through the ruins of what’s left of humanity with all of it’s proclivities and an eventual divide where the deviants, evil and just nasty dregs of humanity end up on the western side of the Rocky’s (go figure) and what’s left of the good of humanity on the eastern side.  There will be and is a war between good and evil with both sides suffering loss.

The book is engaging, creepy, prophetic and fascinating in the typical King minutia of detail. Interestingly enough, I’ve also read the “Uncut” version and found it less engaging and with so many unrelated and unnecessary plot lines that it just wasn’t a good read.

Weaveworld – Clive Barker

One of the more fascinating and complex novels in the horror/fantasy genre I’ve ever read.  Clive Barker, who’s known for his gruesome and bloody horror novels has written a massive volume that covers hidden worlds, ancient creatures, ancient evil and, well, gruesome horror.

The novel begins with a young man “falling” into a massive woven rug (i.e. Weaveworld) left after an old woman passes away, where the he discovers a world woven into the rug’s knots and threads.  This world is inhabited by a race of people, ancient, powerful and magic that are hiding and protecting themselves from an ancient evil that awaits the day they leave their hiding place.

Now, they must leave their hiding place as the magic that holds it together is beginning to weaken and the other reaches have begun to unravel and be lost.

In the first part of the book, the young man (Calhoon “Cal” Mooney) and the granddaughter (Suzanna Parish) of the woman who was protecting the rug must protect it from Immacolata (a member of the ancient race in the rug) who wants to destroy her kind for banishing her from the rug.

In the second portion of the book primarily takes place inside the rug itself and the internal struggles over whether to leave their hiding place or continue to hide.

The final section of the book again is outside the rug and revolves around the struggles of the weaveworld folk back in the real world and the ultimate battle with their ancient enemy.

The book has it’s strong points and it’s detractors…but, ultimately, it’s captivating despite some incredibly dark and somewhat disgusting and disconnected scenes.

If you enjoy this book, try:

  • Stephen King’s – The Stand
  • Neil Gaiman’s – Neverwhere
  • Neil Gaiman’s – American Gods