Tag Archives: grimdark

The Brotherhood of the Wheel (#1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 1, 2016

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 384

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

She looked over the menu at her daughter. “How about this Ed Gein Bar-B-Que? That sounds good!”

“That name’s familiar,” Paul said. “I think he was a governor or something.”

A diner called Zodiac Lodge with entrees named after serial killers, may be a business venture that R.S. Belcher should look into. There are larger take-aways from this book but this may, perhaps, be my favorite.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Belcher is the master of genre mash-ups. The Brotherhood of the Wheel comes off as a mix of horror, grimdark and urban fantasy. It’s a blend that worked together and in my humble opinion, an ample dosing of horror that should throw him the leagues of King and Koontz.

The United States transportation systems are the perfect hunting ground for all manners of killers. They provide access to victims, hiding places to commit their crimes and dumping grounds galore. Both evil humans and paranormal predators stalk these interstate super highways, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

Where there are horrors, there must also be heroes who lead the fight against evil. That is the purpose of the Brotherhood, a secret organization tasked with protecting the innocent. They are police, taxi drivers, truckers, bikers, etc. They come together from all walks of life to take down serial killers, rapists, and human traffickers.

Something ancient and hungry is working it’s way free into the world, turning children into mindless monsters and using human sacrifices to increase it’s power. It hides away in a hidden town, not on any map. The residents there are captive, they cannot leave to find help and the monster’s minions lurk about, prepared to make their lives a living hell for trying.

A renegade cop, biker, trucker, and a book worm are the only ones on this thing’s tail after looking into multiple missing teenager cases and it may just save all of humanity if they can take him down.

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Chasing Graves (Chasing Graves #1) – Book Review

Published Date: December 7, 2018

Publishing Co.: Bengalley.com (self-published)

Pages: 301

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

You call me Krass as an insult and yet you forget what that means to me. Our mothers don’t push when we’re ready to meet the world. We have to claw our way out, so we’re born fighting.”

There is supposed to be peace in death. Not in the city of Araxes. Your death is only beginning when you die here. Souls are bound and forced into indenturement, the pretty word for slavery. Living in such a city is cut throat, you either rise to power or die and make someone else more powerful, because in this city, the more shades you own, the more powerful you become. Thus, murder is a rampant way of life. There is money to be made in the selling of ghosts and there are rules about such things, but the whole city pretty much just flips a big middle finger to that.

Caltro Basalt arrives to the city in hopes of a lucrative lock picking job and is promptly murdered just minutes after stepping off the boat. However, Caltro won’t go quietly into servitude. He’ll bide his time and plot his freedom and revenge.

Nilith travels the desert, dragging her husband’s corpse to the city in order to bind him. Not out of love. His ghosts dogs her footsteps, bitching every step of the way.

Sisine is the Emperor’s daughter. The emperor has sealed himself away in the room he calls The Sanctuary as he doesn’t trust anyone not to kill him. Which is a valid worry as Sisine is desperately seeking more power and the seat he sits on.

I choose this book randomly while in a funk. I strayed from my TBR list and browsed ebooks, finally settling on this. I hadn’t heard much about it, there are pretty of glowing reviews, and I just wanted something I wasn’t expecting much from. I loved the concept and enjoyed my reading while never really falling in love with it. The ending isn’t exactly a cliffhanger so there are plenty of unanswered questions and much more to the story. Maybe one day I’ll pick up the next book and find out but currently, I’m not rushing to get it. I still think it’s a promising series.

Fire and Flesh – Short Story Review

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Published Date: October 24, 2016

Publishing Co.: Self published

Pages: 109 (Most of it is a peek at Beyond Redemption.)

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If a story starts with a character tearing strips of his rotting flesh off and tossing it overboard to feed the fish, you know you’re in for a good time. A good time if you like dark, disturbing things. Which, I do.

One man who burns people alive at a small release of his power and another man, his flesh slowly rotting away while he never dies, travel by ship at the King’s command. One must destroy the other if he becomes too insane. But when both of you are losing your grip on sanity, how do you decide who is more insane than who?

This is a short story of depression, insanity and unstable power, set in the world of Beyond Redemption. This is a good place to decide whether you can handle the dark world Michael R. Fletcher has created.

Best Books of 2018

Happy New Year friends and fellow book fiends! Each year I usually end up with a list of top reads only about 5 books long, 2018 brought a year of at least 10 to make the top so let’s get to it shall we?!

These are in no particular order because this girl can’t see fit to place any one of these above another:

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If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a dozen times that Ilona Andrews is the way to go for Urban Fantasy. I was SO excited when I found out that this series would be longer than originally expected.

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A sub-genre of fantasy called flintlock fantasy, which I find that I like very much. Interesting world building and compelling characters.

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My favorite debut author of 2018. This was a side of fantasy you don’t see too often and the plot was riveting. How many times when the characters are stuck in one location do you start to become bored? Not here. It adds to the layer of desperation the characters are feeling and the political intrigue will make you forget that they never leave the city.

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My other favorite debut author of the year. I can’t push this book enough. Imagine cowboys but they ride hippos. Also, imagine an all inclusive cast of people you don’t see a lot of in any genre.

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This wins the award for DARKEST read of the year. If you’ve been hanging around this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I love dark. Not only is it darkest read of the year, it may just be darkest read YET.

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Historical fiction + pirates + kick ass heroine + paranormal = damn good time.

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My Kick Ass Sci-Fi Heroine of the Year award goes to Hail Bristol. Femme fatale queen of interplanetary war.

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My surprise favorite of the year. I expected to like it but not as much as I did. If lady scientist fighting against sexism while studying dragons doesn’t interest you than stay the fuck away from this book.

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Once a fan of the Red Rising universe, always a fan.

Did you read any of the books on this list? If so, what did you think? What books made your top list of the year?

 

It’s Mother F**king Fall!

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Ok, I kept my cool long enough. Usually, the first of September I’m celebrating and starting my usual season tradition of reading only horror and paranormal books. But this year I’ve made it until it was actually Autumn!

You’re probably over there thinking, “What’s so big about that?” Well for your information, when it comes to Autumn/Halloween, I ZERO self control. So I’m celebrating my minimal restraint. Don’t take that from me.

I’ve already bought my MONSTER pack cereal. Now, I don’t generally freak about cereal but it’s fucking BOOBERRY and FRANKENBERRY. (I mean, Count Chocula is there too but he’s inferior. Sorry Count.) I had Chider the other day. What’s that you ask? Apple cider + chai = LOVE. It’s a thing, find it, embrace it.

My pumpkin cravings have begun but as of yet, have not been satisfied.

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This year, besides horror and paranormal novels, I’m adding grimdark fantasy. Bring on the darkness baby!

(Currently betareading a novel for a GR friend, but also having an extremely hard time deciding what book to read first.)

Hopefully, I’m going to get into some baking madness as well. It’s not Autumn unless I’ve made something with apples AND pumpkins.

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The Court of Broken Knives (Empire of Dust #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: June 27, 2017

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 512

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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I’m probably going to over simplify the fuck out of this as I’m having a hard time deciding how to review it.

The plot line is pretty straight forward. Sellswords are hired to kill the Emperor. They either succeed or they fail. (I’m not going to ruin any twists.) After which, they create a new plan to make lots of money next. There is betrayal and an epic battle.

When you step away from the plot, the characters are fairly complex. It’s hard to get to know them because no one is safe in this story. Many times they die just when you’re starting to figure them out. Marith, the main character, has secrets upon secrets. He’s a prince disguised as a mercenary, running away from his past. His past being the most intriguing thing about him. I struggled through the first 27% but when Marith started losing control, things got better.

The writing style can be off putting at first, very repetitive, but you do adjust and eventually it just flows.

There was an inconclusive ending, which I found to be the most disappointing part of the novel. I don’t expect to have all the answers to a series at the end of the first book, but I felt I was left with nothing and no cliffhanger to keep me wondering what happens next. (Look at me, complaining about a lack of cliffhangers. I must not be feeling well.)

Overall, I found it to be a pretty solid read.

Beyond Redemption (Manifest Delusions #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: June 16, 2015

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 512

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

My dark little heart is filled with glee.

What if you believed something enough that it became reality? You could change your life and the lives of those around you by simply believing something to be real. You could control those around you, their fate steadily in your hands. You could elevate them to do important things or throw away their lives as needed for your own purpose. Ultimately, what if you could make all those people believe in a new god? A new god that you created and controlled. Delusional, yes?

Add to that aspect, the belief that when you die, the people you’ve slain will be there to do your bidding. Combine these two beliefs and you have our protagonist, Konig. He’s creating a man-made god to slay so that he may have a god obey him in the Afterdeath and to save him from his own delusions. The problem is, no matter how strong your delusions, they cannot rule everyone in the world and there are quite a few people who would love to have a god doing their bidding when their death comes.

Make no mistakes, there are no heroes in this tale. Only bad people using others to gain advantages in this life or the next.

I cannot decide which perspective I enjoyed more, Konig’s decline into insanity, Gehirn’s yearning for affection from literally anyone, Morgen’s confusion about the purpose of his Ascension to godhood or Bedeckt, Stehlin and Wichtig’s faulty attempt at getting rich. Each character brings their own darkness and delusions to the table and a story lacking any of them would have been a much poorer tale.

The imagination it took to create this is astounding. The forms of torture (both self inflicted and inflicted onto victims) were a masterpiece of grimdark. Make no mistake, let no one tell you any differently, this is grimdark at it’s finest.

I am so glad that I bought this book instead just borrowing it from the library, despite being by an author I’ve never read before, because it deserves it’s spot upon my bookshelves.