No announcement yet.

October 2020 - How Many?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    October 2020 - How Many?

    My reading slump continues. Finished 4 stories this month.

    The Sandman Audible Original #1 By Neil Gaiman:
    This is an Audible radio play of at least part of Sandman. Initially this story grabbed my attention. For the first third of the story I had no idea where it was going but felt the setup was interesting. About half way on I began to wonder when the apparently random tales would begin to come together. Three quarters of the way through I realized that the story probably did not have enough time left to bring all the strange tales together onto a cohesive story. And it didn’t. I am not sure if this story struggled with trying to present a graphic novel without supporting images or if I just need to accept that Gaiman is just not for me. I think I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads as they do not allow half stars and I thought it was closer to 3 than 2. In retrospect I give it 2.
    2 Stars

    Fauci By Michael Specter:
    A well told biography of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Covers his career and how his perspective on public health changed by The realities of the Aids epidemic.
    5 Stars

    On Slide Inn Road By Stephen King:
    King’s latest thriller was an enjoyable read but not a classic. It is a thriller about a family taking a backroad to see a dying relative when circumstances take a bad turn.
    4 Stars

    Siege By Matthew Costello:
    The Signature Series returns in 2021!!! This new entry in the Cemetery Dance Signature Series contains two stories within Matthew Costello's Jack Murphy series. "Day One" a prequel to the novel Vacation and "Blackout" a prequel to the novel Home. Although both are prequels to novels the stories stand alone well. Alan M. Clark contributes some fantastic art to this book as well.
    4 Stars

    Books read and recommended for October, 2020.

    Hard cover -

    1. Gone to See the River Man by Kristopher Triana from Thunderstorm. Broken love. Broken family. The blues and a river. Horrific people and brotherly love. This book hits hard. Ready for more.

    2. Cruel Summer by Wesley Southard from Thunderstorm. Wes writes very good horror. Didn’t mess up here.

    3. Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias from Thunderstorm. Excellent novel from this new author. Loved the characters and emotional and social issues. Downside was all the Spanish which I can’t read. Missed too much it seems but will look for more from him.

    4. The House of the Nightmare by Edward Lucas White from Midnight House. Some good stuff here.

    5. My Own Private Spectres by Jean Ray from Midnight House. A couple good ones here.

    6. A Voice So Soft by Patrick Lacey from Thunderstorm. Good stuff. Reminiscent of Bentley Little at times with seemingly normal things going bad.

    7. A Little Orange Book of Obsessions by Blake Crouch from Borderlands. Three good stories. Sci/fi horror, horror and crime/mystery. Well done.

    8. Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias from Thunderstorm. Two good novella’s here. Great characters and stories. However, the title story has way too much Spanish for me. I missed out on too much it seems.

    9. The Corpse Light and Other Tales of Terror by Dick Donovan from Midnight House. Decent stories with a couple real good ones.

    Paperback -

    10. Midnight in the Graveyard edited by Kenneth W. Cain from Silver Shamrock. Very good anthology.

    11. Mutation by Michael McBride from Pinnacle. Wow! Possibly the best writing yet for McBride. 3rd novel in the Unit 51 series is amazing. Great pacing and characterization make this horror/sci-fi/thriller a great read.

    Favorites = #1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11.

    Support Indie Publishers and Enjoy


      Originally posted by kresby View Post
      Books read and recommended for October, 2020.

      4. The House of the Nightmare by Edward Lucas White from Midnight House. Some good stuff here.
      Jealous — been after this one for a looming time. Good to see it and other Midnight House titles get some love this month.

      And as far as the too-much-Spanish issues of the the Iglesias books...that is the main reason I skipped those two, though I’ve heard very good things...I get why authors sometimes choose to flavor their English works with foreign language, but I’m not a fan...I find it a bit self-indulgent and, in large doses as in here, very frustrating.



        I finished 6 in October.

        Castle of Sorrows was the sequel to The Sorrows, the first novel by Jonathan Janz. In Castle, the lead character (Ben Shadeland) returns to the Sorrows to rescue his kidnapped infant daughter, taken by the satyr Gabriel. Castle introduces several new characters, as well as expanding on several minor characters from the first book. The first 200 pages or so mainly deals with the kidnapping, the return to the island, and the fight between Shadeland's group and the mobsters that have followed them to the island. The last 150 pages turns more to the supernatural, as Gabriel returns as a major character to the story. Overall, I liked Castle better than the first book, though in the last 50 pages or so it does suffer from some the same problems as The Sorrows, mainly a creature depicted as virtually unstoppable meeting it's match in an apparently unkillable human protagonist (Shadeland). 3.5 / 5

        Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings was a fun collection of short horror stories by Orrin Grey. None of the stories really stood out as great, but most were fun, and overall, you can tell by his writing that Grey is a big fan of the horror / pulp genre. You get the idea he had as much fun writing the stories as you had reading them. He aims more for spooky than in your face, blood & guts horror. 4 / 5 (3, 3, 4, 4.5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3.5, 4)

        October is the third novel I've read this year by Michael Rowe, and all were solid reads dealing with different horror tropes (vampires, haunted houses, and in the case of October, demons / satanic rituals). In October, a bullied high school boy performs a satanic ritual to call up a protective demon. Unknowingly to him, the ritual works as the conjured demon shows up in an unexpected form. October deals with bullying, friendship & love, and to what extremes an individual will go through to get both of the latter. 4 / 5

        The House by the Cemetery by John Everson was a good Halloween read. A down on his luck carpenter is hired to restore an old house by a cemetery as a haunted house Halloween attraction (can't get much more Halloween themed than that!). Witch coven activities & several murders were rumored to have taken place at the old house. While working on the house he meets two young women, one of whom he becomes very attracted to. Of course, the girls are not what they appear to be, and as Halloween approaches, the strange occurrences at the house start to increase, leading up to Halloween night blood bath. I liked THBTC and thought it was a return to form for Everson, after the awful Nightwhere. 4 / 5

        A Haunted Halloween by Paul Melniczek was a collection of Halloween themed short stories. Similar to Never Bet the Devil, these stories were fun, though the Melniczek stories tended to have more a bite to them than Grey's. My favorite was 'By the Light...Of the Sinister Moon' where a man's revenge on the witch who kidnapped his sister in childhood has tragic results. Overall, a very solid collection of horror stories and an excellent way to celebrate the season. 4 / 5

        From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury chronicles the lives of the strange Elliott family. First introduced in short stories published back in the 1940's, this short 'novel' reads more like a short story collection (the original stories from the 40's are included in the novel). I remember liking the original stories a lot when I first read them ('The April Witch', 'Uncle Einar' & 'The Homecoming'). I don't know that the later material used to flesh out the story to novel length is quite up to the original stories. Still made for an entertaining read, but not up to standards of Bradbury's classic material. 3.5 / 5