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    #16
    Originally posted by brlesh View Post
    Only finished 5 in July.

    In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson was the author's first book, and while I'll give Davidson credit for coming up with a new twist on the vampire tale, uneven pacing throughout the story and a completely unsatisfying ending ultimately left me disappointed. 2.5 / 5

    The Clock Strikes 13 was a rather mediocre anthology of 13 horror stories. The only story that really stood out was 'Bear' by Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason, a ghost story about a woman and her dog 's postmortem fight against an abusive boyfriend. Of the other 12 stories, none really stood as that bad, but none really stood out as memorable either. Just kind of a middle of the road anthology. 3 / 5

    The Hunger by Alma Katsu is a fictional account, with a supernatural twist, of the infamous Donner Party in 1846. I liked this one a lot. Similar to what Davidson did In the Valley of the Sun, Katsu puts a new twist on an old horror trope. 4.5 / 5

    White Spawn by Marc Laidlaw was kind of a cross between The Shadows Over Innsmouth and Romeo & Juliet. Teenage girl moves to the Pacific northwest and falls for the boy from the secretive clan in the woods. But of course the boy, and the clan in general, are more than what they seem to be. 3.5 / 5

    I'd heard a lot of good things about North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud, and for the most part Ballingrud's first collection lived up to the hype. These are dark stories that often take old horror tropes in new directions. The best story, IMO, was 'The Monsters of Heaven', one of the truly weirdest stories I've ever read. 'Wild Acre' delivers a new spin on the werewolf tale, and 'Sunbleached' does the same for the vampire tale (definitely not a vampire story for the Twilight crowd!). 'S. S.' involves a trouble youth's recruitment into a white supremist group and 'The Crevasse' is a Lovecraftian story set on an early Antarctica research mission. The last couple of stories in the collection were a little too surreal for my tastes, lowering my overall rating just a bit, but all in, I was highly impressed with Ballingrud's initial collection. 4 / 5

    B
    The Hunger sounds interesting. I may need to look into that one.

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      #17
      Originally posted by sholloman81 View Post
      Only read five books last month. Been on a bit of a re-read kick lately due to picking up some limited editions.

      Freezer Burn by Joe Lansdale:
      Read this one some years back and remember not really liking it but not wanting to admit it since I love Lansdale’s work so much. Recently scored a limited edition of the book at a second hand store and decided to give it another go. Happy to say that I enjoyed it much better the second time around. My only true issue with this book is the, in my opinion, abrupt ending. Solid Three Stars

      The Thicket by Joe Lansdale:
      Recently scored the Earthling limited edition and decided to give it a reread. (BTW-Have to take a moment to gush over Earthling limited editions! They do a really fantastic job with their books. I only wish that they produced more of them. Assuming they are a small outfit). Anyway, after giving The Thicket another read, I think I could easily argue it as one of Lansdale’s top 5 (if not outright best). What an amazing story. And that ending still chokes me up. Definite Five Stars

      The Night Show by Richard Laymon:
      What can I say: am, was, and always will be a Laymon fan! Scored this limited edition from DRP. Have only got a few DRP limited editions but am finding myself very happy with the books they produce. In terms of the actual story, not one of Laymon’s best. Don’t get me wrong, it was solid and has all the stuff you come to expect in a Laymon title; however, you can definitely tell that it was one of his early novels as the warts are a bit more prominent. Also could have been a bit longer in my opinion. I would put it around 3 stars.

      Funland by Richard Laymon:
      Another amazing looking DRP limited and another reread for me. This happens to also be one of my all-time favorite Laymon titles (Top 5 for sure). Everything you look for in a Laymon title is in this novel. If you’ve never read Laymon, this is a great place to start. Also, I’m usually a sucker for horror novels that have carnivals/sideshows, creepshows, etc. Four & Stars to Five Stars

      Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay:
      Got to be honest. I read this book back when it was first released and felt that it was just ok. Definitely not worthy of the hype. While it was literary enough, I felt it was too slow and derivative. However, a lot of authors and people I respect loved the book and so I always figured I would give it another go. When SST released the limited, I figured now’s the time. Picked up the limited (gorgeous book) and just finished reading it. Wow am I glad I gave it a 2nd try. The narrator & her sister really grabbed me this time around and wouldn’t let go. I guess I must have been in a different head space back when I first read this novel. Poor Merry & Marjorie  . Four & to Five Stars
      After binging on Hap and Leonard I have decided to take a break. I may read The Thicket to get my Lansdale fix.

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        #18
        Btw, Katsu’s new historical-horror novel — this time set on the Titanic— is due out very soon.
        Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

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          #19
          I can't even read one.

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