Bark at the Ghouls

Stay chill, it's only a silly book review.

I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. Mostly horror & romance of all kinds.

My Book Fair Haul

Here's my little haul from the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Fair. Next time I am bringing more money and hopefully I won't be quite so overwhelmed by it all. My shyness always gets the best of me and as much as I wanted to get everything signed and buy all the books and check out all the tables, part of me was screaming to RUN and get away from all of the people while I still had my sanity intact, lol.

 

The highlight of the event was meeting Char & Andi in person and having Grady Hendrix sign my copy of Paperbacks from Hell! He was so awesome in person, friendly, chatty and took a lot of time to create a memorable signature.

 

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

Cross Her Heart - Sarah Pinborough

I think this book takes place in London but I'm not 100% certain so I'll put this in the "Free" space.

 

Behind Her Eyes by this same author was a five star read for me (and yep, I LOVED that ending) but this one was not. I’m giving it a three and that makes me sad because I was so looking forward to another amazingly nasty little read.

 

CROSS HER HEART started out great. It’s a story of dark secrets and lies and murder. That kind of thing screams my name but I can’t give it a high rating because I saw most everything coming before it was revealed. I am NOT good at the sleuthing and I am not afraid to admit it. I never figure out the murderer or the twisty twists on any of those mystery shows and I’m even worse with books. So, either my brain is getting better at detection, or this book was a little too heavy handed with the clues. I’m guessing it is the latter but it also could be because the characterization was so well done that many little clues stuck in my forgetful brain.

 

The story is about a woman named Lisa. Lisa has a dark past she’s desperately trying to keep hidden now that she’s built a respectable new life and is the mother of a 16 year old daughter named Ava. But someone is haunting her and taunting her with tidbits that remind her that this someone knows all of her secrets and may expose her past misdeeds and ruin her life at any moment. The story is told from the point of view of Lisa, her best friend Marilyn and daughter Ava. I loved the three different point of views because we soon realize that all of these ladies have a little darkness in their lives and are very good at secret keeping.

 

And that’s all I’m giving you. To say more defeats the purpose of reading the book. Lies are eventually revealed, characterization stays intense and there was plenty of crazy to keep my attention but the fact that the plot reveals, the twists, and the murderer were all so obvious and the stalkers motive so weak, I found myself a very disappointed reader by the end of it all.

 

This one is going into the Free Category.

 

Bingo Calls:

9/1   Classic Horror

9/3   Cryptozoologist

9/5   Cozy Mystery (not on my card)

9/7   New Release

9/9   Southern Gothic

9/11 Terrifying Women

9/13 A Grimm Tale

9/15 Modern Masters of Horror

9/17 Creepy Carnivals

9/19 Relics and Curiosities

9/21 Diverse Voices

9/23 Murder Most Foul

9/25 Amateur Sleuth

9/27 Genre: Suspense

9/29 Supernatural

10/1 Ghost Stories

10/3 Doomsday

10/5 Shifters

10/7 13 

10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)

10/11 Darkest London

 

I've Read These (none called):


Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Spellbound: BABY TEETH

  

Read & Called!

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

 

Halloween Bingo Suspense: Predators by Michaelbrent Collings

Predators - Michaelbrent Collings

This is a dark, grueling, unflinching character study and tale of survival in a desolate landscape that will put you through the emotional meat grinder. It was fantastic in all the ways that count.

 

A group of tourists travel to Africa to experience the wild locale and the exotic animals and instead find themselves caught up in a living nightmare. This book takes its time setting up the story and the unrelenting horror that follows and instead dives deep into the characterization. So when the plot turn happens and the struggle to survive begins you are pretty well invested in some of the characters and have a better understand of the one’s you might not like all that much. These aren’t just bodies doing stuff, these are well rounded people with pasts. I’m nosy and love taking a deep dive into what makes people tick and it’s done very well in PREDATORS.

 

If you’ve tuned out because you’re an action fan, stick with me because there’s plenty of it in the last half when the plot takes a bloody turn, desperate animals turn on man and it gets gory. Author Collings doesn’t shy away from the gruesome and isn’t afraid to push your face in it. But through it all the terrific characterization remains.

 

There are some amazingly strong female characters in this book and that includes the main beast herself. Her POV fascinated me. The humans are quite a mix. There’s a blind little girl and her dad, a grandma, a starlet, an abused woman and her rotten husband, a Harvey Weinstein type, a not-too-bright YouTuber who is good for some laughs and the tour guides who love what they do even though they have to cart around idiots, for the most part. Some start out weak and find strength and others appear frail but prove that looks are deceptive. A few are just arrogant, nasty or dumb and are there to get eaten but there’s nothing wrong with that. It was a nice mix of people you love to hate and those you grow to love and one or two somewhere in the middle. It’s also heartbreaking as hell so be warned. Fortunately, there are some much needed humorous bits of dialogue thrown in to stop you just when you’re getting ready to jump into a pit of hopeless despair.

 

The monsters are not supernatural but the terror is real. If a slower-paced, well-crafted book about doing what it takes to survive is your kind of thing, I think you’re really going to enjoy PREDATORS.

 

 

This one is going into the Suspense Category. I need to update my card with this one but I'm out of time right now. 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

Supernatural

Ghost Stories

Doomsday

Terror In A Small Town

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Spellbound: BABY TEETH

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO

 

Friday Plans

#fridayreads These are my weekend plans. Buy pumpkins, finish up @mbcollings PREDATORS, start the audio of @SarahPinborough's CROSS HER HEART & finally watch THE RITUAL on #netflix. Yeah, I know one is a film but that's what I'm doing & I'm sticking to it! What're you up to? pic.twitter.com/A9kljEiywN

— Bark At The Ghouls

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix

Everybody has been raving about this book. I haven’t read one negative thing and that’s rare in blogland. We like to complain and pick things apart. Or at least I know I do. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone else. But I think that’s what makes us (or me) so fantastic, haha. Now that I’ve finally read it, (sorry Netgalley, I am late again but you really should know this about me by now) I totally understand why this book is being treated like horror gold. Author Grady Hendrix knows the horror scene and he’s created a modern day classic that gives the old “sold our soul to the devil” trope a fresh new spin. It’s firmly earned its place in a future Paperbacks From Hell volume.

This story is a lovingly written present to all heavy metal loving horror fans. If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s listening to that stuff you need to buy yourself the beautiful physical copy of this book with the black binding. I’m going to do so as soon as I can. It’s seriously that good.

Kris is having a “what the hell happened to my life” moment. She’s 47 and works the front desk at a Best Western when a customer decides to piss all over the front desk. She was once a guitarist in an almost famous metal band when it all when to shit and she was forced into abandoning her dreams. When she sees a billboard with her nemesis’s face on it that declares he’s going back on tour, she decides to track down her old bandmates in order to stop the man who ruined them all.

Nothing goes as planned. And that’s what I enjoyed so much about this book. It takes turns and twists and I predicted none of them. Not a single one. It is filled with dark and disturbing surprises. I loved that the lead guitarist and main character is a strong, kick-butt kind of woman. I adored this character.

“Kris wasn’t a hugger. She had a body like a bag of knives.”

She’s also very sympathetic and determined. 

“Kris wanted to press her fist to the planet and leave a mark.”

And she thinks some very funny thoughts:

“Men never know when to shut up.” 

Sorry, guys, but sometimes it’s true (though the same can be said about me, I suppose!).

Music plays an enormous part in the story. It’s not a little set piece or an afterthought. This book would not exist without the music and the end is simply magical. I don’t know what else to say without giving too much away. I’m no good at writing 5 star reviews. I guess I’ll leave you with a drop everything and READ THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS MINUTE! If you hate it, you can always send your copy to me.

 

This one is going into the New Release Category. I need to update my card with this one but I'm out of time right now. 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

Supernatural

Ghost Stories

 Doomsday

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

 

Halloween Bingo: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

What would you do if you wanted nothing more out of life than to be a good, loving mom – everything your own mother wasn’t - and then you give birth to a beloved baby who grows into a monster that wants you dead?

“Make mommy go away and never come back.”

This is the horrible dilemma facing Suzette, a woman already with a lot of horror on her plate. She’s overcome a childhood of neglect and emotional abuse and now lives with Crohn's disease and the chronic and debilitating side effects that sap her energy, along with the fear that one surgery too many will leave her with a colostomy bag. She’s doing her best to raise Hanna, who remains purposely mute at the age of seven, with love but it’s difficult to love a child who despises you and undercuts you whenever the opportunity arises. Suzette’s husband is completely unaware of Hanna’s evil streak because Hanna is a master manipulator who has him wrapped around her little finger. And that’s just how Hanna likes it. Hanna loves her dad so much she wants to marry him and mommy is in the way . . . Yes, we are diving deep into weird V.C. Andrews territory here and it’s amazing!

I know this is going to make me sound strange but I have to say it, I LOVED this little monster and was one million percent thankful that she wasn’t mine because I have zero patience for that and might’ve had to run away forever. Hanna doesn’t speak aloud (in English, anyway) but all of her loathsome and strange thoughts are shared with us and she is one heck of a twisted, creepy kid who knows how to work the adults that surround her. Her character fascinated me. Her thoughts were so terrible and so deliciously evil that I didn’t want to turn away. Her mother was interesting as well with her tortured and conflicted thoughts toward her child. Dad was a bit of a pushover but I guess he had to be in order for this story to work.

“I promise I’ll be good.”

Sadly the end is bit disappointing. Everything was leading me to believe a big, awful thing was going to happen but instead the book ended with a rather lame little fizzle. Please tell me there is going to be another book and that all of the horrible, terrible things I imagined will actually happen in it because I will hit that buy button the moment it is released!

 

 

This one is going into the Spellbound Category (which only makes sense if you've read the book)

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

 

Halloween Bingo Terrifying Women: The Grip of It by Jac Jemc

The Grip of It: A Novel - Jac Jemc

See this review and so much other good horror stuff at Ladies of Horror Fiction.

 

I’m not going to sugar coat things. This book was work and it was not a quick read. Not by a long shot. The chapters were super short so you would think the pages would fly, right? No. They absolutely do not fly. The writing style was literary, I knew that going in, and the language was lovely and often gutting in its honesty but what I didn’t anticipate were the alternating POV’s of the married couple who are haunted by their new house (or were they?). Every single time a new chapter began with the other’s POV it would throw me out of the groove of the story and take me several moments to get back into it. And since many of the chapters were only 2 – 3 pages long there was a lot of mental jostling going on here. Perhaps you won’t have this issue and this much of a struggle but I’d be lying if I didn’t cop to it.

With that said, the book was a treasure trove of eerie atmosphere and emotional turmoil. The writing was truly striking and the crushing and stifling dread closing in on the couple? Phew, I’m still feeling the remnants of those claustrophobic, paranoid feelings days later. Their struggle, their worry, and their confusion? That stuff was so amazingly well done. I LOVE that sort of writing thus I was determined to see this book through to the very end. Were they going mad together? Was the house haunted? Or was it something more sinister and grounded in the real world? And what was up with the weirdo neighbor? I’m not telling you any of these things because I am not 100% sure of the answers even after finishing it. I had to get this book back to the library so I’ll have to do a reread on audio someday to see if I can find all of my answers to all of my pesky questions.

So, do I think you should read it? Perhaps and perhaps not. What I do recommend is maybe grabbing yourself a sample and reading the first 50 -75 pages and see how it works for you personally. The Grip of It isn’t a book that will appeal to everyone but, damn, that writing was lush and I am sucker for lush writing especially when it’s creepy! I have zero regrets.

 

 

This one is going into the Terrifying Women Category

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

Bad Call by Mike Scardino

Bad Call: A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance - Mike Scardino

This is a morbidly fascinating book if you are into gross and disturbing and strange true accounts of real life horror (yeah, that’s me). It takes a lot to gross me out but this book managed to do it. I do not recommend reading it while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.

 

Mike Scardino worked as what he calls an “Ambulance Attendant” to help fund his college tuition in the late ‘60’s. I think he wishes he hadn’t because by time the book ends, he seemed truly scarred for life after seeing and smelling some truly revolting and heartbreaking sights. The writing is unpolished but that is not a criticism. It felt natural, raw and almost like a personal journal. I love that it wasn’t scrubbed clean. My only complaint was the lack of question marks throughout the text. The lack of them kept tripping me up.

 

It’s not uplifting in any way and there’s only a wee bit of humor sprinkled throughout. The overall feel of the book once you’ve finished is pretty bleak, truth be told. People are stupid and have lousy self-preservation skills, yeah, but terrible things happen to everyone and there’s no stopping them usually. Babies fall out of windows, diabetes will come for your limbs, you will die and maybe no one will notice until the flies start to breed. Bad Call (and they’re mostly all bad calls here) is absorbing and once you start it’s oh-so-hard to look away but once you’re done you’ll want to find something to make yourself happy. If you like this kind of thing you’ll know it and you’ll want to get yourself a copy of this book.

 

Here are a few quotes to ruin your day (you’re welcome):

 

“What often bothers me more than seeing how people die is seeing how they live.”

 

And this one, it’s my favorite.

 

“Something is a little unsettling. It’s his blood. The way it feels.

 

It feels good. Warm as it is. Running down my hand and arm on this in seasonably cold night. Nice and warm. It feels really good.

 

God help me. What the hell is happening to me.”

 

Just pretend there’s a question mark there at the end, ok?!

 

It is finally Friday!

I did not think this week would ever end. I plan to do nothing but shop for pumpkins, read a book, watch some scary movies and maybe work on blogging tasks. Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

ri

DOOMSDAY Review: Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Patient Zero - Ray Porter, Jonathan Maberry

I listened to this one on audio and I didn't take notes so this will not be a real review, not that my other reviews are real either, ha. I tried reading another Maberry book called Ghost Road Blues (that sad excuse for a review is here) and I did not get along with it, its narrator, nor its male characters but so many love this Joe Ledger character that I figured I'd give the author try. And I'm glad I did.

 

I love this Joe Ledger person. He is crabby and sarcastic and amusing and one hell of a smart, resourceful guy. Thanks to all of you who pushed him on me :) Now I'm the first to admit that I'm not a fan of all action, all of the time so even though this story is filled with military action, evil maneuverings by evil people, medical terminology and pretty much non-stop zombie action in its latter half, I still enjoyed it a whole bunch. Why? How? Well, Joe Ledger. Author Maberry sets up his character development early on and I was hooked until the very end.

 

I'm even going to search out the others in this series and I hardly ever do such a thing.

 

I'm going to use this book for my Doomsday square because if it weren't for Joe Ledger the Doomsday would've certainly occurred in this book (and it may still in the next!)

 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.19

Diverse Voices 9-21

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

 

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson

The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers) - John Everson

This is another book I read with a group of book buddies. I recommend reading all books with a buddy. It makes the experience so entertaining!

 

This book is about The House by the Cemetery, if you were wondering. The house is actually abandoned and rumored to be extremely haunted. An entrepreneur with more money than brains, apparently, decides it will be the perfect location to create a Halloween spook house. Yep, nothing could go wrong with that idea, right?

 

“This place is rotting, stinking and creepy. It should be left alone to trot into the earth and disappear.”

 

The story follows a group of makeup artists/designers and a carpenter named Mike as they prepare the house for opening night. Mike spends long hours all alone making the decrepit old house safe for thrill-goers. One day a young, attractive lady named Katie and her not so attractive friend (we know this because it’s mentioned every time she makes an appearance) start lurking around the house. Katie decides she and her friend want to help assist Mike with his work. He’s a sucker for any female attention and agrees to let them pal around and “assist” even though I think OSHA might’ve had some issues with that scenario. But OSHA will be the least of this guy’s worries once strange and terrible things begin happening in and around the house . . .

 

That’s the setup and as you can probably imagine nothing goes to plan. There are secret rooms, bones in the freaking walls, relationship dramas, kinky sexy times on a bed of nails, and something sinister at play behind the scenes. Everything culminates in a spectacular bloodbath that will thrill any gorehound. I LOVED the B-movie-ish bits of this book and the horror film references but I didn’t really love some of the extraneous character scenes. There were a bit too many exchanges that felt like padding and only served to make me dislike a few of the characters rather than feel any sort of compassion for them. But I read an ARC provided by Flame Tree Press so maybe your copy will be different? I also thought Mike was a complete fool. His blindness to reality was something to behold. He was both amusing and annoying in his sex-blindness. I wish there had been less of Mike and more time spent on the character building of a few of the other side-characters.

 

I’d give this story a 3 ½. It was a decently creepy, atmospheric story until probably the last third when it took a predictable turn for the bloody. I liked the bloody, don’t get me wrong, but I could see where it was heading and my need to read began to wane. I know I’ve probably read too many books and seen too many movies like this for my own good but it is what it is.

 

I think THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is a decent choice for the Halloween spooky season if you’re in the mood for some creepy thrills, some foolish characters and a sea of blood.

 

I'm using this one for my slasher stories square in Halloween Bingo 2018.

 

 

 

Squares Called:

09/01/18-"Classic Horror"

09/03/18-"Cryptozoologist"

09/05/18-"Cozy Mystery"

09/07/18-"New Release"

09/09/18- "Southern Gothic"

09/11/18- "Terrifying Women"

09/13/18- "A Grimm Tale"

09/15/18- "Modern Masters of Horror"

09/17/18- "Creepy Carnivals"

 

 

Squares I've Read on My Card that are not called yet:

 

SUPERNATURAL: The Mouth of the Dark

MURDER MOST FOUL:  Big Little Lies

SLASHER STORIES - The House by the Cemetery

Audible Sale

The Bloody Chamber  - Angela Carter,  Emilia Fox, Richard Armitage


 
Do you remember when I said I was searching for a book for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Challenge? I found bins of books I forgot I owned but couldn't find the one book I was tracking down. Well, THAT BOOK WAS THIS ONE AND IT'S $2.95 @ Audible today. And, yes, I am screaming with joy! Go get yours now. The sale ends at midnight tonight.

 

 
Blurbage:
 
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is a titillating series of dark, sensual and fantastical stories, inspired by well-known fairy tales and folklore. 
 
Dissatisfied with the unrealistic portrayal of women in these legendary fables, Carter turns them on their head, introducing subversively dark, sensual and gothic narratives. 
 
Breathing new and unexpected life into favourite childhood characters such as Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard and Beauty and the Beast, Carter shocks, seduces and amuses the listener with her unique, iconic and surrealist reimagining. 
 

Apologies for my absence

It has been a whirlwind of a summer and I'm attempting to balance my blog and other social media along with a brand new project that a group of horror bloggers and I have recently been getting off the ground. Finding balance has been a bit rough but I'll figure it out. 

 

I posted a little peek about the #Ladiesofhorrorfiction Twitter/instagram challenge and thanks to everyone who checked it out and participated.I found so many new horror author's to add to my pile.

 

On September 1st we unveiled our website Ladies of Horror Fiction and ever since we've been hit with an ever growing list of writers to add to our directory. Who knew there were so many women writing horror? Not I. At any rate, that's what I've been focusing on and now that things are getting into a routine, I'll be back here just in time for Halloween Bingo. If you're into horror please check out the site. It is truly a labor of love for all of us and we have such big plans for the future. 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2018: Murder Most Foul

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

I had already seen the tv series and spoiled all of the reveals for myself. Note to others: always read the book first! That said, it was easy to picture the characters :) This book was still riveting and hits you hard with its realistic portrayal of life in suburbia and all of the little ugly truths that lie behind the picture perfect Facebook updates. I loved it. It was like hearing some juicy gossip for hours and hours. There's murder but if you haven't seen the tv show you won't know who dies, who did it and why it happened. Getting there is all the fun!

 

I listened to this one at the tail end of August so I'm going to use it as my sneak peek read for the Murder Most Foul Square for Halloween Bingo 2018. 

 

 

BOOKS CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror 
9/3- Cryptozoologist 
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

9/9- Southern Gothic

 

Squares I've Read on My Card that are not called yet:

 

SUPERNATURAL: The Mouth of the Dark

MURDER MOST FOUL:  Big Little Lies

Halloween Bingo 2018: The Mouth of the Dark by Tim Waggoner

The Mouth of the Dark - Tim Waggoner

Where does one start with a crazy book like this one? I honestly don’t know where to begin so I’ll just start typing and see what happens.

I read this book with a group of blogging buddies and the main theme of our chat seemed to be WTF. Some of us were horrified, some maybe scandalized but I think there were a few who were a little tantalized though they’ll probably never admit it, haha.

At any rate, this is a story about a man named Jayce who realizes his grown daughter has gone missing. He makes it his mission to find her or at least to find out what happened to her. He’s sure something nefarious is up and boy is he ever right. He finds a strange otherworld filled with bizarre sex toys and malformed people and a scary being called The Harvest Man. He isn’t at all prepared for all of the weirdness that assaults him but he takes the hits as they come in a stumbling, hapless sort of way and doesn’t run screaming the other way as most other sane people would do. He heads straight into the madness and grossness and batshit craziness. 

I enjoyed this book for its unpredictable over the top strangeness. It didn’t scare me but it’s not really that kind of book. I loved that it wasn’t afraid to peek into the dark, twisted corners and slam your face into them. That’s a fun time for me. This isn’t a book where you’re going to fall in love or even feel much compassion for the characters. They’re not assholes but there isn’t a lot to like about them either. It’s the storyline that carries you along as the characters are put into one bizarre situation after another. There are a lot of sexual hijinks in this one featuring otherworldly sex toys. I thought that was a nice bonus but be warned if you’re not into reading about weird sex because there’s quite a bit of it here. Also, the main dude has some major mommy issues (which were expertly explained near the end) and some weird thoughts about his daughter and her sexuality that made me feel pretty uncomfortable in a bad way while reading. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a pedophile but he sure does have some pervy thoughts that I think most dads would scrub from their brains as soon as they hit. This guy sits and stews in them for too long. 

The Mouth of the Dark was an imaginative, enjoyable, super pervy story whose pages flew. If you dig weird imagery, some unforgettable sex toys, perfectly placed gore, lots of gross little surprises, gruesome descriptions, dark humor and a finale that wraps everything together you’ll want to read this crazy book. If you don’t like those things, well, you probably wouldn’t be reading my review anyway.



My favorite line: 

“I’m sorry you got a surprise tentacle job from the Pink Devil.” 

And that’s all I’m saying about that!

 

I'm going to throw this in the SUPERNATURAL square. One down, a million to go!

 

Open & Shut by David Rosenfelt

Open and Shut - David Rosenfelt

I requested this book on Overdrive because I read the author's two memoirs about his dogs and I love supporting dog people and was hoping his fictional series would be fun. Someone told me his dog is in all the books and that fact made me request it. However, I am simply not a fan of the legal drama. And this is one of those and I was snoozing through some of the courtroom bits. His dog Tara plays a wee, tiny role and didn't have much character. She puts her head on his lap, he pats her head, takes her for a walk. That was IT. I was soo incredibly disappointed with the lack of doggy thoughts or action! Does that change in later books? At any rate, I'll give this one a 3. It was decent but not my kind of thing. There's some humor, a little of it a bit old-timey and corny and some of the humor is based on old tropes that might insult some people. Andy, the main character, is a huge boob when it comes to his dealings with the ladies too. Ugh. I hope he's figured out some things in the later books or he might just lose his nuts!

That's my "review". Yell at me (but don't be a dick) if the later books get better and maybe I'll try again.

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