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Friday, 24 June 2022

More Revision...

Hey! How are you today? 

Well, I've been very busy working on the third draft of Neon, and that means that I'm at the stage where the story is totally eating my brain. 🤯

When I'm not sitting down in front of the laptop revising, I'm on my phone fine-tuning timelines, changing character names, taking notes to add more attention to detail, and rewriting the bits that I'm not 100% happy with.  

Yep. That's what I worked on this week. And although it means that I'm not reading the (many) books I want to get stuck into, I enjoy losing myself in the revision process. I love everything about writing, but revising these semi-abandoned first draft novels is turning out to be very rewarding. 😊

Anyway, here's how this week turned out:
  • Monday: 42/147pgs (55,488w)
  • Tuesday: 70/147pgs (55,096w)
  • Wednesday: 100/142pgs (53,062w)
  • Thursday: 126/126pgs (47,754w)
  • Friday: 131pgs / 49,012w
As you can see, the word count has gone down again! Yep. Did a LOT of chopping. 

It was nice to get into the groove of this story! Even though it was stuck on my hard drive for years, I often thought about this weird tale because I had a great time writing it during NaNoWriMo 2019. Of course, like all the drafts that came before, there were several problems: excess details that didn't work, not enough description in vital places, an ending that didn't fit. 

I ended up cutting SO MANY words!

There were several places in the story that needed a good trim/changes, and I think this strengthened the overall story and cleared up a few things that didn't make sense to me during the re-read. Or didn't need to be there at all. I mean, I had an aerobics class scene that was purely there for the 80s aesthetic, but didn't move the story along. 😏

LMAO.

As I mentioned above, the ending needed a bit of work too. I actually re-wrote the last section completely, and I'm much happier with this version. Well, happy with figuring everything out, but this new ending is sadder than the original one. Yet, more satisfying. If that makes any sense.

Okay. I'm all out of words now. It's time to enjoy the weekend with hubby so I can return to this story with fresh eyes on Monday. Only have one more step to go: read Neon on my Paperwhite.

Have an awesome weekend, guys! 😁

Friday, 17 June 2022

It's That Time Again!


That's right! This week might have started with a public holiday, but I still got stuck into a new Revision Project.

This time I'm working on Neon, which happens to be a sci-fish horror novel set in the 80s, featuring wrestling, different dimensions, and loss. I was very excited about getting back to this story because I wrote the first draft during NaNoWriMo 2019. 

Anyway, here's my progress:
  • Monday: Public Holiday
  • Tuesday: 42/161pgs (64,507w)
  • Wednesday: 75/156pgs (61,392w) 
  • Thursday: 128/148pgs (56,684w)
  • Friday: 145pgs / 55,390w
The second draft is done! Phew.

I have to admit that attempting to complete this draft in four days was a bit ambitious, and I had to sneak in an extra revision session last night, but I'm SO glad I pushed myself. 😬
 
So, in true 2022 revision fashion, I cut 10,791 words. Yikes! I'm not surprised because there were several bits that didn't need to be there. I also decided to change a few things, so that meant cutting details that were no longer relevant.

I really enjoyed getting back into this novel because I like the main character and the weird shit she finds herself in after an unexpected loss. This is her story and I'm happy with the progress.

When I hit the third draft next week, I need to fine-tune several things. I'm looking forward to tackling the next stage in this bizarre 80s trip. 

Well, that's it for now. This turned out to be a mentally exhausting week that was jam-packed full of stuff.

I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Have a good one!


Friday, 10 June 2022

SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED is now available!

 

Today, I'm very excited to announce that my short story, The Loaded Trunk, is included in this awesome horror anthology alongside a whole bunch of talented authors and artists!


Something Bad Happened: An Anthology of Horror is based on the prompts in Jennifer Bernardini's very inspirting, Something Bad Happened: A Horror Journal.

Writers, illustrators, photographers, and graphic artists have created pieces in this collection that will have you gripping the edge of your seat. From angels to demons, creatures and humans, there's a story inside for everyone.

Featuring new, unreleased work from:

Elford Alley
Wayne Fenlon
Jennifer Bernardini
Angel Krause
Bill Davidson
Cindy O'Quinn
Rayne King
Yolanda Sfetsos
Adam Hulse
Ross Jeffery
Bdyer
Laurel Hightower
Brian Bowyer
J.B. Taylor
Kyle Summerall
Steve Stred
Jaime Hernandez
R. Reyes. 

With Images from:
Wayne Fenlon
J.B. Taylor
Holly Rae Garcia
David Bowman

Edited by Jennifer Bernardini


Now available on:





THE SOUND OF SILENCE by Sarah Jane Huntington

 

The Sound of SilenceThe Sound of Silence by Sarah Jane Huntington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another novella I've been looking forward to reading, so I decided to read it today. 😁

After Kate's life takes a bad and unexpected turn, she ends up alone on the streets of London. All she wants is somewhere to live safely, and to eat when she's hungry. But the world has other plans and when she starts having terrible dreams full of disaster, everything spirals out of control...

Wow! What an amazing and emotional story this turned out to be. I mean, I expected to enjoy the tale because Sarah Jane Huntington has a unique way of pulling me into her writing, but I didn't expect to be so moved.

Kate is such a wonderful character and her ongoing struggle to survive broke my heart. Not to mention how kind and pure she is even though her existence is so harsh. And when she starts to figure out what's going on with those freaky tall men she keeps seeing, I couldn't get over her tenacity to continue doing what's right.

The social commentary about how society treats the homeless was also perfectly portrayed. They are so often ignored and treated as if they're not even human. 😥

But that's not all because this novella has an amazing twist! This was a terrific example of horror mixed with Sci-Fi, in a very X-Files kinda way. The tension, the creepiness throughout, and Kate just made this such a joy to read.

Oh, plus that title rocks.

Loved this!

Thursday, 9 June 2022

BELOW by Laurel Hightower

 

BelowBelow by Laurel Hightower
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been wanting to read this novella for a while, so I got stuck into it today.

Addy's on her way to meet up with some friends at a horror convention when a snowstorm hits the night she's driving through West Virginia. She's recently divorced so she questions her every move, but puts her own life in danger to save a stranger...

Yikes! What a dark ride!

I always love a story that starts out with real world relationship problems before slowly sliding away from the familiar and delving into the unknown. And Addy's tale is exactly that.

There's a LOT packed into this novella, and everything fits perfectly. Every problem Addy faces adds to the experience. I loved how she doubted herself every step of the way, but still managed to do what she thought was right. I liked how the harmful voices derailed her thoughts, but didn't destroy her progress.

This is one of those characters who doesn't believe herself to be strong, but definitely is.

Not to mention how gory and creepy the horror is. Or how the mounting tension kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, how well the threat of everyday men is portrayed. No matter how awful the unexplainable monsters, men still manage to be the biggest threat to women by belittling, embarrassing, disregarding, and not believing them.

Awesome story!

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

STONE MATTRESS by Margaret Atwood

 

Stone MattressStone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I grabbed this short story a few weeks ago and decided to read it tonight.

Verna is a widow who decides to go on a cruise to the Arctic in search of her next target. Or rather, her next husband. Instead, she finds herself running into a man from her past...

I really enjoyed this! The writing is outstanding, and I found myself falling into Verna's tale very quickly. She has a sharp tongue and an entertaining way of remembering her dead husbands. In spite of her attitude and obvious bad habits, I was sympathetic to her latest plight because this meeting hits a nerve strong enough to turn villain into victim. And this changes everything.

Oh, and the setting was great!

BLOOD MOUNTAIN by Brenda S. Tolian

 

In this mosaic of Southwestern Gothic Horror, a primordial goddess awakens deep within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The mountain hungers for revenge as invaders leave her emaciated with their greed and brutality. She cries out for blood, infusing the minds of those who do not belong—twisting them outwardly into the dark forms of their true intentions.

An Under Sheriff struggles to grasp brittle threads of hope within the valley and mountains, his soul tormented by the unanswered questions of crimes he can’t explain and the dead and missing he could not help. The demented Red Women fracture the meaning of being maiden, mother, and crone within the shadows of twisted belief systems. Men and women devolve into the grotesque, drowning in their greed and violence transmuting into creatures too hideous to name. Others find seduction on her rocky hips and release within the baptism of her blood. The valley steeped in cults and crime hides something dark, where mirage plays with the senses, disappearances go unexplained, UFOs and creatures await watching in hunger.

This composite novel of interwoven stories and brief vignettes invites the reader to hear the hypnotic call of the Blood Mountain. Will she ask you into her vortex or swallow you whole?



With such an awesome and atmospheric cover, of course I was interested in checking this out.

Deep in the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Colorado, something hungry awakens after an ancient being is fed up with the greedy invaders and trespassers that leave her feeling used and abused...

Well, this collection of interconnected stories sure was brutal.

Although there are twelve different stories with interwoven interludes featuring the struggling Under Sheriff, Dave Blackwood, as he contemplates the carnage he's seen, these tales all come together to complete one very violent and bloody novel. Within these pages, there are many characters living through a variety of situations that often focus on the cultish and selfish behaviour of humans. But the narrative always returns to the mountains. Or rather, the darkness haunting the mountains and how she takes payment in the form of possession and death. 

These stories don't hold back and dare to tread into very dark and claustrophobic trails to follow those who dare to enter, because of one form of depraved greed or another.

They're all horror stories to the core, and also provide plenty of social commentary from the beginning. Not just in the way that men take, take and take some more, but also in how easily women can be twisted as well. At the end of the day, even though the patriarchy tries hard to convince us otherwise, we're all human. Man or woman, we're all capable of unfathomable things. We all wear skin over our brittle bones and can conjure truly horrible things with our minds, especially when caught up in the claws of religion. But we're not the only ones living on this planet, and sometimes the Earth bites back with a vengeance.

One last thing, my favourite story was Seraphim because I loved the imagery, anger and mood. Plus, it captures the essence of this book and is the perfect conclusion.

Thank you Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy of this book!





Tuesday, 7 June 2022

PORTFOLIO OF THE 100 BEST HARD CASE CRIME COVERS by Various

 

Portfolio of the 100 Best Hard Case Crime CoversPortfolio of the 100 Best Hard Case Crime Covers by Various
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another PDF I've had on my phone for several years. Not sure why it's taken me so long to check it out. I mean, asides from whatever's on the 100 covers, there's no other text to read.

Still, it's really nice to have all of these awesome pulpy covers in one place. Hard Case Crime has some pretty cool titles, but even the ones I couldn't get into have fantastic covers. The artwork is fantastic and has a certain noir feel that you don't see much anywhere else.

It's a great collection of beautiful covers. 😊

THE BROKER OF NIGHTMARES by Jon Padgett

 

The Broker of NightmaresThe Broker of Nightmares by Jon Padgett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've had this as a PDF on my phone for a while, and decided to start it last week.

Slaw is an ER doctor at Dunnstown General. She has a problem with dreams and addiction. The night a strange old woman comes to the hospital begging for drugs, Slaw's life is turned upside down...

Well, that turned out to be a waking feverish dream. It's weird and creepy, full of grotesque imagery that makes you suffer through all the gross stuff with the narrator. I mean, that whole spit thing. 👀

It's quite a trippy ride. Watching this (not very nice) woman spiral out of control because she's addicted to dreams was bizarre.

The artwork that accompanies this story is bright and lovely, but captures the darkness perfectly.

Overall, I enjoyed this.

Monday, 6 June 2022

GIRLS FROM THE COUNTY by Donna Lynch

In the county, eerie stillness can be mistaken for stagnation. In the county, rumination on pain and guilt can be confused with omens and curses. In the county, feelings of claustrophobia stem from understanding what the encroaching darkness brings with it.

You’ve heard of country girls, and city girls, but what of the forgotten girls from the in-between space of the county? Confronting the things too wild for urban areas, and too methodically malevolent for the countryside, girls from the county are often dismissed by popular narratives, left to solve riddles of grief and rage for themselves.

Known for weaving folk horror with confessional poetry, unflinching true crime approaches with myth and fable, contemporary appetites with gothic literature, award-winning author Donna Lynch has composed a lyrical reconstruction for readers to navigate the lives—and deaths—of girls from the county.
 


I've said this before and I'll say it again, I always get excited when I receive a poetry collection from RDSP because they publish some gems. So, I want to start by thanking Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy of this upcoming collection.

This haunting book starts with two sets of very interesting Notes from the author. Both give an insight into the words and set the tone for the pieces found within this slim paperback. 

Well, it might be slim, but every word matters. Every poem that Donna Lynch has shared with us bleeds on the page, and weighs on your soul. I loved every single poem I read, because they're all beautifully written and weave their way into your heart and mind with the sheer rawness and honest truth at the core of each small horror.

Every word painted a heavy and not very pretty picture. The reality of what's written on every page hits hard because whether we're from county, suburb or city, we've all heard the stories. We've all watched the news and are very familiar with the dangerous world girls live in. The many situations that could start as happy, but just as easily slip into terror.

I was captivated from start to finish, and actually read this book in one sitting because the distressing and true nature kept me turning the page.

This is a fantastic collection. The words might be lovely and lyrical, but the subject matter is uncomfortable and dark, so confronting. The very real lives fictionalised in these beautiful poems are all somewhat familiar and quite sad.

If you're into poetry that reveals intricate, emotional tales about the lurking dangers that shadow girls every moment of their lives, then you should definitely check this out.


Friday, 3 June 2022

SAGA, Issue #59 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

 

Saga #59Saga #59 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not the best installment.

I love this series but sometimes, there are filler issues that really don't hit the right chord for me. This was one of them. Sure, the family is taking a new direction and shitty people (you know the assholes I'm talking about) are still planning shitty things, but this part of the story is starting to drag a bit.

Maybe this is why reading comic books in Volumes is a lot more fulfilling. You don't have to wait for the next one.

Also, that ending was a little 😵‍💫 for me!

Thursday, 2 June 2022

GWENDY'S FINAL TASK by Richard Chizmar & Stephen King

When Gwendy Peterson was twelve, a stranger named Richard Farris gave her a mysterious box for safekeeping. It offered treats and vintage coins, but it was dangerous. Pushing any of its seven coloured buttons promised death and destruction.

Years later, the button box re-entered Gwendy's life. A successful novelist and a rising political star, she was once more forced to deal with the temptations that the box represented - an amazing sense of wellbeing, balanced by a terrifyingly dark urge towards disaster.

With the passing of time, the box has grown ever stronger and evil forces are striving to possess it. Once again, it is up to Gwendy Peterson, now a United States Senator battling the early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease, to keep it from them. At all costs. But where can you hide something from such powerful entities?


I've really enjoyed following Gwendy Peterson through the years. Watching her grow from a self-conscious young girl trying to get into shape, into an author and politician. And of course, seeing how the dreaded button box affected her life.

Many years have passed since Gwendy last had the displeasure of having the button box in her possession, but now it's come back into her life. And this time, she's got the impossible task of getting rid of it...

Wow. What a whirlwind conclusion this turned out to be! 😳

I have to admit that when I started reading, I was wondering why Gwendy would be anywhere near a spaceship. I mean, I know she's curious and adventurous, but what's she doing heading into space? Well, the book certainly explains all that and a whole lot more.

The story alternates between Gwendy in the present—battling to retain every piece of important information she can to complete her task—and Gwendy in the past—when Covid hits and she's running for the Senate. It provided a well-rounded explanation about the new catastrophe she's facing, and sheds some light on her personal struggle, introduces that creepy little town called Derry, and reveals some intriguing things about this magical box 

I got a kick out of all the Stephen King universe mentions, as well as how everything is woven into this new tapestry. While also throwing the reader into some Sci-fi trouble that proves evil isn't limited to Earth.

Watching Gwendy's gradual mental deterioration as she struggles to hold onto her memories and thoughts was so sad. And brave. Like everything else life has thrown her way, she does what she has to and never shies away from trouble or danger.

Gwendy's Final Task is as enthralling as the other two books in the trilogy. I couldn't wait to find out more as soon as I started. But this installment was really emotional, and the stakes are higher than ever.

I loved this book and this trilogy. Richard Chizmar took an amazing Stephen King idea and turned it into a wonderful, and memorable experience. 

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy!


Gwendy's Final Task, February 2022, ISBN 9781399702379, Hodder & Stoughton

Monday, 30 May 2022

GALATEA by Madeline Miller

 

GalateaGalatea by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This hardback book is much smaller than usual, but it's so lovely.

Galatea is a feminist retelling of the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. It still shares a lot of the horrid misogynistic traits with the original because everyone treats Galatea so poorly and rarely listen to her, but in this version she has her own opinions and thoughts. She learns how to behave and treat others so that they won't punish or disregard her, without them realising what's happening.

I especially enjoyed the cunning conclusion because although it was sad, the way this story ends is very satisfying.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

May Revision Update!


Hey! How's everyone this week? 

Well, the world is still a dumpster fire but at least the shittiest Prime Minister in Australian History & his Dodgy Crew of Bastards have been voted out. Or should I say, booted? YES!! That's right, Australia now has a Labor government at the helm, and a Prime Minister who actually lives up the road from us. LOL.

It's great to see/hear politicians talk without mistrusting every word they say because you know they're screwing the country and only taking care of their friends/donors. The LNP caused a lot of damage. Fascists always do. 🤬

Good riddance to those selfish bastards!

Anyway, if you read my blog updates then you know I've been working on another Revision Project this month. And this week, I read the story on my Paperwhite one last time. 

After a full rewrite, I knew there were going to be some missed sentences, typos and other stuff. And although I did find plenty of things to fix/delete, at least the flow of the story was just how I wanted it to be. I didn't find any inconsistencies in the plot either, which was awesome.

Here's how this week turned out:
  • Monday: 42/93pgs (29,969w)
  • Tuesday: 73/93pgs (29,714w)
  • Wednesday: 93/93pgs (29,573w)
  • Thursday: 93pgs / 29,549w
So... Summer is finally done. Yay! 😊🎉

I'm VERY EXCITED about this WIP. After I came close to chucking it during the second draft, I worked hard on fixing everything during the third. I wasn't happy with the POVs and there was a key element missing. Luckily, because I'm stubborn, I decided to keep going and think about what wasn't working. In the end, I took some notes, made a plan, and fixed everything.

I'm extremely happy with how my latest horror novella turned out. 😁

I wrote this novel back in March 2019 and it clocked in at 57,476w. But now that I've cut 27,927w, it's a novella.

Between this novella, the one I revised in March (-24,600w) and the one in February (-25,203w), I've cut a total of 77,730 words this year!!! That's a whole novel. 👀

Another awesome thing about completing this project is that I can update my Revision List:
  • April 2021: Full edit of Wall of Dolls
  • May 2021: Full revision of Destiny
  • June 2021: Full revision of Victoria
  • August 2021: Full revision of Possess
  • September 2021: Full revision of Monsters
  • February 2022: Full revision of Cosmic
  • March 2022: Full revision of Madness
  • May 2022: Full revision of Summer

This list is looking really good. I now have only two old drafts (one from 2017 and another from 2019) and last year's NaNoWriMo draft left to revise.

The plan is to clear all these first drafts by the end of this year.🤞

Well, it looks like I can take Friday off and have a bit of a mental break. I'll probably take next week off too because my brain is mush at the moment and I need to read! I haven't read anything for a few weeks.

Have an awesome day!

Friday, 20 May 2022

The Revision Continues...

 

Hey! How are you today? After so much shitty rain, it was nice to enjoy a streak of sunny days.

But guess what? The rain just couldn't stay away and returned today. 😕

Anyway, this week I got stuck into the third draft of my latest Revision Project because this story has been eating my brain since I finished the second draft.

As you might remember, I wasn't entirely happy with how the story turned out because there was something missing. So, as soon as I started the next draft, I cut paragraphs, chapters, an entire POV character, and moved things around. A lot of things. I also added a bunch of new stuff to strengthen the plot. Of course, that also means that this novel has now become yet another novella. 

Yep. This seems to be a running theme this year. But if it makes the story better, I'm happy.

Here's how this week turned out:
  • Monday: 21/117pgs (38,857w)
  • Tuesday: 35/113pgs (37,545w)
  • Wednesday: 58/96pgs (31,992w)
  • Thursday: 76/92pgs (29,758w)
  • Friday: 93pgs / 30,097w
As you can see, it took me all week to complete the third draft but I'm not surprised because this turned out to be a complete rewrite. Seriously, I ended up replacing and changing SO MUCH! The bare bones of plot and character is still the same, but it's very different now. Much better!

Phew.

I feel like this is how I originally envisioned this story. Man, that first draft was quite a mess, but it's always exciting to turn a story around.

Anyway, the third draft is (finally) done! Yay. 😊

Now I'll put it aside until Monday and read the whole thing all over again on my Paperwhite. Can't wait to see how all the changes fit together.

Asides from working on this, I finally got the chance to catch up on some washing. And that's about it, because even when I wasn't on my laptop working away, I spent ages thinking about and taking notes for this story.

Like I said, it was eating my brain. 😳

I need a few days off so I'm looking forward to the weekend. We actually have the Federal Election tomorrow and I'm hoping Australians do the right thing and vote these crooks out.

See ya!


Thursday, 12 May 2022

It's Time to Revise!

That's right! After completing an edit last week, this week I got stuck into another Revision Project. 😁

So, how are you? It's been a while since I blogged because hubby had annual leave in April and I took a small writing break. We had a great time together, but now it's time to get back to business. 

Here's my progress:
  • Monday: 64/153pgs (56,333w)
  • Wednesday: 117/145pgs (51,639w)
  • Thursday: 136pgs / 48,049w
I'm actually (really) glad I reached the end of this one, because I felt like putting it aside several times... 😟

I wrote the original draft of this story back in 2019, so it's another one of those projects that I've had lying around for too long. And that means I was able to look at everything objectively, which is why I spotted what didn't work pretty early on. Even though I decided to cut one of the three POVs, I read and revised the whole thing. 

On the one hand, this certain POV provided some cool insight into a particular character. But mostly, it ruined the mystery/intrigue/horror and softened the creepier parts of the story. So, it had to go, but I waited until I was done.

Working on this draft reminds me of my March revision. Like that one, I continually found myself wondering if this story was going to work at all. Although I like the main darkness and the sheer weirdness of this small town, there seemed to be something missing. And after catching up with everything, I know what that is.

I'll now spend a few days pondering how to fix all the things I didn't like during the third draft. And I'm actually looking forward to it. 😁

Well, that's it for now. 

Have a great week!!


Wednesday, 11 May 2022

MY EVIL MOTHER by Margaret Atwood

 

My Evil Mother: A Short StoryMy Evil Mother: A Short Story by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I grabbed this short story the other day, decided to check it out tonight, and read it in one sitting.

The story is set in Toronto during the 1950s and is narrated by a girl with a single mother, who was anything but conventional. Actually, her mother insisted she was a witch and that the girl's father was a garden gnome. But as she remembers her life with and without her mother, some of the truths slowly reveal themselves.

What I especially loved about this wonderful mother-daughter tale was how whimsical it was. Her mother wanted desperately to protect and teach her how to survive in a gossipy world in hopes of making her life easier by filling the days with magical terms, characters and situations. Yet, as the story wrapped up and everything slotted into its comfortable place in reality, I still couldn't help but wonder... ✨


View all my reviews

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

THE SURVIVORS by T.C. Weber

 

In a calamitous future, runaway climate change has made the planet nearly uninhabitable. Civilization has collapsed, and every day is a struggle. Lucy, a young mother of two, dreams of a better life by bringing back vanished knowledge. But the rest of her group, headed by her brutal aunt Irma, is focused only on day-to-day survival—at any price. When a deadly hurricane destroys their home, Lucy’s group is forced on the road, where they must cope with hunger, searing temperatures, and vicious rivals. And their nightmare is just beginning.


The author of this novella reached out to me a few weeks ago and because the blurb sounded interesting, I decided to give it a go.

Climate change has decimated the planet. Every single day is a struggle for the new generation of humans. Lucy is a mother of two living with a small group of fellow survivors. After a really bad storm destroys their tower, the group is forced to move to find another home, which turns out to be a lot harder than expected...

Yikes! This is not a happy story. It's bleak, unsettling, and totally brutal. The people living in this apocalyptic world constantly struggle against an erratic climate and other territorial groups determined to keep strangers out. Even those within their own group are often a threat. Scavenging and hunting are the only way they can eat, which isn't easy while trying to avoid other people.

Having young kids, a baby and a pregnant woman in their group makes things harder, but Lucy is determined to keep her children safe.

I liked Lucy because she desperately wanted to do the right thing, even if she was scared about speaking up and going against the others who were a lot stronger/wilder than her. She also wasn't as vile as Irma, or as deluded as Angelica. But I did get frustrated by her constant silence. She wanted a real future for her kids, dreamed about a better place to exist without all the fighting and death, but survival meant she had to keep her mouth shut. 

Still, I enjoyed her unpredictable tale of survival during such a dark time, and really liked that ending!

The Survivors is an ultra violent story about people living during the aftermath of what the Vanished Ones (you know, the humans who could've made a difference but chose greed and laziness) left behind. It's not pretty. It's raw and full of characters who are willing to do whatever it takes to survive. 🤢



Trigger warnings: 
This book contains scenes with violence and gore, and may not be suitable for all readers.



SURVIVORS IS NOW AVAILABLE: 


Sunday, 8 May 2022

THE RED ROOM by H.G. Wells

 

The Red RoomThe Red Room by H.G. Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved The Time Machine, so checking out a horror story by HG Wells sounded like a cool idea.

A skeptic man, in the company of three peculiar old people, has come to a creepy castle to investigate the Red Room. A place where some awful things have happened...

Well, this turned out to be a psychological tale full of imagery that might be there, but might not. I liked how the nameless narrator is so determined to prove everyone wrong and then finds himself in a peculiar situation he can't explain. Because what lurks inside our minds can be so much darker and scarier than what is actually there.

Watching as he loses himself in the frenzy of keeping the candles lit was quite an unnerving display. And the ending pretty much confirms the truth about this 'haunted room'.

This is a psychological gothic horror story with an undercurrent of dread strong enough to make one wonder if it was all in fact in his head. Or was it so much more?

I enjoyed this.

Friday, 6 May 2022

HARLEY QUINN: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki & Steve Pugh

 

Harley Quinn: Breaking GlassHarley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When we go for long suburban walks, not only do we stumble on a bunch of Street Libraries along the way, but also randomly find boxes full of books and/or movies outside people's houses.

This graphic novel happens to be one of them.

Harleen is on her way to stay with her grandmother in Gotham City, but when she gets there, she finds out she's passed away. Her apartment now belongs to Mama, a lovely drag queen who runs some pretty awesome drag shows. Here, she makes a family, starts going to school and even makes a friend. Ivy introduces her to the unfairness of the city, and when Mama is kicked out of her home, Harleen is determined to help...

I REALLY enjoyed this! I honestly didn't know whether I would, but it turned out to be an excellent modern take on the DC universe that deals with some very familiar current issues, while still including some well-known DC staples. I mean, I didn't expect the guy in the shadows to turn up.

It's all presented in a very cool way, where the characters and city are very much diverse.

My favourite thing about this book, asides from the absolutely fantastic artwork, was Harleen. I love how hard she tries to help others, and how her desire to do the right thing always gets her in trouble because she wants a quick outcome without really weighing out the options. She's also funny, quirky, creative, and doesn't care what others think of her attitude.

Yeah, this graphic novel has a LOT of heart, plenty of great characters, and a great message.


View all my reviews

Thursday, 5 May 2022

SAGA, Issue #58 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

 

Saga #58Saga #58 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this issue!

So many small and interesting things happen, and all of them are going to lead to a VERY bad place. And OMFG, that last page was so: 😳

Noooooooo!!

Can't wait to see what happens next...

 
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