Cinema 7 by Michael J. Moore is a chilling horror. A tale of revenge, possession, and the risen dead that also has all the gruesomeness of a zombie story. Cinema 7 is certainly not a novel for those who may be easily offended by the darker aspects of humanity, but certainly an exciting tale if you are a fan of dark horror stories.
It has been a long time since I read a horror story that made me pause and think about what was going on. The detail in which the story is told are wonderful. The characters are certainly relatable, particularly the man characters who are teenagers and certainly feel like they are in all their uncomfortable, self-conscious glory. This is grand because a story with a perfect character gets boring really fast.
As stated, this is a dark story, and certainly not for the faint of heart, however even the most grotesque scenes of this novel have a place and feel as though they are not simply there for the shock value, though they can certainly be shocking.
In short, Cinema 7 is a must read for fans of horror.
Righteous Assassin by Kevin G. Chapman is a fantastic thriller following Detective Mike Stoneman and his peers as they try to hunt down a serial killer who seems to think he is murdering bad guys in the name of God. This clearly insane individual continues monthly killings, leaving the detectives to search high and low for a way to end the deaths for good. As well as bringing up several moral concerns.
Chapman’s writing is great. The characters and story fit a thriller mystery. The interactions between the characters seem rather real and natural. There seems to be no forced chemistry between characters and the issues that they have with one another are realistic.
The story itself is a fascinating mystery. I actually wondered what this villain would actually look like once they found him. The climax of the story is exciting, and I had a hard time putting the book down. If you are a fan of dramatic police stories, you will want to take a look at this book!
Here I am again talking about someone I met at Central Florida Comic Con! Marcus Roberts the COO of Second Sight Publishing, was there with a few of the companies’ creatives. Marcus has been in to comics a long time. He told me he started reading them back in the 60s and 70s. That’s an impressive length of time to enjoy something. No fair-weather fan here.
Marcus told me he enjoys horror comics the most and that he created his own stories because he has always been a storyteller. I picked up one of his comics, The Protector. While I could not read it yet, I really am looking forward to it. He also admitted to pretending to be an extrovert, which is a really relatable statement for any introvert who wants to get their work out there!
I really hope I get to speak to Marcus Roberts again! And I look forward to reading his work.
Now the second awesome person I got to speak with at Central Florida Comic Con was Elmon Dean Todd. Now, as readers and friends of mine will happily confirm, if there is one thing I like more than books, it’s games. So it thrilled me to not only discover the Godshard series of books, but to also hear that it is being turned in to a video game with a hesitant 2023 due date. I do not know about the rest of you, but I certainly enjoy a game that has been carefully created as opposed to something thrown out the door to meet deadlines. So I hope they take their time and produce an outstanding game.
Now I can’t say I have finished the books I bough when I was at CFCC, even a voracious reader such as myself has to stop, eat, drink, and get the day job out of the way. I will give a full review of the books once I finish them. I can however say that it is a quality, well made paperback with some fine art that I am looking forward to officially cracking.
I also had fun speaking with Elmon Dean Todd who was kind enough to speak to me. He’s been writing for some time, saying he was inspired by classic RPGs and series he found while he lived in Japan. As a huge fan of the JRPG genre it gives me a lot of hope for his series, both book form and the upcoming game! I hope to talk to him more in the future.
The first writer I spoke with was Steve Conley. Steve was super friendly and willing to talk about his work and his work and his history with comics. He is the author of The Middle Ages, which before this day I had not read before, and since, I have probably spent wayyyyy too much time reading. I have deadlines to meet, but this comic is really great! The art work is reminiscent of classic newspaper comics and the story is entertaining as well.
Steve himself has been drawing most of his life. And as he told me he got in to the comic business because it was “the thing I was least bad at” tell me that’s not a relatable thought?
I hope to discuss his history, and The Middle Ages with Steve in more detail once I have finished the comic, or at least caught up to it. If you are interested in learning more about him or reading his work, you can find it at https://steveconley.com/
So I was lucky enough to be able to get a press pass to this year’s Central Florida Comic Con, and it was amazing! I spent most of the first day wandering around the sales booths, searching for local creators. I ended up stumbling on some really impressive writers in my wanderings and the next few posts will be dedicated to the quality items and the bits I learned from each of them.
Note, I haven’t gotten to read all of their work yet, so that will come in later posts. I hope you will enjoy my coverage of some of the people I ran in to at Central Florida Comic Con.
Behind the Veil leads us in to the life of Letitia, a woman with a supernatural gift to see the dead and feel people’s emotions and minds. This allows her a comfortable living as she tries to use it to help people. However, there is always a dark side to these amazing talents, and Letitia has lost as much as she has helped people find closure. As such, we are brought in to a dark and exciting story as she tries to help a young girl and her family.
As stated Behind the Veil is a dark story, the book itself even has a content warning, so if you are the sort of reader who may be triggered by some of the darker aspects of life, or death, I will strongly suggest you do not read this story. However, for everyone capable of dealing with dark aspects, Behind the Veil has them in scores. While the dark aspects are a major part of the story, they are not displayed simply for the favor of shock value and add both to the story and the absolute repulsion of the antagonist. You really want to hate this villain as soon as you learn about him.
Beyond the dark aspects however, Behind the Veil has a grand story of a widow trying to survive the world, damaged and jaded from life. It is an excellent story and anyone who has ever lost a loved one will be able to relate to Letitia’s plight.
So is Behind the Veil worth the read? Certainly! Pick it up if you are looking for something on the darker side of things. I know I loved it.
Once again, Tom Vater gives us an overwhelmingly realistic and painful view on the world as he walks us through another glorious tale from Asia. This time his story takes us to Cambodia in the 90s where we follow a German journalist turned private detective as he searches for his client’s son, pulling together pieces along to form in to a greater and more painful story than anyone would have imagined.
As with Tom Vater’s other works, the details in to the time and location that the story takes place are so methodically displayed that you feel as if you are sitting there with the character. Those characters? Well, they are wonderfully realistic in their twisted dark ways that make you feel as if they are another damaged person you could have actually met.
This one was hard for me to read. I actually had to put the book down a couple times because of the content, but I was more than happy I picked it back up and finished it. Vater never skimps on the dark aspects and while they can be a bit much for the reader, they are always placed there for a reason.
Is the Cambodian Book of the Dead worth reading? Yes, yes, it is! This book, like other Vater stories I have reviewed is certainly a must read.
Once again, Joe Lyon produces a fascinating and interesting in-depth fantasy novel in the second installment of his Astar’s Blade series. As with the first book in the series, The Provenance, Kilmer’s Ghost does not skimp on the details, making it feel like a fantastical history reading mixed with high fantasy story telling and an absolutely glorious world building.
Many of the characters of this second installment are carried over from the first book, though more detail is given to their lives as we find out what happened to them in later years. We also get to experience with them a few prophetic experiences that continue to keep the story interesting.
I had thought the first Astar’s Blade book had ended rather abruptly but seeing how the second novel picks up; I have to state that I am dazzled with the series as it stands now and am looking forward to more installments. Lyon does a perfect job of answering questions that were left unanswered in the first book, in fact this whole second novel is just a delight if you are the curious type who just needs to know as much about a world’s history as you can.
Now while this is a perfectly amazing high fantasy novel, there are a couple scenes that may have some more sensitive readers uncomfortable. These being instances of suicide and a bit of non-consent on the side of a man with the involvement of a female demon. While these aspects may make some people uncomfortable, they fit well in the world and are parts of the story, not simply placed there for the shock value many writers try to drag people in with. Beyond these possible triggering aspects for some people, the story has only the usual fantasy violence you expect to find in a fantasy novel.
In short, the answer to what you are really looking at reviews to answer though is that this book is very much worth reading, though make sure you read the first book in this series so you do not get lost! Joe Lyon’s work is certainly worth paying attention to, keep an eye on him.
I found this book on Reedsy Discovery https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/kilmer-s-ghost-joe-lyon?utm_medium=email&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=mandrill#review
Sovereign Earth book 2 of the Galaxy Bound series by Vidar Hokstad is yet another display of a fantastic sci-fi novel. Much like the first book which I reviewed some months ago, the story, characters and world building of alien worlds and people are fantastic. Each chapter leaves you wanting to pick the book back up for more information.
Given this is the second book in a series, you may worry if this sequel is as good as the first. In fact, I thought it was better. Perhaps this is because I had to wait between books to finally learn more about the Centuri but I have to say I was more than pleased with the aliens when they made their appearance. I was particularly pleased with the fact that their male and female roles are opposite of those on Earth, allowing for some rather humorous interactions.
This was another fantastic addition to the series and, as I am sure I have said before, I am sincerely looking forward to reading more of Vidar Hokstad’s series. Galaxy Bound books are a must pick up for fans of the sci-fi genre!