Category: review

Review: The Compound by Robert Ford

TheCompound_dustjacket2Once again, Robert Ford has managed to write a story that kept me glued to the pages. Honestly, I couldn’t put the book down. After reading his first book, Samson and Denial, I eagerly awaited something else from this fantastic storyteller. With the release of his new novel, The Compound, I was not disappointed. His ability to describe a scene draws the reader in and doesn’t let go. Ford weaves three entirely different story lines into one seamless, action-filled adventure.

Jake, Ashley and Tori are an estranged family torn apart once again by the zombie apocalypse.

Calvin, a biker, wants nothing more than to spread his wife’s ashes where she requested and won’t let anything or anyone get in his way.

Sombre and Spider, brothers in a vicious gang, have benefitted from the zombie infestation by taking over the self-sustaining, super prison Tartarus.

Pick up your copy to find out what happens at Tartarus Federal Penitentiary aka The Compound.

I highly recommend this novel.

You can grab a copy of The Compound here.

***** Five out of Five Stars *****

Review: The Venus Complex by Barbie Wilde

venus-largeThe Venus Complex, by Barbie Wilde, follows the main character’s descent into madness by way of his diary. After a car accident, Michael is left to rehabilitate physically and mentally. While his body may have healed, his mind takes a turn for the worse. A college professor and art lover, he puts his life on hold and immerses himself in the study of becoming a serial killer. Plagued by his dreams, he acts out on his most depraved thoughts, which in turn spurs on the darkness just a little bit more. He meets Elene, and so begins the struggle between his dual lives.

Barbie Wilde has an excellent grasp of the male POV as she walks us through the creation of a killer. She takes the reader on a journey into the mind of a twisted individual, as he comes to terms with who and what he really is.

This tightly-written page-turner is not for the faint of heart. It contains some (amazingly written) graphic sex and death scenes.

Step into the shoes of a serial killer and pick up your copy of The Venus Complex paperback or Kindle edition.

Five out of Five Stars

(Interested in what my rating system means? Check out this link.)

Mandy’s Review Rating System

5-Star_ratingI’ve posted a few reviews last year and am making a point to post more this coming year. I started doing reviews for Snakebite Horror and when I handed in my first review Mark (from Snakebite Horror) asked me, “How many stars?”

I had to stop and think for a moment.

I wasn’t sure.

All I knew was that I liked the book and I wanted my friends to read it, so I was going to post a review…

I realized I had to stop and ask myself, how does one choose how many stars a certain book should get?

From that point on, I spent a lot of time reading other book reviews, be it a one star or a five star, on Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads.
While a lot of reviews made sense there were always a bunch that didn’t…

I’m still not sure what’s the reasoning is behind everyone’s book rating system, but I have come to realize that every reviewer is different.
We all have our own reasons to give a book a 5 star review or the opposite.

For those who follow my reviews, here’s my reasoning:

5 stars: Means the book was awesome, I’d definitely read it again and I want all my friends to know about it.
4 stars: Means the book was great and you should probably check it out.
3 stars: Means the book was good, it was entertaining enough to keep me reading, you could check it out if you want.
2 stars: Means I can’t believe I spent time reading this crappy book but I will not be bothered writing a review.
1 star: Means I couldn’t finish the book or it sucks really bad, be it the editing or the writing, so I won’t waste my time writing a review.

I guess that I’m more of the recommendation type reviewer.
If I like something, I’ll tell you about it.
If I don’t, I’m not going to drag it through the mud.
It is what it is. Someone else might love it, but it just wasn’t for me.

I think the main idea to recommendations or reviews is to find a reviewer who’s decisions you agree with and follow what they say.


Review: Necropolis Now – Zombie Ascension by Vincenzo Bilof

necropolisnow_cover_final_textVincenzo Bilof’s most recent book, Necropolis Now – Zombie Ascension follows well-developed characters who are each dealing with their own personal issues during a zombie infestation in Detroit. When all hell breaks loose, there are reports of rioting on the radio but no one seems to really understand what’s going on. The characters involved are quick to figure out the city is being overrun by zombies as they realize man is attacking (and eating) man out on the street.

Vega, Miles and Bob are guns for hire. The mercenaries are sent into the mess that is Detroit to find a soldier named Jim Traverse and bring him back alive.

Desmond and Jerome are brothers, however they couldn’t be any more different from one another.

Griggs, the once detective turned porn producer, is trying to make ends meet now that he’s lost his star performer, Mina. She was committed to a mental institution to help her deal with a very dark secret.

As the story pans out, the characters chosen paths become intertwined in one another, weaving each storyline into a much more complex situation.

While I found the novel to be quite entertaining as a read, this is Zombie Ascension – Book One, the end did leave me hanging a little. However, I enjoyed Vincenzo’s storytelling in this first book, so I am now eagerly waiting for Book Two’s release date.

Three out of five stars.



Review: 13 Drops Of Blood by James Roy Daley

13 drops of blood13 Drops Of Blood is a short story collection written by James Roy Daley and published by Books Of The Dead Press.

Gory and graphic, Daley’s writing takes the reader into his world of intense horror with the thirteen stories contained within these pages.

This collection offers something for everyone, as the author covers different themes with his stories, including horror, monsters, zombies, sci-fi/fantasy and dark humour. While every story may not appeal to all readers, 13 Drops Of Blood offers a broad selection of stories and every one should be able to find one (or more) they like.

Daley’s excellent ability to describe the scene draws the reader into the story as even the minor details of the story are brought to life on the page.

Daley’s writing is sure to strike a chord in horror aficionados everywhere.

Some of the stories that deserve additional mention are: The Exhibition, Baby, Jonathan Vs The Perfect Ten and Humpy and Shrivels.

Here’s a quick description of the stories contained in this collection.

The Exhibition: Scott Beach is a horror fanatic, he and his wife Penny have paid 200$ for tickets to a one night only, horror show. The exhibition was designed to scare people, but as Scott and Penny move through the strange rooms, they start to realize the show is not at all what they expected it to be.

The Confession: George Lewis is being held for questioning. Police officers, Martin and McKean, aren’t sure what to make of the supernatural events George relates to them in his story.

Baby: Richard has a secret only his best friend Steven knows about. Not even Richard’s wife, Jennifer, is privy to the information. When Jennifer announces her pregnancy, Richard realizes he’s running out of time to share his secret with her.

A Ghost In My Room: When visited by the ghost of his wife, who’s still alive, the main character must decide what to he’s supposed to do with the information he’s been given.

Jonathan Vs The Perfect Ten: Jonathan Weakly owns a zoo, but not just any zoo. The animals contained within are genetically bred to mammoth proportions. When the town becomes split on whether or not the zoo should stay, Jonathan and the town mayor come up with a solution.

The Hanging Tree: The Hanging Tree carries with it a legend and for that reason, hasn’t been used in a long while. When Mort is charged with shooting the sheriff, Doc and Red have opposing views to where Mort should be hung. Do they use the town square or ignore the legend and use the Hanging Tree?

Thoughts Of The Dead: David Kyle McClure is dead, but he still has a story to tell. Held in a room by the military, he explains how he went from family man to one of the walking dead.

Summer Of 1816: This story takes the reader into a world based on facts and offers a tale of how Mary Shelley may have come up with the idea of her famous novel, Frankenstein.

Fallen: Alex Greenly is trapped on the roof of a building. As the living dead close in, he comes to the realization that he’s left with very few options.

The Relation Ship: A boy leaves his friends behind to travel the ocean with a woman named Lilith on a ship built from love. As years pass, the boy comes to realize nothing is what it seems.

Suffer Shirley Gunn: Shirley Gunn’s dog, Blueberry, has something important to tell her. Shirley isn’t prepared to hear her dog talk, nor is she ready for the message Blueberry ha to deliver.

Humpy And Shrivels: A dark, comedic tale about two men, Gusto and Hubert. Both men suffer from their own physical deformity, until one night when they encounter a monster in a graveyard who changes everything.

Curse Of The Blind Eel: Jonathan and William are on a mission to destroy the Count, an age old vampire. The brothers have a solid plan, that is until William’s bowels get in the way.

Four of out Five Stars

***13 Drops of Blood is recommended as Mandytory reading***

Purchase your own copy of 13 Drops of Blood Paperback Here and EBook Here.

Review: Odd Places by Guy Anthony De Marco

Surprises are nice and great surprises are even better. That’s what “Odd Places” by Guy Anthony De Marco was for me. I received his collection of short stories in my loot bag at KillerCon 4 when I attended the convention in Las Vegas. (SURPRISE!)

Odd Places was the readable I recently chose to take with me on a four-hour road trip to Toronto. Needless to say, I finished the book long before I arrived in Toronto. I love short story collections and this one did not disappoint. (GREAT SURPRISE!)

From flash length to longer shorts, De Marco covers a wide gamut with the 32 tales contained in this collection. Previously published in the likes of Necrotic Tissue, Six Sentences, Goose Creek Literary and many other speculative fiction markets, this book will surely entertain the short story lover in you.

Here are some of the stories that stood out:

1- Dead Meat: A local farmer approaches the butcher with a strange, yet lucrative offer.

2- The Prize: A story about an odd family and their robot butler who seems to suffer from a few glitches.

3- I Hate Sunday School: Kids will do almost anything to get out of Sunday School, especially this kid from this school.

4- Crazy Taxi: Not only is this cabbie a terrible driver, he also knows too much about his passenger.

5- Death Grip: If you could see Death before it got to others around you, would you try to stop it from happening?

6- The Lonely Dead: A creepy who-dun-it? story with a surprise ending.

7- Steaks: A flash story about a cattle truck driver who’s miserable with his job.

*These are just a few of the great stories contained in this book.*

Don’t miss out on this great collection by Guy Anthony De Marco.
You can pick up your copy from Amazon HERE.

***Odd Places is recommended as Mandytory reading***

She Makes Me Smile Review – Now In Swedish!

SMMS - Cover by Bob FordI came across a review of She Makes Me Smile by Jonny at It’s originally written in Swedish, but I translated it with google for your reading purposes. I suppose that makes it my first international review. 😀

Check out the original Swedish version HERE.

Check out the english version HERE.

Pick up a copy of SMMS for 0.99 cents from Amazon or Smashwords.