Book Review: Kind Nepenthe by Matthew W. Brockmeyer

Rebecca thought she’d find a hippie paradise when she moved to the desolate back hills of Humboldt County. A place to commune with nature and teach her five-year-old daughter how to live off the land, instead she discovered a nightmare.

Coyote is a washed-up pot grower. Strung out on pills and dealing with dropping prices and looming legalization, he wonders if it’s even worth it anymore.

Diesel Dan abandoned his son for a life of methamphetamine and prison. Now he wants to make amends. He’s going to be a grandfather. But his son is on the same dark road of drugs and violence that once consumed him.

These characters will come together in an explosive ending that will leave you stunned and breathless. But more than just a gripping horror novel, Kind Nepenthe is a deep examination into the nature of love and greed, lost ideals, and the essence of evil in one of the last frontiers of the American West.

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I liked this book, even though the horror didn’t really happen until the end. Diesel was a deadbeat dad, but he was trying to make it up to his son. Rebecca had a little girl who did strange things. They moved to Coyote’s compound with her boyfriend.

My favorite lines: 1) “Yes. But, Mommy, if there’s no such thing as ghosts, why do people say this place is haunted?” 2) Thinking about it left an emptiness in his chest, as if some inner part of him had grown hollow, like a rotten knot in a tree.

I enjoyed that the characters were not likable. It made the story feel more real that way. They were drug dealers, druggies, and/or pot growers. Drama had consumed their lives. But, I never quite understood why Rebecca couldn’t just leave. Why she couldn’t grow some balls and leave for her daughter’s safety? That was frustrating, but if Rebecca did the sensible thing, then there wouldn’t be a story. For me, the book didn’t pick up until Sunbeam disappeared. The mystery of did she leave on her own, or did something bad happen to her piqued my interest. The story got exciting for me when there were a lot of fights, arguing, and when ghosts were mentioned. Being labeled as horror, I was expecting to be scared while reading, but I definitely wasn’t.

I will say that the very end was chilling though.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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Book Review: Necromancer by Eddie Roy #amreadinghorror

Devastated by the heinous murder of his two-year old son at the hands of a serial killer just a handful of years after losing his wife in a freak accident, the last thing David Boyd wants to do is strap on a guitar, though that has always been his avenue of escape during bad times. But he’d never dreamed he would experience times as bad as this. David, Guitarist, singer, and song writer for death-metal band ‘Corpse Whisperer’ is, not surprisingly, inconsolable.

As a result of the crushing loss, he finds himself consumed by thoughts and wishes; and anger at the family he’d been cheated out of.

As he finally resorts to returning to the stage, the murders continue; the victims all death-metal performers and their families. Spread over a wide area, there appears to be no tie-in beyond the bands. The FBI Special Agent in charge of the case from the beginning works tirelessly to solve the case, offer David some closure, and see to it that the murderer gets what’s coming to him.

David is approached by a world famous psychic who claims she can contact his son; for a price. Desperate, and grasping at straws, David agrees. He soon discovers things are not as they seem. And neither is the psychic, who has her own motive for trying to reach the dead boy.

The story of a father’s love, which leads him to the brink of hell to avenge the death of his child.

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I enjoyed this book. I bought a paperback version of Necromancer at the author’s book signing. At the very beginning, I felt bad for David. He lost his wife and his little boy. David just seemed to have bad luck all around. This made me hope that Special Agent John Paxton could capture the little boy Davey’s killer.

Eddie Roy has talent with writing imagery. For example, “…slid into oncoming traffic like an out-of-control turtle” and “…the ornate-looking chandelier dangling above him like a UFO against a bone-white sky.”

My paperback had some formatting issues. It was hit or miss with indentation of paragraphs. The majority of the book wasn’t indented at all, so it seemed like I was reading a big block of text, instead of having white space in the margins. There were a few typos with missing quotation marks with the dialogue.

My favorite lines from the book were: 1) David and Patty met about a year and a half after his creative desperation guided him in a direction he would eventually recognize as the beginning of his downward spiral. 2) David was addicted. He hated the music and the life, but he was addicted to the applause. 3) He probably wouldn’t continue drawing breath long enough to regret his carelessness. 4) They sat silently for a few moments, neither of them wanting to start a conversation, Paxton too hesitant, David too scared.

While reading, I couldn’t tell if the book was written in omniscience point-of-view or if the scenes were head hopping. Knowing every character’s thought process all at once didn’t leave any mystery.  There was a lot of repetition with characters’ narrative summaries but it made sense because these characters were obsessed with what was going on around them. David was obsessed with losing his family in horrific ways. Agent Paxton was obsessed with finding justice for David. The bad guys were obsessed with bringing psychological warfare to David and Paxton, etc., etc.

The novella had great suspense towards the middle and last few scenes. It was cool seeing the villains portray themselves. At the end of the day, they were winning, so they were cocky with themselves. There was a satisfying ending. I was biting my nails scared for David’s safety. The ending tied everything together nicely.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Heart of a Hunter by Tamela Miles

*** I received a free copy in exchange for a honest review***

Life has never been kind to teen, Elle Connor. With a troubled home life, the gritty, violent streets of Los Angeles have become her home. She never questions her superhuman abilities until she encounters, in a fight or die situation, a guardian angel Tagas, who reveals her holy origins as one in a long history of demon hunters. She also has her eye on her attractive classmate, Brandon.

Problems arise when Elle finally realizes that life as a hunter is fraught with tragedies and is deeply lonely. Elle is presented with a choice – follow her calling from God as a hunter or live a “normal” life with love. Can Elle tip the scales in favor of what’s good or will she become just another casualty in the eternal war between good and evil?

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I really enjoyed this paranormal story. The beginning was full of suspense. A mysterious being wanted to kill the main character, Elle, as he watched her across the street. Soon, readers found out that the villain was named Pyro. The story switched between Elle and Pyro’s third-person point of views. There were no chapters, only scene breaks, which fit this short novella.

Elle became a demon hunter with the help of Tagas. The setting was in Los Angeles, which I thought was pretty cool. It was nice to see LA in a different light, instead of being superficial and only about celebrities. I really liked Elle and K.D.’s friendship, and the love scene between Elle and her boyfriend Brandon was cute and very sensual.

My favorite lines were: 1) He held her tightly in comfort for long moments in the darkness, the moon and stars in the clear night sky their only witness. 2) Her lips twisted in a private, cruel smile as her eyes settled on Brandon. 3) Hell would come to fear the name Elle Connor. 4) “Not feeling sorry for myself, just stating the facts.”

There was a lot of telling, which was to be expected because the story was a short novella–only 44 pages. Readers were told how much Elle loved Brandon instead of seeing it play out for awhile. Readers were told about the training Elle was going through instead of really seeing it on the pages. The telling didn’t distract from the story though; it just made the scenes move faster. I appreciated this quick read.

The story was full of conflict and tense moments. The demons Pyro and Cascadia really, really, really hated Elle and Tagas. For some scenes, I jumped out of my seat because Pyro was a very intelligent and worthy opponent. That end of the party scene really touched my heart, and I loved the twist regarding her best friend.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Defenestration by Matthew W. McFarland

***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Defenestration

Noun

the act of throwing a thing, or especially a person out of a window

All it takes is one random deviation from the run of things to send a life spiraling out of control; An underachiever from the retail sector with a degree in geography and a taste for younger women. An attractive pharmacist with addiction issues. An enigmatic taxi driver with a penchant for theology. All three are brought together when Adam is thrown from the twelfth storey of an apartment complex in mysterious circumstances. As he falls towards almost certain death, he contemplates his fate, killer whales, flying cats, and the untapped potential of the human mind.

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I loved this contemporary novella. It was written in Adam’s first person point-of-view, and switched into third person when showing how other characters fit the puzzle. The author did a brilliant job with characterization; every character was given a backstory, a personality, and they shined in whatever scene they were in.  Most importantly, the author did a great job of setting up the reveal of who could have possibly shoved Adam out of the window!

After he was pushed from the window, Adam met Gabriel and Michael. They helped him piece together the mystery of what had happened that night at the party. I really enjoyed reading about the anti-heroes of the story. Life had dealt them a terrible hand. By their own fault or bad luck?  You’ll have to read the story to find out.

Reading this novella reminded me of a Judd Apatow movie. I could picture Seth Rogen and James Franco as starring roles. The sarcasm really made me laugh.

My favorite lines: 1) When a week went by without any contact, she knew his laziness had overcome his libido. 2) “As I was falling, I looked back up, and there were two faces. We found one, so who was the other?”

I REOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Chronicles of Drenyon: The Golden Sword by NLJ

Mystery. Romance. Adventure. Suspense.                
 
 The Chronicles of Drenyon series has the power to show you worlds you have never known. It will whisk you away to adventures that will thrill readers of all ages. Join the journey of a tyrant king, an enchanted tree, a captivating maiden, and a pair of mystical twins as they fight for their one and only home.
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***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Fantasy isn’t a typical genre I read, but I decided to give this book a try. I’m happy I did. The author did a great job with setting and description. The scenes were quite interesting, showing a lot of action and a lot of interaction between the characters. I loved all the tension between everyone; they all had secrets, and some had a shady past.

Anya was the main character. As a reader, I respected her strong nature. She was one of the heroes in the story, not weak having to always wait for the man to save her. I felt sorry for Anya since she seemed to only have her mom Elina and the tree man at the beginning.

Drenyon didn’t have a king because their king had died violently in war many years ago. Drenyon had twelve years of peace until…an enemy unleashed something horrible. The regular townfolk were turning into monsters.

With the help of the tree man, Anya had to find a way to save her country. My favorite scenes where when they found the young boy in the prison. He and the tree man fought for Anya’s attention, plus they found a set of powerful twins. I loved all the disharmony among the ranks.

My favorite lines: 1) What a lovely tale, she thought. Yet, she was curious…2) Today, there was an unspoken sadness between them. 3) Mother’s smiles were forgotten. 4) “Don’t recite, my love. Dream.” 5) “True goodness comes from unexpected sources.” 6) “Red sparks along the sides of the moon,” she remembered aloud, “and untamed chaos.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: A Portrait for Shy by Justin Kenneth

Fans of We Were Liars will devour this psychological supernova.

At seventeen, Jared Sedgwick wanted to share his artwork with the world, marry his first love, and get the hell out of Vermont. But he put down the brush when his relationship fell to pieces, and his cracked phone still says it’s another cold day in Bennington.

He only opens up to his best friend Stan, the one who’s there for him when he feels suicidal, who listens to every word and sits through every heartbreaking detail just waiting for some cat food; Stan never offers much advice. But that’s okay now because Jared’s got a new story, and her name is Eloise. She’s a cat-loving bookworm with a passion for starting over, new in town from California, and she’s making him forget that he ever had a past.

It’s a fresh romance for both until she questions the whereabouts of his ex-girlfriend, soon to discover an awful truth much worse than cheating.

A PORTRAIT FOR SHY is a twist-riddled narration of undying love in the wake of tragedy, an upper-YA/crossover contemporary *Mature content novel.

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***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

The opening line, There’s this game I play with Stan called Scratch-me-if-you-can, where I tap behind his paws until he tears apart my hand, caught my attention right away. The story was told in Jared’s first person point of view, and Stan was his cat. I loved this story because Jared’s quirky personality kept my full attention. Picture this book as an indie quirky drama or a quirky romance movie. Something you’d see on Sundance or the IFC Channel.

Jared, Jared, Jared. From the beginning, it was clear he wasn’t all sane, but that made him endearing. I felt bad that he couldn’t let go of the past. He was in a love triangle with  his high school sweetheart Shy, and his new neighbor Eloise. I loved that everyone’s backstory was twist after twist. I’m all about mystery.

Even though my favorite scenes where of Jared bonding with Eloise and Shy, I wish there would’ve been a little more interaction with other people. They lived in Vermont, so I pictured a small town, which the author did a great job capturing Vermont’s beautiful landscape. I wanted to get a feel if his neighborhood found him odd or if he just faded in the background. I was happy that he became less lonely when Eloise arrived into town.

Eloise’s dialogue used alot of exclamation points. That made me think she was eccentric or youthful. My favorite line was There was a pause that swallowed. But I closed my eyes, and then I heard her voice. As a reader, I usually have a clear cut couple I’m shipping if there’s a love triangle. However, I really liked Shy and Eloise, both for different reasons.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Expulsion by Angel Gelique

WARNING:

This book contains extremely gory, depraved, disturbingly graphic material that many may find offensive, including a descriptive scene of a self-performed abortion. Adult readers only!

Wait…!

Perhaps you’re ready to give it a try despite the warning—maybe even in spite of it. But be fully warned, this story is truly revolting. Imagine seeing a child get struck by a truck. In his last moments of fear and agony, he feebly lifts his head off the ground, leaving the right side of his face upon the pavement. No doubt you feel terribly for the poor child. But does morbid curiosity compel you to watch? Or do you turn to flee, emptying your stomach along the way?
Please only read this book if you are able to tolerate extremely vile situations.

You have been warned.

Twice.

Elizabeth thought that she got rid of her unwanted baby.
She was wrong….

On a stormy Sunday afternoon, twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth Cotton has a bizarre encounter with a stranger dressed in black, which leads to an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy. In an act of desperation, Elizabeth aborts her unborn child, savagely expelling the fetus from her womb.

Years later, she is happily married to Martin Howe and in her second trimester of pregnancy. Plagued by horrific nightmares, Elizabeth has a dreadful feeling that something is terribly wrong.

When she gives birth, it is immediately clear that the baby is not a typical newborn. Elizabeth believes that she is being punished for her past—for deplorably terminating her unborn child’s life. But she isn’t the only one tormented by the aberrant infant.

Evil has been unleashed and mankind will face its ultimate challenge.

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I absolutely loved this crazy, crazy, crazy book. Did I say it was crazy? I was impressed with the author because she didn’t write in fear. She showed in great detail kids, women, babies being tortured. I was extremely grossed out and knew not to eat while reading the book. I appreciated Angel Gelique not holding back because reading a book about an evil child shouldn’t be sugar-coated.

The setting was Cortlandt, a small town that hardly had any crime. The small town was turned upside down when Elizabeth and Martin, wife and husband, entered the hospital. She was pregnant, unbeknownst to her it wasn’t a normal baby.

Four years earlier, Elizabeth had met a mysterious evil man, Malum. She lost her virginity to him, then did a horrible, horrible, horrible act. The self-performed abortion scene was so sad! I felt horrible when she puked on it afterwards. The author did an amazing job creeping me out with her visual details. Sign of a truly talented writer.

My favorite lines: 1) Yet, something about this particular rainstorm unnerved her greatly. 2) “I can help you feel better,” the man said, his flawless face devoid of emotion, yet irresistible. 3) “Is it dead?” Elizabeth cried out. “It’s dead, isn’t it?” 4) “I am death, decay and deception, disease and disorder. I am lust and greed and wrath and chaos. I am the destroyer of minds, bodies, and souls. I am sin itself.”

I really liked the hospital staff, but I wished those scenes would’ve been shorter. The book really picked up after Elizabeth got discharged from the hospital. I really enjoyed the tension and conflict between Elizabeth and Martin. She was scared of her baby and wanted nothing to do with it. But Martin loved it unconditionally. I wanted him to snap out of his naivety, but then there wouldn’t have been a story haha. I didn’t like Martin at all because of his lack of support. He came around towards the end though and I grew to respect him.

I had to pause and catch my composure after reading two scenes. It really hurt my heart and I wept. The first scene was Elizabeth taking matters into her own hands regarding her first baby. And the second scene involved the aftermath of a dad’s greed of insurance regarding his two daughters. That scene really shook me to the core–in a good way. Once again, a sign of a brilliant horror writer!

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby