[Mini Reviews] – Quick Takes for Quick Reads

By Andrew Redman

Nightfall (Nightmareland Book 1) – by Daniel Barnett

5 out of 5

Darkness has come suddenly. One moment the sun is there, the next it’s gone. People are losing their minds. Terrible things are happening. And no one knows why. Nightfall sets up for something as ambitious and devastating as The Stand. I’m ready. Are you?

Ritual – by Steve Stred

4 out of 5

Disturbing and haunted, Ritual paints the picture of a demon-worshiping cult and its chosen one. I would like to see this story expanded one day, because a good series of frights could come of it. Cults are scary enough without the actual summoning of demons to pile against your rattled nerves. There’s a world of horror to explore here.

69 – by Tim Meyer

5 out of 5

This one got my attention right from the start. Then it grabbed me and held on for dear life, shaking and clawing at me all the way. Damn, was it fun. The suspense is top notch, the scenes of horror are perfectly executed, and the memories that haunt the characters are genuinely horrific.

Strange Tales of the Macabre – by E. Reyes

3 out of 5

Collections serve as good introductions to new authors. Though they may not always be comprised of winners, they generally provide a significant view on what you can expect of the writer. With Strange Tales of the Macabre, Reyes shows his best abilities through Home Invasion (think Elmore Leonard goes Don’t Breathe) and The Haunted Circus Ride (healthy in Autumn/Halloween feels). I look forward to checking out his Halloween collection, as well as his upcoming full-length.

Out Behind the Barn – by John Boden and Chad Lutzke

3.5 out of 5

I felt like there was a lot of promise with this novella, but the overly brief chapters and sometimes uneven pacing left me feeling underwhelmed. The ending was also a bit flat for me, lacking excitement.

Devouring Dark – by Alan Baxter

4 out of 5

With a vibe of the Darkness comics, this novel reeled me in with a great introduction and premise. Though I felt like the payout was lacking – there wasn’t nearly enough action – there was still enough to love about Devouring Dark and its characters that I would like to read a sequel.

In Dreams We Rot – by Betty Rocksteady

3.5 out of 5

While this started off great, it gradually declined. If it wasn’t bizarre and gross, it was scattered and unsteady. Still, the good stuff was good enough. I will look for her next release to read.

Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery – by Steve Stred

4 out of 5

This starter collection opens strong and closes strong. It shows Steve’s early work in fantasy and sci-fi, which I really appreciate (seeing as I feels he most excels there). I’ve been working my way through Steve’s library this year and I won’t be stopping after this book.

Before You Wake – by Adam Neville

4 out of 5

This was my first time reading Neville. His name having been memorized due to the success of The Ritual (which is still on my TBR list). After reading these three shorts, it’s safe to say I like his style and want to read more of his horror. Though the third story didn’t do anything for me. I really enjoyed the first two (especially the one that opens this small collection). The gothic vibes on that story were wonderful, and I loved the premise of the second one. I have another two collections of his on my phone, and I will be starting them soon, I’m sure.

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