Four-stars are special reads! I state here:
I really liked it. It could’ve been perfect for me, if not for some aspects I found lacking, or simply some minor things that bothered me. All in all, however, I’m very pleased.
So yes, they’re a big deal. Chances are, since I’m terribly stingy with five-star ratings, there will be quite a few fours. These beauties gave me a lot of enjoyment, and had very obvious strengths.
✪ – indicates a particular favourite.
Publisher – publisher of edition read.
Year – original publication year.
➊ First 4-Star of 2018…
Title: Woom: An Extreme Horror Novel
Author: Duncan Ralston
Publisher: Shadow Work Publishing
Finally returning to the one place that’s caused him a great deal of pain in his life, Angel hires Shyla – a prostitute that has no idea what’s in store for her. Settling down into Room Six at the Lonely Motel, Angel begins their encounter with stories of that very room – terrible stories that Shyla finds hard to believe. Just what is Angel’s motive? Shyla will inevitably find out, one way or the other.➛ Read my full review here.
Zyra Zanr’s in a lot of trouble when Helship II is bested by an unknown ship. Much to her dismay, her time as the most lucrative and notorious bounty hunter comes to an abrupt halt, when instead of being the hunter, she becomes the hunted. Captured and aboard the Lillith, Zyra must somehow escape the clutches of a rival gang – one that make their hatred for her no secret.➛ Read my full review here.
Title: Splatterpunk Fighting Back
Author: Various (Edited by Jack Bantry & Kit Power)
Publisher: Splatterpunk Zine
The definition of “splatterpunk” should give an idea of what this volume entails: characterised by the explicit description of horrific, violent, or pornographic scenes. With an abundance of monsters, gore, and sexual tones, it stays true to the nature of the sub-genre. My advice? Just be prepared.➛ Read my full review here.
Title: A Head Full of Ghosts
Author: Paul Tremblay
Publisher: Titan Books
There’s something wrong with fourteen-year-old Marjorie Barrett – her mental health seems to be declining, yet treatment from medical professionals isn’t helping her one bit. Desperate to pull through the tough time where money is dwindling and Marjorie’s sanity is failing, the Barretts decide to sign up for a reality TV show, where the “possession” of their daughter can be documented every minute of every day.➛ Read my full review here.
Title: What Hides Within ✪
Author: Jason Parent
Publisher: Bloodshot Books
Clive Menard thinks nothing of it when he destroys some webbing whilst out kayaking – that is until he begins hearing a voice inside his head. Questioning his own sanity, he desperately tries to rid himself of the oddly feminine presence, but to no avail. The dark passenger is there to stay – or so that’s what she continues to tell him.➛ Read my full review here.
Title: The Devoured
Author: Curtis M. Lawson
Publisher: Wyrd Horror
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Desperately on the trail of his missing son, an old Confederate solider will stop at nothing to reunite the remnants of his family, even if he has to slay every trace of Utgard filth along the way. Finding unexpected companionship in a young orphan, the gunslinger closes in on the god responsible – Thurs, he who hails beyond the stars.➛ Read my full review here.
Title: The Devil Crept In ✪
Author: Ania Ahlborn
Publisher: Gallery Books
Stevie Clark’s one and only best friend goes missing, and the small town of Deer Valley aren’t all too keen to find the troublesome youngster. Jude Brighton’s known for his temper, but to Stevie, he’s the singular person that really understands him. After the first forty-eight hours, the possibility of Jude’s safe return is rapidly dwindling, but that doesn’t deter Stevie from making his own investigation. He’s determined to find his cousin, and get back to their old antics.➛ Read my full review here.
Title: The Rift
Author: R.J. Clark
Matt Faustus, whose very soul is connected to a high ranking fiend, finds himself neck-deep in a new case – one he accepted despite being warned about the possible ramifications. A little girl is missing, abducted by the family’s house-cleaning demon, and it’s his job to find her. Eager to earn that paycheck, Matt’s enthusiasm soon lands him in trouble within the Hellspawn society, though that sure doesn’t stop him.➛ Read my full review here.
Title: Needful Things
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
There’s a new store opening in Castle Rock, and the whole town has noticed its special green awning. Questions arise as to what it will sell, and whom exactly the proprietor is, but nobody ever expected the severity in discovering such simple things. Treasures that appear otherworldly in their perfection start to become prized possessions, soon enough causing disarray in the town’s day to day activity. There’s something too good to be true about Needful Things.➛Read my full review here.
Title: The Sadist’s Bible
Author: Nicole Cushing
Lori and Ellie have never met, but they both yearn for the touch of a woman and the sweet release of death. Eager to take their online correspondence to the next level, they strike an agreement and plan a getaway to a remote hotel. Their intentions? To succumb to their desires and finish with a deadly climax.➛Read my full review here.
Title: The Moor
Author: Sam Haysom
Publisher: Unbound Digital
Taking part in a school trip, five teenagers and their teacher set out on a long walk across Rutmoor, thinking it to be a fun experience with friends. What they don’t expect is odd noises in the dead of night, and dead animals placed outside their tents. When tensions and tempers arise, the group soon begins to fall apart, until a dramatic turn leads them to fear for their very lives.➛Read my full review here.
Title: The Butterfly Garden
Author: Dot Hutchison
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
He’s accurately named the “Gardener”, as in his possession is a most enchanting garden, with its own collection of delicate butterflies. He cares for them; feeds them, grooms them, even mourns them when they perish, but he’s also the reason they expire, for he is their captor. Taken from their lives and branded as property, the young women must endure their time as a beloved butterfly.➛Read my full review here.
Title: Cats Like Cream
Author: Renee Miller
Being a successful employee at a real estate agency, Elwin strives to help people find their dream homes – but as it turns out, they get more than what they bargained for. With strategically installed cameras, he’s able to watch the new residents settle in and, oftentimes, witness them at their most private of moments. But he can’t touch, no matter how much he wishes to, as touching only leads to bad, and bloody, things.➛Read my full review here.
Title: The Between
Author: Tananarive Due
Publisher: Harper Perennial
When threatening letters soon find their way to his wife, Hilton James becomes seriously afraid for the safety of his family. Being the first African-American judge in Dade County, Florida, it can be any number of individuals that Dede has prosecuted. With tensions running high, and the threats getting worse, Hilton’s own picture-perfect life, as well as his own reality, begin to fray at the edges.➛Read my full review here.
Author: Hunter Shea
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Kate Woodson’s life is not what she expected. Once being a very active and lively woman, she now is a victim of her own body. Happiness is a thing of the past, however Andrew believes they can find some form of it in Maine, where a lake-house becomes available for the summer. The married couple thus set off, eager and full of hope, desiring the serenity of nature. Nature has other plans, however, as something resides within the dark, and it seeks their undivided attention.➛Read my full review here.
Title: The Mouth of the Dark
Author: Tim Waggoner
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Desperate to find his missing daughter, Jayce Lewis delves into the Cannery; a place of secrets and unnatural dangers; a shadowy part of Oakmont he didn’t even know existed. Accompanied by a mysterious guide, he soon finds himself in over his head and surrounded by violence of the most perverted manner. Not only is a psychotic hunter on his trail, but the legendary Harvest Man seems not far behind.➛Read my full review here.
Title: Suspended in Dusk II
Author: Various (Edited by Simon Dewar)
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Seventeen stories that tell of life and death and those happenings in between, where change is all but inevitable. Be prepared for horrors of all kinds, some more subtle than others.➛Read my full review here.
Title: The Sea was a Fair Master
Author: Calvin Demmer
A compilation of twenty-three stories that delve into the frightening, the mystifying, and the beautiful. Tales of murder and hate are at odds with those of love and hope, yet if anything is without question, it’s that the sea was a fair master.➛Read my full review here.
Title: Breathe. Breathe.
Author: Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Poetry and short fiction that doesn’t apologise for what it is – equal parts painful and passionate. Exploring loss, agony, misery and a slew of other hardships, this volume possesses a variety of darkness.➛Read my full review here.
Title: Something Borrowed, Something Blood-Soaked ✪
Author: Christa Carmen
Short fiction that hones into the lives of individuals striving to endure emotional, and supernatural, disturbances. From homicidal monsters, to train-haunting ghosts, to the debilitating battles with the mind, this collection has a sprinkle of everything.➛Read my full review here.
Title: Doorbells at Dusk
Author: Various (Edited by Evans Light)
Publisher: Corpus Press
Halloween is a time where even those that normally dismiss horror bask in the shadows. Celebrated in this volume are thirteen stories, delving into the lives of the lost, the wicked, and the guilty, with a prominent theme of October. Including works by Charles Gramlich, Joanna Koch, Curtis M. Lawson, Chad Lutzke, Jason Parent, and others.➛Read my full review here.
Title: Little Black Spots
Author: John F.D. Taff
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Fifteen tales where Halloween costumes prove to be more than what they appear, where leviathans lurk beneath the ice, where murderous impulses overtake the unsuspecting, and where human beings are the very monsters to fear.➛Read my full review here.
Title: Familiar Spirits
Author: Various (Edited by Donald J. Bingle)
Publisher: 54-40′ Orphyte, Inc.
I was hoping my last read of 2018 would be a good one, and that came true. I thoroughly enjoyed the focal point on spirits affecting the lives of characters – there was a lot of emotion, proving that ghosts can indeed do more than move furniture.➛Read my full review here.
Additional books will be added if necessary, up until the 31st.