Book Review: Ghoul by Brian Keene

Ghoul both struck at the heartstrings and made my skin crawl!

Keene gives a story of three young friends who are trying to deal with leaving childhood and on the cusp of being teenagers and what the world around them is really like.

Each one of these lads has their own demons they are living with and to make matters worse something ancient has woken up in the middle of their summer break.

Brian Keene really does pull out an ace of a story here. I felt for these three boys each step of the way. Some elements reminded me of my own childhood of making camps with friends and biking through fields. Thankfully I never had to deal with anything these kids did.

A fantastic book, that is done justice by Chet Williamson’s narration.

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Book Review: The Complex by Brian Keene

I went into this not knowing much about it. All I really knew was that it was loosely inspired by Brian Keene’s former home.

So, I went into this book pretty blind and wasn’t disappointed. Keene gives us a broad range of characters each with their own depth and motivations.

There’s not a complicated storyline, it’s pretty simply about what the characters would do when thrown into the chaos of the events in the story.

Definitely worth checking out.

Book Review: Why Can’t I Be You? By Matthew Cash

This short had an interesting story that it told, one that I could see having a foundation of truth to these groups and how toxic I’d imagine some can be.

Matthew Cash paces this one well, and although I’d have liked a little more detail and background here and there it does move along at a healthy pace, that more of that detail and background might have disrupted.

I really enjoyed how the ending played out and was written, anytime a writer can make me go ‘ewwww’ is always a win for me.

Overall, this is short, and fun, with just a pinch of brutal to balance it out.

Book Review: What Good Girls Do by Jonathan Butcher

I listened to the audiobook version of What Good Girls Do, and it is a brutal listen. But it is so masterfully crafted that you can’t help but keep going with it. There were times that I found myself squirming a little at what the characters are going through but really egging them on.

It deals with a topic that is not comfortable but it’s something that does need talking about in my opinion. Just because something is uncomfortable doesn’t mean we should ignore it, and I imagine it goes on more than we realise. 

It really gives some gives some food for thought as well about how trauma and environment have an impact of the psyche.

Narrator Tara Court does a fantastic job with putting the emotion into the characters and what they were going through.

This isn’t extreme for the sake of it, it has a deep message to it that although I really found the subject matter really uncomfortable I’m glad I’ve listened to this book.

Book Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

This book rocked! I described it to a friend as being 1984 meets The Lego Movie! I didn’t really have any idea of what to expect. I hadn’t read the synopsis or any reviews of it. I just knew it was by an author I wanted to check out.
What really sticks with me is the tone throughout the story is pretty level regardless of what’s happening, but that’s just a thin covering of the real tone of the story.

I listened to the audiobook of this one and the narration by Steve Rimpici was perfect for the book. he got the tone just right.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus was right up my street and is a fantastic modern day dystopian that is gripping and memorable. Definitely worth checking out!

Siege By Rhiannon Frater

When I first started looking into zombie fiction it was mainly audio and I listened to one by, I believe, a Spanish writer. It was okay, but didn’t really blow me away. The fact I can’t remember who it was and the name of the book speaks volumes. Then I come across two others, first was Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo, and then there was The First Days by Rhiannon Frater.

Siege is the third, and I believe final, book in Frater’s As The World Dies series, and is a good ending to it.

I liked how Frater wasn’t afraid to change it up in some quite big ways throughout the story. There was one huge moment were I actually rewound the audio to make sure what had happened, did in fact happen.

I will admit I’d held off listening to this as how the second book ended opened up a storyline that i wasn’t to sure I’d like, and I regret that decision. The storyline in question opened up the universe a little, and was dealt with really well and wasn’t taken where I thought it was going to go.

The endgame of this story felt very real. I could imagine it was what real people would at least attempt.

Forest Underground by Lydian Faust

Forest Underground was very interesting and gripped my attention pretty quickly. Some books can take some time for me to really get committed to them, but this one had me within five minutes.

I liked how Lydian Faust teased a lot of the world but stopped short of really revealing what was going on. I think that may have broken the pace of this novella up too much if there’d been a lot of scene setting.

The story is really interesting and splits into telling the story of the two main characters, and you end up feeling a little for each one and the trials that life has thrown at them.

Pippa Bailey’s narration is on point and works well for the story. She brings an energy that adds to the story incredibly well.

Definitely worth a read/listen, and left me wanting to know more about this setting.