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.

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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: Bleeding Empire by CL Raven

Bleeding Empire rocked! It was funny, C L Raven have a great sense of humour and it translated well to this story and the characters in it.

It’s definitely one that has a more humorous vibe to it, but it was heart felt and serious when it needed to be, and in some scenes was epic! A couple chapters in particular would look amazing on a cinema screen.

The characters were fun, although I felt sorry for Mac. But he did give me a proper ‘ewwwwww’ moment.

It is funny, it is also quite horrific in places and has a lot of depth to it about our society.

The last chapter was awesome as well!

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.

The Log House by Baylea Hart

The Log House by Baylea Hart tells the story of a young woman who is left for dead in a forest which is full of creatures that want to kill her. She needs to get back to the only home she has ever known, where her son is before she starves to death, or the forest and the monsters that lurk in it get her.

This was one of those books that hooked me pretty quickly and it was very rare where I’d read one chapter at a time. The world that Baylea Hart has here was one which really fuelled my imagination. Hart is very vague about some of the larger details of this world, focusing only on Penny’s (the protagonist) efforts to get back to her home, and I think it works well. Sometimes this vagueness can hinder a book, leaving too much left unanswered but Penny’s story here was enough to keep me turning the pages.

I liked what Hart did with the characters. Although we get the whole story from Penny’s point of view other characters are well laid out. Whether it was Penny, or her nemesis Mary, or even the forest itself I thought they provoked a strong reaction out of me that whether I liked them or not kept me engaged in the story and revealing the past that there is between Penny and Mary. That is the main mystery in the story, why there is such animosity between Penny and Mary, and I really liked how Hart drip fed that backstory throughout the novel. It comes at just the right times and doesn’t slow the story down at all. If anything they made me want to read more of the story.

One element that I was impressed with was how Hart’s description affected me at times. When it comes to horror I’m still a super newbie. I’m still learning what make me flinch, what makes my stomach turn, and what pushes me out of my comfort zone. With The Log House I found I felt like someone was standing behind me running their fingernails down a chalkboard. It was that sensation of ones skin crawling that got me with this book. Even now just writing it I want to scratch my skin. Hart does this so beautifully and in a way I haven’t yet encountered it really rammed home what Penny was going through. Hart creates such a tense atmosphere through the book which makes it uncomfortable in the way I think horror should be.

The Log House is definitely a book I’d recommend.

Good Morning, Sunday 8th October 2017

This last week has not been that productive. I think I hit a bit of burn out earlier in the week, and then I had a couple of nights where I was catching up with friends, but come Friday I was back on it. I had three different stories fighting it out in my head for attention.

The Sparks ebook went up for pre-order over at Amazon, here’s the link.

Sparks is released on the 17th of this month.

I’m really excited about this anthology. There’s some great people involved and all the proceeds go to Resources for Autism. We are having two launch parties for Sparks, one will be in Walsall on the 21st of this month at Southcart Books & Comics at 11am. I will be there. The second is on the 3rd of November at No.84 Tearoom and Eatery at Echo Square, Gravesend. I will definitely be at this one as well, seeing as it’s my hometown.

Sparks Cover

Sparks includes stories by; Ash Hartwell, Calum Chalmers, Em Dehaney, Betty Breen, Peter Germany, Lex Jones, Christopher Law, Dani Brown, Matthew Cash, Mark Cassell, Samantha Hill, CH Baum, Pippa Bailey, GH Finn, and David Court. Sparks is edited by Matthew Cash and Em Dehaney. With the cover by Matt Hill.