Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I knew the basic premise of this one going in, but I have never seen the movies and knew only the basics. I have to say, for a global phenomenon that this book created, I am rather disappointed. The story held my interest, but the plot was predictable. The book read like a children’s book, but the subject matter was a bit extreme for a children’s book. I felt like it wanted to be Ender’s Game, but Ender’s Game was not a children’s book, it was just a book that children were drawn to. I am in no hurry to read the other two books in the series, but I may pick them up if the mood strikes me.

#Vampires: Love them or hate them?

Tell me. Leave a comment and let me know.

I generally hate vampires. I find them to be an overplayed theme in genre fiction and one whose mythology has been warped and bastardized over the years.

However, as a long time fan of horror, the vampire has always been there as a key figure that symbolizes the entire genre. And while I hate vampires, I would still list Dracula as one of the greatest films ever made, far better than Stroker’s disjointed novel. I also love Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, an unconventional vampire movie, but they were undead blood suckers that can be killed by sunlight. I would say it qualifies.

The mythology of the vampire is perhaps the best part of it. Do you know why garlic keeps away vampires? Garlic oils on your skin or in your blood will help keep away mosquitoes and ticks, so one would have to assume it would work on other blood sackers. Why a stake through the heart? It was to keep the body pinned down so they wouldn’t rise and walk again.

The real reason I ask is that I started writing a story about goth kids pretending to be vampires. I’m also working on the outline for a novel about non traditional vampires. So what do you think?

Book Review: Doll Bones

I read a lot of horror books. I feel that it is a part of my duty as a horror writer to read a lot of horror books. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I am also reading a fair number of other genres also, but horror is my go-to, and I love my horror books. Also, having authored a children’s horror book myself, I have a deep fondness for the subcategory. I love a horror story that can scare you while maintaining a PG rating. This led me to read Holly Black’s Doll Bones.

I found it to be a fun coming of age story on par with Stephen King’s The Body. It had the elements of adventure and innocence lost, but mixed in there was a terrifying undercurrent. The Queen, as a character in the book was creepy in a way that most writers for adults cannot capture. It was among the scariest books I’ve read in years and ranks up there with Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always as the best children’s horror I’ve ever read. Thank you Holly, for writing it right.


A novel 15 years in the making

It is a common thing for people to have a novel that they have worked on for years. Death’s Disciples is that novel for me. I started it shortly after high school, pieced it together over the course of the next eight years, and then allowed it to sit for a while before I started editing. The while it sat stretched into seven years.  But I am doing it now.  It is a grueling process. The problem is that I am not that writer any more. Since I started this book I have travelled the world, earned a wife, fathered a daughter, and really just grown up. However, the challenge is to balance the better writing that I can now produce as compared to the younger version of myself and the piss-and-vinegar attitude that was mine back in my youth compared to the relaxed attitude that I have now in my middle thirties.

The story still calls to me. It is brutal and grotesque, but the basic premise is still good in my eyes and rings of Clive Barker’s early novels, like the Damnation Game. I really have little doubt that I will be able to find a publisher for it when I am done editing it, but finishing this edit will be long and grueling.  I am trying to find ways to keep the aggression in the book without allowing the grammar to run haywire.  All in all, a fun but daunting task.