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Cuddlebuggery Book Blog > Horror

Don't You Forget About Me

Since I’ve started my little project of Reading Whatever I Wanna — AKA This Ain’t Your Job — I’ve noticed I’m reading more and, more importantly, enjoying it. Sometimes I still want to talk about these books, though, so that’s when To All the Books I Forgot to Review was born. This works out perfectly for a few reasons: (1) Sometimes I don’t have an entire post worth of words to talk about just one book. (2) Since we have so many reviewers now, we might end up reading the same books, but I don’t always review them. (3) It also let’s me read more and talk more, just in a more condensed format. Of course, the best part for my readers is that this post will always feature a giveaway of some of the books mentioned, open internationally to our readers.

Hover over the books for the synopsis and links!

Haunted

Chuck Palahniuk believes that you are an idiot.

I say this without any definitive proof, of course, but having read this particular novel of the man’s in its entirety and parts of another (Damned, if you are curious), I think that this assertion is a fairly reasonable one. My experience with Palahniuk is quite limited, obviously, so you may freely label me as being overly judgmental or poorly informed without having to worry about me heatedly debating your claims. Perhaps you are right. Perhaps I am too quick to such a strong opinion.

I find myself, however, caring little about the ultimate validity of my views, because, after forcing myself through Haunted, I think it likely that I will never touch Palahniuk’s work again, and I am not in the least upset by this decision.

I picked this one up because I have long suspected that its author’s craft is the type that is, if absolutely nothing else, entertaining.

20th Century Ghosts

If there is but one thing that I truly adore about Stephen King’s work, it is his penchant for crafting consistently interesting short stories. Granted, the quality of his storytelling tends to vary quite broadly from one tableau to the next, and his tone can vary so dramatically that it is oftentimes difficult to maintain a stable understanding and mindset towards what he is trying to accomplish in the space of some dozen pages at a time. Still, his entries are always, if nothing else, entertaining, with at least one wonderfully weird, wonderfully unsettling idea or detail to make the brief journey in one way or another worthwhile.

I bring this up because Joe Hill strikes me as being much the same sort of writer as his father. In fact, I could easily see 20th Century Ghosts as being a work stemmed from the elder King’s pen, so similar is Hill’s wordplay and imagination.

Review: Horde by Ann Aguirre

Horde by Ann Aguirre

To any authors trying to figure out how to end their series, I advise you to talk to Ann Aguirre because that lady knows what she’s doing. If I had to sum up my feelings in a gif, it would be this:

I imagine Horde feels similar to a satisfying run. (As I am the kind of person that goes out of her way to avoid that sort of activity, I wouldn’t know firsthand but I’ve read about it.) Your adrenaline’s up and your blood is pumping, you’re in that magic zone where everything’s a rush and you haven’t started to feel the fatigue. It has all of the best bits of the previous Razorland books (action, danger that feels real, character growth and subtle, heartwarming feels) minus the self-righteous assholes running around saying the monsters will eat you if girls wear pants.

Deuce continues to be, hands down, one of my favorite YA Heroines.

The Shining

Despite being a longtime fan of the singular Stephen King, I feel that my acquaintance with his work is depressingly lacking.  While I’ve read plenty by him, I have yet to get to some of his most celebrated and/or popular contributions.  I consider myself a fan of the man, but how can one consider himself as such if he has yet to read the Dark Tower series, or The Stand?

I picked up The Shining, so famous today and yet untouched by myself, on a whim, primarily because it had suddenly come to my attention that a sequel had been written.  Seeing as how very few of King’s works has ever played recipient to a bona-fide follow-up, I figured that my reading of one of his most famous pieces was long overdue, especially given its treatment by other mediums of entertainment.

I have, of course, seen Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman is the sort of author whom I always mean to read, and yet never actually get around to picking up.

I’ve enjoyed adaptations of his work.  Coraline is one of my favorite films, and Stardust, though flawed, proved an entertaining watch.

And I like the man himself.  His imagination and skill as a writer is clear, and he seems like that kind of down-to-earth celebrity whom you can easily imagine spending an afternoon with, drinking tea and talking fiction.

Yet, I’ve only read one of his stories in its entirety, and that was the aforementioned tale of button eyes and Other Mothers.  I have attempted his Good Omens twice, and one day intend to make the journey through his Sandman series, but otherwise have been seemingly the only reader in all of existence who hasn’t devoured and loved his words to bits.

All this leading up to the actual novel subject to this review: As his latest, Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a remarkable little book that really works for a number of reasons, and proves a slice of cultural output that convinces me once and for all that I really need to seek out the author’s other works.

Rot and Ruin

Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin gives the zombie genre an interesting little spin.  Granted, my experience with literature involving flesh-eaters has been rather lax, but I nonetheless feel confident in stating that the Benny Imura series is unique in at least one very important way.  Rather than treating the undead hordes as mere sacks of rotting flesh and brittle bones, there only to pose various obstacles for the human characters whom we are meant to side with, Maberry does something that is oftentimes only touched on in other media on the subject:

He makes them human.

Sure, they’re falling apart at the seams and have an unquenchable desire for your precious internal organs.  But, at one point or another, they were just like you and me.  Human beings with beating hearts and functioning brains.  People who had hopes, desires, dreams and fears.  The author’s focus on this knowledge is a standout aspect of the novel.

Warm Bodies

This is not a young adult novel.

I mean, it is about a young adultish human and zombie who fall in love and set about to change the world with love.  But this is not a young adult novel.

It has themes of young love and disaffected youth and hopeful new beginnings but this is not a young adult novel, people!

Regardless of what it is, it’s a pretty good novel, but I have a confession.  This is going to translate in people’s minds as me being simplistic and unable to handle the deeper, more complicated themes of this book – but I don’t care.

I liked the movie better.

Major fans of the book are going to virulently disagree with me – but I thought it actually managed to streamline the story highly effectively, keeping the spirit of the novel without deviating from anything important. In fact, the way it restructured some events, I actually thought, created a more emotional impact.

A Midsummer Night's Scream

Where to even begin with piece of “literature”. The blurb painted the word picture that this would be a horror re-envisioning of Shakespeare’s best known comedy. I quote, “Get ready for laughter to turn into screams in R.L. Stine’s re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Yeah, this is utter BS. I’m sorry, but it is. The only way in which this waste of a tree even vaguely resembles Shakespeare’s work is in the title, the character ‘Puckerman,’ who is neither Sprite nor Fairy but rather just a lunatic, and the fact that it culminates on midsummer’s eve (which is apparently the longest night of the year, because obviously that makes total fucking sense).

For this yarn Stine, the supposed master of horror (whomever gave him that title has never, ever read a work of true horror I swear), has attempted to engage the YA audience. Although I swear the reading of this feels more middle grade to me, but hey, maybe I think teenagers are more intelligent than Stine does, because this book sure as shit dumbs everything down.

Deadline Cover

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1

Well, hello there my fellow zombie-philes!

I am still on a book high from this series, and I do not think that that will be changing anytime soon. Previously you will have, presumably, perused my review for Feed, the first book in this series, well now ladies and gents it is the turn of Deadline.

Deadline picks up about a year after the events of book one. After the End Times is still broadcasting the news, the dead are still rising and attempting to make Chimichangas out of the living, and Shaun, our surviving protagonist, is going just a little bit insane. By insane I don’t mean the good kind of insane where you use your mental instability to create wondrous pieces of music or art… I mean the “should be neck deep in anti-psychotics” variety.

Y’see, Shauny boy is hearing, and having full coherent conversations, with his sister Georgia… who is as dead as a door nail and residing in his brain.

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