ESCAPE PLANS
10/28/2014  reviewed by Rachelle Bronson
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From the author of Blindspots and the Morpheus Initiative Series, comes a creepy (ok, horrifying) collection of 19 short stories to keep you up at night.  Now, I’ve made it clear in the past that I am not a fan of collections, as stories are usually mashed together with no rhyme or reason, with only one or two stories that are worth reading.


This is not the case with David Sakmyster’s Escape Plans. From the very first story, “Ladders,” to the last (Smithsonian Objective), the collection flowed well and each story was better than the one previous.  Some that stand out to me are, Five Star Review, which literally made me cry (it hit home), Bait (nothing like a meaty zombie tale), For Sale and, oh hell, they all leave a mark in their own way.


Once again Sakmyster shows his horror chops and gives some of the best a run for their money.  I especially liked the way he introduced each story, their inspiration and where they originally appeared. 
I dare you to read this and sleep with the lights off.

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TALES OF THE UNDEAD
08/31/2013  reviewed by Rachelle Bronson
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Author NATHAN JDL ROWARK
One bad apple spoils the bunch, describes perfectly why I usually shy away from reviewing anthologies, no matter the genre. I find them incredibly difficult to judge. Do you see every story for its own merit, or how they’re blended together to create a feeling that reflects the title of the book?

With Tales of the Undead: Hell Whore I was pleasantly surprised that the collection of stories were very well put together, mostly all with the same rich undertones and scare factor. They moved and flowed and brought me to the end of the book, without having to drudge through any bad apples. The poetry that was mixed in was a nice palate cleanser as well.
There were a few stories, however, that punched through and made me appreciate the true art of writing horror. Let the Laughter Begin by Niels Hanson, Where the Clouds are Far Behind You by Rees Neilson and The Last Devil of Men, by Nathan JDL Rowark. All three made me stop and reflect on their true meaning, especially The Last Devil of Men ( I read this one twice).

The only story, however, that I found out of place was Who Fucked up Kelly Yesterday, by Wol-vriey. Though the story itself was excellent, a bizzarro horror with sharp teeth and a high nausea factor, I found that it slapped me out of the nice flow that was happening. But, maybe that was the intent.

Regardless, this anthology and it’s extensive talent did not disappoint. A fun read for those dreary autumn days to come.
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THE CYDONIA OBJECTIVE
08/10/2013  reviewed by Rachelle Bronson
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The Cydonia Objective picks up exactly at the end of The Mongol Objective, where Caleb Crowe and his son must escape the depths of the Egyptian desert and make their way to The Statue of Liberty to attain The Spear of Destiny. The Spear is said to be the only ancient artifact that can stop the power of The Emerald Tablet, which once put into play would destroy all life on earth. It’s the tablet that Nina Osseni has in her possession and has every intention of using.

Meanwhile the other members of the Morpheous Initiative, Phoebe and Orlando are half a world away in Afghanistan, where they are asked to use their psychic skills to find The Hummingbird, a fellow remote viewer with something that the enemy needs to complete its mission of humanity’s total annihilation.

All the pieces of the historical puzzles eventually lead back to one purpose and the Cydonia Face on Mars is the key.

With this conclusion to the series, Sakmyster packs quite an action filled punch. I found myself excited to see my favorite characters once again embroiled in a complex race against time and old enemies. Though the characters were richly developed from the first book to the last, they came secondary to the intensely researched and intricately woven history. With so much going on I was worried that Sakmyster would have a hard time making it all come together, but there were no loose ends, only the possibility of future stories. Let’s hope so.
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THE CRYPTS OF EDEN
07/29/2013  reviewed by Rachelle Bronson
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Author RICK JONES Author Website Available
When archaeologist Alyssa Moore’s father dies in the dark recesses of a mysterious structure he believed contained the cradle of life, the evidence to prove that the garden of Eden did indeed exist, she is determined to complete his quest and bring the truth the the world. Taken hostage by a billionaire with sinister motives, she is forced to share her findings and take a team of volatile soldiers into the depths of the Turkish desert.
There they not only encounter the most beautiful structures,statues and ancient carvings explaining the beginning of time, but something that stalks them. Something that has lived beneath the desert for thousands of years undisturbed, and very hungry.

With a story that has great pacing, amazing visuals and a mystery wrapped in time and religion, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Though I would have liked to have seen a better balance between character development and storyline, the meticulously crafted mystery more than makes up for that. There was not one second of this adrenaline rush that helped me put it down.

Can’t wait to crack open The Menagerie (Eden Saga #2), and continue with this fun thrill-ride of a series.
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THE TENT
07/29/2013  reviewed by Rachelle Bronson
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Author KEALAN PATRICK BURKE
Mike has all his hopes at saving his marriage and his family on this one little camping trip. Take the wife and son to a remote location, where they can all bond and maybe rekindle a romance that years of neglect have eroded. When their tent blows away in a storm, forcing them into the dark and wet wildness to find refuge, Mike finds out what his wife really thinks of him. As their fight escalates, neither seems to notice when their son goes missing in the dense underbrush.

Frantic they plunge deeper into the forest and only stop when they encounter a strange tent glowing in the darkness. Hoping against hope that their son is inside, they move to open it. But their son is nowhere to be found. Something else awaits them.

The Tent is a tight and fast paced short that leaves you breathless and truly disgusted. Which is exactly what you expect from Burke. His depth of character for such a short story had me quite impressed and taking notes. If you’re looking for a truly good old-fashion creature feature, The Tent is the one for you. And you might want to leave the lights on when heading to bed.
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