Welcome my bloody book fans!  Spring is struggling to break free of
winter’s cold dead hands and has not succeeded yet.  What we have this
time is a group of books dominated by upcoming authors from
independent publishers telling stories of raging ghost, dark magic and
witches revenge.  But we do have one established writer who tells an
epic story of survival.  So check out the reviews and get to reading.
                                                                                    D.W. Jones

The Passage by Justin Cronin                                                        
     I went looking for this book because I read an excerpt from
a magazine a while ago.  It took a long time to get a copy from
the public library.  But when I did, it was well worth the wait
despite being 766 pages.  Cronin keeps you enthralled through
every page and leaves you wanting more.
    The story is a apocalyptic saga that centers around Amy an
ordinary little girl at first.  Her mother means well but gets tied up
in drugs and prostitution.  Her mother kills a ‘john’ and instead of
dragging Amy down, she leaves her at a convent.  At the same time, two agents
are picking up death row convicts for a secret government project trying to make
the ultimate soldier.  The agents are then ordered to pick up Amy because she is
    She is brought to a secret location by the agents.  The gov’t believes she is the
key to succeeding.  But chaos breaks out when past failed experiments break out
and that is the beginning of the end of the world.  Flash forward many years
ahead, you are taken to the future when humans try to survive each day as most
of America is dead or infected by the failed experiments.  You follow a colony in
the daily struggles against the mutants and themselves.  Will they survive the
mutants to find other people or will they finally be taken over and the human race
be extinct.
    Cronin takes you on a trip that span decades and even millenia through the
use of diaries and notes.  At times the story is slow but when it gets going, it keeps
you riveted.  His characters are fascinating especially when he concentrates on
the human colony and how they interact and their method of survival.  The ending
is unexpected and really leaves you wanting more.  I recommend this book for
anyone who enjoy apocalyptic stories in the vein of I am Legend.

Mandrake by Oliver Sherry                                                
    This book is a reissue done by Medusa Press and they have
done a great job picking this supernatural tale from the 1920's.  
The original author was an Irish poet named George Edmund
Lobo who decided to separate his poetry and gothic novels.  He
created Oliver Sherry to promote his novels and lucky for us
Mandrake came out.
    The books follows Tom Annesley, a man interest in the
occult arts is looking into the disappearance of a young lady who
came to a small town in England.  Upon arriving he encounters a woman whose
seems to be running for her life after her boyfriend disappears.  As Tom
investigates, he gets deeper and deeper into strange situations from mysterious
doctors and rich eccentric barons.  The more he looks into things, the worse it
gets as body parts and crazy people float all around him.  With the help of a local
priest, he tries to find the source of the evil in this town before it completely takes
    The author tells a great story that is full of action and mystery with every turn of
the page.  While the dialogue and writing is so-so, it doesn’t affect the story and
you really get into the relationship between the story’s hero Tom and the local
priest.  The action is in short bursts but well worth it.  I would recommend this book
with a little patience.  

The Ghost Way by Lance Smith                                                
    This is one of the rare occasions that I have read a book
recounting  real events.  What I like about this book is that the
story is told by the mother and child in the story and written by
the husband of the daughter.
    The story follow the Ramanakajja family in Thailand.  
Through saving and hard work they bought a plot of land and
build their home.  Soon after moving in, the spirits make
themselves known to the family, expecially the mother and oldest
daughter.  Then they start haunting the family first during the evening and all
times of the day.
    It becomes unbearable to the point where the family moves to the in laws
house.  Yes the home and land are still haunted and noticed by friends of the
family.  Now the family must decide whether they fight for their home and lives or
give up everything they have.
    What I really like about Smith’s writing is how he brings you into the lives of
each family member and makes you feel what they are really going through.  He
descriptions of Thailand and the traditions give a outsider a brief lesson on life
their.  It is a quick read and recommend it for a change in pace from fiction and a
peek into the real world of demons

Roman Hell by Mark Mellon                                                
    I was sent this book through our website and was thinking
the title is perfect for a book for the magazine.  I’m thinking that it
might have to do with mythology and I believe that mythology is
the past version of today’s horror stories.  Mellon does a great
job bringing an interesting tale that feels like a mixture of history
and fiction.
    The novel is about Martial, a lowly poet, in Rome trying to
eke out a living when he is requested by the leader Titus to see
him.  Titus ask him to keep his eyes and ears open for anything out of the
ordinary.  Martial is taken aback and feels uncomfortable spying on the people
around him.  
    But Martial soon discovers a plot to kill Titus by his brother, Domitian with the
help of witches and dark magic.  Before he knows it, he is wrapped up in shape
shifters, evil gods and magic beyond anything he knows.  With the help of his
friend Stylo, they go against the odds to save Titus and possibly all of Rome
itself.  But just when he thinks it’s over, it follows him for years to come and might
possibly be the death of him
    Mellon does a great job with immersing you in Rome at the time the story is
done and you could almost feel, taste and smell the very things he describes.  His
character are interesting and real, no unbelievable acts of heroism.  Due to his
great detail, the story is slows at times but when it picks up, it is full of action and
suspense.  If you love old time Rome with gladiators, witches, magic and
mythology, I recommend this book for you.
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