Tag Archives: horror

Blog Tour: The Drowning God ~a Review + Giveaway

The Drowning God

The Drowning God_1The Drowning God by James Kendley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Detective Tohru Takuda faces his own tragic past to uncover modern Japan’s darkest secret–The Drowning God.

Few villagers are happy when Takuda comes home to investigate a foiled abduction, and local police enlist powerful forces to shut him out. Takuda sacrifices his career and family honor to solve the string of disappearances in the dark and backward valley of his youth, but more than a job is at stake. Behind the conspiracy lurks the Kappa, a monstrous living relic of Japan’s pagan prehistory. Protected long ago by a horrible pact with local farmers and now by coldly calculated corporate interests, the Kappa drains the valley’s lifeblood, one villager at a time.

Takuda and his wife, Yumi, are among the few who have escaped the valley, but no one gets away unscarred. When Takuda digs into the valley’s mysteries, Yumi’s heart breaks all over again. She wants justice for her murdered son, but she needs an end to grief. Even if Takuda survives the Kappa, the ordeal may end his marriage.

With Yumi’s tortured blessing, Takuda dedicates his life to ending the Drowning God’s centuries-long reign of terror. He can’t do it alone. A laconic junior officer and a disarmingly cheerful Buddhist priest convince Takuda to let them join in the final battle, where failure means death–or worse. The journey of these three unlikely warriors from uneasy alliance to efficient team turns THE DROWNING GOD’s mystery into an adventure in friendship, sacrifice and courage.

Review (3 stars)

I am always drawn to Japan.  It started with reading mangas in my teens though these days, I’d prefer Japanese literature (translated into English) and whatever other fiction set in Japan.  As I’ve mentioned to a friend, I’ve just finished Colourless Tsukuri Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami before reading The Drowning God and will be picking up The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts for a read along next week.  It is the Japanese culture that I am fascinated with and I can’t get enough.

The Drowning God is a mystery/horror novel in contemporary setting though with a flavour of the supernatural.  Detective Tohru Takuda is no longer young and with his scars (both physical & emotional) he is just about ready to blow this case apart, even if it blew him apart too.   Supported by his protégé, Officer Mori, and an old acquaintance, the monk Suzuki, Tohru forged ahead in vengeance as well as saving his home village.

The story is told from the perspective of Takuda and while, I quite like him, I’m really curious about Mori.  I wished the POVs were alternated between the three protagonists as I think it will boost the dimension of the narrative.  On the other hand, the local superstition / religion ensconced in some sort of conspiracy was quite brilliant.

It is a fairly easygoing read with some sword-swinging actions.  Unfortunately, I didn’t quite find any surprising twists in the story but it seems to be (from the ending) that this book is the first instalment of a series so it could be a huge set up and I’ll be interested in the next book.

Thanks to Harper Voyager Impulse for copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

About Author

James Fendley

James Kendley has written and edited professionally for more than 30 years, first as a newspaper reporter and editor, then as a copy editor and translator in Japan (where he taught for eight years at private colleges and universities), and currently as an educational publishing content wrangler living in northern Virginia. He has a taste for the macabre, and he hopes you do, too!

Connect with James: website  |  facebook  |twitter

Giveaway

The publisher is kindly giving away One ebook per tour host so make sure you visit all the stops below.  For your entry on this blog, please comment below: which countries have you visited, vicariously, in your reading this month.

Winner to be drawn on Sat, 22 Aug 2015.

Tour Schedule

August 3 –3 Partners in Shopping

August 4 –Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

August 5 –Review From Here

August 6 –Bent Over Bookwords

August 7 –C.A. Milson

August 10 –Around the World in Books

August 11 –Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

August 12 –Voodoo Princess

August 13 –Undercover Book Reviews

August 14 –I’m Shelf-ish

August 17 –Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions

August 18 –Words I Write Crazy & The Dark Phantom

August 19 –Tien’s Blurb & The Literary Nook

August 20 –Chosen By You Book Club

August 21 –Queen of All She Reads

Blog Tour: In Midnight’s Silence ~a review

In Midnight's Silence

midnights silence

In Midnight’s Silence (Los Nefilim: Part One) by T. Frohock

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…

Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can’t get to him directly, they do the one thing he’s always feared.

They go after Miquel.

Now, in order to save his lover’s life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world’s next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.

A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock’s In Midnight’s Silence shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he’ll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.

My Blurb (4.5 of 5 stars)

Angels is far from being a favourite of mine in fiction BUT I might just change my mind now. In Midnight’s Silence is a dark fast-paced novella incorporating angels, daimons, music, sacrifice and love set in beautiful Spain. I keep having images of men in white flowing shirts (they don’t actually wear “flowing shirts” in the book but… what I see in my head is my prerogative!) playing guitars and gorgeous ladies doing the flamenco.

I love these characters with all their faults & strengths. Their world within world with its layered complexity of ancient heritage and hierarchy where nothing seems to be what they appear to be. The plot was tight in structure and very intriguing. In Midnight’s Silence just grabbed you on the spot and will not let go. It was a terrific single-sitting spine-tingling read and I can’t wait for the next instalment.

The Author

frohockT. Frohock has turned her love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. She is the author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale, a dark fantasy, and has written several short stories. T has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.

author’s website  |  twitter  |  google plus

Review: The Whispering Skull

the whispering skullThe Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher

I read the first book of Lockwood & Co. at the beginning of this year and was completely enamoured with the whole setup. Whilst I first started with the thought of finding out what’s available in the children’s sections these days (my son is starting school next year, eep!); I truly completely loved The Screaming Staircase that I didn’t hesitate to request The Whispering Skull when I saw it on NetGalley. I enjoyed the company of Lockwood & Co. even more this time around.

The book opens with a creepy scene with action quickly following on its heel; an investigation of Lockwood & Co. that didn’t quite turn out as they wished. This was such a terrific and most engaging start. It also promises a more sinister tone to this book than the first instalment. A promised well-fulfilled, if I may say so. The Whispering Skull gives us scary situations, frightening creatures, & spine-chilling items that threatened the well-being of the whole world.

What I mostly loved about this book, however, is the development of characters, not only of Lockwood, George, and Lucy but also of Kipps & co. I loved how Kipps is (whilst being the most annoying nemesis) ‘humanised’ and all are called to sympathise with him. I also loved the development of friendship between Lockwood, George, & Lucy – that there’s ups and downs in friendships & that trust is a requisite in a well-oiled relationships.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to all children and parents out there looking for an adventure. You will love the characters and be thrilled by the plot. Girls & Boys, get into it!

Thank you, Disney-Hyperion, for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: The Descent

the descentThe Descent by Alma Katsu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of publisher via NetGalley

Note: this is a review of the third and last book of the trilogy, The Taker, please note there may be spoilers in relation to earlier books

A finale to The Taker trilogy and I was sooo excited! I was really looking forward to whatever twisted end in this last book of the trilogy. I have loved the earlier books with their dark warped beginnings amidst the glittery glamorous setting and the suspenseful hunt / race across the world. They were such exciting moments I never really know where it will take me. I had very high hopes for something equally exhilarating in The Descent

A “mystical island home” sounded somewhat haunting and thrilling, to begin with. However, when it is but a rock and characters don’t go anywhere else, it lost its allure in a very short time. All right, so there were shifts in time and also in ‘dimension’ but in reality, all’s very still… The shifts in ‘dimension’ were what I appreciated most in this novel. It was a completely different world with entertaining characters and overall, quite hopeless in atmosphere. The shifts in time, however, whilst I enjoyed reading through them, in the end, when all was revealed, I felt like it was nothing but page fillers because I don’t understand the pages and pages of it when it really all was but a wisp of nothingness.

In addition, the chapter headers were dead giveaways –I don’t remember this from the earlier books unless if I ignored them… they were easier to ignore since I read physical copies but with ebook, all it took was the nth second I needed to swipe pass to read the header and guessed where it was heading… did I mention that I love how I just never knew where the earlier books will take me? Oh, and yes, there were 2 other minor characters on the island who, at the ending, I’m at a complete loss to understand the purpose of… how can they exist or be there at all when Adair prove to be completely different?

One of the disappointing parts was that we barely got to view Adair’s transformation as he’s basically a changed ‘man’ in this book. The twist about Adair’s nature was what I most appreciate about this book. It would’ve been something I’d given 5 stars for except that moment where he’s revealing his ‘secrets’ to Lahni that completely fell flat to my ears (eyes? brain?). Again, I don’t understand the big shame of this ‘secret’ with all the Greeks & Roman history & mythologies around… this ‘secret’ seemed to me would be something of the norm that I just couldn’t see what the fuss is all about.

I’m afraid my lack of understanding of this novel contributed heavily to the relatively low rating I gave. I would be very happy to hear from someone… anyone… who can answer my above questions. I really feel that I’ve somehow missed the point 😦

Thank you, Galley Books for preview of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Black Feathers

Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: eGalley courtesy of Angry Robot – get your own copy from The Book Depository

A cryptic and sinister prologue set the tone and atmosphere of this novel. The world is a bleak place and yet, there is still some sort of hope… Well, it might be hope or it might be something else…

The scene opens in a cold and dark snow stormy world. The event, however, is actually a beautiful earthy and hopeful one. A birth of a child. A birth surrounded by many signs pointing of the boy’s destiny. Gordon Black, through whom, the story will be revealed to the world.

In a different sort of world, a young girl was running –fleeing from something that terrifies her. A consultation with The Keeper brought to light that she has been marked for something great. The path to greatness will be hard and Megan Maurice must find the strength to face it for the world may depend upon her realising her destiny.

I do so like the premise of this book. This dark apocalyptic world (pre and post) of the earth, after taking so much abusive use, fighting to restore its wellbeing. Whilst this does not bode well for the people, yet there is a glimpse of hope. The Crowman, though no one knew who he is exactly, who could be good but also evil. It is a mystery but one that is important for the survival of humans. D’Lacey has woven a dark broken world with little rays of hope.

By the ending of the book, though, I still felt that I’ve gone nowhere further than the beginning. That’s my only complaint, it’s too slow.
It feels like I’ve only read the beginning of the tale. I know it’s only book 1 but I would prefer a chunky book with a solid conclusion (even if it’s a cliffhanger) rather than an average book which leaves me nowhere at all.

Thank you, Angry Robot and NetGalley for the privilege to read & review eGalley

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