Sleeping Beauties – Stephen King & Owen King

Synopsis: In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Continue reading “Sleeping Beauties – Stephen King & Owen King”

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My Best Friend’s Exorcism – Grady Hendrix

Synopsis: Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act…different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? Continue reading “My Best Friend’s Exorcism – Grady Hendrix”

Entropy in Bloom – Jeremy Robert Johnson

Synopsis: For more than a decade, Jeremy Robert Johnson has been bubbling under the surface of both literary and genre fiction. His short stories present a brilliantly dark and audaciously weird realm where cosmic nightmares collide with all-too-human characters and apocalypses of all shapes and sizes loom ominously. In “Persistence Hunting,” a lonely distance runner is seduced into a brutal life of crime with an ever-narrowing path for escape. In “When Susurrus Stirs,” an unlucky pacifist must stop a horrifying parasite from turning his body into a sentient hive. Running through all of Johnson’s work is a hallucinatory vision and deeply-felt empathy, earning the author a reputation as one of today’s most daring and thrilling writers. 

Featuring the best of his independently-published short fiction, as well as an exclusive, never-before-published novella “The Sleep of Judges” ―where a father’s fight against the denizens of a drug den becomes a mind-bending suburban nightmare ― Entropy in Bloom is a perfect compendium for avid fans and an ideal entry point for adventurous readers seeking the humor, heartbreak, and terror of JRJ’s strange new worlds. Continue reading “Entropy in Bloom – Jeremy Robert Johnson”

Off Season – Jack Ketchum

Synopsis: September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River—off season—awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall…

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tired old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface…and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive. Continue reading “Off Season – Jack Ketchum”

Revival – Stephen King

Synopsis: A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings. Continue reading “Revival – Stephen King”

The Rats – James Herbert

Synopsis: It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realised by a panic-stricken city.

For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies. But now for the first time – suddenly, shockingly, horribly – the balance of power had shifted and the rats began to prey on the human population. Continue reading “The Rats – James Herbert”

Revival – Week Two Discussion

Hey everyone!! This is it!!! The final discussion for our Revival readalong! Thank you to everyone who joined in the fun!! Everything is open for discussion here, so if you haven’t finished the book yet COVER YOUR EYE HOLES!!! Also, please let us know how you enjoyed the readalong & discussions…we’d love to keep doing these periodically and are always open to suggestions on how to make things better or more engaging. Again, thank you for joining us!!!

1. What are your overall thoughts on the book? How would it rate compared to other King books you’ve read (if you have)?
2. Is our world similar to THE MATRIX & that’s the real world? Or is that what the afterlife is actually like (within Jamie’s world?) Or something entirely different altogether?
3. Any favorite scenes from the book?
4. How about those Frankenstein vibes at the end? Do you think Mary Fay was named in honor of Mary Shelley?
5. Do you think this is an extension of the Cthulhu Mythos by Lovecraft?
6. Did you think King spent enough time in the “other world” or should he have expanded upon it? Would you want to see Stephen King explore The Null/Mother in future books?

Revival – Week One Discussion

Hey friends!!! Thanks so much for joining in our Revival readalong! How are you enjoying the book so far?! These questions are just a guideline…feel free to answer as many or as few as you’d like (it’s not a test!). Additionally, if there are questions you want to ask of the group, go right ahead! If you’ve read ahead, PLEASE be mindful of that and keep things SPOILER FREE!! On the flip side, this discussion is for chapters one through seven, so if you fell behind…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!

1. Have you read Stephen King before?
2. ‎What do you think of Revival so far?
3. ‎Who is your favorite character?
4. ‎Did chapter 3 murder you with feels (IF IT DIDN’T, WHAT KIND OF GODDAMN MONSTER ARE YOU)?!
5. What is the “secret electricity” that Jacobs is using? Supernatural/higher power/placebo effect/a rift in time & space?
6. To this point, would you categorize Revival as a horror novel?
7. Is there any such thing as a reliable first-person narrator?

 

 

Pork Pie Hat – Peter Straub

“Back then, I didn’t know anything about grief, and Hat wore grief about him daily, like a cloak. Now that I am the age he was then, I see that most of what is called information is interpretation, and interpretation is always partial.”

This novella is about a jazz saxophonist, his memories about something horrible that he experienced on Halloween night when he was just 11 years old & the journalist he recounts his story to. In ways, this could be considered a coming-of-age story about childhood horror. That childhood horror then lapses into something much more. Real harrowing adult fears like addiction, aging & prejudism.

I received this in the Stephen King Nocturnal Reader’s Box. I have yet to read anything by Peter Straub (I STILL need to read The Talisman novels with King. I know. I KNOW!) so this was my first introduction to his writing (that I recall, anyway!)

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a bit of time to squeeze in a shorter read before jumping into a MASSIVE FANTASY EPIC OF STABBY EPICNESS. You know, my usual kind of read! I read it in a day, which isn’t all that impressive, considering how short the book is. But it was an entertaining enough autumn read! Straub is obviously a competent writer & I will definitely be checking out more of his work outside of his books with King.. because there isn’t a question about those. I will literally read the phone book if King wrote it!

Inside the physical book is quite lovely. Not only are the black & white illustrations fantastic & atmospheric, but the extra details on the pages are quite pleasing to my eye! Cemetery Dance did a nice job with this, for sure!

-Holly

 

Final Girls – Riley Sager

Synopsis: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past. 

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished. Continue reading “Final Girls – Riley Sager”