Book Review of Welcome To Velvet, AZ by Sherry Rossman

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Title: Welcome to Velvet, AZ

Author: Sherry Rossman

Review by: Dani Hoots

Genre: YA Horror
 

Rating: 4/5

Buy Here

Back cover:

For the past eighteen years, the town of Velvet has been under a holiday curse. For them, Thanksgiving is not about turkey and family. It’s about the Nightmares. This year, the curse arrives early—a full five days before Thanksgiving—sending a menagerie of characters on a search for answers. It begins with Boone, a seventeen-year-old who was raised by an ageless eccentric; Nick, a man in the midst of a breakdown; and Toni, a girl who won’t let any man get closer than three feet. As answers unfold, suspicions arise, and the power behind the curse is a surprise no one could have imagined.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

I picked up this books since I live in AZ and apparently like to frighten myself… I don’t like straight up gory horror, but one that send chills down your spine, and this one did just that! It was eerie and felt like the old horror I read as a teen. The characters were interesting and the way the curse became a part of the town was really fascinating. I really liked how it affected or was tied to people differently. 

The only problem I had with the book is that I felt it kept repeating the same thoughts and could have been shorter. Also, all the secrecy didn’t make sense since they were fighting this every year. We were left in the dark and that didn’t make sense to me since all the towns people knew and the characters whom we were reading their POV were keeping the reader in the dark. It could have been a little more polished in that regard, but otherwise I would recommend to anyone who likes creepy horror. 

~Dani

Author bio:

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Before I found the awesomeness of writing in the YA realm I dabbled in children’s stories and short works for adults. My first YA novel became an Amazon bestseller shortly before my publisher decided to close their doors. But I forged on, exploring fantastical ideas and discovering that our world is more magical than we give it credit for. These musings inspired The Water Man, which earned a spot in the anthology Mythic Orbits 2016.

I live on the sunny-yet-piney side of Arizona with my family and sweet boxador, Bella. 

Author Links:

Website: https://sherryrossman.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4455392.Sherry_Rossman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sherry-Rossman-155850011109024

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sherryrossmanauthor

 

 

Manga Review of Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Vol 1-3

Series: Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Vol 1 – 3

US Publisher: VIZ Media

Mangaka: Yuji Kaku

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror

Rating: Volume 1: 5/5; Volume 2: 4/5; Volume 3: 4/5

CLICK HERE TO BUY

Description:

Gabimaru the Hollow is one of the most vicious assassins ever to come out of the ninja village of Iwagakure. He’s ruthlessly efficient, but a betrayal results in him being handed a death sentence. He has only one hope—in order to earn his freedom, he must travel to a long-hidden island and recover an elixir that will make the shogun immortal. Failure is not an option. On this island, heaven and hell are just a hair’s breadth away.

Vol 1:

Volume 1 does a great job of introducing Gabimaru and his job as an assassin and how he keeps using his powers to evade death. After being interviewed by Sagari of the Yamada clan, it is determined that he will be given a pardon and can live his live with his wife in safety. It seems like a good deal, but there is definitely more than meets the eye on this deal.

Gabimaru and Sagari are very interesting characters that we learn about through the first volume. It is definitely rated mature and has a lot of violence and nudity throughout the book. The art is very detailed and well done. I found the story for the first book to be quite interesting and am looking forward in learning more.

Vol 2:

In this volume we learn more about the main characters Gabimaru and Sagari and what they have been through to become the killers that they are. After we are introduced to the other murderers and guards that will be going to the island, I started to lose track of who was who and what exactly was going on. While I liked the idea of the paradise plants and bugs taking over bodies and the mystery of what is going on, I was losing track of who’s backstory we were seeing flashbacks for and who was alive or dead.

Vol 3:

*received an ARC from VIZ via Netgalley for an honest review*

In the third volume, we learn more about the paradise and what is going on with the plants and insects. Like volume 2, I was confused who’s backstory we were learning about. We do learn more about Sagari and her strengths and weaknesses. I feel she is a believable character in the world this mangaka has created. If you like horror, I definitely recommend as the art is quite spectacular and the characters are interesting. Although it is a little confusing, it is still really interesting and I am curious as to what will happen next.

~Dani

Book Review of Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

 

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Title: Horrorstör

Author: Grady Hendrix

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

Buy the Series Here

Back cover:

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom.

Designed by Andie Reid, cover photography by Christine Ferrara.

So I thought this was a comedy zombie horror. It’s not, just a dead up. Rereading the blurb, it’s clearly not a zombie book (idk how I got that) but I did and instead it was a really really really scary book. I won’t be able to go into an Ikea for awhile…

However, my mistake does not change how I rank my reviews. I just wanted to let people know, it’s not as comical as you might think…

I thought it was a pretty original story, and quite funny as we all know how Ikea is laid out. It’s a maze, and imagine a ghosty horror happening there. It would suck. I liked the legend behind it, and thought the ending was pretty good. It made sense and I couldn’t imagine if the story took place at where it was headed in the epilogue (I won’t spoil it).

My only critique was that the characters were just typical horror movie stupid. Like, call the cops in the beginning and none of this would have happened. Also don’t build there. Just don’t. I also didn’t quite understand the cop scenario… why didn’t they show up? Was it because the place was haunted? I needed to be sorted out a little more.

I you like horror, I definitely recommend! If you wanted comedy horror, don’t do it… don’t do it…

~Dani

Book Review of Heartless by Tom Leveen

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Title: Heartless

Author: Tom Leveen

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads

Back cover:

Bram Stoker Award nominee Tom Leveen (Sick; Shackled) asks: What price will you pay for immortality?

Urban legends of a murderous figure called Springheel Jack date back to the 19th century. What Baylee is about to learn is that “he” is most certainly for real…and not alone. When her only living relative—her older brother—becomes one of the bloodthirsty creatures, Baylee’s sole chance to turn him back rests with the only people inclined to believe her story: her brother’s nerdy RPG gamer friends.

This story had me hooked! I read it all in one sitting while I was getting over a cold, and just couldn’t put it down! I love myth and legend horror (especially vampire and the *occasional* werewolf) and have found Springheel Jack stories to be quite interesting (such as Stephen King’s short story). This story was suspenseful, entertaining, and scary just like any horror story should be.

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All the characters were unique and interesting. My favorite was Timothy. I wanted to know more about him. Some of the story was left open in case there is a sequel, which I hope there is (won’t explain because of spoilers) but it came to a good close as well.

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All in all, I highly recommend for anyone who likes horror and wants to be scared, especially if they live in the desert (damn it, Tom Leveen!).

~Dani

Review of The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas

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Title: The Good Demon

Author: Jimmy Cajoleas

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 3/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/Kobo

Back cover:

Clare has been miserable since her exorcism. The preacher that rid her of evil didn’t understand that her demon—simply known as Her—was like a sister to Clare. Now, Clare will do almost anything to get Her back. After a chance encounter with the son of the preacher who exorcised her, Clare goes on an adventure through the dark underbelly of her small Southern town, discovering its deep-seated occult roots. As she searches for Her, she must question the fine lines between good and evil, love and hate, and religion and free will. Vivid and sharp, The Good Demon tells the unusual story of friendship amid dark Gothic horror.

Review:

*I received this book from Netgalley. My review is completely my own opinions and thoughts.*

I really liked the concept of a girl being exorcised and searching for her lost demon as I haven’t come across something like it. The beginning sucked me in but I felt it fell a little short of what it could have been.

At first I liked the main character and felt for her as she was lonely and didn’t belong in the city, but as the story kept going, it got a little old and she didn’t hold on to any belief she had for that long. She was very fickle and didn’t seem consistent about it. As for Roy, he didn’t seem to have much character growth and felt like a severe stereotype of a pastor’s son. I felt like he could have had more depth in this story.

The town itself had a lot going on, but I didn’t feel like the story went in-depth enough to really understand what was going on. I barely started to understand the network the author created before it ended. I had problems with the ending as well, but I don’t want to spoil what happens.

All in all I would read other books by the author, but didn’t enjoy this one that much as I felt it wasn’t flushed out all the way.

 

Movie Review: Housebound

Housebound (2014)

Origin: New Zealand

Language: English

I haven’t seen too many horror movies but after reading the summary, I thought it sounded pretty good. The story follows a girl who got caught robbing an ATM and is under house arrest for eight months. She hates her old home, where her mom and stepfather reside, and makes is vat first annoyed by them. Her mother then claims the house is haunted. At first she doesn’t believe it but then starts to see and hear weird things. Is there another house guest, and is it of this world, or another?

This a really well done movie, especially with how small of a budget. It was very different and a lot of scenes where you think you know what’s going to happen, it doesn’t, but something even more weird/random happens. It is quite humorous at some points, as it is supposed to be a comedy and horror.

The characters were pretty interesting, and pretty developed. You learn more of why the girl is the way she is, although I wanted to learn more about the father. The ending is pretty funny as well and I definitely enjoyed it.

I also wanted to know more about what the house once was and why exactly they bought the house. There were a few unanswered questions that could have been answered to straighten everything out.

All in all, I give it a 4.5/5. It was pretty funny, but could have more info of the past and how the house was ‘haunted’.

Free Download – Gretyl by Dani Hoots

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Hi all! Here is a free download for a horror novella called “Gretyl” (at bottom of post). I hope you all enjoy and if you want more stories, check out my website www.danihoots.com . Also, if you want to put this story on kindle or nook, epub and imobi for Gretyl are available on my website. Feel free to share this story with friends and family and review it on Goodreads!

Back cover:

Germany, 1942. Five kids find themselves lost in the forest as a storm traps them in an abandoned cottage, or at least they thought it was abandoned. They hear footsteps coming from the attic and afraid that it is someone in need, they decide to check it out only to find that who they should fear for is themselves.

Here is the PDF, click the link for the download:

Gretyl – Hoots,Dani