‘The Easton Falls Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge’ by Holly Rae Garcia & Ryan Prentice Garcia – Review

*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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Kellen Tsosie crouched in the thick underbrush twenty yards away from the thirsty animal and tried to ignore the thorns scratching his legs. There had been rumors around town of strange sightings in the area, but the reports were inconsistent. Some said the thing had to be the biggest grizzly they had ever seen, others swore it looked like a gorilla, forgetting that the Pacific Northwest had never been home to any gorillas. Others swore it was the Dzunukwa, from the legends of the Kwakiutl tribe. Some called it ‘Bigfoot’, or ‘Sasquatch’. Kellen had hoped the sightings were none of those things, but couldn’t deny what was right in front of him. An ancient creature who knew their kind wasn’t allowed to be so close to the stream. Forbidden, even, to leave the foothills at all. Yet there it was in front of him, shattering a centuries-old alliance between Tsosie elders and the Bigfoot clan.

Synopsis –

US Army Veteran Henry Miller embarks on a hunt at the edge of the Black Forest, but strays from the path and finds himself too close to the East Cascade Mountain Range.

Something lurks in the forest on the other side of those mountains. An ancient race of Bigfoot that have kept to themselves for centuries, until one of them defies the warnings and roams too far from the safety of their home.

When these two intersect, alliances are broken and events set in motion that will leave residents of the town of Easton Falls, Washington, fighting for their lives.

Thoughts –

The Easton Fall’s Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge is a short and gruesome story of exactly what it sounds like; Bigfoot enacting revenge on the humans that have wronged them. But this is not a singular Bigfoot, this is a tribe (Bigfeet?) and when one of them is harmed inadvertently by a distracted hunter, they are not about to slink back into the shadows and forget about it. The story ramps up from uncomfortable to frantic in slow and steady steps – but they are pretty big steps.

The writing from husband and wife pair Rae Garcia and Prentice Garcia, is well crafted and you get more than just humanoid violence in this novella. The characters of the town are, for the most part, well fleshed out even in as little words as there are, with back stories and past traumas, yet this doesn’t entirely leave you feeling that Bigfoot is the villain for the entire story; as with any good story, it turns out it’s probably man.

I would have liked to get to know the Native American tribe a little better. These are the people who help protect the ‘Bigfeet’ and to keep things from the tragedy that happens here from ever occurring, but this time they failed. It would have been a great inclusion to have more of them interacting with the story and to learn how exactly this strange alliance came about. But overall, The Easton Fall’s Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge does exactly what it says on the tin and with an ending that is shocking, you will not be disappointed.

If you are looking for a revenge story with a twist or just more of the legendary Bigfoot in your library, The Easton Fall’s Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge is a must have novella for your collection.

About the Authors –

In her own writing, Holly Rae Garcia leans toward the thriller, horror, sci-fi, and dystopian genres.

She live on the Texas Coast with her family and five dogs.

* COME JOIN THE MURDER
Debut novel, a psychological thriller with horrific elements.

* EASTON FALLS MASSACRE: BIG FOOT’S REVENGE
Horror novella written with Ryan Prentice Garcia

More information can be found on her website: www.HollyRaeGarcia.com

Ryan Prentice Garcia is currently working on two projects: His first solo novel, a gruesome tale that involves poker, the devil, and revenge, and a sequel to his debut novella with his wife and fellow author, Holly Rae Garcia. He currently resides on the Texas Coast with his family.

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‘Butchers’ by Todd Sullivan – Review

*Trigger Warning (the book, not this review): vivid descriptions of violence, torture, and sexual violence*

 

Tonight, Min Gun brought his butchering tools.

He clung to the surface of a rough brick wall five stories up. A bone saw attached to his belt by a thin chain swayed gently in the autumn breeze. He had sheathed his machete on his back beneath a rolled rubber body bag. He gazed into the dark room across from him. Cheol Yu, the target, hadn’t left the building since he’d met Sey-Mi, a high school student wearing a plaid skirt and short sleeved white shirt. Somewhere, behind the opaque windows of the apartment, Cheol Yu was with her, alone. 

Min Gun’s superior, Jun Young, clung to the wall beside him. A wood-handled axe dangled in a leather sling at his side, his machete strapped to his waist. Where Min Gun carried a body bag, Jun Young had a leather weapon case strapped to his back. The company had tasked the two with arresting the suspect. Min Gun hoped Cheol Yu resisted enough so that he would be forced to kill him, saving him from months of torture. 

That would be his noble deed of the day. 

 

Synopsis –

Kidnapped, turned, and locked away in a concrete basement, high school student Sey-Mi is taught the ways of the damned. Her captors, beautiful and malignant, cruel and insane, torture her until she pledges allegiance to the Gwanlyo, a secret organization of vampires now obsessed with bringing her into their ranks. But has Sey-Mi really sworn loyalty to such an obscenely cruel organisation? Or will she side with the rogue agents hell-bent on bringing the Gwanlyo to their knees?

 

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Thoughts –

Set in the urban city of Seoul, South Korea, Butchers lives up to it’s harsh and violent name. Following Sey-Mi as her life is thrown into disarray Sullivan weaves a tale of brutality, power, and control. A seventeen year old girl chosen to join the ranks of the Gwanlyo, an ancient vampiric organisation that expects compliance to their rules and will employ the harshest of punishments for anyone foolish enough to cross them, fights to see her family again.

Sey-Mi is dragged into an immortal life that she never asked for and now has to serve a tyrannical organisation set on breaking her mind and making it there own. But if there’s one thing a teenage girl doesn’t like, it’s being told what to do. And Sey-Mi is not alone in her thoughts. There are other agents of the Gwanlyo that are sick of their rules and their torture. Sullivan brings us on a story of resilience, savagery, and deception.

There is no question that Butchers has a lot of violence, some of which could be characterised as gratuitous, or unnecessary, though the story and characters are strong enough to balance out the blood-shed. Sullivan’s writing flows well enough that the flashes of sadism do not overwhelm the plot – and you end up hating the Gwanlyo just as much as their victims.

 

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Butchers is an apt name for a novella chocked full of torture and tyranny, but behind the pain and the cruelty are those determined to stop it once and for all.

 

About the Author –

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Todd Sullivan took his first serious writing class in 1995 and has been writing ever since. In the early 2000’s Sullivan moved to Jeju, South Korea, where he taught English in the public school system for five years. He currently lives in Seoul, and is studying the Korean language at Yonsei University. He is also working on a speculative fiction/urban horror novel that takes place in Korea.

 

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‘Urban Gothic’ by Stephen Coghlan – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Every lick of sense Alec had left pleaded with him to keep walking and ignore what he’d seen, and alarm bells rang in his head like the klaxons of some far-way firebase, roaring that this wasn’t his problem; it wasn’t his duty to become involved. The noise fell silent to his conscience. How would he live with himself if he didn’t help this woman?

The voice Alec spoke in was deep and clear; meant to be heard over the chaos of war, over the crack of guns and thunderous explosions. 

“Stop.”

The single word echoed off the concrete asphalt; slowly diffusing as it climbed into the empty sky. 

If I die with my hands by my side

Tell the sarge I died o’ pride.

 

Synopsis –

Burned out and drugged up, Alec LeGuerrier spends his days faking it, barely eking out an existence while living in a haze of confusion and medicated mellowness. That is, until he stops a gang of nightmarish oddities from killing a strange young woman with indigo eyes.

Dragged into the lands of the dreaming, he must come to terms with his brutal past and his grim imagined future in a land his body knows is real, but his mind refuses to acknowledge.

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Thoughts –

Urban Gothic is the fantastical fever nightmare of a veteran soldier learning to dream again. A short, whimsical story stalked by shadows, Urban Gothic is not your usual fantasy story. Following the gallant Alec and the his quest to save the other worldly Valeda, the reader is taken on a journey into a dream filled mirror world to our own where the awake are the ‘creators’ and the dream world versions are imagined versions of them (think the Tethered in ‘Us’) with dire consequences when either is killed or damaged. Alec makes his way through this world finding friends he thought he’d lost, a revolution that has more to do with him than he is aware, and the strength he needs to find himself again.

Perhaps a tad too chivalrous at times, Urban Gothic is nevertheless a novella with great depth that explores many important themes through the use of fantastic imagery and a surrealist world. It’s an enjoyable story with a happy ending for a character clearly deserving. A short and thought provoking read.

 

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A fantasy style story with a valiant prince and a damsel in distress, the layered themes of this book will have you reconsidering everything you see in this magical world and the struggles of soldiers no longer at war.

 

About the Author –

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Hailing from the capital of the Great White North (Canada), Stephen Coghlan spends his days erecting buildings, and his nights reveling in the dreamscape. Since 2017, he has produced a myriad of flash fictions, short stories, novellas, and noels, including, but not limited to, the GENMOS Saga, the Nobilis series, and has had his works read on podcasts and featured in anthologies.

 

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