‘Nightmare’ by Chad Nicholas – Review

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

This book is currently on sale until October 6th – you can get two dollars off the ebook version through the link at the bottom of this review!

***

It was hard to breathe inside the grave. The cold touch of the soil surrounded him like a casket, numbing his body as he lay there motionless. Suddenly, he regained consciousness. He tried to breathe, but instead dirt poured into his mouth, gagging him. He opened his eyes, only to see complete and utter darkness. The ground above crashed down on him, causing his bones to crack under the weight.

He tried to fight his way upwards, but with every inch he gained, he could feel himself slipping back into unconsciousness. His lungs began collapsing, causing his chest to burn as if it was filled with hot embers. He could taste the rough, freezing dirt as it poured down into his throat, choking him. Still, he continued to crawl his way upwards, inch by inch.

Finally, he felt the dirt part above him, the chill breeze hitting his hand as it emerged from the dirt. He summoned what little strength he had left to pull himself up out of the ground.

Synopsis –

Had it come back? No, it couldn’t have. He had buried it for good. Or at least that’s what Scott told himself. But what if it had? Was that why the scarecrow now watched him?

But the more Scott tries to ignore it, the more the evidence begins to pile up. So do the bodies. Because sometimes, the dead don’t stay buried. Sometimes the monster survives.

As the bodies mount, and the secrets of his past grow more haunting, Scott must do whatever it takes to save his family. But what if by doing so, they find out what happened all those years ago? What if they realize what he did?

Scott learns that there is no escape from his own past, or the crows that have crawled out of it. He can only watch, as his life is turned into a living nightmare.

Thoughts –

Nightmare is exactly what the title tells you it is. This is a type of novel that you’ll probably want to read more than once, filled with details heavy in importance, but obscured until the very end. The story of a man and his horrific childhood trauma, Nightmare deals with grief, mental anguish, and fear for the ones we love.

The story progresses from the usual day to day of the family, to a darkness growing between husband and wife, slowly seeping out from the repressed memories of his childhood. Something broke off inside him the day he was taken captive and it is something that he still struggles with. As events take a turn for the worst it is unclear whether our protagonist is dreaming, hallucinating, or whether there is someone stalking him and his family.

Nicholas does a great job of juggling the different elements of the story and creating compelling characters. Though, for me, the ending doesn’t have quite the payoff that I was expecting it to, there is a resolution for the characters that makes sense, and overall the story comes together with few loose ends.

Nightmare is sure to live up to it’s name.

About the Author –

Chad Nicholas is an author who enjoys writing mysteries and thrillers. He also has a love for writing horror novels, despite the fact that he has to watch horror movies in the daytime, like a coward, or else he gets nightmares.

Speaking of Nightmares…

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‘Bad Parts’ by Brandon McNulty – Review

*Disclaimer: this book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review*

***

 

No. Please, no.

Mac thought about the past twenty years and what little he’d done with them. He’d traded his kidneys so he could quit dialysis and enjoy life. Instead, he became hostage to the town while his family had left him behind. More recently, when Alzheimer’s had set in, he’d traded his hippocampus to keep from forgetting them. 

Heat rolled through his brain now, as though flaming coals had been dumped down his ear canal. Already the memories were vanishing. He tried to recall his seventieth birthday, but it left him like smoke through an open window. 

Desperately, he clawed after visions of his birthday. He remembered the picnic table where they’d served his red velvet birthday cake. Remembered his wife, his daughter, and the plastic forks they teasingly poked into his sides. Remembered the laughter in his ears. The smell of their herbal shampoos. The smiles on their faces. 

He had them. 

Then he began to lose them. 

 

Synopsis –

When rock guitarist Ash Hudson suffers a career-ending hand injury, she seeks out the only thing that can heal it–her hometown’s darkest secret.

For decades the residents of Hollow Hills, Pennsylvania, have offered their diseased and injured body parts to a creek demon named Snare. In return, Snare rewards its Traders with healthy replacement parts. There’s only one catch: if Traders leave town, their new parts vanish forever.

Ash wants a new hand, but living in Hollow Hills isn’t an option. Not when her band is one gig away from hitting the big time. Desperate, she bargains with Snare, promising to help the demon complete its organ collection in exchange for both a new hand and the freedom for everyone to leave town.

But bargaining with a creek demon can only end badly…

 

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Thoughts –

Bad Parts is a supernatural horror that will tear the heart right out of you – and it won’t offer a replacement. With a town chocked full of back stabbing individuals balanced on a knife edge, it’s not so much Ash Hudson and her anarchist ways that tip them one way or the other, but the strain of holding onto so many secrets for so long. Trading rotten body parts with a mysterious creek demon who ties you to the land for evermore, will do that to you though.

 

Ash Hudson as a main protagonist is a selfish, egotistical, passionate, and driven woman – so your standard rock musician really. Moulded by a tough childhood, she feels that she is nothing without her musical ability and so her motive to regain her hand, and in time for the biggest gig of her bands ( aptly named Bad Parts) career in a few days, is a damn believable one. But as the story drives on, Ash is shown to be a little less selfish and her motives move from just getting onto that stage, to saving everyone she is only now realising she loves. It’s just a shame that almost everyone in Hollow Hills has their own agenda, and will do anything to keep themselves at the top of the food chain. She’s in it for herself – until she isn’t.

 

McNulty’s visceral prose will definitely make you more aware of your internal organs, and with each page, more and more grateful that your lungs are not full of dirty creek water, or that your neighbours are eyeing up your body parts like ravenous zombies. Though the ‘ending’ begins near the middle of the book, the ‘final boss battle’ seeming to twist and turn like a never ending highway, there isn’t a second to catch your breath as more and more casualties pile up. Bad Parts could have benefited from a few more steadfast characters and a more compact ending, it was a novel that I couldn’t even imagine putting down.

 

Bad Parts - eBook

 

Bad Parts is a tumultuous novel where each characters motive is ever shifting and ever more gore inducing. Secrets, lies, and deception abound in the town of Hollow Hills, and they may just be worse than the demon that instigated them.

 

About the Author –

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Brandon McNulty grew up loving monsters, demons, and the thrill of a great scare. Now he writes supernatural thrillers, horror, and other dark fiction. He is a graduate of Taos Toolbox Writers Workshop and a winner of both Pitch Wars and RevPit. He writes from Pennsylvania. You can find him on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

 

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‘The Virgin’ by Wol-vriey – Review

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

***

She sighed in frustration. A little music would have helped pass the time, helped her to relax. 

But I’m prepared to wager that they don’t want us relaxed: they wanted us all tense and on edge as possible. 

The final piece of furniture in the room was the weapons rack. Hailey had so far avoided paying too much attention to the rack. Instead, her gaze flickered from the jewelry on the dresser (a lot of it was utterly gorgeous and she was certain most were designer pieces), to the fridge (which was filled with protein bars and energy drinks), and the digital clock on the wall beside the giant mirror (which informed her she had twenty minutes to showtime.) 

Showtime. Damn. I must be crazy. I can’t believe that I’m actually here and about to go through with this. What if I don’t survive it? Is this actually worth the risk? Oh, hell yes, it is. 

Synopsis –

THE VIRGIN GAME SHOW:

• 10 million dollars in prize money,
• 1000+ video cameras,
• Lots of deadly weapons,
• 10 Suitors,
• 5 Virgins, and
• 3 Hours . . . to keep your hymen intact.

Hailey Osborne wants to sell her virginity for a hundred thousand dollars. But then she’s made an offer she really can’t refuse: how about competing to win ten million dollars in a no-holds-barred underground game show, where all she has to do is remain a virgin?

There’s just two problems:

1. Four other women also want that prize money.
2. There’s ten suitors all contesting to take Hailey and the other virgins’ precious hymens . . . by any means necessary . . .

But hey, it’s just for 3 hours, right? How hard can it possibly be to hold on to something for that short period of time, something you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get rid of for years?

Hailey Osborne is about to find out.

 

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Thoughts –

The Virgin is not what you expect, and certainly not what I expected. Like the Hunger Games but with less sexual assault, surprisingly, Wol-vriey takes readers on an action packed, tense as a steel string story of a reality TV show like no other. In a world where you can change your social status by selling off your virginity, a lot of young women see it as an opportunity to make some not-exactly-easy money. And the woman who runs the show sees it as a vindication for her own intact ‘virginity’. Playing off the glorification of imagined female virginity and the debauched wants and desires of the voyeuristic upper classes, The Virgin does not try to be a feminist novel, nor does it paint the women of the competition as victims either – they see an opportunity and they are aware of all the risks they are about to take, as well as the violence they are willing to partake in to win. Each of them has made a choice for greed or for the want of a better life, but their each ready to fight for the prize.

With ribald humour and a direct and unflinching prose, Wol-vriey gives a glimpse at a gameshow that is a little to easy to believe in. The reader is taken on a thrilling and sometimes violent trail of a competition where the goal is to keep your hymen intact, a hymen that could be worth ten million dollars. Our main protagonist, Hailey Osborne, is a determined young woman who is not against losing her virginity, but may as well make some money while she has it, right? The Virgin is a sometimes humorous, often violent, and definitely though provoking novel that you won’t soon forget.

 

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The Virgin is a wild ride that does exactly what it says on the tin. An adult Hunger Games that is somehow less disturbing – this book will surprise you.

 

About the Author –

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Wol-vriey is Nigerian and quite tall. He writes horror fiction—for adults only, please. And also some surrealist stuff. To date, he has published over twenty novels in both genres.

His horror novels include: Hell Dancer, Girls Are Not Smiling, and the ‘Brainchew’ Series. On the surrealist side of things, he is the author of Pussy Transmission, the Bud Malone ‘Boston’ Series, Vegan Zombie Apocalypse, Vegan Vampire Vaginas, and the disturbing and unsettling Dr. Orgasm.

 

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