Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “horror”

Miss Kate’s CBR4 Review#12: The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill

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I read this book last year around the time the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe (who will always be Harry Potter in my heart) came out. I haven’t seen the movie, but intend to! As soon as it hits Netflix instant. I’m a sucker for a good ghost story. I love them, but they are hard to come by these days. I don’t need gore, just some good old fashioned chills. Scare me. Is that so much to ask for?

For the most part, The Woman in Black delivers. Set in Victorian England, Arthur Kipps is a solid man, a solicitor with a happy family. One Christmas while his kids are sitting around telling ghost stories, he is cajoled into telling his own. He recounts an experience that terrified him so much he had not spoken of it since.

As a young man, Arthur is sent is sent to the tiny coastal village of Crythin Gifford to settle the affairs of the late Mrs. Alice Drablow. While at the funeral, he sees a mysterious woman dressed in black. After the funeral, he makes his way to Eel Marsh House, a creepy mansion on an island only accessible via causeway. There he attempts to go through his late client’s papers, and wrap everything up before he goes back to London.

During his stay, things start to happen. There are spooky noises in the house, and strange, unexplained movements in the nursery. He sees the Woman in Black again. He also hears the sounds of an adult and child crashing a pony trap and sinking into the marsh. Arthur makes a friend in a local man, and discovers the secret of Eel Marsh House and the tragedy that occurred there years before. Without telling you any more, the story ends tragically.

The Woman in Black is chilling in it’s atmosphere. Hill is able to pull the the reader into the story pretty completely. Although there are only a couple of startling, jump-out-of-your-seat moments in the book, there is a creepiness that pervades each page. It does end very abruptly, and at first I was bothered by it. But really, extending it, I think, would give it less of an impact.

The Woman in Black is a very short book. At just over 120 pages, I’m eager to see how they were able to stretch it to fill a whole movie.  I recommend reading it alone, at night, preferably in a creepy mansion!

http://misskatesays.com/2013/01/04/cbr4-review-12-the-woman-in-black-by-susan-hill/

CommanderStrikeher’s #CBR4 Review #52 14 by Peter Clines

 *Audiobook Review*

It’s interesting that the quote on the front of the book mentions Lost, because I felt that this book suffered from the same problems:  it started out great, then couldn’t figure out what to do with the premise.  The less you know about this book going in, the better.

Nate has a low-paying data entry job and moves into a new apartment.  It seems too good to be true.  The rent is super cheap, and it even includes utilities.  There are just a lot of…oddities.  Like bright-green cockroaches.  With extra legs.  Locked doors that seem to lead to nowhere.  General weirdness.

Overall, I liked this book, but I felt that the ending was kind of….nutso.  Also, even though the characters all were very vivid and had a lot of backstory, there were too damn many of them.  I couldn’t care less about Nate’s crappy temp job, and it did virtually nothing to contribute to the story.  However, the mystery of the building was intriguing and I found myself searching for opportunities to listen to this book.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes their sci-fi with a dash of horror.

4/5 Stars

Oh, by the way…

CANNONBALL!!!!!!

 Third time was a charm.

 

Siege’s #CBR4 #44: The Road to Madness by H. P. Lovecraft

In which Siege does not enjoy Lovecraft nearly as much as she’d hoped, no matter how many prehistoric albino gorillas were involved.

Siege’s #CBR4 #42: Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

In which Siege admits that while sometimes Stephen King’s work is not good, she is still unable to resist it.

Siege’s #CBR4 #40: Coffin County by Gary Braunbeck

In which Siege FINALLY writes another review, this time of a pretty cool horror story.

Robert’s #CBR4 Review #14: This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong

For all the enjoyment I got out of John Dies at the End, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it didn’t work as a novel. There were three very different episodes held together by a reporter framing device and the presence of a mysterious drug with inter-dimensional properties. It was funny, but the novel killed its momentum each time the story shifted to something completely different.

This Book is Full of Spiders by David WongI am happy to report that This Book is Full of Spiders, David Wong’s sequel to John Dies at the End, is unquestionably a novel. The clear three act structure exists, but it actually serves the telling of a single story. It’s funny, disturbing, and clever without any cohesion problems.

David and John have gone on many adventures in [Undisclosed] since their first run in with Soy Sauce. Surprisingly, it was calm, rational David that wound up in a courtroom after shooting a pizza delivery boy in the chest with a crossbow. Now he has to attend sessions with a court appointed psychiatrist who knows how to push his buttons. Read more…

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #47: Sister Sister by Andrew Neiderman

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Cannonball Read IV: Book #47/52
Published: 1992
Pages: 292
Genre: Horror

I picked up this horribly cheesy novel at the used bookstore for $1. It’s not worth even that probably. I actually forgot I even read this until I was looking through my Goodreadsaccount (add me!) and realized I never wrote my CBR review for it.

It was a pretty forgettable novel, so forgive me if this review is somewhat vague. The plot follows a school teacher who gets a really good paying job to teach a set of conjoined twins. The twins (named Alpha and Beta…seriously) are locked up in a lab and have never been outside their small apartment in there. They’re pretty much treated like lab rats.

Read the rest in my blog.

CommanderStrikeher’s #CBR4 Review #43: 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

I read this short-story collection around Halloween, in order to get into the spirit of the holiday.  I’m really just not the biggest fan of the short story. I like to get into a long novel and watch character development.  Most of these were horror stories, but a few definitely weren’t.

My favorite stories were:

Pop Art – A boy makes friends with a balloon boy.  It sounds weird, but it’s actually very touching.

The Black Phone – A boy is kidnapped by a serial killer and locked in a basement that has a mysterious black phone.  Even though it is disconnected, it sometimes rings.

The Cape – Takes the idea of a little boy playing superhero with his favorite blanket and gives it a sinister twist.

Voluntary Committal – The longest of the stories, it was very original and unsettling.

All in all these stories were good.  I think that I just prefer to read one story a day so I have time to digest it, rather than reading several of them back-to-back.

4/5 Stars

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #40: The Association by Bentley Little

Cannonball Read IV: Book #40/52
Published: 2001
Pages: 448
Genre: Horror

I can’t believe I’m already on book 40 for this year! I’m on much better track than last year when I had to read about 10 books in December to get caught up.

So, The Association is a schlocky little horror novel. I was actually surprised to see that it was published in 2001 because it just screams of cheesy 80’s horror. I’ve read one or two of Bentley Little’s books before, so luckily I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece.

Read the rest of the review at my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #38: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Cannonball Read IV: Book #38/52
Published: 2003
Pages: 617
Genre: Horror/Dystopian

I first read this book back in college. I know now it’s getting a little more press due to the Hunger Games comparisons. I actually first picked up Hunger Games the week it was released back in 2008 because I read that it was similar toBattle Royale. They do share a lot of similarities, but enough differences to make them totally different novels.

For instance, both novels take groups of teens and pit them against each other to the death. However, The Hunger Games picks a boy and a girl from each district. Battle Royale randomly picks a ninth grade class who has no idea they were chosen until they’re already there. They pretend they’re taking them on a school trip then gas them on the bus. I think it’s a little more chilling that ALL of these students actually know each other and grew up together vs. HG’s involving mostly strangers.

Read the rest of the review in my blog.

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