#BookReview The Shining by Stephen King

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To say Stephen King is a genius and a legend in the horror world is an understatement.

I had been meaning to read The Shining for a very long time – I became determined to read the book before the movie, and I’ve been dying to watch the movie for the past two years! While I have heard the comments over and over that the book and the movie aren’t the same, I’ll stil wanted to stick to my word and read the book well before I found the movie again.

This book didn’t strike me as hard as It and Carrie did, but I still found it incredibly fascinating. The work is legendary and sits on many top shelves of readers I know and look up too. So, of course, I had to dive right in and tear this book apart.

This book was slow starting, but Stephen King’s descriptions and writing style kept me hooked. I didn’t enjoy the slow pace, but it did pick up about halfway through the novel. Then I was hooked and needed to finish this book, and yearned to know what would happen to these characters.

I read someone, a long time ago, that this book was based on cabin fever. It definitely seems possible, but there were lots of ghosts or mystical beings mashed up within this book as well. After watching Ready Player One and seeing references I didn’t understand, reading this book and seeing those figures helped me grasped a better understanding of what was happening in that movie. The creepy descriptions of the lady in the bathtub and all of the other weird creatures really made me feel like I was in this story. At times, I totally understood how this book got turned into a movie (and how has there not been twenty remakes by now? The story is so cool!). If you’re looking for a frightful read with descriptions that will blow your mind, Stephen King is absolutely for you!

While I don’t find myself to be a crazy horror fan (since I don’t get scared from these books, but I am always in awe), I have to say I really like this book. I like how Stephen King writes and I like that it’s such a different story. Just comparing this book to It and Carrie (the only two Stephen King books I have read), these books are always well thought out, absolutely insane and full of scenes you’d never imagine! It’s A+ horror and one of the best thrillers.

To me, this book wasn’t scary – I don’t find books scary because of the lack of noise and background sounds, but it was an epic thriller with scary scenes. I could see readers easily finding this scary, and I would not recommend reading this to children. It’s R rated, but a really great R rated ride! Jack, Wendy and Danny are also really interesting characters that develop in crazy ways. Slowly you can see their minds unwinding and going into dark terroritories. Although, I’m really curious as to how Stephen King got into the mind of Danny. Is that how little six year olds think? Or is he mature because of the Shine?

The shine seems to pop up in many books from this point on, which makes me excited to throw myself into Mr. King’s collection and have these books intertwine with each other like a horror-filled Pixar theory.

I might never read this book again, mainly because I need to catch up with all of Stephen’s other books. Is it worth a second read? Heck yes. I’m sure there are lots of scenes and easter eggs I missed throughout! Would I recommend this book? Oh my gosh, yes! It’s a great book, and if you’re only going to pick one horror book it might as well be by the King of Horror.

Five out of five stars!

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh

Comment below – what is your favourite horror novel?

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#BookReview Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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I have been yearning to read this book for a long time. Everyone I spoke to was obsessed with this book to the n-th degree, so I figured I might feel the same way once I read it.

I was highly mistaken.

I found this book to be slow moving and boring, even though it is well written. This book was just not for me (which happens, by the way. Not every reader has to like every book ever written). That being said, I still wanted to give it a quality review. For me, the stars are low – but keep in mind this book is still excellent and the idea was intriguing.

To keep the plot short: A boy is trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after his family was trying to move their zoo animals across the sea. Tragedy strikes, and now Pi (our lead) is stuck with Richard Parker (our cat).

I found that this story went in many different directions. At first, this story seemed to be all about animals and how Pi’s father ran a zoo. I thought there might be more information in regards to him opening a zoo in the future, or having some great story arc involving it. Unfortunately, this didn’t go very far. It seemed to just be an introduction into the character rather than making it an integral part of the story (except for the animals on the lifeboat, of course). Then religion is thrown into the mix!! Pi enjoys practicing three different religions and this causes strife with his family, and then the plot point is essentially gone. There could have been lots of room for improvement in this discussion further along in the book, but all we get is that Pi is “praying” a lot. To me, having all of these opportunities to follow through with these plot lines was a bit of a waste. Why just have these points as an intro to the character? Why not use them to your advantage?

I also found this book to be SO FREAKING SLOW AND BORING. It’s inspirational, but when it’s close to two hundred pages of “stuck on a boat, send help, I am praying, there’s a tiger, i need to drink water” over and over, it gets a little tiring.

When I look at other reviews and theories about this book, I understand the theme is about religion. You can pick your story to follow God – just like picking apart this book. There’s multiple stories to follow, and you can pick the one you like. I don’t know how I feel about this theme and the way it is presented, but it worked.

This book also has some gore in it, so if you don’t want to read about an animal being ripped apart in description then this book might not be for you!!

Pros:
1. The chapters are short – I like when books don’t make long chapters. Having a chapter that lasts one hundred pages tires me out. Having the opportunity to stop where I want to with a small chapter is a nice quality about this book.

2. The cover – The cover is absolutely gorgeous. It’s simple, it’s colourful and it gets to the point. I appreciate a well thought out cover.

3. Beautiful language – Yann Martel can present a scene well with his words. There are some moments in this book where I got lost in his choice of words.

Cons:

1. Slow and Steady doesn’t always win the race.

2. Religion. This seems like a bad place to put it, but I know many people who would lose their minds having religion be a theme in the book (some would have it as an AMAZING PRO). That being said, I’m putting it in cons because of the strife it may cause some readers. There’s also times I think that religion was mentioned to much, like the author was trying to hit us over the head with it. Just because you leave religion out for one page doesn’t mean we’ll forget about it!

3. The story drags with the same thoughts and concepts.

Overall, this book was not my cup of tea. It is beautifully written and was a unique take on religion I hadn’t seen before. I had high hopes and expectations for this book, but it didn’t bode well for me. I blame a lot of the really great reviews and everyone saying it was the best book ever to make me have such high expectations, but putting the blame on them really won’t get me anywhere, will it?

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh

Check out Yann Martel on twitter! @WriterYann

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#BookReview Batman:Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison

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I love comic books, but this one didn’t do it for me.

I didn’t like the art style, even if it was quite beautiful. For me, this style of comic didn’t do Batman justice. It seemed very messy to me, and it didn’t let me focus. I think this art style could work well with other characters, but not one where I want to pay attention to detail. It just felt to fuzzy.

There’s footnotes in this edition, which seems really weird to me. Why does a comic book need footnotes? Shouldn’t you be able to get the point across within the story?

At least there was a script at the end to understand what was going on. It just seemed really weird to me that I had no honest idea what was happening. It didn’t seem like a Batman comic, more like a parody of a Batman comic. Having to go back and forth between the comic and the script also left me incredibly frustrated. I don’t understand how this comic book was supposed to hit audiences.

The idea of having the inmates takes over Arkham Asylum seems awesome and this could make for the best story, but this art style didn’t do it justice. I could barely tell what characters were who, and I’m obsessed with Batman. I also didn’t understand the haunted part of the plot.

I get this book was supposed to be a psychological thriller/horror that was supposed to attract adult and mature audiences, but it just didn’t feel that way to me. The allusions and references went over my head, and I felt like there could have been so much more added to make it flow better.

Overall, this book was super frustrating for me. I wanted to love it (especially when I paid way to much to get my hands on this book) but I just couldn’t. I had high expectations and it came short.

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another? #BookReview AMYM:The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire 1.5) by K.D. McQuain

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Check out Grant Morrison on Goodreads! Grant Morrison on Goodreads

#BookReview Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Strange

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Jack Strange is, yet again, the master of the comedic horror genre.

“Having a dead chef as a front man would be a television first…” – a quote that perfectly summarizes this entire book in a nutshell.

I’m always impressed by Jack Strange – he is a unique writer that is easily able to attract an audience’s attention. His mixture of horror and comedy somehow works and draws me back to his work each and every time.

Some of the humor in this book really killed me – a pair of marigolds to get rid of the smell of rotting, human flesh? I always plant marigolds in my garden, and I know they are VERY strong smelling, so this made me chuckle. Even some of the comments said by the characters come off in a hilarious manner – most seem to be said with a hint of sarcasm (or pure stupidity on the character’s part), but it’s so good! It’s my type of dry yet dark humor, and I love it!

I also loved that Henderson is one of our main characters. He’s a cat. An undead cat, but still a cat! It’s something I don’t see very often (animals being main characters or having a personality that isn’t some weird talking/animated animal plotline), which adds some points to this read.

The insanity of this plot is exceptional and outstanding! It’s unique, strange and oddly satisfying. I would have never come up with like this! Zombies, celebrity chefs, a zombie cat, and R rated mischief? It’s a must read for those readers who are looking for something different that they have never come across before! That’s one of the best parts about Jack Strange’s writing – he’s so incredibly creative!

If I had to put this book in specific genres, it fits in many. Horror, comedy, satire, political satire, and fantasy are all shelves I could put this book on. There’s sex, gore, and sarcasm galore ridden throughout this novel. Even when the action is at it’s highest point, there’s a few fantastic one liners that will have you laughing and cringing all at the same time.

My cons are as followed:
1. My own personal con is the font was small in the version I received. Does that affect my scoring? Heck no! Was I slightly annoyed? Yeah. Is this a reason to not read the book? Nope! But I’m gonna include it as a way for Jack Strange to “improve” in his future writing endeavors!

Overall, this book is a true masterpiece! It’s clever, ingenious and seriously funny. I highly recommend this book to fans of horror, comedy and satire. You’re not going to be able to find another book like this unless it’s from Jack Strange’s catalogue.

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author Jack Strange in exchange for an honest review.

 

Purchase this book on Amazon:

Amazon.com – CCZA

Amazon.ca – CCZA

 

Find out more about this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30120566-celebrity-chef-zombie-apocalypse

Or find out more about Jack Strange on his website: http://www.jack-strange.co.uk/

While you’re at it, why not give us both a shout out on Twitter if you read this review? @JackStrange11 & @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite horror novel!!

#BookReview The Twisted Ones by Scott Cawthon

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Ah, another day of FNAF lore is another casual day for me. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’d read this book (I’m overly obsessed with FNAF theories. Too obsessed…in all honesty). While it took me a while to get to it, the book was definitely worth the wait.

The Twisted Ones is the second book in the FNAF book series. The lore is different from the video games (same animatronics, different back story, but some similar names of characters…) but you could easily try to eave it into the video games if you tried (or if you trust Scott and his sneaky ways).

While this appears to be a YA novel, some of the gore is definitely closer to R rated. If you’re a fan of FNAF, it probably wouldn’t come as big of a surprise to know some of the gore is REALLY GORY, but keep that in mind if you choose to read it.

Plot wise, the story continued with a smooth transition. There is a time jump between the first and second book, but it worked in it’s favour. Slowly plot details are revealed and old characters appear, and eventually Scott and Kira build and add to this spectacular take on the lore. I really did enjoy it – more animatronics, more craziness!

The book is relatively fast paced – I didn’t get bored once. I really hope the next book is the last book in this series to finish it up. This book was the perfect sequel, so I’d like to see an explosive ending (by the way, MAJOR CLIFFHANGER ALERT).

Now, time for some lore discussion – this book will raise questions. Don’t try to tie it to the book, and you’ll be feeling mighty fine! If you start trying to make a wild, crazy theory you’ll get fed up and quit. This book is supposed to be fun and increase circulation of this series (from my perspective) and it is increasing the fan base. Look at how many people are frustrated with the fact that this book doesn’t fit in with the FNAF video games and are talking about it constantly… It’s a lot of people. More conversations, more circulation, more participation, more people reading… It’s marketing genius. Is this book kinda silly? Yes. Were half of my questions answered in regard to lore for this book series? No. But it’s fun! I think this is a fun read that didn’t require my brain to explode to understand it.

Side note: Can we get a FNAF graphic novel or something? This book would be EPIC in picture form…just saying.

Four out of five stars.

 

Have you played FNAF? What is your favourite animatronic? Comment below!
Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! Book Review: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S: THE SILVER EYES by SCOTT CAWTHON & KIRA BREED-WRISLEY

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#BookReview Drug Gang Vengeance by Neil Walker

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Drug Gang Vengeance in one word: Brutal.

And I mean brutal in a good way, of course! If you’ve read the first novel of this series (Drug Gang), you’d totally understand the reason I pick that word – this book is full of drugs, fights, blood, violence, and general insanity (think John Wick sort of craziness).

The story builds on the last novel and changes the scenery a tad bit. I liked that it didn’t follow the same old plot and it expanded on the craziness that is John’s life. The big plot developments and twists that occur to John this time around was also epic! I can’t wait to see how Neil expands on John’s life after this, since this book really stepped it up.

If I were to suggest anything to Neil, I would say there were some scenes that could have been expanded on. There was a brief summary of the time John spent with a certain character in the hospital (no spoilers), and I would have liked to see more on that. Maybe that’s coming from the drama reader side of me, but I think that could have added to the story in someway. It definitely wouldn’t have been as brutal or fit in as well, but it might have grown the character.

There’s lots of swearing in this book, but it didn’t seem excessive. I don’t enjoy lots of swearing when it’s useless, but Neil somehow makes it work. Typically, you’d see me complaining about swearing (because half the time I swear it’s just filler for writers), but I like how it fit in this world. Way to go Neil!

But, that was my biggest flaw. Seriously, this book is great! It’s not for the light-hearted and it’s definitely not some YA novel, but it hits all the points I want in a thriller, drug-infused novel. It has it’s own style too, making it unique out of most of the books I usually read. It’s kind of a niche novel, but a great one! I almost feel like this book could hit big in an underground reading world.

My suggestions if you read this book:
Read book #1 (Drug Gang). Seriously, it’ll make this read better. I was going to read this book first, but I decided to start from the beginning and I don’t regret it. You’ll understand John’s journey WAY better – it’s not like a normal mystery novel where everything is filled in along the way. It’s much easier to just indulge yourself with this violent, fantastical journey than to cheat yourself on the wild adventure.

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author Neil Walker in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Neil Walker:

On Goodreads

On Twitter @NeilWalkerWrote

On Facebook

Give me a shoutout on twitter using the hashtag #BriarsReviews if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

 

Synopsis:

THE DRUG GANG IS BACK! IT’S TIME TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS…

John Kennedy is on his way out of a life of crime in Sydney, when he is hunted down by drug gang The Brotherhood. This leads to a spiral of vengeance and violence that stretches right around the globe.

PART TWO OF THE DRUG GANG SERIES.

Drug Gang Vengeance is the sequel to my bestseller Drug Gang and I could send you a free promo copy of that also, if you would like to read and review both. I’ve attached the Amazon link for the first book below, if you’d like to take a look.

Find this novel on Amazon:

Drug Gang Vengeance #2 on Amazon.co.uk

Drug Gang Vengeance #2 on Amazon.ca

Drug Gang Vengeance #2 on Amazon.com

Find the first novel, Drug Gang, on Amazon:

Drug Gang #1 on Amazon.co.uk

Drug Gang #1 on Amazon.ca

Drug Gang #1 on Amazon.com

 

Comment below – have you read any books by Neil Walker? Or do you plan to?

#BookReview Zodiac Unmasked by Robert Graysmith

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Zodiac Unmasked was an interesting take on the real life incidents revolving around the Zodiac Killer.

This book could have been a LOT shorter than it is, there is almost so much content in this book I got bored (and I am OBSESSED with conspiracies and theories, I’ll sit through long books and videos any day of the week). I almost quit this book completely because it was boring me to death. I did love all the research and information within this book, but it was almost too much.

This is one of many theories of who the Zodiac Killer was, and it truly is fleshed out. It may not be 100% correct, but it was a good read if you want to look into the information surrounding this theory.

The positives within this book is the amazing content within it, but that also ties with my major negative: it’s long, repetitive and becomes quite boring due to those two factors. The theory itself is confusing and long, but that doesn’t mean the book needs to be over 500 pages of repeating the same stuff over and over and over. I did enjoy the fact that the book was in chronological order, but I also felt that it didn’t need to be. I would have loved all the hard hitting facts and awesome plot points first before all the boring, nitty, gritty details.

Overall, I’m not totally impressed with this book. It bored me to tears and I almost stopped reading it.

1 out of 5 stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange