Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Iniquity Book Cover

Darkness has come unto the land.  What is left of earth’s civilization is concentrated into towns, reduced to living a life like that of the middle ages, but this is in the future.  Demons have risen from beneath the surface of the earth and plunged humanity into a serf-like existence where modern comforts are only remembered by the oldest still living.  The demon overlords of each village decide the “destiny” of every woman when she reaches twenty-one years of age.  What befalls Athena, the protagonist, proves unexpected and monumental.

This is the setting for an interesting and personal journey as the tale is told entirely from Athena’s perspective.  She is an inquisitive, stubborn, and practical young woman, and she never strays far from her ultimate goal – somehow restoring the light to the surface and hopefully displacing the despotic rule of the demons.

The story is intriguing and deals not only with these strange situations but also more mundane matters. It is all woven against the overwhelming backdrop of humanity’s new existence beneath its powerful masters.  The story paints a picture of depth, even as it dances with cliché ideas that would be welcome in a fairy tale.  I liked that these tropes were sometimes inverted or presented in a not so clean context.  The tale is not clean; it is, just like life, complicated.

I will confess I grew somewhat impatient during some portions.  The setting pulled me in with wonder as to what had happened and what would befall this poor girl.  Things never calmed for her, but things sometimes felt tiresome.  I will say that this was well indicative of Athena’s plight, though I did feel myself eager to get on with it.

As the story progressed, things changed, alarmingly, and we’re met with another sort of beginning.  It does not take long for everything to become more and more threatening for our unique heroine, and though we are again met with a potential cliché in the end, things are not at all going to be left “happily ever after”.  A tremendous revelation comes to light, and we’re shown how things will be very different and dangerous going forward.  I am eager to continue the story in volume two.

Iniquity, the Ascent, Book One (Amazon link)

Broken Mirror
These stories are not just morbid. They take you down dark passageways of the human psyche. There is fear, violence, trauma. I found some of the tales impacted me to such a degree that I needed a breather before moving on to the next. Ms. Voiez is kind enough to even list trigger warnings before some of the stories, in case the subject matter may resonate too personally.

The very first tale sets its own interesting tone, as it begins feeling more like a gothic romance then quickly travels down much darker pathways. Though it is the longest of the set, I was caught by the ending and wish there would be more.

Victims aplenty are in this collection, but Ms. Voiez does not ignore the transgressors, delving into their minds. The various points of view are fascinating, disturbing, and even sympathetic in some very tragic situations.

I also enjoyed Ms. Voiez’s writing style. Her descriptions prove well done, feeling poised to not only stoke the underlying tension of many tales but also a near sense of helplessness. You don’t yawn; a yawn claims your throat.

All in all this is a wonderful collection. I recommend it, though do be careful reading it alone in the dark.

Broken Mirror and other Morbid Tales by Carmilla Voiez (Amazon Link)

Curse of Mary 03 - reduced

A Seductive Coax

This tale is an interesting take on a possible origin of a notable Urban Legend regarding Bloody Mary. It spans hundreds of years, examining the characters and the impact of the lineage in many ways. At the start of the 15th Century, we begin to learn of the Cambelle family and their dark secret, but things take a decided turn rather quickly.  It was very intriguing seeing how the situation developed, this early point in history showing its own layering within a well-developed lore that is slowly revealed to us. Within this tapestry, we are treated to the lives of many characters as they experience the consequences of the family’s heritage, not the least of which is the eponymous Mary, for whom a grave tragedy awaits.  Before this fully manifests, we are treated to some titillating erotic scenes.  The book is noted as being for 18+ readers, and it pulls no punches when it comes to sex and gore.  This may serve to lure the reader, sometimes like a seductive coax, other times akin to a deep shock.  This book is not for the squeamish.

The narrative spans many years and generations, jumping ahead so we may experience the haunting legacy of those seeds as we visit the 19th and 21st Centuries to fully realize the horrible consequences that have resulted in this legend.  This presents many interesting viewpoints as without this context, it might be easy to merely view Mary as a monster.

The ending felt quite sudden, even a touch anticlimactic; however, it left me wanting more. If anything, it seemed it could have been another beginning, even a cliffhanger. I’d like to know more of Mary, the curse, and the descendants of the family and what may further befall them.

Be sure to buy, read, and review this book!

The Curse of Mary: All Legends Begin in Truth by NicolaJayne Taylor (Amazon Link)

So, I’ve decided to post a review.  I’ve done a paltry few on Amazon, and I have been soliciting them for my own book, so I decided to do something a bit more organized and post reviews on my site here that will also be cross-referenced to other social media.  If you are interested in reciprocal reviews, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Without further ado …

Vampire Therapy Cover

Not Your “Normal” Vampire Tale

The story comes off like an interesting adult soap opera/fairytale with something of a Terry Pratchett feel, though I loathe making too many such comparisons.  It is comedic, melodramatic, salacious.  It got more than one laugh out loud from me with its sardonic humor.  The vampires generally act like overgrown children, which only adds to the amusement.  The sudden spike of very real morality discussions peppers the generally darkly light-hearted affair, imposing an unexpected, though welcome, weight to the overall tone.  Even within the absurd realm of the supernatural, some of the problems shown are all too real for any number of us.  Growing up is not just for immortals.

The illustrations are wonderful and add to the delight and singularity of the piece.  Oh, and breasts, lots of talk of breasts, so if you like that, here is plenty.  Well worth the cost and time, so go ahead a dive in.

Vampire Therapy by Shebat Legion (Amazon link)