Monday, June 18, 2012


     Inkarna is a supernatural thriller about a woman who is a member of an ancient Egyptian cult that has the ability to reincarnate themselves. However, this cult is made up of warring factions, or houses, and instead of reincarnating into the body of a five year old girl, she finds herself in the body of a twenty-one year old man. This presents an entire hosts of problems, and she must find out what went wrong. 
      This was a fun enjoyable read, with likable characters that Dorman fleshes out completely as the story progresses. Dorman also deals with a very interesting concept; that is, what it would be like to switch not only bodies but genders as well? This is explored in the story while the main character is also searching for answers as to why this has happened in the first place, and he/she finds an unlikely ally in the form of the new body's girlfriend who believes her boyfriend has had a miraculous recovery.  This leads to lots of action in the latter half of the novel, which brings it from a merely interesting to a very entertaining read. The ending is also satisfying and complete, but leaves things open for subsequent books. I certainly hope there are more. This is a well paced thriller and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre. 

To purchase, simply click on one of the following links:  Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon DEAmazon FR

I give it four cocktails. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

YO A$$ IS GRA$$ ! Tales from a Redneck Gangsta


 In case it wasn't obvious from the title, this is a short story collection that is a bit different. Yo A$$ is Gra$$!, by Jimmy Pudge  is a varied set of short stories. They range from comedic erotic horror, to a scifi mythology story. Most of the stories are written in the first person and in a small town Georgia patois. Overall I really enjoyed this collection; they are a very entertaining set of stories. However, some were a bit better than others. The first one was one of my favorites though.

     Everything She Touch Turn to Doo Doo was one of the comedic erotic horror stories, and it had me laughing out loud. It is about a man who is selling drugs in his trailer park, and he picks up a woman who promises sexual favors in exchange for drugs. Little does he know that she is not all she seems to be. This story was pure entertainment. It was extremely funny and Pudge fleshes out the characters quite well in a few short pages.

      The Parade brings us back to more a more traditional horror setting; a small town filled with odd people who are offering something that is too good to be true to a young couple. While this story was also entertaining, it lacked the dark edge that it would have needed to make it more than an average story; the ending was a bit too predictable to make this story stand out.

     The Wine, the Bitch, and the Broom Closet was much more original, or at least I don't often read things from the point of view of a prison trustee. It started out in a very promising way, but was lacking in the ending. It is never quite explained what the Bitch has become, only that she is there and turns out to be quite menacing.

     Good Omen is the third and last of the average stories; again, this one is a bit predicable. It is about two state employees, one of whom wins the lottery and offers to share the winning jackpot with the other. Despite it's predictability it was still an enjoyable read and again I think Pudge developed the characters well here.

     Pissing the Night Away is another comedy, only this one is about a man who wants to have a threesome with his cousin, only he and his friend need to give her some meth first. Unfortunately, they are broke so they find the next best thing- urine from another meth addict. Yes, that is disgusting as it sounds. It also has some very unintended consequences that took me by surprise. Pudge was able to deliver a strong ending to this story, and make me laugh at something that would normally make me gag.

     Bob's Country Store is another comedic horror story, and I think comedy is something Pudge is able to do well. It is about a man who finds himself in the back of a truck in chains, and he is told by the man who has taken him that he will be turned into sausage. This is cannibalism made funny, and with a surprising and humorous ending.

     I Wish I had Jeffery's Girl brings us back to more serious horror, and this time it is about love that has turned into obsession. It also plays with the reader's notion of the gender of one of the characters; this was an interesting and dark story. I felt that the ending could have been a little stronger than it was, but over all it was well done.

Stone Cold is a scifi story that also dabbles a bit in Greek mythology; this was the best story in the entire collection. Here, Pudge manages to bring together a compelling set of characters into a crime drama that made me stop and think a bit about our current legal system. It also has a strong ending that I think was lacking in some of the other stories; the reader is left with the chilling feeling that all is not well in the world.

Overall I enjoyed this entertaining set of stories, and I am looking forward to reading other things by Pudge.

You may purchase this title by clicking on these links: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon DEAmazon FR

I give it three and a half cocktails.

The Other Iron River and Other Stories

  The Other Iron River, by Tony Rabig is a collection of three short stories that was recommended to me by a good friend. I don't think I would have picked it up otherwise, but I am very happy I did. Rabig's writing style is a deceptively simple one. That is to say  his stories are not overly complex, yet I find myself thinking about them long after having finished reading. Each of them seems to ask a question of the reader, what would you do in similar circumstances?
     The Other Iron River is the first story, and it is about a couple who moves to a small town only to discover that there is a parallel town that exists right outside of their house, stuck forever in the town's heyday of the early 1900s. They have the option of staying in the present and living out their lives or they can cross over and stay in the past permanently.  It begs the question, what would you do given the choice? Would you choose to live in the present and move forward, good or bad, or would you go to the other place in the past where everything has a guaranteed  happy ending? Or does anything in life ever come with that kind of guarantee?

      The second story in the collection, Ghost Writer, is a fanciful story about a man who inherits his grandfather's house, and with it his grandfather's abilities. We all like to think that if we are taken too soon in life there is a way of continuing on with our legacy, and someone to do that for us. This story was appealing to me since it was about books, but at the same time it also lacks that something extra that I have come to expect from Rabig based on the other two short stories. It entertained me, but it is not one that I will continue to think about long after reading.

     Acts of Faith is the third and final story, and this one is about zombies. I am not normally a fan of zombie fiction, but this particular story was about more than that. It was about a man who was alone, perhaps the last survivor, but he certainly hopes not. He takes it upon himself to try and preserve a few books. What are the most important books? What are the ones that would be needed to preserve a culture and nurture what could be a new civilization, if anyone survives? Do we all feel this sense of arrogance that we alone will get to decide this in a similar situation?

     I enjoyed reading this collection mostly because it allows the reader to play the what if game; it allowed me to let my mind wander and ponder the questions that it unobtrusively posed. I enjoyed Rabig's writing style, the simplicity of the stories that still made me think. That is often a hard thing to achieve, but he did it well here.

You can purchase this title by clicking on the following links: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon DEAmazon FR

I give it four cocktails.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Vagrant

     The Vagrant, by Brian Hall is a novelette that introduces an interesting character in a promising new series from Angelic Knight Press. Crate Northgate is a man with a troubled past who can see, and communicate with, ghosts. In this brief story, we are only given hints about his past. His main focus this time is helping a homeless man he sees at a convenience store that is being tormented by the spirit of a dead judge. In the end, Crate is not sure he should have helped the man at all.
     I really enjoyed this story, and Crate Northgate is a character I would like to get to know better.  Hall does an excellent job of fleshing him out and making him seem real. Overall it was a well written story and a good introduction to the Southern Hauntings Saga.

I give it four cocktails.