Thursday, July 21, 2011

The House on Blackstone Moor

The House on Blackstone Moor is a dark gothic novel by Carole Gill. Carole is a prolific writer with several books to her name and her stories have been included in several anthologies and publications. The House on Blackstone Moor follows the story of  Rose, a young lady whose entire family has been slaughtered by a crazed killer. To make matters worse, the killer was her father- who then committed suicide. The incident pushes Rose over the edge and she travels from one institution to another. But she pulls herself together and takes a governess position with the Darton's. That's when the real trouble begins, as the Darton's are not what they appear.

The book has all manner of horrifying creatures from vampires to demons, nasty housekeepers and satanic cults, and worst of all- real monsters in the form of men. The plot was fast paced and there was no lack of action! Poor Rose is thrown from one horrific mess to the next, with very little time to relax. And yet, she manages to fall in love, bond with the Darton children and survive with her wits mostly in tact. She is definitely a character you can root for.

Carole Gill has some new twists on vampire lore, a host of demi demons and her book begs the question- can a creature without a soul still have a conscience? Can someone with a soul love a demon? And the major question that seems to drive the book- are men born evil or do we invite the evil in?

The book kept me reading, even as I got a little frustrated with Rose (in parts she seems a bit wishy washy and unable to make decisions on her own). The storyline still drew me in and I wanted to see what happened to her next. I also wondered just how many bad things could happen to one poor girl. At times it was a bit confusing- is she a vampire now, or is she a human? And there is a bit of repetition. But all in all, it's a fascinating story. It's also filled with some interesting history. Carole Gill really does her research.

I would recommend the book to those who like gothic horror, vampires and evil men. There is also a sequel in the works which will focus on Eco, the very evil demi-demon, the guy you love to hate! As always, you can read my interview with Carole Gill over on The Author Spot.

Happy Reading,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Servants of Darkness by Mark Edward Hall

Again, it's a collection of short stories. I'm sorry people, but I love my short story collections. They're like little bites of scary goodness. They're like the Whitman's sampler of the horror book world. You guys know what a Whitman's sampler is, right? The box of chocolate...oh never mind.

I ran into Mark (not literally of course) over on the Masters of Horror Facebook page and he was looking for reviewers for his book. What a serendipitous coincidence, no? So I gave him my email and he sent me his book. Yay!

Servants of Darkness is a delicious bundle of thirteen dark stories. The majority have been published before but I had never read any of the author's work. The stories were well written, dark and deeply satisfying.

My favorite of the tales is The Kindred. What if the veil between worlds really is thin on Halloween night and all hell breaks loose? What if you were the one chosen to save the world? Mark creates his own myth for Halloween and names an unlikely hero.

I also really enjoyed The Nest and Bugshot. Because I hate birds and most bugs. (Way to play to my fears Mark!) The Nest also has a twist ending, which I always enjoy. The Rain After a Dry Season was another eerie tale that makes you wonder just where did that orphan come from?

All of the tales are well written, atmospheric, everything horror should be. I highly recommend picking up this collection and getting to know Mark Edward Hall's work for yourself. You will not be disappointed. For those of you who prefer novels, Mark has three novels also available on

Happy Reading,

PS- don't foget to check out my interview with Mark over at The Author Spot!