Batman: Fear Itself

Batman: Fear Itself
By: Michael Reaves and Steven-Elliot Altman

Finished: 2/19/2021

This was a refreshing tale involving not only a desperate horror author but also one of my favorite Batman villains, The Scarecrow. I really loved the analysis of horror writing “going too far” with scaring readers, and whether the potential liability falls on the shoulders of the author. Of course that question gets ramped up since this involves the Scarecrow.

I grew to like Ulysses Cutter, the afflicted henchman that worked with Crane. However I struggled to like Maggie as a character since we ended up having both Bruce Wayne and the Horror Author fighting over her attention. I had some issues with the ending, but if you read enough comics or watch enough comic book movies, it’s not terribly surprising.

I enjoyed the characters and the setup, and I chuckled multiple times at the literary references and classic horror movie references. I may be biased toward this story since I am a horror author myself. 😉

Overall a fun read if predictable at the end.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Frightful Fables: Volume I

Frightful Fables Volume I
By: DC Phillips

Finished: 12/19/2020

This was a short collection of horror short stories, but there was so much wry humor! I really loved “You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide” with the flip of expectations. I think my favorite was “Patches” though. Who could say no to the kitties?

Overall each of these tales left a lasting impression with some truly wonderful twists that made me smile. I loved the inclusion of artwork to really set the mood for each piece too! Overall this was a fun read!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars!

I Never Meant to Start a Murder Cult

I Never Meant To Start A Murder Cult
By: Darrell Z. Grizzle

Finished: 12/18/2020

A series of short stories ranging from bizarre dead bodies to spectral entities in hospital windows. I never knew what to expect from one story to the next and it was fantastic. I loved how he embraced the weird, the unexplained, and the surreal.

Grizzle has a wide range in tone and time period. Some of these like “We Ride On The Wind” could easily have been expanded into a full-length novel, and I would be one of the first to pick up a copy.

I can’t wait to see what he does next!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars!

All Those Broken Angels

All Those Broken Angels
By Peter Adam Solomon

Finished: 12/17/2020

An abstract tale swirling around possession, romance, and a mystery written in a gorgeous poetic prose. This novel is captivating with a strong vein of supernatural and strange.

We follow Richard who has confused memories about his friend Melanie and is haunted by a dark spirit that has attached to him. The descriptions of the dark spirit interfering with his everyday life, of it closing in on him while he was in bed, and the description of it taking away his autonomy was absolutely chilling. Full disclosure, as someone who grew up in a haunted house, this was a hard book for me at first. I found it very unsettling which I rarely find in ghost novels like this. I loved it.

Slowly we learn more about Melanie, the strange situation around her childhood, the bizarre spirit that has invaded their lives, and the dark secret they must uncover. Overall this story flips around quickly, leaves you down many wrong turns and dead ends, and has you trying to guess what will happen next. It is an absolutely incredible reading experience.

Once again Peter Salomon knocks it out of the park!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars!

The Leak of Madness

The Leak of Madness
By: Alice J. Black

Finished: 12/13/2020

This was a quick read and dove right into a world of alcoholism, sensitivity to spirits, and a very dysfunctional life. Peyton struggles with her addiction to alcohol which she uses to mask the messages that come from the spirit world. It’s a messy existence, but it’s her coping mechanism.

I have to say I was not a fan of her friend, or how she insisted on bringing Peyton to a wedding even though she had clearly had a rough night. The longer the story went on the more I disliked her friend. I would have called an Uber and gotten out of there! But it’s implied that Peyton is there not only because of her friend’s insistence and almost hawk-like monitoring of everything she did, but also due to the peer pressure of the friends who know her.

The setup may seem long at times, but then once the ending comes around, things happen fast! Hold on to your seat as the whole scene shifts into something far more deadly. Overall this is a strong start to a series following Peyton and her strange life, and I am so ready to see where this goes!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars!