Category Reviews

Review: The ‘Geisters by David Nickle (4.5/5)

Imagination and Execution I first encountered David Nickle as a crafter of stories (he is also a reporter on local politics) when reading his short Looker   in Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Best thing I have ever read. Creepy, sensual, imaginative. A solid 6 out of 5. That experience, and the beautiful […]

Review: The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm (5/5)

My name is Cheffo and I’m a Holm-a-holic I didn’t mean for this to happen. Hell, a year ago I didn’t know who Chris F. Holm was. Somebody, somewhere in the Twittersphere posted something about some war between the covers of Dead Harvest and Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds. Curious to see what could possibly compare to […]

Review: The Cambodian Book of the Dead by Tom Vater (3.5/5)

Really Liked It. Wanted To Absolutely Love It. I am equally ignorant of and intrigued by things Cambodian. I imagine it to be a perfect setting for storytelling: full of ghosts, mystery and profound sadness. Reading TCBOTD took me back to the first time I watched the movie adaptation of Christopher Koch’s The Year Of […]

Review: The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (4.5/5)

A Rollicking, Riotous Rampage The Blue Blazes is the most fun I have had in years. I love Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black series and love that it is more urban than fantasy. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find the same grit and edge amidst the fantastical elements of an underworld lying […]

Review: The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (5/5)

You are going to read this book. Everybody who has read Lauren Beukes is going to read The Shining Girls. Everybody who knows somebody who has read Lauren Beukes is going to read The Shining Girls. LAUREN BEUKES IS GOING TO RULE THE WORLD!!! Maybe I slipped a bit of tongue in the old cheek […]

Review: Goldenland Past Dark by Chandler Klang Smith (4/5)

Beautiful Prose I was introduced to Chandler Klang Smith by an interview she did with Writer’s Digest. She suggested that “a novel is a fractal”. The recovering mathematician in me found the idea intriguing and elegant, so I posted a rather detailed response in the comments. Sadly, that response vanished into the bowels of the […]

Good Reviews, Bad Reviews, How Do I Choose ?

If you have looked at any of the reviews that I have posted, you may notice that (so far) they are all pretty positive and some are unabashed love letters. I have been asked why there aren’t any bad reviews. Don’t I read any bad books? Am I a wimp? Yes, I have read some […]

Review: Wounded Prey by Sean Lynch (4.5/5)

Needs Warning Labels Wounded Prey should come with warning labels: Danger: Very dark places ahead Don’t start reading on a weekday I knew that I wanted to read this book, but I didn’t expect that it would be so very, very good. After a long day of work and a longer evening of homework (long […]

Review: Dead Harvest (4.5/5) and The Wrong Goodbye by Chris F. Holm (4/5)

Never judge a book by its cover … … unless it is part of Chris F. Holm’s The Collector series. The titles summon memories of classic hard-boiled noir in apparent homage to Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. [The 3rd installment, The Big Reap provides a similar tip of the hat […]

Review: The World House by Guy Adams (3.5/5)

Slow, Slow, Quick The World House takes its’ time drawing you in. Rather a long time. The introduction of the myriad characters (a contemporary Brit, a Spanish thief from the 1930s, an American socialite from the 1920s, an alcoholic musician and his stripper friend from the 1970s, a little girl with Autism, and Alan from […]

Review: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig (4/5)

GrittyDarkFast! If I had to sum up Chuck Wendig‘s Blackbirds in a single word (whilst avoiding expletives) this would be it: GrittyDarkFast*. The first encounter with Miriam Black pulled me under. She watched Del Amico die in a seedy motel room, lit up a cigarette and walked away with $50 and Del’s Mastercard. “Dear Diary: […]