Friday, February 18, 2022

A Story With Bite

The Cursed Creatures

As I mentioned in my review of, The Cursed Caves (The Tales of Tupuqa), I was attracted to this series as it’s built on the ensuing mayhem that follows the recovery of hibernating specimens – belonging to an unknown species of animal – from a cave on an out-of-the-way Polynesian island. Not realizing what they’ve uncovered, those scientists pack their find away on a ship and make for the USA . . . only to discover to their cost those specimens aren’t as dormant as they think. By the time they make landfall, all hell as broken lose, as the blurb to this follow-up story, The Cursed Creatures reveals:


The second busiest port in the world is a battlefield. National guardsman, Billy Swift and his squad are caught between evil creature’s killing all before them, and a black ops team who will try and cover the whole thing up at all costs. Dr Laura Rollins survived the crash, but can she assemble a group capable of destroying the species that she had longed to research?
The journey back to finish things at the caves of Tupuqa will be hell.
A dejected military man seeks retribution.
A scientist seeks redemption.
The caves have the answers.
The caves call to them.


So, what happens this time out?

A similar blend of fast paced chaos and head spinning, think on your feet, Hail Mary maneuvers that see our ever dwindling band of survivors deciding anywhere would be safer than Long Beach Port and its environs. That’s what!

Along the way, we meet new characters – Some friendly, some downright sinister and obviously working to a secret agenda – Say goodbye to most of them fairly quickly. (This IS a gorefest after all). And follow along as the luckiest members of our shrinking cast make it to a seaworthy pleasure cruiser. Their intention?  To end this disaster movie in the making once and for all.

But to do that, they’ll have to make their way to where our story began. And who knows what terrors still lurk within the caves?

What could possibly go wrong?

You’ll find out, in a line-em-up and shoot-em-down extravaganza that is as fun to read as it is oh so refreshingly in-your-face. As the title says, we are dealing with cursed creatures after all.

Goodreads Review

Saturday, February 12, 2022

 A 'Full Marks' Review For. . .

The Devil’s Mark

Like most of us, I’m inundated with adverts, filled with suggestions as to what I might like to read next. I don’t usually pay attention to them, as I have a pretty defined ‘go to’ source that never fails.

Saying that, the moment I saw the cover of, The Devil’s Mark, a crossover novel by Tony Acree and Lynn Tincher, I took a second look.

And then I read the blurb:


Homicide Detective Paige Aldridge has caught her fair share of killers. Yet she knows the Devil's Mark Killer is something different. Each victim has the mark of the Devil carved into their skin. Using her powers as a Reader, she searches the Collective Conscious searching for anyone thinking about the Devil's mark.

And she finds someone. Through their eyes, she sees they are over the body of a woman with the same mark carved into her chest. She sends the thought for the killer to look at his license and he does. She has her suspect - Victor McCain.

In this thrilling crossover novel featuring Lynn Tincher's Paige Aldridge and Tony Acree's Victor McCain, demons are on the loose and the bodies are piling up as an ancient evil seeks revenge on those who imprisoned him, as well as an unknown player who wants to destroy both Paige and Victor.


Those of you who follow my blog know I’m an avid fan of sci-fi & fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal and good quality horror. On those occasions I do stray from that niche, I’m drawn to crime thrillers. (Think Clancy/Grisham, etc, and you’ll be on the right track).

Imagine my delight, then, when I read the blurb above, as it seemed to incorporate all the elements I would like. . .

And I wasn’t wrong!

No spoilers here, but what you get is a riotous, supernatural murder-mystery-whodunit, with just the right amount of (pull my finger) humor sprinkled in amongst the action. And there’s action aplenty in this saga of Good v Evil. Even better, the battle’s not as straight forward as you think it would be. There are fallen angels plotting foul deeds; demons running rampant; warriors of light wielding holy sword; mind-bending paranormal practitioners abusing decent, everyday folk; biker gangs ready to shoot anything that moves; and don’t forget the wayward band of religious zealots, hell-bent on making an already difficult situation nigh on impossible to deal with. You see? It’s all great fun.

And what I reeeally enjoyed about it?

Along with relatable characters, an engaging dialogue, and plenty of well paced action, The Devil’s Mark was built on the foundations of a firm plotline that – while giving you clues along the way – didn’t devalue the story by making it blatantly obvious as to who was responsible for what outrage . . . until it was time for the appropriate reveal, that is.

A definite ‘plus-mark’ there.
(And if Acree and Tincher incorporate this quality into all their novels, then I’m just gonna have to check out more about
Victor McCain and Paige Aldridge, aren’t I?)

So, if you like your tales fiendishly fearsome and foul, this is one to add to your list.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

 Read My Bedeviling Review of. . .

The Cursed Caves

I was drawn to Adam Hulse’s, The Cursed Caves (The Tales of Tupuqa), as the premise centers on researchers unearthing a new – or possibly long extinct – species of animal in the caves of an isolated Polynesian island, Tupuqa. To me, it offered a refreshing change from the usual vampire/werewolf theme you find so often saturates the horror genre. And Hulse plays to that difference rather well, because, what would any scientist making such a discovery want to do?

Why, take them out and examine them of course. And THAT’s where the fun begins, as the blurb so succinctly reveals:


Dr Laura Rollins is a leading Taxonomist brought to the island of Tupuqa after an exciting new species is found hibernating in recently exposed caves. The research team’s objective seems straightforward - travel by sea with the new species to America, where specialist laboratories await. Unaware that their cargo is the product of an ancient curse, the crew are trapped aboard the ship with creatures that rapidly breed and evolve.
Long Beach port doesn’t know what’s about to hit it…


As you’ll find, nothing is straightforward about that journey back. And I have to say, it was rather fun.

Now, I’m never one to give away the plot with spoilers. But what I will say is that The Cursed Caves is a rather imaginative, well put together story that mixes science, ancient banes, mythology, and misadventure into a roister-doister tale of mishap and misery for all those concerned. It’s as character driven as it is jet propelled. And though the action is relentless, Hulse manages to keep the momentum going without the narrative becoming tedious or exhausting. In fact, it’s exhilarating, because Hulse takes a leaf out of George R. R. Martin’s book, and doesn’t insist on a happy ending. In fact, he’s rather cavalier about who lives and who becomes a mushy pile of blood and guts.

Gloriously visceral stuff. You’ll see.
(And I can’t wait to take a bite out of the next story)

Amazon Review

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