Breach by Candace Nola, Narrated by Jessica McEvoy

Candace Nola’s Breach drags us along with Laraya Jamison into a disorienting and terrifying battle for survival in a world alien from our own. The gradual revelation of a world that feels as fantastic and dreamlike as it is sinister and dangerous is a thrilling adventure for readers/listeners, even as beleaguered Laraya struggles to learn the rules of this new world and means to find her way home.
A camping trip with her boyfriend and two closest friends descends into a violent and horrific disaster as a creature defying comprehension slaughters the others, forcing Laraya into an exhausting race for her life through a forest that transitions into something unfamiliar. Growing up in these woods, she knows she’s far from home, but Laraya has no idea how she arrived in this strange place or how to return to the world she knows.
Laraya’s journey of discovery through this new world is equal parts fantasy and horror. The true journey is of self-discovery as she learns of her connection to this realm and the extraordinary allies in her battle against monstrous beings who seek to destroy her or follow her through the breach and back to our world.
Jessica McEvoy’s narration brings Laraya to life, filling the character’s account of events with emotion that conveys the harrowing nature of her experiences.

Demophobia by Gerhard Jason Geick

As peculiar, violent, and perversely humorous as Demophobia happens to be–and it is all of those things–it is also a deeply sad story about survivor’s guilt and an insightful discourse on being an outsider.
Mr. Foicus is a Pus-Eater, or as he prefers, an Eiterfresser. A packed auditorium watches his multimedia lecture on the history of his kind, distorted and sanitized to elicit sympathy and hopefully engender less of a freakshow aspect to his existence. He’s one of the last of his kind, and he’s regretful of that. While he may be an inhuman, vicious monster, he suffers from the same melancholy any human might experience under similar circumstances.
All of this doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Foicus is still a monster, and it doesn’t take long before the story takes a violent and revolting turn when the Pus-Eater shows his true colors. Through the perspective of someone hoping to capture images amid the panicked crowd, we experience the dread of knowing that everyone should have left when things turned sideways. That’s the problem with a crowd, though; they feel safety in numbers, and if a large number of the individuals begin to relax, everyone else will go along with it, even if they think there’s something wrong.
I’ve never been more grateful for the fact that I loathe being in crowded spaces with large groups of people than when I imagined the carnage and wash of bodily fluids in the lecture hall.
Geick does an excellent job of building the reader up to a conclusion that feels both fitting and depressing.

This title was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com for October of 2021. You can obtain it for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Curse of the Ratman by Jay Wilburn

To set the stage for this story, the best I can think to suggest is that it’s a twisted abomination crafted by combining Willard (either the 1971 classic or the superior 2003 remake) with the Clive Barker story, “In the Hills, the Cities.” That doesn’t truly capture the sheer giant monster lunacy of what Wilburn’s created here, but it’ll whet the appetite and prepare the reader as best one can.
A family curse comes on with a vengeance, rampaging across the southeast, leaving a swath of devastation that can only be explained as a natural disaster. To call it an act of God would be to beg the question of what sort of God would allow such a monstrosity to exist.
The intense pacing of Wilburn’s tale propels us forward even as we want to turn back, knowing that nothing good can come of what he’s racing us toward.
If he’d written a novel, including more of the family history and details of the events in the distant past, I’d have gleefully settled in to read the whole thing. As captivating as the story gets, with the expanding threat thundering its way across the landscape, I would love to dive into the origins of the curse in greater detail. There’s a thoroughly fascinating story to be told, and maybe if we beg Wilburn enough–in the form of spreading the word of the Ratman–he’ll find himself compelled to share that part of the tale with us in similar detail.

This novella was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com and you can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app. The link is below:

Curse of the Ratman by Jay Wilburn