Kherson by Regina Watts

Kherson is as poignant as it is painful to read, and it is a distressingly raw narrative. Regina Watts pulls no punches and provides the reader with no reprieve. The depths of human cruelty and depravity are on grim display without any consideration for the reader because that’s the point.
One Ukrainian woman’s search for food in a devastated city becomes a nightmare as a group of Russian soldiers decide that only Nazis would oppose them–and where Nazis are concerned, all bets are off.
Much like with her previous story, Cleared Away, Watts is showcasing the horrors of war that often get overlooked as body counts and large-scale atrocities steal our attention from the individual cruelties. Cultures around the world already victimize women under normal circumstances, but in war, anything goes.
The horrors in this story are all too common wherever there is war. If you think it’s something distant and perpetrated only by monsters from foreign lands, you’re missing a whole lot of what American forces did during World War II and Vietnam. Monstrous acts happen when people convince themselves that they’re the “good guys” no matter what they do. Of course, it doesn’t help that there are people who will eagerly place themselves in positions to be the “good guys” in situations like these.
What’s happening in this story isn’t unique to Ukraine, but it’s happening now, and that immediacy means we can do something about it. Regina Watts has graciously provided us with an opportunity to help, and buying a copy of Kherson–even if you don’t read it–will guarantee that money gets to outreach for the victims of the conflict.

The link to purchase Kherson is below:

Road of Bones by Christopher Golden, Narrated by Robert Fass

Christopher Golden has crafted a haunting tale about a treacherous stretch of Siberian roadway haunted by a gruesome and tragic past and perhaps haunted by altogether too present entities as well. It’s precisely this history of cruelty and careless disregard for human life, and the potential for something more, that inspired documentary filmmaker, Felix Teigland to drag his reluctant cameraman, John Prentiss, to this desolate arctic wasteland in the middle of winter.
Ostensibly hoping to tell the story of the people who live along the titular Road of Bones, Teig and Prentiss intend to follow the Kolyma Highway to its frigid terminus with the assistance of a local guide. Myth and superstition soon become more than passing curiosities, as the group’s survival depends on understanding the strange and terrifying forces that stalk them through the dark Siberian night. With temperatures that would kill them in mere minutes, a treacherous road of unforgiving ice and snow, and inconceivable shadowy beasts hunting them, the odds are high that none of them will make it through this journey alive.
Road of Bones is a chilling title that creeps into the bones of the reader/listener as effectively as the cold Siberian night. Golden challenges the reader to further investigate the Kolyma Highway. He dares the reader to delve into the horrific history of its manufacture with the tantalizing glimpses provided through the proxy of Teig and the other characters. The true story only serves to reinforce the unsettling sense of wrongness already building in the back of the reader’s mind.
Robert Fass provides spectacular narration that fully captures the accents and attitudes of the characters he brings to life within the narrative.