Nat Whiston weaves us a tale of friendship, betrayal, lost love, witchcraft, and supernatural horror in her short but potent debut, What’s Eating You. As the author draws you through the expertly crafted twists and turns, you’ll only discover where the story’s headed when she leads you right up to the precipice, and you find yourself gazing into the depths of Hell itself. The moral of the story: Don’t betray a witch–and certainly don’t do it twice. But, if you insist on betraying her, make damn sure you understand the objectives she has in mind. There’s no way to say anything more without giving it all away, so you’ll just have to read this one for yourself. I trust that you’ll find yourself just as eager to see what the author has in store for us in the future.
This story was released on http://www.godless.com as part of the AntiChristmas event for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or downloading the Godless app. The link is below:
The novelization of Wishmaster verifies something for me that I’ve long suspected to be true. While I own it, and I’m able to enjoy it for what it is, I never cared for the 1997 movie altogether too much. It just felt all too cheesy and poorly put together, like it was building on the worst aspects of the Nightmare On Elm Street series. It wasn’t the story that was the problem–I now know for sure–because I thoroughly enjoyed this novelization based on the screenplay. From the tumultuous devastation in ancient Persia to the symmetrical horrors of the climax at Beaumont’s party, the descriptions from the narrative–and the visions elicited in my imagination–were far superior to what was executed on the screen under Robert Kurtzman’s direction. While the casting choices for the movie weren’t bad, Andrew Divoff being a particularly fantastic choice, most of the decisions seemed to be less focused on who would be right for the role and more aimed at drawing in a preexisting audience from other intellectual properties. The absence of performers who felt shoehorned into their roles also made for a better experience through the novelization. It was enjoyable, following along as an ancient evil was set loose in a modern city, a city unprepared for a creature of magic and malevolence like the djinn. Sean Duregger’s narration was excellent. He especially captured the demonic tone and texture of the djinn’s voice, both in its natural form and in the guise of Nathaniel Demerest. He had some pretty impressive shoes to fill, lending his voice work to a character originally played by Andrew Divoff, but he managed to pull it off successfully. Additionally, with a movie that had been narrated by Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man himself), Duregger was biting off a lot more than most would dare…but again, he did it, and he did it justice. There’s a reason he’s steadily become one of my favorite audiobook narrators.
You’re a 15-year-old boy living with a foster family when you awaken to the sounds of shattering glass followed by what can only be violence. This isn’t the first time your short life has been punctuated with instances of horrific bloodshed, and if you choose to join the band of peculiar killers reveling in the chaos they’ve created in what is your third home in only a third as many years, this most certainly will not be the last. Don’t worry, this isn’t a choose-your-own-adventure story, and this pivotal decision is taken out of your hands and placed in the skilled, albeit sadistic custody of Chandler Morrison. Entering the dizzying narrative of Until the Sun, you’ll be swept along currents of blood, strange drugs, and adolescent hormones until you find yourself standing dazed, in the sunlight of a new day, waiting for the ride to end. Morrison thoroughly captures that sense of being caught up in a life that feels entirely out of your control. This extends so far as to include the fact that, as a reader, you’ll see the final moments coming long before our protagonist does…and you’ll experience sensations that range from pity to heart-wrenching sympathy as you witness events unfolding. We’re forced to wonder–if we’re being honest with ourselves–whether we’d be any more capable of wresting control from those who steer us along the destructive path ahead of us if we’d experienced the same tragic and disorienting life of young Casanova. I suspect we’ll never know, and we should be grateful for the fact that the dreadful sequence of events befalling that young man could only happen in fiction. Morrison provides us with a vampire story that is both more and less than that. Until the Sun is a dark, twisted, and perverse coming-of-age tale that abruptly detours us through the worst possible paths to reach the conclusion. A conclusion, I might add, that is equal parts hilarious and cruel in both its predictability and subversion of what a reader might expect when first choosing the book. John Wayne Comunale’s narration is effective in bringing to life the characters who often feel like caricatures of people we might have known in our own lives, or maybe people we’ve been at different points in our lives. There probably isn’t a narrator who would have been better suited for this drug-fueled, bloody, and irreverent combination of various horror subgenres.
Robert Sinclair is a good kid who has a lot on his plate, but he pushes through it all and remains good-natured and hard-working. Working multiple jobs, struggling to remain afloat while caring for a mother suffering the end-stage of cancer, Robert doesn’t have much room in his life for anything else. While working a dead-end job at L-Mart, Robert has developed a friendship with an elderly gentleman, Josef Lazerowitz. A former theology professor in Poland, Mr. Lazer is burdened by an unbelievable history, plagued with unspeakable secrets that will soon become Robert’s burden to bear. Both of these men, Robert and Josef, are decent and sympathetic characters forced to experience their individual, horrific torments separated by more than half a century. In the end, what they’ll share is a terrible and shameful confidence that could destroy both of them and anything they hold dear. Daniel Volpe constructs a captivating, mysterious tale that’s so thick with atmosphere and depth that the reader can hardly keep from being immersed in the experiences brought to life on the page. His detailed exploration of Josef’s life in 1940s Poland is gripping and profoundly vivid, almost painfully so. The author’s unique portrait of the supernatural world and how it interacts with our own was fascinating. As the story delves into those things only near the latter half of the book, it still doesn’t feel like the reader is short-changed or left wanting. I can’t recommend this book enough, especially to those who enjoy a bit of historical fiction with their horror. I will suggest that one scene in this book troubled me, and it involves a bit of a spoiler, but I’ll do my best to dance around that by explaining a little bit about my own life, hopefully framing why I found it disturbing without telling you about the scene itself. I had a dog named Molly. She was a terrific, atypical chihuahua who was perpetually thrilled to meet new people. When she was seven years old, she was taken from me by cancer in her blood. That little girl died in my arms, in what I can only describe as a traumatic experience without going into detail. I now have a dog who is half golden retriever and half German shepherd and husky–funny enough, named Talia–who is two years old. She’s been with me since December of 2019. Fans of Volpe’s work might find that last bit to be a strangely serendipitous thing. Having a personal connection with both a golden retriever and a dog named Molly, there’s a particular scene that I found difficult.
I picked this title up as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com in October of 2021. You can obtain a copy for yourself by going to the website or downloading the app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a nostalgia-packed excursion into the life of adolescent girls in the 1980s. We meet Abby and Gretchen when the girls are in fourth grade, as Abby attempts to celebrate her birthday party at a roller-skating rink. Alone with her family, Abby fears no one will show up, but the strange new girl from school appears. What begins as an awful experience for the birthday girl develops into the best friendship either of them could hope for. We’re provided with snapshots of the friendship between these two girls throughout the narrative, the bulk of the story devoted to character development. The meat of the story picks up when the girls are in their Sophomore year of high school at the prestigious Albemarle private school. They’re near the top of the class, and they have bright futures ahead of them. That’s when everything changes. Abby finds herself helpless as she watches Gretchen changing into someone she no longer recognizes, and everything becomes a dizzying nightmare of lies and manipulation that she struggles to navigate while learning that there’s more going on than she can easily comprehend. As a story about friendship and coming-of-age, it’s pretty fantastic, really delving into what it means to be best friends from childhood. As a horror or thriller story, it falls well short of the mark. I have the same issue with this Hendrix novel as I had with The Final Girl Support Group, in that the story grows tedious before it truly begins to get to the point where anything is happening that propels the narrative forward. Much like that novel, when this story starts getting good, it gets great, but it takes an awfully long time getting there. There are points when it appears to be picking up speed, only to revert to a meandering, detail-filled exploration of Abby’s day-to-day life, and it was challenging to make it through those intervals. The narration provided by Emily Woo Zeller brings this story of youth and friendship to life in a way that it desperately required. Her performance of the various girls, notably Abby and Gretchen, was terrific. The voice provided for Christian (The Exorcist) was amusing and captured the absurd, muscle-bound character in such a way as to make him almost feel real. The audiobook edition of this novel made an otherwise unsatisfactory experience a much better one, and that is due entirely to the quality of the narration provided.
Oh dear me, Professor, dear me. I began Ejaculate of the Incubus with high expectations brought on by the, quite frankly, stellar performance during KillerCon 2021 of a separate, though no less graphic and revolting tale. As you can probably ascertain, I was most assuredly not disappointed. This lovely tale starts as an unnamed narrator meets with an old friend, Professor Roberts, for tea. Anticipating some minor transformation resulting from Roberts returning from his recent honeymoon, our narrator is taken aback by a far more startling and peculiar metamorphosis having taken place. A prim and proper, detached and naive gentleman no more, Roberts displays a wild-eyed intensity and disheveled condition as he begins to recount recent events. It was the honeymoon between Roberts and his bride, Lily, at an old monastery on the Sussex coast, that led them to discover a peculiar metallic object buried in the sand. Returning to their lodging, they caught a glimpse of a strangely proportioned man emerging from the surf, and they hurried to the security of human habitation. Upon inspection of their discovered object, Roberts discerned graphic depictions etched onto the surface that shocked his puritanical sensibilities. This is where the story truly blossoms into something altogether peculiar, blending eroticism and revulsion into a dizzying melange of fluids both human and infernal. The author, publishing under the nom de plume of The Professor, provides us with a deliciously vile story that lends sophisticated use of language and eloquence to acts of sexual depravity one typically finds when perusing the Urban Dictionary or Reddit forums. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. I knew to expect something magnificent from this author, and I was still blown away. The audio narration of the same work, provided by the author, is a fantastic experience that adds a different nuance and enjoyment to the experience. I’ll be eagerly awaiting any new material from The Professor.
This title is available as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com for October of 2021. You can obtain this for yourself by going to the website or downloading the app for your mobile device.The link is below:
Poisoning the Well begins with a short, shocking tale of Trevor Wolf defying authorities and braving a life-threatening storm to get home to his wife, only to receive a startling homecoming the reader shouldn’t see coming. With this auspicious start, Todd Love invites us on a journey through thirteen brief tales that will leave you wishing he’d given you more. Spiders deposit clutches of eggs in horrible places. Irish myths and legends are examined. The reader will experience equal parts nostalgia, amusement, and horror as Halloween of 1988 is brought to life in a way any child of the 80s will appreciate. And that is only a small sample of the stories you’ll have to look forward to. You will be satisfied. You will be entertained.
This title was released as part of the http://www.godless.com 31 Days of Godless event to celebrate October of 2021. You can snag it for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app on your mobile device. The link is below:
Donna Latham’s You Should Have Let Me In is a short flash fiction piece, so I’ll keep my review short as well. It starts with a knocking at the door and a sinister presence demanding entry, but it’s not the front door the stranger is seeking to access. Taking a page from I Know What You Did Last Summer, Latham provides her cruel, gruesome take on when an accident becomes something worse.
This short fiction title was only available by signing up for the D&T Publishing newsletter. You can do so by going to the following site, Since then, the title was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com for October of 2021. The link for that will be below as well:
Jason Hawks puts his career as a professional comedian on hold to return home to Cincinnati after learning his high school sweetheart, Andrea, stripping under the name Porcelain, publicly murdered multiple patrons before shooting herself. Reconnecting with old friends he similarly hadn’t spoken with in 12 years, Jason struggles to discover an explanation for the horrific act Andrea committed. Haunted by disjointed memories and terrifying hallucinations, Jason forces himself and two of his old friends to relive the events of the final night they’d all been together more than a decade before. Piecing together the pieces of what happened when six freshly graduated young adults had lost control and experienced something both carnal and terrifying, a mystery begins to unravel that threatens both sanity and the world as they know it. Nate Southard shares a compelling and disquieting tale with this title. Friendships are rekindled and snuffed out on the page as the author drags us through a tangled mess of erotica and supernatural horror that tiptoes the line separating us from unstoppable, madness-inducing cosmic horror. Fans of Stephen King’s IT will feel a certain sense of familiarity with this narrative of adults coming together and unhappily reliving a hardly self-aware sexual awakening they experienced at a much younger age. Unlike the uncomfortable scene described in King’s novel, in Porcelain, at least these characters were adults–though barely–when they intimately came together in a dark, terrifying place. More terrifying than anything else for me, the core horror of this story is derived from the loss of control. Propelled by an insatiable desire for gratification, characters fight to restrain themselves and to fend off the debasement as increasingly louder voices within are urging them to give in. The almost vampiric presence at the heart of the horror is unsettling in its ability to overwhelm the individual’s better judgment and will to fight. The corrupting nature of the evil as its influence appears to spread from the original location in the abandoned factory makes for a truly disturbing concept, executed superbly by Southard.
Nikki Noir has an exceptional talent for blending supernatural elements with splatterpunk sensibilities. If you haven’t read the Black Planet installments–or the collection of the first four–you are seriously missing out on a writer who is easily one of the best emerging voices of indie horror. If, however, you want to avoid diving into a series, you’re in luck. Nikki has several stand-alone short stories like this fantastic tale. Jen is still an outsider at school, even after spending a year in the new town where her family moved. One of her only friends is a young boy named Dale, a special boy from an unhappy home. Jen met Dale hanging out near the river, and she began telling him stories. One of those stories Jen shared concerns the Japanese myth of the Kappa. Dale internalized that particular myth and began playacting as a Kappa near the water. But Dale has been missing for a couple of weeks. Heading home after a party where she’d gotten into an unpleasant verbal exchange with one of the popular girls, Jen is startled and pleased to discover Dale hanging out on one of the rocks near the river. She attempts to take him home, but he resists, insistent on playing a Kappa. Leaving him with the cucumber she’d carried with her–the favorite treat of one of those supernatural creatures–Jen races off to bring attention to Dale’s presence near the river. From there, Cucumbers & Comforters becomes a barrage of sex, sexual violence, unraveling mysteries, sinister family drama, and myths seemingly come to life. There may be no amount of childlike security found in carrying cucumbers or hiding beneath comforters that will save Jen from the awful repercussions of the events set in motion the night of the party…but you’ll have to read the story to find out for yourself. If you’re in the mood to read about glowing orbs brutally extracted from human anuses, taboo sexual trysts, and murder, you are in the right place. This is a voyage Nikki Noir is the perfect host to guide you on.
You can obtain your own copy of Cucumbers & Comforters from http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on the mobile device of your choice. The link is below: