Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fantasy-Adult, Urban and Christian

The Ogre and Other Stories
William Levy
BlackWyrm, $11.95
ISBN: 9781613181034

This is an entertaining adult fantasy anthology in which William Levy sets the tone in his introduction with his comments on Julie “Catwoman” Newmar (as adolescent males wanted to make her purr and teen females envied her statuesque purrfect feline form).

In the “Dragon at Mackenzie’s farm”, Coleridge insists he is not a wizard to the investigating sheriff. Erv Largo is introduced to lovely Ms. Tessa and knows instantly by his bodily reactions she has sex “Appeal”; note that no bananas were hurt during this tale. Only eight years old, Lida is given the “Burden” to watch over her younger siblings in the hidey hole while a wizard and four fighters arrive to take her parents as prisoners to the king. If you have a queasy stomach you don’t want to know “What They Did To Me On My Summer Vacation.” The Martian Girl’s green body had male eyes (and other parts) bulging, Posey begins to rise from the third shift convenience store clerk position in “Out Of Space.” Finally there are the seven engaging Ogre entries to round out a fascinating short story collection. Harriet Klausner

Cocaine Zombies
Scott A Lerner
Camel Press, $13.95
ISBN: 9781603819039

In Urbana, Illinois Chloe and Thomas visits Sam the lawyer. Chloe explains her companion has been charged with class X felony of selling cocaine. She says in spite of the fact he did not sell drugs; if Thomas is convicted he will spend the rest of his life behind bars due to his criminal record.

Sam wonders what the relationship is between his client and the mysterious Chloe. Still he takes on the case, but almost immediately afterward he begins suffering nightmares in which people die; only to learn when awake the stars of his dreams indeed died. Sam asks his friend Bob to help him understand why he has these deadly visions when he sleeps. They learn about a German pharmaceutical company testing a highly addictive form of cocaine developed by the Nazis but lethally enhanced by herbs and voodoo. When his client’s head is found in his refrigerator, Sam expects the cops to suspect him of the murder forcing him with Bob at his side to confront the evil turning humanity into enslaved living zombies.

This is an exciting paranormal legal investigative thriller as a drug derivative and voodoo equate to Cocaine Zombies. The cast is sold though somewhat stereotypical as Chloe is a femme fatale while Sam is that law abiding good neighbor and Bob is a knowledgeable nerd. With a fun who do voodoo spin, fans will enjoy this taut twisted tale. Harriet Klausner

Dark Halo
Christopher Kokoski
BlackWyrm, $15.95
ISBN: 9781613181287

Thirtyish Landon Paddock closed his business and deserted his wife and teenage daughter. He moved back onto the family plantation in Southern Indiana and turns to drink to ignore what he fears he sees.

Two years later during a nasty storm, Landon sees unnatural things that he assumes came from too much alcohol until he sees a naked winged stranger outside his abode. Sneezing when he is nervous, Landon opens his door holding his rifle only he shoots at his fifteen year old daughter Katie; thankfully he jerked upward and missed her. She had a fight with her mom over her boyfriend Brian who took her to her dad. Big bruising Brian attacks Landon before turning to Katie who prays to Jesus; who Brian knows. Desperate he uses the rifle butt to temporarily stop Brian. Landon realizes the choices are the wings outside or the ogre inside; thus Father and daughter flee into the night with their only hope residing with his estranged family as evil stalks them.

This is a great action-packed Christian horror tale starring a besieged father and daughter struggling to survive against monsters hunting them. Landon is fully developed with little idiosyncrasies like sneezing when he bluffs in poker that make him complete while fans will feel Katie’s ire towards her dad every time she calls him Landon. Readers will relish this dark thriller as hell has come to Indiana. Harriet Klausner

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