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Ty Arthur – Empty Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Hansen is a junior level engineer working alone on the lower decks of the salvage vessel Penrose. He’s not bothered by his solitude as he works to keep the ship in working order, but his routine has become mundane. On one of his daily inspections he finds a strange red orb in the ventilation system. Before he can retrieve the object for further inspection is disappears and Hansen returns to his duties. His boss chief technical officer Planck has requested him in his office. Suspicious and worried about the request, due to his sometimes lack luster work, Hansen makes his way quickly to the upper decks. Planck has informed Hansen that the research vessel Thorne has been found in orbit and apparently void of its crew.

Hansen has been reassigned to explore and take inventory on board Thorne. This being a salvage mission Hansen is as excited as he is apprehensive. The chief technical officer has deemed him the last man capable of this task which leaves him feeling a bit suspicious but Hansen is happy to have a work order with some excitement but wonders what his boss is up to. Exploring a vessel as ancient and rare as the Thorne is an opportunity not to be missed. This ship is a relic compared to the Penrose. Hansen finds himself aboard the Thorne and all seems in order until he catches a glimpse of another strange red object. That isn’t all that is strange as Hansen feels the Thorne detaching from the Penrose. Now his earlier suspicion has returned full force as he wonders if his latest work order was meant to be his last.

Ty Arthur has an excellent way of writing and filling our heads with all the sci-fi elements of a classic space adventure. From the technology to the dangers of space travel and exploration. You feel the desperate feelings quickly as Hansen scrambles for safety. As he learns what the mystery organism is his desperation rises. When he figures out the organisms plans for the crew of the Penrose it’s game over. While Empty is very short and a quick read it has a great beginning, build up and ending that left me wanting more.

Book Info

Length:  80 Pages

Publisher:  Mirror Matter Press

Release date:  January 12, 2016

To Purchase Empty Click Here

There are terrors still waiting to be discovered in the vast emptiness of space. After millennia of travel through the void, man has convinced himself he is master of the stars. Down-on-his-luck, stuck performing punishment duty in the lower levels of the Penrose, Junior Engineer 3rd Class Hansen wants nothing more than to see the wreckage of a newly discovered ship dating back to man’s earliest deep space explorations. The engineer is about to get his wish, and in the process come face-to-face with a long-dormant horror waiting patiently for the perfect vessel. What he’ll uncover in the darkness will threaten to consume him, body and soul.

J.R. Hamantaschen – With a Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clearer Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Dying early to escape the pain of death, a pain that will last the eternity of life. A stranger that tells you that you have a choice, go now and escape pain or live long and fell it all. This is the first story in the collection. A series of stories that explore the strange voice in your head, the thoughts that swirl just below the surface. The thoughts that are thought but not talked about. Ideas presented in a way that cannot be ignored, topics that are present but left unsaid. A Related Corollary is about the existence of each of us separate from everyone we are in contact with. The way our surroundings should have a positive effect on us, but for some people there is no impact. The way we all swim in the same fishbowl and are alone on our journey through life.

The Gulf of Responsibility tells us a story about Alex, a social worker, who has by all accounts a pretty good life. A job, place to live and a girlfriend who loves him. What else could he want? The story tackles the need to do more, be more and accomplish more. Alex tries to go beyond what is required in his job and discovers that the responsibility cost more than he can pay. He is all of us trying to do the best and the world just wants us to play by other rules.

With a Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clear contains stories that teeter on the edge of the void. Death hiding in the shadows and writing that stretches the confines of your brain’s ability to understand. The characters are so deeply explored and fleshed out they felt as if I’d met them before. The stories are told with a voice I haven’t heard yet found fascinating. Soon Enough this will essentially be a true story was truly frightening. Karen is a book reviewer and wins a book on Goodreads. After a reading a chapter she decides she doesn’t like the book and decides to skip writing her review. At this point all hell breaks loose when the author learns of her quick disregard for his work. The author is unstable to say the least and wreaks havoc on her life. As I write this review I find this story creeping back to life in my mind.

With a Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clearer further explores themes of death, our small and uncertain place in the universe and how close we all are to no longer existing under the right circumstances. The pain of everyday life just waiting to crush us. J.R. Hamantaschen writes in a way that feels free-flowing with his thoughts falling onto the page. The thoughts a person has but does not discuss, being alone in a room full of people or wondering how something can be disappointing when should be joyful. This book is filled with many horrors and some pretty deep and disturbing stories. It may not be for everyone, as any book may or may not, but I found it intriguing and enjoyable.

Book Info

Length:  288 Pages

Publisher:  West Pigeon Press

Release date:  October 1, 2015

To Purchase Click Here

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, You Shall Never Know Security, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

Dominic Stabile – Stone Work Review

Review copy provided as part of the Stone Work blog tour.

Stone is a hired hand, a mercenary, and his only concern is ‘who do I kill and how much do I get’. He couldn’t care less about the people who hire him and even less about who is target is. In the first of the three stories, Stone is on what I imagine is just another ‘day at the office’. It’s not long before things go from smooth, and “hey I just made a bunch of cash doing as little as possible” to a job from hell, literally. He is suddenly in the middle of a mess and learns that ‘performance enhancers’ have a dangerous side effect. Anyone taking the juice has to keep taking it at regular intervals. If not taken the person will become a raging flesh-eating machine with strength far beyond a regular roid head. Without giving away too much of the details, I will say I love this idea and find it completely original. I love a good drug, medication or vaccine gone wrong, there are so many directions this scenario can go.

Now Stone is stuck with a store full of monsters who need a pound of flesh. The crazy way the men have transformed as described by Dominic is unbelievable and must come from a hell of an imagination. Dominic fills in the world around our characters and it’s a future gone wrong and far from a utopia. The citizens are safely living behind a wall and kept safe from the waste land on the other side. This is another setting I love, end of the world, the breakdown of society or an apocalypse. Stone work checks all the boxes, it has a thrilling story with a pace that’s frantic and Stone is a great character.

In the second story Stone is met with crazy mutations and monsters. He’s been told of the conspiracy theories surrounding this place. Stone isn’t having any of it until he sees it for himself, and see it he does! Stone finds one of the men who was sent before him and learns the mission is a ploy. The building was built on a dimensional fault line, basically a thin spot between worlds. The idea of thin spots between worlds is a premise I’ve read before, The Mist comes to mind, and the creatures that inhabit this story are just as excellent. Dominic puts the story together in quick measure, building an excellent mystery with high tension while racing towards the finish. The story concludes with a great ending and twist that iss fun.

Godless City is Stone’s last adventure and his job is no less risky. A guy named Keagan wants to hire Stone and tells him he has proof that the gods they worship are not gods at all, at least not in the traditional sense. In this future world what people considered a god is funny and an interesting comment on our current society. Keagan has stolen a book from the mayor, a book that has all the proof he needs to convince anyone the gods are not real. Again, Stone’s job is never as simple as it should be. The technology in Stone work is fun and just plain cool. This is why I love sci-fi and wish I read it more. Godless City feels like I was dropped off in the world of Blade Runner. The darkness and futuristic feel are so visible from the great way Dominic describes the scenes. This is one of my favorite books this year, easily on my top 10 list. Stone is a great character with a wicked sense of humor, I hope he surfaces in another book!

Rating 5/5

Book Info

Length:  120 pages

Publisher:  Mirror Matter Press

Release date:  June 15, 2016

To Purchase Stone Work Click Here

City stands in the irradiated dunes of America, nearly two centuries after the Final War. The wall surrounding it is a buffer for the wasteland inhabitants who covet entrance, and a trap for the citizens smothering in its polluted air and drowning in its blood-filled streets.

Stone is a criminal for hire. Robbed of his loved ones and scarred almost beyond recognition, he navigates City’s darkest corners, doing some of its darkest deeds. In this collection, he’ll pursue an elusive thief, bent on raising an army of juiced up mutants. He’ll break into the office building of a mysterious corporation, only to find the executives are less into sending faxes and more into performing hexes.

In the final chapter, he’ll track a man through the Alleys of South City with the help of his tech savvy partner, Megan, and together they’ll face the sentient darkness of City’s deepest underbelly, and confront the violent potential of City’s most dangerous cults.

Part Blade Runner. Part Sin City. Stone Work is an action-packed ride through the rain-slicked streets of a dark, unforgiving urban landscape, rife with sadistic criminals, inter-dimensional abominations, and a creeping darkness that seeks to erase the last, now almost mythical traces of human goodness left in a world always teetering over the edge of its own extinction.

Praise-

“With Whiskey for Breakfast, Dominic Stabile provides a page turning mystery that kept me guessing as to who the real killers might be.” – Brenda Casto, Readersfavorite.com

Dominic Stabile, Biography-

Dominic Stabile’s short fiction has appeared in Fossil Lake III: Unicornado!, Sanitarium Magazine, The Horror Zine, Atticus Review, Far Horizons, and has been adapted as a radio play by Manor House Productions. He has held jobs as a warehouse worker, cashier, bookstore associate, textbook manager, and carpenter. He’s a born southerner, transplanted to Penobscot, Maine by a desperate desire to escape retail work. When not writing or reading, he enjoys horror, sci-fi, and noir films, westerns, and bourbon.

Read his blogs on all things horror at dominicstabile.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Watch for more links to come!

Want to Feature Dominic Stabile?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Dominic Stabile, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Marketing and Publicity at Mirror Matter Press and Hook of a Book Media: hookofabook@hotmail.com.

 

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