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Being an ardent Jane Austen enthusiast, I was nonplussed when the news hit the Internet about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, combining Jane Austen's classic novel with bone-crunching zombie mayhem! What? Did two genre's ever seem more incompatible? Even though it did not appeal to my genteel sensibilities, I was intrigued and thought it worth a look. The co-author Seth Grahame-Smith had taken about 85% of Austen's original text and interwoven a zombie subplot. I have to admit that the first line had me smiling. "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." What follows is quite a surprise. He has changed feisty Elizabeth Bennet and the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy into ninja warriors, ready to spar in the ball room as well as the battlefield against the sorry stricken who they delicately call unmentionables. It appears that anyone who is not a ninja warrior is a target for zombie destruction, so if there is a character from the original plot ripe for reproach, then it is sure to happen. Brains and gore abound, so the delicately minded take heed. If you enjoy a good ribald parody, the play between the original text and the new storyline is hysterical. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is sure to please those who live  to make sport for their neighbors, and laugh at them in their turn! Read my complete review at my literary blog Austenprose.

 

Cheers, Laurel Ann, Austenprose

Jekel Loves Hyde - Beth Fantaskey strikes again!

Status: Bookseller Picks

 

 

Jekel Loves Hyde is coming out in May! 

 

As soon as I finished the last page of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, I immediately rushed to the computer to look up Beth Fantaskey's other books. To my dismay, there were none. So when I came across the advance reading copy of Jekel Loves Hyde, I was delighted! It didn't let me down, either! 

 

Jekel Loves Hyde is a great love story with twists and turns and an ending as unpredictable as Fantaskey's first novel. It is also a murder mystery heavily enmeshed in the lore of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (although not a retelling). 

 

The funeral of Jill Jekel's father opens the novel and is the introduction to the character, Tristen Hyde, the dark, unusual student from England. He waits in the back of the cemetery until Jill is about to break down and then unexpectedly approaches her and lets her cry on his shoulder, tells her "It does get better, hurt less. Trust me, Jill," then leaves. 

 

The story resumes with the first day of school. Jill and Tristen go to school together and share a chemistry class. Jill's mother is not coping with her new life as a widow at all, and Tristen's father is distant and demanding. Both are good chemistry students and Jill recruits Tristen to help her win a chemistry scholarship. Don't be fooled by the innocent-sounding plot, however: it quickly turns ugly and gets complicated. I'm not telling any more of that though; you'll have to read it for yourself!

 

The story is dual-narrated by Jill and Tristen alternately, but is does nothing to alleviate the suspense. When one narrator leaves you on a cliff-hanger, you turn to the next chapter only to find that it's the other character and you have to wait! I read the book in one sitting and was dead to the world furiously turning pages until I finished (much to my family's dismay!). So for teens and older kids, it's a great book! For adults, it's a quick read but still definitely worth it so be sure to check it out this May!

 

Keep 'em coming, Beth Fantaskey!

 

Artfully recreating 19th century supernatural suspense, The Seance  offers a near total immersion into a haunted Bloomsbury world.

 

If my sister Alma had lived, I should never have begun the séances.” Constance Langton was only five when her life changed irrevocably. With the death of her younger sibling, the Langton household descended into a deep melancholy. To relieve her mother’s sorrow, Constance resorts to a common Victorian nostrum: spiritualism. That decision leads to more tragedy, plunging the young woman into a borderline world where apparitions, possession, and murder hover in the air. This evocative tale by the International Horror Guild Award-winning author of The Ghost Writer is a perfect fit for readers of G.R. James and Wilkie Collins.
Message Edited by Kevin on 02-19-2009 10:13 PM

Edgar Allan Poe

Status: Bookseller Picks

 

This year Edgar Allan Poe turned 200.  What better way to celebrate the author who truly started the Horror and Detective genres than by reading his tales and poems. 

 

 

These two collection are the top of The Eerie Coterie's List for Poe books.  The first is a brand new collection of some of his most famous tales and poems of the macabre, where the latter is the definitive collection of his entire work.  It is hefty so you may want to look into the Vintage Trade edition for your pocket and keep the larger volume at home to peruse.

 

Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe (1809-2009) and Happy Halloween to all.

 

 


Categories: horror, poetry, short stories

Mercy Thompson

Status: Bookseller Picks
It can be a little overwhelming when you go into a bookstore and you see tons of female writers circling around the paranormal romance/vampire & werewolf theme that has become an infestation of global proportions. There is Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, J.R. Ward, Lyndsay Sands and many others, but one author has made an impact with me over all others. Her name is Patricia Briggs and her Mercy Thompson series. Yes, she is a shapeshifter and there is a romantic touch to the first book ( I am new to the series and have only read the first, but I was sucked in.) Vampires, Fae and Werewolves dominate the scene, but it is in Mercy that we have our first "original" female character in the genre since Anita Blake. Mercy is part and is a mechanic. Guys will enjoy this book. Briggs has also written several Fantasy novels, too. Overall I think we have a writer who will entertain us for many books to come while staying fresh and interesting. Moon Called is book number 1 in (so far) a four book series. Lets hope we will see Mercy in dozens more. As of today the second in the Alpha and Omega series is out in Mass Market and the first graphic novel about Mercy herself has hit shelves - it is called Homecoming and is a prelude to the first book.

Devil in the Details

Status: Bookseller Picks

After reading his short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts, you understand that Joe Hill can write anything and make it believable.  And he should, since he is also Steven King’s son.  Horns, his second novel, is about the good and evil in all of us, about love and hate, about family and secrets, and about religion, philosophy, and revenge.  The story focuses on a poor soul named Ig, who wakes up after a morning of debauchery with demonic horns on his head.  They come with strange powers, and – like any gift of the devil – have consequences.  As Ig learns to use the horns he is turned toward investigating the murder of his true love, Merrin, for which he was the prime suspect.  You root for Ig, even as he becomes more demonic, and you loathe the villain, who is among the top creepiest you’ll ever read.  Horns is a great book, and Joe Hill is a major, major talent.

 

Horns 

 

Monster hunting anyone?

Status: Bookseller Picks

This book is not for the faint of heart.  It grabs you from page one and takes you into the dark journey of a young man who has lost his parents and is taken in by Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a monstromologist. 

 

Will Henry is trying to decide if he was blessed or cursed when the doctor took him in as an apprentice monster hunter.  When a strange visitor arrives at the doctor's home in the middle of the night bearing a horrible specimen, Will Henry's life will never be the same. 

 

The visitor has brought them a corpse of a young woman entwined with the body of an Anthropophagi.  This monster, thought to be extinct in this part of the world, eats through a gaping maw in its belly  filled with thousands of teeth.   The horror of this discovery can only be topped by the knowledge that where there are one of these monsters, there are many more and time is running out to stop them before they kill again.

 

This book is written in the spirt of H. P. Lovecraft.  The descriptive scenes kept me turning the pages as the gothic story developed into a full on adventure.  This book will appeal to anyone who loves a good horror novel, adventure or has a love for mythology.  It is dark, but oh so worth the read.  Learning this was a series was a wonderful surprise, and I will be counting the days till the next book comes out.  :smileyhappy:

Categories: horror, teens

Will you be the next contestant?

Status: Bookseller Picks

Contestants on a reality tv show are challenged to live and survive on a deserted and secluded island.......but they are not alone. Good characters and continuous action, and reaction make this a great and fun book to read. Will they survive, and if they do, will anyone believe their story?? Brian Keene does a fantastic job of telling this story, but leaving you guessing....what, and who will be next?

 

  

Categories: horror

New King Classic

Status: Bookseller Picks

 

Under the Dome looks daunting, clocking in at over one thousand pages, but let me assure you that it is well worth your time. Stephen King's newest book takes place in the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, which is suddenly surrounded by an impenetrable dome of mysterious origins. The rural town is suddenly the focus of the entire country, although no one from the outside can figure out what caused the dome, nor how to break it. The people of Chester's Mill are on their own, and we follow their stories as they try to unearth the truth about the dome as well as the truth about other townfolk.

 

As with most King novels, the supernatural element (in this case, the dome) serves as a catalyst for the plot and takes a backseat to the characters. The true horror in a King novel is not in the supernatural, but in the things that people are capable of doing to one another. This is the case in Under the Dome -- the characters you will come to know cause much more harm to one another out of panic and desperation, even a ruthless lust for power, than the dome itself actually does. You will find yourself fully involved with the motives and concerns of the residents of Chester's Mill while reading, because King has so thouroughly fleshed out all of them. There is also a fair amount of political allegory involved (Big Jim Rennie, the town selectman who attempts to take over the town, is clearly a Bush/Palin fan), but it's subtle enough that it doesn't distract from the story. I found myself hooked and finished the enormous book at record speed, anxious to find out whether the book would end with the destruction of the dome, or the destruction of the people trapped within it.

Hell House

Status: Bookseller Picks

 

A desolate, creepy house with many a tale to tell.  A group of "so called" experts in different fields of study try to interpret the fundamentals of parapsychology - a modern Ghost Hunters sort of group.  Yet inside the haunted Hell House is something entirely prepared for their intrusion.  This book was made into a very good movie of the same name and it continues to sell out and has become a cult classic.  Give this book a try by the author of I am Legend.  It also makes a great Halloween gift.

Categories: horror

Hearts In Atlantis

Status: Bookseller Picks

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The Enemy

Status: Bookseller Picks

 

The Enemy

  

 

 

This book reminded me of The Strain (where a strange disease starts affecting a large group of people) and Gone (where all of the adults in the world mysteriously disappear). In The Enemy, everyone over the age of 16 is diseased and zombie-like with a desire for fresh meat that leads them to attack children they encounter.

 

Around London, groups of resourceful kids are holed up in abandoned supermarkets trying to survive. They have to find food and always be on the look out for the scary grown ups as well as take care of all of the young kids left with them. While they are surviving, the ones in charge know that the grown ups are getting smarter, the food is running out, and they're losing more and more kids.

 

When an outsider turns up with Polaroids of Buckingham Palace, the kids decide to risk everything and head to what they're told is a safe place. The world is not a safe place anymore, though, and Arran and Maxie, the leaders of one of the groups aren't too sure what they're heading towards.

 

The book is gruesome at times and long. It's the type of book that could give a meek child nightmares, but it's not all about gore as Charlie Higson also raises a lot of moral questions that the kids must work through.

 

I definitely recommend this book! Enjoy! Don't eat while you read it, yuck!

Categories: ages 9-12, horror, teens
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Takes Your Breath Away

Status: Bookseller Picks

With less than a week away before its official release I wanted to give The Eerie Coterie readers a quick review of the new Dean Koontz novel - Breathless.  Over his long career Koontz has been genre-bending every novel; mixes of sci-fi, romance, adventure and suspense - with touches of humor.  In this latest thriller he does it again, but on a wider scale.  It reads like one of his thrill rides (Velocity, Intensity, The Good Guy) and yet is full of the literary surprises that came with is more robust tales (From the Corner of His Eye, One Door Away From Heaven).  Of course it features a canine character which is as much a trademark for Koontz as transvestites and bears are for John Irving.  Without giving more away than the jacket description, I believe his fans will devour this tale like all his others, and new readers to his work will fall in live with his writing style and his sense of humanity and humor.  I can't wait to see its release!!

 

The Eerie Coterie is a website devoted to Dean Koontz and The Nobody of The Coterie hopes you will visit us and take a look around.  The site will celebrate its 1 year anniversary and welcomes new readers.  The website is http://eerie-coterie.blogspot.com/

 

The Nobody

Categories: horror
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With Halloween only 10 days away you may want to curl up in the safety of your bed with a book.  Don't have time for anything too long - try a few short pieces by the King of Horror.  Just After Sunset, Skeleton Crew, Night Shift, Nightmares and Dreamscapes and Everything's Eventual  are his collections, but for The Eerie Coterie our two top choices are:

 

 

Skeleton Crew

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

 

These two books are full of the scariest and the strangest tales around.  My personal favorite in Skeleton Crew  is "The Raft" , "The Mist" and "The Reach" and in Nightmares and Dreamscapes there is "Chattery Teeth", "It Grows on You" and "Rainy Season".  That last one has to do with frogs falling from the sky.  HINT: Think "The Lottery".

 

Happy Halloween!

 

Categories: horror, short stories
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Absolutely Relentless

Status: Bookseller Picks

When you sit down with a brand new thriller, what is it you are most looking for?  Action, excitement, suspense, thrills and chills, fast paced storytelling?  Well, one author has been writing books like that for years and his latest is a jaunty thrill ride.  Dean Koontz set the standard for literate, runaway thrillers with intensity back in the '90s and then again over the last few years with roller coaster tales like: Velocity, The Husband and The Good Guy.  In May he released Relentless ( originally titled THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WOODS), another pageturner that causes your fingers to blister.  Not so much on the Horror side like many of his other tales, this book follows a novelist who meets the critic of all critics who wrote a bad review of his latest book.  From then on out it is non-stop, blockbuster movie writing.  As the title suggests, you will not be able to take it.  Relentless is a great read and will leave you wanting more from this gifted writer.  If you have never tried a Koontz book before, there is no better book to introduce you to his web of terror.  The Eerie Coterie give this a 4 Scythe Rating - Throat Slashed!

Categories: horror
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This strange little tale is a wonderful, creepy and adventurous way to spend a summer's day.  I found this book to be just perfect for anyone who loves horror, thriller or fantasy tales. It is totally original with a truly nifty main character.  To tell anymore would give away to much.  Just try it out and see. Hopefully this author will stick around and give us more in the future.   

 

Categories: horror
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The Strain- Not Your Typical Vampire Story

Status: Bookseller Picks

A person can't go five feet without running into something vampire-related these days. From Twilight to True Blood, it seems as though the genre is covered. Well, that is where The Strain by Del Toro and Hogan comes in. The story is laid out for the reader slowly, as it all takes place in just a few days, but it reads quickly and I found myself nervously anticipating what would happen next. This is not for the faint at heart as some of the descriptions are quite gory and disgusting. Even though this is the first in what will be a short series, The Strain reads well on its own, but I would recommend reading it with an open mind as some things are not how they often are (without saying too much and ruining anything) in other vampire stories.

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