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Evil Runs
Evil Runs
Vince Milam | 2019 |
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
A French priest, a Texas sheriff, and a female CIA agent walk into a bar looking for Evil. Sounds like the start of a corny joke, but it's not. Evil Runs by Vince Milam is a religious thriller that takes these three on a trip around the world to destroy the evil that has disrupted their lives.

Still grieving the loss of his wife, Sheriff Cole Garza is now dealing with multiple homicides at a nursing home in his small Texas town. Leaving the scene, he sees a most peculiar man who appears to be running away from another man with a long gray ponytail who is just as peculiar. Looking into the eyes of the murder suspect, Cole sees something familiar, something he saw in the eyes of his wife's murderer. When Father Francois Domaine appears in Texas with orders from the Vatican, things begin to really get strange. They have a suspect in custody and are currently looking for his accomplice, Adal Moloch. He was the peculiar man seen leaving the crime scene, and the hunt is on. With the help of Nadine May, a CIA operative with unbelievable tracking and computer skills, they are able to follow Moloch wherever he goes. Will they find him and bring him to justice before more people are hurt?

This is a book for those who believe in a higher power, or for those that don't, you just might after reading this book. Adal Moloch is not your typical suspect. He is a demon sent to have his evil bidding done by anyone who is willing to follow him. Destroying him is going to take more than a bullet to the head, but also a faith that God is stronger than him with that faith you can destroy anything. We always wonder if faith is enough. Can our faith in God destroy the evil that is around us? Can we rise above the evil and do what is right? At first, I was a little skeptical about this book thinking it was going to get a bit paranormal, but it didn't which made me thoroughly enjoy it. This is the first book i a series and I can't wait to read what is next.
  
Set in an alternate season three, SINS OF THE FATHER features two interesting, although slightly competitive, plots. The first one has Pike (featured in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the comic, [b:Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Omnibus, Vol. 1|271365|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Vol. 1|Joss Whedon|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348752850s/271365.jpg|263081]) coming to town for Buffy's help with a stone demon, while the second deals with Giles and his past. Quite obviously, demons of all kinds are the theme of the book.

This is my first foray into the Buffy novels and I have to say it was a pretty good one to start with. The characterizations were well-done, most notably Willow and Xander (I could just hear their dialogue and see their expressions), with the exceptions of Cordy, who sounded like herself about half the time, and Giles, who just seemed off somehow. The plot moves well enough along and the action was well-written. I especially liked their new vampire equipment that you can't help but think, "Why didn't anyone come up with this before?" The banter was great and definitely had the feel of the show, it made me laugh quite a few times. The only thing I had a problem with was Buffy's indecision about Pike and Angel. While I get the part about Pike being a 'normal' guy who knows that she fights paranormal crime and isn't put off, but why does she have such strong feelings for him still? It's been two, two-and-a-half years since she even saw him, I just don't see it. Also, the 'impossible love' between Buffy and Angel was redundant. If anyone has ever seen the show (and how many are going to read the books if they aren't a fan?), they already know all the angsty melodrama on the subject. One remark on the subject was all we needed, not repeatedly using just about the same two phrases a million times. With those two quibbles said, this was an entertaining book that took me back to my favorite time of the show, the high school years.
  
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Alice (12 KP) rated The Iron Ghost in Books

Jul 3, 2018  
The Iron Ghost
The Iron Ghost
Jen Williams | 2015 | Fiction & Poetry
10
10.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
The Iron Ghost was the second of three in The Copper Cat trilogy and it brings back characters from the first book The Copper Promise in full force. This story follows the Blackfeather Three as they travel to a place called Skaldshollow to assist the Skald people in getting back a stolen artefact. As soon as they arrive things start to go wrong and The Blackfeather Three come face to face with trials and tribulations to rival their exploits in the first book.

Ice people, wyverns, crazy mad mages with a thirst for blood and a familiar yet hated demon child all abound and cause all sorts of trouble for Wydrin, Frith and Sebastian.

There’s a neat – if slightly unobvious – split between tenses in this book which was slightly off putting; for example it’d be one chapter in present day Skaldshollow and then the next would be set in the past usually with Sebastian at the Order Temple. It wasn’t bad only unclearly marked, but on the flip side the writing itself showed the tense changes really well.

As with the previous book everything that could go wrong went wrong but the plot line followed a set rhythm that deviated in the smallest of ways but also the biggest – by this I mean that the plot stayed on the same sort of course but then all of a sudden something that was unexpected was thrown in the works and it threw me for a loop.

Other than Bezcavar the new big bad in this book was a long dead mage by the name of Joah Lightbringer or Joah Demonsworn who is miraculously brought back to life by the help of BBezcavar(surprise surprise) so he can continue on in his great, albeit incredibly insane work.

There’s magic galore from Frith, Joah, the Skaldshollow, Bezcavar and even Sebastian! Something happened with Wydrin that I won’t spoil for any of you who haven’t read this book (I highly recommend it!) that completely threw me and made me keep reading until the early hours of the morning. I had a combined “What the hell JW” and “Oh thank you, thank you” moment.

I’m about 110 pages into the third and final installment. I had a heart crumbling moment when Jen told me that on Twitter but made up for it with a pre-order of her new book.
  
The Siege of Abythos
The Siege of Abythos
Phil Tucker | 2017 | Science Fiction/Fantasy
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
Poetry battle (2 more)
Poetry battle
Poetry battle
The third instalment in the Chronicles of the Black Gate series is the biggest yet, in terms of page count. The story follows the same PoV characters as previous books but their adventures are now covering so much more of the world and the storyline is becoming quite entangled.
Tharok's attempts to unite the orc-like kragh tribes and invade the human world continue, meanwhile Lady Iskra seeks to rescue her son and take revenge on the Ascendant's empire.
This book covers a lot more political debate and intrigue than the previous two, with prolonged discussion of who should be invaded, and what should be done thereafter. While this is very much a necessity in such an epic tale I felt it was somewhat laboured at times.
I very nearly gave up on this book at one point - where the portly magister Audsley (who has three demons lurking in his soul) was seeking to inveigle his way into the upper echelons of the empire, most of this storytelling centred around the colour of robes to wear, the type and colour of paper to use in sending letters and reciting poetry. Again this was very much laboured but bearable, until it looked like we were heading for what can only be described as a poetry battle, where Audsley (coached by one of his demons) was set to take on a senior government official's poetry representative in a battle of wits to see how would curry favour in the empire.


That's right: a poetry battle.
Think Philip Larkin in 8 Mile.
Will the real Slim Shakespeare please stand up.
Kanye Wordsworth.
NWA (Novelists with Assonance)


At this point I very nearly gave up. Thankfully, so did Audsley and the contest ended abruptly as he refused to let his demon take control of him. Phew. Disaster avoided. If this had been allowed to continue it would have made Tom Bombadil look like a critical plot point.


Other than Audsley's chapters (which in the previous book had been a highlight) the book does roll along at a reasonable pace and there is just about enough action to keep the interest, particularly in the last 100 or so pages.


All in all, a good read and a turning point for the series as a whole, but a lot of nonsense could have been removed, (Edgar Allan) Poe Shizzle.
  
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Ross (2440 KP) rated Smoke and Summons in Books

Mar 18, 2019 (Updated Mar 18, 2019)  
Smoke and Summons
Smoke and Summons
Charlie N. Holmberg | 2019 | Science Fiction/Fantasy
8
8.0 (3 Ratings)
Book Rating
Flintlock Tangled
It took me a while to realise, but this book is basically a re-telling of Tangled, the Rapunzel Disney film.
We have the young girl with magical powers who is held prisoner (though she has been trained to appreciate her captor's benevolence) by someone wanting to benefit from her powers. She meets a ne'er-do-well thief looking for that one last score before he can move and settle down. They travel together trying to find somewhere safe for her to go but are tracked down at all stops, until finally the male protagonist is persuaded to hand her in and reap the rewards, before the inevitable emotional rescue.
Rather than magical healing hair, however, Sandis has the ability to act as a vessel to demons, and is linked to a specific one (a fire horse). Her captor, Kazen, uses her abilities to bolster his gangster crew and lead the city's underworld. Upon sensing Kazen's desire to summon a more powerful demon (which is likely to kill her) she escapes and becomes embroiled with Rone, a young thief.
Together they try to track down a family member Sandis has become aware of, who may be able to help save her.
The story flows quite well, with enough strength in the main characters to engage the reader. Their travails, and Kazen's crew's neverending chase, are enjoyable and thrilling.
The narrative is good, swapping between Sandis' and Rone's perspectives and telling of their increasing tiredness and running out of options. At times, the author's American tone slips in (words like "Mom", "they were a ways from their lodgings" etc), which would normally be fine, I'm not that big of a snob, but it really comes at odds with the majority of the narrative and does stand out.
The setting is more early industrial revolution than more medieval, so there is the use of firearms to spice up the action.
A few times, events become a little hard to accept - quite how quickly and persistently Kazen's goons catch up with them, and how easily Rone manages to accomplish his rescue seem quite hard to believe.
Overall, the story is good and while the format of "lets go here, oh they've somehow found us again" becomes a little tiring, the book is short enough for this not to be too much of an issue.
  
Evil Dead II (1987)
Evil Dead II (1987)
1987 | Comedy, Horror
A Blood Fest
Contains spoilers, click to show
The Evil Dead II- is a great and fantasic sequel to the oringal movie. It is horrorfying, terrorfying, creepy, spooky, funny, chilling, thrilling and so much more. You got to thank Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. Those two togther are unstoppable.

Lets talk about the plot: The second of three films in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) once again battling horrifying demons at a secluded cabin in the woods. After discovering an audiotape left by a college professor that contains voices reading from the Book of the Dead, Ash's girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) becomes possessed by evil spirits that are awakened by the voices on the tape. Ash soon discovers there is no escaping the woods.

The movie opens with a brief (and altered/reimagined/truncated) recap of the first movie. Ash Williams and his girlfriend, Linda, take a romantic vacation to a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods. While in the cabin, Ash plays a tape of archaeologist Raymond Knowby, the cabin's previous inhabitant, reciting passages from the Book of the Dead, Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, which he has discovered during an archaeological dig. The recorded incantation unleashes an evil force (also known as the Kandarian Demon) that kills and later possesses Linda, turning her into a "deadite". Ash is then forced to decapitate his girlfriend with a shovel and bury her near the cabin.

The gore in this movie is overtop, so much blood and gore in this movie. This movie is were ash gets his chainsaw hand. Also Groovy.

I love this movie and the other movies as well.

Also Ash and his Oldsmobile land in the year 1300 AD. He is then confronted by a group of knights who initially mistake him for a deadite, but they are quickly distracted when a real one shows up. Ash blasts the harpy-like deadite with his shotgun and is hailed as a hero who has come to save the realm, at which point he breaks down and screams in anguish. Which sets up to Army of Darkness.

I would highly reccordmend watching this film and the others.



Lastly shout to @LeftSideCut for getting the hints/clues for this review correct.
  
The Skull Throne
The Skull Throne
Peter V. Brett | 2016 | Fiction & Poetry
9
8.0 (2 Ratings)
Book Rating
The fourth installment of Brett's impressive Demonwar books takes up exactly where the last book, The Daylight War, finished. With Jardir and Arlen last seen falling from a high cliff during a fight to the death, each side must manage without their Deliverer to battle the threat from the demons - and each other.

With Jardir gone, Inevera and Abban face a struggle for survival as his sons try to position themselves so they can take the Skull Throne and continue the daylight war against the Thesans seeking to unite all of mankind against the demon threat by force and subjugation.

Meanwhile the leaders of Hollow County are embroiled in political intrigue over the failure of the Duke of Angiers to produce an heir and questions about the rise of the Hollow as a power that could rival the Duke. Any actions by either side now could put the whole fate of the world at risk.

This is undoubtedly the best in the series to so far. All the characters and plot strands from the previous books are woven into a taut tale that drives forward with each page. Where previous installments have been mostly dialogue, this book moves neatly from one set piece to another, from battles against demons to assassination attempts stirred by old rivalries this books has it all.

Once again it is the characters that drive the book; without Brett's fine eye for detail the reader wouldn't care so much about the characters and it's a rare trick that the reader is able to support characters on both sides of the conflicts and arguments.

The momentum builds throughout to a final few chapters that are simply jaw dropping in terms of storyline, pace and scope. The next installment simply cannot come fast enough.

I'm also glad I read the UK hardback edition with the fantastic picture of Rojer looking very mean on the cover. From being my least favourite character he is definitely the stand out in this book.

Entirely recommended. It's a big book (the story ended on page 737) but well worth the read. However if you have not read the previous books in the series you will need to start at The Painted Man as previous knowledge of the characters and situations is assumed. But you will not regret it, Brett's world of demons is one of the best fantasy concepts out there.

Rated: Violent scenes and some sexual references
  
The Taking (Afterlife #2)
The Taking (Afterlife #2)
Katrina Cope | 2015 | Fiction & Poetry, Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult (YA)
9
9.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
After her actions at the end of the first book in the series - Fledgling - the human-turned-angel Aurora has drawn the unwelcome attention of Separus, one of the most powerful of the demons. He covets her power and is determined to capture her and turn her to the side of darkness.

Aware of this Archangel Michael, leader of the angels, assigns her and her friends to be further trained by Zacharias, a rather bad tempered 'earthbound' angel who is an expert in fighting and weapons. As their - at times brutal - training takes place the demons are plotting to capture the three angel friends by using the ultimate bait for Aurora - Ethan. Aurora will need to make a choice, and not an easy one.

The Taking continues more-or-less where Fledgling left off although there is a distinct change of tone. Whereas in the first book Aurora, Cindy and Ben are out and about in the world saving innocents, here they are in training for very much of the time. In other hands this might be a disappointment, but Cope has an eye for telling the interesting bits of stories and not labouring the mundane. It also helps that the training is somewhat unusual, as is the teacher. As the major new character Zacharias is very well drawn, suitably grumpy and terse at being given 'humans' to train, as he sees it.

When conflict with the demons arises Cope again shows the flair for describing fight scenes from the first book and these, as would be expected, are far more intense battles with much more at stake. These are not serene angels gently guiding their human charges through life. These are kick-ass super heroes who are not afraid to put themselves in the way of extreme danger for what they believe is right.

Aurora must also confront her feelings for both Ethan, her human love, and Ben her angel friend. Both relationships are forbidden and this just complicates things further. I suspect that this aspect of the books would appeal more to female young adult readers but they are well written even if you will probably be shouting at the book telling Aurora not to be so silly at points.

Overall a second strong showing in this series and very recommended. If the angel/demon theme doesn't sound like your cup of tea then just give it a go. You will be pleasantly surprised
  
Who Did You Tell?
Who Did You Tell?
Lesley Kara | 2020 | Mystery, Thriller
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
Compelling and engrossing
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of "The Rumour" comes another cracking story from Lesley Kara.

I was looking forward to reading this after having read and enjoyed Ms Kara's debut novel "The Rumour" and I certainly wasn't disappointed although this was sometimes a difficult read due to the main character, Astrid, being a recovering alcoholic with a chequered history.

Initially, Astrid was a difficult character to like but as the novel moved on, I found myself rooting for her to succeed against the inner voices in her head pulling her back towards the demon drink and although I am not an alcoholic, recovering or current, it does feel authentic. The way Ms Kara describes the impact addiction has not only on the person themselves but also on the family and wider relationships is well captured in this book.

Astrid is trying to rebuild her life - moving back to her childhood home to live with her mum, attending AA meetings, trying to rekindle her gift of painting, rebuilding the trust of her mum but she is full of shame and guilt regarding events she recalls from her past drinking days; events that only she and her ex-boyfriend know about or so she thought ... someone is watching her, someone is sending her notes, someone is going out of their way to try and prevent her from moving on.

The book is told mainly from Astrid's point of view with snippets included from the "stalker's" perspective. This, I think, was genius as it not only immersed me into Astrid's thought processes and daily struggles with addiction but also gave me an idea of what she was up against.

The story starts quite slowly but develops in intensity and pace with twists along the way and although you would think it would be heavy-going given the subject matter, it isn't as there are lighter moments sprinkled throughout. All of the characters are well developed and interesting and the setting of the small coastal town is perfect.

This is a compelling and engrossing read dealing with a difficult subject matter with sensitivity and one I would definitely recommend to readers who like to get their teeth into something a bit different.

Many thanks to RandomHouse UK, Transworld Publishers via NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest and unbiased review.
  
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156Reviews (7 KP) rated Extra Ordinary (2019) in Movies

May 1, 2020 (Updated May 1, 2020)  
Extra Ordinary (2019)
Extra Ordinary (2019)
2019 | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Ghosts, hell demons, possessed animals, sex, a car chase, people exploding, ware-wolves (Kind of), Extra Ordinary has it all. Is it some kind of Hollywood blockbuster staring Benedict Cumberbatch? No, it's a small independent Irish comedy staring little known actors, and Will Forte of course.

The film begins by introducing us to Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins), a very single driving instructor in a small town who has a “Talent”. She can talk to Ghosts. After the death of her father when she was a child, Rose no longer uses these talents though. She spends her days teaching the locals how to drive, and her evenings with no trousers on, eating microwavable meals for one and ignoring messages on her phone from people asking for supernatural help. That is until she gets a call from Martin Martin, who is being haunted by his dead ex-wife, and her journey back to the exorcism business begins.

What this film does best is keep the ordinary and the supernatural events very grounded. Instead of screaming angry spirits howling in the night they see messages like “You must pay ..... The car tax” or “Dog has worms”. The dead don't stick around to terrorise, they are here to make sure we're doing the recycling properly, or donating enough money to charity. Even Christian Winter (Will Forte) the satanist pop-star dubbed “One hit Winter” seems like an every-day man, doing the ironing and making cups of tea between sacrifices and demon summoning.

As the films big-bad, Will Forte does a decent job of keeping the film flowing, even if it is almost identical to his Last man on Earth performance. It's Rose and Martins relationship that really pulls the film forward. After Martins Daughter starts floating in mid-air, he reaches out to Rose for help. Directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman succeed in making Rose and Martins journey through the mysterious, humorous yet believable, a will they-won't they without the cheesiness.

Overall this is a very funny, well made film, not afraid to take the time from driving the plot to include some great, if possibly unnecessary scenes, Christian Winter's driving lesson is a particular highlight. Everybody involved has done an excellent job making a great film. It's absurd, it's funny, it's weird, it's well worth a watch.