Witch Hunter: Into the Outside

Richard Fletcher is the kind of guy who you probably don’t notice if you see him. He is overweight, unpopular with girls and mostly keeps to himself. For entertainment he joined a group of witch hunters but he didn’t believe that witches or black magic was real. Then one night Richard is contacted to take a reporter and cameraman out on a witch hunt and his whole life changes.

Richard was ready to put on a show for the news crew but finds out that everything he thought was a hoax was real. Now not only does he have to save himself, he has to save the reporter and cameraman along with stopping an evil, ancient witch from preying on innocent victims.  Richard has to rely on spells and rituals that he thought were fake and find the inner strength that he didn’t know he had to survive the night.

I can’t say enough good things about Witch Hunter Into The Outside by J.Z. Foster.  The author paints a vivid picture the way he describes the settings such as the witch’s house and the forest surrounding it.  I also liked that he talks about supernatural creatures that I’ve never heard of before such as a mob of sankai and a wight. The fact that I had to look up what these creatures were shows me that J.Z. was trying to keep things original. One of my favorite scenes was when we meet the wight in a dark basement, after the perfect creepy setup we find the wight to be pretty funny, this story is full of surprises.

The best part of the book has to be Richard, he is a self-proclaimed looser and everyone treats him that way. He doesn’t see himself as a hero and doesn’t want to be one. He’s just a guy doing what he feels he has to do. I loved that the two people he was with were his exact opposites making him even more uncomfortable in the face of danger. Ted the cameraman is the athletic type with a bad temper and Beth is a beautiful reporter who is looking for her big break. In the beginning Richard tries to impress them and shows his awkwardness by how he talks and the way he holds himself. You constantly see him get put down which makes him someone you have to root for. The relationship between the three changes throughout the book. Even as Richard proves himself it doesn’t change their feelings towards him or his own feelings towards himself.  In one scene that describes Richard well he thinks how he prefers the black and white world of fantasy over the real world with all of its confusing angels.

Witch Hunter Into The Outside is the type of book that shows you how good a horror novel can be. It has great characters, a few good laughs and plenty of scares and suspense. The story is deceptively simple but the relationship between the three main characters along with the witch and his minions are complex. My first thought on the witch was that somehow it was a hoax and he wasn’t very strong. Though little by little you see that isn’t true. This is one of those type of books where the characters are so interesting that the story doesn’t matter. I’m hoping this is the first book in a series because I would love to see these characters again.



Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device

Dead Jack is a zombie private Investigator hooked on fairy dust. He lives in a world called Pandemonium where mythological creatures are real and there are very few humans. You thought your life was hard? Well Dead Jack has it harder, he’s been dead for seventy years and he has to deal with Vampires, Demons, Fairies, Witches and anything else you can imagine.   Pandemonium is a cross between New York City and Hell and anything goes there.

Working as a P.I. Jack has seen it all but he is about to walk into his biggest case yet. Along with his partner, a homunculus named Oswald, he is hired by the Goblin Queen to retrieve the goblin’s missing cats. Sounds simple enough but that mystery leads to another problem. The Duke of Pandemonium has the cats and he is planning to use them to destroy Pandemonium and escape into our world. It’s up to Jack and Oswald to go up against a group of supernatural villains to save their world.

When I look for a book to read I usually like something that mixes horror, comedy and has a mythology  to it. Dead Jack And The Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone has all of that and a  story that feels like a comic book story. That’s a compliment by the way,  this book is a lot of fun. It starts off with Jack having a fight with some mad Leprechauns which leads to a car chase, leading to a conflict on a ghost pirate ship, a battle with a vicious kraken and  a run in with a horny shark woman. As you can see there is never a dull moment in the world of Pandemonium.

When I was first getting into this book my thought was it’s funny and creative but are we going to get a story? The answer is yes, the main focus of the book seems to be to thrill the reader and make them laugh but there is also a story that has great depth. Little by little we find out what Pandemonium really is and how the inhabitants got there. We also get hints as to why Jack is where he is and what he was in our world. I also loved hearing the Duke of Pandemonium’s story, he may be insane but you almost have to feel sorry for him.. This book is written like its setting up an ongoing series and we get hints as to what future stories will have in store. A second book is due out in the near future.

If you have a love for old pulp fiction or how stories are told within a comic book series then give Dead Jack And The Pandemonium Device a try. There is also some great art included and how the story is told paints a vivid picture in your head. Most of all though this book is a wickedly funny thrill ride in a land full of surprises.



Esteemed Vampire Cat (Colt Harper #1)

Colt Harper is a rare breed. He’s a monster, but not just any monster, he’s a vampire cat and the last of his kind. Colt has an attitude problem, he doesn’t like humans and he may kill you for the simple act of petting him the wrong way. It’s illegal for a monster to hurt a human and when they do they get sentenced to community service. In Colt’s case he is being forced to work in a run down community theater with an anxiety ridden werewolf and a tickle monster. To make matters worse Colt is starting to have feelings for the woman in charge of the theater.

Why would a vampire cat suddenly be falling in love with a dirty disgusting human, it makes no sense. Things at the theater get even more complicated as Colt and the other monsters find out that they are being stalked by monster hunters called chasers. Can the monsters keep from killing and getting into more trouble? Can they keep the theater owner safe? Will they ever get to perform their play? These are just a few of the questions that you will have answered in Colt Harper Esteemed Vampire Cat by Tryolin Puxty.

If you ever wondered what a book would be like written from a cat’s point of view, then look no further. Colt Harper Esteemed Vampire Cat is a comedy with supernatural elements told from Colt’s point of view. If you’re a cat person you will enjoy this book because Colt talks and acts exactly like you would expect a cat to talk and act, if a cat could talk. While the story does seem a little thin, there are a lot of funny moments in this book and the characters in it are a lot of fun.

This is a fast paced read with a lot of ridiculous moments. I got the feeling that the author wrote this book specifically to make herself laugh and hopefully her audience too. Some of the funnier parts include Colt biting into a fat human and then thinking because he was fat he will have to walk him off later. In another scene Colt goes on a tirade about the ridiculousness of the tv show Lost which was pretty funny. This is the kind of book you buy if you are just looking for a fun read and you don’t want to think too much and since I love a good comedy I enjoyed it.



Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service

31426392Witches, vampires, ghosts, trolls, they all may be monsters but just like humans they need love. That’s where Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service comes in. The famous mystic Rasputin didn’t die in 1916 like everyone thought. He came to America and decided the best way to keep monsters from eating people was by getting them dates. He now goes by the name “Love Machine” and his biggest problem is weeding out the wannabe monsters that just want to date monsters from the real monsters looking for love.

So he had to hire a team of certifiers, one of them is Eli and he has a gift for figuring out who the real monsters are. While meeting with a client, Eli is given an ancient tablet that has the power to kill all supernatural creatures. Eli soon becomes the target of a powerful witch who wants the tablet to destroy all monsters. It’s up to Eli, the witch’s ex-girlfriend, Rasputin and a supernatural policing Agency to stop  monsters from being exterminated and get back to finding them love.

Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service by David D. Hammons is a supernatural comedy that shows monsters in a way that you have never seen them before. From the opening scenes where a woman tries to pass herself off as a vampire and Eli knows she isn’t because vampires are so polite, you know this isn’t your average paranormal romance. We then get into how Eli became an employee of the dating service by not running in terror from screaming ghosts, blood running up a wall and convincing a lizard man he wouldn’t taste good on a pizza.  From the first couple of chapters you know this book is something special and it’s filled with laugh out loud moments.

I loved the character of Rasputin, he’s just a cool guy looking to make the world a better place by getting everyone laid. In Rasputin’s first scene we see him having a hot tub party with a group of United Nations delegates. He then starts a game of kick ball where the winning team gets a seat on the security council. Anything goes here, from a mystic kept alive because love won’t let him die to a troll in a Japanese girl school outfit to a group of orcs who go to a church run by a poisonous snake. The wide variety of monsters and the back story for how monsters exist in a world full of humans is what makes this book so good. I also liked the character of Eli who thinks of himself as nothing special but shows he has a talent for making others happy.

I really liked Rasputin’s Supernatural Dating Service and I hope the author decides to do a lot more in the universe he created. While I felt the story was a little weak, it didn’t really matter. The characters were so good and the book was so funny that it didn’t need a good story, in fact it would have been better without it. I would have liked to have heard more stories about dating monsters from Eli’s point of view and gotten more into Eli’s love life. If anything I felt the monster apocalypse story line took  a little bit away from what is overall a good horror romantic comedy. I’m hoping David D. Hammons next book is just about the love lives of supernatural creatures, because that in itsself is a great story.



The Professional Freelancer

22430171Sometimes life doesn’t go your way and you have to try something new. The Professional Freelancer by Rory Scherer is a book about one man’s adventure in working odd jobs. This is not your normal book, it’s all told from the narrator’s point of view and its a pretty quick read.

The narrator(Real name is never given) is a normal guy that seems to run into a lot of bad luck. Like most people he doesn’t like most of the jobs he works, he finds them mundane and soul sucking and he can’t seem to hold on to them. When the company he works for goes belly up due to the CEO engaging in illegal activity, he finds himself unemployed again. With no prospects and a girlfriend who just dumped him, he takes his friend’s advice and goes into business for himself. From there its one adventure after another. He works at an old folks home, solves a mystery, helps someone cheat at poker, upsets the Korean mafia and then it gets even worse. The most bizarre thing is that everything is connected.

I find books like The Professional Freelancer to be entertaining.  This book has comedy, action and a good story told by a character who is likable and easy to relate to. You can’t get any more average then the narrator is and I found myself rooting for him to find happiness and get a good job. I also loved the pop culture references in the story and the humorous observations on everyone that the narrator has. On the surface he seems like a simple character, but as the story goes on you see that he is a complex individual.

People like his girlfriend and brother-in-law see the narrator as dull and dim-witted but if you pay attention you see that he is an intelligent guy who cares for people. I love the way he manages to scope out the competition in a senior’s card game and then does what he needs to do to give the woman he his working for a chance to win.  He solves a mystery in the old folks home that no one else knew about and helped an old woman break out of her shell so to speak. I also loved his observations in the nursing home like when he says he doesn’t know if its worse getting constantly rejected by women or having Alzheimer’s disease and getting rejected, not remembering  it and getting rejected again. Who knew that scenes in a nursing home could be so funny.

The writing in The Professional Freelancer is witty and the story is a lot of fun. This is the kind of book that is good to read on a long car trip because the story never gets boring. You get to see what a guy has to do when the world seems against him and get a lot of laughs along the way. For a short read this book has a lot to offer and is the perfect read if you have a few hours to kill.




Brett Enters The Square Circle

13634634Not many people have gotten the best of private detective Brett Cornell. After all he is one unscrupulous bastard who is smarter, tougher and better looking then everyone around him and he always gets the ladies. There is one man who did get the best of him and his name is Gil Bailey. Along with his buddy “Big Bull” Sean O’ Rourke, they scarred Brett for life. Brett wants revenge and gets his chance when Gil challenges him to a charity boxing match. Can Brett keep up with the younger and stronger Gil or will he be left with psychological scars that will never heal?

To make things a little more complicated, Brett also gets hired by Melanie Foster to find Stacey Ashton. Melanie believes Stacey stole her husband and ran off to Florida and Melanie wants her brought back so she can teach Stacey a lesson. As Brett researches the case he finds out that Stacey may have been murdered and her body may be hidden close by.

Brett Enters The Square Circle by David D’Aguanno is the fifth book in the Brett Cornell mystery series. All the books in this series are stand alone stories and you don’t have to read the others to enjoy it. This book has some funny lines from Brett but there is also a good story and some great characters.

A couple of reviews I saw for Brett Enters The Square Circle called it a “light read” and another one said that “Brett is annoying and he overshadows the other characters.” I couldn’t disagree with these statements more. I felt the story was deep and all the characters came across as interesting including the minor characters. For instance you hear about Melanie Foster’s husband from her point of view but then you really get to know her husband and feel sympathy for him. He isn’t in the story for long but  I liked seeing how different he was from Melanie’s description.

Another character in the story that is more than he appears is Brett himself. He comes across as dumb and egotistical but if you pay attention you see that there is more to him then meets the eye. As the story moves along you see why he is the way he is, you also see that he’s a good detective he is and cares for his girlfriend even though he can’t show it.

The characters are the best part of the book but I also like how the mystery unfolds. The mystery gets deeper and more intriguing as it moves along and I was surprised at the conclusion. The boxing match story was great as well because it was more than just a match, it was about Brett dealing with the fact that he may not be top dog anymore.

Brett Enters The Square Circle works on a lot of levels, probably the best part is the humor in it. Like when Brett gets his way on an airplane and when he takes a five dollar bill from a cop, his dialogue also makes this book worth buying. I love how the Brett Cornell series of books seems to get better as they go on. I could not put this book down and I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store for Brett in his next four books.

Brett Always Wins

13568397Make no mistake about it, Brett Cornell is one unscrupulous bastard. If you ask him he will tell you he has a perfect mustache,  Sexy blonde curly hair and his chest and abs are what women dream about. In addition to being god’s gift to women he also works as a private detective in Rhode Island in the late 1980’s. Business has been slow lately but they are about to pick up as Brett’s latest conquest calls wanting to know if Brett got the package she sent and states that someone is about to kill her.

Brett doesn’t take the call to seriously but when two goons meet him at his car, he ends up having to get involved in a murder mystery that only he can solve. This is only a small part of what happen’s in David D’ Aguanno’s Brett Always Wins. This is the third book in the Brett Cornell Mystery series but it is a self-contained story and you don’t have to read the first three to enjoy it.

Brett Always Wins is told in the first person from Brett’s point of view and is a fun read that moves along quickly. Brett is the kind of guy that you love to hate, he has a huge ego and things always seem to go his way. He has a girlfriend plus a few others on the side, he’s also a tough guy that doesn’t like it when you tell him what to do. This is a very entertaining book that will have you laughing and rooting for Brett even though he is a jerk.

There is a lot going on here, you have a jealous wife who has been drugged and wants to keep her husband away from other blond blue-eyed women, you have two hitmen who get more than they bargained for, a husband who wants to make the perfect son and 4 women who can’t keep their hands off of Brett. What really makes this story stand out though is hearing what Brett thinks of everything. Brett  thinks he is the smartest detective there is and he proves it by saying “frankly Scarlett I don’t give a Damn, like Clark Kent in that old movie or asking if his girlfriend wants to go out to dinner and when she says yes tells her not to forget her credit card, I have a date with someone else. Brett does stuff like this throughout the book. I also liked how he went into a suspect’s home,stole his cigars and spit wherever he liked. He may be unscrupulous but its hard not to find him entertaining.

To hear Brett talk you may think he is not that smart but then he shows his intelligence by how he manipulates a hitman to turn on his boss and he makes a lot of money from his clients without really doing anything. I loved when Brett tells his girlfriend the real reason she can’t stay away from him and I also like when he looks at the mirror and notices how he seems to get even better looking with age while other people his age are getting uglier. There are probably lots of guys who think like Brett and it was fun getting inside his head. If you would like a good detective novel that is funny and a little different then your normal mystery, check this one out.