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The Bitten: An Anthology

I mentioned a few months ago that a really good author friend of mine was facing cancer. To support him with his book sales and help him raise some of the cash towards his medical bills I got a bunch of authors together to write an anthology of shorts based on the genre he writes in.

I would like to present to you, The Bitten. In this anthology are 28 tales of vampires, werewolves and other paranormal encounters, one of which is written by me under my Amelia Price pen name.

Brandon is an amazing guy and even if this isn’t your sort of thing it would be awesome of you to grab a copy of the ebook as all the royalties will be going to Brandon and he really is an amazing guy.

Buy links – Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk


Dracula: A Review

This is one of those books most people probably don’t expect me to have read. I don’t read horror and don’t tend to enjoy it, but this is a book I’ve just finished reading for the third time! It’s amazing and not really horror in the way we think of horror today. So here’s my thoughts.

This has got to be one of the worst of the many covers Dracula has had over the years but it definitely has a point. You’d be surprised how Christian this book is. Through out the story are references to God, trusting in Him, and defeating the demonic to honour Him and aid in His work. I suppose this stems from the book being written at a time when pretty much everyone went to church and believed that this sort of thing happened, at least in the spiritual realm even if not in the physical.

I also thought it was well written for a classic. A lot of them drag and take a while to get going, but this one plunged right into the action with Jonathan Harker on his way to visit Count Dracula and although it had a few lengthy paragraphs of description here and there (no worse than George R. R. Martin’s like of description) it was still a relatively fast paced read for a classic.

For a horror novel, the accounts of the gruesome side of things are quite tame and few and far between, instead the book relies on making you feel the dread of the characters and their fear of being cut off from God and eternally walking the earth as something that will never honour Him. There was a brilliant quote that summed up the emotion behind that sentiment in a way I can only wish I’d thought of. – ‘But to fail here is not mere life or death. It is that we become as him, that we henceforth become foul things of the night, like him, without heart or conscience, preying on the bodies and the souls of those we love best. To us forever are the gates of heaven shut, for who shall open them to us again? We go on for all time abhorred by all, a blot on the face of God’s sunshine, an arrow in the side of Him who died for man.’

In short, I love this novel, partially for not being what’s expected of it, partially for being so honest about the belief system behind it, and partially for being inspiring and encouraging in the face of great fear. This is everything a good horror book should be.

Crimson Harvest: A Review

I was gifted a copy of this ebook by Thom Mollohan in return for an honest review.

I was very intrigued by the premise for this novel and the blurb:

Could there be more than meets the eye in the handsome and charming Gage who has won over Heather’s friend, Jillian?

Sixteen-year-old Heather is a girl who just wants to fit in and have fun. But one night of breaking the rules sets into motion a terrifying series of events that launches her into a mystery that has at its heart an ancient evil.

Pulled into a world of darkness and fear that will nearly destroy her, her family, and her faith, can light yet overcome the darkness?

I was even more intrigued when I read the sample and found the book had a Vampire sort of twist, but still had a strong Christian element. I was impressed to find Dracula had this sort of feel so on the idea that this might be a similar style book I dove in.

The story was good and had plenty of tension. I definitely found I read through it quickly and wanted to know what happened at the end and I want a sequel. Heather was a brilliant character and there was a touch of mystery to the others I still want explaining.

My only disappointment with the book was that there seemed to be a little too much Christianity. I know that sounds a little odd when it’s that element that made me want to read the book in the first place but I felt like the author was trying to over play the God and faith side of things to make up for the dark topic, especially where Heather’s uncle was concerned, but it made the story drag in places where I wanted action. I think it laboured the point a little and would have felt more natural to not keep being reminded that her uncle didn’t quite believe and have the faith Heather did. But everything Heather went through was more natural feeling.

The ending was a little cheesy, especially with the throwback to Jesus being in the fire as a white figure in the old testament Bible story, but I can’t really say more than that without plot spoiling.

Over all I enjoyed the book and I’d read more from the author, especially in this series. I’d just like all the text to feel necessary.

Dark Shadows: A Review

As many people are aware this is the latest Burton, Depp, Bonham-Carter and Lee conglomeration. It’s based on some old tv series I have to admit I’d not heard of and having only seen the first major trailor fir this film I didn’t really know what to expect, other than I thought it would be rather funny and would have a few darker undertones.

Annoyingly it wasn’t as funny as I expected. Still reasonably amusing but not the full blown funny I had hoped for. Maybe it was because the cinema wasn’t that full or because I went with a different set of people to my normal cinema buddies, but the atmosphere just didn’t quite get there for me and there were a few points when I’m sure I’m the only one who laughed out loud.

The acting wasn’t entirely up to scratch I don’t think either. It felt a little like everyone was tired and maybe a teensy bit bored. even the usually perfect Depp didn’t quite bring his quirky character completely to life, though he got the closest of the lot. Christopher Lee just felt wasted as the ship Captain and while Helena Bonham-Carter had some good moments it wasn’t a particularly good character to be playing for her.

I also felt that they tried to pack too much into the film. It was very story heavy and because so much had to happen in the plot I don’t think it allowed each part to properly develop. There was no room for relational development so people felt too trusting too soon etc. It could have actually benefited by being 20 minutes longer and having more funny one liners in as a result.

The final point I didn’t like was all the magic, but I suppose that’s to be expected from a vampire film, although the trailor didn’t imply that much and was a little more light-hearted than the film actually turned out to be. I think this also would have been improved by adding a bit more to the film in terms of humour and relationship development.

While saying all these bad points, this is a film made by one of the greatest directors of our time and with some of the best actors so even though it felt like an off day for them it was by no means bad. I don’t regret seeing it or spending the money. I just wasn’t wowed like I’ve come to expect from this group of people.