Poll: McCammon vs. King…

I thought I’d ask you who you think is the better horror writer.

Stephen King and Robert R. McCammon are two authors of the horror genre who have given me hours of enjoyment with their horrifying tales.

I decided that I’d give my two cents as too which author I thought was the “better” of the two.

These too masters of the macabre can not be compared on an apples to apples basis.  McCammon tends to  write horror novels with a few paranormal/supernatural elements thrown in to spice things up, while King writes paranormal/supernatural tales that are horrifying.

There are certainly exceptions to their writing styles.  For instance, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, definitely had a more supernatural bent and the novels Misery and Dolores Claiborne were as far away from the paranormal as Stephen King has ever been.

Robert McCammon has a more subtle touch when it comes to the paranormal side of his writing.  Yes, Swan Song, Baal, and They Thirst are all essentially supernatural in nature but the supernatural elements took a second seat next to the horror elements of the story.

Stephen King on the other hand seams to start with a supernatural idea and then creates his stories around them.  The horror wouldn’t exist in his novels with out the paranormal.  Carrie, Christine, Pet Sematary, and many more of King’s works are all great examples of this.

So who is the better writer of horror?

Pet Sematary was the first horror story I ever read and it made me pee my pants and I love to revisit it every so often.  Swan Song and They Thirst are both on my top 10 list of favorite horror,

I guess I’ll have to pick up The Passage by Justin Cronin and chew on this for a while.

Don’t forget to vote!

Book Review: They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon

They ThirstA MASS MURDER.A DISAPPEARANCE.A CEMETERY RANSACKED.

It looked like another ordinary day in Los AngelesThen night came….Evil as old as the centuries has descended upon the City of Angels—it comes as a kiss from the terrifying but seductive immortals. Slowly at first, then by the legions, the ravenous undead choke Los Angeles with bloodthirsty determination—and the hordes of monstrous victims steadily mount each night.High above glitter city a deadly contest begins. In the decaying castle of a long-dead screen idol, the few remaining human survivors prepare to face the Prince of Evil and his satanic disciples. Whilst the very forces of nature are called into play, isolating the city from the rest of the world and leaving it at the mercy of the blood-hungry vultures of the night….

THEY THIRST

Theirs is a lust that can never be satisfied…

Another excellent tale from Robert R. McCammon.

In this tale of dread, McCammon introduces us to an L.A. that has been infested with some nasty, blood-thirsty vampires.

As with most of McCammon’s works I found the plot believable and well thought out. His characters were penned well and the element of horror was presented well throughout the entire novel.

I was chilled and thrilled aplenty with this book.

This was a page turner for me and I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of vampire stories.

Book Review: Pet Sematary By Stephen King

Pet Sematary“Sometimes dead is better….”

When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son – and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all… right down to the friendly cat.

But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth – more terrifying than death itself… and hideously more powerful.

Are there better horror novels out there? Probably. Have I found one yet? Not yet. Are my opinions of other horror novels jaded by the bias I hold towards this book? Absolutely!

I first read this book when I was about 12 years old and at that time…I peed my pants!

I re-read this book about a year ago and found that it still held some unsettling and horrific moments. I was still scared by this novel but in a new and more mature way.

Stephen King wrote one hell of a macabre tale. It was gritty and real and made me jump with nearly every turn of the page.

The characters were quite believable and their motivations were entirely justified (if not wisted).

This book became the pinnacle against which I gauge every other horror novel.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Stephen King or who can find enjoyment in a brilliantly written horror story.

Book Review: When True Night Falls: Book 2 of the Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman

When True Night FallsTwo men, absolute enemies, must unite to conquer an evil greater than anything their world has ever known. One is a warrior priest ready to sacrifice anything and everything for the cause of humanity’s progress; the other, a sorcerer who has survived for countless centuries by a total submission to evil. In their joint quest, both will be irrevocably changed.

It’s not too often that I give up on a book but this was one of those times.

After getting about 3/4 of the way through this book I had to stop.

My biggest complaint about this book is about the characters. Tarrant and Vryce were fleshed out and I got to know them inside and out.

The other charters? Hesseth is a cat woman and there was a girl. That, honestly, is about as much as I can, or care, to remember about them.

My next complaint is with the moral conflict that Vryce is experiencing. Every decision that Vryce makes is punctuated by him whining about the moral implications of said decision. It became frustratingly monotonous.

My third complaint is the pacing of the novel. There were far too many lulls in between any kind of action. Near the end I found myself skipping and skimming over way too many paragraphs.

I can not recommend this book on the sole basis that I was unable to finish it.

Book Review: Dead City: A Dead World Novel by Joe McKinney

Dead CityBattered by five cataclysmic hurricanes in three weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast and half of the Lone Star State is reeling from the worst devastation in history. Thousands are dead or dying—but the worst is only beginning. Amid the wreckage, something unimaginable is happening: a deadly virus has broken out, returning the dead to life—with an insatiable hunger for human flesh…

Within hours, the plague has spread all over Texas. San Antonio police officer Eddie Hudson finds his city overrun by a voracious army of the living dead. Along with a small group of survivors, Eddie must fight off the savage horde in a race to save his family…

If you’re looking for a predictable story that leads you step-by-step to an anti-climatic ending then look no further.

When I pick up a book I have a few expectations:

  1. A horror novel should have some elements of horror.  This book failed to leave me feeling scared, unsettled or horrified in any way shape or form.
  2. A book should be entertaining and leave me with some form of satisfaction that I had spent some time reading it.  This book made me wish for the 3 hours back that I had invested in it.
  3. The author will make the safe and simple assumption that I am smarter than your average rock and be able to follow a few twists and turns.  This novel was put into drive and plowed straight ahead from predictable moment to predictable moment.

The author insisted on driving me around San Antonio street by street and turn by turn.  I mean really?  Do I need to know that he turned left on such and such and then right on such and such before he turned his car around to try a different street?

The zombies in this novel were nothing more than a nuisance and the main character was never in any real jeopardy from them.  Every time the hero seams to be facing certain death someone pops out of the wood work to help him out.

I can not recommend this book to anyone except for maybe those of you out there that have an incessant need to read bad zombie apocalypse novels no matter what the cost.

Book Review: The Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon

Swan SongIn a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth’s last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity: Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets . . . Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station . . . And Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with Swan’s gifts. But the ancient force behind earth’s devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself. . . .

Have you ever been reading a book that you just couldn’t put down? You’d cling to it while your eyes turned to lead and your head started to bob as sleep slowly wrapped itself around you?

This was one of those books!

With this book Robert McCammon has crafted a beautiful post-apocalyptic horror novel with a nice balance of good-vs-evil.

The characters were well thought out and believable to the point where I could empathize with each and everyone of them.

This is a must read that I have read a few times and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a horrifying masterpiece!

Book Review: World War Z: An Oral History of The Zombie War by Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarMax Brooks travels across the United States and around the world interviewing survivors of the Zombie Wars and shareing their devastating stories about the horrors that humankind faced at the hands of the zombies.

 

This book was exactly as the title advertised: An Oral history of the Zombie War.

This is a brilliant example from an author who asked “What if”.  The story was so believable that I had to ask if there had been a zombie apocalypse that I hadn’t known about.

 

I found myself unable to put this book down. I devoured this book in a matter of days and was only disappointed by the knowledge that there was nothing else left for me to read!

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a believable tale about how the world would actually deal with a zombie apocalypse. This book should be on everyones must read list.