Book Review – The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea

25 07 2014

montauk-monster-coverThe Montauk Monster
By Hunter Shea
Kensington Books
In Stores Now

Something monstrous is on the loose in the vacation destination of Montauk, New York, and it is making a feast of the quiet city’s residents in Hunter Shea’s latest fear-fest, The Montauk Monster.

Publisher’s Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer and after reading the thriller, I would be hard-pressed to argue with that assessment.

I am a huge fan of real-life mysteries and conspiracy theories, and Shea blends both into his creature feature. Have you ever heard of Plum Island? It’s an island off the eastern coast of Long Island. Located on the island is Plum Island Animal Disease Center of New York, a federal research facility that was used during the Cold War to test a secret biological program that targeted livestock.

250px-RhodeislandMonsterIn July 2008, a large mammal washed up on the shores of Montauk. Many residents believed the creature had originated on Plum Island, but some experts who saw photos of the creature thought it was just a raccoon. Whatever that creature may have actually been, Shea uses that real-life story as a launching point for his fictional tale of monsters gone wild. But the “stars” of Shea’s tale are much more horrific than whatever washed ashore on that day 6 years ago.

The action begins with two shredded bodies discovered on a beach. Officer Gray Dalton investigates and quickly discovers the terror is spreading throughout Montauk as creature sightings and attacks begin to mount. The creatures’ bite is deadly, but those who somehow survive the attack find themselves the victims of a deadly virus/contagion that burns its victims from the inside out. The officer’s investigation uncovers a link between the vicious creatures, a Long Island Legend, and secret government experiments on Plum Island.

With a fast-paced plot and realistic characters, The Montauk Monster delivers on its promise as a fun, guilty-pleasure summer read. If you enjoy monster stories in the vein of legendary Peter Benchley, with a dash of conspiracy theory thrown in, pick up this book. I can definitely see this book being optioned for a movie.

The Montauk Monster is a fast-paced sci-fi action thriller that grabs hold of you from the first pages and doesn’t let go until you reach the satisfying conclusion. I can’t wait to see what Shea puts out next.

Montauk Tour graphic


Book Review – The Waiting by Hunter Shea

21 04 2014

ImageThe Waiting

By Hunter Shea

Samhain Horror

Available Now

Are you the kind of person who jumps at every creak in your house? Do you have nightmares about your home being haunted? If you do, then you might want to read The Waiting by Hunter Shea in the daylight.

On Brian and Cassandra’s wedding day, the unimaginable happens. Brian is forced to watch helplessly as his new bride collapses and is hospitalized with an intestinal rupture. Brian takes his wife to their home and cares for her himself, with the help of his mother-in-law and a visiting nurse. Although her doctors say her brain is working properly, Cassandra is trapped in a state between life and death — unconscious most of the time and unable to communicate.

Soon, items start be moved around the house and Brian and his mother-in-law start seeing a mysterious boy appearing out of nowhere, running silently down the hallway and standing next to Cassie’s bed. The mystery drives Brian to the breaking point, afraid to be in his own home and afraid for his wife’s safety.

As a rare hurricane slams New York City, The Waiting reaches its climax, and apparent conclusion. That is until the final chapter jumps forward one year and totally shocked me with its terrifying revelation.

I love ghost stories. When I was younger, I was terrified of ghost stories and things that go bump in the night. Now, I am just very intrigued by them. A well-told ghost story can draw you in and pull you along down its dark, spooky hallway before jolting you with its terrifying conclusion. Shea definitely knows how to tell a spooky story.

The Waiting is a quick read, but Shea still is able to develop the characters and make you care about them. He slowly and gently builds the suspense and carefully unpeels the layers of terror. You’ll be jumping at every little creak in your house after you read this novella.

The most terrifying part is that the story is based on actual events from Shea’s life. I have heard the real-life stories of what Shea and his family have encountered in their home and I don’t think I would ever be able to get a good night’s sleep in my house if I had experienced those things.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give The Waiting a 4.5



To celebrate the release of The Waiting, Shea is giving away a signed copy of his novel Sinister Entity and 5 ebooks ( 1 copy of each of his novels). So there will be 6 winners in all from the tour-wide giveaway. The giveaway ends at midnight on April 28 so enter now. To enter, just click on this link for details. a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Recent Sci-Fi Books I Am Ready To Devour — Or Maybe Just Read

12 03 2014

Ever since I walked into a movie theater in Tipton, Iowa, at the age of 4 and watched “Star Wars,” I have been a fan of science fiction. Many of my favorite TV shows, books and movies are from the genre. I have always been drawn to the tales of adventure, often wrapped in a larger social message.

As a teen, I devoured books by Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke. I don’t read as much sci-fi as I used to, but there has been a large number of science fiction books released in the past few months that definitely caught my eye and are at the top of my seemingly-infinite To Be Read list.

For this post, I have picked the 10 science fiction books that have released in the past two months that I definitely want to read. It is a varied list, with dystopian futures, licensed products and alternative views of the afterlife, among other things. But they all have some aspect that caught my eye and made their way to my TBR list.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

red-rising Book description from the publisher: Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to  infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

13638125Book description from the publisher: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their  thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

Alien — Out of The Shadows by Tim Lebbon

Out_of_the_Shadows_CoverBook description from the publisher: The massively acclaimed Alien franchise is one of the most successful of all time, beginning with the first film in 1979.

In a dramatic twist, this novel will return us to that time, to Ellen Ripley, and to never-before-revealed secrets of the Weyland-Yutani Corporations…secrets that lead into the events of the second film, Aliens…and beyond!

The Martian by Andy Weir

martianBook description from the publisher: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

The Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price

flightsilversBook description from the publisher: Without warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white. The electricity falters. Airplanes everywhere crash to the ground. But the Givens are saved by mysterious strangers, three fearsome and beautiful beings who force a plain silver bracelet onto each sister’s wrist. Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone.

Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, the Givens suddenly find themselves elsewhere, a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.

Soon Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—a mordant cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them—before time runs out.

Influx by Daniel Suarez

influxBook description from the publisher: Are smart phones really humanity’s most significant innovation since the moon landings? Or can something else explain why the bold visions of the 20th century–fusion power, genetic enhancements, artificial intelligence, cures for common disease, extended human life, and a host of other world-changing advances–have remained beyond our grasp? Why has the high-tech future that
seemed imminent in the 1960’s failed to arrive?

Perhaps it did arrive…but only for a select few.

Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they’ve been working toward for years: a device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics–the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring. This Bureau of Technology Control uses the advanced technologies they have harvested over the decades to fulfill their mission.

They are living in our future.

Presented with the opportunity to join the BTC and improve his own technology in secret, Grady balks, and is instead thrown into a nightmarish high-tech prison built to hold rebellious geniuses like himself. With so many great intellects confined together, can Grady and his fellow prisoners conceive of a way to usher humanity out of its artificial dark age?

And when they do, is it possible to defeat an enemy that wields a technological advantage half a century in the making?

Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler

17910119Book description from the publisher: Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire.

Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing Quetzal airships, operas, blood sacrifice and high diplomacy, Ramona Wheeler’s Three Princes is a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

annihilationBook description from the publisher: Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as
its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, which will be published throughout 2014: volume two (Authority) in June, and volume three (Acceptance) in September.

Archetype by M.D. Waters

18079523Book description from the publisher: Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe
possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.

The Waking Engine by David Edison

waking-engineBook description from the publisher: Contrary to popular wisdom, death is not the end, nor is it a passage to some transcendent afterlife. Those who die merely awake as themselves on one of a million worlds, where they are fated to live until they die again, and wake up somewhere new. All are born only once, but die many times . . . until they come
at last to the City Unspoken, where the gateway to True Death can be found.

Wayfarers and pilgrims are drawn to the City, which is home to murderous aristocrats, disguised gods and goddesses, a sadistic faerie princess, immortal prostitutes and queens, a captive angel, gangs of feral Death Boys and Charnel Girls . . . and one very confused New Yorker.

Late of Manhattan, Cooper finds himself in a City that is not what it once was. The gateway to True
Death is failing, so that the City is becoming overrun by the Dying, who clot its byzantine streets and alleys . . . and a spreading madness threatens to engulf the entire metaverse.

Richly imaginative, David Edison’s The Waking Engine is a stunning debut by a major new talent.

What are some of your favorite sci-fi books of the recent past? Or what science fiction books are about to be released that you are really looking forward to? Please share your thoughts. I’m always looking for new genre books to devour. Or at least read.

Book Review – Afloat by Erin Healy

5 06 2013


By Erin Healy

Thomas Nelson

In Stores Now

What will you do when push comes to shove? When everything is on the line, what choices will you make? Who will you choose to trust? Where will you put your faith?

These questions are at the heart of the new supernatural suspense novel Afloat by Christian author Erin Healy. I had already read The Baker’s Wife and The Promise She Keeps by Healy and the description of Afloat grabbed my eye, so I was excited to jump into Afloat when it arrived on my doorstep.

After getting off to a slow start as Healy sets the scene and introduces the cast of characters, Afloat launches into a tale of murder, greed, revenge and love. Danielle Clement is a single mom struggling to raise her son, Simeon. Desperate to make ends meet, she has let real estate developer Tony Dean help her out by providing her a job and a place to live —  the amazing floating condominiums known as Eagle’s Talon. The complex is the dream project for architect Vance Nolan, but his dream is about to become a nightmare. When a sinkhole gives way and the cove is flooded and cut off from the outside world, those left behind are entangled in a battle to survive. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review – Domination by Jon S. Lewis

16 05 2013


By Jon S. Lewis

Thomas Nelson

In Stores Now

As a kid, I loved sci-fi stories. Movies and TV shows like “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica” fed my dreams of space travel and aliens. While those franchises have been reborn and reimagined in recent years, there are also a whole new crop of sci-fi stories aimed at young people. One of those stories is the C.H.A.O.S. trilogy by author Jon S. Lewis.

Domination is the final book in the C.H.A.O.S. trilogy, a young adult sci-fi series that follows C.H.A.O.S. Military Cadet Colt McAllister’s ongoing war against the brutal alien race known as the Thule. Throughout the series, Colt has grown from a high school student to a hero as he discovers the aliens among us. This time, he is the world’s final hope to stop the impending Thule takeover of Earth. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review – Poe by Brett Battles and Robert Gregory Browne

9 05 2013


By Brett Battles and Robert Gregory Browne

Braun Haus Media

Available Now

Award-winning authors Brett Battles and Robert Gregory Browne have both had very successful careers as thriller writers, with legions of dedicated fans. Now, the two have combined their considerable talents, and the result is explosive.

Bounty hunter Alexandra Poe is no stranger to international security firm Stonewell International. She has rejected their overtures several times in the past, but this time, they have an ace up their sleeve – information about Alex’s father, who she has not seen in a decade.

The mission Stonewell offers Alex requires her to go behind the walls of a Crimean prison, where she must then help a terrorist escape. What is so special about this prisoner? She has recently been in contact with Alex’s father. Alex reluctantly accepts Stonewell’s offer in the hopes of discovering her father’s whereabouts. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review – The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello

3 05 2013

TheRomanovCrossThe Romanov Cross

By Robert Masello


In Stores Now

The mystery surrounding the Romanovs has long been a popular subject for fiction writers. In recent years, the subject seems to have grown even more prevalent. At least five books that I have read in the last nine months have referenced the family in one way or another, often as a major plot point. In case you are one of the five people on the plante who are not aware of the story of the Romanovs, here is a brief summary.

The House of Romanov was the second and final imperial dynasty to rule over Russia. The family reigned from the 17th century until 1917, when the monarchy was overthrown during the February Revolution and the family was executed. For years, there have been rumors that some members of the Romanov line escaped execution and survived to secretly carry on the lineage.

Masello deftly melds the story of what happens during and after the Revolution with the main story set in the present, providing one possible scenario for how one of the Romanovs could have escaped, and the deadly, unforeseen consequences that followed. Read the rest of this entry »

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