Book Review: Misery by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King is King at his best. Misery is a deeply psychological horror that you can not put down. White knuckle thrill ride is not a term I use often, but the finale is so tense, that could not help being delighted and terrified of what was on the next page. Misery is a character but also cleverly the tone of this book and what Annie puts Paul through. I have seen the movie Misery, where the excellent Kathy Bates won her Oscar, and thought I knew the story, where some things were similar and right from the page, others were not which made it still terrifying, and had no idea what would happen next. The book is way more brutal and gorier than the movie for one thing. The weakest thing is the story within a story about Misery that the author is forced to write, I needed more about her character and the messy love triangle, that made me very confused, thankfully that is about a 5 percent of the novel and the other 95 percent is amazing. I have just read On Writing by Stephen King, which was a big reason I wanted to read this novel, King goes over his original ending which was pretty amazing, but he let the characters guide him to the ending in the book which I also loved. I believe this is King’s most personal novel and shows his relationship with some of his fans which probably scare the crap out of him, and dealt with his drug abuse at the time. King is notorious for not having the best endings in his stories, but I felt this one was one of his best I still think The Long Walk is my favorite but this is a close second.

The Plot Summary: Paul Sheldon has just finished his latest novel in a Colorado hotel called Fast Cars, this is a vastly different novel from his last and most famous romance novels the Misery Chastain series. He had recently closed the series by killing off his main character. Paul is so excited about this book he doesn’t make any copies and decided to drive back to his home, on the way a snow storm over takes him and he gets in a wreck breaking his two legs, Annie who lives in a the small town and claims she’s his number one fan rescues him and sets him up in her second bedroom. What looks like a good intention turns into a nightmare after Annie reads Misery’s latest novel newly released and the character is killed, she burns his new novel and makes him write Misery’s Return. Paul is at Annie’s mercy and makes his life a misery.

What I Liked: The amazing writing talent of King to make a scene practically in one room with only two characters so compelling. The flashbacks really work especially the caged African bird, which he can easily identify with. The background on Annie and her string of killing. The intensity of the scenes and the horror of the situations. I do like since this Story takes place in Colorado that, there is a link to The Shining, by one of Annie’s other victims that photographed the remains of the Overlook Hotel. I liked the little gems about writing. It is a small book by Stephen King standards and very focused through out.

What I Disliked: I would have liked to take away and understood more of the Misery story that is in the book, the longest passage makes the most sense about her resurrection, but every other piece of writing I was confused by. I also could have gotten what Annie actually loved so much about Misery, maybe she just liked her and there was no explaining of it.

Recommendation: Misery is fantastic and such great psychological horror. A lot of time when I have watched and loved the movie, I think why am I going to read a story I already know. Misery and The Shining have both surprised me in what was added and what was let out from the movie. This is truly on of Stephen Kings best. I think I have read a little over 30 and this is in my top ten maybe top 5. I rated Misery by Stephen King 5 out of 5 stars. 

TBR: January 2022

January 2022 TBR list: last month was almost successful I read all 5 and a half of the 6 books. I’m going to stick with 6 because I feel it works best for me. I hit my reading goal for the year of 80 books by reading 83.   I’m trying to catch up on a couple of the ARC’s that I missed.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman is a book I’m half way through it is the Hunger Games meets the Harry Potter Triwizard Tournament in  this is a bloody Science Fiction/ Young Adult novel that is getting a lot of buzz and sounds devilishly good.  The plot is a fight to the death for 7 families to control high magick. This book review is thanks to Netgalley and Macmillion-Forge.Tor Teen I twas published on November 9 2021

The Maid by Nina Prose sounds like a fun who done it, that is getting a lot of buzz right now.  This novel has Florence Pugh from Little Woman and Black Widow attached to star in the movie.  I don’t want to know too much on plot but it sounds great.  Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books it is published on January 4 2022.

Misery by Stephen King this is a book that has been on my TBR for some time I always want to read more King. I have seen the movie and Kathy Bates incredible Oscar performance as Annie Wilkes.  But having just read On Writing by Stephen King and analyzing how he crafted the ending, I really want to read it.

Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce is the sequel to the lovely Dear Mrs. Bird that charmed me so much, just 2 years ago.  Following the events of Dear Mrs. Bird where Emmeline had been giving advice to the rejected letters sent to Dear Mrs. Bird column in 1941 wartime England.  She takes on new challages heading up her own wartime column. This book is thanks to Netgalley and Scribner it was published on August 10 2021.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-man Volume 11 by Stan Lee is one of the last volumes that Stan Lee wrote on.  This volume introduces the anti hero Morbius the Living Vampire which is soon to be played by Jared Leto this winter.  This book also features The Amazing Spider-Man issue 100 where Spiderman grows extra arms.

Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium by R.L. Stine is Goosebumps book 24 in the original book order, this continues my quest to read all the Goosebumps books then give to my eager nephews.  This story is a modern day retelling of the Phantom of the Opera with a Goosebumps twist.

ARC List: First Quarter of 2022

With this year almost over here is my list of Netgalley ARC’s I’m already approved for the first quarter of the new year.  I have gotten a good streak of approval lately still waiting on approval of Anthem by Noah Hawley from the genius writer of Fargo TV series, The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi best title ever, The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen always a great mystery never been disappointed, and Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama by Bob Odenkirk looking forward to his autobiography and his stories of SNL, Mr Show, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.  So I have a busy quarter.

January 2022

The Maid by Nita Prose is already getting a lot of buzz. It will be made into a movie starring Florence Pugh.  It seems like a fun mystery with a lot of heart.  Published on January 4th 2022.

February 2022

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James is the sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf and the second book in the Dark Star Trilogy.  Reading Black Leopard, Red Wolf was one of the most challenging reads of 2019, but I found the story really rewarding once I figured out the writing style which was beautiful but heavy in metaphors.  The story is based on African Fairy Tales. Moon Witch, Spider King is published on February 15.

Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow is a horror dealing with social issues.  The pitch from Dutton is: in the vein of Get Out meets My Sister, the Serial Killer, about Farrah, a young, calculating Black girl who manipulates her way into the lives of her Black best friend’s white, wealthy, adoptive family but soon suspects she may not be the only one with ulterior motives. Which has me excited, Dutton publishing reached out to me to invite me to read it. Cherish Farrah is Published on February 8.

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart is a trippy new science fiction by the author of The Warehouse that Ron Howard is looking to adapt.  The tag line is An impossible crime. A detective on the edge of madness. The future of time travel at stake. I’m sold don’t need to know any more. I have not read The Warehouse, Ballentine books reached out to me to read this one.  The Paradox Hotel is published on February 22

Stars and Bones by Gareth L. Powell Is the start of a new science fiction series about people of earth on giant arks 75 years after earths collapse dealing with an alien treat and a murder plot. Stars and Bones is published on February 15

March 2022

Sundial by Catriona Ward is a psychological horror by the writer of The Last Hose on Needless Street, which I loved and gave 5 stars, so I was happy to read her next novel.  The coolest cover of the new year. Sundial is published on March 1

The Ravenous Dead by Darcy Coates is the horror sequel to The Whispering Dead, which was up for a Goodreads choice award in horror this year.  A graveyard’s new groundskeeper can talk to ghost, she attempts to save, but when she runs across a serial killer he does not want to be saved. The Ravenous Dead is published on March 15

Cimino by Charles Elton is a biography on infamous director Michael Cimino Who went from making the hit film The Deer Hunter with Robert DeNiro winning Best Picture and Director at the Oscars to making Heaven’s Gate the biggest bomb that almost made MGM lose the studio. I’m a big film buff I look forward to learning more. Cimino is published on March 29. 

Book Review: Goosebumps – Return of the Mummy by R. L. Stine

Return of the Mummy by R.L. Stine is Goosebumps book 23 in the original order. This book is a direct sequel to The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb. It has three of the same character’s returning Gabe, Sari, And Uncle Ben. There’s a couple scary moments, getting lost in a dark cave with no light, falling in a pit of spiders, and and a mummy coming to life. This novel is more about the character’s than the scares. I liked Gabe the first and so far only non white lead character in Goosebumps, but I found Sari still so annoying. Uncle Ben is more caring and pulls a pretty good prank scare off. The ending was good but not great. There is a pretty good twist ending, that will surprise most readers. I liked The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb more but this is a pretty good sequel, reading The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb is not necessary, but it will enhance your experience, since you will know what the mummy’s paw can do. This story was made into a Goosebumps tv episode called The Return of the Mummy. Go to the bottom of this review to see where I rank Return of the Mummy against the 22 other goosebumps books.

Plot Summary: Gabe is back for another Egyptian adventure in the ancient pyramids with his cousin Sari and his Uncle Ben. This time Ben is to open the tomb of Khor-Ru, who was King Tut’s cousin. Gabe still has the Summoner from the last adventure, which is a petrified mummy’s hand, that can bring back the dead, with words spoken from the last adventure. But this story it goes missing which means trouble.

What I Liked: The scene where Gabe falls into the pit of spiders was scary and well written. I liked the twist, and thought it was clever. I thought Uncle Ben’s prank was good and funny. I liked that Sari had some human moments instead of just being annoying and challenging. I like Uncle Ben’s little flirts with Nila. I liked the setting and getting to know Gabe more and his background.

What I Disliked: The story takes a while to get going and have any scares. Where the first story had lot’s of mummy’s this story has one that is really brief.

Recommendation: This story was good but not great, it had a low scare rating. The scare that it did have where great but it didn’t have that many. The thing that I felt it did well was expand on the character from the first story The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb. I will barely recommend you checking it out. I rated Return of the Mummy by R. L. Stine 3 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 23 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite: 1) Stay Out of the Basement, 2) Ghost Beach, 3) Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, 4) The Haunted Mask, 5) One Day At Horrorland, 6) Night of the Living Dummy, 7) Welcome to Camp Nightmare, 8) The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, 9) Say Cheese and Die, 10) Let’s Get Invisible, 11) The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, 12) Welcome to Dead House, 13) Monster Blood II, 14) The Girl who Cried Monster, 15)Deep Trouble, 16) The Ghost Next Door, 17) Be Careful What You Wish For… , 18) Return of the Mummy, 19) Why I’m Afraid of Bees, 20) Go Eat Worms!, 21) The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, 22) Monster Blood, And 23) You Can’t Scare Me!

Book Review: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King is half mini-biography of how King found writing and published his first novel Carrie, and the other half is tips and insights of the writing process, the end goes back into biography to take the reader through his accident that could have killed him. This is a reread for me, I read it when I was in college and had the writing bug, well the bug is back and I thought I would get another lesson from the master Stephen King. When I had read On Writing before I was a Stephen King novice having only read about five of is works, now I’ve read 26 which is a huge difference. There’s a lot of insights into his past work that I missed because I hadn’t read more of his works. The one that I have not read which is Misery ( I plan to soon) has really good insight, into his process of ideas, and his original ending is pretty wicked. He had a great section on The Stand and how to end it. The writing lessons are invaluable and also inspiring, he details the way for a writer to reach success, with a lot of hard work and a plan for submissions.

What I learned: I learned that Stephen King threw Carrie away and his wife Tabitha King pulled it out of the trash and said there is something there, since this was the first novel that he sold it was pretty cool. Stephen King put all his rejection letters on a nail, then later a train spike, when he had so many. He writes a novel then puts it away for 6 weeks to get a fresh perspective. His original idea for Misery was drastically different from the original ending in his mind, he listened to the characters and let it guide him to the new ending. He writes 10,000 words a day which is about five pages, then he stops sometimes he accomplishes this fast, but sometimes not. His work ethic is detrimental to his success.

What I Liked: The insights in to the craft, are special. I like how real and honest it is, we has no quick fix to being a writer, work hard submit short stories to place that don’t pay, your job is creating an audience, build up enough published works to start submitting for an agent. I like the insights into the works of Stephen King, we get stories about Salem’s Lot, The Green Mile, Misery, Carrie, The Running Man, The Stand, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Heart in Atlantis, Different Seasons, Night Shift and From a Buick 8. He also discusses his addictions and recovery in a very raw and real way. The story how his agent phoned him about the sale of Carrie was priceless.

What I Disliked: I did want more stories about his most famous works, I can’t believe there was more about IT, there was a small blurb about his brother and him blocking a creek which flooded various parts of town, but I wanted more.

Recommendation: I think this is a great resource for those curious about the craft. This book will not make you a writer, but King lays out the hard work and the long hours it takes. I love that it recommends reading as a great tool to learn form and style. I rated On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft 5 out of 5 this is the same rating when I was and college and now have an even deeper sense of understanding.

TBR: December 2021

December 2021 TBR list: last month was so successful I read all 6 books plus 3 more, I’m going to stick with 6 because work is picking up.  I am 2 books away from hitting my reading goal for the year of 80 books. 

Wool (the Omnibus edition) by Hugh Howley This is book one of the Silo series. It is science fiction in the apocalypse. The opening chapters are one of the best openers for a book, it messes with your perceptions, of what you think is going on so masterfully.  I love the story of how this book got published, as Howley would write chapters at a time online and built up his base.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman this is a bloody Science Fiction/ Young Adult that is getting a lot of buzz and sounds devilishly good.  The plot is a fight to the death for 7 families to control high magick. This book review is thanks to Net galley and Macmillion-Forge.Tor Teen

On Writing by Stephen King this book is one of the most inspiring books about writing from the master storyteller Stephen King.  I’ve gotten the writing bug lately as I’ve been working on my short story writing here and there. I have read this book before and loved it.  I can’t wait to read it for the blog and learn from it as well.

Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mandel is  science fiction meets the pandemic. This is a book that has been on my TBR for so long, I’m finally ready to take the plunge.  The trailer to the HBO Max show is what got me it looks super interesting.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 10 by Stan Lee takes Spiderman into the 1970’s.  This comic has a death that will rock Peter Parker to his core it feature the return of the Green Goblin, and Doc Oct.

Goosebumps: Return of the Mummy by R.L. Stine is Goosebumps book 23 in the original book order, this continues my quest to read all the Goosebumps books then give to my eager nephews.  This story continues the adventure in The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb.

Wrap up: November 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, November was a great month, I read all my TBR list  for the month and added 3 off the list. I read 9 books this month. I read 2 graphic novel, 2 horror, 2 mystery, 1 new release thanks to netgalley, and 1 fantasy. I Read 6 books from a book series with Temple of the Winds book four in the Sword of Truth series, Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spiderman Volume 9 , Goosebumps book 22 Ghost Beach, The House on The Cliff, which is book 2 The Hardy Boys series and I added 2 new book series Hellboy omnibus series and The Black Echo the first book in the Harry Bosch Universe  . I read two 5 star books, three 4 star books, two 3 star books, and two 2 star books.

Five Star Reviews:


We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker is a slow burn mystery that looks at how one mistake can define a future of hurt. This mystery balances being being heart breaking, yet so so full of a beating heart that drives the narrative. You feel every death and every reveal will change your perception. This is a mystery that is character driven, I feel like if there was no mystery I still would have been interested in the characters. The characters and circumstances will give you chills and it gave me an ugly happy cry. There’s a lot of Darkness in this story but a light at the end of the tunnel that burns bright with hope. We Begin at the End reminded me of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in the characterization of Duchess who could easily be a modernized version of Scout. The plot moves a little slow at times but the fantastically broken characters moved me past the slow parts. The novel lays out all it’s twists and turns at the end that will hit and hurt the reader with each one. 

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Ghost Beach is by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 22 in original published order. Ghost Beach is scary, in both its nightmare scares and real life scares. This book is hauntingly atmospheric. It sets the tone early and will give the reader goosebumps. The twist are really clever and it ask you the audience what is going on? The final twist could be the best one yet, I loved it so much. The book is paced so well and a really fast read, that is hard to put down. The Scares that really work are the hands grabbing from the grave, finding a dead body, skin peeling off bones, ghost that can kill, and the final twist. This is a good story around the campfire.

Four Star Reviews:

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix is a slasher mystery, that uses a mash up of all our favorite final girls from the movies. It was fun to find out the girls origins and from what movie franchise they were from. The movie slashers depicted in this book are Halloween, Friday The 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, and the outlier is Silent Night, Deadly Night. I like what was done with each character, and how these events were eventually made in to Slashers themselves. The dialogue is really fresh and flows so well. There’s a good deal of humor that lands for the most part. The mystery is good I don’t know if everything lined up, but it was fun. The flow of the novel is steady, when there’s slow moments in the action, the fun witty dialogue made up for it. 

Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind is an epic high fantasy with dark desires and tough choices. Temple of the Winds is book 4 in the Sword of Truth series. This book was light on the action, but filled with so much high stakes drama instead. These last two books The Blood of the Fold and Temple of the Winds has some of the best writing your characters into corner writing. Goodkind perfected that kind of writing with this story; He will have a scenario that is life or death with two options both are bad one involves this bad thing happening this betrayal and the other option is even worse. Goodkind masterfully handles his characters suffering with a pin prick of light at the tunnel. This book flowed better than the others in the series

The House on the Cliff by Franklin W. Dixon is the second Hardy Boys adventure/mystery. This book is way more adventure while the first Hardy Boys The Tower Treasure was more mystery. The House on the Cliff features their Dad, Detective Fenton Hardy more, you understand a lot about the Hardy Boys and why they are so enamored by their dad and want to be just like him. The Hardy’s friend’s Chet and Biff really help them out and have their own chapter, after getting briefly introduced in the first book. This book is filled with danger, kidnapping and drug smuggling.

Three Star Reviews:


The Black Echo by Michael Connelly is the first appearance of detective Harry Bosch and the birth of the Harry Bosch Universe. The story for The Black Echo is used for the main story of Bosch Season 3 on Amazon Prime. I recently watched that season and wanted to know the original story. I had read The Black Echo 15 years ago, I still remembered some beats to the story but was still shocked by the twist and turns in the story. The thing I like about this book is we get to detect with Harry Bosch, the reader discovers all the clues with him, the story is very detailed, sometimes too detailed. I liked the twist and thought they fit with the narrative. The Black Echo overall story was good and compelling

Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mingola is about Hellboy’s is short stories from his discovery in 1947 with stories through to 1961. My knowledge of Hellboy is based solely on watching the films.  I liked half of the stories, some felt like repeats of stories I had just read. The art is fantastic I love, love what is done with shadowing and I love the uniqueness of the art of Hellboy. Almost half the book takes place in Mexico in 1957 and I feel the art was the best here.

Two Star Reviews:

The Woman on the Pier by B. P. Walter is a drama pretending to be a mystery, there are some mystery elements but far more drama. This is my second B. P. Walter, the publicist actually reached out to me to read this one, thank you Netgalley and Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter for the opportunity to read this book, The first book I read The Dinner Guest was a great “who done it” mystery, which The Woman on the Pier is not. The Woman on the Pier is more of a “I think you’re are responsible, but can’t punish who is so I might punish you if you did what I think you did” kind of mystery. The main character Caroline is totally unlikable, I think I rarely felt sorry for her. I have never read a mystery that involved ISIS, but can not say that now.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 9 by Stan Lee is an okay collection of Spiderman stories. This is the weakest volume so far in terms of story and memorable action and storylines. There’s a lack of long form storytelling, which is explained and does make sense, if you had a long form story and miss one issue there were no comic book stores in the 1960’s to get the missed issue, but it was definitely a step back in storytelling. The adds to the Marvel universe in this issue are the The Prowler who is not bad just misunderstood, he ends up donning the spider suit once in this volume and to a greater effect later, we also meet Vanessa Fisk the woman behind The Kingpin, and The Black Widow makes an appearance where she changes costume which is pretty close to the outfit she wears today. The only villains in Spiderman’s rogue gallery appearing in these issues are Electro, The Chameleon and the Kingpin. 

Book Review: Goosebumps Ghost Beach by R. L. Stine


Ghost Beach is by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 22 in original published order. Ghost Beach is scary, in both its nightmare scares and real life scares. This book is hauntingly atmospheric. It sets the tone early and will give the reader goosebumps. The twist are really clever and it ask you the audience what is going on? The final twist could be the best one yet, I loved it so much. The book is paced so well and a really fast read, that is hard to put down. The Scares that really work are the hands grabbing from the grave, finding a dead body, skin peeling off bones, ghost that can kill, and the final twist. This is a good story around the campfire. This book did not have to be called ghost beach, more like ghost cave. There is nothing that really dates this story, you can’t tell it was written in the 90’s. This is one of the better Goosebumps stories that I have read in some time. This story will stick with me more than others. Check how high a ranking this story will go against all the 21 other Goosebumps books I have read so far at the bottom of this review.

The Plot: Jerry and Terri spend their Summer vacation in a cabin near the woods, a beach, and a graveyard. They meet 3 other children around the same age with the same last name, who live not to far away, the kids, their distant cousins, like pranks and scare each other, they warn of ghost are they joking or serious. Their relatives are happy they made friends with the local children, but what those friends said about ghost seeks into their brain and they must find out if ghost exist or not?

What I Liked: The final twist, I was a little shocked by, and what it means for the characters, it was a pretty awesome twist, more out of Tales from the Crypt than Goosebumps. I liked the brother/sister relationship, Stine will sometimes write them too annoying but this one was just right. The twist kept me guessing all the way until the end. I like how dark this tale got with the graves dug for Terri and Jerry, to the skins falling off to reveal skeletons, and the final twist. The pranks weren’t too much, they were good and provided a jump scare.

What I Disliked: The rules of ghost were never established, it is said that they can go through walls but it never happens.

Recommendation: This is a can’t miss Goosebumps novel, it is scary and spooky with a great twist. The story and the twist will stick with me. I rated Ghost Beach by R. L. Stine 5 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 22 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite: Stay Out of the Basement, Ghost Beach, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, Welcome to Dead House, Monster Blood II, The Girl who Cried Monster, Deep Trouble, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… ,Why I’m Afraid of Bees, Go Eat Worms!, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood, And You Can’t Scare Me!

Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mingola

Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mingola is about Hellboy’s is short stories from his discovery in 1947 with stories through to 1961. My knowledge of Hellboy is based solely on watching the films. I think it was a bit of a mistake to have me go in Hellboy timeline Order than the publication order, there’s very small amount of establishing the character or much characterization at all. So I will skip the second volume and might revisit this volume after I have read 1-4 of the omnibus. The stories vary in length from 2 pages to 48. The stories consist of two genres comedy and horror. I liked half of the stories, some felt like repeats of stories I had just read. The art is fantastic I love, love what is done with shadowing and I love the uniqueness of the art of Hellboy. Almost half the book takes place in Mexico in 1957 and I feel the art was the best here. The Mexico stories were hit and miss. I felt the stories worked best when they relied on humor. The Crooked Man The Troll Witch, The Chained Coffin, Double Feature of Evil, and Pancakes were my favorite stories. The Double Feature of Evil was the stand out stories for me, really unique stories that were unlike any other in the book.

The Plots: Hellboy eats Pancakes for the first time and Hell knows he’s not coming back. Young Hellboy breaks out of the research and defense headquarters to go to a circus, but it is not an ordinary circus but one of ghosts. Hellboy investigates paranormal activity in Mexico, gets lost, becomes a wrestler. Hellboy gets married but it is bride is not among the living. Hellboy goes on a quest to bury a man to stop the curse of the crooked man. Hellboy must rescue a stolen baby from goblins. Hellboy must confront a haunted house that pays for the souls it takes.

What I Liked: The humor was great, I laughed out loud as Hellboy has an old pirate corpse on his back looking for a sacred burial, they stumble on to treasure that the corpse wants and get in an argument on what the corpse would need with it. There was burst of great action, that was fun. I loved the art, it is so unique and the shadowing was amazing. I liked the use of muted colors. The mini story of Sullivan’s reward was so great it was creepy and had humor, that is the only story that will stick with me for a while after reading this.

What I Disliked: The Midnight Circus was pretty lame. since nothing happens, and it was really hard to follow the bad guys motivation. A couple of the stories were carbon copies of the other with slightly different ghost. Character development was severely lacking.

Recommendation: I can not recommend this collection, there’s a couple stories you could casually breeze through but there is little to no development with the Hellboy character or any other character. I rated Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories Volume 1 by Mike Mingola 3 out of 5 stars. This was close to being rated a two but the last two stories pushed it over the edge.

Book Review: The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix is a slasher mystery, that uses a mash up up all our favorite final girls from the movies. It was fun to find out the girls origins and from what movie franchise they were from. The movie slashers depicted in this book are Halloween, Friday The 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, and the outlier is Silent Night, Deadly Night. I like what was done with each character, and how these events were eventually made in to Slashers themselves. The dialogue is really fresh and flows so well. There’s a good deal of humor that lands for the most part. The mystery is good I don’t know if everything lined up, but it was fun. The flow of the novel is steady, when there’s slow moments in action, the fun witty dialogue made up for it. Mystery aside the real meat of the story is hope do these women cope with the loss of friends and the choices they made that fateful night. This is my second second Grady Hendrix novel, the first was My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which had plenty of witty dialogue and was totally 80’s but not as strong of a plot of The Final Girl Support Group, which I ended up liking quite a bit better.The Final Girls Support group has been nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in Horror. I got to read The Final Girl Support Group thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix was published on July 13 2021.

The Plot: Women who survived mass murders were left the final girl in their massacre have all started a support group. The group has existed for 16 years seems to be barely held together, they don’t so much talk about the tragedy but the film series that have been inspired by them and internal squabbles. One member Adrienne failed to show, Dani says this is her last, Lynette tries to hold it together, and says Heather needs this, and is close to using again. The group turns on Lynette saying we were here cause we thought you needed this, it is revealed that Lynette was not a true Final Girl she didn’t stand up to her bad guy she played dead and the police killed him. Lynette is falling apart when the group finds out that the missing member Adrienne was murdered by a mass murderer and Chrissy a new final girl murdered him. Soon all the women are targeted, will this be Lynette chance to be a real final girl?

What I Liked: I like that the characters are inspired by movie final girls Dani represents Halloween, Marilyn represents The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Adrienne represents Friday the 13th, Heather represents A Nightmare on Elm Street ,Lynette represents Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Julia represents Scream. I loved the fun chapter titles all inspired by a title from a slasher franchise. The idea is smart, I don’t know if it was inspired by the current Halloween and what they are doing with the character of Laurie Strode, but it is interesting seeing where every character ended up. The dialogue is really witty and fun. The fast moving pace made this book a breeze.

What I Disliked: The twist are fun but it doesn’t all make sense, once you know everything. This is a big pet peeve for me. I though the visit to the lost final girl was good for action and making Lynette not be a victim, but it felt like it was from another book, it didn’t gel with everything that came from before.

Recommendation: Do yourself a favor and check out this book, it has a fun meter of 11. I had a slight issue with some plot points but, the fun out weighed my apprehensions. The Final Girl Support Group was released weeks away from another Slasher novel My Heart is a Chainsaw from Stephen Graham Jones which I would easily pick The Final Girl Support Group. Where I feel both added to the Slasher genre, the flow, the characters, and dialogue make The final Girl Support Group the winner in my opinion. I rated The Final Girl Support Group 4 out of 5 Stars. I will add We Sold our Souls by Grady Hendrix a little bit hire on my TBR.