Paranormal Anti-Romance, anyone? The Gloom Queen is coming soon!
Térata does All The Things, drowns them in Red Bull, lights them on fire and throws them off a cliff.
The title Térata is from the Greek meaning “Monsters,” but this is more than just a monster story. It crosses horror with science fiction and fantasy. But above all, Térata is full-throttle action-adventure.
Hidden in the folds of the world we know is a world of monsters. Forced into discretion by the rules that govern reality, these powerful beings fight, love, and die in the shadows around us. This is their story.
The sheer number of characters and names in Térata would give the Silmarillion a run for its money. Many of the characters are shifters, meaning they have two types of physical bodies – a monster form and a human form – which gives some characters two names.
Many of the characters are POV characters too. With so many characters going after (or running away from) so many things, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Those wanting a single headspace will want to look elsewhere.
The monsters in Térata have super powers on the level of demigods. They are super-fast. And super strong. And they heal like Wolverine on crack. Sniper headshots and severed limbs hardly slow them down. I appreciated the quick fight scenes, and the fact that characters did occasionally die, which lent real danger to every fight.
Térata is a great example of Speculative Fiction, that is, “What happens when we cross fantasy, science fiction, horror, thriller and action-adventure?” The book lists under Occult at Amazon, but it is much more than that – nanotech, DNA manipulation, tarot cards, alternate realities and talking swords that absorb souls. All the things are here.
As I mentioned, the story has so much going on, it never lags. All the interconnected plotlines reminded me of Game Of Thrones, a large and busy world. But the writing always makes it clear what the current character is doing. Goals are clearly asserted and how-did-we-get-here is clearly explained, so you’ll always know what people are doing and why.
Térata contains more doors ripped open and limbs torn off than all the stories I’ve ever read put together. Characters ripped doors off of houses, cars and even safes because it was faster than opening them conventionally. They ripped their own limbs off to reduce their body mass. (And shouldn’t one really do that in the shower? Makes cleanup a snap!) The levels of speed and aggression even during the non-fighting scenes lent a fantastic, comic book feel to the story.
Térata is mostly set in modern-day Minnesota. From Minnehaha Park to downtown Minneapolis to the banks of the Mississippi River, Michael gets the details right, using just enough description without slowing the story.
Some of the story takes place in an alternate reality realm called the Confluence. I was really interested in this place and it played a major part in the story, but it didn’t spend enough time or detail there. I definitely wanted more of the alternate reality and how it was different than the real world.
Michael’s writing is snappy and clean. Térata almost reads like a graphic novel, with quick, broad strokes.
The sense of humor is superb, the timing of the jokes breaks the tension perfectly. And a broad range of pop culture references abounds. Much of the dialog contains a clever snarkiness and biting wit.
Terata on Amazon (affiliate link)
Check out Térata by Michael Allen O’Leary Jr. #AmReading #Book #Review #Monsters
#Action #SciFi #Fantasy #Thriller #Monsters Térata has it all!
Maia Chance, Janine A. Southard, Raven Oak and G. Clemans serve up an entertaining variety of dark fiction, science fiction, mystery and fantasy stories to spice up your holiday season!
What do you get when you mix mystery and speculative fiction, then toss in the holidays for good measure? A mobster Santa, genetic hanky-panky, Victorian villages, time-travelling detectives, Krampus, eerie bell spirits, and more–this collection of short cross-genre fiction is the perfect counterpoint to traditional holiday reading!
This collection stars four authors, each with their own distinct style. National bestselling author Maia Chance, who is famous for her cozy mysteries, dazzles with humor and folklore. IPPY award-winning science fiction author Janine A. Southard beguiles with unexpected time-travel science. Science fiction & fantasy bestseller Raven Oak offers a look into the gothic past. And for a whole new perspective, debut fiction author and art expert G. Clemans dives into the intersections of creativity and mystery.
Joy to the Worlds brings together eight short works that explore mysteries across time and space. Ranging from dark dystopian worlds to comedic retro-futures, four diverse writers find new ways to combine these disparate worlds.
An undead detective solves a supernatural murder mystery in this western-flavored dark fantasy. Would have loved some illustrations with this, the world was as interesting as the story itself.
A quaint Victorian village is not what it seems in Escape From Old Yorktown. This Y/A dystopian tale, blends M Night Shamalyan’s The Village with The Hunger Games and The Twilight Zone. Revolution! Secret Societies! Hidden knowledge uncovered by those darned kids! Great reveals at the end make this story worth the read.
Yes, that Krampus. Now that Hollywood has discovered Krampus, it’s safe for Americans to recognize that KRAMPUS IS A THING, but I digress. Odysseus Flax and the Krampus has it all – great writing, a snappy pace, great characters, and small-but-clever twists. It’s like your favorite Holiday Cookie – short and sweet, and leaves you wanting more.
Holiday murder mystery… in space! Think Santa Claus vs the Martians crossed with Firefly and a dash of The Sopranos. The pace was like my ex, a little too fast and loose, but still enjoyable.
A time-traveling Christmas toy and a terrible family curse are at the center of Bevel and Turn. I really enjoyed the awkward, Y/A protagonist, and the relationship angle was well done.
This time-traveling cop adventure left me feeling a bit disjointed, but I imagine that’s what time travel does. Would do. Could have done. Ahem. Death Node was smartly written, showing the repeating effects of changing things in the past. Reminded me of The Butterfly Effect, but in a good way.
A young magician and her family pass through a dead forest and get trapped in an even deader town in The Ringers. Although our hero’s fledgling magical abilities are no match for an evil necromancer, she won’t stop until the town is free from the “Ringers,” bell-ringing horrors who are anything but jolly as they search the town for a different kind of Christmas spirit.
I loved the ideas in this story. Raven Oak really managed to turn holiday traditions on their heads.
My favorite of the stories, Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe is a hilarious cross between Fido and The Jetsons. This retro/future mystery sends a prudish town librarian out of her routine life to solve the disappearance of the town’s prized scepter. (For medicinal purposes, natch.) Quality writing and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, mixed with some clever jabs at society -isms. Not nearly long enough.
#JoytotheWorlds Holiday-themed #SpecFic @maiachance @jani_s @raven_oak @gayleclemans http://bit.ly/1NJB0Zz
Krampus! Dystopia! Time Travel! Santa in space? #JoytotheWorlds #SpecFic http://bit.ly/1NJB0Zz
Happy Speculative Holidays! Check out #JoytotheWorlds #SpecFic http://bit.ly/1NJB0Zz
Thanks to Grey Sun Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.
The con is intended for fans and creators of dark fiction, dark fantasy, dark sci-fi…
…let’s be honest, “Dark Fantastic” sums it up quite well.
Blade of the Destroyer by Andy Peloquin is an exciting new novel in the Grimdark genre. Spectacular fight scenes, wonderful world-building, and an interesting plot all add up to a dark fantasy story you won’t want to miss!
The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.
When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?
Full Disclosure: Abra Staffin-Wiebe is a fellow member of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers’ Group, and I made a contribution to her mothers treatment (see below for details) and in return Abra wrote a bit-character appearance of me into the story. Some links in this article are affiliate links. Thanks for your support!
A Circus Of Brass And Bone is the first novel by author Abra Staffin-Wiebe, publishing under Abra SW. The story takes place in post-Civil War America, in a world without electricity. Rather, Fire Aether powers anything that isn’t run by the low tech of steam. This alternate reality is filled with strange and wonderful inventions like Bone aether (for healing wounds), and aether-powered-mechanical war elephants.
The Loyale Travelling Circus and Menagerie is at sea when they discover their ringmaster murdered, (by one of their own) which is the least of their problems. An apocalyptic aether storm rolls across the world, and the story begins with Chapter One: Everyone Dies.
When the circus docks in Boston, they discover a third of the population has been wiped out, crops are tainted and most aether technology devices are ruined or unstable at best. People are showing symptoms of exposure to the aether storm and what exactly is making all that noise in the woods?
Crossing a steampunk (aetherpunk?) version of The Stand with Carnivàle, A Circus Of Brass And Bone is a rag-tag exploration and adventure by a cast of colorful circus characters in an alternate reality turned upside-down by calamity and devastation.
“In such desperate times, what use is a circus?” [Read more…]
If you’re looking for a quick, dark, well-writ-read, look no further. My sister in darkness, Carole Lanham (USA Today Bestselling author of The Reading Lessons) is re-releasing her awesome collection of short stories – The Whisper Jar.
The revised version of The Whisper Jar includes creepy pictures and a new cover which out-creepifies the old cover, and that is no small task.
The following is an excerpt from my original review:
The Whisper Jar blends dark and sometimes paranormal situations into the really-real everyday world with clever writing, an Edgar Allen Poe sensibility, and a splash of Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things. Carole Lanham writes in her own carefree but intuitive voice. Audiences will slip into these short stories as easily as they would a warm bath, only to be surprised at how quickly the waters deepen. Those looking for a variety of dark character studies, whimsical situations and disturbing relationship dynamics will enjoy The Whisper Jar.
Check out the full review here: Dark Fiction Review: The Whisper Jar by Carole Lanham
The Whisper Jar is available on amazon.com in ebook format for only .99 so go check it out!
The Whisper Jar on Amazon (Affiliate Link – thanks for your support!)
Thinking about having a creepy Halloween get-together? Download The Devil’s Hand and throw a #ProphecyParty as well. Download the free Prophecy Party instructions, invite 5 friends over and follow the instructions to see who will survive! [Read more…]
2013 was an altogether odd year. Keep in mind that we weren’t even supposed to HAVE a 2013. The world was supposed to end on 21 Dec 2012, and… well, it didn’t. Kinda like that old roommate of yours from college who dropped by to stay “for a couple days” and now he’s been living with you for several months…. Yeah, it’s kinda like that. No one really knew what to do with this bonus year, and I can safely say that few people made the most of it.
So what exactly did we do with our bonus year? [Read more…]
One lucky member of the Cult of Zero will receive a Free Blu-Ray of Pacific Rim! I saw Pacific Rim in the theater, and if you’re a fan of Kaiju movies, you’re going to love it!
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim is an epic science fiction film set in the 2020s. Earth is at war with Kaijus; colossal monsters from an inter-dimensional gateway on the Pacific Ocean floor. Humanity unites to fight these huge monsters by creating the Jaegers: gigantic humanoid robots that are controlled by two pilots whose minds and memories are linked. The story takes place in the later days of the war, following Raleigh Becket, a former Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and paired up with newbie pilot Mako Mori in a final effort to defeat the Kaijus!
Pacific Rim was released on Blu-ray & DVD yesterday, Oct 15th.
Calm down. Deep breath. Find your center.
On October 26th, I’ll randomly select a member of the Cult of Zero to win a copy of the Blu-Ray. Winner will be contacted by email and has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.
Warner Bros limits the giveaway to the U.S. and Canada only, and the prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS, so NO P.O. Boxes. Each household is only eligible to win 1 Pacific Rim Blu-Ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
If the winner does not respond with a valid mailing address within 48 hours, I’ll randomly select another winner.
If you’re not a member of the Cult of Zero, then sign up here before the drawing on the 26th!
While you’re waiting to win, check out the blog app below.