I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Adam Cesare is my go to guy for new horror. A big appeal for me is we grew up close to the same era, so some of his work has a nostalgic aspect that I can relate to. With Zero Lives Remaining, that nostalgia comes in the form of retro arcade games. A quick aside, I wasn’t a big gamer as a kid, nor am I one now, but I loved going into the arcades and looking and watching even if I wasn’t playing the games.
This is the story of Robbie Asaro, who died tragically at Funcave, the arcade he worked at. He became a ghost in the machine and watched over the place for two decades. He becomes fond of Tiffany, one of the gamers, and when she is bullied by Chris, Robbie unleashes his power and starts a destructive chain reaction.
With Adam’s stories comes a good focus on the characters, which is something I really enjoy about his books. He adds the right amount of backstory so we can get a good idea of the characters motivations. He does this especially well with Chris and Tiffany, allowing us to get into both of their heads and understand their reactions to each other.
I want to mention I listened to this as an audiobook, and that Narrator Joe Hempel did an excellent job.
This book has plenty of nostalgia, an interesting story, and a good amount of gore. I recommend it for any fan of the horror genre.
Buy it here Zero Lives Remaining
David Barbee has done it again! His newest offering, Nights Neon Fangs, contains four novellas cram-packed full of great characters, settings, and adventures. I knew David was a very talented writer from his previous work, but NNF’s just proves he’s getting better and better.
The book kicks off with the title story, Nights Neon Fangs. This is the story of Buster Wade, who on Christmas night was bitten by an electric werewolf. Yes, an electric werewolf, tell me that’s not the coolest thing ever. Barbee could have just gone from there and wrote a standard werewolf story, and I’m sure it would have been great. But, he takes it further by creating a whole new world, where an ancient Pharaoh has cursed the world to endure a massive storm cloud that rains down mummies, where vampire cows are raised to help maintain America’s blood supply, and there’s a popular musician that is animated red jell-o named Jellostein.
Next we have Noah’s Arkopolis. Here we have a re-imagining of the events from the bible where Noah was told to build an ark and gather up two of every creature as the world flooded. Only, in Barbee’s story, Noah’s ark never saw land, and the world stayed completely under water. Over time the ark was converted into Arkopolis, and all the animals and people breed together creating new species. This was my second favorite story of the four, as it showcases Barbee’s great sense of humor along with his wild imagination.
The story that Ultimo Sumbitch is a futuristic western, where reptilian aliens have invaded and forced the humans out of the cities. That Ultimo Sumbitch himself is a merciless killer, with six shooters for hands, who wanders around killing for money.
The last story, Bat Cop out of Hell is another unique take on a familiar premise. A revenge story that follows a batcop who is brought back from the dead by the batdevil to avenge his murdered family. It’s an entire bat world, filled with many different bat characters, where our resurrected batcop tries to solve the mystery of what happened to him and his batfamily.
The thing I like the most about this collection is each story takes place in a new and interesting world. Barbee is great at creating these unique settings and filling them with crazy characters and exciting plots. Barbee seems to have no shortage of wild and crazy ideas, and I for one am excited by that. He has become one of my favorite writers in the bizarro genre.
Buy it here Nights Neon Fangs