This week the review hammer falls on BACK FROM THE DEAD by J. F. Gonzalez and APARTMENT SEVEN by Greg F. Gifune, both available from Darkfuse.com
BACK FROM THE DEAD by J. F. Gonzalez
I have been a J. F. Gonzalez fan since I read the first Clickers novel. His writing is sharp and full of mean, lean kick ass prose, which is why he paired so well when he collaborated with Brian Keene. In this novel, available from Dark Fuse dot com, his imagination flies and he never pulls a punch.
BACK FROM THE DEAD is a zombie story about resurrection, youthful rage and being an outcast. There are also strong themes of isolation and deceit sprinkled throughout this novel. My favorite part of this book was the black magic aspect that lent a nice twist to the already stale zombie genre.
Set in Pennsylvania, a group of teens get their kicks from beating the crap out of people. These kids are tops in their class, seem nice to the public and everyone never suspects a thing. The teens get a rush from the action of their sadistic game until things go horribly wrong. That’s when they need a little help from a boy they used to bully around, Tim Gaines.
The stories protagonist is Tim Gaines. He’s a ridiculed teenager who is shunned by the community for his love of all things horror (movies, music, books, ect). He is also fighting a rumor that he just can’t shake. The town thinks that he worshiped the devil and is just no good but it’s far from the truth. Tim Gaines gets caught up in this band of teens and slowly the story develops into Tim coming out of his hermetically shy shell and onto the action stage. But the group of teens just want to use him, and use a ritual from Tim’s factious horror novel, aptly names BACK FROM THE DEAD, to raise the dead and make a zombie slave of sorts. They want to bring the man they murdered back to life only to kill him, again and again.
But Gonzalez doesn’t let it happen that easy. There is also a strong element of love and longing within that caught me off guard. All in all, it was a great story and if you dig the monster’s back from the dead scenario like I do, this is a must read.
Although BACK FROM THE DEAD reminds me of Wrath James White’s THE RESSURECTONIST, other that the themes of resurrection and the killing over and over again, the similarities end. BACK FROM THE DEAD started off a little slow but believe me, stick with it because a quarter into the book, it turns into a page burner till the climactic and shocking end.
And I never saw it coming.
Order it here in e-book format or trade paperback!
APARTMENT SEVEN by Greg F. Gifune
Greg F. Gifune is a very talented man. His prose is like poetry and once you read some of his work, you won’t want to stop reading. In APARTMENT SEVEN, released by Dark Fuse dot com in e-book format and trade paperback, Gifune takes us through the looking glass of a horrifying, Dickens based trip. It is updated, of course, for the 21st century.
APARTMENT SEVEN is a haunting story as seen through the experiences of Charlie Cerrone. Charlie, a man who once had it all, has now lost everything, even himself. He searches for his love, Jenna, and in doing so, take a deep look into his own mind and fights with his inner demons.
As he travels the streets of Boston looking for these answers, Charlie is put though a Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” template. The whole ghost of Christmas past, present and future play out and I think this was Gifune’s purpose though, to make a horror version of the classic Dickens novel. To make a story about a man who searches for his future while his past and present hunger for his very soul. I liked the concept and I never caught on till half way through the novella (It’s a very short work but packed densely with flavor.) I won’t say anymore on what’s going on with APARTMENT SEVEN as I fear I’ve said too much already. I will say that it is a fine piece of fiction and at times it literally had me feeling uneasy, horrified and unsettled. It’s a short read, highly engaging and it’s cheap to buy for your kindle or e-reader. I truly believe that you will dig this novella and if you don’t, you’re probably on drugs.
Buy it here from www.darkfuse.com in e-book format or limited edition hardback!
My next review train will deal with some more great books from Deadite press. I will also talk about upcoming releases from Dark Fuse and perhaps some personal commentary about the CONS I will be attending this year.