Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Woman by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee

This book could be renamed Jack Ketchum Likes Ruining My Life. And I'm not lying, almost every Jack Ketchum book I've ever read has been deeply disturbing. There are no happy ending in this world. There are no supernatural things to blame all of the horrors of life on. Humanity is the cause of everything.

So, a basic summary. There is a feral woman living off a coast. A lawyer spots her (nekkid in a stream), realizes that she is wild and decides to drag her home and tame her. Or civilize her. In a typical Jack Ketchum twist, (and believe me when I say, in his books, there are no good guys) the lawyer and most of his family turn out to be bad news.

I read on a feminist website somewhere that there is a line in the book and movie where the lawyer/father picks up his daughter by the throat (she's pregnant, by the way) and says something like "You are disgusting! You are no different than that THING in the cellar." This is creepy and trust me, way creepier when you've read the book. I've heard the movie implies, but the book definitely lets you know all the creepy intricacies of this family. Expect to be horrified. However, that line definitely summarizes lawyer/father from hell's basic attitude toward every woman. If you are a feminist, expect to be horrified and then elated (kind of).  If you don't consider yourself a feminist, the same holds, except it may surprise you to realize that every day when I walk down the street and men in cars leer, catcall and say obscene things, this is what they are telling me. They are saying "You are nothing. You are less than human and your body is mine."

I realize that the paragraph above goes a bit off topic, but honestly, that struck a huge cord with me. I love the character of The Woman (I also have not read the apparently two other books.....crap....) and watching someone(s) rape and torture her was extremely brutal. She is not a monster, but feral, to be sure.

I cannot say this loudly enough, HUGE TRIGGER WARNINGS.

5 stars (for the ending)

The Exorcist

The Exorcist (40th Anniversary Edition) by William Peter Blatty

This book is one of the most controversial books ever written. It is based off of an apparent true child possession case in the 40's. I say apparent because I'm still extremely Catholic, regardless of my lapsed whatnots, and I have trouble believing in possessions. I'm not really sure why, because I've seen some pretty scary supernatural phenomena, all of which would point at the very least to there being some sort of spiritual existence.

Moving on from my obvious issues, this book is utterly terrifying. I've read it twice and the first time I read it, I didn't sleep for around three days. Regan, a eleven year old girl, is possessed by a demon. I think it is one demon. It is implied that there are multiples, but demons lie, so WHO KNOWS. It begins with an imaginary friend named Captain Howdy and quickly becomes a downward spiral. The reader doesn't know what caused Regan to become possessed. It could be the ouija board she is playing with but most likely it is just that she was there, a thought which lends itself to the overall dread of the book. The priests in this book are fantastic. There is some beautiful sentiments spoken by these priests about the nature of God's love.

Obviously, the main theme of this book is possession and horror. It definitely encapsulates these perfectly. The book is extremely frightening. It allows the imagination to take what you are reading and turns it into something so twisted, it is hard to imagine that they adequately captured this in a movie. I've seen the movie, which was fantastically horrifying, but it misses some of the finer parts. Both are beautifully profane.

Incidentally, I was pretty disturbed by the crucifix masturbation and the licking of someone's ankles.

Five Stars.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

To start out with, a summary. Dr.Louis Creed, his wife Rachel, their children Eileen and Gage and their cat move to Bangor, Maine, in order to have a larger home and yard. The town is nice, the neighbors are friendly and not too far from their house is a "pet cemetery," a place where children bury their pets. Eventually it is revealed that the real cemetery is past the pet cemetery and the ground there holds power. Power to raise a cat from the dead. As you might imagine though, this is where things start to go  horribly wrong.

I don't think I've ever seen a story where playing God ends well. This is one of those stories. Filled with a creeping dread, this book will give you nightmares. You will also love the characters and be deeply saddened by the choices they make and the havoc their consequences wreak.

This being a Stephen King book, I expected it to be scary, but a normal kind of scary.

I couldn't sleep after this book.There is humor, and life, and death, and sadness, but it is mostly just a slow, creeping horror. It is definitely one of the scariest books by Stephen King.

Just remember, sometimes dead is better

5 stars

Seed by Ania Ahlborn

"With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.
When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.
Country comfort is no match for spine-tingling Southern gothic suspense in Ania Ahlborn’s tale of an ordinary man with a demon on his back. Seed plants its page-turning terror deep in your soul, and lets it grow wild." ~ Publisher's Description. Publication Date 2012.

I chose this as my first book to review because it is still fresh in my mind. I read it about four days ago and it was utterly terrifying. Don't let the cover fool you, when I drove home that night in the dark, it was all I could do not to scream whenever I saw anything, even a car, moving. 

The books begins well and is completely unnerving to read. The idea and the story isn't new, but the telling is crisp and full of deep southern flavor. While I didn't love the main character (as I was reading his perspective, much of my thoughts ran along the lines of "what is WRONG with you?!"), I empathized with his deep terror and inability to ask for help in almost any situation. He is just stuck and when he can't talk about what is going on with anyone, he can't do anything to remedy the situation. I found the scenes with his daughters deeply disturbing and his revelations of his past were horrifying. While the character is easy to empathize with, I'd be willing to bet that his situation is not something that is seen every day. 

The only real issue I had with it was the pacing. There were times where things got very slow. Not enough to lose interest but enough that I was a little annoyed at least twice. 

This is an exceptionally dark book. If you are looking for a fairy tale, skip this one. Familiar horrors (demonic possession, evil children) are twisted in new and exciting ways, however it is not for the faint of heart. I enjoyed it. It was gruesome at times, and horrifying the whole time. Eat up and don't look out the window, because who knows what might be staring at you from across the street?

4 stars.

Begin at the Beginning, Vizzini!

Hello from the Hellkitten.

On the advise of my father-in-law, I have decided to begin writing book reviews. I feel like this might be an odd way of occupying my time, however, I spent so much time reading, that I might as well write how I feel about the books as well.

This may save my husband from having to hear about them constantly.

I haven't decided on a way of grading books, as I don't have a checklist yet. So I'm going to go with stars, one through five.

Fair warning, the last fifty or so books I've read have been in the horror genre. It will seem like all I do is horror for the first few review, but I plan on throwing in some different ones. I've read thousands of books and I plan on reading hundreds of thousands more and I can't read everything horror! I've gone through random genre obsessions in my life so hopefully you will bear with me as I decide what books to review.

A little about myself. I am a married, 21 year old female from Texas with almost two year old twin boys. In case you can't do math, this means I got pregnant at 19. I will probably elaborate on that at some point, but not now. I just celebrated my one year anniversary with my husband. We have been going through rough times almost as soon as we started dating back in 2009, but hopefully things will start to get easier soon.

I think my love for books stemmed when I was potty-training and my parents would read to me as an incentive! In any case, I've used my love for books as a way to deal with the hard things I've gone through and am still going through while growing up. I read voraciously and I find books fascinating.

Occasionally, I may post reviews of movies or games as well, if something really knocks my metaphorical socks off.

I'm just starting out. Be kind (and constructive) and I will do my best to spell correctly, use big words, and give y'all some fantastic books to read.

The HellKitten