Blog Tour: The Vampire’s Protege by Damian Serbu

Title:  The Vampire’s Protege

Series: From the Vampire’s Angel universe

Author: Damian Serbu

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: August 21

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 99600

Genre: Horror, paranormal, abduction, action, blood and gore, cisgender, contemporary, crime, dark, death, gay, paranormal, vampires

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Synopsis

A sinister vampire offers Charon a choice he can’t refuse: play a deadly game of winner takes all, losers die.

Charon relishes the competition and molds himself into a sexy vampire who defies vampire law, savoring his power and embracing the role of villain. He also loves surrounding himself with hot young men. But when an alluring vampire stalks him and threatens to turn him into the Vampire Council unless he helps with a seemingly impossible task, will Charon risk his perfectly narcissistic life on the challenge? Does he have any other choice?

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Review: Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop by John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan

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Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop

By John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan

Retired stage magician Dr. Marvelry prefers to stock his antique store with strange and occult items. He has always enjoyed meeting odd people and hearing their stories, the legends attached to mysterious objects. A phonograph that seemingly replays a tragedy. Fertility dolls that are more than decoration. A bedeviled mannequin. These are just some of the relics this eccentric shopkeeper has collected over the years.

No two customers will have the same experience in his curiosity shop — some walk away satisfied, others are never heard from again. But one thing is certain – when you purchase an item at this store, you often get more than what you paid for.

Follow Marvelry and his hexed objects through twelve tales of suspense, magic, terror, and transformation. Meet his new assistant, fellow illusionists, and some irregular characters along the way. Whatever macabre artifact of the human psyche you’re seeking – you’ll find something special in Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 5 stars

This novel is a collection of 12 short stories which centre around Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop which is a second hand store unlike no other – in that your purchase could kill you! The short stories are either unsuspecting customers dealing with the consequences of their purchases, being connected to a customer in some way or Marvelry’s own experiences.

This is very well thought-out and put together collection of tales. Short story telling is an art that the two authors have clearly mastered. Each tale was wonderfully imaginative and a fun read, with an unexpected twist at each end.

Marvelry himself was…well as curious as his shop! I couldn’t decide whether he knew just what the object he was selling could do or whether he really didn’t know at all. Either way, I found him to be rather likeable and endearing in a quaint old-fashioned way. I also liked that some of the stories were about Marvelry himself so I gained some more insight into the character.

Overall Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop is an excellent read and one that I recommend to lovers of short stories and spooky tales.

Review: Divulgence (H Narratives #1) by S.J Romero

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Divulgence (H Narratives #1)

by S.J Romero

What if Hell was real? What if it was divided into regions and could be manipulated at the blink of an eye? What if Hell was survival for some and entertainment for others?

Six people wake to find themselves in strange surroundings without food, water, or explanation. Unable to escape, patience is lost and tempers flare as impossible things happen far too often, leading to the only conclusion that makes sense—they must be dead.

H narratives: Divulgence, is the mind-altering epic introduction to an afterlife never imagined, a journey like no other and a disturbing truth—death is not what we thought.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Divulgence (H Narratives #1) on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 3.5 stars

Six complete strangers awaken in a bizarre and frightening place, only to be told that not only are they dead but they are in hell. They are all put through terrifying ordeals at the hands of the torturer Sunesis before being told that they must work together to complete missions for Sunesis and journey through hell.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. The first half I did not enjoy at all and struggled to get through it. There was a lot of graphic violence that I questioned the need for. Reading it made me very uncomfortable and I was very tempted to skip pages in places. However, I persevered with it and once the six protagonists had been dispatched into the lands of hell I found myself starting to enjoy the novel. There was still quite a lot of violence but you also learned more about each character and started to see them forming bonds with each other. I liked how each of them was flawed in some way – it made them much more relatable. The banter between them was amusing and provided a lot of much need comic relief to the horrifying situation that they found themselves in.

I have given Divulgence 3.5 stars because whilst I enjoyed the second part of the novel, the first part made for some very uncomfortable reading. That being said this is a very original novel with a different take on what we imagine hell to be like and I would like to find out what happens to Toby and the others.

Review: A Stalled Ox

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A Stalled Ox by Dean Moses

An isolated religious cult has reportedly been consuming meat while the rest of the planet has been forced to live a life without it. Presuming this sect has resorted to cannibalism, two agents from an organization known simply as The Agency are dispatched to investigate. Will they find evidence of humans eating one another? Or is something even stranger taking place?

“In the tradition of Serling and Bradbury, A Stalled Ox is a gruesome, yet beautiful story that wraps a complex morality tale in an engaging and fast-paced horror story with a touch of espionage. Crafting a world where no one is truly innocent, Moses invites the reader to follow Agent Howard Harrington as he discovers what true evil is.”

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

A Stalled Ox on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 4 stars

A Stalled Ox is a short novella set in the future where a disease known as Farmers Folly has killed off all livestock, forcing humans to become vegetarians. However, the Government hears word of a secluded cult eating meat and, concerned that they are resorting to cannibalisation, it sends two agents from The Agency to investigate.

I enjoyed reading this short, futuristic story. It touches on quite a few different elements; human nature, religion and the impact that genetic modifications can have on species. There are some quite graphic descriptions in places so it’s not a story for the squeamish! I do feel that perhaps it would have benefited from being slightly longer to develop the main characters more but overall it’s a great read.

Review: Furnace

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Furnace by Joseph Williams

On a routine escort mission to a human colony, Lieutenant Michael Chalmers is pulled out of hyper-sleep a month early. The RSA Rockne Hummel is well off course and—as the ship’s navigator—it’s up to him to figure out why. It’s supposed to be a simple fix, but when he attempts to identify their position in the known universe, nothing registers on his scans. Nothing at all. The vessel has catapulted beyond the reach of starlight by at least a hundred trillion light-years. Then a planetary-mass object materializes behind them. It’s burning brightly even without a star to heat it. Hundreds of damaged ships are locked in its orbit, but before the scanners go offline, the crew discovers there are no life-signs aboard any of them. As system failures sweep through the Hummel, neither Chalmers nor the pilot can prevent the vessel from crashing into the surface near a mysterious ancient city. And that’s where the real nightmare begins.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Furnace of Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 4 stars

When the ship RSA Rockne Hummel goes dramatically off-course, navigator Lieutenant Michael Chalmers is woken early from hyper-sleep to figure out why. Lost at the edge of space, they crash into the planet Furnace. And that’s where the horrors truly begin.

Furnace is told completely from Chalmers’ perspective as he fights for survival on a planet inhabited by demons. Whilst stranded on the planet’s surface the ship’s captain orders that Chalmers accompanies other crew members on a reconnaissance mission which goes terribly wrong. Knowing that there is no hope of rescue, Chalmers’ only chance of survival is to travel through an ancient demon city to reach his ship before it departs.

Furnace is a blend of science fiction, horror and a fast-paced thriller that never falters and keeps the reader gripped from the first page to the last. The main character is well-developed and his internal dialogue brings some dark humour to the situations that he finds himself in. I really enjoyed reading Furnace. The concept is very clever and unique, and the author successfully manages to bring together three genres in one great read.

Review: The Express

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The Express by R.K Howard

Are you ready for one hell of a bumpy ride?

A man’s daily commute becomes a hellish nightmare in this harrowing account of a bus crash that transforms a fateful ending into a painful beginning.

Based on an age-old premise with a fresh narrative that visits the undesirable side of life after death.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

The Express on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 5 stars

There is an art to the short story and R.K Howard’s tale of an ordinary man’s every day commute turning into his last has successfully mastered this. Many authors try to pack too much into a small word count and either the flow of the story or the characterisation suffers as a result. This certainly isn’t the case here.

The Express is a quick read that breathes fresh life into the ‘what happens when we die’ question that all of us ask ourselves at some point in our lives. The protagonist discovers the truth when the bus that he is travelling on is involved in a fatal collision.

There is no getting away from the dark subject matter, but R.K Howard has successfully blended sarcastic humour to add some degree of relief. And nicknaming regular fellow commuters is something that we all do in real life!

A fantastic, quick read!

Review: Suffer the Children

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Suffer the Children by Dominic Selwood

It is 1904, and an Oxford don decides to spend the Christmas vacation conducting research in rural Norfolk. But in the library of the country house where he is staying, he finds the records of a terrifying tragedy. A short story. A homage to M R James.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Suffer the Children on Goodreads


*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 Stars

Suffer the Children is set in the early twentieth century. A professor of Oxford, whilst conducting research in a library belonging to an acquaintance, discovers a journal written by his associate’s father. In this journal contains a horrifying account of his travels to Sardinia.

This is a short, subtle horror story that reads like it was written in Victorian times. Selwood has mastered this style and the tale leaves you with chills long after you’ve finished reading. An excellent short story that I highly recommend!