Paranormal Reviews

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

[openbook booknumber=”9780385736817″][rating:4/5]

In Mary’s world, there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown in to chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

I think that The Forest of Hands and Teeth works out as a fantastic and well written introduction to post-apocalyptic zombie fiction. It was realistic, engaging, horrifying and managed to both keep that realistic and well done horror and be accessible to a young age group. I absolutely loved it.

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New Moon

[openbook booknumber=”0316160199″][rating:1.5/5]

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward had already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning…

After reading Twilight I honestly though the series could not possibly get any worse. We already had anti-feminist and misogynistic overtones, we already had a shallow and petty plot surrounding a shallow and petty character. A mammoth of a book had been built glorifying two teenage lovers utterly convinced that no one had loved as they loved before or would since. The worst is past. I didn’t think it would get better but I didn’t think it could get any worse either. I was wrong.

Warning: Contains Spoilers

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[openbook booknumber=”0316160172″][rating:2.5/5]

I must be the last young woman in the country to read Twilight. I started hearing hype on it years ago when I was moderating a forum that was frequented by several teenage girls and they were going crazy on the book. It was the next Harry Potter, according to them. I really wasn’t all that big on vampire novels and so I decided to wait until the series finished before I gave them a whirl. I recently got loaned all four books by my sister-in-law so now I am finally giving them a try. It wasn’t worth the wait.

Just about everyone knows the premise of Twilight. A teenage girl named Bella Swan moves to Forks, Washington and while there catches the eye of the hottest most mysterious guy in school. He has several secrets and she is determined to find them out and when she does a great love story ensues. She loves him and he loves her back while at the same time wanting to kill her in a horribly bloody way to drink her sweet, sweet blood. It is all very romantic.

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by Paul Walther


The short story “Splitfoot” was published in The Years Best Fantasy and Horror 2008. It is a story about a young woman named Violet who is in financial debt with a man named Royce, to help get her out of debt she calls in her friend Trixie to exchange some property up north. Trixie pays off her debt by giving the land to Violet, Violet pays off her debt by then transferring the land to Royce. All right and tight. Until they go up to see the property and see that something there has somehow gone terribly wrong.

I read this story through twice. I still don’t think I understand completely what happened, why it happened, or what the ending was supposed to mean. The evil found haunting the house up north was frightening. What happened was horrifying in a very The Exorcist sorta kind of way. That said I’m not sure what to say to not spoil it because I don’t get what’s pertinent and what’s not. Did they bring the demon? Was the demon already there? Was the demon attached to one of the characters? Why did it target the child? Why did two of the three main characters pretend nothing had happened afterward? It was all very confusing and I’m afraid I didn’t catch the vibe at all with this one.

Hum Drum

by Gary McMahon


The short story “Hum Drum” turned out to be a really intriguing horror/psychic/ghost mystery with a truly chilling nemesis and a very interesting psychic protagonist Thomas Usher. This short story can be found in The Years Best Fantasy and Horror 2008 and The First Humdrumming Book of Horror Stories.

In it Thomas Usher works as a psychic detective, he can see and communicate with the dead and helps people unfortunate enough to be in dangerous circumstances with these ghosts. His job is to try and find out what they want, why they are there, and get them what they need to go back to where they came from. In this story a man purchases a sinister toy drum from an antique shop and feels compelled to drum it. Doing so summons the ghost and results in him having to find Thomas Usher as the ghost is even more sinister than the drum. What does the ghost want? Why is the ghost bothering this man? Why is the drum still sounding on and on and what will it take to make the beat of the drum finally stop?

This short story would have made a terrifying TV Show. I could just picture the drum, innocent at first, but slowly resembling more and more an ancient relic made of human bone and flesh. The ghost was at times truly terrifying and the ending was, well not totally unexpected, but what happened after certainly was. Thomas Usher was fascinating to read about and I loved how the ending showed so much about him and who he was and that there were more stories to tell. In fact the author is writing more about him and is publishing a book with further tales in To Usher, The Dead which is coming out later this year, but isn’t on Amazon yet.