Target Practice – Cleopatra in Space #1 (Kid’s Sci-Fi Graphic Novel)

Title: Target Practice | Series: Cleopatra In Space #1 | Creator: Mike Maihack | Publisher: Graphix | Pub. Date: 2014-4-29 | Pages: 172 | Genre: Kids Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Library


Target Practice (Cleopatra in Space #1)

A funny, action-packed graphic novel featuring a young Cleopatra — yes, THAT Cleopatra — who’s transported to the future and learns it’s up to her to save the galaxy!

When a young Cleopatra (yes, THAT Cleopatra) finds a mysterious tablet that zaps her to the far, REALLY far future, she learns of an ancient prophecy that says she is destined to save the galaxy from the tyrannical rule of the evil Xaius Octavian. She enrolls in Yasiro Academy, a high-tech school with classes like algebra, biology, and alien languages (which Cleo could do without), and combat training (which is more Cleo’s style). With help from her teacher Khensu, Cleo learns what it takes to be a great leader, all while trying to figure out how she’s going to get her homework done, make friends, and avoid detention!

Book cover for Target Practice - Cleopatra in Space #1

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The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants Review (Kids Sci-Fi)

Title: The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants | Series: Professor Sparky Sciencey Adventure #1 | Author: John Kelly | ASIN: B06XQLKHBJ | Genre: Kids Sci-Fi | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants

On the planet Duplex an unknown (but probably evil) genius is dematerializing members of the Extreme Cleverness Society leaving only their underpants behind!

It’s time for Professor Sparky, scientific genius and sausage dog*, to interfere without being asked. With Ellie-Ann along for the thrills (and to stop him accidentally killing himself or blowing up the planet) he sets off to prevent more professors from being dematerialized.

It doesn’t go well.

But there is LOADS of exciting stuff about Quadflapple birds, worm-holes, indescribably foul-smelling dog-food, exotic-patterned underpants, reverse-o-alchemy, indoor explosions, lava-cats, and splunge-diving to keep you entertained along the way. – Goodreads

Book cover for The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants

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The Minstrel’s Bargain (Horror)

Title: The Minstrel’s Bargain | Author: Richard Ayre | Publisher: Originally published by Bloodhound Books | Pub. Date: 10/14/2017 | Pages: 430 | ASIN: B01M6X9WNO | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Scenes of torture and violence | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received from the author for an honest review


The Minstrel’s Bargain

‘A tale of horror, hell and heavy metal.’
Newcastle. 1988….
They say that music is the food of love. Reporter Phil Sturgess would disagree with this. He would argue that some music is the stuff of nightmares. Some music can literally tear out your soul and drag it, kicking and screaming, down to hell itself.
Sturgess loves rock music. He loves it so much he makes a living from it. But when he hears of a band called Minstrel’s Bargain, Sturgess’ life descends into horror. As the city he lives in succumbs to ever more violent and macabre episodes of grisly murders and barbarous acts of self-destruction, Sturgess begins to understand that there is something very wrong with Minstrel’s Bargain. Something very wrong indeed.
With time running out for humanity, Sturgess is threatened with an age old evil. And to stop that evil he is forced to confront the terrifying stranger who has been dogging his footsteps for months. The only question is; will Sturgess do what needs to be done? If not, the souls of millions will be destroyed.
Sturgess has to make a choice. Fight or flight? Heaven or Hell? Live or die? Whatever he chooses, it will be a Devil of a decision. – Goodreads

 

The Minstrel’s Bargain 

I really, really wanted to give The Minstrel’s Bargain four stars because I really did love it. A lot. It just has a few flaws that are hard to get past but with some tightening up it could be a phenomenal book.

The characters are great. I loved Sturgess and Shelley. They were a great couple and very believable. I got really attached to them. The dialogue was perfect, very casual but not rude and it wasn’t overly formal. Since this seems to be a series I’m very interested to see where it goes and spending some more time with Sturgess and Shelley. The surrounding characters were fleshed out very well, even the incidental characters.

One of the problems of The Minstrel’s Bargain was with pacing. Near the middle of the book it kind of slows down and stays on a plateau for a while. It’s detailing some of the things happening in the wake of the band but after a while you kind of want to say, “Ok, got it. Let’s get moving”. All of these incidents are well detailed and the author does a very good job of fleshing them out so you really get invested in what’s happening to them. Which is nice but it does slow the book down a bit.

One of the other problems the book has is it’s tendency to use phrases like “If he had known this would happen” a lot. Which a lot of writers do but it’s also nice not to have everything telegraphed beforehand. Another common mistake that shows up in the book is the mysterious “You’ll know when you’re ready” speeches that The Chosen Ones always seem to be a recipient of. But those are really the only flaws with it.

The author does know the music scene, especially in the eighties. Which kind of made me wonder why no one put two and two together about the band. I didn’t knock any points off for this because a lot of people might not notice it. Anyways, in the late eighties there was a huge deal about heavy metal, Satanism and bands influencing people with their music. Ozzy Osbourne’s song “Suicide Solution” got hit hard. Judas Priest got a lot of flack over their music, which really bothered them Their song “Holy Smoke” is directly in response to religious fanatics burning their records. They were also blamed for the suicide of a teenager. So I kind of find it hard to believe that no newspapers would have made the connection between the deaths and the band.

I’m also thankful for the lyrics at the beginning because I’ve found a new band to love and that gives me the happiness like you wouldn’t believe. I’m always on the lookout for more (hint, hint).


So, with the minor defects tightened up this could easily be a four or five star read and I’ll definitely be watching for the sequel.


Rating: 3 out of 5 Skulls

    

Cavern of the Damned Review (Creature Horror)

Title: Cavern of the Damned | Author: Russell James | Publisher; Severed Press | Pub. Date: May 22nd, 2017 | Pages: 129 | ASIN: B071LMZFHJ | Genre: Creature Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Arachnophobia, claustrophobia | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


Cavern of the Damned Review

Broke and desperate, paleontologist Grant Coleman gets the chance of a lifetime exploring a long-sealed cave, the fabled home of a gigantic creatures.

NPS Ranger McKinley Stinson discovers a rancher’s prize bull has been butchered by an airborne killer, and tracks the blood trail back to the re-opened cavern. But as she’s about to arrest the trespassers, the unstable roof collapses, trapping all.

Their only way out is at the cave system’s far end. But an eco-system of terrifying mega fauna stands between them and freedom. Death, double-crosses, and a slew of monstrous cave creatures take their toll as the group battles to what they pray is an exit.

Will anyone survive this cavern of the damned? – Goodreads

Book cover for Cavern of the Damned

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Warm Bodies Review

Title: Warm Bodies | Author: Isaac Marion | Publisher: Atria Books | Pub. Date: 2011-4-26 | Pages: 256 | ISBN13: 9781439192337 | Genre: Post-apocalyptic romance | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Library


Warm Bodies

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. R doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving. – Goodreads
Book cover for Warm Bodies

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Ten Books That Define Me (Us)

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Imagine that you could introduce yourself to someone by showing them your bookshelf. What ten books would you put on that shelf that would give people a glimpse into who you are? They might not be all your favorites, but books that resonated with you in some fashion.

The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was supposed to be about series you wanted to start. Er, that doesn’t work too well for us since we can’t think of a single series we want to start. So we chose to gleefully derail the train for this week, and instead do something else. But, as usual, Broke and Bookish is responsible for bringing you the topics every week. They can’t help if it if we occasionally don’t listen well.

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

These are the Ten Books That Define Me (Lilyn)

Book cover for Stone Cold BastardsThe Book: Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

The Reason: The violence tempered with humor that pervades the book. I am not someone who screams and shouts when I get upset, but I do have a violent streak that’s only tempered with some very dark humor at times.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The Johnson ProjectThe Book: The Johnson Project by Maggie Spence

The Reason: The logical way the family in the book handle the responsibility of their cure for humanity appeals. Appeals so much. This amount of common sense makes me happy.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The Mammoth HuntersThe Book: The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

The Reason: This is two-fold. The first is Ayla herself. She’s intelligent yet naive. She has trouble grasping social cues and often wants to just do the thing that it makes sense to her to do. I identify strongly with Ayla. The second is the rich detail that Auel uses to paint her pre-history world. Though I am not one that loves the thick fantasy books, I love sinking into one of these books and living in that pre-history world which is so believable.

 

 

 

 


 

 

The Book: House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

The Reason: Because House of Robots appeals to my inner child on a massive level. This series is pretty much perfect in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for Naked in DeathThe Book: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

The Reason: Eve and her inability to grasp why the hell humans act so…human. (Are you sensing a theme here?) She’s a complete hardass that’s tormented by her past, and it would be much easier if people just did the logical thing (and also didn’t try to kill each other.) Plus, she’s got a violent streak. Oh, and there’s Roarke, who is pretty much the definition of “Let us engage in act of coitus! Multiple times!” for me.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Just One Damned Thing After AnotherThe Book: Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

The Reason: I’m pretty sure Markum is my spirit animal. Beyond that, the unbridled enthusiasm that Max brings to anything she’s fascinated with, the absolute clumsiness she exhibits, and the snark that slips out of her mouth on an every-other-word basis. If there was anyone that came closest to being me in book form – it’s Max. With a side of Markum.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for MagoniaThe Book: Magonia by Mariah Devanah Headley

The Reason: My daughter. Reading this book will make you understand how love and pain and life and the threat of death can all twine together so closely its almost impossible to tell one from the other.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Damocles by S.G. Redling - 10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by WomenThe Book: Damocles by S.G. Redding

The Reason: Because it captures one of the primary reasons I love science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a good military sci-fi, and a good sci-fi horror fic or flick can never go wrong. However, Damocles is all about the wonder and the possibilities in meeting an alien race. It’s gorgeous and touching and imaginative and… perfect.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The MartianThe Book: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Reason: Watney’s snark coupled with his inability to give up. That’s it in a nutshell. Mostly his snark, though.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Apocalypse CowThe Book: Apocalypse Cow

The Reason: The puns, the horny cows, it’s all there. If you don’t at least snicker looking at the cover for this book, then I’m afraid we simply don’t stand a chance of being friends.

The Re-Moo Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Book: Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Reason: Because it’s proof that I’m female? Nah, this one gets included just because its my favorite book, and I think that even if I can’t ‘identify’ with it or anything like that, the fact that it is my favorite does mean it deserves a place on this list. As long as whomever is looking at my shelf keeps in mind that it’s the only romance book on here. So, y’know, pulling the mooshy-gooshy with me has a slim chance of ever actually working. And I mainly like this book for the *-ahem-*. Well, it’s not for the exquisite plot, I’ll tell you that much. Not exactly a Catcher in the Rye type novel, yeah? Heh.

The Review.

 

 

 


Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

These are the Ten Books That Define Me (GracieKat)

The Book: Complete Collection of H.P. Lovecraft – H.P. Lovecraft

Reason: This should surprise exactly no one that knows me but I love the Cthulhu Mythos. I love most of the stories that don’t even have anything to do with the actual Mythos (except the Dream Cycle, I just can’t get into those). After getting tired of D. Seuss and Goodnight Moon I started reading Lovecraft to him. Worked like a charm. Plus, I find the deep ocean terrifying. Who knows what could be lurking down there?

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Book: Shock Rock – edited by Jeff Gelb

Reason: I love horror, I love music and I love short stories. Put them all together and hot damn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Book: Out of Tune – edited by Jonathan Maberry

Reason: Ok, this might seem like a bit of a repeat but hear me out. Shock Rock is more about modern music while Out of Tune is based more on folklore and balladry, which is the root of all modern music. Plus, people who talk about modern music being violent and filled with sex have obviously never encountered a murder ballad or raunchy tavern song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Book: A Pleasing Terror – M.R. James

Reason: I love classic horror and a lot of the stories are either completely dark or humorous. James has a knack for keeping his stories can be extremely dark or have slight touches of a dry humour to them that I enjoy very much. I don’t mind a bit of lap-stick comedy now and then but in general I prefer dry, caustic humour that can scorch as easily as it can make you laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction – Dorothy Scarborough

Reason: I like reading about the history of things. Well, I’ll qualify that. I like learning the history of things I really like. At the end I was making a list of all the stories I wanted to look for. If anyone else has any more that they know of I’d love to hear them because I’ve read all of mine several times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Reason: I really love Jane Austen and the reason I chose Mansfield Park in particular is because it gets dumped on so much. The heroine isn’t bright and sparkly and witty. She’s quiet, very timid and shy. I can certainly relate. Before I was the dazzling personage you see before you I was very shy with no confidence at all. I like Fanny a lot. Even though she is all of those things listed she also has an inner strength that I find endearing. She doesn’t cave in to peer pressure and does not bow to pressure to marry someone she is not in love with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: 365 Silver Screams – Bryan Senn

Reason: I love movies. A lot.  If you were to look at my movie shelves that’s almost the only kind of movie I have. I have been falling behind a bit in my movies but I’m very  stuck in my routines and I’m very adverse to change so I like to re-watch things a lot. Which brings me to another thing I love…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: Silent Hill 2 –  Sadamu Yamashita

Reason: I love video games and of all the different types or genres I love survival horror. They usually have unique stories to them. My first foray into the genre was the Silent Hill series. Silent Hill 3 as a matter of fact. Of them all I love Silent Hill 2 the best. It’s filled with intriguing characters, great music, symbolism and one hell of a twist at the end. I won’t mention it here, suffice it to say that it was the first game to make my jaw hit the floor in shock. If you’re curious, the second game to make me do that was the end of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.  Thus, my obsession with horror games had begun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 The Book: Dracula – Bram Stoker

Reason: This is one of the first horror novels I ever read and as such it holds a very dear place in my heart. It also got me hooked on vampires. Throughout my teen years I devoured a ton of vampire books, movies and more. I’m not really sure why Dracula has been pegged as the start of the ‘sexy’ vampire (personally, I think Anne Rice holds that dubious distinction). If you really listen to the descriptions he does not sound sexy. At all. Distinguished at times, perhaps but sexy? C’mon! He has stinky breath and hairy palms. And we all know what that means. Don’t even get me started on the movie: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Or, by all means ask, just be prepared for a rant a mile long.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 The Book: The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

Reason: I generally don’t stray too far from my horror zone but when I do I prefer off-beat, somewhat darker titles. It’s a book that has no real conclusion or closure. It’s a bit different in that you know the end from the very beginning but are wondering what happens along the way. There is a ‘captive princesses’ theme with the neighborhood male teens fancying themselves the knights in shining armour. I’m not really sure what genre this book is in. If I had to choose one it would probably be of the avoidable tragedy dramatic variety. It’s also told in a distantly obsessive way that’s interesting to me.


Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love Review

Title: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love | Author: Sarah Vaughn | Illustrator: Lan Medina | Publisher: DC | Pub. Date: 2017-6-6 | Pages: 160 | ASIN: B072HXGLHV | Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Graphic Novel | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley for review consideration.


Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love

Boston Brand is a dead man walking. More than walking, actually—his uncanny abilities enable him to float, fly and seize control of the bodies of the living. He’s no mere ghost. He’s something more powerful, more heroic. He is Deadman! And he’s about to meet Berenice—a living woman with powers of her own.

Berenice’s complicated life and loves have driven her to the haunted halls of the sprawling mansion known as Glencourt Manor. It’s a place where the forces of darkness are known to gather—a house where a person with Berenice’s power to talk to the dead could accomplish great good…or unleash incredible evil.

Separated by the boundary between life and death, yet able to walk between both worlds, Deadman and Berenice must work together to unravel the mystery of the Manor and defeat the dark forces that threaten to erupt. Mystery, murder, resurrection and romance await. The only question is, are their hearts and souls strong enough to survive?

Unlock the answer in DEADMAN: DARK MANSION OF FORBIDDEN LOVE, from acclaimed creators Sarah Vaughn (ALEX + ADA), Lan Medina (FABLES) and José Villarrubia (SWEET TOOTH). This Gothic tale of passion and betrayal is an all-new twist on the character of Boston Brand. Collects DEADMAN: DARK MANSION OF FORBIDDEN LOVE Books #1-3. – Goodreads

Deadman Dark Mansion

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love Review

I went into Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love completely blind. I had never heard of the character Deadman/Boston Brand before. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by either the writer or illustrator for this book. So, yeah, completely unfamiliar with all aspects of it.

The art for Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love was simple yet effective. Very straightforwardly illustrated for the most part. It served to make Deadman himself stand out that much more. The color choices went along well with the illustration style. However, one area that gave me a lot of trouble reading Deadman was the white words on the light blue background that relayed the main female character’s internal thoughts. The white on red of Deadman’s was a bit easier. Because I read this as an epub, it was hard to find a ‘just right’ setting that enabled me to easily see the character’s internal thoughts and not have to scroll inch by inch down through the pages. It made for a somewhat uncomfortable reading experience that left me with a minor headache every time I tackled the story. A more clear font might have made a world of difference.

I liked the diverse representation in Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love. Berenice is (appears to be, at least) bi/ possibly pan-sexual, and Sam is non-binary as well as African American. I also appreciated the fact that that Berenice wasn’t your typical model-looking knockout so often found in comic books. She was actually rather plain and dressed in clothes normal women actually wear.

As for the story itself, it was interesting. Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love is sort of a superhero and gothic ghost story mashup. It takes place inside an old mansion that had been closed up for over 150 years. The story is dark with a definite air of mystery to it. The interactions between Brand and Berenice are fun. The twist with one of the other characters caught me by surprise. (It was a good thing, as some of the other elements of the book aren’t exactly subtle.)

Given the headache that I suffered through to finish Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, I can’t say I’ll ever pick up another volume. However, fans of paranormal fantasy and superhero novels should definitely give Deadman a shot. If it wasn’t for the headache, I would have enjoyed the story a lot more than I did. It’s not the most well-written or meaningful, but it is entertaining nonetheless. And the message of acceptance is a nice one. 

 

Fathers in Horror

I think it’s interesting (and typical) that while Mother’s Day originally started as a day for church-goers to visit their “Mother Church”, Father’s Day has apparently been an honouring your father thing from the beginning. It originated in the Middle Ages, and is traditionally celebrated on March 19th. Of course, the US has to do things different.

I digress. Anyways, for our Top Ten Tuesday list this week, we did a Father’s Day special. The topic we did was Our Favorite Dads in Sci-Fi & Horror. And it was ridiculously difficult to come up with ten! We ended up having to go with just five. And that’s kind of mind-boggling to think about. Why is it so hard to find evidence of good dads in sci-fi and horror? Both of them would be strengthened by having a few more father figures that readers could look up to in the book. Doesn’t every bookworm have at least one book role-model that they look up to? In my case (Lilyn), it was finding good father figures in books and movies that convinced me that not all dads were horrible human beings. Yes, I knew they were just figments of someone’s imagination, but those people had to have had at least some good experiences with fathers, right?

For this post, we’ll be briefly addressing fathers in horror.

(Note: Most of the following post comes from GracieKat, folks. I’ve made no secret of the fact that Miss L is not a healthy child, and yesterday was a bad day for us. I didn’t have the time or energy to properly contribute to this. I’ve added a bit here and there, but that’s it.)

Fathers in Horror

There always seems to be a distinct lack of fathers in horror. In scary stories for kids, parents missing seems to be for plot purposes. After all, how can they get in their adventures with constant parental supervision? If they are present it’s usually a single parent that has to work often enough so the kids are left to their own devices. Sometimes the horror is the parents. And that tends to be the best case scenario. Once you get into adult horror fiction, it’s not exactly sunshine and roses.

Dads in particular in horror are quite often portrayed as, at the worst, abusive. At the least, neglectful, unobservant or skeptical of what their children are telling them. Taking a look at our Top Ten Tuesday list for our fathers you’ll probably notice that quite a few of them are a father figure, rather than the biological father. It’s good to show this because just biology doesn’t determine whether the person is actually a “father” or not. But it kind of makes me wonder why a child/teen character can have a father figure but not an actual father to help them. Parents are generally held to a higher standard of caring for their children. whether or not that’s always the case.  Father figures fill that role nicely. They’re able to be there when needed but also can be a friend when that’s needed as well.

Book cover for Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting for Fathers in Horror post

Two of the best that I can think of are Bobby from Supernatural and Harry from the Silent Hill game.

What’s interesting about Bobby is that he’s not just a father to the boys after their father’s death but even before. So, to me, it’s interesting to me as to why exactly they need a father figure to help them with their daily problems and not just being there for the really big stuff. Heck, Dean was laying in bed dying and they couldn’t get their dad on the phone. Bobby is always there for Sam and Dean. Whether it be bullying his way through a phone call pretending to be someone from the FBI to get them out of trouble, or simply showing up to help them hunt when they’re over their heads. He loves those boys.  And in return, the boys are there for him as much as possible.

Harry is also in the father figure category but I find his dynamic a bit more interesting because most father figures fill a very specific role. Harry’s is a bit more complicated in the game. Short form that’s mostly spoiler free (see longer form behind the spoilers thing if curious): Neither of the parents were biologically related to the baby they raised. They found her abandoned on the road. But he loves the kid, and when she requests to return to Silent Hill, he takes her. Revelations come one after another, and it turns out Cheryl was literally the missing piece to someone else. Bad things happen, and Harry ends up raising another baby that he’s given in the town. And that doesn’t end up going too well for him either.

Silent Hill Game Plot Summary/Spoilers!

In the movies he is still a generally good father but as he’s searching Silent Hill he seems to mainly be looking for his wife, rather than their daughter. They also, which was even more disturbing to me, is that they take the character of Dahlia and completely change her for the movie. In the game she’s a manipulative cult member who is also dealing drugs. She also manipulates her daughter to kill people with her powers in exchange for Dahlia’s love and attention. She also keeps Alessa in excruciating physical pain for seven years (through magic spells) to lure back the other half, Cheryl. There is also no father of record for Alessa. Movie Dahlia is made into a sympathetic character who herself was manipulated and regrets it. Harry’s actual character from the game is also changed into a woman. The director does comment on this by saying he wanted to show the mother/daughter relationship and that Harry showed more feminine aspects. My question to this is why not show a very close father/daughter relationship? And why take a horrible mother and lighten her to a tragic character who screwed up a bit by trusting the wrong person?

Here’s where it ties together (I knew I’d get there someday). I wanted to highlight what could have been with Alessa/Heather. Alessa in particular. Perhaps if she’d had a father to look out for her maybe the whole burning thing would not have happened. Or perhaps it wouldn’t. The only other father shown in connection with the cult is an abusive twat nozzle. It could also be why she gets so attached to Harry as each of the girls. Cheryl seems to love him, Heather loves him, enough to want to get revenge for his death. Alessa, even though she’s trying to slow him down from finding her she’s not hitting him hard, just throwing a few monsters in his way. And keep in mind that this is a girl who can kill with just a thought.

Game cover for Silent Hill for Fathers in Horror Post It’s also interesting to note that in the re-imagining that the game changes Harry’s involvement with Cheryl based on the decisions that the user makes in the psych profile. So how you answer directly affects the game and the actions of Harry. At the end it’s revealed that you are actually Cheryl answering the questions. So it makes a difference in Cheryl’s past because of the decisions you make for the character. And they are quite…personal questions from real psychological tests. So it creates a different dynamic to it.

Rupert Giles is one of the only other good fathers in horror that pop to mind. Well, father-figure, really. Though Buffy the Vampire Slayer couldn’t exactly be called horror as much as ‘supernatural’ most of the time. One of the nice things about the show was watching Giles grow into the father-figure role. At first he was the stuffy Watcher. By the end of it, Watcher be damned, he was the Scooby Gang’s dad. You could always count on Giles (even if it was just to tell you that you were being a dunderhead whilst cleaning his glasses.)

There is no doubt that fathers or father figures can have a big impact on a person’s life. A person can get by without them and grow up to be perfectly fine. However, a good ‘dad’ can provide some extra grounding. If you don’t think a father is that important to a person’s development, just look at the sheer amount of times in stories (even fiction outside of horror) where a character is traumatized by his/her father. How many authors write sexual abuse from the father as part of the plot, for instance? We need more good dads and moms in fiction. 

 

Fathers in Horror Questions:

  1. We would love to see a horror book where the main character actually had a dependable father and mother that she or he could rely on. Have you ever read such a book? If it it exists, please let us know!
  2.  Why do you think good parents are mostly absent in science fiction and horror? How many times do you think having a parent involved would have changed the outcome at least a little bit?
  3. Do you have any fathers in horror that we missed on our TTT or in this post? Talk to us. 

3 for 3-to-5: Sci-Fi & Scary Books for Young Readers #8

Featuring: The Boogeyman Investigation by Scott Littleton, The Farting Superhero by Mike Fox, and I’m All Wrapped Up: Meet a Mummy by Shannon Knudsen.

3 for the 3-to-5 is where I give brief reviews of three books that I found in the 3-to-5 age range on Amazon. These books are theoretically in the science fiction and horror genres for little kids. (Although obviously for little readers ‘horror’ basically just means including ghosts and ghoulies.)


Book cover for The Boogeyman InvestigationThe Boogeyman Investigation by Scott Littleton: One day Mikey overhears his friends talking about a boogeyman. To find out if the boogeyman exists, Mikey engages in an investigation and his tools to find the boogeyman are his five senses.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Review:  The illustrations in The Boogeyman Investigation were kind of creepy. They were probably the best part of the book. The style I would associate with someone like Tim Burton. The font, however, wasn’t the easiest to read. Given that this is in the 3-5 range on Amazon, I would expect nice, easy to read font as younger readers need. My child liked the book, but even though she is almost always willing to give five stars, even she agreed this one didn’t quite make the cut. I do like what the author was doing though. It’s always fun to sneak a little learning in when you can.

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Book cover for The Farting Superhero

The Farting Superhero by Mike Fox: Short chapter book that is ideal for ages 4 up to 9. Good for readers in grades 1-3.

Larry the Launcher is a farting superhero. His amazing superpower has allowed him to defeat many of the bad guys in his town. However, one day all the bad guys decide to team up and fight back. They steal the Rainbow Ruby and all the electricity in the town of Butkins. Now everyone is left in the dark.

Will Larry the Launcher be able to save the day with his farts?  Find out what happens in this funny and exciting book filled with lots of surprises.

Rating: 3 out of 5. 

Review: Well, my 8 year old thought it was hilarious. And I can see younger readers (even the 4 and 5 year olds) thinking it was a great book too. It definitely utilizes body-humor to the maximum extent. I have to admit even I might have snickered once or twice. It’s also a book that can be broken up into reading over a couple of days.However, the formatting on The Farting Superhero does need a little work. Dialogue was not separated out appropriately. Paragraphs ran together. They were little things, but they affected the readability of the text, so that matters.

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Book cover for I'm All Wrapped Up I’m All Wrapped Up: Meet a Mummy (Monster Buddies) by Shannon Knudsen, Renee Kurilla: Meet Ami. She’s a mummy! She used to sleep in a tomb. Now she smashes through walls! But don’t run away. Ami’s not real. She’s one of the monsters you meet in stories. She just wants to tell you about mummies. Find out how a person becomes a mummy. Learn about the treasures in a mummy’s tomb. And discover what brings a mummy back to life. You’ll have a scary time with this monster buddy!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: This wasn’t what we were expecting (though that’s not a bad thing). We were expecting simple and silly for the littlest of readers. Instead, this one spelled out the differences between real mummies and monster mummies. Then it told a little bit of a monster mummy tale. That tale was actually the tiniest bit creepy, so parents might want to consider how excitable some of their kids are before letting them read it. (I seriously doubt there’d be a problem, but I have a friend whose kid freaked out over reading about the 3 headed dog in Harry Potter, so…) It was well-illustrated, with nice clear font. It was also short and easy to read.

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Our favorite one for this week was I’m All Wrapped Up: Meet A Mummy, hands down. Miss L had originally rated The Farting Superhero book as her favorite, but when we got to the last few pages of I’m All Wrapped Up, she was in love with it. It was a cute, fun read that we both enjoyed.

The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Co pt 1

Title: The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Co. | Series: The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Co Pt 1 | Author: John Serbin | Pub. Date: 2017-4-27 |  Pages: 191 | ISBN13: 978-1940465005 | Genre: Humor & Satire | Language: English | Triggers: None


The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Co Pt 1

A self-centered teddy bear becomes real and has to learn how to live in this new reality. He is soon joined by other teddy bears with differing personalities. Together, they embark on a series of comical adventures as only fun loving teddy bears can. If you enjoy the characters and humor of Calvin and Hobbs, The Far Side, and Peanuts, you will definitely fall in love with this comical company of teddy bears as they experience the world from their unique perspective. – Goodreads

Book cover for Incredible Adventures of Scruffer and Company

The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Company Review

I… should not have accepted this book for review. I waffled on whether to do so, but ultimately pulled in by the Calvin and Hobbes nod. That series is one our whole family loves, so I said I’d give The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Company a shot.

The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Company is the whimsical adventures of a stuffed teddy bear named Scruffer and his family. Scruffer gets into a large amount of mischief with or without his companions. He’s a friendly fellow overall, and is indeed very Calvin like in a lot of ways. I liked Paula, who was able to smoothly manipulate Scruffer to keep him on the best possible behavior. Some of the tricks she pulled with him were admiringly sneaky! She and John both made good parents to their brood o’ stuffies.

My favorite adventures of Scruffer & Company were the vacation (specifically the rolypoly ball) and the growing of the cookie bush. Considering the fact that I’ve had my kid bury plastic eggs and then snuck out and replaced them with the ‘grown’ candy, I totally got the cookie bush.

Part of my problem with The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Company is that things tended to move very slow. I felt sometimes like it couldn’t figure out if it was aiming for kids or adults. My child’s attention wandered frequently until I gave up trying to read it to her. My attention did the same. I think some illustrations in the book would have been helpful in maintaining interest. I feel pretty secure in saying that, considering the sheer amount of kid and adult books that I read. Also, the dialogue can be amusing, but reading Scruffer’s accent can get old at times.

Unfortunately, this book just didn’t work for me. The humor in The Incredible Adventures of Scruffer & Company failed to amuse me. I couldn’t really form a connection with any of the characters. I never really went beyond mildly amused at some points. While the writing in the book isn’t perfect (see comments on pacing above), I think it was simply a case of this book wasn’t for me more than anything else. 

Overall, I can’t recommend it personally but I won’t try to dissuade others from picking it up, either.