Stinger by Robert McCammon #BookReview

Title: Stinger | Author: Robert McCammon | Narrator: Nick Sullivan |  Length: 18 hrs 40 min | Genre: Sci-Fi Horror | ISBN13: 9781453231531 | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy of the audio book from the narrator for review consideration


Ever since the copper mine closed, the West Texas desert hellholes of Inferno and Bordertown have been slowly dying. Snake River isn’t the only thing that divides them. Racism, gang wars, and anti-Mexican sentiment have turned the sun-scorched flatlands into a powder keg. If anything can unite them for now, at least in awe and wonder, it’s the UFO that comes soaring out of the clouds like a flaming locomotive.

In the wake of the crash, a young alien named Daufin has arrived, too. A fugitive who has taken the form of a human, she knows the terror that awaits the inhabitants of this planet—because it is looking for her.

When Stinger, the monstrous alien bounty hunter, arrives, it’s with a destructive fury and a devious plan to find Daufin—by entombing the residents in an impenetrable and inescapable dome. A relentless killing machine, Stinger has an infinite capacity for death and destruction. And over the next twenty-four hours, this town is going to bleed and burn. Now, the few remaining survivors must come together to protect Daufin, themselves, and the world beyond from total annihilation.

From the New York Times–bestselling and Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Swan Song, Stinger was called “one of the best suspense novels of recent years” by the Science Fiction Chronicle.

Book cover for Stinger

Stinger Review

Swan Song was an amazing book, and I enjoyed every bit of the tale that Robert McCammon had to tell in it. So, when I was offered the chance to review another one of his books in audio format by the narrator, I eagerly said yes. And about 1 hour into listening to Stinger, I was wishing I hadn’t. Luckily that changed up a bit by the end of the book.

I don’t think that Stinger sucks, or anything like that. At its base, it’s an interesting story. But it did feel like everything was against me liking this book. The one potentially bad thing about listening to an audio book is that you have to ‘read’ slowly. In my case, it slows my reading speed down to less than half of what I normally read at, even when I push the speed of the playback up to 1.5x. So, if there’s any element of the narration or story that doesn’t work for me, it’s going to make it very difficult for me to stay engaged.

Nick Sullivan is, objectively, a good narrator. He differentiates the voices, speaks with passion when need be, but doesn’t over-dramatize things, and gives the story the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, the southern accents required due to the story setting set my teeth on edge. That, combined with the sometimes unpleasant voices (perfectly fitting the story just not my ears), and the obsession with the ‘gang war’ in the beginning of the book meant that Stinger was not an audio book I was eager to keep listening to. Also, although I’m sure I’m not wording this exactly right, I don’t feel as though his voice was necessarily the right one for the book.

There were elements of the book that I did like, though. Robert McCammon has created a great bad guy in Stinger. Every time he (it?) appears in a scene, it’s this weird mix of fascinating and disgusting. I never liked him, but his scenes were some of the most captivating in the book. Dolphin was neat as well. I liked watching ‘her’ understanding of humans evolve rapidly over the short period of time the book takes place in. Every time action was happening, I was interested in what was going on. Once the gangs thing in the beginning was dealt with, and the action I had been waiting for finally got going, I was able to enjoy the novel a little bit. The last fourth of the book, I actually really liked.

However, the characters were cardboard, the clichés were many, and the glacial pace at which things got moving meant that this 24-hour time period felt more like a six month siege to me. I think Stinger would have been a much more enjoyable read/listen if it was about 150 to 200 pages shorter.

One thing I did think repeatedly while listening to Stinger was that I was positive I would love it if it was adapted for film. McCammon has a way of painting visuals that you just know would translate into outright horrific images on screen.

I really went back and forth on what to rate this. It wasn’t a truly enjoyable experience for me, but a lot of the issues that I had weren’t necessarily things that I could ‘dock’ for. A lot of it felt like it was more my issues than anything wrong with the book. (Something I believe especially so since finishing Boy’s Life and absolutely loving it.) I recommend McCammon on the whole. Just can’t particularly recommend Stinger.

Purchase Stinger via Amazon Affiliate Link

Horror Biweekly Bulletin: Annihilation, Pitch Dark, and a Hidden City Giveaway!

The Biweekly Horror Bulletin serves to give you the highlights on horror for the current and previous week. The new releases in books, movies, and games when possible. What people are talking about, notable reviews, etc. We welcome your participation.

A Horror Funny

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Horror Movies

There’s a couple of horror movies coming out for your consideration today! Annihilation and The Lodgers. Both look like they could be excellent, but Annihilation is the one I’m looking forward to seeing most. The trailer just made me go “Ooooh!” (There was a shiny bubble. I like bubbles. I like to make bubbles in the bathtub (WITH SOAP!) and stare at them until they eventually pop.)

Movie poster for Annihilation

Annihilation synopsis: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Starring:  Natalie PortmanJennifer Jason LeighTessa Thompson


Movie poster for The Lodgers

The Lodgers summary: 1920, rural Ireland. Anglo Irish twins Rachel and Edward share a strange existence in their crumbling family estate. Each night, the property becomes the domain of a sinister presence (The Lodgers) which enforces three rules upon the twins: they must be in bed by midnight; they may not permit an outsider past the threshold; if one attempts to escape, the life of the other is placed in jeopardy. When troubled war veteran Sean returns to the nearby village, he is immediately drawn to the mysterious Rachel, who in turn begins to break the rules set out by The Lodgers. The consequences pull Rachel into a deadly confrontation with her brother – and with the curse that haunts them.

(The Lodgers is the one that I’m looking forward to. It seems to have an interesting blend of horror and the Gothic which is very, very tempting to me – GraciKat)

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Horror Books

Book cover for Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

Pitch Dark – Courtney Alameda – February 20th, 2018

Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.

Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.

Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir.

Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together, or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves.

In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you’ll hear.

Purchase Pitch Dark via Amazon Affiliate Link

Horror Book Rafflecopter Giveaway

Book cover for Hidden City

Hidden City – Alan Baxter

 When the city suffers, everyone suffers.

Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics.

As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Horror on the Web

Interested in seeing Annhilation? The Outline has an interesting article about it.

A Friday the 13th fan? This April, you can have a sleepover experience where the movies were filmed.-WKYC

Love The Dark Crystal? It’s coming to select theaters this February. Check this article for the dates hen check your theater!

Screenrant reports that apparently Finn Wolfhard is going to be in a Stephen Spielburg movie 

Miss your Fangoria? Well, guess what? It’s coming back!

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Horror Guest Posts Call

We’re looking for 500 to 700 words about the weirdest horror novel you’ve ever read.

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A Parting Horror Gif(t)

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Patient Zero by Terry Tyler #BookReview

Title: Patient Zero | Series: Project Renova 2.5 | Author: Terry Tyler | Pub. Date: 2017-11-10 | Pages: 120 | ASIN: B077BCSHMB | Genre: Science Fiction Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self-purchased

Patient Zero

The year is 2024.

A mysterious virus rages around the UK.

Within days, ‘bat fever’ is out of control.

Patient Zero is a collection of nine short stories featuring minor characters from the post apocalyptic Project Renova series. All stories are completely ‘stand alone’.

1. Jared: The Spare Vial
Jared has two vaccinations against the deadly virus: one for him, one for a friend…

2. Flora: Princess Snowflake
The girl with the perfect life, who believes in her father, the government, Christian charity and happy endings.

3. Jeff: The Prepper
What does a doomsday ‘prepper’ do when there is nothing left to prepare for?

4. Karen: Atonement
She ruined her sister’s last day on earth, and for this she must do penance.

5. Aaron: #NewWorldProblems
Aaron can’t believe his luck; he appears to be immune. But his problems are far from over.

6. Meg: The Prison Guard’s Wife
Meg waits for her husband to arrive home from work. And waits…

7. Ruby: Money To Burn
Eager to escape from her drug dealer boyfriend’s lifestyle, Ruby sets off with a bag filled with cash.

8. Evie: Patient Zero
Boyfriend Nick neglects her. This Sunday will be the last time she puts up with it. The very last time.

9. Martin: This Life
Life after life has taught the sixty year old journalist to see the bigger picture.

Tipping Point and Lindisfarne are the first two full length novels in the Project Renova series. A third will be available around late spring/early summer 2018.

Book cover for Patient Zeroi

Patient Zero Review

I have not read any books from the Project Renova series. I do have the first book, Tipping Point, but have not had a chance to read it yet. So, I went into this short story series basically completely blind. This is also the first book I’ve ever read by Terry Tyler.

There are nine shorts in Patient Zero. My favorite stories were Jared: The Spare Vial, Flora: Princess Snowflake, and Aaron: #NewWorldProblems. My least favorite was Meg: The Prison Guard’s Wife. Oddly, I have mixed feelings over the one that involved Patient Zero. While it made me want to pick up Tipping Point and find out how he got the virus, I didn’t particularly care for him or the other character.

While I didn’t care for some of the stories included in Patient Zero, it was never because of the writing itself. The author’s writing remains consistently strong in each story. She writes about the people you’d know at the end of the world. We all know someone who fulfills the various character roles in these stories. And, I think that’s where her strength lies. The virus sounds horrible, is horrible, but Patient Zero isn’t about the virus. It’s about your family, friends, and neighbors.

I definitely learned a few new words while reading Patient Zero, and had a laugh in the process. Slapper did not mean nearly what I thought it meant. Faffing just made me giggle.

Patient Zero was an interesting read, and goes on ‘the shelf’ as one of the few collections of short stories that I can truly say I liked as a whole. I don’t mind individual short stories, but I rarely even go in for collections. Experience has proven that there’s almost always stinkers paired with greats, to the point that my overall feeling is generally a resounding ‘meh’. Not the case with Patient Zero.

Overall, Patient Zero is worth picking up, and you can read it without having read any of the Project Renova series. It comes in at about 120 pages, and you could easily spread them out as lunch reads. Or, do as I did and sit down and read it all in one go.

Click here to read my interview with Terry Tyler.

Disclaimer: Though I purchased the book of my own choice, I am on Rosie’s Book Review Team with the author. I was not asked to review this book. I chose to because it looked interesting and ended up being a good read.

Press Release: Sightings


in High Octane Pictures’



Sightings Movie Poster

Writer-director Dallas Morgan’s unnerving supernatural thriller Sightings premieres on VOD this November.

Dante Basco (Hook, Bad Ass 2 : Bad Asses), Kevin Sizemore (Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462), and Boo Arnold (Nashville) star in a pulse-pounding cornucopia of Stranger Things, Signs and Jaws, arriving November 7.

When former Sheriff and skeptic of the paranormal, Tom Mayfield (Boo Arnold), encounters three dead bodies on his TX ranch, he must enlist the help of his conspiracy-theorist brother-in-law (Rawn Erickson II), a local surveillance expert (Dante Basco), and a renowned cryptozoologist (Stephanie Drapeau), in order to uncover who or what is behind these mysterious events.

While being pursued by the local detective (Kevin Sizemore) as a lead suspect for these deaths, Tom is forced to reconsider his preconceived ideas of what lies beyond our planet.

Ultimately, he must mend the estranged relationship with his daughter (Tahlia Morgan) and come to grips with the truth of his missing wife (Tiffany Heath), as he discovers the importance of community in survival and the belief in the unseen.

From High Octane Pictures, the studio that brought you Clowntergeist and The Answer, comes another workout for your goosebumps, Sightings out 11/7.

Sightings Trailer

My thoughts: Sightings could be good. I was grabbed by the “JAWS meets STRANGER THINGS” in the title. That’s just such a weird mashup that I had to watch the trailer. And when you see the Bigfoot-y thing stomping outside the house in it, it sets your mind to wondering. I kind of want to watch it just to see exactly what the alien looks like when it’s revealed. With the allusion to Jaws, there’d better be some satisfyingly terrifying teeth involved!

I don’t know – what do y’all think? Would you watch Sightings?

If you’re a fan of the whole alien sci-fi horror sub genre, what’s your favorite film?

Earthcore Review (Sci-Fi Horror)

Title: Earthcore | Author: Scott Sigler | Publisher: Empty Set Entertainment | Pub. Date (Audio): 2017-5-31 | Length: 20 hours 15 min | Narrator: Ray Porter | ISBN13: 9781939366979 | Genre: Sci-Fi Horror | Language: English | Rating: 2 out of 5


Deep below a desolate Utah mountain lies the largest platinum deposit ever discovered. A billion-dollar find, it waits for any company that can drill a world’s record, three-mile-deep mine shaft. EarthCore is the company with the technology, the resources and the guts to go after the mother lode. Young executive Connell Kirkland is the company’s driving force, pushing himself and those around him to uncover the massive treasure.

But at three miles below the surface, where the rocks are so hot they burn bare skin, something has been waiting for centuries. Waiting …and guarding. Kirkland and EarthCore are about to find out first-hand why this treasure has never been unearthed.

Book cover for Earthcore

Earthcore Review

Earthcore is an interesting, much more foul-mouthed take on Journey to the Center of the Earth. Except, in Sigler’s version, it’s not dinosaurs you come across, but something much more shiny and squishy. Once things get rolling (it takes a while), it’s an action-packed adventure. There’s one flight from danger after another, and several surprises await you.

And that’s about all that I can say that’s nice about it.

One of the things that annoyed me about Earthcore was the sob-story given to the human villain. I see this a lot in books, and I just don’t understand it. Am I supposed to feel sorry for the character because s/he had a bad life growing up? Because I don’t. I had a rough life growing up myself and I didn’t grow up to be a bad person. I grew up still understanding the differences between right and wrong. Making the choice to be a good person. The villain is the villain. They chose to do the wrong things, and, especially when they’re geniuses, they do it with full understanding that what they’re doing is wrong. I don’t care about their life growing up, and telling me about it in some effort to flesh them out only serves to annoy me and detract from the story.

And Scott Sigler does the sob-story for the bad guys not once but twice in this book.  I could almost understand it for the guy, because of the whole ‘redeem during the course of the story’ factor but the true ‘villain’? No. That character is pretty much an evil archetype and trying to redeem them at all was just a waste of page space. Apparently Earthcore started as a much shorter book that was expanded on recently to please the fans. I can’t help but think I probably would have preferred it in it’s shorter form.

Unfortunately, a trend within Earthcore was that few of the characters were likable. If you spend half the book being annoyed by the mere presence of certain characters on the page, it inevitably detracts from your overall enjoyment.  The only character I actually liked in the whole book was the prospector who finds the platinum to begin with. Well, I liked Sanjay as well, but he was a very minor character. Towards the end of the book, the main scientist, Angus, grated on my nerves so badly that simply listening to the book made me want to reach through my phone and smack the crap out of him. The only way I was able to force myself to go on was to tell myself that he had to die a very horrible death very soon, right?

I like most of Sigler’s work that I’ve read/listened to. Infected was a fantastic audio experience that he narrated himself. However, Earthcore just wasn’t something I dug, pardon the pun. In fact, by the end of the book, I truly disliked the book. Ray Porter is the only thing that kept me listening to the audio book at all. The plot had a few definite interesting twists to it, but not enough to save me from wanting to chuck it through the nearest window.

Can’t recommend it, but I know I seem to be in the minority with that opinion, so take my review with a grain of salt.