"Published author, aspiring novelist . . . welcome to my world of madness!"

Sep 22, 2011

Book Review: The Devil's Weekend

The Devil’s Weekend is a fast paced horror novel with a unique premise that will leave readers on the edge of their seat. I was hooked the moment I read the introductory blurb.

Oliver Ignis is everything we’ve come to know and fear about serial killers. He’s merciless, brutal, and very much in love with his mother. If Dahmer and Norman Bates ever had a love child, Oliver would be the end result of that unholy union.

His life is revealed through flashes of the past and present, from his experimentation with animals, his tragic upbringing, and his murderous bender. He’s a complex being that I came to both pity and fear. As monstrous as his actions may be, the author has an uncanny way of reminding us that there is still something very human and vulnerable beneath.

He encounters the Devil, who presents himself in a wide array of manners. Personally, my favorite was the attractive and debonair man who manipulates his victims with ease. As one would expect, the Devil know what he wants and exactly how to get it, but he offers Oliver the deal of a lifetime. In exchange for his soul, he will allow Oliver an entire weekend to kill without any chance of getting caught or harmed. He will also reunite Oliver with his beloved mother, whom he has not spoken to or seen in years.

What ensues is a terrifying killing spree, shown from both Oliver’s POV and the townspeople he hunts. The story is fast-paced and action packed, giving the reader little time to catch their breath before they’re thrust back into the thick of the horror, and the end results will leave you stunned.

This isn’t just a tale of death and killing. It’s a haunting story of humanity, love, and the loss thereof. Some people find their way, while others lose it, and the Devil witnesses it all. While scary, it is also a thought provoking read that appeals to the psychology behind humans and why we behave the way we do.

Jim Bronyaur has a very crisp and clean writing style. His prose isn’t fancy, but more of a minimalist approach which lends to the frenzied time frame. After all, Oliver only has one weekend in which to accomplish his deeds and thrust the small county of Butler into a nightmare of which the world has never seen. Only a small handful of typos mark this otherwise flawless work, and given the gripping plot, and fascinating characters, it doesn't detract from the overall product. I still give this book a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a suspenseful and thrilling read. It will chill you to the bone while also making you think. If you’re looking for a fast-paced and exhilarating read, pick up a copy. You won’t be disappointed!

To purchase a copy of The Devil’s Weekend, click here Also, don’t forget to stop by Jim’s website, Facebook, and, Twitter. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you!

 Best wishes and happy writing!~

Sep 13, 2011

Book Review: Dance on Fire

This truly was a spectacular read from an author that I fully expect to see emerge as one of horror's rising stars. The first thing that struck me about this book was the author’s prose. It’s beautiful, almost poetic, but not overly done. It has a wonderful flow and rich descriptions that will draw the reader in, immersing them in mood and setting. (In fact, I decided to read this book after listening to a reading of the first chapter. After hearing the first few lines, I was hooked.)
Things start off quickly, leaving no time for boredom. We watch a creature prowl the night, silently stalking his victims. Or is he? Right off the bat, two cops are brutally murdered and the entire town of Kingsburgh is sent into a tailspin. Who committed this vicious attack, and why?

The book centers around Nathaniel, a vampire who was turned centuries ago when his family was murdered, a young cop, Michael, and his wife, Barbra. They are an interesting cast—an eclectic mix of people that James Garcia Jr. took time to develop and breathe life into. You won’t find one-dimensional characters here. Not only did I enjoy reading about each one, but I cared what happened to them. The supporting cast is pretty interesting as well. I think many readers will get a kick out of the overly ambitious Mayor. *laughs*
Dance on Fire is a mysterious page-turner that moves along at a fast pace. It takes many twists and turns, giving the reader plenty of opportunities to guess who or what is really stalking the small town of Kingsburg, California, and even the town itself is laid out and built upon a solid foundation. This story is a well-balanced blend of horror and suspense, and though it’s referred to as a Christian crossover, the religious undertones were subtle enough that they won’t encroach or offend those with agnostic or different views.

My favorite thing about this book was how Nathaniel’s history was revealed bit by bit in a series of flashbacks and memories. My excitement grew every time a date in the 17th century cropped up because I knew I was in for a special treat. His was an enthralling tale, both heartbreaking and horrific. One can’t help but feel for him after learning of the trials he endured at his maker’s hands.  James did a fantastic job casting the reader back in time, enveloping the senses, and painting vivid pictures.
Vincent is the opposing force in this book and a wicked force to be reckoned with. He sends cold shivers down the spine whenever he makes an appearance and his determined hunting of Nathaniel is as ruthless as it is riveting.

I don’t want to give too much away, but believe me when I say this is a great mystery packed with suspense and chills at every bend. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down. I’m definitely looking forward to purchasing the second book in this series. Dance on Fire is well worth the read and James Garcia Jr. is certainly an author I'll be keeping my eye on in the future.
View his blog here. along with his official Twitter and FaceBook pages. He'd love to hear from you. Click here to listen to a reading of Dance on Fire and purchase a copy.