Archive for the Book reviews Category

★★★★★ Darkened Hills

Posted in Book reviews, Teasers on November 19, 2010 by Gary Lee Vincent

★★★★★ Darkened Hills, November 19, 2010
By Brenda Casto (US)

This review is from: Darkened Hills (Paperback)
Review copied from amazon.com

*** WARNING – CONTAINS SPOILERS ***

Since I am from WV I always enjoy reading books written by WV authors. Gary Lee Vincent is a new to me author that in writing Darkened Hills has written one of my favorite genres vampire/horror fiction. The setting is in the great state of WV, in a tiny town called Melas, a fictionalized town that sits about two hours outside of Pittsburgh Pa, the town was once a thriving community but due to the dark forces that enveloped the community it became a ghost town, many of the residents started moving away when people started disappearing, but there are forty-three residents that are unaccounted for, including the town’s doctor and his wife. What could have happened to the residents, and how can that many people disappear without a trace?

Johnathan Harker has come back to his hometown in the hopes of purchasing the Madison House for back taxes, but that doesn’t happen. Even though the house appears abandoned, in truth, the person living there is the worst kind of evil there is. The vampire that lives in Madison House, had been leading a very low profile life for years, hiring a couple of townspeople to bring him people to feed on, people that wouldn’t be missed and then their bodies would be disposed of. As if that’s not bad enough, one night something far worse is unleashed, something that has an unquenchable thirst for blood! Can anyone put a stop to the evil that has the tiny town in its clutches, and will anyone survive?

This story grabs you and sucks you in and doesn’t turn you loose. The whole town of Melas is full of weird, characters, from the guy who likes to “herd cats” to the alcoholic real estate agent who makes a deal with the devil, or the guy who donates “hamburger meat” to the church, and it really isn’t hamburger meat at all! A story that never gets dull, just when you think nothing worse can happen, guess what it does. With the way the story ended it leaves its readers wanting more, and we can only hope for a sequel that gives us the story of Ralphie!

This book is a must read for anyone that loves horror, blood,dark humor, gore, and vampires from your worst nightmare! Be warned once you start reading this book, you wont be able to put it down, its just that good!

★★★★★ Vlad the Impaler would be proud

Posted in Book reviews on November 15, 2010 by Gary Lee Vincent

Vlad the Impaler would be proud., November 15, 2010
By Diana G. Duran

This review is from: Darkened Hills (Paperback)
Review copied from amazon.com

DO NOT READ THIS BOOK if you thrive on the romanticized version of the vampire because you will not find him here. Gary Vincent here portrays the vampire as the traditional monster grown through the centuries from Vlad the Impaler, the original Master of Darkness–a soul-less, merciless terror. These are the vampires of yesteryear, driven by forces beyond their control to satisfy their bloodlust, and what better place to do so than a small town among the hills of West Virginia? Vincent not only rightly portrays the vampire as the bloodthirsty, cruel monster that he is, the author also totally nails the character and nuance of small town America, which at once can elicit a grimace and a guffaw. Homely little details like “everyone in town had three main phone numbers they kept on hand in case of an emergency–usually on their refrigerator doors or on end tables next to their phones: the sheriff’s department, the volunteer fire department, and the doctor’s office,” to draw you into Melas so that you feel right at home. Do not be fooled; you are not safe.

★★★★★ A blood-curdling, gruesome and intriguing read

Posted in Book reviews on November 15, 2010 by Gary Lee Vincent

A blood-curdling, gruesome and intriguing read, 15 Nov 2010
By Sian Phillips “siano44”

This review is from: Darkened Hills (Paperback)
Review copied from amazon.com

If you like blood thirsty vampire stories then this book is for you. Mixed with sex, intrigue and gore it’s a great read that gets you gripped from the beginning. You WANT to know the story that Jonathan has to tell about his small hometown of Melas, just south of Pittsburgh. You then HAVE to know the ending which has a few twists along the way with lots of bloodfest and vivid deaths.

The story starts with Jonathan and his young friend William who seem nomads however they have both come from the same town and have a strange story to tell. Jonathan grew up in Melas and returned for the first time in 20 years. William is incarcerated in a children’s home there. There are some pretty strange characters now living in Melas who have no idea what is about to happen to them. Horrific events take place centred around the old mansion on the hill, Madison House and its mysterious occupants. Whilst Jonathan is having a whirlwind sex romp with an ex’s younger sister, death descends on the town like a huge wave wiping out most of the occupants.

Jonathan and William escape before it’s too late for them too but they keep in touch with news of their home town through the media. Melas becomes a ghost town, almost literally, and remaining townsfolk are still disappearing. So Jonathan and William go back to try and thwart the evil still there.

Are they able to stop the demonic forces in play………or not?

It’s a great read for those into bloodfest, sexy, horror stories.

★★★★★ Vamping it up

Posted in Book reviews on October 30, 2010 by Gary Lee Vincent

Vamping it up, October 30, 2010
By Aeschylus

This review is from: Darkened Hills (Paperback)
Review copied from amazon.com

“Darkened Hills” skilfully brings the gothic style and the Dracula legend to small-town America, to create a gripping narrative of terror and justice. Extraordinary events overtake the most ordinary place; the only sign of trouble is what you find when you spell “Melas” backwards.

The novelist Gary Lee Vincent gets this just right. Those who live and die in this gorefest deserve little sympathy, by and large. The suburban spying spinster; the voyeuristic security guard with the odd pastime of “cat-herding”; the venal, alcoholic estate agent; the laissez-faire police deputy who writes his reports while driving his car; all of these people are caught up in a growing terror.

The landscape is dominated by the brooding presence of the Madison House on Raccoon Run Road, a mansion with a murky past and murkier occupants. Who exactly is the European aristocrat with the limousine and the bad skin?

A man and a boy have been running away from the emotional fallout of past tragedy and loss. They come back from the wilderness, to face their fears, and dispense justice, so that there is closure for them and all the victims. You could say that the old-style Western, like some of the characters here, is hard to kill off; it refuses to die!

I specially like the way the novel takes on the qualities of a play and even, occasionally, a cartoon. There’s more blood than in any Greek tragedy. There are stooges who are like the comedy characters in Shakespeare’s tragedies. There are two grand, sweeping set pieces which prove the optimistic point that, in the end, good will triumph. And there’s a sense of authenticity about the dark elements which means that the fun never undermines the potential seriousness of the theme.

The characters are very real, and each one is drawn in a way that suits their place and importance in the terrible unfolding drama exactly. We should applaud the writing craft that goes into achieving this.

There are plenty of laughs along the way, but the comedy is black, and the atmosphere menaces and growls at us just like it should.

It’s a clever plot, which Vincent handles with enormous confidence and virtuosity. There’s the odd memorable piece of description- one character has “a memory like a steel trap”- but the writing is never self-indulgent. Pace is all-important and most readers will devour this in a single sitting.

★★★★★ Bloodthirsty and Brilliant

Posted in Book reviews on October 29, 2010 by Gary Lee Vincent

Bloodthirsty and Brilliant, October 29, 2010
By British Fangtastic

This review is from: Darkened Hills (Paperback)
Review copied from amazon.com

Darkened Hills lends a modern twist to the classic style of a horror novel and is artfully entwined with the cords of a murder mystery, a love story and set to the backdrop of `Melas’ a small American town two hours south of Pittsburgh PA.

The tale follows Jonathon Harker, curious about his former hometown of Melas – returns as a grown man after more than twenty years to discover that 43 (and counting) townsfolk are unaccounted for and strange occurrences are unfolding all around the town. Those that remain in the tight knit, yet tainted community are certainly not as they first appear and corruption is lurking behind almost every door. Harker is distracted by the charms of an old flame’s sister and the unexplainable lure of the looming hilltop presence of `Madison House’ The house is steeped in local history and a possible restoration project soon becomes a deadly obsession – but the current residents have more than just a hold on the town below them. Echoes of the past reverberate eerily through the present of Jonathan Harker’s life and the coincidences slowly become chillingly apparent, meanwhile a dark, blood thirsty storm is gathering strength, preparing to rain down on anyone, foolish – or greedy enough to cross into its path. Will Jonathan save the town before all hell breaks loose?

Flavours of Bram Stokers `The lair of the white worm’ and `Dracula’ are combined with extracts from Edgar Allen Poe throughout this novel to create a chilling, atmospheric and harrowing tale of murder lust and gore, which will creep up on the reader leaving a spine tingling feeling and the desire for a sequel.

As an ardent fan of the horror genre and novels by authors such as Anne Rice and Laurell K Hamilton I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gripping tale of murder and mayhem.

★★★★★ Prepare To Get Stoked

Posted in Book reviews on October 18, 2010 by Gary Lee Vincent

Prepare To Get Stoked, October 18, 2010
By Richard A. Bottles, Jr. (Fairmont, WV USA)

This review is from: Darkened Hills (Paperback)
Review copied from amazon.com

This novel really sucks! But for a vampire novel that’s a good thing. Author Gary Lee Vincent, who has written about real estate investing in his Agelations book, centers this horror novel on an evil old house overlooking a small town in West Virginia. The hero (or perhaps antihero is a better description) of the story is unnaturally drawn to the house, which is up for Sheriff’s sale, but the fanged protagonist who owns the house suddenly foregoes its libertarian disposition and pays off the tax lien. The battle spills out into the town and soon the sleepy little village erupts into a pernicious Peyton Place. In a town where everyone knows everyone else, including everyone else’s business, the whole matter ends up in reprobate when a force even more evil than the house and its owner arrives in the village. Beware reader: This is not your teenager’s PG-13 romanticized vampire novel. This horrific novel stirs up the flames of hell like a real stoker.

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