Welcome to Woofer's Lair. Curious as to what you will see here? Well, for the most part, you will find book reviews, maybe the occasional movie review, and if you are lucky, you might stumble across one of my own works in progress. If you like what you see or what read, and even if you don't, please feel free to leave your comments. As I am somewhat new to blogging, all of your constructive feedback is appreciated. Have fun and thanks for stopping by.

Wicked Seasons

Wicked Seasons
My short story, HUNGRY FOR MORE, is included


Joe Hill's NOS4A2

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's a Witch to Do?

When we last left Rachel Morgan, her dealings with demons and her reluctant use of black magic left her shunned by supernatural community known as The Hollows. However, the Coven of Ethical and Moral Standards isn't content to leave it at that. The Coven views Rachel as a threat, and they will do anything within their power to see that that threat is eradicated. In their attempts to bring Rachel in for a nonpublic trial of her "peers", they do not even consider the safety of innocent bystanders, which says something about the Coven of Moral and Ethical Standards. They have none. It becomes obvious that the Coven poses more of a threat to the safety of the community than Rachel does, from a public attack in supermarket to demon summoning to waging an all-out war against the church and threatening Rachel's family and friends.

And at the heart of it all is Nick, Rachel's lying, thieving, backstabbing ex-boyfriend. If it wasn't for Nick telling the Coven that she has the ability to twist demon magic, she wouldn't be in this predicament. But in order to survive the Coven's assault, she must put her trust in Nick. Coming face to face with Nick after all this time, Rachel must confront her feelings, not only for Nick, but for Pierce as well, and she must put her trust in the hands of those betrayed her in the past, namely Al and Trent. But is the help of her friends and partners enough to defeat the Coven, or must Rachel embrace that part of her she has tried to deny since finding out she was part demon?

Black Magic Sanction is the eighth book in Kim Harrison's The Hollows Series, and it is by far one of the best. All of the characters we have come to love [and love to hate are here (with the exception of David, and I still think Rachel and David would make a great couple)]. The action is nonstop, and Rachel's character, despite her emotional dilemmas she battles with regarding her love life, continues to grow as she begins to reluctantly accept that darker part of herself. Harrison has hinted in the past that there's something more to Rachel, and she comes right out and says it in this installment: Rachel isn't a witch, but at the same time, she's not a demon. So what is she? That remains to be seen.

As much as I loved this installment, I can't let it go without at least warning the reader that we do lose a much loved character as a result of the war against the Coven, which gives us just one more reason not to like them. I'm not going to say who, but just wanted to prepare you for it. With that said, I am eagerly looking forward to February and the release of Pale Demon, the next installment of Kim Harrison's Hollow's series. If you haven't read the series, I highly recommend it if you are a fan of urban fantasy. if you start now, you just might be caught up by the time Pale Demon becomes available.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bells Will Ring, and the Blood is Gonna Flow. . .

The Red Church has been sitting on my shelf for awhile. At the time that I bought it, the author was unknown to me. As a result, it kept getting moved further down in my TBR pile in favor of books published by my favorite authors. That was a BIG mistake. Rarely does a book grab me from the very beginning. Scott Nicholson's The Red Church is one of those exceptions.

Every town has that one abandoned building around which mystery, rumor, and legend spring up. The town of Whispering Pines was no different, except the building which became the subject of kids' dares to friends was a church. Built in the 1860s, the Red Church was never your traditional church. Under the leadership of Wendell McFall, the reverend preached of God's second son, whose mission it was to accomplish on earth what Jesus failed to do. There were those who followed him faithfully, until the day he sacrificed a child to further his teachings. Outraged by this act, the congregation string him up outside the church using the rope from the bell tower. Since then, the church stands abandoned, inhabited only by the ghosts of the past. . . and the thing rumored to live in the bell tower.

When Ronnie Day and his kid brother, Tim, find a mutilated body in the graveyard beside the Red Church, they believe it is the work of the Bell Monster. Sheriff Frank Littlefield also believes the church is somehow responsible for the death. He didn't find the idea too much of a stretch because, as a kid, he lost his brother to something within the church. While people in the area claim not to have seen anything, they all claim to have heard the church bell ringing, which doesn't seem possible, as there hasn't been a bell rope in the church since Reverend McFall was hanged.

When the second body turns up, Frank gets wind of the fact that Archer McFall, son of Wendell McFall, has purchased the church and has plans of re-opening the church and starting up services again. He knows something isn't right when he finds the services are held at midnight. As Frank investigates McFall, Linda Day, Ronnie's mother, falls back under Archer's spell. So devoted is she to the church, she will promise McFall anything, including the lives of her children. Linda's estranged husband, David, sees the change in his wife and senses the kids are in danger; he will do anything to keep his sons safe, even murder.

It becomes a race against time when the third body is found. Will Frank discover McFall's secret before the final sacrifice is made and Hell is unleashed on earth? Will David be able to keep his kids safe from his wife and the church, or will they become the final sacrifice?

I'm ashamed to say that this is the first of Scott Nicholson's work that I have read, although I do have others on hand, and if this is a sample of what he has to deliver, it won't be the last. From the very first chapter, you are caught up in a fast paced story that draws you forward, propelled by believable characters you come to care about. I wouldn't say The Red Church is scary, and I'll be the first to admit that might just be because I'm jaded when it comes to horror fiction, but it is a non-stop thrill ride that will leave you not wanting to put the book down until you reach the end. As I was reading, I was thinking of it more as a psychological thriller that deals with the power of religion over the masses. Was the Bell Monster real? Was the spirit of the Hanged Preacher real? Or were they the result of a highly charismatic, mentally imbalanced preacher's influence over his flock? The question is answered, and if you want to know the answer, you'll have to pick it up. If you haven't read Nicholson before, this is a good one with which to get your feet wet. You won't be disappointed. I wasn't.