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The Children ACT 1989 kE hole and through the trees and brush was written beautifully It was suspenseful colorful and scary The tension built as the two men came closer to Ubel Griswold s home Maberry masterfully layered on the backstory of the horrors of Griswold as Crow recounted it to Newton as they hiked along I loved the dialog between the two men when they finally reached the ominous home The action that unfolds fro that point on until the end of the novel left me breathlessI have never mentioned the fact that Maberry is a master at telling a descriptive fight scene He is bloody gory and detailed He can make your stomach turn make you flinch and have you hooting and hollering for bloody fun There are many truly great action seuences in these novels I could see Maberry writing an effective detective noir novelGriswold unleashes his army of monsters of undead and unliving The end is approachingI absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it to all horror lovers or even those that read dark urban fantasy There is a great book here somewhere but it s buried beneath 400 pages of filler I was a bit unsure about the first one and almost left it at the semi happy ending at the end of it but now I m glad Iept on reading because by now I m really sold on this trilogy lolThis second book picks up right after the events of book 1 Val and Crow beaten and haunted get out of the hospital But they are not the only ones shaken there is a lot of personal stuff going on Not much happens apart from that There are still cops and agents trying to find out what is what but that is basically background noise The town is still affected by a black harvest which means that tensions are high even if we discount the happenings of the first book More importantly however this second volume is about what happens in the shadows the big bad getting ready for the showdown and pulling the strings out of the shadows And it is about what happened when Crow Val and Terry were still My Grandmas the Mayor kids because as the reader alreadynows this has direct implications on what is happening right nowWhat I liked most was the exploration of the history of Pine Deep not just when Griswald Royal Target (The Crown Affair, killed Terry s sister Crow s brother and all those other people but even longer ago than that as well as the interpersonal relationships I did like Crow the male MC and Val the female MC Crow s fianc e in the first book already but many of the other characters like Terry and Sal got a bit screen time now and it did them good Sure many of the descriptions and even motivations are still utterly predictable and standard but I like the small town feel of things I mean tropes come from somewhere Besides those tropes give me hope for who is going to survive and who s not going to make it so there s thatAnd the author managed something else that many others apparently can t he wrote aick ass female character that is nevertheless normal shaken by events vulnerable not too over the top in any wayThe icker here was that we finally get some of the supernatural elements being pronounced and that while it is a mix of things it seems to be working well together I like when even fantastical stuff is realistic Again there is some action here one could even say that it is or less a copy of the action in the first volume and like I said most of the things happening are preparations meaning the monsters can t operate out in the open which gives the story a deliciously creepy feel But generally there is going on than in book 1 because some people of course catch on to things do their own research and get ready as well so one does feel a nice progression while the timeline is showing one does feel a nice progression while the timeline is showing nice pace naturally people would be slow to catch on to thingsSo while I was being generous with book 1 this volume definitely deserves the 4 stars The second book in my favorite horror trilogy of all time I really didn t have a Favorite Book Of The Three I Liked Them All Eually book of the three I liked them all eually honestly in my mind it was just one really long story The Pine Deep Trilogy just gets my highest possible recommendation I personally put these books right on the same level as Stephen King s novels and considering King is my all time favorite writer that s high praise indeedI always do spoiler free reviews so I never give away details but if you like your horror with monsters ghosts and just generally creepy happenings you ll love this series The writing flows really well and when you re done with the series you ll be hoping Maberry eventually revisits Pine Deep Once again my highest possible recommendation but if you do decide to read the Pine Deep Trilogy of course start with the first volume of the series Ghost Road Blues #I really enjoyed the first book but I had to struggle to get through the first #really enjoyed the first book but I had to struggle to get through the first of this one It was bogged down with repetition oftentimes of useless facts eg Val s scars and motorcycle accidents even certain lines repeated word for word There were too many odes to Val and Crow s undying love and a sixteen minute sex scene that was dreadfully boring It is loaded with dream seuences and repetitious dream seuences But the worst part was all the recapping of the first book I do not exaggerate when I say that this book is about 50% recap of the first bookSo why even three stars The last 20% and the interludes were pure horror gold though one must really suspend disbelief view spoiler Our fearless hero goes to the one place where the baddies could attack and ill capture rape torment or do whatever else to him without anyone ever finding him but instead choose to largely ignore him and attack a farm where murders had occurred twice before which should at the very least have a police detail andor lingering media presence on it but doesn t Ruger himself going out in the daylight to watch not act at the farm when the shade of dark hollow would have been much conducive I could go on but hide spoiler Maybe there s a groove we readers need to fall into with certain authors and I certainly needed to find it here or at least for the first novel but fortunately I had no problems with this oneMaybe it s just the fact that the established MC s that I ve grown to love are still alive and Just Try Me... kicking and raising hell when the time is right That s pretty satisfying in any book but this does a really fine job of characterization The evil men aren t uite so cardboard here My sympathies are only strengthened in the pain soup Val undergoes And Mike I m always loving the hell out of him Crow s a geeky dream but I m eually horrified and rooting for Mike This is shaping into a horror that SK could be proud of Hell just thinking about putting all these books together into one long story gives it exactly thatind of edge Epic Horror That is a huge cast of characters in a small town besieged by an old evil that will consume them all if something isn t done ind of horror I m uite happy with this. The uiet little town into hell on earth Their only hope is to find the source But the secrets that lurk in the heart of Pine Deep are twisted into its very roots This time the townspeople aren't just fighting for their lives but for their very sou. ,
Dead Man's Song Book 2Authors are like musicians in one important way Some bands emerge on the scene fully formed delivering a debut that appears to encapsulate everything great they would eventually accomplish Think Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division or Oasis Definitely Maybe or Entertainment by Gang of Four These albums land with a seismic impact that heralds the arrival of An Important Voice one that the rest of us mortals should do well to noticeOther bands Their first albums resemble the toddler taking his first wobbly steps The potential for great things is clearly there but the talent still needs some time to incubate The best contemporary example of this is probably Radiohead s 1993 debut Pablo Honey There was nothing on that album not even the juggernaut of Creep to indicate that within four years they d transform into one of the most influential bands of all timeSome authors follow similar trajectories either delivering a powerhouse of a debut or stumbling about for a book or two before hitting their stride As a huge fan of author Jonathan Maberry it s obvious from Dead Man s Song that early in his career he was Radiohead than Gang of Four lots of promise but still lacking in execution I first discovered him through 2009 s Patient Zero the first of his books to feature Joe Ledger the leader of a secret government agency devoted to tackling paranormal threats This series remains hugely satisfying action packed dark in tone and featuring some deliciously hard boiled dialogue from Ledger and his teamI recently backtracked to the beginning of Maberry s fiction career he started as a writer of non fiction books about martial arts and picked up Ghost Road Blues the first novel in the Pine Deep Trilogy It was as I wrote a couple months ago in my lazy one sentence review the sound of one of my favorite horror writers still finding his voice That book held great promise detailing an epic supernatural struggle in the haunted town of Pine Deep PA on that in a second but also featuring some clunky description and plotting as well as most surprisingly some unforgivably cheeseball dialogueIf there s one thing the Great Bookshelf Deprivation Project ensures it s that I ll continue reading series that might not initially grab me Also Maberry has engendered enough goodwill from the Ledger series for me to give Pine Deep another shot Sadly Dead Man s Song the second book in the trilogy only adds to the impression that Maberry still hadn t figured out who he was as a writerThe fault isn t in the premise In Ghost Road Blues we re introduced to the town of Pine Deep which was the site of a gruesome series of murders in the 1970s The details of that backstory are too circuitous to go into here except to say that it involves a murderous German named Ubel Griswold and an African American hippie called the Bone Man by the local children who was framed for the murders and lynched by the racist townspeople Fast forward to the present day and the grown survivors of that tragedy ex cop Malcolm Crow his girlfriend Val and town mayor Terry become involved in another series of senseless illings when a trio of fugitives arrives in Pine Deep As it turns out the leader of the gang Karl Ruger is working in the service of Griswold who but of course isn t just any garden variety murderous German but a murderous German who may or may not be an immortal source of evil and therefore responsible for both Hitler and Justin Bieber Ruger teams up with some of the Bone Man s grown Absolute Khushwant killers to enact a plot whose desired outcome still hasn t been revealed by the end of the second book Crow Val and Terry are the only thing standing between Ruger and total domination of Pine Deep and they re aided in this by the ghostly form of the Bone Man who acts as a sort of mystical protector At the end of the book Crow seems to haveilled Ruger and everything appears to be hunky dory despite the trail of carnage that preceded their final confrontation and Ruger s warning to Crow Ubel Griswold sends his regardsDead Man s Song picks up almost immediately after the closing pages of Ghost Road Blues and maybe the most frustrating thing about the book is how little progress is made in it The bad guys The Day We Meet Again kill some people the good guys worry about who the bad guys willill next we learn some about why the bad guys are illing people it involves vampires and werewolves but in terms of momentum the book is largely an exercise in stasis Which is weird because I mean stuff happens Life and death fate of the free world hanging in the balance stuff But at the end of 500 pages everyone is pretty much at the exact same place they were at the beginning And that s sort of weird when I consider how Maberry s Joe Ledger series is a careening beast with a race against the clock almost always the default settingSo there s that problemThere s also the issue of some tremendously stilted dialogue pitched to be clever but reading like conversations that have never actually been spoken anywhere on the planet Witty banter is tough to pull off Carl Hiaasen can do it Denis Johnson can do it El Leonard can do it and was probably the best at it The Jonathan Maberry of Dead Man s Song can t although the Jonathan Maberry of Patient Zero can Many of the exchanges between characters had me alternately rolling my eyes or sighing such as this one between Crow and Terry Crow for God s sake stop looking at me like I have two heads If I m going crazy then I M Going Crazy Don T Worry m going crazy Don

T WORRY HALLOWEEN IS OVER I 
worry Halloween is over I planning on checking myself into a hospital for a nice long stay and when I get out providing they don t throw away the ey I m taking Sarah and the ids to Jamaica for the rest of the winter No crops blighted or otherwise And no Halloween Sounds like a plan Crow cleared his throat again And stop clearing your goddamn throat Well dude cut me a break My best friends is going crackers on me and I have no freaking clue about what to say or what to do Terry looked at him and for a moment a smile softened the worry lines on his face Being my Best Friend Is Doing A Lot Believe Me Pardon Me friend is doing a lot believe me Pardon me I say nothing during the awkward pause that has to follow that ind of statement Terry threw a small pillow at him Crow duckedIt s all just so very precious and cutesy and cumulatively it s hard to take seriously And as much as I hate to do it let s talk love scenes for a minute If ever one has been written that works I ve yet to discover it And Maberry certainly hasn t mastered the craft While it s tempting to share one of the most explicit passages in a multi page howler of a scene between Crow and Val that I think is meant to pass as the calm before the storm at the book s climax here s a less explicit scene that s no less silly for all its detailAfter a while once her skin has soaked up the richness of the water Crow slipped one hand into a terrycloth mitten Wetting. EVIL ENDURESOnce an idyllic Pennsylvania village Pine Deep awoke one morning to find itself bathed in a massive bloodletting Twice in thirty years the townsfolk have endured the savage hungers of a murderous madmanbut if the residents think the de. It he fetched a bar of scented wheat and lavender soap and worked up a good lather then he helped her to stand up in the tub Water sluiced down the lovely length of her and pausing once in a while to Rebooting India kiss her glistening hide he used the luxurious soap and the gentle roughness of the mitten to wash every inch of her glorious skin He was diligent in his thoroughness and then with a large bath ladle he poured water over her to rinse away the soap He drained most of the water from the tub as he did so and uickly refilled it so that when he helped her down again she lay in fresh water and that sloshed around herIt s just BlergMaybe I m handicapped bynowing how good Maberry would get in a couple years but I m really conflicted by this series It s not unreadable but if I had encountered the Pine Deep trilogy first it s doubtful I would ve stuck around for Joe Ledger One book to go Here s hoping Maberry brings it home in a way that redeems the first two episodesSee all my reviews at goldstarforrobotboynet I was very excited about this series when I had finished Ghost Road BluesNow after finishing Dead Man s Song I couldn t care lessI was very impressed with Maberry s work in the first novel A perfect mix of descriptive prose and dialogue which made it a very fun read But there were a few issues I had with Dead Man s Song that bothered me so much that it completely turned me off the seriesNow before you read any further be warned that some of what I am going to write will spoil a bit from the first novelFirst and foremost Val and CrowSo Val loves her Dad Dad gets illed by Ruger Not two days later the dialogue and exchanges between Van and Crow inexplicably has such a lighthearted and teasing tone that it was barely tolerableDaddy s been murdered history looks to be repeating itself with horrific murders to come Pine Deep is going to Hell in a handcart but We re ENGAGED We re GOING TO HAVE A BABY She s my FIANCEE I just can t wait to tell EVERYONE I seeTo uote Oliver Reed s character from Burnt Offerings Life sure as hell goes on doesn t it MarionI m sorry I really found it nauseatingSo this ind of thing was happening a lot and my eyerolling was making me dizzy Yet I persevered despite this and several typos and misprints like taking the foot off the gas and the car starts to ro It was October when it happened It should alwaysbe October when these things happen In October youexpect things to dieVote This long trilogy with its load of iconic monsters of horror genre is just well written and the perfect Halloween season reading but again like after reading first book last year it not entertained me enough to start as soon as possible another 400 pages of itLoving the storyline characters and some parts like the mayor s sister ghost and Ubel Griswold s mansion in Dark Hollow chapters are really creepy but plot is dragging a lot and Crow and Val are so corny that make me eyeroll a lotOh well I now again what I m going to read next October just hope the ending is not going to be a big disappointment In the silent wormy darkness he waitsThere is one very important factor to remember when reviewing a book like this namely it has corn fields The dark shape hunched over the corpse raised its head and looked at him without expression for a long moment and then the bloody mouth opened in a great smile full of immense darkness and hunger lips parting to reveal hideous teeth that were grimed with pink white tatters of fleshIndeedy It s like thatbut it also isn t See Dead Man s Song is actually a slower burner compared to its predecessor but the actually a slower burner compared to its predecessor but the result is every bit as rewarding I really enjoyed the first book in the Pine Deep Trilogy Ghost Road Blues and imagine my pleasant surprise when the author himself commented on my review even if it was to set me straight on one or two things This second instalment in the trilogy takes off exactly where the first book stopped And boy does it ever The dead body in the mound was struggling to sit up It pushed dirt away from its mouth pushed at the heavy clods clawed at the soft soil for purchase until it sat erect Then it turned a dirt smeared white face at him and smiled He screamed once a shrill tearing scream of absolute horror and ranIt s a veritable labyrinth conspiracy of evil that reaches back decades Expect some shocking revelations regarding a few of the main players I appreciated the additional information regarding the Black Harvest and the fate of Oren Morse The story is just so much greater once it starts making senseI do suggest though that you don t let grass grow beneath your feet between books otherwise you will be at least a bit lost This particular entry also reuires a bit of a paradigm shift on the reader s part if I learnt anything from Dead Man s Song it s not to make any assumptions about where a story is headed This whole thing was giving him an increasingly bad feelingIt s atmospheric stuff all round and while comparisons with Stephen King have been drawn I found that it really isn t uite the same This is a good thing while there are definite echoes of the likes of Salem s Lot Maberry clearly has his own voice I highly recommend this whole trilogy so far to readers who enjoy big horror stories He did not notice whole trilogy so far to readers who enjoy big horror stories He did not notice all of the trees around him with filled with crows each of them watching him with bottomless black eyes 5 starsThis book from 25% in takes off like a runaway freight train Where the first novel in the series Ghost Road Blues was a slowly building thriller with tinges of the supernatural in it This one goes dark and deep very uickly and we are treated to a great deal of monsters ghosts and the undead Being a second of three in a trilogy we get the normal added layers to our main characters through further backstories Our main hero Malcolm Crow is the shining star in this one and much of the action centers on him Iron Mike Sweeney grows up uite a bit and his role in this seems to be made clear Mike takes a job with Crow and takes on the role of his apprentice One of the best things about this series is the connection between our strong hero and this growing troubled boyI loved the way Crow convinces Mike to take his offer to be trained on how to fight to survive Down and dirty tricks and secrets that Mike can use to stand up for himself Mike a complete introvert allows Crow to push him because of the honesty and openness the man presents him Crow tells Mike about his troubled past his father and his need to learn to be a survivorMike has many dreams that get darker and scarier and foretell an awful futureThe Bone Man plays some ey roles in this one He is amazed at his apparent abilities as a ghost and believes that he must be there for a good reasonCrow goes on an interview and then a field trip to the Griswold s place with an interesting reporter named Newton The adventure down into th. Ath of serial The Cost of the Forbidden (Irresistible Russian Tycoons killer Karl Ruger put an end to the carnage they're dead wrongTHE NIGHTMARE NEVER ENDSBodies mutilated beyond description innocents driven to acts of vicious madness A monstrous evil is preying on the living and the dead and turning.

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