Category Reviews

Cheffo’s Favourites of 2015

Your typical “Best of” list seem to run at least 10 entries and are put out by people who read widely, and with a critical eye. In 2015 I read more widely, and with a more critical eye. I read stories recommended by others, stories by writers whose work I enjoy and stories featured in […]

Review: The Fury of Blacky Jaguar by Angel Luis Colón (5/5)

Great New Voice in Crime Fiction Let me start with a confession: I love the Singles series from One Eye Press. At less than $3 ($4 here in Canada) for Kindlegadget version, they offer a lot of hardboiled bang for very little buck. Thing is, the paperbacks are gorgeous, so I kick in the additional $4 […]

Review: Known Devil by Justin Gustainis (4/5)

A Fresh Take on a Favourite Genre I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to read this. I typically don’t jump in part way through a series. More importantly, I have read a lot of supernatural crime in the past year and didn’t want something that would feel stale. I was, however, […]

To Review Or Not To Review?

I was skimming through The Passive Voice and happened upon a posting that wondered “Is reading reviews a huge mistake?” In it, the author asks some interesting (but, IMNSHO, unnecessary) questions. I wonder if I should stop writing reviews. Am I guilty of spoiling another’s enjoyment, of perhaps causing someone, because of my arrogance, to […]

Review: The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig (4.75/5)

A (Brief) Moment of Doubt Maybe it’s me. Maybe it was the timing of reading The Cormorant shortly after having the first pages of my Work In Progress brutally critiqued. Whatever the cause, my initial reaction to the first pages of this book was disappointment. I understand why Wendig starts out with an Interlude (which […]

I hate your book and I hate you!

Last week bunches of people had discussions (some even with each other) about the appropriateness of authors thanking reviewers. I said “Hell, yes! Please do.” along with some other stuff about why I am entirely unsuited to delivering a professional or unbiased review. This morning, another aspect of the writer/reader relationship puzzle showed up in […]

Thanks or no thanks

Tonight, Steve Weddle and Chris F. Holm lit up the Twittersphere discussing an interesting question: Should authors thank reviewers for positive reviews? The responses were mixed, although I think the consensus was “Sure.” There were concerns about authors trying to curry favour in exchange for future positive reviews and about reviewers being creeped out or […]

Review: SuperNOIRtural Tales by Ian Rogers (4/5)

Recommended by my pulp favourite I had picked up, but not yet read, Ian Rogers’ Every House Is Haunted (ChiZine) when my favourite author of supernatural pulp, Chris F. Holm, tweeted about SuperNOIRtural Tales. As it happens, Ian Rogers was going to be appearing at a local con that I was taking the little Cheffos […]

Review: The Mona Lisa Sacrifice by Peter Roman (Peter Darbyshire) (4.5/5)

Roman is Darbyshire. Darbyshire is Roman. Peter Roman is the name under which Peter Darbyshire (Please and The Warhol Gang) has written the pulpy urban fantasy noir The Mona Lisa Sacrifice. As he points out in a piece in the National Post, he chose a pen name in order to distinguish, not hide, his different […]

Review: Ninja vs Pirate Featuring Zombies (4/5) and Zombie vs Fairy Featuring Albinos by James Marshall (4/5)

One Fucked-up Book I bought NVPFZ on a whim as part of the first order I ever placed with ChiZine Publications. Look at the title and tell me how could I not. Some time later, an award-winning writer/editor/publisher told me that it was “one fucked-up book.” He meant, and I interpreted, this as a GoodThing(tm). […]

Review: The Delphi Room by Melia McClure (4.25/5)

Compelling Premise Can two misfits find love after death? This is the interesting question at the heart of The Delphi Room, although I might suggest that the book also explores the question of finding love for oneself after death. In a beautiful opening chapter, Velvet commits suicide at the urging of her psychosis Shadowman. Afterward, […]

Review: Enter, Night by Michael Rowe (4.5/5)

Vampires You Can Be Afraid Of What happened to the world that my kids only know vampires as leather-clad superheroes and pouty emo teenagers? VAMPIRES ARE MONSTERS TO BE FUCKING FEARED! Who the hell is afraid of a sullen teenager who sparkles (when those sparkles are not the result of a horrifying encounter with a […]