19 December 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Mountain Madness by Daniel Pyle

I’ve read both of these stories separately and I think putting them together in one book is absolutely fabulous! They both have similar settings and the seclusion factor is definitely there in both.

I’ll start with Dismember. I read this book about a year ago and I STILL cannot get it out of my head. I can’t remember what book I read last week, but this one pops back into my head from time to time. I think that’s probably the biggest plus mark for this book. I’ve read probably 70 books since reading this one and it still haunts my nightmares. It will make you hold your breath, gross you out, creep you out and hold tight to your kids. Pyle has a way with words – living in his head must be a scary thing for sure! This is probably the best horror book I’ve read in years. It screws with your head, but the good ones do.

Then there’s Freeze, which is a little different. It doesn’t have the realism that Dismember had, but is an absolutely fabulous monster story. It’s short enough to get you in and out quickly but long enough to develop the characters and their lives. This one haunts my nightmares, but not as much.

Overall, I’d give the pairing of these two four stars. HIGHLY recommended for horror and suspense fans. Note: There are quite a few gory parts, but those are secondary to the tension.

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My previous review of Dismember:
I don’t think I scare easily. I do, however, get creeped out easily. My nightmares have nothing to do with Freddy Kruguer and everything to do with some guy breaking into my house and killing my husband and stealing my child or some lady snatching my kid from the grocery store. I’m not all that anxious about it, but that’s what wakes me up at 3am in a cold sweat. THOSE kind of nightmares.

… which would explain why, at 2am, I was sitting up in bed, reading this book, wide awake, listening to every groan of the house, every branch scratching the window, completely unable to breathe. One might wonder why I do this to myself, but the fact of the matter is that I love it! There’s something about what reading these kinds of books does to my head that is both disturbing and exhilarating. I’m sure some scientist will come up with a reason that I’m completely twisted, but well… who cares.

The author has a knack for this kind of writing. He kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen. Sometimes, it was nothing and sometimes it was definitely something. There was some serious gore int his book *shudder* but it wasn’t all gore all the time, there were actual hardcore story lines with actual developed characters. It made me care about them, even care about the murderer at times. Really superbly done.

Now for the bad… I’m taking away only one star for it, but… he messed with my bow. What bow? The bow that ties up the end of my books with a pretty nice package, that’s the one. I hated the ending. I need to KNOW what happens. I need it spelled out for me. If there’s a book two, okay, but don’t leave me hanging on a stand alone book. I know, I know, it’s a split of how you should do it… sometimes it’s best left to the reader’s imagination. Blah blah blah. But, dude, Mr. Author… you left me hanging. Sigh.

This book is recommended for horror/suspense fans that like a good solid story line.

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My previous review of Freeze:

I’m definitely a fan of this author’s work. He sent me this book shortly after it was released and I snatched it up to read right away hoping to find something to grab me while I was traveling. I won’t say that it kept me up at night. It’s a pretty typical monster story with a very atypical monster. Very smart on his part for sure. I definitely had little to no idea what I was in for!

The writing is what we’ve come to expect from Pyle, very well done and very clean. Descriptive, yet not so much so that I want to take a chainsaw to the book when I done. (what? you don’t do that?) I didn’t notice any glaring errors or anything like that.

And this is where it probably isn’t very fair to the author. It’s like comparing children, right? But my problem with the story is that I was expecting more. I STILL get a little bit of a chill at times when I think about his book, Dismember, which was phenomenal (Really, go buy it. Now!). So, perhaps knowing what he’s done in the past and knowing how amazing that book was has jaded me a little. I find it hard to not compare. I know. I know. But for me, I don’t actually care about the characters when it’s a story that absolutely cannot be true (and my ability to suspend belief can be pretty strong here). So, I found myself not really caring what happened to the people in the story. That’s a rough one for me.

However, I must remember that while the previous book was a “this could maybe possibly happen and OMG!” that this book is a monster book. Totally different sub-genre of horror, I realize. No one can deny that this is an excellent monster book, that’s for sure. The story line is well developed (if a little rushed at the end) and it was a great ride. His ability to bring the monster to life and to leave me rooting for the good guys made it highly worth reading. Ultimately, it’s a monster story and ultimately it’s a well done book so I’m still rating this one high.

This is recommended for those horror readers out there that like a good monster story. I’m looking forward to see what he puts out next… this dude is seriously twisted.

Description:
Mountain Madness is a 2-in-1 compilation that includes one full-length novel, Dismember, and one long novella, Freeze.

DISMEMBER

The summer he turned seven, Dave Abbott survived a gruesome mountainside car accident that left the rest of his family mangled and dead.

Now, after living twenty-three years with the twisted backwoodsman who pulled him from the wreckage, Dave is carrying out a plan to replace each of his lost loved ones with members of nearby, unsuspecting families. He has prepared, he’s stalked, and now his chance has come to get his family safely out of the mountains once and for all.

Whether they like it or not.

[83,000 words]

FREEZE

A raging snowstorm has stranded Tess and Warren in their mountain home with no power and little heat. When an accident leaves Tess coughing up pools of blood, Warren has no choice but to brave the storm in search for help.

He’s afraid he’ll be too late.

But what he should be afraid of are the creatures slinking through the blizzard and watching his every move.

[37,000 words]

Rating: ★★★★☆

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