Monthly Archives: August 2014

Amazon Kindle Unlimited for Horror Fans

Recently Amazon unveiled a new Kindle option called Kindle Unlimited. It’s similar to a Netflix streaming movie subscription in that if you pay 9.99 per month, you can download as many books labeled “Kindle Unlimited” as you want. The catch is that the majority of available books are self-published or published by a small press. The mainstream, traditionally-published only reader needs to be warned that Kindle Unlimited may not be their best bet for an e-book subscription service. This reader would be better off checking out Entitle, a similar service that does offer mainstream, traditionally-published e-books. Kindle Unlimited is a delicious resource for self-published and small press-published horror novel fans, however.

Are you a fan of unknown and/or potentially authors that could be the next big thing in the horror genre? Kindle Unlimited is a great way to read these authors without risking your hard-earned money. Your 9.99 monthly subscription fee guarantees that you can try as many e-books as you want. Well, within reason.  The deal is that you can check out up to ten books at a time and if you want more, you can return however many you need in order to download more.  Technically there is a limit.  If you’re interested in recommendations of titles that I personally read and that are available as Kindle Unlimited reading material, check these out.

Do you like your horror novels about a female protagonist turned antagonist? Sadie the Sadist by Zane Sachs is a yummy read. I won’t spoil anything in this brief blurb, but I’ll get you excited with this teaser: Even as Sadie loses touch with reality and human decency, she’s still a semi-sympathetic character. Yes, even when she’s covered in other characters’ blood.

Maybe creature horror is more your style. From the Depths by J.E. Gurley is a decent short read. The synopsis describes monstrous, mutated sea creatures and a dinosaur-esque entity. The actual story delivers on the promise. The death scenes and human vs. sea monster fights could’ve been better but there’s enough of them to be gripping. I think the thing that worked well was that the novella didn’t end happily. It did, however, end in a satisfying and believable way.

If you like horror mixed with a police procedural, Michael McBride’s Innocents Lost blends the two genres well. I didn’t actually love this novel but there were a few good points about it. First, McBride started out as an unknown writer but by virtue of coming under established horror authors’ radars, blew up in the genre. He’s solid at writing. The style feels like any traditionally-published author rather than some amateur self-publisher looking to make a quick buck. I loved that once again, the ending wasn’t happy but was believable and satisfying. This one didn’t do it for me but he has other novels available as Kindle Unlimited releases. Yes, I plan to give these others a chance.

I could ramble about other novels I got to experience but admittedly they aren’t horror. One nice point about Kindle Unlimited is that you can read in genres you might not try unless you had free access to reading material. This subscription allows you to do such a thing without having to worry about the risks attached to paying 2.99 or whatever exorbiant price e-books are going for now. Again, you’re looking more at self-published books, but this gives you an opportunity for exposure to new genres.

Note: Don’t expect to find much in the way of criminology books. I already checked and I’m “Meh” on the available selection.

With a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, anyone who wants more exposure to unknown and up-and-coming authors has the chance to find potentially good reading material. Just don’t expect many (if any) traditionally-published e-books. Kindle Unlimited is actually a better fit for horror fans since most horror is in e-book format anyway.

The Whisper Confession App

Have you ever considered an anonymous secret-sharing application as horror reading? I know I wouldn’t have thought so but the app Whisper is scarier than any horror material I’ve read to date. To put it politely, I’m surprised 90% of the confessors aren’t in prison. Before leaving Whisper behind, I posted a few of my own confessions. It’s one thing to hear Tumblr and BuzzFeed users say that only “serial killers” use Whisper and quite another to experience it firsthand. Don’t get me wrong, my secrets were legitimate. I wouldn’t necessarily want to share them under my real name on an app that people used for hook-ups and worse but they were definitely real secrets. For the purpose of writing my review I’ll share a few not-so-personal secrets that I remember writing.

I love bloody, gory horror movies. I am a woman.

I had no intention of this being a turn-on.  On the day I wrote this, I found a series of quotes about how teenage boys get their girlfriends to sleep with them by showing them a scary movie and freaking them out so bad they turn to their boyfriend for comfort.  Screw that!  I’m a huge fan of bloody, gory horror movies because they’re disgusting and stomach-turning.  Of course, I don’t want gore just for the sake of gore.  I will absolutely give low ratings to movies that are completely meant for shock value and nothing more.  *Cough Human Centipede Two cough*  However, I don’t shy away from it when it adds to the storyline.  I do have squicks, but I’m a big girl.  If I can’t handle it then I look away or put down my computer lid if I’m watching the movie that way.  I sure don’t need to turn to someone else.

Within five minutes after posting this secret, I get at least three private messages from these teenage boys asking me where I live and when they should come pick me up?  Really?  Ugh!

I like to kiss my cats on the lips.

Surprisingly I got no weird comments for this one.  All the comments followed the sentiment of “I love cats!” and “Same!”  It’s weird that people are weird about every other topic except animals, and then they’re just a flurry of “Oh my god, so cute!”

I like reading about mass muderers, morbid as that sounds.

I was totally asking for the creepy comments with this one, but there’s also a story behind why I posted this secret.  So I’d bought a few books on my Kindle that related to teenage mass murderers.  What an interesting subject!  I’m a Criminology student as well as an English student.  If the college and the department were better funded and had more options for specialized classes based on interests, I would absolutely want to focus on juvenile delinquency!  This is one aspect of it.  I don’t know what sparked my interest in “evil” kids but it’s like the one type of non-fiction reading I love.  Okay, here’s the problem:  People think that if you read about it, that obviously means you want to be like the people you’re reading about.  This is 100% false, but of course you can’t reason with them.  People get weird about subjects such as mass murderers.  I posted this secret because it’s an unpopular opinion and requires loads of justification.

Not all the comments were creepy.  Some comments served as reference material for future reading.  If you give me the name of someone I’ve never heard of, I totally want to know who they are and what they did.  Some comments were in agreement.  It turns out that otherwise normal, well-adjusted people are just as interested in the subject as I am.

Then you get the really weird comments.  I got offers to meet people who were apparently planning their own mass murders.  Some people thought it was perfectly normal to tell me “I’ve been dying to commit this particular crime!  Read about me!”  Ummmmm, no thanks.  Oh, never mind the people who, once again, wanted to hook up with me.  Ugh!

I do believe in a parallel universe and parallel Jessica. I bet she’s living in a ritzy apartment with a prestigious career and living a dream life.

This was actually my reply to someone who was questioning the existence of parallel universes and parallel selves.  I didn’t officially give them my name because, as above, creepy people, but I did share this thought.  This person sent me a very involved private message.  It was actually quite philosophical, but a little weird to ask someone you never actually met.  Essentially this person said I was the only respondent that sounded disconnected from myself by referring to my parallel self as “she” instead of “me”.  To me, it really is “she”.  Even if Parallel Jessica is technically me, she isn’t me.  She’s nothing more than an alternative that never will be.  Why should I identify with her?  Of course, I’m not going to explain this to someone I don’t know.  It is something I might blog about in a completely different blog but definitely not something I’d share on Whisper.

To be fair, I walked into that one by typing that spacy-sounding response.

I don’t know how to officially rate the Whisper app. It’s effectively creepy reading material because it’s real. You know how when you read a solid horror novel and it’s unsettling for maybe a few days? Whisper gave me that feeling every time I checked in. I used it for a good month until I learned it was draining my cell phone battery and using my monthly data allowance. That was literally the only reason I stopped reading it. On the other hand, Whisper is creepy because people who only know you by your secrets want to date you. If they knew me in real life, I don’t think they’d actually notice me. It’s not real, if that makes sense. And let’s not forget that if you confess about your interest in horror and murderers, you can get personal messages about people who aspire to be murderers by luring in other horror fans as victims.

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