The Catacombs by Jeremy Bates (Book Review)

World’s Scariest Places: The Catacombs

The Catacombs is written in first-person narrative, mostly from the perspective of an American called Will, though includes some shorter chapters from the perspective of other characters. Will has relocated to Paris with the intention of starting over, after a boating disaster turned his life upside down, killing his younger sister and best friend, on the night before his wedding.

He befriends a local girl called Danièle, who shows him video footage of an Australian woman lost in the Catacombs beneath the city. She convinces him to join her on a night-time trip, deep into the caverns and tunnels on a hunt for this missing woman, along with her friends, Pascal and Rob. Although reluctant, Will later agrees to accompany them, after an unexpected conversation with his ex-fiance spurs him on.

 

Initially I was a little sceptical going into this book, I’d read the previous novel in the ‘World’s Scariest Places’ series last year and was a bit underwhelmed by the story. Suicide Forest didn’t live up to the creepy goose-pimply tale I’d been expecting, but I was hoping, considering the location, that The Catacombs would make for a much scarier story.

…possible spoiler warning…

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Supernatural: Carved In Flesh by Tim Waggoner (Book Review)

Carved In Flesh is the twelfth book in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is written by Tim Waggoner. It takes place during season seven between episodes 12 (Time After Time) and 13 (The Slice Girls).

 

…spoiler warning for those not familiar and up-to-date with the TV series…

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Cell by Stephen King (Book Review)

October 1st begins like any other ordinary day in Boston. Clayton Riddell has turned a corner in his graphic art career, but his good mood is soon to be cut short. While waiting in line for the ice-cream truck at around 3pm, the people ahead of him suddenly go berserk, violently attacking each other.

All across Boston everyone with a cell phone turns violent and aggressive, harming both themselves and everyone else around them. At first Clay can only watch in horror as the spectacle unfolds before his eyes, however once he realises that the problem is due to some sort of subliminal message being carried by cell phone signals, his thoughts soon turn to his young son, Johnny.

Although Clay and his recently estranged wife Sharon don’t own a cell phone, their son Johnny however, does. When Clay is unable to contact his family via a landline telephone connection, he vows to brave the chaos and find a way home to Maine, before his son decides to use the little red cell phone in his possession.

Will Clay find his family before they transform?

 

Favourite Quote:

“It’s like the fucking Night of the Living Dead.” – Officer Ulrich Ashland. (p31)

 

Cell is a bizarre story from master of horror Stephen King, in which an electronic pulse is sent out via the cellular telephone network in America to all cell phone users turning them violently insane.

As if that basic concept wasn’t already creepy enough to have you destroying your phone, vowing never to touch the abhorrent device again, the story gets even spookier when those individuals that are unaffected all have the exact same nightmare. The crazy people seem to be able to communicate telepathically, both with each other and also with those still sane, influencing people while they sleep.

The crazies don’t remain dumb, blank-faced idjits but gradually develop psychic powers as they flock together, thinking as one mind.

Let’s not forget that King’s novel was released back in 2006 before the rise of the smartphone, so let’s just take a short moment to consider the myriad ways that phones can now be manipulated, and the ramifications of a real-life hacking event if anyone were to obtain control of smartphones worldwide. Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

At 4 out of 5 stars, Cell is an enjoyable, thought-provoking novel, although rather disturbing at the same time. The only fault is that it ends a little abruptly.

 

2016 sees the movie release starring John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Isabelle Fuhrman.

 

I was extremely excited to finally watch the story come to life however Cell is an absolutely atrocious film.

The director has taken a number of liberties when it comes to the details of the adaptation which distorts the story. It becomes a jumbled mess which doesn’t flow very well resulting in a movie that is difficult to understand.

With bad acting, poor dialogue and very short, clipped explanations Cell is a film that no-one can relate to and which doesn’t make much sense. With so many details from the book being changed and warped it almost comes across as an entirely different story altogether.

Cell is up there on the list of terrible Stephen King adaptations, but while the film is a waste of time, the original novel is a recommended read.

 

See also:

The Shining

The Shining: Book 2 – Doctor Sleep

Four Past Midnight Collection

Supernatural: Rite of Passage by John Passarella (Book Review)

Rite of Passage is actually book number ten – released before Fresh Meat, but chronologically takes place later – in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is the second to be written by John Passarella. It takes place during season seven between episodes 8 (Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!) and 9 (How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters).

 

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar with the TV series…

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Supernatural: Fresh Meat by Alice Henderson (Book Review)

Fresh Meat is book number eleven in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is written by Alice Henderson. It takes place during season seven between episodes 5 (Shut Up, Dr. Phil) and 6 (Slash Fiction), and technically comes before book ten in the series if you read them in chronological order.

 

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar with the TV series…

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Supernatural: Night Terror by John Passarella (Book Review)

Night Terror is book number nine in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is the first to be written by John Passarella. It takes place during season six between episodes 18 (Frontierland) and 19 (Mommy Dearest), in which the Winchester brothers face their worst nightmares in Colorado.

 

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar with the TV series…

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Supernatural: Coyote’s Kiss by Christa Faust (Book Review)

Coyote’s Kiss is book number eight in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is written by Christa Faust. It takes place during season six between episodes 10 (Caged Heat) and 11 (Appointment in Samarra), and takes the Winchester brothers on yet another hunting trip across America.

 

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar with the TV series…

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Supernatural: One Year Gone by Rebecca Dessertine (Book Review)

One Year Gone is book seven in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and is written by Rebecca Dessertine. It takes place between the end of season 5 and the beginning of season 6.

 

…possible spoiler warning for those not familiar with the TV series…

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Exoskeleton: Book III – Omniscient by Shane Stadler (Book Review)

Omniscient is the third book in the Exoskeleton trilogy from experimental physicist Shane Stadler.

Those not already familiar can find my review of Exoskeleton here, and book 2, Tympanum here.

…warning: spoilers ahead…

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The Shining: Book 2 – Doctor Sleep (Book Review)

For those not already in the know, Doctor Sleep is the sequel to Stephen King’s famous novel The Shining, and the book begins almost exactly where The Shining left off.

You can read my review of The Shining here via this link.

 

…warning: spoilers ahead…

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