TNB Book Club 6.07: Shadows Over Baker Street Part 7

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Hey gang, welcome back to The Nerd Blitz Book Club!

In this 7th episode of a 9 episode series, we crack open a book we have been wanting to dive into for a long time, the Sherlock Holmes meets H.P. Lovecraft pastiche short story collection, Shadows Over Baker Street.

This week sees us discussing and dissecting the next 2 entries in this book, edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan, The Drowned Geologist & A Case Of Insomnia which were written by Caitlin R. Keirnan & John P. Vourlis respectively.

So find yourself a copy of this gathering of stories and read along with us cause the game is most certainly afoot as the darkest of dark clouds settles in over the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and things get spooky at 221B Baker Street, gang.

Also, a special thank you goes to @gigiamk30
for providing this book and making this entire 6th series of The Nerd Blitz Book Club possible.

URL: TNB Book Club 6.07: Shadows Over Baker Street Part 7
Direct Download: tnbbc006007.mp3

And for more great and spooky Nerd Blitz content like this, head over to Patreon.com/NerdBlitzPod or TSDJAProductions.bandcamp.com and have a look around.

Frankenstein: Anatomy Of Terror Review

For the 4th and final of my Halloween & horror themed reviews, I’m going to be taking a look at a book I stumbled across when I was 10 years old.
And in the 19 years since I acquired it, I’ve almost read it a few times but something always stopped me from taking the plunge.
Now, after all these years, the time has come to crack it open.
Can it live up to that immense amount of pressure and hype?
Let’s find out together, gang!

As is customary around here, this is your official ***SPOILER ALERT***

Okay, first off, let’s talk about the book that I THOUGHT I was going to be reading.
As you can see on the cover above, under the title, it has the tagline “A Tale Of Terror For The 21th Century”.
For YEARS that tagline made me think this was Mary Shelley’s Classic rewritten to be hipper and cooler, a retelling for the happenin’ audiences of the new millennium.
Gang, never have I been so wrong, and never have I been so damn glad to be wrong!
What this book ACTUALLY turned out to be is far far better than that idea could ever hope to be.

When 3 high school kids, Nina, Joe, & an eccentric lad known as Captain Bob, run afoul of some wacky hacking abilities, a bunch of old movies converted to 3-D DVDs, and a freak lightning bolt, the most well known monsters in cinematic history are transported to the real world 21st century to unleash true fear.
Now, having already captured Dracula and The Wolfman, these 3 start to realize next monster on their list of foes may just be the beast brought to life by one Dr. Frankenstein.

DOESN’T THAT SOUND FUCKIN’ AMAZING!?
And let me tell you, IT IS!
If I had read this when I was a kid, I would have shit enough bricks to build an entire city block worth of houses.
The combining of monsters with movies in this specific way is genius.
The twist of bringing the movie monsters into the “real world” adds a new layer of fear and horror that a movie alone could never really inspire.

For a kid’s book, and the 3rd in the series no less (more on that in a minute), the characters are incredibly well fleshed out.
And even more astounding would be the fact that Larry Mike Garmon decided to introduce at least 3 new characters in this book and, somehow, nobody feels pushed to the side and ignored, new or old.
He’s obviously building on storylines from the 1st 2 books, but he does it in a way that doesn’t make you feel like an idiot or lost for having missed the earlier installments.

I mentioned that this is the 3rd book in the series.
Now, it should be pretty obvious that, based on what I thought this was going to be, I had absolutely no idea.
Upon reflection, I should have known, I should have looked at the spine or read the back cover blurb, but damn it I had my preconceived notions locked in place and that was that.
Yeah, I think it’s well established that I’m a jackass, cause that’s a real bummer.

I really wish I could get, or had gotten, the rest of the books in this series, but now they’re either out of print or so damn expensive that it seems unlikely to happen.
It’s sad because this story is just that damn good, gang.
So if you can find a copy of this or any of the books in this series, pounce on it!
This isn’t good for a kid’s book, it’s a good story all around.

Let us know what you think of this horrific review in the comments below or share this post on the hell scape known as Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her bonechilling continued editorial assistance.

And for more great Nerd Blitz content, head over to Patreon.com/NerdBlitzPod or TSDJAProductions.bandcamp.com

Goosebumps: Egg Monsters From Mars Review

My first encounter with a Goosebumps book, while not particularly what I would consider horror, went surprisingly well (read all about it HERE).
That left me more than ready to dive in and read another almost immediately.
So was this one able to go in a more horrific direction?
Was the good experience I had in the previous book indicative of the entire series and will it hold steady or was it a fluke that took a nose dive in the very next installment?
The time has come to find out, gang!

As I’m sure you know by now, this is your ever present ***SPOILER ALERT***, so everybody act accordingly.

When his bratty sister, Brandy, requests an egg hunt for her birthday party, aspiring scientist Dana Johnson finds one that is beyond belief.
Giving off heat, covered in pulsing veins, he takes it to his room to study it more closely.
When it hatches, he takes it to a local research lab and the shit hits every fan you can possibly imagine!

First off, R.L. Stine must have had or wanted a bratty little sister, because this is the second book in a row where one is a key character.
Second and most important and possibly interesting or inspiring, this book came out one month after Bad Hare Day.
That was completely insane to me so I looked ahead and found that all of the four I have came out in four consecutive months.
While this books aren’t the most challenging, his level of output is incredibly impressive and respectable beyond my ability to articulate.
Bravo, sir!

I’ve been trying my damnedest to find something about this book that I didn’t like and I’m coming up empty.
This one had the horror vibe I felt the last one was lacking, which is a huge plus.
It’s pretty damn disturbing what happens when he heads to the lab.
It didn’t feel like it was lacking any depth like Bad Hare Day did either, in fact I loved the economical way he told this story and how it really dives in and deals with Dana’s reaction to the horrific and traumatic situation he finds himself in.
With the way he conveys that fear and panic of being captured, I can see why kids would find this scary.
Nothing at all here felt like it was missing or went unexplored like the previous story.

It really does make me a little bit sad that I missed the boat on these books when I was a wee lad.
I think it would have been a great way to embrace another aspect of horror at such a young age.
And with that fact alone I can totally understand why this series still persists to this day.
These first two experiences I’ve had with this series have gotten progressively better with each installment and that makes me excited to read the next two books next October.
But return to this franchise I most definitely will!

Let us know what you think of this special Halloween review in the comments below or share this post on Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this year’s final themed review in the next week or so.

Special thanks, as always, to @ACFerrell1976 for her continuing editorial assistance.

And for more great Nerd Blitz content, head over to Patreon.com/NerdBlitzPod or TSDJAProductions.bandcamp.com

The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week #116

Spooky season is all up in our buisness, son!
Reports are saying the creepies & or crawlies are coming out of the woodwork in record numbers as monster sightings have hit all time highs.
Jack-o-lanterns have been seen trying to take over the world with vines and what not.
We could all try and do something about it or we can hunker down and answer some nerdy ass questions.
I know what my choice is gonna be!

With that long rambling Halloweeny opening in mind, I think you can guess the theme we’re going for this week as we ask: What Is Your All Time Favorite Horror Short Story Or Novel?

Leave your answer down in the comments below or tweet it to us over on the Tweety times @NerdBlitzPod or by using the incredibly well thought out hashtag #TNBQotW.

Special thanks goes out to the good sir @SteBoost for creating our eye catchingly sexified logo for this here weekly segment known as The Nerd Blitz Question Of The Week.

And for more great Nerd Blitz content, head over to Patreon.com/NerdBlitzPod or TSDJAProductions.bandcamp.com

Goosebumps: Bad Hare Day Review

The global phenomenon known as Goosebumps is a monster of a machine that has been rolling for almost 30 years and includes hundreds of Books in multiple series, TV shows, Movies, Video Games, Comics, and amazing amounts of merch.
It truly is a juggernaut!
But for some reason, as a kid, the books never really grabbed me.

So now, as I reach almost 30 myself, I’m taking a plunge into the series for the first time.
Will it stand up to the grizzled and cynical eyes of a grumpy old Doom or will it reignite some hidden youthfulness?
Let’s creep on in and find out.

As always, this your official ***SPOILER ALERT***

Now let me very clear about a couple of things upfront.
1. Yes, I understand this is a series of children’s “horror” novels, that wouldn’t and shouldn’t give it a pass for sucking.
Thankfully though, it doesn’t.
I judged this the same way I would any other novel or short story.
2. While this is the first Goosebumps book I have ever read, this is not my first experience with the franchise.
When I was little, love it or hate it, EVERYBODY watched the Goosebumps TV Series that aired on Fox kids in the mid-to-late 90s.
I remember absolutely loving it!
So I’m not quite sure why I never checked out the books.
3. Just so you know where I’m coming from with this review, for Halloween this year, I thought it might be fun to read some short horror books to celebrate the season and get in the mood.
With all of that out of the way, let’s dive in to the belly of this beast.

A magic obsessed kid named Tim spends his days trying to work out the kinks of his burgeoning act on anybody that will sit still long enough for him to attempt a trick.
During a trip to the local magic store, he’s given tickets to see his idol Amaz-O perform for the first, and possibly only, time ever!
So he sneaks out of the house one night with his bratty karate chopping sister, Ginny, in tow for a show that will change his life forever.

The first thing I would say is that this story specifically feels a bit mislabeled as horror.
To me, it feels like more like a thriller that has a dash of morality tale thrown in for good measure.
The tension doesn’t have that typical type of tension I associate with horror, it’s more of a “damn, this kid was wronged and got in too deep. I hope he doesn’t get in too much trouble” type of tension.
That is by no means a complaint, it’s just something that stuck out.

Now, something that I would consider a bit of a mild complaint (and actually something we just talked about in regard to Ash Vs Evil Dead) would be that it leaves you wanting more.
The “Just the facts, ma’am” style and break neck pace Stine seems to employ here does just that.
While it may be a limitation of the format/target audience (short attention spans), I want to see this dude unchained and able to tell a story with depth and some breathing room cause he’s definitely got the skill to weave a compelling and interesting story.
I get the feeling this may end up being the big “problem” I’ll have with any of these that I read, I just want more.
I want the chance to get to know this world where magic can transfigure you into other critters better.

As for the morality angle I mentioned earlier, it’s a pretty good Monkey’s Paw situation of “be careful what you wish for”.
Tim, due to his sister’s brattiness, keeps threatening to turn her into a rabbit.
When it eventually does happen, it comes back to bite him in the ass in a big way.
While that does change, the point lands hard.

Overall, this is pretty damn fun and well written, kid’s book or not.
Though it feels like a short story that could easily be turned into a full length novel, it’s pretty satisfying as is.
The characters each have a distinct voice of their own, which can sometimes be an issue with books aimed at younger audiences.
I’m definitely interested in reading more!

Let us know what you think of this review in the comments below or share this post on Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview, and keep an eye out for my other Halloween themed reviews in the coming weeks.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her continued editorial assistance.

And for more great Nerd Blitz content, head over to Patreon.com/NerdBlitzPod or TSDJAProductions.bandcamp.com