You’ll never want to exercise again as Eric Arvin and TJ Klune turn a gym full of hunks into a smorgasbord of terror in GHOUL’S GYM.
This is the individual release of Ghoul’s Gym which was originally published as part of the Zombie Boyz anthology.
Wow! This wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I think the authors did a fabulous job weaving together their two “voices” into this book. The story doesn’t come off as having two authors but as having one.
The story is disturbingly bloody and vicious with humor too. Under it all is a love story that makes you cry. The whole of the story the authors keep you guessing at who is going to survive and what is going to happen next.
The characters are a bit strange. Uly is a personal trainer who is a bit clueless about how much the love of his life is suffering with his body image. Jake is teased by Uly’s boss and others at the gym because he isn’t all buffed up. Uly doesn’t seem to get how much it is bothering Jake. Jake really lets these bullies get to him. He is bringing all of this into the relationship and making everything worse. Talking to Uly doesn’t seem to make any impact on the situation either so Jake is internalizing it all.
The authors’ version of how zombies come to be is very interesting and creative. I will admit that the read starts out sounding really bizarre and not at all like it will be enjoyable but by the end it captures you and makes you really care about the characters and their situation.
Of humanity there are darker tales. Stories that take some squinting to see through. Unconventional stories. Tales that threaten to break the heart by cruel twists of fate, the dogs of war, or demons that are all too real; whether they be of unrequited love or a karmic slap in the face. Happy endings take a time in coming, and some never arrive. But through all the darkness there is light, a glimmer of hope and wonder…if one has the will to see it.
Warning, for the most part these aren’t “happy” stories. Not all are romantic or love stories and some are just down right rough, so be forewarned.
“The Demon of Jericho” by Eric Arvin
This wasn’t really a “romance” as such. There is a couple in it but the relationship between the two since what I’d call a romance. The story involves angels, a demon, a bad sheriff, a hunter, and a cursed city called Jericho. The writing is interesting in style. The story has an almost fairly tale flavor to it. The story is extremely shallow though. I think the author was going for mysterious, which just made me a little confused. I never really got into the story itself, it never hooked me in. I think it just wasn’t my type of writing.
“A Cruel Thing” by Abigail Roux
Ah, man! I do try and avoid unhappy stories. I admit it…I’m a sap:( I cried even though you know people are going to die. This is set in WWII, on the doomed Wake Island. It revolves around two couples and what happens there. Abigail Roux is a wonderful author. This is a short story but it pulls you into it quickly. The characters grab you and make you know them. This is one excellent read!
“Wrong” b S.J.D. Peterson
Okaaay, well, I admit the writing is good but I just couldn’t get past the story itself. The characters aren’t likable at all. I didn’t like the feel of the story. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters or storyline. I was just happy to finish it. Definitely didn’t like this one.
“Anguish” by Jason Huffman-Black
This is a very short story. The name of the character is never given. I have to admit though the title fits it well. I think the author did an excellent job with it.
“Hotel Luz” by S.A. McAuley
This is a story about lost love. I wasn’t sure about this one. I don’t believe in cheating, it is one thing to have an open relationship or be in a multiple partnership but another to cheat. I don’t find it romantic or sexy. As the story goes along and you find out about these men it becomes fascinating. This is very well written and pulls you in gradually. You don’t know what to hope for with these men, should they get back together, stay with their partners or what. I connected well with them and the story was very satisfying.
“John & Jackie” by T.J. Klune
Oh, sad but not. The descriptions and details are wonderful. The characters are easy to care about. This is a love story. It grabs your heart. It’s not something that is new or different but it is so well written you just have to read it.
So the hard part how to rate this overall…