Soul Storm by Chet Willamson: A review

Soul Storm – Unabridged Audiobook
by Chet Williamson
Narrated by Chet Williamson

Published by Crossroad Press and Springbrook Audio

(Disclosure notice: I received a free copy of Soul Storm from Crossroad Press for review purposes.)

What can I say. I am a sucker for a good haunted house story. I have read many haunted house stories and novels (The Legend of Hell House, House of Bones, The Shinning), and seen many haunted house films (House, The House on Haunted Hill, Rose Red) as well. (And I have been thought my share of Halloween spook houses, and ridden the haunted house ride at Disney Land, but I digress.) Most recently in the haunted house vein, I read (or listen to) Soul Storm by Chet Williamson.

Let me start by saying that Soul Storm is an excellent haunted house story. It brings strong characters, an interesting twist on the cause of the haunting, and good story telling together to tell the story of The Pines. The Pines is a house in the wilds of Pennsylvania with a past filled strange and supernatural events. David Neville, owner of The Pines, has recently restored the house. David Neville is dying, and David wants proof of life after death. David plans to use The Pines to achieve that end by spending a month locked in The Pines with his wife, Gabrielle, and three men hired for a million dollars each to be his witnesses and protectors: Kelly Wickstrom, George McNeely, and Seth Cummings. The five are then sealed in the house with locks and steel plates, and must try to survive the house and each other.

So as I said I enjoyed Soul Storm. The story is well told with strong interesting characters that I cared about. The end was appropriate. It was an excellent read, and, in typical Chet Williamson’s style, is filled with strong characters forced into trying situation. I give the story five out of five snark bites.

The reading was done by the author and is top rate. Chet Williamson is an actor as well as a writer and he does a good job reading his own work. I do have to say that at a couple of points he seemed to slip out of character while reading dialogue, but it didn’t take away from the reading as a whole. I give the reading four out of five snark bites.

So overall, if you like haunted house stories or stories about people put in trying survival situations you should pick up Soul Storm. If it s great read (and listen). I give the unabridged audio version of Chet Williamson’s Soul Storm four out of five snark bites.

Spore: A Review

Spore by John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow

Los Angeles is a strange, strange place. I can say this because I spend a lot of time there as a kid and some as an adult. (I even lived in California, in Rosamond, at one time, but that is tale for another time.) It is the home of movie magic, high tech companies, drugs, gangs, millions of everyday people, millions of tourist, money, and, if Skipp and Goodfellow are to be believed, a sentient fungus with delusions of grandeur.

Spore is the story of that megalomaniac fungus. It is a story of Los Angeles. And more specifically it is the story of Rory and Trixie and what happens to them when a sentient fungus with delusions of grandeur tries to take over Los Angeles via LA’s drug culture. It is a wild ride that takes place in 24 hours starting with Thanksgiving dinner and end with, well, I don’t want to give too much away.

The story begins with the Rory’s and Trixe’s annual Thanksgiving party (complete with lots of friend, a massive turkey dinner, and live music) at their automotive repair shop. Shortly after dinner, Rory receives a call from his older brother Richie who is in jail. Richie asks Rory to act as a limo driver for special client that evening (Richie owns a limo service company). Richie makes the offer such that Rory can’t refuse. And soon after that Rory is plunged into the wonderland of drugs and gangs and fungus that make up the Los Angeles underworld. Rory’s (and soon enough Trixie’s) trip through wonderland including car chases (some involving go-carts), paramilitary raids on rich gated communities with the mushroom sprouting super models, a gang controlled star chamber, and an army of fungus junkies squaring off against an army of LA gang bangers. And all that at the pace of a rollercoaster.

Spore is filled with both true to live and completely over the top characters including the city of Los Angeles herself. In fact, sometime it is hard to tell the different between the realistic and the strange. If paints a gritty, realist picture of Los Angeles and then covers it in mushrooms and lights it on fire while spinning it like Chinese Acrobat spins a plate. It is crazy. It is confusing. It is heart wrenching. It is exhilarating. But in the end it is a wild fun, if you let it sweep you along in it strange, manic currents. I loved it.

I give Spore 5 out of 5 snark bites. It is a well written, wild ride through the strange streets of Los Angeles I will not soon forget. Go pick up a copy and help spread the unity.

Note: This book contains a great deal violence and a lot of drugs and drug use. If you are offended by violence or drug use or mushrooms this may not be the book for you.

2010 Recap

Well, this year has been a challenge, especially the last couple of months. You will have noticed, if you are a regular reader of this blog, that I have me absent here for a while. This is for a number of reasons, none of which include Minecraft (which I have not played since the end of October), that I will not go into an great detail here. Everything kinda fell apart during NaNoWriMo because of an assume opportunity that came up at the Digital Drive In ( and my “day job” getting crazy.

There was much good in 2010. I met some great people (many of whom I interviewed) like David N. Wilson, John Skipp, Craig Spector, Steve Savile, Tina Murphy, Mary SanGiovanni, and Kate Jones to name a few. I put out 31 plus shows in October to entertain people around Halloween. Got a couple of articles published at Abattoir Magazine. Read (and listened to) a lot of books many of which I reviewed (or will soon). Watched a few movies. Worked to many hours for “the man”. Joined a writing group. Played some D&D and Gamma World. Lost over 30 pounds and got into a lot better shape. And spend time with my wife. So I can’t complain too much. (I will anyway).

In 2011, you will see a lot more of me at the Digital Drive In (there will be more info on this over at the Digital Drive In shortly I am really excited about what is planned for Digital Drive In for 2011 and beyond), and, if everything goes right, the return of the The Adventures of The Snarky Avenger web comic. I also intend to focus more on writing especially articles, short stories, and The Adventures of The Snarky Avenger.

All that being said, I am going to leave you with my top three to five picks (those that I enjoyed the most) in a few categories for 2010:


TV Shows:

  • Top Gear (The original not the American abomination)
  • Better Off Ted
  • Walking Dead

Books (both print and audio):

Short Stories (both print and audio):

Computer/Video Games:

Board/Card/Role Playing Games: (Okay… I didn’t play a lot of Board/Card/Role Playing games this year.)


Best Magazine (Print or Electronic):