Sunday, September 11, 2016

REVIEW: Halloween Party by James Livingood

Halloween Party
Author: James Livingood

**I received a free kindle version of this short story collection from Paper Backward via NetGalley in exchange for a fair, honest review**

Now that all the pumpkin spice products are appearing in grocery stores, I knew it was time to start my annual binge on horror and Halloween reading! This short story collection by James Livingood caught my eye on NetGalley as it promised to be a quirky, fun read. I was not disappointed!

Halloween Party includes 3 short stories: Frankenstein IT Support, Swamp Monster Voodoo and Vampire Caving.

In the first story, Frankenstein hates his job at McTech answering phone support questions. The building is too brightly lit, the walls make him claustrophobic, and everything is beige. A dungeon would have more character. So, he holds 9-volt batteries to his tongue several times a day for a shocking pick-me-up and drudges his way through his life in a cubicle.

I loved this story. Mental pictures of Frankenstein's monster working in phone tech support was delightfully fun. His habit of taking hits of electricity off batteries he hides in his desk drawer was awesome! The tech calls he receives are amusing. Having worked in tech support myself, it put a smile on my face as I received many, many completely silly calls from consumer with ID10T issues.

In Swamp Monster Voodoo, a swamp creature is mentored by a voodoo master. The creature can talk to the living and the dead, so the two work together to give clients messages from dead relatives. The two end up parting ways, however, after a client spots the swamp creature and accuses the voodoo master of consorting with demons. The monster decides to put his newly learned voodoo skills to work, opening a business that offers services to ghosts in return for them pointing out locations of buried treasure. When one ghostly client tries to rip him off, the creature has to teach her the importance of paying debts.

This tale had a spookily amusing moral to teach. Totally fun read!

And lastly is the tale of two vampires, Richard and Bernie. Friends in the 1920s when they were turned into vampires after a night of drinking, the two men join different bands of vampires. One group, called Doomdayers, builds underground lairs for survival and training new vampires. And the other -- the Hot Heads -- explores the world and brings back information, technology and other modern items to share with the Doomdayers. Richard is a Doomdayer. Bernie becomes a Hot-Head. Bernie wants to learn all about the origin of vampires, and Richard gives him information on a cave that might just have the answer to all his questions. Armed with all the gear he needs to go cave diving, Bernie ventures forth to discover his roots. He discovers more than he ever imagined.

This story was more fantastical than funny. The description of the cave and what he found there was done in a magical, engaging way. This was my favorite story of the 3!

This is a great, quick read for anyone wanting to get into the Halloween spirit. The tales are more amusing than spooky, but well worth a read!

James Livingood is the author of several other books including Pale Rider: Zombies Versus Dinosaurs. Check out his website:

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