Category: Reviews

Epeolatry Book Review: Alfred Hitchcock Storyboards by Tony Lee Moral

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Title: Alfred Hitchcock Storyboards
Author: Tony Lee Moral
Genre: Individual Directors, Art of Film & Video, Pop Culture Art
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 6th February, 2024

Synopsis: A one-of-a-kind historical document and celebration of the artwork behind several of the Master of Suspense’s greatest films.

This stunning coffee table book focuses on the storyboards for nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movies – Vertigo, The Birds, Psycho, North by Northwest, The 39 Steps, Torn Curtain, Marnie, Shadow of a Doubt and Spellbound. It includes never before-published images and incisive text putting the material in context and examining the role the pieces played in some of the most unforgettable scenes in cinema. Hitchcock author and aficionado Tony Lee Moral takes you through the last 100 years of cinema, with the Master of Suspense as your guide.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Inujini by Angela Yuriko Smith

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Title: Inujini
Author: Angela Yuriko Smith
Genre: historical Asian fiction, literary fiction, historical literary fiction
Publisher: Yuriko Publishing
Release Date: 23rd June, 2024

Synopsis: Three indigenous Ryukyuan girls are stripped of everything in a war their people will gain nothing from, except loss. As they struggle to survive, they learn the power of resilience lies in connecting with who they were, who they are and who they will be together.

Kaori, Yuki and Shigeko are three island girls on the edge of womanhood who find themselves trapped in a fictionalized Battle of Okinawa. Based on true events, the three girls endure hunger, injury, humiliation and gender based violence as everything they love is stripped from them.

They each survive parallel story arcs that entwine in the last act as they connect to their intuition, in the form of the shiisaa guardians specific to Okinawa, and each other. Shamanistic magic may be what brings them together, but in the end it’s the girls themselves that wind up being the heroines. Their sisterhood is what defies and defeats those that threaten them.

Trigger warning: Sexual violence is an essential part of the plot to represent the real life situation women in Okinawa face to this day, but there are no graphic depictions of the act in this story. It remains only a threat to the characters.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Split Scream Volume 4 by D. Matthew Urban and Holly Lyn Walrath

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Title: Split Scream Vol 4 
Author: D. Matthew Urban – “Nonsense Words” and Holly Lyn Walrath “Bone Light”
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Tenebrous Press
Release Date: 31st October, 2023

Synopsis: SPLIT SCREAM has a new home at Tenebrous Press! Editor Alex Ebenstein brings his acclaimed split-novelette series back for a fourth round featuring:

Nonsense Words by D. Matthew Urban

An aging professor of ancient history strikes up a friendship with her new colleague, Dr. Paul Duncan, a scholar of undecipherable inscriptions. As she finds herself drawn into Dr. Duncan’s life—his brilliant wife and mystical daughters, frightened students and uncanny associates—darker forces behind his research emerge, plunging her into a nightmare of mythical absurdity and ritualistic death. Dark academia meets cosmic horror in Nonsense Words, where the incomprehensible is granted a conjured form—but too much imagination can be a dangerous thing. If the cosmos is nonsense, merely a divine or demonic joke, will she live to have the last laugh, or will she die a punchline?

Bone Light by Holly Lyn Walrath

An icy surf batters Bone Light as its beacon calls to weary souls at sea. This edifice built of bone and wretchedness sits atop a cursed rock, surrounded by death, watched over by the ghosts of light-keepers past. Their records tell of the inhospitable environment, but it is Mary Long’s writings that show the heart. Misfortune necessitates the arrival of her dear Ida, laying bear to the obstacles that shaped their history—a husband and taboo among them. These log entries illuminate Mary’s world—the banality, the heartbreak, the magic. In Bone Light, a beacon of death might finally be the thing to give life to a long-denied romance.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Case Files of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society Volume 1 by Robert Lewis and Bryan Bonner

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Title: Case Files of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society Volume 1
Author: Robert Lewis and Bryan Bonner
Genre: Occult Horror
Publisher:Polymath Press
Release Date: 15th September, 2023

Synopsis: Do you enjoy a good ghost story?

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society has investigated ghosts, aliens, cryptids, and all manner of bizarre claims and happenings in Colorado and beyond. Combining historic and scientific research with a love of the weird and scary, they’ve researched and documented some of the best paranormal stories in the world. Now, Colorado’s first and only forensic paranormal investigation team is proud to present this inaugural volume of their collected case files.

Within these pages, you’ll learn not only the ghostly and paranormal stories, but the histories of the allegedly haunted locations and the methods Rocky Mountain Paranormal uses to get to the bottom of some of the world’s strangest phenomena.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Trees Grew Because I Bled There by Eric LaRocca

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Title: The Trees Grew Because I Bled There
Author: Eric LaRocca
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 7th March, 2023

Synopsis: Eight stories of literary dark fiction from a master storyteller. Exploring the shadow side of love, these are tales of grief, obsession, control. Intricate examinations of trauma and tragedy in raw, poetic prose. In these narratives, a woman imagines horrific scenarios whilst caring for her infant niece; on-line posts chronicle a cancer diagnosis; a couple in the park with their small child encounter a stranger with horrific consequences; a toxic relationship reaches a terrifying resolution…

Originally published under the title The Strange Thing We Become and Other Dark Tales, this is a much-praised collection of deeply unsettling, painfully dark tales.

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Epeolatry Book Review: The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles by Malka Older

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Title: The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles
Author: Malka Older
Genre: Science Fiction, Cosy Crime, LGBTQIA+
Publisher: Tordotcom
Release Date: 13th February, 2024

Synopsis: Investigator Mossa and Scholar Pleiti reunite to solve a new mystery in the follow-up to the cozy space-opera detective mystery The Mimicking of Known Successes, which Hugo Award-winning author Charlie Jane Anders called “an utter triumph.”

Mossa has returned to Valdegeld on a missing person’s case, for which she’ll once again need Pleiti’s insight. Seventeen students and staff members have disappeared from Valdegeld University―yet no one has noticed. The answers to this case may lie on the moon of Io―Mossa’s home―and the history of Jupiter’s original settlements during humanity’s exodus from Earth.

But Pleiti’s faith in her life’s work as a scholar of the past has grown precarious, and this new case threatens to further destabilize her dreams for humanity’s future, as well as her own.

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Epeolatry Book Review: A Vindication of Monsters: Essays on Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, ed. Claire Fitzpatrick

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Title: A Vindication of Monsters: Essays on Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley
Author: Various, ed. Claire Fitzpatrick
Genre: Non-fiction, biographies and memoirs of women
Publisher: IFWG Publishing International
Release Date: 15th October, 2023

Synopsis: In 1797 an extraordinary visionary died, leaving behind a grieving husband, a two-year-old daughter, and a newborn. The woman was Mary Wollstonecraft, her daughter Fanny Imlay, and her baby Mary Godwin, who, through many trials and tribulations, grew up to become the remarkable Mary Shelley, creator of one of the most important books in literature: Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus. While many books have examined both women’s lives, their remarkable similarities, their passions, joys, and their grief, A Vindication of Monsters: Essays on Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft, delves deeper into the stories behind both women, their connections to historical events, society, their philosophies, and their political contributions to their time. These essays and memoirs explore Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Shelley’s circle of friends, including her husband, the capricious poet Percy Shelley; the libertine Romantic Lord Byron; the first modern vampire author John Polidori; and other contemporary creatives who continue to be inspired by both women today.

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Epeolatry Book Review: Posthaste Manor by Jolie Toomajan & Carson Winter

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Title: Posthaste Manor
Author: Jolie Toomajan & Carson Winter
Genre: Ghost Fiction; Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Tenebrous Press
Release Date: 18th October, 2023

Synopsis:  NEVER TRUST A HOUSE WITH A NAME
Everyone has a story about Posthaste Manor.
None of the stories end well, but that doesn’t stop the hopeful from hoping and the desperate from trying.
This composite novel stands as both history and eulogy of one very haunted house, as recounted by artists, real estate agents, and beloved family pets; by the debauched, the dead and the dying, and anyone looking for one last chance.
Raise a glass in celebration. Just don’t linger within its walls for long.

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