Daughter Cell

9781629290379Randy Macklin woke up in Malaysia with no memory of the last four months of his life. His wife has died in a car wreck and his daughter is in a coma after a poisonous snake bite. Randy is currently living with his friend and business partner Young Nae, together they had been working on a way to use genetics to make people look younger, but their work has not been approved by the FDA and their project is now on hold.

To get his memory back Randy visits psychiatrist Sanantha Mauwad to fill in the missing memories of the last four months. Sanantha and Randy discover that there is more to this situation then meets the eye and not everyone is who they appear to be. There are conflicting reports on the death of Randy’s wife, she may have been murdered and Randy’s daughter’s coma may have been caused by one of Young Nae’s rivals. To make matters even more complicated someone has been spotted that looks oddly similar to Randy’s deceased wife.

Daughter Cell by Jay Hartlove is the second book in the Isis Rising Trilogy, the first book was The Chosen and both books are self -contained stories. Daughter Cell is a medical thriller that takes a look at loss and forgiveness and how far are you willing to go to be with your true love again.  This is a Frankenstein type story set in an exotic location with voodoo mythology, black magic martial arts, spirituality and  poisonous pufferfish.

What I really liked about this book was how the mystery unfolds slowly.  I also like how it was shown through their dreams that something wasn’t quite right. Daughter Cell also wrestles with the themes of ethics and morality. In the beginning both Randy and Young Nae talk about how they have no problems manipulating genetics to make people’s lives better but Sanantha has her doubts and you get to see how playing god effects all the characters.

What I enjoyed most about Daughter Cell was how both Sanantha and Randy turn to their faith in a time of crisis. Sanantha is from Haiti and gets comfort from voodoo when things are bad, while Randy listens to classic rock. I liked hearing about the character’s different belief systems and how the two main characters work together. I also liked how Young Nae tries to get more in touch with the spiritual god within him. Other scenes I enjoyed was when Randy had to choose between two people he loved even though one of the two was no longer the same and I liked when Randy knows that the person he most wants to talk to is right in front of him but he will never get to say what he wants to say.  Jay Hartlove makes his characters suffer and some of them come out stronger in the end.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was that I wanted more time spent on the genetic creation. The scenes with the creation in it were great and I enjoyed how I wasn’t able to predict what would happen. This book is not your normal medical thriller, it has a lot of heart and makes you question a lot of things such as if you could be with a younger version of the person you love after they are gone would you take it? If you like horror that really makes you think then you will enjoy Daughter Cell.

Holiday Horror part 2

I wanted to find some horror novels that take place on New Year’s for this second blog post of holiday horror, sadly I didn’t find any but I did find some more good Christmas horror. The first book I found was Christmas Day of the Dead by Yolanda Sfetsos.

Yolanda Sfetsos is an Australian author who writes in several different genres but she usually writes stories that have a dark edge to them. Some of her other titles include Damaged, Better Off Alone and The Vampire Oracle: Death. Christmas Day of the Dead is currently available from Damnation Books.

The story begins as a woman named Jess is driving to a mall on Christmas Eve to do some last minute Christmas shopping. On the way she sees hears about some strange brush fires and sees people stumbling  through the graveyard but thinks nothing of it. As she arrives at the mall she hears Christmas music and sees but there doesn’t seem to be any customers there’s blood on the walls and along with a strong stench of death and smoke in the air.

Jess sees a group of holiday shoppers but they ‘re not what they appear to be. The mall has been over run by zombies, Jess escapes with the help of a girl with a golf club named Sharon. They escape to the movie theater in the mall and meet with other survivors and try to figure out what happened.

This book appealed to me because the idea of a zombie apocalypse at Christmas sounded like fun. Christmas can be a stressful time of year and I think zombies make it a lot more fun. This book wastes no time getting right into the action. There is a lot going on in a short period of time in this book,  we have a love story between two people, a mystery as to why the dead are walking the earth and we have a lot of interesting characters battling the undead.

Christmas Day of the Dead is a great holiday story for horror fans. Reading this book and hearing about last minute holiday shoppers getting eaten by the dead is just the thing you need to make your holiday season merry. Its available for just $2.99 on Amazon.

Another book I found was All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks. Toni Sparks is not having a good Christmas. Her best friend has just been put into a mental institution because she says she was attacked by vampires and now Toni has to prove that bloodsuckers do exists to get her friend out of the hospital.

I also found a few anthologies that are available they are: Haunted Christmas: Yuletide Ghosts and Other Spooky Holiday Happenings by Mary Beth Crain, Haunted Holidays by Martin Greenberg and Christmas is Dead: A zombie anthology by Anthony Giangregorio.