Review: The Stuff of Nightmares

The Stuff of Nightmares
by James Lovegrove

Stuff-of-NightmaresPaperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
ISBN-10: 1781165416
ISBN-13: 978-1781165416

(Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5)
Available through Amazon
Sherlock Holmes – The Stuff of Nightmares

My thoughts: Barry says — Excellent!

First allow me to reveal my bias, I love steampunk and Holmes. With that admission in mind, it should come as no surprise that I loved every minute of Lovegrove’s “The Stuff of Nightmares.”

If you read “Encounters of Sherlock Holmes” (my review), you have a small sample of Lovegrove and Holmes. “The Stuff of Nightmares” is a fast-paced story told through the perspective of Dr. Watson (as a Holmes story should) and begins with a blast — or should I say bomb. As the story plays out, we are introduced to an interesting character (Baron Cauchemar) along the lines of a steampunk Batman/Ironman.

The story is set sometime before the “Final Problem” and is extremely well-written and crafted. I give “The Stuff of Nightmares” 5 stars out of 5 and add in the words of Oliver Twist “Please, sir, I want some more“.

Please Titan Books … I want some more.

Product description:

It’s the autumn of 1890, and a spate of bombings has hit London. The newspapers are full of fevered speculation about anarchists, anti-monarchists and Fenians. But one man suspects an even more sinister hand behind the violence. Sherlock Holmes believes Professor Moriarty is orchestrating a nationwide campaign of terror, but to what end? At the same time, a bizarrely garbed figure has been spotted on the rooftops and in the grimy back alleys of the capital. He moves with the extraordinary agility of a latter-day Spring-heeled Jack. He possesses weaponry and armour of unprecedented sophistication. He is known only by the name Baron Cauchemar, and he appears to be a scourge of crime and villainy. But is this masked man truly the force for good that he seems? Is he connected somehow to the bombings? Holmes and his faithful companion Dr. Watson are about to embark on one of their strangest and most exhilarating adventures yet.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Titan Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Encounters of Sherlock Holmes

Encounters of Sherlock Holmes
George Mann (Editor)

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
ISBN-10: 1781160031
ISBN-13: 978-1781160039

(Barry’s score 4 1/2 stars out of 5)
Buy the book @ Amazon
Encounters of Sherlock Holmes

Product description:

A brand-new collection of Sherlock Holmes stories from a variety of exciting voices in modern horror and steampunk, including James Lovegrove, Justin Richards, Paul Magrs, Guy Adams and Mark Hodder. Edited by respected anthologist George Mann, and including a story by Mann himself.

Introduction by George Mann
The Loss of Chapter Twenty-One by Mark Hodder
Holmes and the Indelicate Widow by Mags L Halliday
The Demon Slasher of Seven Sisters by Cavan Scott
The Post-Modern Prometheus by Nick Kyme
Mrs Hudson at the Christmas Hotel by Paul Magrs
The Case of the Night Crawler by George Mann
The Adventure of the Locked Carriage by Stuart Douglas
The Tragic Affair of the Martian Ambassador by Eric Brown
The Adventure of the Swaddled Railwayman by Richard Dinnick
The Pennyroyal Society by Kelly Hale
The Persian Slipper by Steve Lockley
The Property of a Thief by Mark Wright
Woman’s Work by David Barnett
The Fallen Financier by James Lovegrove

My thoughts:

English: Statue of Sherlock Holmes in Edinburgh
English: Statue of Sherlock Holmes in Edinburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to confess a certain bias. I love Sherlock Holmes and fit into the camp that believes that bad Holmes is better than no Holmes at all.  I’m also a steampunk fan. Having admitted that, is it any surprise that I thoroughly loved the collection of new Holmes stories in Encounters of Sherlock Holmes ?

I really enjoy George Mann’s work and reviewed his book Ghosts of Manhattan a couple of years ago. His story “Case of the Night Crawler” is excellent and I loved that he pulled in his “Newbury and Hobbes” characters. This isn’t the only case of an author pulling in his characters, Hodder brings in Algernon Swinburne and Sir Richard Burton in his story “The Loss of Chapter 21.”

Frankenstein’s monster, Dr. Jekyll, and Martians, all have parts to play in the various stories. Even Mrs. Hudson gets in the act with David Barnett’s brilliant story “Woman’s Work.”  As you might image, not all of the stories are home-runs. Having said that, I think there is a little something for everyone from steampunk to Holmes purist (okay, less so the Holmes purist).

I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s a great introduction to authors that you may not have read. I enjoyed every minute of it and give Encounters of Sherlock Holmes 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Titan Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Barry’s mailbox

This week the good folks at Titan Books sent me a review copy of “Encounters of Sherlock Holmes.” Let me tell you about synchronicity, a friend suggested that I try the author James Lovegrove. Within minutes of that suggestion, I received an email asking me if I would be interested in a copy of  “Encounters of Sherlock Holmes” with a Holmes story by James Lovegrove. I was so stunned I had to show my friend the email. Life can be strange indeed. Expect to see the book hit the bookstores in late February. I’ll have a review long before it hits the shelves — I love Sherlock Holmes tales.

I have had several ebooks sent to me this week. Sharon Day was kind enough to send me a copy of her ebook “Growing Up With Ghosts” (link). She has sent me several advanced chapters and I have enjoyed what I have read.

R. S. Hunter has sent me a copy of his ebook “The Exile’s Violin” (link) It looks like a solid steampunk adventure and you know my weakness for steampunk.

Riverdale Avenue Books sent me an ebook of  “Avalon Revisited” (link) by O. M. Grey. There seems to be a little buzz in the steampunk community about this book so I have to try it.

In addition to these books, I bought about 4 or 5 more. To get an idea of what I buy, check out my twitter and Facebook accounts. Looks like a good collection of books, I should have reviews of some of these titles up in a couple of weeks.

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