Book Reviews Horror Horror

Housemates by Iain Rob Wright

You’ve seen the promo…


What at first appears to be a wonderful opportunity for Damien Banks turns out to be the worst nightmare he can imagine.

Trapped inside a house with eleven strangers, and a booming voice known only as ‘The Landlord’ controlling his every move, Damien will be forced to compete not only for the money, but for his life.


Touch me, I’ll take you to Amazon

Wherever you’re from, you’ve seen the garbage that is known as ‘REALITY TV’. (in actuality… It’s the furthest thing from reality on TV!) (IMHO)
I know that even if you tell me “you refuse to watch that trash” – you still know, basically, what the shows are about.
Survivor (aka Expedition Robinson) is a reality show where contestants are isolated in the wilderness and compete for cash and other prizes. It uses a system of ‘progressive elimination’, allowing the contestants to vote off other tribe members until only one final contestant remains and wins the title of “Sole Survivor.” (The format for Survivor was created for a United Kingdom TV production company, but it is still a popular show in the US as well.)
Big Brother is a different kind of reality game show . The premise of BB is that there is a group of people who are housemates or house guests living together in a large house. During their time in the house they are isolated from the outside world and are not commonly aware of outside events. Contestants are continuously monitored by in-house television cameras as well as personal audio microphones during their stay. Each series lasts for about three months, with 10–20 contestants entering the house. To win the final cash prize, a contestant must survive periodic (usually weekly) evictions and be the last housemate or houseguest remaining in the compound by the series’ conclusion.
HOUSEMATES by Iain Rob Wright is like a mixture of the shows ‘SURVIVOR’ and ‘BIG BROTHER’, mixed with the movie ‘SAW’.

Live or die. Make your choice.

A hand-selected group of people living together in a large house, with cameras continuously monitoring their every move, like BB. And, like Survivor, they are forced to participate in Elimination Rounds to be able to stay until the next challenge. Except the penalty for losing each round is a bit more severe than Survivor. The all seeing and all knowing Landlord has to be compared more to Jigsaw, than Jeff Probst – If Jigsaw was sicker, and more twizted, that is. Like both shows, everything is being filmed.

A little deeper – no spoilers, but describes in more detail …
The Players, our Housemates, are selected, blindfolded, and whisked away to a secret location. Upon arrival they’re made to forfeit certain possessions, (like cell phones), and their luggage is taken so it can be searched for items that may be against the show’s rules. The House Rules are explained to the group as they are outfitted with electronic devices, placed around their necks & wrists. Once the entry process is completed, they are shown to their accommodations.
The housemates have been supplied with copious amounts of alcohol and tobacco, but have been deprived of basic necessities like beds and bathing facilities. They don’t find their luggage inside, either. Following the tradition of all great reality shows, they decide to worry about those trivial details later, and start drinking!
They get acquainted, get knackered, and whether it is consciously or subconsciously… alliances already start to form. Someone found a bathroom, of sorts. Well, someone found a toilet. No sink, or bath, or shower. Someone else found the bedroom, wasn’t that door locked the first time they checked it? The ‘bedroom’ was antiquated, to put it politely, and held only six beds. Some are upset, some are pissed, but they come to the conclusion that all these things are just inconveniences for the sake of theatrics.

THE FIRST COMPETITION is a ‘Survivor’ type of physical challenge, and it is for their luggage. Two teams are decided and each team has a large, clear container. The housemates luggage is divided into the two containers, some team members have luggage in their own container, some in the opposite team’s container.
The rules are explained quickly. Each team has a pump, (like a bicycle pump), they must grab the handle as a team and pump air into the hoses. The hoses are connected to a hydraulic water tank. The first team to fill their container with liquid wins the challenge.
The luggage that the winning team is now in possession of is theirs to keep, regardless of its former owner. (they now see that the luggage has been sealed against water damage). Some team members are lucky enough to have their own, others are left with someone else’s belongings. The Housemates start to show their true colors now!

That is only a very basic outline of what happens. I didn’t want to expose any deeper parts of the plot, but this competition plays a major part in this storyline.
In these few pages you are learning that this is NOT a normal game, and things are not as they seem. It is the first glimpse into the housemates as well, what is REALLY under the chatty & shiny exterior.
It only gets more intense from here.

It has taken me forever to get this review finished. I bought this book on the day it was released, started it the next morning, and finished it faster than I wanted to.
I loved it so much, I want my review to reflect that, and I want it to grab your interest so you’ll read it, too. When I did finish, I looked through my Kindle and pulled every Iain Rob Wright book onto the carousel, pissed that I hadn’t read Iain’s work earlier. I trusted people and got the books, just never started. DON’T BE LIKE ME. Pull ASBO out and read it, tonight. When you finish, download this one & devour it quickly. Then come back and talk to be about it!!
There are so many MOMENTS throughout this book –
moments of realization, ah-ha moments, and oh-shit! moments.
5 of 5 stars +
Would you please hurry up and read this so I can discuss it with you?!

One last comment…
I enjoy seeing the author give special thanks to people I know! Cathy Hudson – I had already purchased this book, but her comments about it and the Author got me to move it to the very next book I opened. (Now, we must convince Suzanne to do the same. I believe she’ll be easily persuaded, especially since the last 20% of this book is INFLUENZA by Matt Shaw.) Vix Kirkpatrick and Marcus Blakeston were listed as well. I may not know them IRL, but after spending so much time with them online – who’s going to tell me I can’t refer to these people as friends? And, of course, who can forget Barney, the purple dinosaur? I don’t know why Iain listed him, but, I think he’s awesome for it.

Don’t miss the latest from Iain Rob Wright, ‘ANIMAL KINGDOM’. Just released and on my carousel… ready and waiting!

Book Reviews Fiction Horror Horror

SURVIVOR by J.F. Gonzalez


From the Back Cover
It is supposed to be a romantic weekend getaway. Lisa is looking forward to spending time alone with her husband—and telling him that they are going to have a baby. Instead, it becomes a nightmare when her husband is arrested and Lisa is kidnapped. But the kidnappers aren’t asking for ransom. They want Lisa herself. They’re going to make her a star—in a snuff film.
What they have in mind for Lisa is unspeakable. They plan to torture and murder her as graphically and brutally as possible, and to capture it all on film. If they have their way, Lisa’s death will be truly horrifying…but even more horrifying is what Lisa will do to survive.…

I was trying to save this as my ‘back-up’ book. The one I listen to on my way to work, and home from work. Then, I started reading on my lunch break. Pretty soon, it was all I was doing. Reading or listening to SURVIVOR by J.F. Gonzalez
You guys know I have a sick/twizted streak in me, and this book pushed my limits.
Walking to work & listening to the first chapter…
It’s a beautiful day, I’m walking along & smiling while listening about this young girl who is sneaking off to see her forbidden love before her parents get home from work. Aww. I get a little surprise when I realize who she’s sneaking off to see, but, a good surprise. Then… I start getting uncomfortable. Take a drink of my Mountain Dew, light a cigarette. It’s getting worse. I actually stopped walking, made an audible noise – someone looked at me, haha – almost gagged, then was a minute or two late punching in for work because I had to finish that section.

The story is about a young couple, Lisa & Brad, who are off to have a nice, and well deserved vacation. Lisa also has some exciting news to surprise her husband with! But, they never get their vacation. Something odd happens and the couple is separated from each other. While Brad is unable to help, Lisa is kidnapped and informed that she was chosen to be the staring role in a snuff film. She is taken to an isolated cabin, bound, and listening to her captor tell her about who her co-star is and about the underground hardcore extreme S&M community. Since she wasn’t familiar with the term SNUFF, the things she heard terrified her – because she is realizing that this is to be her fate. She meets her co-star, Animal, and the others involved in this project. As she is put through the torture of awaiting her fate while they put up plastic sheeting, Dexter style, and get out various equipment, something very unexpected happens and she is now sharing her cabin of horrors with another woman! Lisa is unfortunate enough to watch as this other woman is filmed first. Now she knows that no amount of talking could ever prepare her for what she just witnessed, and she also knows that this is to be her fate as well. Lisa is a fighter, though. A Survivor. And, I can’t believe the lengths she goes to – to try to survive this nightmare.
I’m not telling you anything else :p
As graphic as this story is, it’s not just about gratuitous sex and violence. There is a deep story here, full of twists and turns that you won’t see coming. It is graphic. Extremely so.

I downloaded this for free, probably an Amazon sale. But, I recommend buying it – under two STRICT conditions…
This book is really intense. Not for the squeamish.
Scenes of extreme violence, sexual violence, torture, rape, rape of things that should never be penetrated (eye sockets, gaping wounds, etc. I don’t want to post spoilers). There is some talk of animal torture, a flash-back of a horrible bunny death that’s pretty graphic, but… not too much of the animal stuff. The flash-back sets the stage, so just some mentions of this type of behavior are made. Umm…what else… minor drug references, no big. But, if you don’t think you can handle the SM/BD… don’t use this book to gauge your tolerance. Graphic. One horror author told me he had to stop reading at a certain point because it disturbed him so much. A different horror author told me she loved it. Six of one, ya know?
The other thing, this book needs an editor. In the worst way. Grammatical errors are not the issue, it’s spelling. I’ve never picked up any book that was this bad. I truly believe the authors keyboard could not make a capital ‘I’, because in most cases, the number 1 was used. There was one ‘/’, and other things. Detective Orr was only Detective Orr half the time, or less. It became Detective On, SUV was typically SW. Things like that are examples of what you need to be aware of.
I think the story was good enough to not lose points for that.
Most people I know WON’T be able to deal.
Joy Killar, Hon, your head will explode. You’ve wanted to hurt writers for comma abuse, don’t open this story unless you’re prepared to edit it – cuz I know that’s exactly what you’d do! (Love you!)
Consider these 2 things, if you can handle both, then please, read this book! And… let’s talk about it!! Tell me what you thought!! We can private chat about it if you want to discuss spoilers 🙂 This is the only thing I’ve read by J.F. Gonzalez, but… I don’t want to get on his bad side!!