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1. Riverwatch
2. Spectres and Darkness

1. Riverwatch
by Joseph M. Nassise
Paperback: 410 Pages (2000-12-27)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1588981622
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A forgotten chamber secreted beneath a river.

An ancient evil that lies slumbering under the earth.

A guardian determined to fulfill his duty to his last, dying breath.

As something dark and deadly takes to the skies over Harrington Falls, Jake Caruso and his friends, Sam Travers and Katelynn Riley, find themselves drawn into a primeval conflict set in motion centuries before.As fresh blood is spilled and the death toll mounts, these three friends will find themselves faced with a terror beyond imagination, one that will require every vestige of their strength, faith, and determination to confront.Enlisting the aid of the local sheriff, the four of them will use the power of their friendship to face the Nightshade on its home ground in a last ditch effort to save their town from a fate it refuses to believe in. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced. It's no wonder it ended so suddenly!
When a colleague of Jake Caruso's construction team acts on his greed and foolishness, by breaking and entering a chamber in a secret underground tunnel, he inadvertently unleashes a fear-craving, bloodlusting and predatory species known as a Nightshade. It is soon after the release of this that terror and pain and fear and death befriends the people of the, once peaceful, Harring Falls . . .

Night by torturous night, the body count increases and it is up to a few human beings to put a stop to the beast of darkness.

In the one corner, we have Jake Caruso; a construction worker; Samuel Travers, a fantasy writer and a worker at a nursing home, where one of his patients and a dear friend isn't who he appears to be. Hmmm? There's Katelynn Riley, a university student doing a thesis on the rich and powerful Blake family, yet her focus is mainly on a figure by the name of Sebastian Blake who mysteriously disappeared in the early 1760's and , finally, there's Damon Wilson, a police sheriff who is baffled - and haunted - by the gruesome corpses he sees as he strives to make sense of his once in a lifetime investigation.

And in the other corner, we have the Nightshade whose name is Moloch. It is, in e v e r y sense of the word, a beast. Its fast, it can fly, it takes orgasmic pleasure in killing, it's senses are far more superior than ours, and it has a few supernatural powers - including, by the way, the gift of regeneration!

The humans vs. The Nightshade.

How will our species (hell yeah, it's personal!!) compete against an intelligent, fear-inducing and , ultimately, pain-inflicting creature?

Fellow horror readers, theres a reason why Joseph Nassise's Riverwatch was nominated for the International Horror Guild Award for Outstanding Achievement in a First Novel for 2001 and ALSO for the 2001 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Fisrt Novel. Riverwatch will have - AND KEEP - you hooked from the very first sentence. Don't let this opportunity miss you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
For the first time out of the gates, Riverwatch was brilliant.

The mind play in the book is what made it most chilling for me.I thought the plot was excellent.I loved the Biblical references (whether intended or not).They added a silent layer to the story that was captivating.

I appreciated the characters doing the right thing despite the circumstances they were up against.

I've read the negative reviews on here and challenge those who didn't like Riverwatch to do better.;)Send me a note when you've got it done!

I am not easily scared.Riverwatch had me afraid to walk to the bathroom and I did NOT want to look or go outside.

I'm looking forward to Heretic!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Where are these good reviews coming from?!?
I'm scanning over the first couple of pages of my paperback copy of Riverwatch, and I'm reading these positive reviews by authors and newspapers, and I'm thinking...there must have been some mistake by the publishing house, and the reviews of RiverDANCE got mixed in w/ the reviews of Riverwatch, and being that I find Riverdance insufferable, I can safely say that Riverdance is "Nasty, vicious, and perhaps most insidious of all, seductive" (to quote the blurb on the cover by the Midwest Book Review), in comparison to Riverwatch.I would rather watch a five hour documentary about Michael Flatley's toe fungus than watch a 90 minute film adaptation of this book. There HAS to be a mistake w/ all these positive reviews...

Why is it so bad?Well, it isn't so much bad as it is groaningly repetitive and unoriginal.I guess a bad book is one w/ plotholes the size of a galaxy, nonexistent climaxes, and childish grammar mistakes.This isn't bad that way, this is bad as in you've read every single sentence that is in this book before in some other book.Every piece of dialogue is lifted from an 80s horror flick or one of the bad episodes of the X-Files, like "Let's end this" or "Die, damn you, die!"Oddly enough I was yelling the same thing, but I was yelling it at the nondescript, everyman characters, who you WANT to see get eaten.These are nobodies, distinguished only by their job or their pets or the timing of their bravery.The italicized POV thoughts of the characters merely repeat what was narrated before, or they are stupid and generic thoughts that no one thinks in a flight or fight situation.The author does the incredible job of creating lowest-common denominator characters who are also paradoxically distant from the audience due to the cliched and "all-too-aware-that-its-a-horror-book" narration.Was this book meant for teenagers?Only people younger than 15 could find anything fresh in this book, yet its too gory and potty-mouthed for kids.A previous reviewer says that you'll groan alot reading this book.That's an understatement.You'll groan more often than a cow giving birth to octuplets in a 48 hour labor.This book just reads like a rough draft, no tightening of the narrative, no specification of the characters, no ding-dong on the cliche-o-meter that forces the author to brainstorm a different scenario or conversation between his characters.

The speculative fiction concepts are a cross between Lovecraft and Graham Hancock, with no new spin.The old good race, conveniently humanoid, that helped man build the Pyramids, vs. the old evil race, conveniently demonic, who eat people.Conveniently, only one of each race remains.Because of course, a story about two frozen-in-time antediluvian warring races being reawakened by mankind, and the two ancient forces renew their epic battle over the earth, indifferent to the destruction they rue upon modern civilization, w/ mankind having to defend its own existence to either the indifferent "angels" or ravenously hostile "demons", that's too ambitious and it's not cliched enough. Read Mountains of Madness instead of this.Moloch's a pretty nasty deity, to whom the Canaanites sacrificed their children in burnt offerings.Child sacrifice is what makes the beast so scary and horrifying--this is gutted early in the novel.

I can only recommend this book to two people, 1.) people who have been in a coma for 70 years, and have not read H.P. Lovecraft or seen a single movie ever and 2.) parents who have proto-goth teenagers who want to be "kewl" and hip to their teen's interests while encouraging them to read, so you get them a horror book that is rated R, but lacks the depth and storytelling of a Harry Potter book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad
I won't go into too much depth here, as I'm sure it would only lead to spoilers.Not that it would matter much.You already know everything there is to know about this book as you've read it before.You know what the characters are going to do and what they'll say.You'll know who will die within the first 50 pages.

Expect to groan a great deal.Expect to groan more often than you flip pages as the story goes on.Expect to know the outcome of the action very quickly.Expect to know the full backstory before you read it.Don't expect outstanding writing skills, as writing takes an absolute backseat to simple action narrative.

Least of all, don't expect any maturity over time in the characters, don't expect any intelligence in them, and don't expect to relate to more than their hobbies.As a matter of fact, you might not even be able to tell one from another based on personality, as they say the same things.The only real difference is the backstory.

Do yourself a favor, track down a copy of Michael Talbot's The Bog, from the 80s.The story is almost exactly the same, only the care given to the changes in the characters sets it far above this novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Ancient Evil Awakens...
Jake Caruso is a contractor commissioned to restore the old Blake family mansion, Stonemoor, to its previous state of grandeur.However, when his team discovers a huge tombstone-like block guarding the entrance to an underground passage, all construction inevitably ceases for the time being.When a disgruntled employee decides to break into the underground chamber in hopes of finding treasure hidden within, he unwittingly unleashes terror upon the town of Harrington Falls, and meets his own demise.Shortly thereafter, several barbarous murders take place.An evil plagues the small mountain community, and no one is safe.

Sam Travers writes role-playing games and works nights at the local nursing home, where he has befriended a resident named Gabriel.During Sam's long graveyard shifts, Gabriel entertains him by telling him stories of times long since past.Stories of "the Age of Creation," before primitive hominids had evolved into humans, and when two ancient races known as the Elders and the Na' Karat, or Nightshades, ruled the Earth.

Katelynn Riley is a graduate student working to complete her thesis for her sociology degree and is thus delving deep into the town's past.A past that she discovers has more to it than meets the eye.Furthermore, Kate wears around her neck a red stone that was given to her by Jake.A stone that he found deep within the underground passage at Stonemoor.Ever since she has worn the stone she has experienced terrible nightmares in which she can see through the eyes of a ravenous beast, as though she is indeed the beast herself.

Is there more substance to what Gabriel has been telling Sam than mere amusing fictional tales?Is there more to Gabriel himself?How does Kate's stone provide some unseen link between herself and the unleashed creature?Will these three friends be able to combine their knowledge and willpower to defeat the awakened Nightshade, Moloch, before they lose their own lives and the lives of others?Will they even be able to overcome the doubts their more rational mind inflicts upon them?

This is an outstanding debut novel!Joseph Nasisse does a great job of combining a little bit of fantasy with all the cliched elements of horror that fans of the genre know and love, and he adds some twists and turns so that the reader doesn't get bored along the way.The characters are very well developed, and the plot is spellbinding and cohesive.I loved how all of the characters were flawed in some way, making them innately human and three-dimensional.

Though this book didn't keep me up at night, scared to turn out the lights, it did have some intense moments that were somewhat frightening.There is some gore, but that is kept to a minimum.My biggest complaint is that the story line surrounding the Blake family was underdeveloped.Furthermore, expect a few editing errors sprinkled throughout the novel.However, neither detracts from the plot.

This should be a must-read for horror fans!Joseph Nasisse is a welcomed new voice in the horror genre, and I definitely look forward to picking up whatever novels he produces in the future, as his talent and skills should only be fine-tuned from here. ... Read more

2. Spectres and Darkness
by Joseph M. Nassise, Drew Williams
Paperback: 270 Pages (2002-03-30)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$20.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971116237
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Stoker Award nominee, Barclay Books novelists Joe Nassise ("River Watch") and Drew Williams ('Night Terrors") have joined forces to bring their fans an intense new anthology of creeping horror and crawling suspense. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Drew Williams is a Master of his Craft!
While the Joe Nassise stories ranged from so-so to great, every single story from Drew Williams was a winner.

Williams displays an impressive variety of terror in this collection of short stories. Stories about two-headed chickens, a drive-in movie theatre that just won't die, a freaky video store, the end of the world, a freelance writer who...whoops, well I don't wanna spoil that one, succubi, and more!

His style is perfect, he has the gift of being a natural storyteller coupled with the insights and knowledge of the genre, which puts him in the tier of the elite. Always a pleasure to read his work!

Joe Nassise came up with a few hum-dingers as well, like the awsome "CARRION MAN," but I found the dialouge in some of his pieces to be a bit corny, and some of the stories a bit contrived. Still, worth reading.

Overall, I highly reccomend that all horror fans check out Drew Williams' work. I have not met one person familiar with his work who has not spoken as highly of it as I am now.

Semi-complaint: There were more than several typos throughout (mostly in Nassise's stories)which doesn't usually bother me, but when it is a rather short book, I expect better editing than this. But that is nit-picking. This is a keeper. ... Read more

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