Monday, May 20, 2013

Review of The Venus Complex

The Venus Complex

Literary serial killers are a strange conundrum for readers. On the one hand we should be repulsed by their actions. On the other hand they make for excellent character studies. It’s rare to find serial killer characters that capture the public’s attention (Dexter and Hannibal Lecter come to mind). Barbie Wilde’s The Venus Complex delves deeply into the neuroses and mental degradation of a serial killer. It’s a bold but flawed work and I found myself enjoying the novel for the most part.
Recently I reviewed Hellbound Hearts, an anthology series of short stories related to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser setting. Barbie Wilde’s story “Sister Cilice” stood out from the bunch due to its strong connection to the deeply sexual themes explored in Barker’s original tale. My significant other informed me that Wilde had written a full length novel. Wilde’s first novel continues her exploration of the twisted depths of human sexuality and the connection sexual desire has with horror.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review of Hellbound Hearts

Hellbound Hearts

Having recently reviewed Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart, I was informed that there were other print stories (none by Barker himself unfortunately). Hellbound Hearts is not a true sequel to Barker’s original tale of sexuality and brutality. Instead it is an anthology of stories from other authors tied into the same literary universe or have some tangential connection to Barker’s novella. This anthology possesses many strong horror stories that keep the spirit of Barker’s work fresh without aping his novella too directly.