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Dog Days - Deadly Passage (Journalstone's…

Dog Days - Deadly Passage (Journalstone's Doubledown) (edition 2013)

by Joe McKinney (Contributor)

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Title:Dog Days - Deadly Passage (Journalstone's Doubledown)
Authors:Joe McKinney
Collections:Your library

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Dog Days / Deadly Passage by Joe McKinney (Contributor)



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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
With an opening reminiscent of 'Dracula', 'Dog Days' effortlessly blends the coming-of-age story with horror and police procedural. I particularly liked the debunking of supernatural conceits, although hints of the unexplained remain. Well-written and entertaining.
'Deadly Passage' is the less-successful of the two stories here. Parallels between slavery of blacks and human slavery to the monster are never fully explored. It is action-packed, but at times scatalogically graphic. I would have liked to learn more of the mythology around the creature, but by making its protagonist Bell rather than Kwame we lose the opportunity to understand the creature.
  louisetech | Sep 16, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While these two books are by different authors, they both share the same fast paced, action oriented drive that pulls you along. They are also dark, and in some cases mentally disturbing.
  Anika_Birgitte | Aug 4, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers.
Dog Days and Deadly Passage are from Journal Stone Publishing's Double Down series.
Dog Days by Joe McKinney is set in 1983 in the suburbs of Houston after a deadly hurricane. Hidden in the swamps of Clear Lake is a ruthless, blood thirsty supernatural killer. Young Mark Eckert is the focus of his blood lust. This book is filled with terror and tragedy. Mark is a believable character who acts like a fourteen year old, and makes decisions like a fourteen year old.

Deadly Passage by Sanford Allen is set on a slave ship. Bell is a freed slave who works as a carpenter on the ship. He works so he can save up to buy land. Bell is appalled at the conditions of the ship and the treatment of the slaves. But Bell soon realizes that there is much worse aboard the slave ship. I found this book to be disturbing and sad. I am shamed to read about how the slaves were treated and the horrible conditions of the middle passage. This book will make you think about the horrors that happened in the past. ( )
  pixiedark | Nov 17, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love Journalstone's Doubledown books -- two great tastes . . . oh, wait, that's been done.

Seriously this is a great way to get two books for the price of one and experience a couple of different authors' styles.

These two are very interesting books, and share a lot of similar elements, survival being chief among them. Overall I enjoyed both of these books and would recommend them highly to anyone who enjoys horror/suspense. ( )
  kpjackson | Aug 5, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dog Days
Author: Joe McKinney
Publisher: Journalstone Publishing
Published In: San Francisco, CA, USA
Date: 2013
Pgs: 222


Summertime in Houston, TX. The aftermath of Hurricane Alexis. Something is on a killing spree, something from deep in the swamp, something hungry. Growing up, growing old, Mark is in the summer between middle and high school. The lunatic in the swamp has set his sights on Mark. Texas in the summertime is a great time, if you can survive it. Welcome to the dog days of summer.


Why this book:
Got it through a LibraryThing giveaway. Love a good book. Love a good free book.

This Story is About:
courage, doing the right thing, family, overcoming fear

Favorite Character:
The boy, the voice, the narrator, Mark.

Least Favorite Character:
Jeff is a troublemaker and an instigator. And if you don’t do what he thinks is the right thing to do, he’ll harass you until you either escape him or give up and go along. I have, literally, known this guy all my life.

Character I Most Identified With:

The Feel:
The story feels like a trap, lots of tension, waiting to spring.

And I keep twigging on a Stand By Me vibe.

Favorite Scene:
The moment when his dad’s concern overcomes his being pissed off at his son as he is handing him the police radio and he sees what is inside that shrimp boat.

The standing up to your bullies scene is awesome.

The flow of this one is pretty damned good.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
I have an increasing issue as the story unfolds with how the parents are acting. Even though they know that the cannibal serial killer has attacked their son and has been stalking him, they both go off to work and leave him alone. C’mon. Imagine it’s your kid and this was happening. There is a cognitive disconnect there that is damaging my suspension of disbelief. The story is still awesome, but that issue is nagging at me.

Maybe his parents are the parents from Home Alone...and Home Alone 2...etc...etc...etc.

Hmm Moments:
And Mark gets in trouble with Jeff ...and is still in trouble and his Dad tells him to do something, and Jeff comes by, and he goes with him. And, they run into his Dad in the middle of a crisis. And he does something that sorta redeems him, a bit. And his father tells him to go home and check on his Mom and stay there with her. And Jeff, again, lures him offsides.

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and hot Texas summers...is this author channeling my childhood.

His parents just don’t seem concerned enough. The killer has been very active in the neighborhood. And he attacked the boy. But they are leaving him at the house just outside the swamp while Dad goes to work and takes the dog with him. C’mon...we all see that train coming. Only it...he is circling close.

The 13/14 year old boy is acting about like I would expect. Not sure if he’s a kid or a man and wanting to be both. More balls than brains and such. His character is very well done.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Might be too similar to Stand By Me to get much traction with the Hollywood types.

Casting call:
That said, I do sorta see a young Wil Wheaton when I think of this. Young Lucas Black would have been great in the role.

Though, now both of them would be old enough to play the father...or the killer.

Last Page Sound:
Did not expect the denouement to go that way.

Author Assessment:
I like the way this story flows along. I could definitely read more by this author.

Editorial Assessment:
Could have had someone ask the “would his parents really do that?” a few times throughout the second act.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
really good book

Disposition of Book:

Would recommend to:
friends, family, kids, genre fans


Rate = ****

Deadly Passage
Author: Sanford Allen
Publisher: Journalstone Publishing
Published In: San Francisco, CA, USA
Date: 2013
Pgs: #


The smell of death and human suffering. A slave ship. A hell on Earth. But what is hell without a Devil. The Devil is making the crossing...the crew and the cargo may not survive the trip. A slave ship departs the coast of Africa with hundreds in chains. Something followed them. It followed the chained men and women out of the jungle where its hunting ground had been depopulated. The blood hunger of the creature drove it to follow them, out of the jungle, to the slaver encampment, out to the ship, and into the hold. Hidden away, it will feed on its captives as the crossing is underway. It will feed as it has never fed before. Miles and miles of ocean and no way for its victims to escape. They cannot run. They cannot hide. It will feed.


Why this book:
It’s the second half of a double book.

This Story is About:
circumstance, the horror of history, the supernatural

Story title is short story collection:
Favorite Character:
Hard to like any of these characters when most of the named characters are slavers.

Least Favorite Character:
The Lombard’s mate, Ned Bevan. He enjoys dispensing the punishment. He’s a horrid man. Hopefully soon to be eaten by the monster below decks.

Character I Most Identified With:
Bell. He’s here because work for a freedman isn’t easy to come by. And work that would pay enough to allow him to purchase land and live the life he wants is harder to come by. So, he does distasteful and evil work in service of the future that he hopes for...even as he feels the memory of the lash every time it is administered to some poor soul who broke the rules in some way.

The Feel:
This is a grim tale under horrible circumstance. Horrible the way that the slaves are just “the slaves”...unnamed, unknown, just grist for the mill...or the monster. It’s shudder inducing without the monster thrown into the mix.

Favorite Scene:
The run through the rigging of the ship with the monster chasing.

The pace is moving along apace.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Sort of a predictable run up to the climax. Still satisfying, just a tad predictable.

Hmm Moments:
I wish when Bell found Bevan and Follett raping one of the slaves in the hold that he had gone with his first instinct and broke one of their skulls with his hammer and, then, dealt with the other as he needed to.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
I just don’t know that a slave ship horror movie would play well on the big or small screen. Feels to me like the real horror would overwhelm the cinematic horror of the monster.

Casting call:

Last Page Sound:
Not bad. Not too bad at all.

Author Assessment:
I would look at other stuff by this author.

Editorial Assessment:
Well edited.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
glad I read it

Disposition of Book:

Would recommend to:
genre fans ( )
  texascheeseman | Jun 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Dog Days – Deadly Passage provided two gripping well written stories that I found it difficult to put down.

Dog Days began in the aftermath of a Texas hurricane, moved on to murder, dealt with bullying, marital stress, loss, anger, fear, friendship, parents, pets and so much more. In many ways it was a coming of age book and one that I would highly recommend for its subtlety and well written content.

Deadly Passage takes place on a slave boat making its return journey from the Gold Coast back to the USA. The unsuspecting crew and slaves have a horrifying creature to deal with that leaves death and destruction in its wake. This book keeps you on the edge of your chair until the last page.

The two books are well written and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading both and would recommend them to anyone that appreciates good story writing.
added by CathyGeha | editJournalStone ARC copy, Cathy Geha (Nov 2, 2013)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McKinney, JoeContributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, SanfordContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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