Saturday, November 1, 2014

SNAFU: Heroes - edited by Geoff Brown and Amanda J. Spedding - An Anthology of Military Horror

5 of 5 Stars     Review copy

Earlier this year I read and reviewed SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror and found it to be one of the best themed anthologies I've read in 2014.

This time the stories are longer, novelette to novella-length tales, and they're just as much fun as those in the original collection. Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, and James A. Moore all return with tales that combine the military and horror genres to great success.

There's also a story from Joesph Nassise, called "The Hungry Dark: A Templar Chronicles Mission."  Somehow I've missed out on this series, I'm going to have to remedy that situation soon.  I love the concept and the story was well executed.

From the The Templar Chronicles website..."The story takes place in the here and now.  The ancient Templar Order has been resurrected as a secret combat arm of the Vatican, charged with defending mankind from the supernatural enemies that surround us. The world at large is unaware of the Order's existence and the Templars take great pains to keep it that way. 'Sometimes the Lord's work is best accomplished in the shadows," is a popular saying among the troops."

In "The Hungry Dark," ECHO Team is sent to Durbandorf, in the heart of the Black Forest, in Gemany, where demons have been inhabiting once-human forms and reworking the flesh they've stolen to suit their individual needs.  "Chimeras, Changelings, Flesh-twisters -- they have a lot of names.  What they're called isn't as important as what they are -- hellspawn."

Weston Ochse is no stranger to military horror, his Seal Team 666 series is up to 3 books and counting.  In "Tarzan Doesn't Live Here Anymore," he's combined a story of a boy obsessed with Tarzan, with an old-time Saturday creature feature loaded with monsters trying to escape from a giant rift in the Sonoran desert.  We're talking giant tarantulas, wasps the size of small planes, and enormous worms.  The military weaponry being used to keep the monsters at bay is quite impressive.

James A. Moore's "War Stories" features a grandfather, who served in both WWII and the Korean conflict, swapping tales with his grandson, just back from Vietnam.  It's all pretty normal until, after a few beers, the grandfather tells the story of what the Germans were up to at a chateau in France. Another entertaining story featuring Jonathan Crowley, a killer character who was also in Moore's story for the original SNAFU anthology.

To bring SNAFU: Heroes to a close, the editors have brought back Jonathan Maberry with a Joe Ledger adventure, "Changeling."  This one, I know, has been published before, most recently in Joe Ledger: Special Ops, published earlier this year by JournalStone.  If your a Joe Ledger fan, the story is set after the events in The Dragon Factory.   "Changling" can be read by itself, but if you read it before The Dragon Factory there are some spoilers.

I enjoyed SNAFU: Heroes every bit as much as the original.  If I had any complaint it's that, at 158 pages, it was over way too soon.  But there is good news, SNAFU II: Survival of the Fittest is due in 2015.

SNAFU: Heroes has just been published by Cohesion Press and is now available as a Kindle download.

Strongly recommended. 

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