Mini-Reviews: Insylum, Gathering Deep, The Disassembled Man


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Insylum

Author: Z. Rider

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A.J. changed in boot camp, coming out all straight-backed and short-haired. His best friend Nate hardly recognizes him anymore, especially when it comes to the way he acts. His priorities. Now he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, and despite the rift growing between them, the two decide to have one last hurrah—at Insylum, the extreme traveling funhouse they’ve been waiting for a chance at for years.

They’re last in line on the last night of the show. They are the last two to go in.

And they may never come back out.

Warning: Some tentacular activity. (Also body horror. And maggots.)

Review: God, what a disgusting, vulgar, and at the same time, terrifying, chilling read. I loved the nightmarish vibe of the book, the unsettling undertones, how the main characters continued to try convince themselves everything they saw wasn’t real. Slightly predictable ending, though.

Gathering Deep

Title: Gathering Deep

Author: Lisa Maxwell

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Chloe Sabourin wakes in a dark, New Orleans cemetery with no memory of the previous days, she can hardly believe the story her friends tell her. They say Chloe was possessed by a witch named Thisbe, who had used the darkest magic to keep herself alive for over a century. They tell her that the witch is the one responsible for the unspeakable murders that nearly claimed the life of Chloe’s friend, Lucy. Most unbelievable of all, they say that Thisbe is Chloe’s own mother. As she struggles with this devastating revelation and tries to rebuilt her life, Chloe wants nothing to do with the magic that corrupted her mother…especially since she feels drawn to it.

Now, a new series of ritualistic killings suggests that Thisbe is plotting again, and Chloe is drawn unwillingly back into the mystical underworld of the French Quarter. To stop Thisbe before she kills again, Chloe and her friends must learn what they can from the mysterious Mama Legba. But when her boyfriend Piers vanishes, Chloe will have to risk everything and embrace her own power to save the one person she has left… even if that means bringing down her mother.

Review: I hadn’t read “Sweet Unrest”, the prequel yet, when I started this book. However, I could follow most of the story. Chloe was an all right character, but it took a while before I could connect to her. The story itself was intriguing though, and I finished this in one sitting. If not for how flat the characters were, and how hard it was to connect to the heroine, I would’ve given this a higher rating.

The Disassembled Man

Title: The Disassembled Man

Author: Jon Bassoff

Genre: Mystery, Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Frankie Avicious is a hard-luck fellow with a sordid past. Living in a dreary meatpacking town, stuck in a loveless marriage, and spending his days slaughtering cattle, Frankie has nothing to look forward to but his next swallow of bargain whiskey. His wife is threatening to leave him, and the local sociopath is threatening to kill him. And then there’s Scarlett Acres, a stripper with a heart of fool’s gold. Frankie can’t stop thinking about her . . .

With the encouragement of a mysterious traveling salesman, Frankie sets out to reverse his destiny through a series of bizarre murders. The consequences of his brutality turn out to be far worse than even he could imagine.

Review: Urban noir the way it’s meant to be. The main character, Frankie, is unraveling from the start and we see him spiraling further into madness. He sets out to reverse his destiny through a string of bizarre murders. The author’s main achievement is almost succeeding in making the reader think like Frankie as the book progresses, which is no small feat considering Frankie is all kinds of crazy. Entertaining, but probably not for everyone.


  1. As much as I love full length reviews, sometimes mini reviews are the best, to read and to write! And these books sound intriguing. I love broken characters and books that kind of explore the psychology of characters being pushed to their limits, so I’m intrigued by all of these, especially the last one! It’s amazing when authors are able to get into your head that like that. Great reviews!

    • Thank you! Yes, I do love doing mini-reviews sometimes. It’s so easy to just write your thoughts in a few sentences. For full length reviews, you have to really think about it a lot, and I find that sometimes that takes away from the pleasure of reading. I highly recommend The Disassembled Man; give it a try. 🙂

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