Review: “Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space” [Spoiler-Free]

Purchase “Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space” on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format.

I recently had the pleasure to read and review the newest book from Canadian author, C.D. Gallant-King, a writer whose take on horror, sci-fi, and humor (all rolled into one) now has me keenly interested in checking out his prior publications. He is, without a doubt, a geek after my own heart, and it shines through in his writing.

Gale Harbour Book One

“Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space” is the first entry in what is set to be the “Gale Harbour” series, named for the fictional Newfoundland town in which our story takes place. I say ‘fictional’, but Gallant-King describes the town in such a way as to bring quite a clear picture to the reader’s mind. Growing up in an Atlantic Canadian town myself, I found it quite easy to imagine Gale Harbour as a real place, which gave a sense of realism to the quite extraordinary, out-of-this-world story that takes place there.

The story is also set in the early 1990’s, and Gallant-King does an excellent job of regularly reminding us of this fact. Reference to early 90’s video games, movies, and pop culture are woven into the plot, as well as accurate portrayals of everyday life in that decade (e.g. video rental stores are still a thing, and none of the characters own a cell phone).

Jumping Between Generations

If asked who the main protagonist of “Psycho Hose-Beast” is, I would be tempted to choose 12-year-old Niall, but the narrative moves regularly between multiple different characters as necessary to create the type of story Gallant-King is trying to tell. In one chapter we will follow Niall, his best friend Pius, and Pius’s cousin Harper, while in the next we will be focused on Harper’s ‘game and fisheries ranger’ father, or local police sergeant, Tanguay. The jumps work well to allow sharing information with the reader as required to progress the story, and are done in a way that isn’t jarring or annoying.

What is particularly nice, however, is how well Gallant-King portrays the different age groups involved. The adults feel like adults, with grown-up concerns, more rational minds (sometimes to a fault), and the need to be responsible and logical. The children, on the other hand, feel like children. They are all written in a way that truly resembles the way I remember kinds of that age acting. Each of the five child characters also have distinct personalities that a very well-written and bring a ton of life (and laughs) to the story.

Psycho Hose-Beast???

So, okay, I’m sure you’re thinking what’s with the title? Well, the central plot of the story revolves around an ancient creature – something like an elder god, if you like – that was sealed away by clever humans thousands of years prior and is, not to put too fine a point on it, rather pissed off about it. The creature managed to break free of its prison approximately 63 years prior to the events of the book, but was temporarily re-trapped by a pair of enterprising witches. Now it is free again and is on the hunt, not only to heal and strengthen itself, but because it desires the eradication of humanity for daring to trap it in the first place.

And to answer your (admittedly reasonable) question, ‘psycho hose-beast’ is the name given to the creature by one of the children, Harper, who is by far the bravest and most level-headed of the child characters. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Save the Harbour, Save the World

“Psycho Hose-Beast” follows this random assortment of child and adult characters as they work to stay alive and defeat this horrible creature, who has already taken several lives in their quiet harbour town. The story tows the line between humorous and dramatic, not shying away from the concept of death but also working in some wonderfully ridiculous moments, including one in which Snow’s “Informer” makes a surprise appearance. The titular beast is creepy, disturbing, and most definitely evil, while the human characters are all likeable, even the ones who kinda-sorta make you want to toss them to the beast. There are lots of twists and turns, well-loved tropes, and bits of information fed slowly that come back to make sense later on. Parts of the story also set up ideas about where the rest of the series might lead, such as the secret army tunnels running all throughout the ground beneath the town.

The story is not dragged out by pointless fluff, could easily be devoured in a sitting or two if you were so inclined, and has a good pace that keeps you wanting to keep going right to the end. And speaking of which, the ending is, in my personal opinion, quite satisfying in a number of ways. It could easily all end right here and I would be quite pleased, but at the same time the inevitable sequel has been set up well enough that I’m definitely looking forward to seeing ‘Gale Harbour Book Two’ in the future!

My personal favorite thing about the entire book, however, is the children and their dynamics between one another. From the bookish weakling, to the weirdo kid who never stops talking, each of the children feel so much like real kids that could have been a part of any of our childhoods that it gives that much more gravitas to the story. You genuinely want to see these kids survive and succeed, even (or possibly especially) when they’re being morons, because they’re so relatable.

If asked, I would rate “Psycho Hose-Beast” as either a Teen or Young Adult novel, but there is also nothing in it that would stop me allowing my own pre-teen to give it a read. I’m quite certain she would love it for its horrific humor and young heroes.

In Conclusion…

“Psycho Hose-Beast From Outer Space” is definitely worth a read, especially if you’re a fan of the horror-comedy aesthetic of something like “Stranger Things”. The characters are likeable and relatable, the setting realistic and familiar, and the monster the kind of weird, illogical, disgusting beast that you might find in anything from a b-rated horror movie to a modern-day sci-fi flick. This is a fun, enjoyable, easy-to-read romp, and I can’t wait to find out where Gallant-King goes with the rest of the series!

Pick it up for yourself right here on Amazon, and feel free to come back and let me know what you thought!

My Books + 3 Libraries = Love!

Let’s be honest: it doesn’t take all that much to get me feeling all mushy and full of warm-fuzzies. But with that said, it’s a new kind of giddy happiness to see my good friend River distributing my book – The Other World: Book One – to three libraries in the area. ❤

River is one of my largest pillars of support, so I had to share this video. Give it some love. Give my books some love. SHARE ALL THE LOVE YOU GUYS! LOVE IS AWESOME!

Book Review: “Bonfire” by Krysten Ritter [SPOILER-FREE]

bonfire

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review, which is a sin since I’ve actually been reading a good bit lately. So I thought I’d dive back into it with one of my favorite books of 2019 so far, and that is Krysten Ritter’s debut, Bonfire.

Wait…Krysten Ritter as in “Jessica Jones”?

Before I get into the actual review, I feel the need to address the fact that, yes, the author of this book is also the actress who portrays “Jessica Jones” in the Marvel series of the same name. I don’t bring this up because I think it should matter who, specifically, the author is. I bring it up because while I was reading the book I had absolutely no idea. It just never occurred to me when I saw the name “Krysten Ritter” on the front of the book that it was the same “Krysten Ritter” who is an actress. After all, it’s not as though there are no other Krysten Ritters in the world.

So, that’s just an extra little bit of info that may (or may not) affect how you feel about my review. I had no idea who the author was, and therefore had no bias one way or the other as to whether her book would be any good. Just the way it should be, in my opinion!

The Plot:

Bonfire’s narrator, Abby Williams, works with environmental law and has been placed in a bit of an awkward position. She will be investigating Optimal Plastics, the company which is the beating heart of her hometown of Barrens, Indiana. It’s a sticky situation to begin with, without adding in the fact that Abby doesn’t exactly have fond memories of the town and the people there she grew up with. And just in case that wasn’t enough to be dealing with, emotionally, she soon begins to uncover a strange scandal involving a classmate who ran away from home immediately following graduation. Where all this will lead is down a rabbit-hole of declining mental and emotional stability the further Abby presses on.

First Impressions:

I’m going to be perfectly honest: upon first picking up this book I wasn’t sure if it was something I was going to be able to enjoy because it’s so different from the kind of thing I normally read. I tend to focus on supernatural and fantasy stuff, whereas Bonfire is very much focused in the realm of reality. Most of what I read is third-person, past tense, and Bonfire is first-person, present-tense. I’m sure these seem like small, insignificant things when concerning a well-written story, but I do tend to be picky. So when I began reading, it was with a sense of concern.

Second Impressions:

Luckily, my first impressions/concern were complete and absolute nonsense.

I very quickly got used to the present-tense style of storytelling, and before I knew it I’d fallen in love with Abby as a character. What’s wonderful about her is that she’s an incredibly complex character. She’s very clearly the “good guy” in the context of this story, but she has plenty of failings as well, as we soon learn. Expanding upon that, some of her failings are very clearly of her own making, while others are very clearly the result of a less-than-stellar childhood.

This aspect of Abby also makes her very easy for me to relate to. My own childhood may not have been as rough as what Abby describes, but I can definitely understand quite a lot of what she’s gone through, such as bullying and unhealthy relationships.

To put it simply, Abby is the kind of character you can absolutely imagine being a real person. She is absolutely believable and makes you feel like someone you could have grown up with yourself.

The Plot Thickens:

As the story moves on, we become engrossed in lots of twists and turns that, quite frankly, will break your mind. Abby, because of the emotional roller-coaster she exists on, is an unreliable narrator who regularly spins us off in confusing directions. It is rather difficult at times to tell what is really happening, and what is all in Abby’s head. Chapter by chapter little bits of information are mixed into her investigation, and we’re never quite sure what is really happening in the background. Oftentimes throughout the book I found myself thinking that I knew how things were going to turn out, only to have something get flipped around on me a few pages later. In the end some things did turn out how I was expecting, but not before I’d been fooled into changing my mind half a dozen or more times. In other words, I was definitely kept on my toes with this book.

Final Thoughts:

It’s difficult to say too much about a book like Bonfire without ruining the suspense and intrigue, so I’ve kept things very vague. But the fact of the matter is that within the first few chapters I was completely hooked and desperate to know what was going to happen next. I ended up being completely engrossed and I devoured the book as quickly as I was able because I needed to know how things turned out in the end.

Ritter’s debut novel was a breakaway hit, at least in my opinion. Her ability to tell a story has been cemented with this first publication, and I’m going to be very interested to see what she comes up with next.

I highly recommend this book and would love to hear what other readers think about it. Let me know in the comment section, or add me on Goodreads: Tracey Lynn Tobin!


Want to check out Bonfire for yourself? Click right here to order!
Already read it? Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comment section below!

SECOND CHRISTMAS! SO RANDOM! Viewer Mail Monday (January 2019) Unboxing

*Note* It’s been a while since I shared our YouTube videos on here because I’ve been seriously busy lately, so please excuse the post-bomb that will be occurring today. ^_~


It’s Second Christmas in the Tobin house! Lovely Miss Amy sent us a package full of totally random goodies, including a bunch of books and comics, a ton of full, silly toys, and more! Plus, sneaky Miss Ninja River managed to hide two secret presents in this box too! SO MANY THINGS!

Thank you ladies! We got a good few big smiles out of this box!

VIEWER MAIL TIME! Fully Stuffed Box from Marie!

We got a box from Sweden that weighed about a million pounds! An exaggeration, obviously, but in all seriousness Marie crammed this thing so full I thought it was going to burst. XD

We’ve got books, candy, blind bags, statues, figures, and one particularly amazing action figure that I didn’t even know existed! There’s truly a little bit of everything for each of us, and we were absolutely humbled by the love. Thank you so much for everything Marie! Keep an eye out on the channel Instagram account for future photo shoots!