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"Anthology of Horror In F-Sharp Major" by Rene David Rivero
Reviewed 2013-11-14

Reviewed by Lisa Bower for ForeWord Reviews

(4 out of 5 stars)

Deft descriptions of darkness and action add dread to these daring sci-fi, horror novellas.

People wake up from their isolation, stupor, or loneliness only to see the world’s real horrors in Rene David Rivero’s wide-ranging short story collection. Though Rivero conveys the dread early on, the joy is watching the symphony of descriptions accompanying these action-packed novellas.

Five stories are spread across a diverse array of settings: a Colorado homestead, an Arctic Ocean expedition, and New York City. A couple leaves the safety of their home to hunt down the infamous Wendigo, a student is undone by his ambition and thoughts about consciousness, and half-men fight half-animals.

Though suspense and horror merge in this collection, with a slice of sci-fi on the side, the descriptions are not too graphic or over the top. Rivero shows restraint and understands how to tow the line. This makes the book frightening and effective. The reader can only imagine what the character is screaming about at the end of “Pawnee Buttes.”

Rich descriptions bring the terrain to life. In “Transformed,” the land shifts as much as the characters. Rivero writes how, “With a shot, the crack parted and spread like a mouth forming a grin round and round and round—the onyx of ocean burst through to clash against the ivory of ice.” Darkness and the personification of the world comes into play again in “The Business in Apartment H.” Rivero describes how, “At five the sun plunged and the sky grieved with the color of onyx.”

These novellas average around fifty pages each. Though some pieces feel complete, like “The Business in Apartment H,” others, like “A Curiosity of Time and Space,” could be lengthened into full-fledged novels. Though they are rich in action, large chunks of summary can seem overwhelming, and adding missing commas after introductory clauses could have smoothed out some pacing issues and minor confusion.

Obsessions rule these characters. Some are trying to escape isolation or find creativity, whereas others feel compelled to seek out adventure or hunt down fabled monsters. In each story, the characters are not waiting for death but “a birth, a new and different kind of life” where “chaos [stands] as the only true constant.” Scenes are well placed, though dialogue tends to explain the stories rather than add to characterizations.

The sheer range of genres is what makes this collection so rich. There is something for everyone here, and Rivero’s restraint will keep readers guessing.

Lisa Bower
November 14, 2013

See Review @ ForeWord Reviews

Anthology of Horror In F-Sharp Major available at Amazon
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"The Business of Apartment H" by Rene David Rivero
Reviewed 2013-09-20

Reviewed by Meghan for New York Book Pundit

(10.0 out of 10.0)

Rene David Rivero’s ‘The Business of Apartment H’ will stimulate and provoke you to question the nature of the mind and consciousness, all wrapped in a cleverly written tale about redemption and self-consuming ambition that would swallow everything in its path.

Kirkyard is an enigmatic old man who occupies Apartment H, and Briggs—still a neurology student—is compelled to know what is up with the old man, given Kirkyard’s controversial past as a disgraced, washed-up researcher in the same university. Briggs is propelled by his interest in the nature of the brain, how consciousness or the mind arises from neurons, and how everything evolved to current complications. Briggs believes his future as a famous neurologist lies in knowing the ‘secrets’ in the old man’s laboratory, but doing so comes at a tremendous cost.

Rivero is obviously well aware of his science, yet it comes out of him as a natural part of the literary landscape of this book—even if the author (through the main characters) explains, you never feel as if he’s preaching. ‘The Business of Apartment H’ has that ‘Twilight Zone’ meets some of Michael Crichton’s best, most provocative works (particularly ‘Next’) vibe about it, yet it can stand on its own as a chilling piece of science fiction horror. It is compact, tightly woven, and ‘stabs’ your brain and heart with a plot that’s so sharp and deftly constructed you will want to read more. Highly recommended!

See Review @ New York Book Pundit

The Business of Apartment H available at Amazon
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"The Business of Apartment H" by Rene David Rivero
Reviewed 2013-09-18

Reviewed by IABOOKREVIEWS.COM

(9.0 out of 10.0)

This story was short but sweet. At about 48 pages, I was able to finish this within an hour but don’t let that stop you from picking it up. At less than a dollar, you get a beautifully written piece of work that will keep you intrigued until the end. The ending was complete and left no questions in the back of my mind, which I love. I enjoyed the way the author was able to put some descriptions that both intrigued me and set me off. I’d recommend this story for any suspense/thriller fan.

See Review @ IABOOKREVIEWS

The Business of Apartment H available at Amazon
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"Pawnee Buttes" by Rene David Rivero
Reviewed 2013-09-29

Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite

(5 out of 5 stars)

Pawnee Buttes by Rene David Rivero is an odd story, but one which is oddly engaging. In the basic background part of the story, and even through the midway point, this appears to be a simple tale of two young men, Jack and Tom, who are planning to trespass onto federal land that has been closed to public access for unspecified reasons. Their intent is to climb the pair of features known as Pawnee Buttes. The club they belong to has discussed this option for some time, until Deckers, one of the members who particularly annoys Jack and Tom, actually provided them with explicit instructions on how and where to drive to minimize the possibility of being seen by federal agents. Relying heavily on their GPS, the pair drives their jeep right up to the base of the Buttes, where they camouflage the vehicle in an arroyo. One thing they notice almost immediately is the fact that there are cattle grazing the property, even though cattle were also supposed to be prohibited from the site. However, they came to do some rock climbing, not to stare at cattle, so they gather up their gear and set out on foot. And that's when things become even more weird.

Rene David Rivero possesses a literary eloquence not a lot of writers share. Add to that his ability to formulate completely new, fresh, and never-before-done story concepts, and you will find Pawnee Buttes to be a fascinating, altogether new step in horror short stories. Rivero is brilliant, and Pawnee Buttes is the proof in this gripping tale.

See Review @ Readers' Favorite

Pawnee Buttes available at Amazon
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"The Business of Apartment H" by Rene David Rivero
Reviewed 2013-09-12

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

(5 out of 5 stars)

The Business of Apartment H, written by Rene David Rivero, is the story of Briggs, a young, naive, and ambitious student who finds the move from university in Indiana to the hallowed halls of Columbia University somewhat daunting. He puts on a good show during the lectures and chatting with the professors in the hallway, but lacks the substance and confidence to bridge the divide between student and faculty. Briggs also feels out of place in the dormitory and finds housing off-campus in an old, run-down building. There's only one occupied apartment on his floor, Apartment H. Lurking therein is also the promise of academic success -- success that does not come without a price to be paid.

The Business of Apartment H is a big story in a little package, but oh, what a grand one it is. I knew Rene David Rivero's short story was both different and special as I tripped and struggled to keep up with the old man's stream of consciousness as he disarms and disables his victim in the opening pages. This is a dark work, blending hard science fiction, metaphysics, ethics, horror, and morality, and my mind kept conjuring up images from old Frankenstein movies. Briggs is a modern-day Faust, tempted by the data and theories of a discredited former Columbia professor whose brilliant work and theories led to the disappearance, death, or madness of his subjects. When his professor recommends Briggs look into the work of the discredited Dr. West, little does he realize that his student would embark on a horrific journey of discovery and corruption.

The Business of Apartment H is brutal and stark, merging old-style horror with modern academic research, with undertones of Marlowe's Faust and Lovecraft's adventurers thrown in. It's thought-provoking and chilling, and highly recommended.

See Review @ Readers' Favorite

The Business of Apartment H available at Amazon
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"Transformed" by Rene David Rivero
Reviewed 2013-10-03

Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite

(4 out of 5 stars)

Transformed by Rene David Rivero is an esoteric tale of several men who set out to hunt and kill a Wendigo in the winter of 1885. While most motile living organisms either were going, or had already gone south for the winter, these intrepid adventurers were heading north of the Arctic Circle. The story details the individual personalities of the group, and relates how their personalities interacted, for good or otherwise. It won’t take an advanced degree in Psychiatry or Clinical Psychology to realize the man they all call “boss” is seriously obsessed with having a Wendigo trophy to display, perhaps to prove they exist, or to prove he is a greater hunter than anybody else is. Regardless of his reason, he is definitely obsessed. At times his obsession is so out of control that some of his companions consider killing him, so they can leave the frigid northern winter and return to a saner climate. Among the crew is a Native American tracker of uncertain lineage, and a “boy” who is alleged to be the only person who can interpret for the tracker. Throughout the tale it is apparent that these two have some type of relationship with each other that, in 1885, was probably safer to keep secret. Only in the concluding pages of the tale do we understand what that relationship truly was.

Rivero writes at a level or two above most “popular fiction”. His choice of words and his command of the English language require the reader to think. For that reason, this is a story best read in a single sitting. If you set it down for a couple days, then try to pick up where you left off, you will find yourself re-reading quite a bit of it, just to re-engage your brain again. Not to worry, though; you will find that you WANT to read this in one sitting. Rivero’s descriptions are so accurate you will want to turn up the heater, or put on a heavier sweater. Transformed is a very well written and thought-provoking story.

See Review @ Readers' Favorite

Transformed available at Amazon
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Anthology of Horror In F-Sharp Major by Rene David Rivero



Published September 15, 2013 by Krypto Morph Media

ISBN-10: 0615888763
ISBN-13: 9780615888767


Description:

A collection of fiction by Rene David Rivero from Sci-Fi to Fantasy, from the West to the post apocalyptic future, these stories explore a wide spectrum of settings:

Transformed
From Mexico to Canada, the fabled Wendigo leaves a bloody trail of animals - and men. Jack and his partner, Koda, weary of life at their Colorado homestead, join the expedition to capture the monster. Lead by the enigmatic and aristocratic Ricardo del Hernandez y Diaz, the expedition departs with a romantic sense of adventure only to crumble into madness. As obsession takes them to the farthest reaches of the earth, Jack and Koda confront their destiny in the realms of man and the Wendigo.

A Curiosity of Time and Space
At the Pacific that island might have been a paradise - but in the Arctic Ocean? - and in the middle of the Cold War? Paradise was not meant to be especially after a bizarre and desperate wunderwaffe altered an underground, NAZI installation. The Americans lose a battle to destroy what had been unleashed. The Russians, aided by their 'Achronauts', aim to succeed where everyone failed. This team of elite, covert men and women face a journey into madness where the laws of time and space are subverted by the very forces of evil itself....

Pawnee Buttes
Jack and Tom are adventurers set to explore the Pawnee Buttes. Long off-limits to the public, the Pawnee Buttes offer a unique challenge, as well as the opportunity to defeat their rival, Deckers. Deckers bragged of his plot to scale the buttes but his deadline passed and he was not seen or heard for weeks. Alone in the middle of winter, dodging surveillance and cattle, will they succeed where others fail? Or will they realize why the area is a 'no man's land'?

The Business of Apartment H
Briggs is an ambitious student of neurology at Columbia. Maybe a little too ambitious.... His ideas about consciousness take a turn that's very sick and twisted when he meets the Old Man, Kirkyard, a neighbor at Apartment H and a former, disgraced researcher at Columbia. Kirkyard's grizzly WWII-derived work got him kicked out of the university (and got a few people killed too) yet Briggs sells his soul to get access to the Old Man's laboratory and the fame it promises to bring.

Aguila
The future is a battleground where humans and factions of mutated half-men, half-animals fight for dominance. At the Fortress Thoth, an outpost of that struggle, Anubian is captivated by the alien and exotic Aguila. In the wake of that forbidden affair, which ends through violence, Anubian - together with his son, Kuha'Kian - escapes into exile. Haunted by the spirit of Aguila, he summons the courage to confront the tragedy of her death and everything he believes to be real....


Formats:

Paperback Edition ($9.99 USD)

Paperback Edition ($9.99 USD)

Kindle Edition ($4.99 USD)
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The Business of Apartment H by Rene David Rivero



Published March 29, 2013 by Krypto Morph Media

ISBN-10: 098966273X
ISBN-13: 978-0-9896627-3-4


Description:

Briggs is an ambitious student of neurology at Columbia. Maybe a little too ambitious.... His ideas about consciousness take a turn that's very sick and twisted when he meets the Old Man, Kirkyard, a neighbor at Apartment H and a former, disgraced researcher at Columbia. Kirkyard's grizzly WWII-derived work got him kicked out of the university (and got a few people killed too) yet Briggs sells his soul to get access to the Old Man's laboratory and the fame it promises to bring.


Formats:

Kindle Edition ($0.99 USD)


Sample:
Clip )
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Pawnee Buttes by Rene David Rivero



Published September 6, 2013 by Krypto Morph Media

ISBN-10: 0989662764
ISBN-13: 978-0-9896627-6-5


Description:

Jack and Tom are adventurers set to explore the Pawnee Buttes. Long off-limits to the public, the Pawnee Buttes offer a unique challenge, as well as the opportunity to defeat their rival, Deckers. Deckers bragged of his plot to scale the buttes but his deadline passed and he was not seen or heard for weeks. Alone in the middle of winter, dodging surveillance and cattle, will they succeed where others fail? Or will they realize why the area is a 'no man's land'?


Formats:

Kindle Edition ($0.99 USD)


Sample:
Clip )
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A Curiosity of Time and Space by Rene David Rivero



Published September 15, 2013 by Krypto Morph Media

ISBN-10: 0989662772
ISBN-13: 978-0-9896627-7-2


Description:

At the Pacific that island might have been a paradise - but in the Arctic Ocean? - and in the middle of the Cold War? Paradise was not meant to be especially after a bizarre and desperate wunderwaffe altered an underground, NAZI installation. The Americans lose a battle to destroy what had been unleashed. The Russians, aided by their 'Achronauts', aim to succeed where everyone failed. This team of elite, covert men and women face a journey into madness where the laws of time and space are subverted by the very forces of evil itself....


Formats:

Kindle Edition ($0.99 USD)


Sample:
Clip )
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