Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ghost Heart - A Trip Back to Ruthless Vampires

TITLE: Ghost Heart
AUTHOR: John Palisano
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
PUBLISHING DATE: February 2, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: "Live fast, die young, and leave a bloodthirsty corpse."

That s the saying of a new pack of fiendish predators infesting a New England town. They re infected with the Ghost Heart, a condition that causes them to become irresistible and invincible as long as they drink the blood of the living. But these vampires don t live forever, and as the Ghost Heart claims them, their skin loses color and their hearts turn pale. When a young mechanic is seduced by the pack s muse, he finds falling in love will break more than his heart."

This was the first ARC I received from Samhain Publishing and I am more than pleased with it. I believe John Palisano definitely has a bright future ahead for him. This book tales a vampire tale, but with a completely refreshing take. These vampires aren't invincible and being in the sun is not a death sentence. Basically, they have to feed or their body and heart deteriorate, making them grow paler and paler until they are almost translucent - thus, the concept of Ghost Heart. They don't even consider themselves vampires. Also, they are pretty much governed by a pretty creepy, "don't-go-into-the-basement" monster with the coolest name ever - "Xyx."

I don't scare easily so I won't say this book terrified me, but it has been one of the creepier horror novels I have read lately. Initially I was annoyed with Rick. He doesn't know who or what he wants in life and he seems a tad fickle. But then I realized that Rick is in his early twenties, has few family ties, and dates no more than a lot of guys his age. So pretty much, my irritation was short lived because I grew to understand that Palisano has basically nailed the male MC role right on the head.

This book has a lot of action, but it develops in a slow build. The group of individuals after Rick have to be some of the worst people I have encountered in a vampire novel - they are heartless. And Rick is one tough guy - if you read it, you will know what I mean. I admire Palisano for going back to the vampires of old - ones who are ruthless and mean, who do not live glamorous lives and who aren't envied by everyone they encounter. If you are in the mood for a new take on old vampires, with a few twists thrown in here and there, definitely give "Ghost Heart" a chance.

Again, thanks to Netgalley and Samhain who provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



John Palisano's short fiction has appeared in many places. Check out: Dark Discoveries, Horror Library, Darkness On The Edge, Lovecraft eZine, Phobophobia, Lovecraft eZine, Terror Tales, Harvest Hill, Halloween Spirits, the Bram Stoker Award® nominated Chiral Mad, Midnight Walk, Halloween Tales, and many other publications. NERVES was his first novel. He is working hard on its sequel, as well as many other upcoming works.

His non-fiction has appeared in FANGORIA and DARK DISCOVERIES, where he's interviewed folks like Robert Englund, director Rob Hall, and Corey Taylor from Slipknot.

Currently, DUST OF THE DEAD, his first book from Samhain Publishing, arrived in June 2015 with GHOST HEART on February 14, 2016, with NIGHT OF 1,000 BEASTS to come in the very near future.

His work has been cited by the Bram Stoker Award® three times.


  1. I've never heard of this one, but it sounds pretty great!! :D

  2. I'm always up for a new spin on vampires, Barb. And this one sounds pretty good. I like that you took a step back to consider the MC's age - I do that as well when a character's behavior is grating on me. ;) Great review!

  3. Great review! This is the first time I actually heard about this book, but I do love scary books. And this one looks and sounds very creepy and right up my alley! Thank you for your awesome post my friend.

  4. Great review! Vampires have been done so much I am glad he found a way to put a different spin on them.