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Publisher's Summary

Sebastian “Seb” McAlister has run out of luck in Vegas. Cornered by a trigger-happy gang and shot through the stomach, he makes a desperate escape in his supercharged Hellcat. Fate guides Seb safely out of Sin City and into the desert, but as his wheels fade into the horizon, he fades into darkness.

He awakes among a tiny community in the middle of nowhere. A mountain range circles the hodgepodge of shacks like prison walls looming high. And the warden that resides in those mountains is big, ugly, and deadly - a creature straight out of a Lovecraftian nightmare.

If Seb hopes to escape that wayward way station, he’ll need enough cunning to outwit a force beyond comprehension...and a fast car. With a little luck and a ragtag group of would-be monster mashers racing alongside him, Seb just might have a shot of making it through the mountains alive.

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing - tales from the darkest depths.

©2020 Crystal Lake Publishing (P)2021 Fireside Horror

What listeners say about Eight Cylinders

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lovecraftian Nightmare + Mad Max: Fury Road + Twilight Zone

Rating: 7.0/10

Thanks to Fireside Horror and the author for an advance listening copy of Eight Cylinders for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Eight Cylinders is a Lovecraftian nightmare slapped on Max Max: Fury Road with a Twilight Zone kicker. It is a quick read that packs a punch, and is perfect for a lunch break if you need to get the adrenaline up.

Having read a couple of Parent’s stories, I’ve noticed he has a knack for getting straight to the point and bringing on either the scare factor or taking the reader on a thrill-ride. What is missing is character depth, but honestly, there isn’t much point to get too muddled down with characters across an 82 page novella. Seb is about the limit to development you are going to get, and he is fleshed out enough for you to at least be on his side and want to see him through his predicament.

Like in ‘They Feed’, secondary characters are filler to either help or hinder the protagonist, but offer comic relief, antagonistic tendencies, and sometimes the objective the story is progressing with. While a majority of the characters this go round feel straight out of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ (which btw, F that film and the horse Craven rode in on), what you are really here for is the Lovecraftian beast that seems to be keeping this ragtag group of folks in the mountains.

Parent really kills it when it comes to just-plain-fun reads. They won’t have a ton of lasting value, but I really don’t believe they are supposed to. The one thing they do leave you with is something to recommend to other readers like yourself. And for a few extra bucks, you can listen to Joe Hemple narrate, which is pretty sweet IMO.

1 person found this helpful

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Exciting, Fast-Paced, But a Little Short

Jason Parent's Eight Cylinders captures a sort of grindhouse action/horror vibe that I appreciated a great deal. We've got a story about crime, cars, creatures, confusion, and condemnation in the middle of the desert...and if that doesn't appeal to you at least a little bit, there's probably something wrong with you.
Comparing it to movies and other visual mediums, as I usually do, it's a little bit Tremors, a touch of From Dusk Till Dawn, a good bit The Road Warrior, and a dash of the old show The Prisoner (or maybe, for those who never watched that one, Lost). If you were to toss all of that into a blender and add a splash of cosmic horror, you'd end up with something along the lines of Eight Cylinders.
This story had me invested as soon as Seb began using a novelty Magic Eight Ball glass eye to make his decisions for him as he sped away from Vegas after a deal gone exceedingly bad. Criminal and "bad guy" that he might be, Seb is particularly relateable as a protagonist, and you can't help but cheer him on as he races through the desert multiple times throughout this short tale. The attention to detail concerning cars, trucks, and ATVs through the narrative gives one the impression that Parent is a bit of a gearhead at heart, or certainly one who spent some quality time researching this tale with gearheads...and that comes through clearly with Seb's absolute love for his Dodge Charger and his appreciation of other vehicles in the narrative.
Joe Hempel's narration is excellent, and I'll surely be watching for other titles he's provided his voice talents to.
My sole complaint about this story is that it felt a little rushed at times like we were racing from one point to another without getting enough time to really experience where we were.

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What a great lovecraftianish novel

You had me at the tentacles on the cover. Right there I knew we were going to have some weird lovecraftian style book. Add in a great narrator (love every audiobook I’ve listened to by Joe Hempel) fast cars and an action packed shout out to start things off. Things move quickly from there into a place that doesn’t belong where it is, with people who shouldn’t be there, an MC who doesn’t know how he got there. Now, there’s only two ways out. And our MC doesn’t plan on dying which only leaves one other option. Buckle up and get ready for an awesome tale. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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Fast paced Mad Max meets Lovecraft

This thrilling mile a minute ride that Jason Parent sends you on is packed with mystery and excitement.

Not a minute is wasted in this story as Seb and the gang try to escape this kind of apocalyptic hell they find themselves in due to a monster hiding in the mountains.

Well worth cash that was paid for this.

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A Fast-Paced and Action-Packed Lovecraftian Tale

Fireside Horror sent me an audiobook review copy.
What follows is my honest review:

Didn't know what to expect from this. Didn't read the synopsis, just looked at the cover and jumped in. Had seen the paperback at a local bookstore last autumn, but never took the plunge to purchase a copy. The cover sets perfect expectations for what's inside: a fast Dodge Charger and a Lovecraftian creature. You know which one.

The book begins in media res, an intense shoot out in the desert. From there, it's a non-stop action book with pauses for exposition and character development. Thumbs up to Parent for writing a Black protagonist and not hamfisting his readers with his identity—it doesn't feel convoluted, and his character is fleshed out and believable.

Eight Cylinders is the first action-packed horror book I've read... I'm pretty sure. It was interesting to blend these elements into a Lovecraftian tale. I liked it as it reminded me of Trevanian's Shibumi. Joe Hempel is a fantastic narrator and most likely added to my enjoyment of the story.

I'd read Jason Parent's fiction again without hesitation.

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This was quite a ride!

Seb McAllister escapes from the frying pan into the fire when a gang kills his mate and shoots Seb in the Stomach. In the frenzy that follows, he starts driving aimlessly getting far away from his life in Vegas. He wakes up in the middle of the desert where a small community takes him under their wing. Seb can’t understand at first why those people are living there, but he soon discovers that a monster guards the place.

This was quite a ride! I was not sure what to expect at first, but the story develops quite quickly and it grabbed me hard. The book was a mix of strong emotions, cosmic fear, and mysterious characters. I only wish the book were longer! I can totally see this made into a cult movie, with cars, tentacles, loud rock music, and a hardass main actor.

Reading this book makes you question many things, and despite having seen similar topics in other books and movies, I found the way it was told, fresh, honest, and raw. One cannot help but hope for Seb, even though we know he’s been doomed from the start, forever lost in the anterooms of hell.

This was a great story from beginning to end, and Joe Hempel’s narration made it shine even more than it would have been just by itself. Hempel’s narration did not only interfere with the story but added value to it thanks to exquisite character interpretations and a top-notch audio production. Joe Hempel was able to give each character a unique voice and style in a subtle way that it was impossible not to enjoy the storytelling, forgetting that we were listening to a book, and having the feeling of witnessing the fate of real people instead. The magic of audiobook narration by one of the masters.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.