Zakk reviews Savages by Greg F. Gifune

“Ex Libris: The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”

Zakk reviews Savages by Greg F. Gifune, 168 pages (eBook) published by Sinister Grin Press, 2016.


It began as a vacation to the Cook Islands. But when seven friends are lost in the South Pacific after their boat goes down in a storm, they must survive at sea for several days in a small raft. Blown miles off course from their original position, and deep into open waters, they eventually encounter a small uncharted island.

Grateful to be alive, they begin their quest for survival, hopeful they’ll be rescued sooner than later. But the island is not the paradise it appears to be. Instead, it is a place of horror, death, torture and evil, of terrible secrets thought long buried and forgotten.

And they are not alone.

Something guards those horrible secrets, something evil and relentlessly violent, an ancient horror born of rage and vengeance, a blood-crazed predator that lives to kill and will stop at nothing to protect the island from those intruding upon its dark legacy.

The savage is loose, and there is no escape.


Savages from Greg F. Gifune is an energetic, fun, and quite a satisfying read. It’s my first read from Mr. Gifune (after a many missed opportunities) and I’m glad Savages crossed my path as this book points out, yet again, that I’ve missed the bus on an author. This one with a pretty vast library behind him, and I have no excuses.

From page one Savages presents a rather cinematic reading experience. The ordeal, the backdrop, the cast, the nasty are all pieces that fit together to paint a vivid picture that is easy to get wrapped up in, to get absorbed.

The narrative plays out fluidly, wildly. A tangible sense or desperation sets in as the situation that these folks are stuck in devolves into chaos. The first good chunk of the read is devoted to character development, building a connection with a solid cast of personalities. Which is always a positive attribute. The survival aspect plays out believably as alpha characters step out and on beta characters and the inevitable power play rears its head. Maybe those beta or wild cards… that’s for you to discover.

But when the shit hits the sand is when this read shines. The back third is a full blown riot of tension and action set pieces. Nothing short of entertaining. I dug this baddie quite a bit and Greg isn’t afraid to make a mess of things… and people. It’s an endearing quality that speaks directly to me as a reader.

I have survived this island. A little worse for wear, but alive and breathing.

Hello Greg, my name is Zakk and I am eager to dig into some of your back catalogue. Thanks for the ride.

Overall score: 4.5/ 5

Zakk is a big dumb animal!

**Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher/ publicist on the promise of an honest review. These are my unbiased feelings.


Greg F. Gifune is a best-selling, internationally-published author of several acclaimed novels, novellas, and two short story collections.

Called, “The best writer of horror and supernatural thrillers at work today” by New York Times best-selling author Christopher Rice, “One of the best writers of his generation” by both The Roswell Literary Review and author Brian Keene, and “Among the finest dark suspense writers of our time” by legendary best-selling author Ed Gorman, Greg’s work has been published all over the world, translated into several languages, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus and others, is consistently praised by readers and critics alike, and has garnered attention from Hollywood.

His novel The Bleeding Season, originally published in 2003, has been hailed as a classic in the genre and is considered to be one of the best horror/thriller novels of the decade. In 2016 his short story “Hoax” was adapted to film and is now available on Amazon. His story “Plant Life” is also under development for film.

Also an editor with years of experience in the field in a variety of positions, Greg is presently on hiatus from his position as Senior Editor at DarkFuse, and at work on several projects.

He resides in Massachusetts with his wife Carol, a bevy of cats,and two dogs, Dozer and Bella. He can be reached online at or on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Greg Gifune

“A masterful tale of love, loss, friendship, pain and suffering… a tale that will eviscerate you emotionally.” – Peter Schwotzer, Famous Monsters of Filmland on House of Rain

“Another masterpiece of a tale of love and loss as Gifune delves to the heart of a topic that he seems to know so well.” – Josef Hernandez, Examiner on House of Rain

“Equally comfortable with suggestive, quiet terror and the pleasures of graphic exaggeration, Gifune has assembled a sensitive and entertaining collection, merging the pleasures of a good surface read with themes startling in intellectual scope…In Gifune’s world, nothing is safe…and even the best intentions are a weak defense against shadows.” – Cemetery Dance on Heretics

“This quietly powerful short novel should bring much deserved attention to Gifune, who succeeds in imbuing what could have been a clichéd and formulaic noir premise with haunting emotional depth.” – Publisher’s Weekly on Saying Uncle

Purchase Links


Want to feature this book/author?

If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and youwould like to feature Savages or Greg Gifune in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at Thanks!

And while you’re here, check out The Eyes of Madness at:



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Loved the line “When the shit hits the sand.” Very clever.


    1. Zakk at TEOM says:

      Hey, thank you sir.


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