Archive for the 'Reviews' Category


“Dark Discoveries” Reviews Occult Files

Review by: Jeremy Hepler

“I will say that ‘Footprints’ and ‘Dear Boss,’ stories about Bigfoot and Jack the Ripper, respectively, were two of my personal favorites because of their surprise endings. And ‘The Exhibit,’ which pits Taylor’s investigative skills against fifteenth century Spanish inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada, was also a very fun and exciting read.

“Unlike other authors of the occult genre, Muk will not bore you with lengthy descriptions of scientific research or quirky gadget lingo. These stories are strictly about people and the fear of the unknown, which makes them easy to relate to and enjoy.”

Read the full review online at Dark Discoveries


Occult Files Reviewed by “Twisted Tongue Magazine”

Review by: Claire Nixon

“What makes this book so different from others like this is that there are no over complex words that you cannot pronounce never mind know what they mean, yes I’m talking about scientific lingo. There’s no getting to grips with how a thingy-ma-jing picks up ghosts. No techno stuff to pull you away from the story. To some, this could be a bad thing, but to me, without realms of pages about the ins and outs of a machine works darn well for me. I’m able to sit back, relax and indulge myself with Muk’s tales.”

Read the full review in Twisted Tongue Magazine #15, available for download here. (review begins on page 28)


Occult Files Reviewed in “Morpheus Tales 8 Review Supplement”

Review by: Adrian Brady

“Taylor’s adventures are entertaining and the presence of the protagonist throughout each of the stories helps give the book a cohesive feel. The adventures, although all supernaturally based, are far ranging and different enough that you don’t get bored with them.

“It is difficult to pick a favourite story, but the longer stories such as “The Exhibit” and “Psychic” have a bit more of an impact.

“A good collection of short stories; Albert Taylor is a solid protagonist and anyone missing the X-Files or the Twilight Zone will be able to fill the void.”

Read the entire review in the Morpheus Tales 8 Review Supplement


Page Readers Reviews Occult Files

Nanci Arvizu of Page Readers wrote:

“Talking with Derek, you can hear just how much he enjoys the art of telling a good story. It is also evident that he loves where he has lived. Quite a few of his stories are set in Northern California, and he brings a new slant to a couple of stories that have been told through the ages, giving the reader something new to enjoy.

“With such an interesting main character in Albert Taylor, Derek told me that he’s got more stories in the works. I can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us!”

Catch the full review online at: Page Readers


Occult Files Reviewed by “Static Movement”

“Albert Taylor is a likable fellow, who has some friends who wander in and out of the chapters. The stories are nice, with some being deeper than others, but nice reads nonetheless.

“The stories all have nice twists in the end, and they were all enjoyable to read. I hope Derek Muk publishes another book, I look forward to reading more of his work.”

Read the Full Review online at: Static Movement


Occult Files Reviewed by “Escape Velocity”

Review by: Geoff Nelder of Escape Velocity magazine

“In many ways this is a travel book – one of the best features of the stories are the interesting locations from desert towns to mountain caves. It is also a broad sweep of the major issues you’d hope and expect to find in an occult collection: Big Foot, Boogey Man, The Spanish Inquisition, séances and unsettled souls in purgatory.

“The kindly Taylor rarely uses any scientific rigour such as multiple repeat experiments in controlled situations, checking equipment calibration, and ruthless cross-examination of witnesses. Nevertheless, I fell into liking his manner of accepting accounts of people who had been scared witless: he put them at their ease and gave them credence where I would have asked for tests for hallucinogens and illusory tricks.

“Producers take note: most of the case studies in this collection would make a popular TV series, say – Most Haunted meets The Twilight Zone.

“Collectors of stories of the occult will find something in this anthology to appeal to them.”

Read the full review online at: science42fiction as well as Cafe Doom


Occult Files Reviewed by “Sonar4 Landing Dock”

“Muk Brings each of the 11 stories into separate cases; yes 11 different cases involving Taylor and some supernatural creature or event. What is special about this book is that Muk allows the reader to be able to look inside the characters, feel there struggles with their beliefs on whether or not certain things exist.

“This book has come out at a time when paranormal movies and books are bringing back the unknown. The characters breathe life into the detective type story that thrills any reader. The search, the finding, the research all explained in detail with these stories. One could never quite get their fill of Albert Taylor.”

Read the full review at: Sonar4 Landing Dock


Occult Files reviewed by “M-BRANE SF”

Review Excerpt by: Christopher Fletcher

“I’ll confess that I was skeptical about the prospect of stories featuring such things as Jack the Ripper and Bigfoot, but “Dear Boss” (about the former) and “Footprints” (about the latter) were both good fun and concluded in rather surprising ways. “Competition” is a fun tale of vampirism in Hawaii, while we have UFOs and ET’s in “Ghost Town” and “The Sun Disc.” There are creepy haunting investigations in “Lynch Mansion” and “Asylum,” and a bizarre mystery enfolds “The Exhibit” of some Spanish Inquisition artifacts. I’m loath to say too much specifically about any of the stories since they are rather prone to spoilers. But if paranormal investigations are your thing, be sure to check out this book.”

Read the Full Review at M-BRANE SF


Occult Files reviewed by “Night to Dawn” Magazine

The following review will appear in Night to Dawn magazine.

Review by: Tom Johnson

“This book of short stories features paranormal investigator, Albert Taylor and some of his friends as they investigate twelve cases of paranormal happenings, from ghosts, vampires, UFOs & aliens, to cults and even the Spanish Inquisition. The author’s main character is a professor of anthropology at UC Berkeley, California, who founded and publishes Occult Files Magazines.

“Although the stories lacked the tension and extreme emotional excitement of The X Files or Kolchak, I thought the characters came across well, and the author was writing about a subject he was familiar with. Perhaps my favorite of the stories presented in this volume was “Footprints,” the search for Bigfoot in Redwood National Forest.

“Most of the cases take place in California, although the investigator does travel to other locales. There are haunted houses, haunted museums, haunted towns, and the desert of New Mexico. The author does not ridicule people’s beliefs in ghosts, gods from outer space, aliens, vampires, Sasquatch, or other paranormal events. In fact, he embraces them as reality in these stories.

“Well written and reads smoothly. I rate it 4 cups of blood.”

September 2022


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