{Book Review} Siphon: A.A. Medina

Siphon – A.A. Medina

Reviewed by Steve Stred

I had Siphon on my ‘future purchase list’ for some time, but when it was announced that Hindered Souls Press was ceasing operations I reached out to Medina to purchase an Ebook directly from him, and we ended up swapping books.

When I finally got around reading this, I found I couldn’t adjust the pdf font size on my Kindle! So, I did what I had to do to read this fun tale – I purchased the new version from Amazon!

As a disclaimer about a few words in that last sentence there – “fun tale.” Maybe that’s not the most accurate way to describe it, that is of course unless you love horror and more specifically, horror that makes you squirm and feel repulsed. Siphon does that in spades.

We follow Dr. Gary Phillips, and to make it simple – he’s a blood analyst. The guy who runs the tests the doc’s request when you’re laid up in hospital.

He lives with his grandfather, an abusive alcoholic, and has done since his parents died in a car accident when he was young.

Overworked and frustrated with a demanding physician, Phillips can’t wait to get home, when he accidentally drops a vial of blood.

Here is where Medina flips the script if you will. Taking Siphon from a medical based tale to a dark, possession tale. Phillips hears a voice, a voice that urges him to taste the blood, to consume the blood. Depravity ensues as Phillips finds he longs for the voice he hears and the feeling of someone else taking control of his body to happen more and more. Couple this between Gary entertaining a ‘lady of the night’ and his burgeoning obsession with a colleague, Phillips becomes unhinged.

Medina does a great job of letting the narrative yo-yo back and forth between Phillips trying to remain grounded and then letting the dog off the leash. We go from learning about what truly happened with his parents to macabre occurrences within a few pages and it’s done with confidence and a flair that lets you suspend your beliefs at times.

Overall this one was a blast, and if you’re looking to pair this with another similar book in tone, An Army of Skin from Morgan K. Tanner works wondrously in that regard.

I’m glad I finally let this one trickle from my Kindle into my eyeballs and will need to look further into Medina’s works!

Star Rating (out of 5): 4*



Dr. Gary Phillips, the resident hematopathologist at Claybrook Medical Center, is a lonely man struggling with the duress of an all work and no play lifestyle.

Burdened with an unhealthy infatuation with his co-worker, a burning disdain for his boss, and an abusive relationship with his grandfather, Gary just can’t catch a break.

That is, until a workplace accident ushers in a bizarre, but empowering experience that evokes a new sense of self, forcing repressed memories to surface while encouraging him to pursue his fantasies with unconventional methods.

You can buy Siphon from Amazon UK Amazon US

Steve Stred

Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak Horror author.

Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.

On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.

Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.

Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.

You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred

You can visit Steve’s Official website here

The Stranger

Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?

Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.

Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?

But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.

While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.

The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.

The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.

Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.



Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.

But what if it’s not…

What if there is something out there?

The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”

With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.

Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.

Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…



The Stranger. 

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