WWW Wednesday: Read, Reading, Will Read (197)

wwwwed

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a meme currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s a place for you to do a little update on what your reading plans are.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

 

1. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

YA Fantasy! I was very much in the mood to read this book and, while it started out exciting, I’m kind of getting a tiny bit annoyed with Yumeko? I think it’s because I expected her to act very much like a fox as she did in the beginning of the book and that’s not happening.

2. The Dark Bite by Leia Stone

Paranormal Romance! This started out super fun and interesting, but it’s losing steam. The plot is moving slowly while the romance suddenly jumped from one thing to another. I am pretty curious about what’s going to happen during this second half, though.


What did you recently finish reading?

    1. The Shining by Stephen King: Horror! This was not as amazing as people said it was.

What do you think you’ll read next?

22840421Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard


I bought this one a whim last week and I’m pretty curious to see if I’ll like it or not.

A strange darkness grows in Allward. Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea. She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions.


What books did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next?
Tell me in the comments!


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Top 10 Tuesday: Horror Podcasts

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m going rogue again this week to post about horror podcasts!

31145148Old Gods of Appalachia


Long before anyone lived in these hills, beings of immeasurable darkness and incomprehensible madness were entombed here. It was during this bygone age, when the Appalachians towered much higher and more menacing than the gentle slopes and ridges we know today, that they were conscripted after a great battle to serve as the final prison for those dark forces. But of course, time marches inexorably on. Eons passed and the walls of the prison begin to wear thin. And Things that slumbered soundlessly below for millennia began to stir and become restless.

22840421A Voice From Darkness


Radio broadcaster and parapsychologist Dr. Malcolm Ryder helps callers with their supernatural problems. He also delves into the dark and strange history of America. Callers are haunted by mysterious black doors, see ancient beings in their paisley wallpaper, have terrifying creatures appear in their cars on dark and lonely roads. In the history segment of our show, Ryder tells of the pyramid made of flesh in Palta, Arizona that appeared one morning, of how the Mississippi River is a sleeping leviathan, and of the last known sighting of the dark dealmaker – The Traveling Salesman.

30233110Strawberry Spring


Based on the short story by Stephen King, Strawberry Spring is a scripted podcast set against the backdrop of the sixties revolution on the campus of New Sharon College. We follow a generation of students who don’t trust authority, the futile efforts of the local police, and a young, determined reporter as he chases the bloody trail of Springheel Jack, an unrelenting, modern-day Jack the Ripper. After vanishing and leaving his murders unsolved, Jack is back – along with a new Strawberry Spring, a weather pattern with an unusual fog bank that rolls in every eight years. Using the fog to hide his tracks, he taunts New Sharon with fresh kills, each murder more violent than the last.

18189606Bridgewater


Folklore professor Jeremy Bradshaw is pulled into the mysterious 1980 disappearance of his police officer father, Thomas, by new evidence that threatens to upend decades of certainty. Along the way, he’s helped by some unlikely partners who challenge everything he believes in, and ultimately tries to answer the question: can the past actually be rewritten? Together with his father’s former partner, retired Detective Anne Becker, Jeremy must chase the clues that will tell him whether his father really did fall victim to a Satanic cult in the Bridgewater Triangle—or something much more dark and unexplainable.

2788321413 Days of Halloween


Aaron Mahnke’s 13 Days of Halloween is a unique auditory adventure that flirts with the line between ethereal horror and thrilling campfire tales, and brought to life with powerful, 360-degree surround sound technology. Listeners will spend 13 days immersed in chilling tales that all build up to a grand conclusion.

23299512Unwell: A Midwestern Gothic Mystery


Lillian Harper moves to the small town of Mt. Absalom, Ohio, to care for her estranged mother Dorothy after an injury. Living in the town’s boarding house which has been run by her family for generations, she discovers conspiracies, ghosts, and a new family in the house’s strange assortment of residents.

24485589Hello from the Hallowoods


Come walk between the black pines! Your nightmarish host Nikignik presents a heartfelt horror show from the beautiful (and deadly) Northern Hallowoods. Tune in for weekly updates as a cast of LGBTQ+ survivors face twisted wildlife, the Instrumentalist, and other terrors in the forest at the end of the world.

23592235Full Body Chills


Ever miss those spooky campfire stories you heard growing up? Well, gather round… and listen close.


Do you listen to podcasts? Any recommendations for me?
Let me know in the comments!


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ARC Review: THE GRIMROSE GIRLS by Laura Pohl


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28114396
THE GRIMROSE GIRLS
Laura Pohl

SeriesGrimrose Girls #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 400
Publication date: October 26, 2021

After the mysterious death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki, and Rory are the talk of their elite school, Grimrose Académie. The police ruled it a suicide, but the trio are determined to find out what really happened.

When Nani Eszes arrives as their newest roommate, it sets into motion a series of events they couldn’t have imagined. As the girls retrace their friend’s last steps, they uncover dark secrets about themselves and their destinies, discovering they’re all cursed to repeat the brutal and gruesome endings to their stories until they can break the cycle.

This contemporary take on classic fairytales reimagines heroines as friends attending the same school. While investigating the murder of their best friend, they uncover connections to their ancient fairytale curses and attempt to forge their own fate before it’s too late.


The Grimrose Girls was one of those rare books I knew I wasn’t going to like right from the beginning. I came into it with very high expectations since the premise sounded wonderful, but the opening scene already made it evident that there was a lack of emotion to the writing. I knew it wasn’t going to get any better from there since that first chapter was supposed to introduce and set up a few of the most important people and facts in this story and it failed spectacularly for me.

I do want to say that I very much appreciated how diverse this was, though. It was refreshing, in that sense, to read a book with no heterosexuals lol that sadly wasn’t enough to carry everything else for me. Continue reading

Review: BOOKS OF BLOOD VOL. 1 by Clive Barker


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BOOKS OF BLOOD VOL. 1
Clive Barker

SeriesBooks of Blood #1
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 210
Publication date: June 1, 1986

The Books of Blood combine the ordinary with the extraordinary while radiating the eroticism that has become Barker’s signature. Weaving tales of the everyday world transformed into an unrecognizable place, where reason no longer exists and logic ceases to explain the workings of the universe, Clive Barker provides the stuff of nightmares in packages too tantalizing to resist.

Never one to shy away from the unimaginable or the unspeakable, Clive Barker breathes life into our deepest, darkest nightmares, creating visions that are at once terrifying, tender, and witty.


There was a memory and a promise of blood in the air.


The Book of Blood: super striking and unique! The concept of the road of the dead and the Book itself was fascinating 😀

The Midnight Meat Train: very grotesque. The idea of ​​the train and there being Patriarchs behind New York was pretty cool, especially considering what they ate. Continue reading

Review: IN MY DREAMS I HOLD A KNIFE by Ashley Winstead


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IN MY DREAMS I HOLD A KNIFE
Ashley Winstead

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pages: 368
Publication date: August 3, 2021

Six friends.
One college reunion.
One unsolved murder.

A college reunion turns dark and deadly in this chilling and propulsive suspense novel about six friends, one unsolved murder, and the dark secrets they’ve been hiding from each other—and themselves—for a decade.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent—not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year. Ten years ago, everything fell apart, including the dreams she worked for her whole life—and her relationship with the one person she wasn’t supposed to love.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.


“I hoped I’d never get what I deserved.”


In My Dreams I Hold a Knife captured my attention right away because I felt like I was slapped in the face when it was mentioned that the 10 year reunion was for the Class of 2009 😀 that said, Jessica’s perspective was very engaging and I was hooked from the first few pages and curious to see where this was all going.

Winstead did a great job at setting up each and every character. They were all very distinct from each other and I was very interested in how they all fit together and how their relationships were like. The non-linear narrative definitely explored that very well and kept up the pace and the tension throughout the entire book. Continue reading

WWW Wednesday: Read, Reading, Will Read (196)

wwwwed

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a meme currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s a place for you to do a little update on what your reading plans are.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

1. The Shining by Stephen King

Horror! I’m not really sure what I think of this so far. I knew it was going to be very different from the movie, but some of the differences are unexpected and I’m not entirely sure I like them. Also, nothing spooky has happened yet.


What did you recently finish reading?

    1. Books of Blood vol. 1 by Clive Barker: Horror! Pretty interesting anthology.
    2. The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl: YA Fantasy! I didn’t like this and the leaps of logic from the characters so the plot could move forward.
    3. Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis: YA Paranormal! Lovely little spooky read with an amazing focus on female friendship!
    4. The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman: Magical Realism! Fantastic (and a bit devastating) conclusion to the series.
    5. All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody, Christine Herman: YA Fantasy! There were no villains whatsoever in this book.
    6. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson: Horror! I’m so sad this didn’t quite work for me despite tackling one very specific situation I’m very paranoid about.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not quite sure! My work situation is changing again, so I have no idea what the future holds for me in regard to reading time.


What books did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next?
Tell me in the comments!


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Top 10 Tuesday: Haunted Places

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m running away from this week’s theme and doing a Top 10 Books feat. Haunted Places!

31145148The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson


It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

22840421House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski


Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth—musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies—the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

30233110White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson


Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.

18189606Home Before Dark by Riley Sager


Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

27883214The Carrow Haunt by Darcy Coates


Remy is a tour guide for Carrow House, a notoriously haunted building. When she’s asked to host seven guests for a week-long stay to research Carrow’s phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous. At first, it’s everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly become twisted. Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper.

23299512Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

24485589Ghost Story by Peter Straub


In life, not every sin goes unpunished. For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.

23592235The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James


Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…


Do you like books about haunted places? Any recommendations for me?
Let me know in the comments!


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Review: THE ATLAS SIX by Olivie Blake


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THE ATLAS SIX
Olivie Blake

SeriesThe Atlas #1
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ+
Publisher: —
Pages: 383
Publication date: January 31, 2020

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.


“…the ones who make themselves something are the same ones who learn to starve correctly.”


Hello, new favorite book! The Atlas Six was familiar in the sense that I’m very used to character ensemble novels with a million perspectives where I love (almost) all of them. And yet! it was so different because the plot, while it did take the common concept of “secret” societies, it turned that on its head in the best and most complex ways and I was so here for it! Olivie Blake deserves a big congratulations for what she did with this book.

I won’t describe specifics because I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone, but I will say that I legit loved every single one of the characters. Blake did such an incredible job at introducing them to the reader during the beginning of the book and at developing them throughout the story. They were all so so different and complex and compelling in their voices that whenever I had to put the book down, I missed them. I also have to say that the casual queer rep was also excellent! Continue reading

Review: ALL THESE BODIES by Kendare Blake


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ALL THESE BODIES
Kendare Blake

Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Pages: 304
Publication date: September 21, 2021

Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation.

Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere.

September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers.

Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to.

As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?


The truth is the truth.


I’m not really sure where I stand with All These Bodies. It was really not what I was expecting and I’m not sure it quite delivered what it promised? The writing was very engaging, though, and I had a really good time reading the book throughout the last few days. I guess… it entertained me, but some things didn’t quite land as they should have, I believe.

So first things first, I did love the entire set up around the murders and how Blake described them. Marie’s introduction and the details of each case were super eerie and I loved the mystery surrounding them. Michael’s perspective was great in regard to that: introducing the reader to what happened and taking us on a journey when he became the keeper of Marie’s story. Continue reading

Review: THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN by Kiersten White


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THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN
Kiersten White

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Horror
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 304
Publication date: September 25, 2018

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.


I sought to puncture Heaven and instead discovered Hell.


I’d been saving The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein for spooky season and it didn’t disappoint! I am very much super familiar with Frankenstein since it was half the subject of my uni dissertation, so I was super curious to come into this story and get Elizabeth’s perspective of everything that happened. It didn’t go where I expected, but not in a bad way at all!

I really appreciated the direction White took with Elizabeth’s character. She was cunning and knew exactly what she wanted as well as what she needed to do to make that happen. It was a welcome change for me and I had a lot of fun revisiting this story with Elizabeth as a focus, even more so when it came to some of the decisions she made along the way that filled in some gaps from the original story. Continue reading