Posted in Adult, Audiobook, book games, Book Review, Booklikes, Horror

The Elementals by Michael McDowell

Review:

Audience:Adult

The Elementals - Michael McDowell, R.C. Bray

I read this one for the Southern Gothic square.

The story begins with a funeral and an unusual tradition. Afterward, the Savage & McCray families escape to Beldame where there are 3 identical Victorian houses and nothing else. One house for each family and the third house which is being devoured by the sand.

I love the way the author introduces the characters and gradually gets you invested in them. He brings you into their world and the little quirks in their relationships. Then the supernatural gradually creeps up on you and bam!

I liked that the strongest characters were the oldest (the black maid/good witch) and the youngest (13-year-old girl skeptic) and the relationship that developed between them. The atmosphere is so descriptive that I felt like I was on the beach with them.

Great choice for Southern Gothic horror. Thanks to all of you who read this for previous Halloween Bingos and brought it to my attention with your amazing reviews.

 

 

Original post:
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The Elementals - Michael McDowell, R.C. Bray

What’s in that house child knows more than you know. What’s in that house don’t come out o’ your mind.

It wants to trick you into believing what’s not right. Its got no truth to it.

You stand at one o’ them doors thinking somethings behind it, nothings behind it. It’s waiting for you upstairs, it’s waiting for you downstairs, it’s standing behind you.

The tension is building. I’m just dying to know what is really in the third house and who is going to suffer because of it.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Book Review, Classic, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror

The Exorcist

Review:

The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty

Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men’s eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.

So begins this book and indeed many other extremely horrific events. Poor Chris has no idea how much her life is about to change as she starts hearing rapping sounds coming from her daughter’s room.

There’s not much I can say about this book that hasn’t been said many times over. I remember seeing the movie and being freaked out. However, the book didn’t scare me (though I will admit I’m tough to scare). In fact, the book mostly plods along until the exorcism gets started. The last quarter of the book is great, the first three quarters, not so much…

I read this for Halloween Bingo, the Classic Horror square.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, book games, Book Review, thriller

Hunting Fear

Review:

Hunting Fear (Fear trilogy #1 - BCU #7) - Kay Hooper

This was my head start read. I was so excited that I finished it before the week even ended. I read it for the Murder Most Foul square.

An exciting crime thriller with detectives that have psychic abilities. The plot had some unexpected twists and left the killer’s identity hidden until near the end of the book. The methods of killing are particularly gruesome and frightening, including a timed guillotine, drowning in a tank that fills slowly and being buried alive.

This is the first in a series of books with the Special Crimes Unit (a special group within the FBI of detectives with psychic abilities). It seems like each book follows a different special agent.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fairy tale retelling, Fantasy, Grades 3-5

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood

Review:

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood - Liesl Shurtliff

Audience: Upper Elementary/Middle School

The first time I tried my hand at magic, I grew roses out of my nose.

– First sentence

Red’s granny is sick (maybe dying) and she is determined to find a way to save her. She sets off on an adventure that brings understanding, knowledge, fear, excitement and even unexpected friendships.

Other books in this series include Rump, Jack, and Grump. They all come from the same world, but see it from different perspectives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. I haven’t read Grump, but I’m sure it won’t disappoint. Red is a great character though a bit naive and sheltered. She learns a great deal during her adventure and grows into a stronger person.

Bottom line: A fresh take on the story of Red Riding Hood that will take you on an exciting adventure filled with danger and unexpected friendships.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Sci-Fi

Invictus – audiobook

Review:

Invictus - Ryan Graudin

Audience: Young Adult

Farway is part of a crack team that travels back in time to liberate priceless artifacts before they are destroyed or lost to disaster. On an expedition to the Titanic, another time traveler (Eliot) takes the piece they were there to retrieve. Eliot says all she wants is to be part of their team, but can they trust her?

I loved this book. The characters are likable and relatable, including typical human flaws. The world-building is fantastic, both the future time and the pasts they travel to. The twist at the end is surprising, but not completely unexpected.

The narration is very well done. I never wanted to stop listening.

Recommended to: Fans of sci-fi stories with non-stop action and snarky humor.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Defy the Stars

Review:

Defy the Stars - Claudia Gray

Audience: Young Adult

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

– Amazon

Noemi is a soldier of Genesis. Abel is a mech prototype. Noemi is filled with hatred and prejudice for Earth and mechs. Abel is designed to be more than just a mech. They come from opposite worlds with opposite points of view. They will learn from each other and together become more than they ever were apart.

The is an epic story with rebels, space battles, prison breaks, and last-minute rescues. The themes include loyalty, love, environmental destruction, and what it means to be alive.

I was captivated by the story and the narration was excellent. I often listened late into the night because I couldn’t put it down.

Recommended to: Fans of The Lunar Chronicles and epic sci-fi adventure stories.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Young Adult

The Family

Review:

The Family - Marissa Kennerson

Audience: Young Adult

Individualism: the very evil that infected the world outside the Family.

– Chapter 7

He made up a disease so he could be the cure, our savior. So we would be completely dependent on him, and never leave him.

– Chapter 16

The Family is a cult with one man in charge – Adam. The people on the compound have no contact with the outside world. Adam tells the members of the Family that the people outside are infected and if they have contact with anyone, they will be infected as well. That is only one of the many lies Adam tells in order to control them. To an outsider, the lies are ridiculous and the rules & punishments are extreme. Twig is a teenager and has been living in the Family since she was a little girl and doesn’t know any better… until she has an accident and must go to the hospital. There she meets a young man who changes her perspective and possibly her life.

This was a quick read and not terrible, but the resolution was a bit too quick and simple. It was an interesting look inside a cult and I was rooting for Twig even as I wondered how her mother could possibly think it was ok to bring her there in the first place. Overall, interesting but unrealistic and not enough substance.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Book Review, Horror

Suffer the Children

Review:

Suffer the Children - Craig DiLouie

Audience: Adult

Most people didn’t understand how strongly mothers felt toward their children from the moment they were born. That this screaming thing in your arms was your entire reason for being. That you would do anything to make it happy. That you would fight, kill, die.

– Chapter 11

This book is chilling, heartbreaking, gruesome, and I couldn’t put it down. I don’t want to give anything away, but what these parents are willing to do for their children is horrifying. The parents in this book are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep their children alive. DiLouie’s writing is masterful and he makes the entire premise believable and so all the more terrifying. I highly recommend this book to horror fans everywhere.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Historical fiction, Horror

The Jekyll Revelation

Review:

The Jekyll Revelation - Robert Masello, Christopher Lane

Audience: Adult

This is a historical horror/thriller story revolving around Robert Louis Stevenson, the story of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Jack the Ripper. It alternates between 1880’s London and “present day” California. My favorite parts were in the 1880’s where Stevenson creates the story of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and deals with the consequences. The present-day story revolves around Rafe, an environmental scientist who is working to save the coyotes and stumbles across a mysterious steamer trunk.

The part with Stevenson is intriguing and suspenseful and was hard to put down. But, the present day part with Rafe is a bit tedious and took a while to get going. I kept trying to figure out how it connected with the Stevenson story but was more interested in getting back to the 1880’s. The narration is well done even though the accent irritated me a bit.

This is a brilliant premise for a story but lacks a bit in the execution. Overall I enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of history and horror (as combining the two is a bit unusual).

 

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