Mini-reviews of short, creepy books: Carmilla, O Vilarejo & Eartheater

Hello readers!

I decided to put together a few mini-reviews of shorter books I’ve read lately, these are short, creepy reads and I wanted to put the reviews while we’re still in October, in case you’re looking for a quick read to meet any October reading goals!

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

First Publication Date: 1871


Continue reading

Review: Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, trans. by Sophie Hughes

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes

Categories: Literary Fiction, Translated

First Publication Date: 6th October 2020 (translation)


Synopsis: The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse has the whole village investigating the murder. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering on new details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters—inners whom most people would write off as irredeemable—forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.

Continue reading

eARC Review: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Category: Thriller

First Publication Date: 30th June 2020


I received an advance copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis: 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.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

Continue reading

eARC Review: They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

Categories: Thriller

First Publication Date: 13th October 2020


I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis: Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.

Every year, she searches for the worst man at Gorman University and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself—but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Scarlett insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge, Dr. Mina Pierce. Everything’s going according to her master plan…until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure.

Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident—everything Carly wishes she could be—and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay…and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality.

Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up 20 – 26 October: Nature Takes Revenge and Other Creepy Reads

Hello readers!

This past week I got sick, so I ended up self-isolating for half the week, which gave me lots of time to read since I literally could not leave the house (just my luck to get sick the moment I pick up running again!). This brings my TBR to below 180 books for the first time in forever! I can hardly believe it. Mostly it was because I did another purge and kicked out a few books from my TBR, but still.

Also can we all just collectively scream over the fact that there’s a new Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie book out TOMORROW??? Zikora just SHOWED UP and it’s already bumped to my top 3 most anticipated books of 2020 basically in November, the POWER of this woman. This went to my TBR so quickly.

This week I received from Netgalley:

Continue reading

Review: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Category: Horror

First Publication Date: 14th July 2020


Synopsis: A tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Continue reading

eARC Review: The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Contos

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Contos

Categories: Fantasy

First Publication Date: 8th Septembr 2020


I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis: The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people. 

Continue reading

Final Thoughts on the Women’s Prize Squad Longlist (Book Blogger Edition)

Hello readers!

In April, the lovely, brilliant bloggers CallumEmilyHannahMarijaRachelSarahSteph and I came up with the Women’s Prize for Fiction SQUAD Longlist as an alternative to the original Women’s Prize longlist, which has left us underwhelmed. It was a very spontaneous decision as we discussed all the books we wished had made it, and it was fun to come up with books we would’ve chosen instead. To no one’s surprise, a longlist we chose ourselves was far more enjoyable to read. Obviously we are biased because of our somewhat similar tastes, so of course this is not a serious list and neither did we put a whole lot of effort into it. If we decide to do this again next year, we’ll make sure it’s far more diverse!

Here were our choices:

I have now finished reading all of them, and have some thoughts. First of all, this was an exciting list, and thank you to everyone for making me read some of my favorite books this year. I was looking forward to reading the entire list and this is the main difference to me between this one and the one from the original Prize this year: it was actually exciting.

Continue reading

eARC Review: Daughter from the Dark by Marina Dyachenko, Sergey Dyachenko

Daughter from the Dark by Marina Dyachenko, Sergey Dyachenko, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey

Category: Fantasy, Translated Fiction

First Publication Date: 11th February 2020


I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis:

Late one night, fate brings together DJ Aspirin and ten-year-old Alyona. After he tries to save her from imminent danger, she ends up at his apartment. But in the morning sinister doubts set in. Who is Alyona? A young con artist? A plant for a nefarious blackmailer? Or perhaps a long-lost daughter Aspirin never knew existed? Whoever this mysterious girl is, she now refuses to leave.

A game of cat-and-mouse has begun.

Claiming that she is a musical prodigy, Alyona insists she must play a complicated violin piece to find her brother. Confused and wary, Aspirin knows one thing: he wants her out of his apartment and his life. Yet every attempt to get rid of her is thwarted by an unusual protector: her plush teddy bear that may just transform into a fearsome monster.

Alyona tells Aspirin that if he would just allow her do her work, she’ll leave him—and this world. He can then return to the shallow life he led before her. But as outside forces begin to coalesce, threatening to finally separate them, Aspirin makes a startling discovery about himself and this ethereal, eerie child.

Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up 13 – 19 Oct: A Sapphic Vampire, Haunted Houses and Lots of Murder

Hello readers!

I asked Book Twitter if I should buy some 2020 releases with creepy vibes and 81% of the votes were YES (I mean… who was surprised by that result? Me, actually, who somehow after years of being a part of the community, did not expect everyone to tell me to buy books. Shocking really.). So I bought:

Continue reading