Wrap Up: September 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, September was a great month, finally settled into my first house, I had more time to read.  I read 8 books this month. I read 2 graphic novels, and 2 new releases thanks to netgalley. I Read 3 books from a book series Star Wars: The High Republic second book young adult book, Goosebumps book 20, and Marvel Masterworks The Amazing Spiderman Volume 8. I read one 5 star book, five 4 star books, and two 3 star books.

Five Star Reviews:


The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is insanely good. The book has a twist that will change you world and open yourself to a new way of thinking. This is one of the best well rounded stories that I have read in some time, everything fits and it does not feel forced. The big twist is explained and all the loose ends are tied up so well. What is cool about the big twist is if you pay attention and open your mind you can figure it out, I was back and forth on what was coming guessing some parts but not all. I’m going to be vague on my plot details because this book is best not knowing too much. This book will be compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl because you get the big twist and still have a lot of book left to explain it. This book is a book that was hyped early for reviewers to read, and I’m glad to say it has earned it’s hype. There are parts of this story that will stick with you for a while. It is being marketed as a Horror but is more of a psychological thriller with elements of horror, it leans to Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs in mixing genres. The story is great you will have a couple character’s where you switch to loathing to loving them because they are so misunderstood. I was lucky to get selected to read The Last House on Needless Street early by Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is published on September 28 2021.

Four Star Reviews:


A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins is back! I was not a fan of Into the Water but a big fan of Girl on the Train. This is a pretty compelling mystery about broken people. Each of the characters had something horrific that makes them all capable of murder if it was the right person which makes this mystery good and hard to find out who did it. There is no big twist but a lot of little twists act as the embers to A Slow Fire Burning. I guessed wrong on who I thought the killer was, but was okay with the killer and the outcome. This is a very fast read that sucks you in with the little twists and cliffhanger chapter writing where you have to keep reading.

August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe is a mind trippy horror that involves past trauma and dreams that can effect reality. The novel was fast paced and has some scenes of horror that will get under your skin. This book reminded me a lot of the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell meets the villain from Joe Hill’s N0S4A2. This book has a lot of fun pop culture references, and little bits of odd humor. I liked and cared about the main character John or Johnny still being tormented by a mistake he made as a scared kid that represses in his living dreams. This book is pretty brutal and not for everybody with trigger warnings of rape, abduction, and child abuse, book doesn’t go into crazy detail but enough to unnerve the reader. I want to think Glenn Rolfe who reached out to me on Goodreads and asked if I would like to read his book. I want to think Flame Tree Press and netgalley for providing the book to me. August Eye’s by Glenn Rolfe was published on August 17th 2021.

Plunge by Joe Hill is a graphic novel which is heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft stories and John Carpenter’s The Thing. Plunge took me back to 80’s movies like The Fog, The Thing, Aliens, and The Abyss. The story starts off slow but after a lot of exposition finally gets going and does not stop. This book is gore filled. The villains are pretty terrifying. Since this story is such an amalgam of 80’s movies you almost feel as you know the story, but Hill offers a fresh and new twist to a story you already know.

The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L. Stine is book 20 in Goosebumps original publication order. This is one of the scarier Goosebumps stories the nightmare scene is pretty terrifying. The story is good and focused as it ramps up horror at the end. The characters are more memorable than most Goosebumps stories, especially Stanley that is similar to Forrest Gump, but with a twist. The twist at the end is good and fits the story, even if it is not going to be memorable. The story is the first one that takes place on a farm and R. L. Stine plays with the isolation of that.


Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man volume 8 by Stan Lee is Spiderman’s longest linked storyline up to date, involving Spiderman and a mysterious tablet (based on the Rosetta Stone). This storyline spans over 8 issues, once the power is revealed is is kind of forgotten about, but maybe you don’t want that in the world. The Lizard makes a great return, as the only way Dr. Connors can escape is turn into the Lizard. J. Jonah Jamison gets the scare of his life all at the hands of Spiderman. This issue dips into the civil rights movement which should get kudos for not ignoring it. The Kingpin returns and the artworks is a lot closer to what the character looks like today,

Three Star Reviews:

Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry is not a retelling of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow but a continuing story that takes place 3o or so years after the original. . You will learn what happened to Brom and Katrina after Ichabod Crane incident. The book acknowledges that Brom was dressed as the Headless Horseman to frighten poor Ichabod, but what if the legend created something new. The book is best when it ties into the original The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, when it drifts away it is not always good. I was given an advanced readers copy thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group. Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Chistina Henry was published on September 28th 2021.

Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland is the second Young Adult novel in The High Republic series. The High republic comes 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope. This novel is paced so slow with only 3 battles. Reath and Master Cormac are the returning Jedi from the first YA but given background roles in this. The ending of this book saves it from being a 2 star review. There’s is only two things of significance that happen that will effect the adult Star Wars: The High Republic novels. This book was missing humor there’s one recurring event that was funny. What the book is filled with is young adult angst, which reached an annoying level, instead of being poignant. There’s a LGTBQ relationship that was good for inclusion purpose but the relationship wasn’t all that strong. I feel the adult version handled the LGTBQ relationship better. The plot is a huge long con, the pay off is all at the end which saves this novel, but I wanted to see this good writing through out

Book Review: Plunge by Joe Hill

Plunge by Joe Hill is a graphic novel which is heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft stories and John Carpenter’s The Thing. Plunge took me back to 80’s movies like The Fog, The Thing, Aliens, and The Abyss. The story starts off slow but after a lot of exposition finally gets going and does not stop. This book is gore filled. The villains are pretty terrifying. Since this story is such an amalgam of 80’s movies you almost feel as you know the story, but Hill offers a fresh and new twist to a story you already know. I thought the art could have been a little bit better I was confused at a some panels one was continuity based which you never want in comics, and the rest were focus issues. I do think creatures look good and the Killer Whale Panels were beautiful and my favorite. Plunge collects issues 1-6 released on Hill House Comics for DC comic’s Black Label.

The Plot: A research ship, Derleth, has started putting out a distress signal, the ship has been missing since 1983. The problem the ship is transmitting from international waters, technically Russia coast of an island just off from Alaska. The ship is found at the bottom of the ocean with the most terrifying creatures seeming to guard it. On the island a body of the crew is found with a whole in it’s neck and its eyes missing, they also find numbers a series of numbers that is Pi after the decimal point, that seems to be a trail but what will they find at the end of it.

What I Liked: It reminded me of 80’s science fiction and horror film plots. The underwater art is really good. I liked the gifts of power that were a gift yet also a curse. I like that it it was hard to guess who going to survive and who was going to meet their fate. I liked the the gore and how it was depicted.

What I Disliked: The couple of instances of art continuity, the one that was most obvious was when a creature kills a guy with an axe and leaves it in the man’s skull yet in the next panel the axe is still there and also in the man is holding a bloody axe. The first issue was such a slow start trying to cover too much exposition.

Recommendation: I think you should check out this gory graphic novel in the vein of if John Carpenter wrote a comic. The plot is one that you have read before but Hill add fresh new life. I have read almost everything Joe Hill has written you can’t go wrong with one of his stories. I rated Plunge by Joe Hill 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry

Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry is not a retelling of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow but a continuing story that takes place 3 or so years after the original. . You will learn what happened to Brom and Katrina after Ichabod Crane incident. The book acknowledges that Brom was dressed as the Headless Horseman to frighten poor Ichabod, but what if the legend created something new. The book is best when it ties into the original The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, when it drifts away it is not always good. The book breaks into 3 parts, the first and second are great I loved the ending to the second part. The third comes with a time jump acting as a epilogue with a climax, which for me didn’t work at all the ending for part 2 was perfect and should have been the ending for the series. This book was heading in to a possibly 5 out of 5 star rating heading into the third part, which didn’t work for me at all I found the motivation flawed the puppet master reveal kind of came out of nowhere and didn’t make sense to the rest of the story, and the battle with the puppet master was over with in seconds. It was not all bad I felt the character ended up in the perfect place, but the way they got there was not great, and made me not care what happens to the character leading up to it. Horseman represents the LGBTQ community as it has a transgendered character as it’s lead, it takes a very non-apologetic approach that really works. I was given an advanced readers copy thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group. Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Chistina Henry was published on September 28th 2021.

The Plot: 30 years after Ichabod was haunted by the Headless Horseman a teenager is found without a head. Has the legend returned? Brom the man that pretend to be the Headless Horseman all those years ago was so ashamed by his actions that he never told that it was him all a long, thus the legend has grown. Ben, whose grandparents are Brom and Katrina Van Tassel, is drawn to the woods and is a suspect to the murders. Ben discovers family secrets and is determined to find out what is murdering the people of Sleepy Hollow.

What I Liked: Cristina Henry found a way to write Brom with such heart and regret that you can’t help loving a fairly unsympathetic as he was written in Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The climax of Part 2 was perfect in how it linked the old legend of Sleepy Hollow to the new legend of Sleepy Hollow. The recap of the original story was done really well. I liked how Ben being transgendered was handled, it was was something that they felt and didn’t care how anybody else felt about it. I liked how the character was revealed at the beginning.

What I Disliked: This story’s version of the horseman. I wanted a better reason for Ben to go to the woods in part three. The puppet master reveal made no sense at all, why would some one so powerful be someone so weak for decades, and the whole family thing did not add up.

Recommendations: Horseman is that rare lower rated book that I will recommend, the first 2 parts are great and a fun murder mystery that ties into the old Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Part 3 is not good but at least it is short and I still think the character of Ben ended up in the perfect place. I rated Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Christina Henry 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is insanely good. The book has a twist that will change you world and open yourself to a new way of thinking. This is one of the best well rounded stories that I have read in some time, everything fits and it does not feel forced. The big twist is explained and all the loose ends are tied up so well. What is cool about the big twist is if you pay attention and open your mind you can figure it out, I was back and forth on what was coming guessing some parts but not all. I’m going to be vague on my plot details because this book is best not knowing too much. This book will be compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl because you get the big twist and still have a lot of book left to explain it. This book is a book that was hyped early for reviewers to read, and I’m glad to say it has earned it’s hype. There are parts of this story that will stick with you for a while. It is being marketed as a Horror but is more of a psychological thriller with elements of horror, it leans to Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs in mixing genres. The story is great you will have a couple character’s where you switch to loathing to loving them because they are so misunderstood. Trigger Warnings: child abuse. I was lucky to get selected to read The Last House on Needless Street early by Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward is published on September 28 2021, right before October which is the perfect reading month for this book.

The Plot: In a boarded up house on the end of Needless Street bordering the woods lives a large man Ted who is haunted by a controlling mother, Lauren his teenage daughter that goes away for weeks but no one ever sees leave, and Olivia the bible reading house cat that will not be messed with. live a quiet unobserved life until a new neighbor moves in with and agenda to get into the house and open up the secrets inside.

What I Liked: Olivia the bible reading cat has so much character i liked being in that character’s head. The twist is pretty great I couldn’t put everything together but it was a great twist that was explained really well. I love full circle story telling and this is a great example of how it works and every secret is revealed and all connected. The different perspective story telling we get the views of 6 to seven characters who are all unique and I was never confused as to who’s head I was in. This story is dark but the humor which is mostly provided by Olivia the cat is great and served as a good break on the heavy. The afterword was interesting and unique since it went into detail how Catriona Ward came up with this story and how she made some choices. I was hooked from the start with this book because Ted the main perspective is so guarded. This story is dark but it has a lot of heart to it, there is a great I understand now moment. I liked what was done with the street at the end.

What I Disliked: I did feel that the wait was too long to find out what went on with Ted and “the dates”. I thought the book could have had better cover art, for how awesome this book was.

Recommendations: I haven’t been this surprised by a novel in a long time. Do yourself a favor and check this book out. Stephen King says”The buzz…is real. I’ve read it and was blown away. It’s a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end.” I have a feeling this is going to be a book people will be buzzing about. I haven’t liked a book this much in quite a while. The book is really fast paced and a great read. I rated The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward 5 out of 5 stars, I will definitely be checking out more books from this author.

Book Review: August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe

August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe is a mind trippy horror that involves past trauma and dreams that can effect reality. The novel was fast paced and has some scenes of horror that will get under your skin. This book reminded me a lot of the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell meets the villain from Joe Hill’s N0S4A2. This book has a lot of fun pop culture references, and little bits of odd humor. I liked and cared about the main character John or Johnny still being tormented by a mistake he made as a scared kid that represses in his living dreams. This book is pretty brutal and not for everybody with trigger warnings of rape, abduction, and child abuse, book doesn’t go into crazy detail but enough to unnerve the reader. I want to think Glenn Rolfe who reached out to me on Goodreads and asked if I would like to read his book. I want to think Flame Tree Press and netgalley for providing the book to me. August Eye’s by Glenn Rolfe was published on August 17th 2021.

The Plot: When John was a teenager he saw his friend Ethan get abducted into a van and was so terrified about it he repressed it. John now has these dreams where he is a young teenager with two other boy’s one with out eyes called August and anther boy called One Eye who has you guessed it one eye, they play in a graveyard land. The dreams scare him but also comfort him in some way. In real life John has a job which he hates, a great wife, after 2 failed pregnancies their relationship remains strained, his best friend is Pat a 16 year old neighbor kid with a mohawk. The dreams start feeling more real when his dream starts getting scary and in real life John sees a van that terrifies him and feels like it is watching him.

What I Liked: I looked the talk about different books both nonfiction and fiction. I liked the moment of wicked humor. John was a great character that I could identify with, a man trying to good but sometimes royally screwing up. August and the twist with his character was really good. The climax was done really well and was a satisfying ending. The dream scenes were my favorite and always interesting. I loved all the pop culture references to the 90’s during the flashback and the modern day pop culture.

What I Disliked: The plot line between Sarah and John and the tries for pregnancy, never felt like it belonged in this story. I wanted something that dealt with John’s repressed trauma, and tied it in to the story better. I do not like the cover art for this, it should have been spiders coming out of eye holes in my opinion.

Recommendation: I recommend you checking out August Eye’s if you are in need of a good horror that will trip your mind a little bit. The trigger warnings of rape, child abuse, and abduction will keep some away but if you can stomach those things then this is a solid horror with a heart. I rated August’s Eyes by Glenn Rolfe 4 out of 5 stars.

Goosebumps: The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L. Stine

The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L. Stine is book 20 in Goosebumps original publication order. This is one of the scarier Goosebumps stories the nightmare scene is pretty terrifying. The story is good and focused as it ramps up horror at the end. The characters are more memorable than most Goosebumps stories, especially Stanley that is similar to Forrest Gump, but with a twist. The twist at the end is good and fits the sorry, even if it is not going to be memorable. The story is the first one that takes place on a farm and R. L. Stine plays with the isolation of that. In these reviews I always have to point out everything that is so 90’s Mark plays Nintendo’s Gameboy and wine about how much he wants his MTV for music.

The Plot: Jodie and Mark make their annual summer trip to their Grandparent’s farm., but this time when they visit things have changed. There’s no scary stories at dinner time, and no chocolate pancakes for breakfast, just plain corn flakes. Stanley, the grandparent’s simple helper is content but he does keep muttering to himself the scarecrow walks at midnight. This sticks in Jodie’s mind when she looks outside into the field; is the scarecrow trying to get off his hook or is that just wind? Jodie and Mark will out what goes bump in the night.

What I Liked: The nightmare about people Jodie knows having painted on cloth faces chasing her around. That nightmare is super scary and I could visualize it really well. I loved all the sound words used to add tension. Stanley is a get memorable character. I liked the flow of the story. I like the superstition book. I liked how the mystery unfolded of the scarecrows.

What I Disliked: That the plot is an extortion plot and when it’s all over everything is back to normal even though the person was not possessed and still has access to the spell book.

Recommendations: The Scarecrow that Walks at Midnight is by far one of the more scarier stories, the plot has some holes, but for the most part the book flows really well. I will recommend you read this story, it should be read aloud while in a field with a campfire and a scarecrow behind the kids in sight distance. I rated The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R. L Stine 4 out of 5 stars.Here’s my full ranking of the 20 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite:Stay Out of the Basement, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, The Haunted Mask, One Day At Horrorland, Night of the Living Dummy, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Let’s Get Invisible, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, Welcome to Dead House, Monster Blood II, The Girl who Cried Monster, Deep Trouble, The Ghost Next Door, Be Careful What You Wish For… ,Why I’m Afraid of Bees, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, Monster Blood, And You Can’t Scare Me!.

Wrap Up: August 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, August was a crazy month, finally getting settled into my first house.  I read 5 books this month. I read 2 books over 600 pages, 1 graphic novels, and 1 new releases thanks to netgalley. I Read 2 book from a book series the third book of the Sword of Truth series Blood of the Fold and Star Wars: The High Republic series book 2 for adults the Gathering Storm . I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and one 2 star book.

Five Star Reviews:

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a refreshingly original horror novel that mixes genres with a lot of gore. Chuck Wendig wrote my favorite novels of 2019 with The Wanders which again was totally original horror that mixes genres, so I was very excited when netgalley picked me to give me an advanced readers copy. The Book of Accidents is original but there are two books that I will use to compare to put you in the ballpark Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. If those books had a baby you would have The Book of Accidents. The Plot is crazy the best thing is to not know too much going in, I will be really vague in my plot summary because of this. The marketing for this book makes it feel like a typical haunted house with this book is totally not. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig was published on July 20 2021.

Four Star Reviews:

Star Wars: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is the Second novel in the High Republic (which take place 200 years before Star Wars: A New Hope) books for adults. This novel takes place mere months after after the event in Light of the Jedi. All those character that were given brief intros in Light of the Jedi, are finally able to be fully realized character that you can get behind. We follow Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, and Elzar Mann as our main Jedi characters the villain is the same except more brutal and powerful, there’s only one new character of note Ty Yorrick a former Jedi that as avoided the order at all cost is confronted by one of the order. This book has a good flow and was quite a page turner. The book has some moments of epicness, but the main plot takes care place at a fair, and I’m sorry there is nothing too epic about that even if the fair is more like the World’s fair. This book has been my favorite of the Star Wars High Republic books so far.

Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind is Sword of the Truth book 3 of 11. Blood of the Fold is pretty epic there is two twist in the story that I was not expecting. The book has a nice opening then starts setting things up for the book to finish in a pretty epic 200 page climax that doesn’t stop. This book will not do any synopsis of the other two books, it will remind you of a few things with some characters but other’s it will leave it up to you to remember. On a couple of character’s I was like have I met them yet; then as I read okay they did this and this in the last one. I do like that both the bad guys were set up in the previous books you might not have known their name but knew they where a threat by people they commanded.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 by Stan Lee is a lot of long form spiderman tales with the most beautiful artwork to date. This volume contains the small first run of The Spectacular Spiderman which only ran 2 issues. One of the book is black and white pencil drawings that are just beautiful with Peter Parker looking closer to what he looks like today. The big issue in this volume is the return of the Green Goblin, which has been building up for sometime, and leads to a big finish with the Green Goblin being the only enemy that knows Peter Parker’s true Identity. The other notable issues are the battle of the two Vultures, and an epic Mysterio which was my favorite two parter issues so far in the series. We get to find out what happened to Peter Parker’s parents, and how they died. Mary Jane gets a perm, and it is not pretty. Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 7 collects issues of The Spectacular Spiderman (1968) 1-2; The Amazing Spider-Man 62-67 and Annual 5.

Two Star Reviews:

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is not really a retelling of Little Red Riding more of cash in the popularity of retellings. There’s a girl named Red who wears a red cape and a Wolf in the woods sort of, those are the only things in common with the fable. The story was an almost DNF, the beginning is really slow and the world building is hard to understand, but I stuck to it and it did get better. This novel is being set up as a series and was happy to see that in the epilogue the story is heading in the most interesting direction. Neve, Red’s sister, really steals the spotlight ad I thought was the far more interesting character.

Book Review: The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig is a refreshingly original horror novel that mixes genres with a lot of gore. Chuck Wendig wrote my favorite novels of 2019 with The Wanders which again was totally original horror that mixes genres, so I was very excited when netgalley picked me to give me an advanced readers copy. The Book of Accidents is original but there are two books that I will use to compare to put you in the ballpark Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. If those books had a baby you would have The Book of Accidents. The Plot is crazy the best thing is to not know too much going in, I will be really vague in my plot summary because of this. The marketing for this book makes it feel like a typical haunted house with this book is totally not. For an over 500 page book, this book reads fast, and saw no obvious places to shorten it. For a horror novel I would call this book epic, in scope and scale and what it adds to the genre. I will say this book is out there and I do see some readers get confused at where the novel goes but I loved every second of it. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Rey for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig was published on July 20 2021.

The Plot: Two prologues start off the story, A serial killer who is obsessed with numbers goes to the electric chair, he wonders about the one that got away as he rides the lightning, and something mysterious happens. A boy is found covered in blood by a hunter looking like a ghost by a hunter, but it is no ordinary boy. Then we meet the Graves family Nate a police officer in Philadelphia, Maddie an artist that loses herself in her art, then becomes afraid of it, and Oliver a 15 year-old that is so sensitive to peoples empathy he can’t breathe upon feeling so much pain. Nate gets a offer from his father and man he hates and is dying of cancer, through his lawyer Nate gets the family home for a dollar. Nate is unsure about this but thinks it will be better for Oliver to get out of the City and into the country. Nate takes a job with Game and Wildlife since that is the only job available. Nate is still haunted by nightmares of his father in the house then, starts seeing his ghost. Maddie starts being more and more horrified of her art, Oliver makes friends and dangerous enemies. The Graves family doesn’t know that a storm is coming, and what it can bring.

What I Liked: This novel is crazy and so unpredictable that I love every second of it. The writing is really good and descriptive, this novel goes to some crazy places but I always felt I can visualize what is going on. This novel had really good side characters that were small but made an impact, and made me care for them talking about Jed, Caleb and Fig. I liked the clever name changes in products. Oliver was my favorite character, I liked his heart and how brave he was. The plot goes to crazy places but in the end everything did make sense, with the rules Wendig did set up. The horror and gore elements really worked and gave me some pretty horrific visuals in my head. The father and son relationships are pretty heartbreaking and well written, for horror novel you might tear up a little as one character works out his demons with his father and reaches closure. The cover is cool that was my big callout with The Wanders, how plain the cover was for so excellent of a book.

What I Disliked: I disliked really minor stuff, I would want to see how Oliver gets off the mountain during the blizzard, he’s far from where he has to be and the person that rescued him we don’t know where he was, and some how Oliver makes it in time. The finale was the only part that was truly hard to visualize, one thing needed more description.

Recommendations: Read this book if you want to expand your horror reading beyond just a haunted house. This book dips into science fiction by way of the supernatural and it is a wonderful thing. I knew when I read The Wanders in 2019 I knew that book would be in my top ten of books for the year, and I see The Book of Accidents the same way. I rated The Book Of Accidents by Chuck Wendig 5 out of 5 stars. I have already go asked which one did I like better The Wanders or The Book of Accidents? My answer is The Wanders not by a mile but I can say with no doubt the Wanders and the quest element really spoke to me.

Wrap Up: July 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, July was a crazy month, I moved into my first house, it is out in the country where only one internet provider reigns supreme, so it took me and my family a month to get internet.  All other services were decently fast so if you missed me and my reviews that’s what I was doing.  I read 6 books this month. I read 2 horror, 2 graphic novels, and 2 new releases thanks to netgalley . I started 1 new series and read 2 from a book series. I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and two 3 star book.

Five Star Reviews:

The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah is a tearjerker about two of America’s harshest times The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression.  Really blown away by this book. This Historical novel uses real events and puts here character’s through tragedy and triumph.  This novel can easily get compared to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, but teaks it giving it a new perspective what if Tom Joad  was a single mother with kids.  The perspective changes everything the character of Elsa want to breakdown but is strong for her and her kids.  This is a novel that you will want to thank your mother after for all that she has sacrificed for her children’s happiness.

Four Star Reviews:

Surviving the Night by Riley Sager is a twisty thriller that takes you on a ride with a serial killer.  The twist keep coming and coming, some I could foresee but others will change the way you read this novel, making you go, What! Just happened!?!.  Every character in this book has a major change of how the reader perceives them.  He ending is non-stop the last 150 pages are on the edge of your seat as the twists keep coming.  The climax is very satisfying, I saw the final twist coming for a while but the actions after that were very satisfying.  The flaw of this novel is the beginning was hard to get into, it takes a little time for this book to get into rhythm, but when it does it is really hard to put down.  A big thanks to Netgalley and Dutton publishing for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Surviving the Night.  Surviving the Night is published on 7-29-21.

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian is a period piece in the mid 1600 America. It was you typical divorce stories husband beats on wife, she tries to divorce him and gets called a witch and has to defend against being a witch; so not typical at all.  This novel will have you scream at characters, that I’m sure are accurately portrayed but so one sided and biased.  The novel is set when the husband was king and they referred to the wife as the helpmate, it was not a partnership.  This novel can be seen a feminist, it’s a fight for equal rights and to have a woman with strong ideas is not a bad thing.  The trials are the best part of the book.  The story is at it’s core simple but the way the story is told is what makes it so interesting.

Marvel Masterworks The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 6 by Stan Lee is getting Spiderman in the larger story arcs.  Spiderman has had minor stories arc like turning in his costume then having to use a spare, injuring his shoulder and being in a cast, or poor Aunt May being sick and weak for a couple issues. The villains have lasted only two issues until now. Spidey fights Doc Oct. and Kingpin for 3 – 4 issues.  The main villains are Kingpin, who was just introduced in Amazing Spider-Man issue 50 and is in 5 issues in this volume, Doc Oct, Mysterio, and Allister Smythe and his Spider Slayer.  Peter Parker’s love life takes a turn where he has to choose Gwen Stacey and Mary Jane Watson.  This volume sees a death of a minor but important character, and introduces Gwen’s father Captain Stacey and Robbie Robertson who are all important to Peter Parker / Spiderman’s legacy.

Three Star Reviews:

Falling by T. J. Newman is an okay thriller on an airplane. The novel does feel authentic like you the reader are getting insider information on how the flight crew works. The author was a former flight attendant and Falling is her debut. This book has moments of thrills but it felt pretty formulaic too me. I would say this book is Airframe by Michael Crichton meets a decent James Patterson thriller. I think if you read this novel it should be on a plane, because that will amp the fear, and you couldn’t help wonder what goes on behind the door of the flight deck. You will come out respecting your fight attendants and the job they have to do. I think this book is getting over hyped, it is good but not great. Thanks to Netgalley and Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster for giving me access to Falling early. Falling by T. J. Newman is published on July 6 2021.

Fight Club 2 By Chuck Palahniuk Is a very meta tale told in graphic novel form. The first book was written as a novel, but the follow up was written as a graphic novel. This follows the film Fight Club over the actual novel. I prefer the film but this novel fall in too much fan service and too meta. Palahniuk brings everyone back, Angel Face, Robert Paulson, and even Chloe. Each character is brought back with a surprising twist. I liked some of the ideas brought on but others fall flat. The ending is way too out there and meta it is a bit of a cop out. The art and how the story uses the visual to tell that story is one of the best but the story just was just okay.

Book Review: Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Survive the Night by Riley Sager is a twisty thriller that takes you on a ride with a serial killer.  The twist keep coming and coming, some I could foresee but others will change the way you read this novel, making you go, What! Just happened!?!.  Every character in this book has a major change of how the reader perceives them.  He ending is non-stop the last 150 pages are on the edge of your seat as the twists keep coming.  The climax is very satisfying, I saw the final twist coming for a while but the actions after that were very satisfying.  The flaw of this novel is the beginning was hard to get into, it takes a little time for this book to get into rhythm, but when it does it is really hard to put down.  I have read all 5 of Riley Sager’s novels; I look forward to them every summer.  He is the king of summer thrillers.  Sager’s writing hooks me in by taking a horror trope and making it into a thriller, he as explored slasher, summer camp horrors, creepy apartments, haunted house and now a psycho-like road trip.  A big thanks to Netgalley and Dutton publishing for giving me an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Survive the Night.  Survive the Night is published on 7-29-21.

The Plot: Charlie is leaving school, she can’t handle the pressure of school and her roommate and best friend getting murdered by a serial killer.  The Campus Killer has killed a victim every year and Charlie’s roommate was murdered two months ago.  What makes it worst is the last conversations was a fight late at night between friends saying words they will regret the next day but there is no next day.  Charlie saw or thinks she saw the killer or at least the last person to see her alive, but cannot seem to make out the face.  Charlie has breaks in reality like she’s in a movie, and she can’t know if this is reality or a movie.  She post a ride share flyer and is approached by Josh a handsome stranger who is a little bit older. She agrees but once she’s in the car, she feels that something is not right, and that Josh might not be who he says he is, he might be a killer, or is it all in her head?

What I Liked: I liked that I was surprised of the direction this novel took, there were point where I thought I knew were it was going then thrown a curve ball.   The novel was all about finding your own power and not being the victim.  The non-stop back half of this novel is so fast paced an intense, I loved almost every minute of it. I liked a lot of the movie references being a movie buff and having seen most of the movies referenced.  I enjoyed the 90’s references especially Nirvana.  I liked the twist and how character’s actions were explained after the fact.  Charlie took a while to warm up to but I did root for her at the end. Marge the waitress was my favorite character.  I liked the final twist in the prologue that explained the events we witnessed.

What I Disliked: The beginning took a while to get into; I thought it was too much exposition, right at the beginning, which gave me a detachment to Charlie at first.   I saw one of the major twists coming really early about the Campus Killer’s identity, It was a man I wish I’m wrong about who this is, but I was right.

Recommendations: Nobody writes thrillers like Riley Sager, you have to experience this intense novel.  The only drawback is a really slow beginning but man is this book setting you up for a fast-paced ending.  I rated Survive the Night by Riley Sager 4 out of 5 stars.  My ranking of every Riley Sager novel from highest to lowest is: The Last Time I Lied, Home Before Dark, Final Girls, Survive the Night, and Lock Every Door.