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: 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.

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.

Book Review: Malorie by Josh Malerman

Malorie by Josh Malerman is the sequel to the best selling Bird Box. Bird box is a novel at the start of a dystopian future, where mysterious creatures on earth can make a human go insane instantly when they see them. The people of the world live sheltered boarding up there house allowing no out side light in, those that do venture out do it with a blind fold wrapped around their heads. A pregnant Malorie is just trying to survive in this new world. At the end of Bird Box she finds what she believed to be sanctuary for her new family. Is it? The first “pulse pounding” chapter answers that question. The tense moments are still there from the first book putting the reader instantly on edge. For most of the book you are behind the blind folds of various characters, relying on sound. touch, smell and feel for you the reader to get a full picture. The climax has lots of rising action to get you to the climax which was a little of a let down. The characters are the same but have really matured and grown since the first book. Malorie is somehow more untrustworthy towards others tan Bird ox, which says a lot. Bird Box was an instant 5 star review for me, Malorie is a worthy sequel, that delivers on tense situations and twist, but the climax left me wanting more. There’s room for a third book so who knows, but I don’t feel Malerman is done with these characters. Bird Box was adapted into a Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock, the book is slightly different with a character that returns in this book but didn’t’t make it in Bird Box the movie. This is my fifth Josh Malerman book, and will not be my last.

The Plot: The book start right where the characters ended up and Malorie’s sanctuary. Tragedy happens and the book jumps 11 years in the future, where Maloria and her family live in the woods not trusting anybody. A stranger comes and brings news of a blind train and people being immune to the creatures gaze. Malorie finds news that shakes her and a little bit of hope that she has lost. Will Malorie risk everything for a chance of hope?

What I Liked: The tension in the book you can cut with a knife. Malorie is tension filled and I loved it. The book will make you not trust these new characters. I liked the way the audience has grown with Malorie and her two kids Tom and Olympia . The Blind train is a cool idea. I also loved Tom’s glasses idea. There’s some really good fun twist that change situations and pearl drastically. I liked the balance of dark and light and how some fit in the gray area. I liked the Malorie’s motivation is all about hope and happiness.

What I Disliked: There’s a character from the first book that I was really excited see because of what they did in the first book they cased such , but when they are revealed it feel kind of flat, with motivations not explained or nonexistent. I was bummed that the part about the birds sensing the creatures was dropped, I thought hat part was clever.

Recommendations: I enjoyed most of my time in Malorie. The was a great tense novel that will have other readers on the edge of their seat, turning pages late into the night.. I rated Malorie by Josh Malerman 4 out of 5 stars.

Book review: Goosebumps – Deep Trouble by R. L. Stine

Deep Trouble by R. L. Stine is the 19th Goosebumps book in the original order. Deep Trouble is more about adventure than horror. It is Stine’s take on a Dirk Pitt like character from a Clive Cussler novel. When the horrors come they are mainly in bad dreams. This book has sea creatures (both real and mythical), pirates, and danger. The story is okay it takes the first 30 pages to really get going. The story was kind of close to The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb in the structure of the story and the way things happen. The fear part of the book is based on you don’t really know what is under you in the deep sea.

The Plot: William Billy Deep Jr. is with his sister, and their Uncle Dr.D and a research assistant in the deep sea. Dr. D has a grant from Ohio to investigate and find new deep sea creatures. Dr. D’s funds are running low and a local zoo ask him to find a mermaid for a million dollars. He’s to keep this top secret but Billy overheard and wants to help. He swims out deeper then he is supposed to and finds trouble in a hammerhead shark, Billy is saved before he is shark bait by a… Not going to tell.

What I Liked: The fear of you don’t know what is below you was set up really well, it is a shame it wasn’t followed once the real story happens. I liked Dr. D he has pretty good morals. Billy is best when he is dreaming of being a famous deep sea explorer. I liked the plot once it got going it, was not scary but it had some heart to it. The final twist was fitting and a good way to end the story.

What I Disliked: There’s a plot point about the zoo people freaking out that billy eased dropped on the zoo paying for Dr. D to find a possible mermaid, which is ridiculous the zoo wants the mermaid with in 2 days, billy lives with his uncle on a boat on the sea, who is he going to tell. The plot took too long to get going with any direction.

Recommendation: This story falls in the middle for me as good but not great. I’m going to review this the same as The Ghost Next Door it is not scary but the story has a lot of heart in it. I rated Deep Trouble by R. L. Stine 3 stars out of 5. Here’s my full ranking of the 19 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, 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: May 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, May was an good month for reading I got a little behind on my TBR,   I read 7 books this month out of 9 Local Woman Missing will be read next month as I am half way done with it, it is very excellent as well as a book I didn’t get to The Apocalypse Seven.   I read one graphic novels this month, 1 book in a series, 2 dark mysteries, 2 advance reader copies (thanks to Netgalley).  I read 4 books published this year. I read another Stephen king making him the dominate the most books read by an author.

Five Star Reviews:

The One my John Marrs is great science fiction, where a scientist has found a gene that links you to one over person on the planet that you’re supposed to be with, your one and only love. That scientist of course cashed in and makes it a website that you send your DNA to get the results. This premise gets black mirrored showing the horrors and doubt that can arise with this technology. It gets you the reader to wish this technology exist then shows the horrors that go with it. We follow five people that use the website, some in reluctance , some eager, and some with trepidation. What I enjoyed is that the stories all have twist some come right at the beginning, some in the middle and some at the end. So as one story will slow down another will have a huge twist and totally change it. The One has been made into a Netflix show

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 4 by Stan Lee, is the best yet since the original volume. Spiderman grows a lot in this comic, PeterParker is no longer a high schooler but a college Freshmen. In this volume Peter meets his future best friend Harry Osborn, and his controlling dad Norman Osborn. Peter meets a woman that could rival Mary Jane in blonde vixen, Gwen Stacy. Peter and the readers almost see Mary Jane but she remains blocked. Peter and Betty Brandt finally call it quits when they have a blow out, that ends in Betty leaving Peter and the Daily Bugle. Peter is unmasked by his biggest rival the Green Goblin, which unmask himself when he has him captured. Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, The Green Goblin and Molten Man, who is actually becoming one of my favorite of the B list bad guys, all come back in these issues to terrorize Spiderman.

Four Star Reviews:

Later by Stephen King is a really fun ghost story, about a boy who can see ghosts and talk to them is it a gift or a curse. I would say it is the Sixth Sense meets combined with a short story he wrote in if it bleeds Mr. Harrigan’s phone, this story went in another direction and it was good. Later was part of the Hard Case Crime series, that not really a series but more of a style of books. This is my fourth so far and favorite. I have read the three that Stephen King wrote and one by Brian DiPlama. Later is a good fun ride that gets exciting and a little gruesome. King will always create characters that you can connect instantly to and Jamie the lead is no exception. The pacing is fast I was able to read it in a day and had moments where I could not put it down.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is a tightly wound thriller at an isolated hotel with it’s own horrific past. The thriller gets off to a fast start with a murder. we later learn the significance of it and when it happened. This is a novel of a lot of twist that will mess with your head as to is behind all this. The setting is unique a former Sanatorium that treated female tuberculosis patients that is turned into a swanky hotel in the Swiss Alps. This book was on Reece Witherspoon’s book club which gave it some extra hype. The Sanatorium is a solid mystery, with easy to remember character’s.

Three Star Reviews:

Goblin by Josh Malerman is a collection of 6 novellas all featured in the town of Goblin. The town of Goblin is a little different with police that look and sound the same, the dead are buried standing up, and a witch live in the forbidden North woods. The stories are interesting and barely intertwined for it being in the same town. The most interesting things the police, the dead buried standing up, and the witch, are barely explored. The book focuses on the history of the town which is just okay but not nearly as interesting as the other things I had mentioned. The novellas are okay, there was only one really good one, one really predictable and the rest fall into the good category. I wanted the stories to come together more. The writing does some clever things but the pacing, and focus on the history of the town will try the patience of the reader. 

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier is where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living, which sounds a lot like Pixar’s film Coco. This is no Coco. There is a plague that wipes out all of existence except one person to our knowledge who is isolated the city of the dead shrinks to one city where all are connected in some ways. The story is more metaphorical than straight linear. The words written are beautiful, but man does this story get boring, the last person doesn’t seem to want to do really anything that makes sense. Mostly it’s wondering and you get to know her character through the people she knew. I thought it was an interesting story, but it could’ve been something more. The dead world was interesting and a metaphor for living your best life even if you’re dead.

Girl in the Walls by A.J. Gnuse is both haunting and full of heart. This is not a ghost story but a story of a girl who literally lives in the walls of her former home after tragedy strikes. She lives life trying to go unnoticed by the new family that lives there. The best part of this book is the descriptions, since the girl remains hidden she has to describes sound and only get glimpse, she paints a picture with descriptions. The novel goes in some interesting places, it does take a while to find it’s direction, but in the I was satisfied by the end. The climax is exciting and the villain is scary in a interesting way. I wanted more interaction between the girl and the family, and we don’t get enough flashbacks of the girls family. I thought the story was rather unique, but my emotional connection was lacking at times