TBR: March 2021

March 2021 TBR list: last month was so successful I read all 8 books; I decided to do it again, I have three ARC’s to read this month and two books that have just came in from the library.  I’m looking to move and will work on the piles of books I already own starting this month.

In The Quick by Kate Hope Day this book the publisher reached out to me since I reviewed Kate Hope Day’s debut If, Then from Netgalley.  This was the first time a publisher has reached out, which I felt pretty honored. I did not review If, Then too highly at 3 stars.  I thought the plot could have been better but I recommended it because of character work.  I ‘m already half way through it and like it more than If, Then. The plot is about female astronaut driven to rescue a lost crew that only she believes is alive. Thanks Netgalley and Random House In the Quick is published today March 2 2021

Inspection by Josh Malerman has been on my TBR for a while now, I have read two books by him and been very impressed on what he brings to horror, a lot of my fellow reviewers have said it is good but a slow burn, The plot is two schools separated by a deep one the boy and one girls don’t know about each other and that another sex exist until they find one another, That what it seems like anyway.

Concrete Rose Angie Thomas https://app.asana.com/0/1135954362417873/1168658175790681/f

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas is a prequel to The Hate U Give happening 17 years before.  It still involves the Carter family but we will see Marverick and what made him walk away from the gang.  I have loved and enjoyed Angie Thomas previous two novels, the reviews have been pretty good so far can’t wait to see what I think of it.

The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers is about a secret circus, a family curse that still affects a woman in present day when her fiancé goes missing.  I really enjoyed Constance Sayers debut in A Witch in Time, which also dealt with a decades long curse. I really like books about the circus, way more than I actually like going to the circus. Thanks to Netgalley and Redhook Books for the ARC. The Ladies of the Secret Circus is published on March 23 2021

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten  is described as The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar by the publisher.  I don’t know a lot going in to this story but the genre is horror/suspense.   Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC. The Lost Village is published on March 23 2021

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Goosebumps: Monster Blood 2 by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book 18 in the original order.  For those that know my reviews, know that I loathed the first Monster Blood, it is the second worst in my opinion of the 17 others I have read so far.  Hopefully this is better that that.

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier reminds me a lot of the plot of Pixar’s Coco. Where there is a whole city of the dead that are still remembered by the living.  But the City has started rapidly shrinking.  It has been on my TBR for a while.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-man volume 3 by Stan Lee This continues Spiderman 2nd year to his third.  He comes closer to finding out the secret identity of the Green Goblin.  Peter Parker gets closer to finally going on a date with Mary Jane Watson.  We get to see the birth of Scorpion, Molten Man and the first Spider Slayer.

Wrap Up: February 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, Febuary was a great month.  I read 8 books this month. I read 3 horror, 2 graphic novel, and 3 new releases thanks to netgalley . I started 0 new series and read 2 from a book series. I read one 5 star book, six 4 star books, and one 3 star book. I read all 8 books off my TBR. I reached over 1000 followers and have been overwhelmed in support and book conversations in my 2 and a half years in this community.

Five Star Reviews:

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill is a great, person at the wrong place and wrong time revenge thriller, with an added supernatural element. This graphic novel is bloody, gory, funny, and thrilling. The mystery of why the victims are chose is captivating, as our hero finds out every one who is involved in this murder plot of is it all about the money heist. The element that makes it interesting is the murder weapon, an axe, holds a power that no matter what is severed the person can live and speak, there’s a lot of decapitations where people keep talking at first it is horrific, but then it turns humorous.

Four Star Reviews:

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is a historical fiction set in the Paris American Library during World War II. The story is about the love and escapism of books during hard times, and the choices and secrets we keep. This book captures the library and the community it creates, really well while highlighting the power of books. The author, Charles heard this story secondhand when she was working for the Paris American Library making flyers, and became enamored with the story of community and survival. The story is well written and you can feel the history while reading it. I would compare this novel to Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pierce and Lilac Girls by Martha Kelly Hall. I read the advanced reader’s copy of The Paris Library thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles was published on February 9 2021.

The Deep by Alma Katsu is a horror that takes place on the Titanic and it’s sister ship the Britannic in 1912-1916. This horror adds the element of a well researched historical fiction. There’s a demon that wants innocent souls what better place to find them than the Titanic. It adds horror to the already real life horror of survival. I was hooked early in this one, but felt too many side characters were being introduced taking a away from the main characters then I started to really like the side characters.

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher is a throwback to old score horror like Rosemary’s Baby where it is more psychological horror. The author T. Kingfisher said one device of found manuscript is straight from a 1904 called The White People by Arthur Machen, who I’ve never read and probably most people have not read. What the novel does good is set up a horror mystery, that hooked me pretty easily.

Annie and the Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax is fictional look at a Annie Oakley and a historical researcher who finds new letters, that will change space and time. Annie and the Wolves is grounded yet really out there. There’s a plot twist that takes this really grounded story linking Annie Oakley and Ruth the woman researching who are linked in their fight against wolves/predators, and then turns it on it’s head. The twist not revealed in any synopsis or press materials materials happens less than halfway, and is used effectively at the end. I was a little confused at the beginning which feels like Ruth has ADHD as subjects get bounced around, the plot twist helped be understand this better and I throughly enjoyed it once I got used to the bouncing around narrative. The book has an exciting yet compelling finish. Thanks to Netgalley and SOHO press for letting me read Annie and the Wolves before publication. Annie and the Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax was published on 2-2-21.

The Minders by John Marrs is a mind tripping science fiction adventure. It takes five strangers implants them with all of Britain’s secrets, they are provided with unlimited resources and must stay away from all family and friends for five years, and also their is a secret organization called the Hacking Collective that would kill for the information in their heads. The twist and turns are steady through out. The writing is not mind blowing, but clever and creative. We get the POV of all five minders, and we get redacted notes from the government. This novel is very engaging and hard to put down. This is my third John Marrs book, and I’ve enjoyed every one so far. Marrs is a writer who constantly thinks out side of the box to create unique stories and worlds. Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing group for letting read the ARC of the Minders. The Minders was published last year in England, but published on February 16th in America.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 by Stan Lee continues the early years of Spiderman. Spiderman will is introduced to some of his greatest villains Mysterio, Green Goblin, and Karaven the Hunter, and the Sinister Six will meet for the first time. We get deep into Peter Parker’s love life, and Spiderman constantly messing it up. We get the entire marvel line up to cameo in these issues of Spiderman; they are Hulk, Ironman, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Thor, The Fantastic Four, Antman, and Wasp. The book has challenging storylines that question manhood and doing what is right instead of what you want to do.

Three Star Reviews:

Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book number 17 in the original order. This book is filled with bees the first sentence warns. The story is a take on The Fly meets It’s a Wonderful Life where two people try to switch bodies but a bee gets in the mix. This story is the most twilight zone like, and the only Goosebumps book with a truly happy ending. The story is pretty focused the jump scares are rare and not too bad when happen. The story sometimes felt a bit too informational, and not enough about the scares. This story has a little elements of horror, but more science fiction than horror.

Book Review: Goosebumps – Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R. L. Stine

Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R. L. Stine is Goosebumps book number 17 in the original order. This book is filled with bees the first sentence warns. The story is a take on The Fly meets It’s a Wonderful Life where two people try to switch bodies but a bee gets in the mix. This story is the most twilight zone like, and the only Goosebumps book with a truly happy ending. The story is pretty focused the jump scares are rare and not too bad when happen. The story sometimes felt a bit too informational, and not enough about the scares. This story has a little elements of horror, but more science fiction than horror.

The Plot: Gary Lutz is tired of being “Lutz the Klutz”. He wants a change. everybody picks on him, his younger sister, her mean cat, the neighbor next door who’s a beekeeper, Bees in general, and neighborhood kids. Gary gets the opportunity of a life time, the chance to switch bodies with a cooler kid in the same grade Dirk Davis. The experiment was going perfect until a bee got in the way, the Dirk Davis becomes Gary, Gary becomes a bee, and the bee is in the mind of Dirk Davis. Gary want the experiment over, but Dirk doesn’t want to switch . What’s Gary to do become a bee the rest of his life,? Or do something drastic to his own body?

What I Liked: This book flows pretty well, not to many boring parts. The bee puns are bad but funny bad. I like the only way Gary can speak mostly through microphones. I love the character who runs Person to Person, body switching store. The ending was happy, yet still pretty perfect for this story. I loved the way the Bee acted in Dirk’s body.

What I Disliked: When Gary is a Bee amongst the hive, it wasn’t scary, it felt like an old animal documentary that is really corny and not all that interesting.

Recommendations: There’s some okay moments but the story overall I can not recommend. It is not the worst but far from the best. I’m not afraid of bees and maybe people who are would enjoy this story a more. I rated Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R. L. Stine 3 out of 5 stars.Here’s my full ranking of the 17 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, The Girl who Cried Monster, 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!.

Book Review: The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher is a throwback to old score horror like Rosemary’s Baby where it is more psychological horror. The author T. Kingfisher said one device of found manuscript is straight from a 1904 called The White People by Arthur Machen, who I’ve never read and probably most people have not read. What the novel does good is set up a horror mystery, that hooked me pretty easily. The pay off happen in the last 1oo pages, which I was satisfied with. The middle could have been a lot better and really test the reader with barely anything happens. The creatures are pretty scary when they are eventually revealed in the book. The book has a few zingers from the narrator who is remembering this as she’s writing it after the fact.

The Plot: Mouse a woman in her early 40, goes to clean up her grandmother’s house after her passing. Mouse escaping her love life and needing money decides to take on this task with her hound dog Bongo. Her Grandmother was a hoarder and the house is full of newspaper and china dolls. The house is way out in the country with not cell phone service. The house hasn’t been touched for a number of years, her grandmother was a difficult lady that the town revered. The mystery starts when Mouse finds and old journal from her step-grandfather she only has vague memories but they were not bad. The journal talks about her grandmother taking his original journal which he needs to keep the twisted ones away. With no cell service she decides to read this journal and grows obsessed with finding the journal that her grandmother hid. She find strange statues in the woods that are all twisted, with hills that don’t make sense. There’s things that go bump in the night and she finds a strange ritual involving dead animals hanging in a tree. She’s haunted and at her wits end when she’s ready to leave her dog goes missing and needs to find him and the journal to survive.

What I Liked: The creepy factor is high in this story, you feel the isolation in the writing. Mouse is a great character that is easily identifiable as she tries to rationalize the horror in her head. There’s a great scene when mouse find out here step-grandfather was driven insane by a song, she starts singing Jingle Bells since that is the least scary song in her mind. The creatures take a while to get there but they’re pretty scary, it did take a while for my mind picture to totally see them, since they are hinted as a lot or she will see a flash of them. The ending was pretty exciting and I could not put down the last 100 pages. The lore of the creatures was interesting and how it connected to the step-grandfather was scary.

What I Disliked: The middle was too long, half of the coffee shop visits needed to be cut, and did not contribute to the story. The lore was ultimately good but at first very confusing and too long.

Recommendations: I will slightly recommend The Twisted Ones, it’s unnerving horror that will play on your mind. It has a pretty action packed ending that is a lot of fun. Horror mystery is the genre for this book the horror is slow but building and the mystery is intriguing. I rated The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher 4 out of 5 stars. I was was circling 3.5 but the ending was really good with bumped it up to a 4.

Book Review: Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill is a great person at the wrong place and wrong time revenge thriller, with an added supernatural element. This graphic novel is bloody, gory, funny , and thrilling. The mystery of why the victims are chosen is captivating, as our hero finds out every one who is involved in this murder plot or is it all about the money. The element that makes it interesting is the murder weapon, an axe, holds a power that no matter what is severed the person can live and speak, there’s a lot of decapitations where people keep talking at first it is horrific, but then it turns humorous. Hill who is known for horror delivers a slasher like no other, I would love to see this adapted into a movie or series, there’s lots to expand on. Basketful of Heads graphic novel collects Basketful of Heads issues 1-7 from Hill House Comics and off shoot of DC comics Black Label.

The Plot: June is visiting her boyfriend Liam, who got a summer job as a deputy in a small vacation island, called Brody Island. It’s Liam’s last day on the job, He meets June on the bridge after he finished his last shift. Liam and June are all set to leave the island as a prison break happens and four inmates escape, Liam is eager to help out. The sheriff says he’s got it and tells him to go up to the house to have a meal with the family, and he will join them soon. Liam and June end up eating with the wife and their collage aged son, and take a tour of the house with the sheriffs medieval weapons collection , the winds start picking up, with an incoming tropical storm, the wife gets a phone call and must help out a neighbor, her son takes her, and Liam and June stay at the house. The escapee’s come to the house Liam hides June and goes to take care of the situation. June hears Liam scream but stays hidden she moves later and is confronted, June takes the only weapon she can find a Viking Axe. She defends herself as the guy attacking loses his head, but instead of dying the head keeps talking. She needs to find her boyfriend, she has a talking severed head and an axe with supernatural powers to do it.

What I Liked: The losing head puns do not get old. I loved the mix of horror with comedy. The art took a little getting used to, I did like the art in day light but loved the art at nighttime, where much of the story takes place. I liked the mystery of why Liam was taken and who is involved. June is a pretty cool character, the perfect final girl. The writing is good the story telling goes full circle, and it is a beautiful thing. I like the myth that is behind the Axe. The two end scenes were amazing, and worked for the story.

What I Disliked: The ending was too rushed, the fight was over too quick and I wanted more explanation and motive.

Recommendations: If your fan of Joe Hill this will only make you love him more. I have read all his novels and short story collections, and almost all of his graphic novels. I’m a super fan and man is this graphic novel great. If you like horror you will like this, if you like thrillers you will like this, and if you like black comedy you will like this. I rated Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Deep by Alma Katsu

The Deep by Alma Katsu is a horror that takes place on the Titanic and it’s sister ship the Britannic in 1912-1916. This horror adds the element of a well researched historical fiction. There’s a demon that wants innocent souls what better place to find them than the Titanic. It adds horror to the already real life horror of survival. The side characters are interesting but too many of them were throw away characters and did not effect the overall plot, they are there for a couple moments then redundant. I definitely felt cheated in that I did not know of the survival of some of these characters. The novel has a good LGTBQ relationship, and showed what hiding it looks like in 1912. I the authors style of anding underlying horrors to historic events, I liked this one more then The Hunger which added even more horror to the Donner Party expedition, while I thought that the story was just okay I liked the idea of it, I’m glad to see this was executed better with a stronger story backing it up. I was hooked early in this one, but felt too many side characters were being introduced taking a away from the main characters then I started to really like the side characters.

The Plot: We know in 1912 that the voyage of the Titanic was doomed one, but it was haunted well before that by a siren of the sea that wants innocent souls. Annie is a young caretaker of the elite of the first class Titanic passengers, she helps in everything, from cleaning, bartending, fetching, and taking care of kids. She grows obsessed about one one family, Mark, his wife, and his young newborn. she feels a connection to Mark, but knows it’s wrong she ends up taking care of the child but being fearful of the wife who she thinks might be evil. A seance on the ship brings forth an ancient evil, or was it already there?

What I Liked: The beginning add to the mystery and really made me curious, the story went in a way different direction than I was expecting, which was okay I thought it was going to be more of a ghost story involving purgatory, but it was not that. I like the history that was put into the story, it added to the horror. The ending was pretty intense, and really went there. The creature was rarely seen but it seemed to work, and made you curiouser until the end when everything is explained. The Les and Dai storyline was pretty good even though their story kind of sort of went nowhere, LGBTQ angle felt real and right. The cover is beautifully haunting.

What I Disliked: There was no update on all the characters that we were introduced to, we see some sacrifice other to survive but don’t get any update on these characters after the sinking. I would have liked to see way more of the main characters, the other characters were good but sometimes they felt like filler.

Recommendation: The story is clever adding horrors to deep survival. I did not recommend The Hunger, but this one I enjoyed a lot more. I do want to read something where Katsu is focused on just the main characters, that is my biggest critique after having read two stories by her, she has the talent and can create interesting characters, just let them truly lead the story. I rated The Deep by Alma Katsu 4 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: January 2021 Book Reviews

Dear Readers, January was an interesting month for reading, a couple books I thought would be an instant like for me were just 3 stars.  I read 8 books this month. I read 1 science fiction, 1 nonfiction, 2 horror,  and 2 graphic novels. I started 2 new series  marvel masterworks Amazing Spiden-man and the Blackwood Tapes.  I read 2 Advanced readers copys thanks to Netcalley. From my monthly TBR and read every book but one and which I swapped for a smaller book, so I can have more time for an ARC book that’s published on the 2 of February.  I read two 5 star books, two 4 star books, three 3 stars book, and one 2 star book.

Five Star Reviews:

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune is a heartwarming Young Adult novel about intolerance in magical creatures the world misunderstands. This story is the themes of intolerance in the X-men comics by Stan Lee and Chris Claremont meets the odd yet lovable characters from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Rasom Riggs. This book is mainly Young Adult, but it brought up some adult themes that were refreshing, body image, LGTBQ issues, and Christianity.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1 by Stan Lee is the birth of Spiderman as we know and love him. This is where we learn that “with great powers must also come with great responsibility”. This graphic novel contains Amazing Fantasy 15 and The Amazing Spider-Man 1-10. We get to see the origin stories for Spiderman’s greatest foes, like Electro, Doctor Octopus, The Vulture, The Lizard and Sandman, all goes that have been featured in various Spider-Man movies. The Amazing Spider-Man comics reminded me of Archie comics with action.

Four Star Reviews:

Icebound: Shipwrecked at The Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer is a one part quest for a trade route from Europe to China through the north, and is one part survival story of the nature. This nonfiction account of William Barents three journey’s to find a passage through the north pole and his last journey where he was trapped for a year with a crew of 15 in no mans land with ice, snow and polar bears. The story is filled with history and personal accounts, through letters making the situation very real. This book shows just how vicious polar bears can be, and how hard they are to kill. The weather is the constant enemy snow, ice, and rain with extreme cold thrown in for good measure. I read Icebound: Shipwrecked at The Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer for free thanks to Netgalley and Scribner it was published on 1-12-21.

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One Day at Horrorland by R. L. Stine is one of the scariest Goosebumps stories but ends with weak ending. One Day at Horrorland is the 16th book in the Goosebumps series original order. The scares check a lot of boxes, fear of the unknown, fear of abandonment, fear of the dark, fear of being trapped, fear of confined spaces, and fear of spiders, bats, and wolves. This one drives the nostalgia as major plot point is finding a phone, and having kids not be on the phone for a long car ride with nothing but scenery to look at. Stine has fun coming up with horror filled rides and amusements

Three Star Reviews:

The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan is a reteaming of the two authors of The Strain trilogy that became the tv show The Strain on F/X. The Hollow Ones is a rapid paced novel that is really similar to a 1997 movie the Fallen starting Denzel Washington and John Goodman, about demons that go into bodies causing people to kill. In this story the background gets a little biblical, but nothing new gets added. The story reads like if James Patterson did a horror novel, it’s a tad formulaic with no real challenge to the reader

Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns is a what if question? what if Batman’s most deadly foe The Joker was not one man but three? The Joker has had a couple of different origin stories, where he was A gangster before he fell in a vat, a failed comedian, and a deranged clown, and in those stories the Joker has done a lot of things to Batman and his family. The criminal Joker was said to have given the order to kill the Wayne family, the Clown Joker beat Jason Todd to the edge of death when he was Robin, and Batgirl was paralyzed by the Comedian Joker. All of the past and present come back to haunt Batman and his family. The writing was just okay .

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is a horror set in the 90’s that is a take on Scooby Doo and his gang grown up and dealing with real monsters and not some man in the mask. I is a little similar to the new DC run Scooby Apocalypse, where the gang is a little more grown up and deal with real monsters. Meddling Kids is a combination of Lovecraftian creatures meet the Goonies being portrayed by the Scooby Gang. The twist and turns mainly come at the end a few are a stretch but some I really enjoyed. It has LGTBQ representation in the lead character of Andy. The book is a slow build up to an exciting finish 

Two Star Reviews:

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht is a confusing female lead space opera. This novel is very confusing especially at the beginning, this is one I fought with myself over do not finishing but I pushed through. The story is like a one off episode of Star Wars The Clone Wars, merged with some characters from the Alien franchise, there’s an Ellen Ripley in Angel, there’s a Call in Kennedy, and a whole lot of Private Vasquezs. The character are different but most of them all talk the same. The plot is pretty crazy and doesn’t really start going until half way, we get the villains motives at the 90 percent mark. There is bits of exciting action but once again most it is often hard to follow.

Book Review: The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan is a reteaming of the two authors of The Strain trilogy that became the tv show The Strain on F/X. The Hollow Ones is a rapid paced novel that is really similar to a 1997 movie the Fallen starting Denzel Washington and John Goodman, about demons that go into bodies causing people to kill. In this story the background gets a little biblical, but nothing new gets added. The story reads like if James Patterson did a horror novel, it’s a tad formulaic with no real challenge to the reader. Where the Strain added to the vampire lore, this story lost its imagination. There’s good moments, the first hundred pages are pretty action packed, but the story is not epic and fresh and that is what I was excepting with this writing team.

The Plot: Two FBI agents take a break from a big case that is finally wrapping up involving a deputy Chief of staff to the New Jersey and corruption charges. The news starts blowing up about a stolen fighter jet that has been shooting at people in New Jersey and New York, the company the jet was stolen is from their case. They get a fly by at the restaurant and head to the home of the suspect. The aftermath heads right to the home as they are blood shed along the way. The wife is dead but they now rush to protect the three children. The veteran reaches the suspect and fights him as the rookie Odessa looks on trying to get a safe shot. Something changes and it looks like the agent is the aggressor the subject is killed, but before things can get to normal the agent takes the knife and tries to stab the children as the rookie shoots him dead. She sees something she can not explain when her partner dies. She is out on desk duty as the shooting is investigated. She has a job of cleaning out an old agents desk that has recently had a stroke, she finds odd recordings, that make her want to meet the man, when she does, she finds out that he has been in her situation, and knows what she was fighting, and what she must do to stop it.

What I Liked: the main character Odessa, and could easily identify with her and her motivation. I liked the flashbacks and the back story of Solomon. I liked the fortune teller scene. The action was fast a brutal and just like with the Strain kids are not safe. I did like hearing the voice of the demon and would have liked to hear more. The pace is really fast, and made for an easy read

What I Disliked: it made a big deal out of Odessa 7th daughter of a 7th daughter, and nothing happened. She wasn’t more protected, she wasn’t extra irresistible to the demons. I did not care for a Blackwood, he’s not in it too much and I didn’t have enough to be invested in his character. It looked like it could be headed for a love story with Blackwood and Odessa, but I found no chemistry between them.

Recommendation: This story was very easy too read, the pace was non stop, I just found the story so-so and it reminded me too much of the Fallen, with no new ideas brought forth. I totally think people that haven’t seen that film will get a lot more enjoyment. I like the writing team and the main character, but for me this was a miss. I rated The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan 3 out of 5. This is could be a series since it is the Blackwood Takes Vol. 1, I’ll give this writing team another try but I hope that move to something else.

Book Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is a horror set in the 90’s that is a take on Scooby Doo and his gang grown up and dealing with real monsters and not some man in the mask. I is a little similar to the new DC run Scooby Apocalypse, where the gang is a little more grown up and deal with real monsters. Meddling Kids is a combination of Lovecraftian creatures meet the Goonies being portrayed by the Scooby Gang. The twist and turns mainly come at the end a few are a stretch but some I really enjoyed. It has LGTBQ representation in the lead character of Andy. The book is a slow build up to an exciting finish but it will test the readers patience by having slow pacing. A. Z. Kimrean the lead of This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us Cantero’s follow up book makes an oh so brief cameo in a mental ward.

The Plot: In 1977 a group of kids started the the Blyton Summer Detective Club where four kids and a dog solved local crimes. The last case when they caught an old man in a creature mask, and admitted to the crimes calling them ,meddling kids. But 13 years later the group is still haunted by what they saw, on member Peter has recently committed suicide. The criminal has been released and when confronted he admitted it didn’t commit the crimes, but lied so he would be protected in jail. The Blyton Summer Detective Club decides to get back together and solve the crime they missed.

What I Liked: there’s a lot of clever pop culture references. Nate seeing a ghost of Peter device is used really well, and adds to the mystery. I like what they did with the dog to make it “Scooby-like” at the very end. I liked what they did with the town bully, Joey. The climax was really exciting with a couple twist and turns. There was a lot a well placed Scooby references. One of the coolest cover art’s Ive seen for horror.

What I Disliked: The pacing is super slow at the beginning, it takes the gang way to long just to get to the town on their road trip. The monster’s could have been described with more detail, it was hard picturing. Never have a I read a story that needed a flashback scene so bad, I think a flashback scene would have solved most of my problems with it.

Recommendations: I think Edgar Cantero is a really clever writer, but this one didn’t live up to my expectations after liking This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us so much, so therefore I can not recommend this one. In This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us the plot is very focused, where Meddling Kids the plot keeps going off in tangents. I rate Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero 3 out of 5 stars.

TBR: January 2021

January 2021 TBR list: last month was so successful I read all 8 books plus 1more, I’m going to stick with 8.  I have my reading goal for the year set at 80 books.  I had a good book haul at Christmas, and will me going through those; I also bought a lot of Marvel Masterworks since the kindle price is 1.99.

The House in the Curulean Sea by TJ Klune – This book got a lot of hype last year,  and I have had this book highly recommended.  It is about a case worker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, tasked with determining if six children are likely to bring about the end of the world.

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht Which is a science fiction western about female assassins. I don’t know a lot about it I got an advanced copy from netgalley it is published on the 1-5-21

Icebound by Andrea Pitzer is a true story about Dutch polar  explorer William Barents, who was stranded in the Arctic with his crew for a year. This true story was inspiration for Dan Simmons horror novel The Terror.

Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff James is the book that Batman finds out that he has not been terrorized by one Joker but three. It takes the tales of the three different origin stories and has them all me true.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is a spoof n the Scooby gang where in 1978 they apprehend and old man in a mask who they believe to be the monster, but in 1990 when one of the gang is dead and the old man is paroled, that there worst fears come true that the wrong man was arrested and that the monster lives.  I read This Body’s not Big Enough for the Both of Us by Edgar Cantero a wise cracking detective novel where a detective has split personalities one the detective and one the wise cracker, I found it very crazy and funny.

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher is a good new horror story that is getting raved about. It was nominated in Goodreads choice awards for best horror of 2020.  A man finds his step fathers writing while cleaning up his mother’s house after her death. What he thought to be crazy ramblings he starts to see signs that the writing is true.

The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan reteam to create a new series called the Blackwood tapes. I was a fan of the Strain trilogy. The plot sounds a lot like Fallen an old Denzel Washington movie,  about an enity who can leap from bodies causing violent acts.

Marvel Masterworks The Amazing Spiderman Volume 1 by Stan Lee is the birth of Spiderman and his many villains.   This  graphic novels has the  beings for Doctor Octopus, The Sandman, The Vulture, and Electro