Book Review: Near the Bone by Christina Henry

Near the Bone by Christina Henry is one part Emma Donoghue’s Room and the other part The Relic by Preston and Child. This off mix of kidnapping slash survival works really well to the theme of one woman beating her demons literally and physically. This is the third Henry that I have read and this one was my favorite so far, I have read Alice and The Ghost Tree before this. Where I always have appreciated Henry’s overall story, this novel felt very real, and raw. I enjoyed it but there is a lot of trigger warnings on domestic abuse, kidnapping, child endangerment, and manipulation/gaslighting. This is a really fast paced novel, that is deeply psychological. Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley books for the advanced reader’s copy, Near the Bone by Christina Henry is published on April 13th 2021.

The Plot: Mattie lives with William on top of a cold mountain. William is a controlling terrifyingly frightening man that treats Mattie like a slave than a wife. He keeps her locked up and beats her regularly so Mattie is docile. William is a monster, but what they find in the woods terrifies even him, a fox ripped in half most of it organs and none are missing, with big tracks leading to it, then nothing. They investigate and find a cave that has piles of various organs and skulls. William is determined to kill it but, he’s not the only one who discovered the creature, when a group of college kids find William and Mattie in the woods, they thought was abandoned. Mattie and one the college kids Griffen has a connection with Mattie and swears he knows her from somewhere. Mattie tells them to leave but it starts her own spiral in finding out who she is and what the creature really is.

What I Liked: the mixing of genres, it was interesting, it kind of reminded me of the movie 10 Cloverfield Ln. I liked Mattie and how we got to see her find her inner strength. William was a monster, that was terrifying to read. As for the real monster, I liked the descriptions my mind was trying to fill in the gaps since no one really gets a good view of it. I like the flashbacks, especially the bathroom scene, which is so raw and you really get into Mattie’s psychology early that she cares about others and fears for them more than herself because she can take the abuse.

What I Disliked: William’s blank holes filled me with so many questions, did he want Mattie’s mother to join him on the mountain. We never found out if Heather, Mattie’s sister, is still alive.

Recommendations: This is the only Christina Henry book that I have recommended. Near the Bone is a wild ride both emotionally and scary. It has two horrors in it, each just as dangerous. I rated Near the Bone by Christina Henry 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten Is a atmospheric horror that is slightly unnerving. The Lost Village is a Swedish book that has been translated to English. The descriptions make it feel like characters are constantly being watched by the village, it makes the reader feel pretty unnerved. The mystery is pretty captivating, and the way the story is told by amateur documentarians, really works since they bring their own problems, to a place that feeds off those problems. The Lost Village reminded me of parts of Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery meets the film The Blair Witch Project. I was slightly underwhelmed my the climax, but the rising action to it was so cool I thought of all these other cool scenarios that would have made it epic, and the climax was just good. Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press through Minotaur books for letting me have early access to this title. The Lost Village by Camilla Sten was published in Sweden in 2019 and translated/published in America on March 23 2021.

The Plot: Alice is crowd funding for a documentary, on a village called Silvertjarn which was named for it silver mine. The other thing Slivertjarn is known for is in 1959 all 800 village members went missing and never found again with the exception of one baby found in a school house and a body strung up and stoned to death. Alice has ties to the village through her grandma’s sister, she has rare correspondence in the form of letters days before the missing village. She brings on a team of people that believe in the project but with secrets of their own some about the village but some about Alice herself.

What I Liked: The atmosphere that this horror story starts right in the beginning and goes all the way to the end. Are the documentary crew experiencing mass paranoia or are they being watched. The flow of this book made it hard to put down. It reminds me of The Blair Witch Project as little things added up slowly. The flashbacks really work and add intrigue to the story, it is told through letters and then we see what really went down through one characters eyes. The mystery of the crew members was good as well.

What I Disliked: I wanted to know a lot more about Pastor Mattias, we only learn a few things, it was too much of a mystery for the end. The climax could have been better.

Recommendation: I would recommend my readers to take this wild unnerving ride. It is a good addition to the horror genre with real people with real problems inserted into a horror village with no cell phone and civilization 45 miles away. I rated The Lost Village by Camilla Sten 4 out of 5 stars. This novel was very close to 5 stars but the climax brought it down. I will be picking up Camilla Sten’s next novel I like the descriptions and atmosphere a lot.

Book Review: Goosebumps-Monster Blood II by R. L. Stine

Monster Blood II by R. L. Stine is Goosebumbs book number 18. Monster blood is back with Evan and Andy who found the original Monster Blood in a vintage toy shop. After reading 18 Goosebumps books Monster Blood the original ranks second to last in my ranking from best to worst, I was hoping this one would be better and it was. This book is all charm with mischief and humor. This book is rarely that scary, the nightmares provide some horror and Stine has fun with them. The bully Conan is pretty terrifying and shows how chicken he really is. The ending to the climax could have been better it has a lame twist, but he leaves the final twist at the very end that was pretty great.

The Plot: Evan is at a new school in Atlanta and is already the weird kid as he talks about Monster Blood and it’s effects. When Evan gets the news of Andy his friend from summer trip is now living here. She’s the one person that can prove what he said about Monster Blood is true. She can do one better she can show them it’s real a prank creates the most unlikely monster that can not be stopped.

What I Liked: The nightmares were really fun and pretty terrifying. The Andy and Evan friendship how they are mischievous but there for one another. Conan the bad guy is a good foil to the small Evan. The handshake gag didn’t get old, I laughed every time. The breaking into Conan’s house was pretty tension filled. Cuddles transformation.

What I Disliked: The end to the Climax was really disappointing, right when the action was starting, It just stopped, with a lame excuse.

Recommendations: This story was way better than the first Monster Blood. It a good introduction to Goosebumps because it is light on the scares, but still a lot of fun. I rated Monster Blood II by R. L. Stine 4 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 18 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, 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: Inspection by Josh Malerman

Inspection by Josh Malerman is an interesting look at genius and distractions of the opposite sex. This is my third Josh Malerman book and man are his stories out there. which I like. This story is best if you know as little as possible going in. I actually think this story is ruined by it’s own book cover synopsis, since t cover 75% of the story, I was waiting for a twist and a greater meaning then the one we got. The climax is big and went a lot further ten I thought the story was going. We get two perspectives J a boy and K a girl. We get J first who is the least interesting of the two then the characters meet and we follow K until the meeting. The story does repeat itself a little two often. I fell the plot is brilliant but the execution was lacking, there where a couple moments I was just bored and frustrated at the material. This book is hard to classify it had science fiction elements as well as horror elements.

The Plot: J is a boy that grew up in an experiment to find genius without distraction of the opposite sex or religion. He along with 26 other boys are apart of it, A and Z have been taken out of the experiment. Everything is designed not to reveal the secret hey have a writer on hand that will right morals of right and wrong never mentioning a place or gender. The writer is having a lot of doubts and writes a story involving a woman, which he distributes behind the Parenthood’s, the organization that controls the experiment, back. J reads the entire story, when the parenthood find out he is called for inspection and lies. He now knows women exist. He keeps coming to the woods sure that there is something watching him. He gets a surprise visit from K, a girl, who sneaks around at night from the woods and is from a camp that is all girls and was not told about boys. This secret will lead him to question everything.

What I Liked: the story concepts is rally smart and out of the box. I liked the character of K and how she found out about the camp of boys. The corner reveal was shocking and well done. I liked the finally and was surprised just how far the secrets revealed can go. I wanted to know more about M.O.M. and D.A.D., before they started the experiment and their motivation. I liked the two writer for the Parenthood that are both bitter to be putting out such mediocre books for each gender. I did like a line at the end proving the experiment worked and they were genius minded.

What I Disliked: The synopsis gave way too much away. I felt like we shouldn’t know about the sister school of just girls. I wanted more twisted and turns this book does have a few, an idea I thought they were leading us two is they are all one gender and told they are what ever, but that was not the case. K is my far the more interesting character I feel she should have been first since she finds out organically, unlike J who reads a book.

Recommendations: I think the story is brilliant with a lot of possibilities, I just did not like where the Malerman went with it and can not recommend it. The story reminded me a little bit about Wool by Hugh Howley and how the secrets were revealed. I wanted to like this book more but it didn’t connect for me. I have rated Josh Malerman’s past two books Bird Box and A House at the Bottom of the Lake both five stars, but this book didn’t do it for me. I rated Inspection by Josh Malerman 3 out of 5 stars.

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.