Book Review: The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter

The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter is a good who done it? mystery. You know right up front there was a murder, and you know the who said they did it is lying. The narrative moves really fast supplying the reader with a little bit more information at each turn. This is not a big twist novel but a series of twist that add up to tension and betrayal. The novel does look at the British class system which I found the weakest part of the novel. I haven’t read a mystery in a while and this novel was just what I needed a good quick mystery that kept me guessing. I’m really liking these domestic mysteries that focus on a small knit family that is driven apart by a dark secret. The Dinner Guest is very LGBTQ friendly as the family that is torn apart is a gay couple. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK , One More Chapter for giving me this ARC. The Dinner Guest was published on April 1st 2021.

The Plot: There’s a body, Matthew that has been stabbed on the dinner table. Charlie the Husband looks on in amazement at the body, Titus, Charlie and Matthew’s teenage son, sits silently at the table not looking at the body, and Racheal holds the bloody knife and calls the police, telling she murdered Matthew. Charlie thanks why did she confess to a murder she didn’t commit. Secrets and lies lead up to this twisty murder mystery.

What I Liked: The way is was told having Charlie and Rachael tell the before and after of the death of Matthew, then at the end we get a new voice. The POV worked really well and added up to tension. I liked the family drama not dealing with the mystery at all was good. Titus is a handful. Blackmail is something all the characters do at one point. I liked the book club scenes and Anita is hilarious, I could have seen a whole lot more of her. The flow is really good the scenes lead to the next really easily. It is easy to understand which character is narrating at the moment.

What I Disliked: Every time the excuses go to class, I’ve read some good interesting class arguments, but every time it was brought up in this story it felt forced, there’s not too many scenes, so it didn’t hamper my enjoyment too much. A big secret is revealed which leads directly to the murder, where the individual just takes the word of someone and doesn’t check if it is true, the person had it’s own reasons for telling. Every thing I had read about that character previously would have to see it with their own eyes to believe it. So that felt false.

Recommendations: I will recommend this pretty good who done it? It is a good escapist read. It reminded me of Shari Lapena’s The Couple Nest Door. I rated The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter 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.

TBR: April 2021

April 2021 TBR list: last month was I read 6 out of the 8 books on my TBR, I’m going to lower it to 7 to deal with looking for a house and overtime. I have 4 ARCs to read this month. I have my reading goal for the year set at 80 books this year which I’m a head by two for the moment.  I have  read most of my Christmas book haul, but my Birthday is this month so will for sure get more, If I read extra it will be a Amazing Spiderman Marvel Masterworks since  it’s easy to read at my work break.

Network Effect by Martha Wells – I the first full length book in the Murderbot Diaries Series.  Network Effect is book 5 in the series.  I recently got approver for the ARC  for Fugitive Telemetry which is published on April 27th.  I love Murderbot the character, and I love where the series left off.

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells – I have been asking for an ARC of a Martha Wells book for a couple of years now can’t wait to read this one a little early, It is publish right around my birthday and will consider this a present on April 27 thanks to Netgalley and Tor.

Near The Bone by Christina Henry – This is will be my third Henry novel I read Alice and the Ghost Tree, I have liked but not loved her novels.  I hope this one is a love, this is her second novel not about fairy tells being retold. The plot is a woman trapped on a mountain attempt to survive more that one kind of monster.  The synopsis intrigues me so I’m looking forward to this book.  Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley publishing for the ARC that is published on April 13th.

The Dinner Guest by B. P. Walter – It has been a while since I read a mystery; my favorites are the classic Agatha Christie novels, and I get this vibe from the book. The tag line is A stranger at the table; A dinner that ends in death. It seems fun this book changed it’s publishing date up a month or two it was published on April 1. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter for giving me an opportunity to read this novel.

Star Wars: The High Republic – Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule – I jumped at the chance to read the newest Star Wars because it is before all the rest and the first book in the new cannon to do that.  The cover has a Wookie with a lightsaber I have to read this book.

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten  This my hold over last month I’m half way done and it it is very atmospheric and spooky. The Lost Villiageis 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

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier my other holdover form last month it 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, and I’m committed to reading it.

Wrap Up: March 2021

Dear Readers, March was a busy month, overtime at work was back and I’ve actively started looking for a house.  I read only 6 books this month. I read 2 horror, 1 graphic novel, and 2 new releases thanks to netgalley . I started 0 new series and read 2 from a book series. I read one 5 star book, three 4 star books, and two 3 star books. I read 6 out of 8 books off my TBR.

Five Star Reviews:

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. This story follows a lot of storylines that were backstory in The Hate U Give and the Carter family, like how Star got her middle name, and the tricky parenting of Seven. I feel you did not have to read The Hate U Give to enjoy this but you will enjoy The Hate U Give even more. Where the hate you give was more about race relations and the Black Lives Movement, this novel is more about responsibility and self ownership. I think this is an important story about teen pregnancy, stepping up and being a man, the gang culture, and LGBTQ acceptance. This book is at times corny, hard hitting, raw, and emotional, it will leave you with hope an a morale story that working hard does pay off. 

Four Star Reviews:

The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers is a story full of witchcraft and mystery. It is a mix of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus meets Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray. The story draws you in with a compelling mystery then adds the magic and the Secret Circus. The family history sometimes got messy and complex, but the ending was clear and concise, clearing up some of the plot point I had problems with. I received an advanced readers copy of The Ladies of the Secret Circus thanks to Netgalley and Redhook Books. The Ladies of The Secret Circus by Constance Sayers is published on 3-23-21.

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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. 

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, she is only seen by others as Peter Parker pursues Betty Brandt . We get to see the birth of Scorpion, Molten Man and the first Spider Slayer. J Jonah Jamison takes his hate for Spiderman to new levels and he creates two bad guys the Scorpion and the Spider Slayer. Peter Parker graduates High School and finally stands up to Flash Thompson.

Three Star Reviews:

In The Quick by Kate Hope Day is about the life of female astronaut from 12 to adulthood. There’s a missing crew which seems important and is the driving force until the end when it is about life choice more so. The character work on June is really interesting I actually liked the scenes with her at the astronaut school then her actually being an astronaut in space. The first 50% is all about astronaut school and the other 50% has her in space and going to missions. I loved 75% of this book but man is the last 25% bad.I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House for the ARC. In The Quick by Kate Hope Day is published on March 2nd 2021.


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 then 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.

Book Review: The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers

The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers is a story full of witchcraft and mystery. It is a mix of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus meets Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray. The story draws you in with a compelling mystery then adds the magic and the Secret Circus. The family history sometimes got messy and complex, but the ending was clear and concise, clearing up some of the plot point I had problems with. This is Constance Sayers second novel, her debut was A Witch in Time, a book I really liked and gave 4 stars, my one criticism was that she tried to have everything connect in a really neat bow which would be my biggest complaint in this one as well. That being said the writing is still good and she is able to draw the reader in and make me feel for these characters. The ending was exciting and wrapped up a lot of story lines. The midway point I was not sure about this book but the ending was really good and made my rating go up a point. I received an advanced readers copy of The Ladies of the Secret Circus thanks to Netgalley and Redhook Books. The Ladies of The Secret Circus by Constance Sayers is published on 3-23-21.

The Plot: Lara is a lowly witch ready to me married, the only problem is her husband to be has gone missing. His car is found with no trace of her husband and all evidence removed. Ben the local sheriff start to find similarities between this case and another that happen at the same places and same day 30 years earlier, with ties to Lara’s family. Lara always knew her family once ran a circus a long time ago, but she finds the Circus might still exist in her dreams and in death.

What I Liked: The the mystery of the missing men, dying every 30 years. I liked the Secret Circus and how you gained entrance. I liked the Paris backstory on the circus and family history. I liked the unconventional love story of Ben and Lara. The ending was so good and really emotional. I liked how A Witch in Time is loosely connected through the magician Angiers. I liked the magic and how it grew through out the story. I liked the twist with the family

What I Disliked: The Bad guy connection was too convenient, it was really unbelievable they could hide in plain that long with no real explanation when they’re caught how they stayed hidden for so long.

Recommendations: I would recommend this this witchy mystery. I liked A Witch in Time more but this is a great follow up second novel. If you liked The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstrern, then you will like this story. I rated The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers 4 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.

Book Review: The Minders by John Marrs

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 access get redacted notes from the top secret government meetings about the minders. 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. The Minders is loosely connected to previous novels The One and The Passengers, with a couple plot lines form those books discussed lightly and the same villain the Hacking Collective are in each. I don’t know why the books are not called the Hacking Collective (trilogy/series). John Marrs wrote my second favorite book of last year, What Lies Between Us. 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 2021 as a new release in America.

The Plot: Five people have all passed a test or so they, think one guys autistic son took it, which causes problems down the line, designed to determine brain mapping and have been chosen to be minders, having a DNA chip with all of Britains secrets implanted in your brain. The minders are Flick, Charlie, Sinead, Emilia and Bruno, with each person having a reason to turn their brain into a computer and be away from family and friends for five years. One individual we don’t get a background as the program has wiped them clean. Their lives are going okay but the system starts failing for some with powerful glitches and the Hacking Collective get involved determined to steal the data.

What I Liked: The rotating POV’s of the minders is a really good way of telling the story, it was hard to remember everyone’s background at first, but it didn’t take too long. The program glitches are the real enemy of this story. I appreciated being rewarded by reading The Passengers with all the extra insight I had going into this story. The twist are good and are layered through out. I was given enough hints to figure out the main twist a little early, but the twist was layered with a lot of little stuff that I didn’t know, and it didn’t hurt my enjoyment. I liked the scene where a character almost revealed the huge top secrets that they now have access during a game of trivia. The Hacking Collective is a good bad guy that could literally be anyone, which adds to the paranoia.

What I Disliked: I had a little problem with the main plot, the minders are supposed to have the chip in for 5 years and have all the data, they make reference to it but then a new team of minders is brought in before the original group is done, I thought they needed to get the data back, so i was a little confused by that. Flick was my least favorite of the minders and she was sort of the lead in terms of reading time Sinead was my favorite, and had the most interesting background.

Recommendations: I recommend you check out The Minders by John Marrs, it is a good clever science fiction story that is totally original. The novel is very hard to put down, and a good escape. I rated The Minders by John Marrs 4 out of 5 stars. Out of the three John Marrs book that I have read this was my least favorite, which is hardly a knock, he’s one of those authors that I can always count on to be entertained. I look forward to my next John Marrs book, already.

Book Review: Annie and the Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax

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. Trigger Warning: sexual abuse of a children. 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. I was not expecting the book to go where it did but I enjoyed the unexpected ride. 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 Plot: Ruth has spent two years recovering from a car wreck, that had her push people and her live in boyfriend away. Ruth spent this time researching Annie Oakley of the wild west from the late 1800’2 to early 1900’s who had her own debilitating train crash. Ruth becomes obsessed and then she is sent letters from a psychiatrist who treated Annie, this is a time when they would just mark women hysterical who had strong feelings, this what Ruth is expecting, but she gets a whole lot more. Annie talks about dealing with her wolf, a sexual predator when she was young, that now wants to confront them. Ruth has her own wolf in a former coach at her old school, will Ruth learn from Annie how to give justice?

What I Liked: Te Annie Oakley scenes with Sitting Bull in the tent. The twist as I mentioned was unexpected but it made this novel so unique, I hate not giving it away but my rule is not to give more than the synopsis. I like the characters of Reece and Caleb, Caleb took a while to like but Reece was immediate. Te ending was pulled off really well with a couple of layers to it. I liked all the connections that Annie and Ruth had, I liked that Ruth questioned if she was giving Annie these characteristics or they were real. That this novel is low key science fiction novel, sort of.

What I Disliked: The twist was great but I still wanted more explanation on how it worked exactly. The Annie Oakley scenes were my favorite I wanted more.

Recommendation: I will recommend this totally unique novel. It is a quarter historical fiction, half a drama with a little mystery element to it and the plot twist takes it to almost science fiction level. I rated Annie and the Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax 4 out of 5 stars.

TBR: February 2021

February 2021 TBR list: last month was almost a success I read 7 out of the 8 books on my TBR, I’m going to stick with 8. I have 3 ARCs due this month. I have my reading goal for the year set at 80 books this year.  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 was 1.99. And will continue my Goosebumps quest.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is based on a true story about librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War II. I love books about libraries and World War II is my favorite time period to read about. It is mpared to Lilac Girls which I really enjoyed. Published on 2-9-21

The Minders by John Marrs last year John Marrs  had my second favorite book with What Lies Between Us, the Minders is more Science fiction than mystery.  All I know about the book is peoples minds are the new computer code, and five people get to be the trails. Published on 2-16-21

Annie and the Wolves by Andormeda Romano-Lax is about a modern day historian  finds that she has similarities in her life to that of Annie Oakley. She gets obsessed with the people Annie refers to as Wolves and has one of her own.  Published on 2-2-21

The Deep by  Alma Katsu a Horror about survivors of the Titanic aboard sister ship the Britannic, still haunted by action and ghost of the Titanic.  This is my second novel by Katsu, I enjoyed The Hunger a fictional retelling of the Donner Party, I like the way she adds history to the horror.

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill is a graphic novel about a woman with a magic Viking axe that when it cuts off the head the head can still talk. Joe Hill has been one of my favorite voices in horror. I loved his first graphic novel series Lock and Key I hope this one lives up. 

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. This book was mu hold out from last TBR.

Marvel Masterworks The Amazing Spiderman Volume 2 by Stan Lee Spiderman will be introduced to some of his greatest villains Mysterio, Green Goblin, and Karaven the Hunter, and the Scorpion.  He will hang out with Dare Devil and Hulk

Goosebumps: Why I’m Afraid of Bees By R. L. Stine This is Goosebumps book number 17, this seems like it is going to be a kid friendly version of The Fly, but with a Bee

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.