Wrap Up – May 2019 Book Reviews

May was a good review month, I read some good horror, one historical Fiction and some good mysteries.    I read six books this month. One Five star novel ad the rest were all four stars.  I read two advanced copies thanks to netgalley.  I broke my record with 42 views in one day this month.  I received a great deal of feedback in the comments which is really encouraging and helps make me a better bookblogger.

Five Star Reviews:

TH1RT3EN by Steve Cavanagh  –  The tag line begs you to read it. The Serial killer isn’t on trial, he’s part of the jury.  The book is smart and a well paced thriller, that has a lot of fun with the scenario. This book comes out on August 2nd.

Four Star Reviews:

Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher – A good filler for your anticipation before Stranger Things Season 3 comes out in July.  This book is a prequel about a much more chipper James Hopper when he had a child and a wife and lived in New York in 1977.  This novel still has that Stranger Things vibe of a supernatural world waiting. This was released on May 28th.

Sour Candy By Kealan Patrick Burke – a really good novella with lots and twist and turns packed into a 76 page story that is vey creepy. It would make a hell of a good Twilight Zone episode.

Goosebumps: Welcome to Dead House by R. L. Stine  – This throwback read reminded me when I grew up being a 90’s kid.  The story was pretty good,  with a good little twist at the end.  I was a little shocked at just how much gore I read, but as a kid I would’ve loved it.

Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce – A quaint little story that takes place in Britain during the Blitzkrieg during World War II.  It manages to balance both heart breaking and heart warming.

Case Histories by Hate Atkinson – A great mystery, that is all about the characters and the tragedy of having unanswered questions about a crime. This is the first Jackson Brodie novel

Book Review: Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town By Adam Christopher

Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher is the second novel that takes place in the Stranger Things universe. I did not read the first one which was about Eleven’s mother, but I wanted too and was very interested, but wasn’t able to, so when this novel came available on netgalley i had to request it. I was super excited to receive it early for any honest review. I’m a big fan of the show and eagerly awaiting the third season of Stranger Things July 4th on Netflix. So approaching this book review as a fan. Do you have to read this to get a deeper lore for the series? No. This novel is a total fan fiction and deeper character study of Detective Harper. Is there any hint to what happens in Season 3? No, this novel does happen between season 2 and 3, so we do get quick update to what characters have been doing since the Mind Flayer, but mainly this is a book about the characters of Eleven and Detective James Hopper. I want to think netgalley and Del Rey Publishing for sending me an early copy of Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher in exchange for an honest review.

The Plot: Eleven and Hopper are alone together on dreary day, all El’s friends have gone out of town so she’s stuck alone with Hopper. Hopper makes a reference to the Vietnam War which makes Eleven ask questions, that he refuses to answer or talk about. Eleven ask about New York, which he starts telling her about then, she brings a box down with files, that has New York on it, and he proceeds to tell the story of New York in the Summer of 1977. There’s a big serial killer making the news called the Son of Sam, and Hopper and his new partner Delgado, one of the first female detectives, are busy trying to solve the Card Killer a new serial killer, they’re trying to keep out of the press. Detective Hopper finds a connection to gangs that could lead to solving it when he’s taken off the case and the FBI takes over. Hopper and his partner are upset. Then a clue walks in, a gang member that knows things and wants to save his sister from the gang, Hopper and Delgado the only people who know about the gang connection decide to follow the connection, and it leads to cover up, murder, Hopper framed as a cop killer and a whole lot more.

What I Liked: Seeing Hopper as a true family man with his wife and kid, not the broken man we meet in the first season. There still is a stranger things vibe to the story, but not copying on the show. The Eleven and Hopper relationship is a fun one and often unintentionally funny. The villain was really good and terrifying in his conviction and goals for New York. Delgado was a good character. I liked the way the story was told flipping back to Hopper telling the story to Eleven.

What I Disliked: Eleven had no teenage angst she had in Season 2 so it felt like Eleven from Season 1 where everything is still new, and doesn’t mind being caged up. We didn’t get the closure I wanted on how Hopper came back to Hawkins. There’s an action scene that goes on too long, and a got lost in where the characters were in the action.

Recommendation: if you’re even a casual fan of the show, there’s a lot to get out of it, so I do recommend it. If you’ve never seen the show the Eleven and Hopper relationship is going to be a little weird and you will probably be lost with all the show references, but you can totally understand Hopper’s story. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.