Saturday, June 24, 2017

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | June 23

I missed posting an update last weekend. I think I was in "I don't want to because it's summer!" mode. This week has been dreary and rainy so I've had much more success on the reading front. I had some time off of work due to tropical storm Cindy so I was even able to catch up on some blog tasks and reviews.

Posted Last Week

Book Review | In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson

Read Last Week

I've been starting more books lately than I have been finishing. I did, however, finish both Skitter and No Mercy this past week. In a move very unlike me, I have already written reviews for them so expect to see those soon.

Review Copies

No Mercy
by Alessandro Manzetti - I dove straight into this one and finished it already. It's a horror poetry collection. How could I say no to that? Impossible!

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill - I have no words for how much I want to read Cargill's latest book. He told me at Comicpalooza that this one is pure scifi. All that's left are the robots and now it's time for them to start killing each other. SIGN. ME. UP.

Everything That's Underneath: A Collection of Weird and Horror Tales by Kristi DeMeester - Everything That’s Underneath, Kristi DeMeester’s debut powerful horror collection, is full of weird, unsettling tales that recalls the styles of such accomplished storytellers as Laird Barron and Tom Piccirilli.

Ugly Little Things by Todd Keisling - I became a big fan of Todd Keisling after reading The Final Reconciliation. I'm looking forward to reading this collection of stories.

Entertaining Demons by Daniel I. Russell - A teenage girl is staring in a reality TV show about a paranormal investigation. I'm a complete sucker for hauntings so I will be giving this one a try.

Current Distractions

I have started watching Under the Dome on my lunch hour. Even though it is Stephen King, I haven't actually read the book. I will eventually.

I know my TV choices are weird right now! Hubs and I never really got into Game of Thrones back in the day so we've decided to start over from the beginning. We both know not to get attached to any of the characters.

Our summer of board games has continued with the last couple of weeks being mostly about Roll for It and Uno. My favorite thing about Roll for It is you can combine both editions and play up to 8 players. This works really well for our family of 5.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or playing) this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Tynga's Reviews' Stacking the Shelves, and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Book Review | In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson

In the Valley of the Sun is Andy Davidson's debut horror novel.

For readers of Joe Hill, Cormac McCarthy, and classic Anne Rice, a chilling tale of suspense and horror set deep in the Texas desert.

Travis Stillwell spends his nights searching out women in West Texas honky-tonks. What he does with them doesn’t make him proud, just quiets the demons for a little while. But his nights soon take a terrifying turn in a desert cantina, where Travis crosses paths with a mysterious pale-skinned girl in red boots. Come the morning, he wakes weak and bloodied in his cabover camper, no sign of a girl, no memory of the night before.

Annabelle Gaskin spies the camper parked behind her rundown motel and offers the disheveled cowboy inside a few odd jobs to pay his board. Travis takes her up on the offer, if only to buy time, to lay low, to heal. By day, he mends the old motel, insinuating himself into the lives of Annabelle and her ten-year-old son. By night, in the cave of his camper, he fights an unspeakable hunger. Before long, Annabelle and her boy come to realize that this strange cowboy they’ve taken in is not what he seems.

Half a state away, a grizzled Texas ranger is hunting Travis down for his past misdeeds, but what he finds will lead him to a revelation far more monstrous than he could ever imagine. A man of the law, he’ll have to decide how far into the darkness he’ll go for the sake of justice.

When these lives converge on a dusty autumn night, an old evil will find new life—and new blood.

Deftly written and utterly compelling, this is an atmospheric literary fiction debut perfect for fans of horror, psychological suspense, and Western fiction.

In the Valley of the Sun reminds me of my experience with The Girl with All the Gifts. I went into it not knowing what kind of horror book it was, and my experience was much better for it. In the Valley of the Sun never actually names the horror so I'm not going to either. My hope is that you will give it a chance without finding out too much about it. It's a really great book, but it's a great experience, too. One of my favorite things about In the Valley of the Sun was the slow unveiling of what was really going on.

In the Valley of the Sun is scary, too. I was so nervous for everyone, even the villains. Only the best of horror novels can make you love the villains, and In the Valley of the Sun is one of those books.

As much as I love the horrors in In the Valley of the Sun, every bit of the credit goes to Andy Davidson's writing. This book is so well written and so well crafted. He has given us a really beautiful addition to an old horror myth, and I could not be more excited about it.

This has been an amazing year for horror releases, and you will definitely see In the Valley of the Sun on my best of list for the year (maybe even in the top spot).

9/10: Highly Recommended

Review copy provided by publisher

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