Monday, August 19, 2019

Book Review | House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

House of Furies is a YA horror/fantasy by Madeleine Roux.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

I enjoyed reading House of Furies. It was a bit more fantasy than I was expecting. I think the new paperback cover suits the story more than the original hardback cover.

It's hard for me to talk about House of Furies without spoiling the best parts so I can really only tell you I had a fun time reading it. House of Furies was a great first book in a series. There was plenty to make me happy I have the rest of the series, but I also felt satisfied that I got a complete story.

If you like YA horror and folklore elements, House of Furies is a nice blend of both.


Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | August 18

My kids went back to school this week. This was definitely the quickest summer ever. At least I read some amazing books this summer! My reading really dies off when summer hits, and I have been picking up one amazing book after another.

We are celebrating our one year anniversary over at Ladies of Horror Fiction next month! We are going to be hosting an #lohfreadathon (wherever and however you'd like to join in!)

You can scroll through our recommendations on Instagram if you need book ideas.

Posted Last Week

I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review of Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly. I hope you take a look at this book.

Finished Reading

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Yet another amazing book. Hollow Kingdom is so good!

Poetry Magazine July/August 2019 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I also loved the July/August Poetry Magazine collection.

The Man Who Knew The Way to the Moon by Todd Zwillich ⭐⭐⭐★★ - This was an interesting audiobook.

Currently Reading

Doorways to the Deadeye by Eric J. Guignard - I'm a little ways into Doorways to the Deadeye and enjoying it so far!

Recent Acquisitions

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang - You guys! I am doing this reading thing all wrong! My preorder for The Dragon Republic arrived, and I haven't even read my copy of The Poppy War yet. I clearly have no idea what I'm doing.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon - I've been longing for the audio version of this beast of a book. I was excited to see it pop up as a daily deal on Audible.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading 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? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Book Review | Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

Theme Music is a debut thriller from T. Marie Vandelly.

An utterly propulsive and unpredictable psychological thriller from stunning new talent T. Marie Vandelly

For the lucky among us, life is what you make of it, but for Dixie Wheeler, the theme music for her story was chosen by another long ago, on the day her father butchered her mother and brothers and then slashed a knife across his own throat. Only one-year-old Dixie was left alive, infamously known as Baby Blue for the song left playing in the aftermath of the slaughter.

Twenty-five years later, Dixie is still desperate for a connection to the family she can’t remember, so when her childhood home goes up for sale, Dixie sets aside all reason and moves in, re-creating a macabre decor with her family’s salvaged furniture. But as the ghosts of her family seemingly begin to take up residence in the home that was once theirs, Dixie starts to question her own sanity and wonders if the evil force menacing her is that of her father, or a demon of her own making.

In order to make sense of her present, Dixie becomes determined to unravel the truth of her past and seeks out the detective who originally investigated the murders. But the more she learns, the more she opens up the uncomfortable possibility that the sins of her father may belong to another, and, perhaps most tragically, to Dixie herself. As bodies begin to pile up around her, Dixie must find a way to expose the lunacy behind her family’s massacre and redeem what little remains of her soul.

Fans of thrillers and horror pay attention! Theme Music is awesome. It's brutal and it's unreliable, and it's so much fun.

Theme Music is a perfect example of the power of the bookish community. I never would have picked it up on my own, but it was highly recommended by Emily (book.happy). Now I'm highly recommending it to you!


Review copy provided by publisher

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Book Review | Recursion by Blake Crouch

Recursion is the latest thriller from Blake Crouch.

Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

That's what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

I wasn't sure what I would get with Recursion, but I hoped I would get something similar to Dark Matter. Thankfully my wish was granted! I hope Blake Crouch is able to give us a few more releases in this realm of Quantum Physics. I love it!

I'll be honest - Recursion broke my brain a little, but it sure was fun. If you loved Dark Matter, Recursion is a must read.


Review copy provided by publisher

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Kathe Koja Cover Reveal: Velocities

I don't normally participate in cover reveals (I'm pretty sure this is the first one I've ever said yes to!), but I'm making an exception for the new Kathe Koja collection. Get your 2020 wishlists ready! Velocities promises to be "flying at the speed of strange".

Velocities by Kathe Koja

Release Date: April 2020

About Velocities

Kathe Koja’s second short fiction collection, Velocities, is dark, disturbing, and heartfelt. It includes thirteen stories, including two never before published, all flying at the speed of strange.

About Kathe Koja

Kathe Koja is a writer, director and independent producer. Her work combines and plays with genres, from YA to contemporary to historical to horror. Her novels–including THE CIPHER, SKIN, BUDDHA BOY, TALK, and the UNDER THE POPPY trilogy–have won awards, been multiply translated, and optioned for film and performance. She creates immersive fiction with a rotating ensemble of video artists, dancers, musicians and performers.

Her latest novel is CHRISTOPHER WILD. VELOCITIES, her second short fiction collection, is upcoming in 2020 from Meerkat Press, along with a reprint of her classic novel THE CIPHER.

She's globally minded, and based in Detroit USA.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | August 4

I cannot believe we are gearing up to go back to school already. I'm dreading the madness of having three kids in three different schools again and all of the homework our school district piles on each of them. We are just about finished with all of our clothes and supply shopping. Life is just so fast.

On a much brighter note, this week's reading update is filled with all of the stars.

Posted Last Week

I posted my ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review of Wilder Girls by Rory Power.

Finished Reading

Recursion by Blake Crouch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Definitely for fans of Dark Matter.

Harry Potter y el Prisionero de Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling, Adolfo Muñoz García (Translator), Nieves Martín Azofra (Translator) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I'm still loving reading the Spanish editions of Harry Potter. It is taking me a while to make my way through them, but I feel closer than ever to these stories.

Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Wow, was this book a surprise!

What is this madness? All the stars for all the books?! I will have reviews of Recursion and Theme Music up soon.

Currently Reading

The Last Astronaut by David Wellington - I'm starting The Last Astronaut today. I've heard such good things!

Harry Potter y el càliz de fuego (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling, Adolfo Muñoz García (Translator), Nieves Martín Azofra (Translator) - I also started reading Goblet of Fire. These books just get bigger and bigger, don't they?

Recent Acquisitions

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand - We are starting to put a bigger focus on YA and MG horror over at Ladies of Horror Fiction so you will be seeing them more here as well. If you have any favorite LOHF YA or MG books, I'd love your recommendations!

Cardinal Black (Matthew Corbett #7) by Robert R. McCammon - Someday I'm going to make time to catch up on the Matthew Corbett series.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis (Narrator) - The Hobbit is in my TBR jar this year. I loved the Rob Inglis audios of LOTR so I decided it would be a good idea to grab the Rob Inglis narration of The Hobbit.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading 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? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Book Review | Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Wilder Girls is a (debut!) young adult horror novel by Rory Power.

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

I normally don't care for moment in time stories, but I loved Wilder Girls! Wilder Girls is being marketed as a stand alone, but I'm holding out hope that it will turn into a series. Everything about it feels way bigger than the story we got with Wilder Girls. I want to know more about the disease, the setting, the characters... I want prequels and sequels and more of this world.

If you enjoy body horror, I think you will really dig Wilder Girls. It's going to end up on my favorites list for the year.


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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | July 28

Sending lots of hugs to everyone who knew Grace. She was such a sweet and positive person. She's been on my mind a lot, and I know everyone in this community is feeling the loss of Grace right now. Her family is so precious. I can't understand how life can be so unfair.

Posted Last Week

2019 Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag - Be sure to check out my favorites, disappointments, new authors, etc. so far this year.

Book Review | Wanderers by Chuck Wendig - I'm surprised at my final reaction to Wanderers.

Finished Reading

One Star by The Behrg House of Furies by Madeleine Roux La caida de la casa Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

One Star by The Behrg ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - This was an interesting read. This is The Behrg's love letter to reviewers, and it's free if you want to read it. It's a quick horror story, and it's worth checking out.

House of Furies (House of Furies #1) by Madeleine Roux ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - Yay! I enjoyed this one. I have the entire series for review so I was nervous, but I'm happy to move on to the next.

La caida de la casa Usher by Edgar Allan Poe ⭐⭐⭐★★ - I listened to (The Fall of the House of Usher) on audio this week. Listening in Spanish is still a challenge for me, but I've read this story before. The audio was great other than a couple of squeaky hinge sound effects in the middle of the book that tried to give me a heart attack. Why do they put sound effects in audiobooks? It's completely unnecessary.

Currently Reading

Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly The Man Who Knew The Way to the Moon by Todd Zwillich Recursion by Blake Crouch

Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly - Theme Music was highly recommended by Emily (book.happy). I'm loving it!

The Man Who Knew The Way to the Moon by Todd Zwillich - John C. Houbolt isn't very endearing, but this is a fascinating listen so far.

Recursion by Blake Crouch - Yeeesss... I'm so glad I'm finally read this. I love it.

Recent Acquisitions

Doorways to the Deadeye by Eric J. Guignard el Paciente by Juan Gomez-Jurado The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Doorways to the Deadeye by Eric J. Guignard - Many thanks for Eric Guignard for sending me his new novel Doorways to the Deadeye. It sounds amazing.

The rest of the books pictured I picked up in the Audible $5 sale.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading 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? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Book Review | Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Wanderers is an apocalyptic novel by Chuck Wendig.

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world's last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

My experience with Wanderers was an interesting one. I was absolutely hooked when I started reading it. Chuck Wendig is a great writer!

Wanderers has everything: a large cast, an apocalyptic disease, a broad setting, artificial intelligence... I was here for it! The only problem is it was so epic for so long that I never really connected with anyone. I hit a wall when I got to 80%. Normally this would be something I could overcome, but Wanderers weighs in at 800 pages. I started making excuses: it's summer, I'm reading it on the Kindle, etc. By the time I got to 95%, though, I knew it wasn't me. As epic as Wanderers was, it didn't matter to me the ultimate fate of anyone. I would have felt the exact same way no matter what the outcome was.

I feel like most people won't have the problem that I did. Wanderers is really great on a lot of levels, I just personally never connected with it.


Review copy provided by publisher

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Monday, July 22, 2019

2019 Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

I've decided to follow Mogsy's lead and do the Mid Year Book Freak Out tag this year. Book covers are linked to Goodreads.

Best Books I’ve Read So Far

I love the fact that The Luminous Dead is on my best books list and on Mogsy's biggest disappointments list. This year has been rough in the horror community with people speaking out against negative reviews. I often retreat into my blogging bubble and this is why. I love you guys.

Biggest Disappointments

I enjoyed both Children of Time and Wuthering Heights, but I expected to love them and didn't quite make it there.

Biggest Surprises

I recommend each of these books!

Favorite New Authors

More, please. I need mooooore.

Books That Made Me Cry

Each of these books touched me in different ways.

Books That Made Me Happy

I found some happiness in each of these books this year.

Best Book To Film Adaptation

I'm cheating because I haven't seen the adaptations for The House Next Door or Ghost Story, but they have been adapted and I loved reading the books this year.

Favorite Post

I'm going to select my 2019 TBR Jar post because it makes me happy each time I finally sit down with one of the books from this list.

Books I Need to Read By the End of the Year

How did the first half of the year go for you? Let me know which books would make your list and consider yourself tagged!

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