Friday, March 29, 2019

Book Review | The Between by Tananarive Due

The Between is a horror novel by Tananarive Due.

The Between by Tananarive Due

A brilliant novel of horror and the supernatural in which a middle-class family’s very existence is threatened by inner and outer demons

When Hilton was just a boy, his grandmother sacrificed her life to save him from drowning. Thirty years later, he begins to suspect that he was never meant to survive that accident, and that dark forces are working to rectify that mistake. When Hilton's wife, the only elected African-American judge in Dade County, Florida, begins to receive racist hate mail from a man she once prosecuted, Hilton becomes obsessed with protecting his family. Soon, however, he begins to have horrible nightmares, more intense and disturbing than any he has ever experienced. Are the strange dreams trying to tell him something? His sense of reality begins to slip away as he battles both the psychotic threatening to destroy his family and the even more terrifying enemy stalking his sleep.

Chilling and utterly convincing, The Between follows the struggles of a man desperately trying to hold on to the people and life he loves, but may have already lost.

I was pleasantly surprised by The Between! I have had Tananarive Due on my TBR for so long. The Ladies of Horror Fiction team decided to choose her debut novel for our Women in Horror Month readalong and wow! If this is her debut, I am in for a treat with the rest of Due's catalog!

There were so many layers to The Between and they were all expertly woven together. It's a relatively short book at a little less than 300 pages. I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say this is an excellent place to start if you haven't read anything by Tananarive Due yet.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book Review | A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

A Dangerous Collaboration is a mystery novel from Deanna Raybourn.


Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker's brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly's house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée--much to Stoker's chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly's wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband's mind.

As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker's help to discover the host's true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund...

A Dangerous Collaboration was delightful. I may lose my credibility when I say this, but A Dangerous Collaboration was a lot like reading a Scooby Doo novel. It was definitely an adult version of Scooby Doo, but Scooby Doo nonetheless. Veronica and Stoker were staying in a castle on a haunted island, and everything was gothic down to the candlelight and secret passageways.

A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book in the Veronica Speedwell series. I have not read the previous three, but this one seemed to stand alone just fine. I would have liked to have a deeper understanding of the relationships between the characters, but I was able to dive into the story well enough.

Veronica Speedwell is an interesting character. She's a lepidopterist (she specializes in butterflies), and I enjoyed all of the facts about butterflies. It never felt out of place, and I enjoyed the tidbits of nature. A Dangerous Collaboration was plants and butterflies by day, whodunit mystery and family drama by night.

I enjoyed this installment of the series. I would happily read more of them.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Review copy provided by publisher

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

On My Wishlist {18}

It's time for another round of "on my wishlist" where I share a few of the latest books I've been pining for lately.

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow
Published March 19th 2019 by Head of Zeus



Here are four urgent stories from author and activist Cory Doctorow, four social, technological and economic visions of the world today and its near—all too near—future.

'Unauthorized Bread' is a tale of immigration, toxic economic stratification and a young woman's perilously illegal quest to fix a broken toaster.

In 'Model Minority' a superhero finds himself way out his depth when he confronts the corruption of the police and justice system.

'Radicalized' is the story of a desperate husband, a darknet forum and the birth of a violent uprising against the US health care system.

The final story, 'The Masque of the Red Death', tracks an uber-wealthy survivalist and his followers as they hole up and attempt to ride out the collapse of society.

Cory Doctorow will be at Comicpalooza this year so I may have an opportunity to meet him. Radicalized contains four novellas, and it sounds like an excellent introduction to me. (Thank you to Michael Patrick Hicks for putting it on my radar!)



The Girl on the Porch by Richard Chizmar
Expected publication: August 31st 2019 by Subterranean



From New York Times bestseller Richard Chizmar, author of Gwendy's Button Box (with Stephen King) and The Long Way Home, comes a thriller that will forever change the way you look at your neighbors and best friends...

When the Tuckers’ next door neighbor mentions someone rang their doorbell late the previous night, Sarah and Kenny Tucker check their home’s security camera and discover something shocking: the doorbell ringer also visited their house and it wasn’t a teenager playing a prank, but instead a terrified young woman with a shackle hanging from her right wrist. She anxiously pressed the doorbell again and again, glancing over her shoulder as if someone was coming for her, before giving up and taking off into the dark.

Almost overnight, she becomes known as The Girl on the Porch—and she’s everywhere. There are updates on all the local networks, national coverage on CNN and Fox News, and the video goes viral on social media. Before long, everyone has seen the harrowing security camera footage.

Kenny and Sarah figure it’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes the woman, but as the days pass and no one comes forward, odd things begin to transpire around the Tucker family: a man intensely watches them at a restaurant and then vanishes, fresh footprints appear in the garden next to their house where no one should have been, a neighbor’s pet is viciously killed and mutilated, and a mysterious man has started following their daughter Natalie...

A rollercoaster ride of compelling twists and turns, The Girl on the Porch demonstrates why Stephen King says Richard Chizmar’s writing is “powerful” and Robert McCammon calls his work “hard-hitting, spooky, suspenseful, harrowing, and heartbreaking.”

A new Richard Chizmar. What else can I say?



Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Expected publication: June 4th 2019 by Tor Teen



Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they'll have to step into the shadows to see what's lurking there—murderer, or monster?

Five Midnights is a “wickedly thrilling” (William Alexander) novel based on the el Cuco myth set against the backdrop of modern day Puerto Rico.

Five Midnights is a YA horror, and it sounds awesome! (Thank you Mogsy for putting this one on my radar!)



Are you planning to read any of these new or upcoming releases? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Book Review | A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben

A Hawk in the Woods is a horror novel by Carrie Laben.



When newscaster Abby Waite is diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness, she decides to do the logical thing… break her twin sister Martha out of prison and hit the road. Their destination is the Waite family cabin in Minnesota where Abby plans a family reunion of sorts. But when you come from a family where your grandfather frequently took control of your body during your youth, where your mother tried to inhabit your mind and suck your youthful energies out of you, and where so many dark secrets–and bodies, even–are buried, such a family meeting promises to be nothing short of complicated…

There's a lot to process in A Hawk in the Woods! I know I'll continue to think about it for quite some time. Books like this one tend to grow in my mind and in my heart as all of the pieces continue to meld together. It's a little bit like a movie you want to start back from the beginning once you have reached the end so you can experience it again knowing all of the secrets. (I'm feeling the exact same way about Jordan Peele's Us right now.)

A Hawk in the Woods is told through two different timelines. After receiving a terminal diagnosis, Abby makes plans to bust her twin sister out of prison and head back to the cabin they grew up in. One timeline chronicles Abby and Martha's childhood growing up with a mother and grandfather who were heavily involved in witchcraft and the other follows Abby and Martha in the present on their road trip home.

The multiple timelines in A Hawk in the Woods was really well done. The past and the present both managed to move the story forward, and I had trouble pulling myself away from either one.

There are story elements in A Hawk in the Woods that I love but rarely get to talk about because they are almost always spoilers. This makes it very difficult to compare A Hawk in the Woods to other books I have enjoyed. Thankfully, A Hawk in the Woods can stand on its own as an excellent debut. I can't wait to read more from Carrie Laben in the future. If you enjoy family rooted witchcraft, you are going to want to pick this one up.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Content warning: infant related horror; Review copy provided by publisher

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Book Review | In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

In An Absent Dream is the fourth book in Seanan McGuire's fantasy series Wayward Children.



This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.


I think this one is my favorite of the series!

I'm all caught up in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series now. I'm sad because I've been able to read four of them so close together and now I will have to wait to read the next one.

I'm not a great series reader. I burn out easily so it takes a lot for me to keep coming back to a series. I think in this case it helps that each book is so different from the last. (That and the fact that they're so good.)

I felt like there was so much allegory happening in In An Absent Dream. I would love to know what it was really about in Seanan McGuire's mind. The story was like a fairy tale, and the writing was so wonderful for me.

If you haven't started reading this series yet, just do it. I waited longer than I should have to get started.

I won't lie and say she took the story in directions I wanted it to go. I'm a little bit wrecked by this one, but also anxious to see where McGuire takes me in the next one.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | March 24

Happy weekend! I hope the weather is as beautiful for you as it is for us right now. I'm making plans to go to the beach next weekend. *fingers crossed*

Posted Last Week



Finished Reading



A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - This was delightful. I will post a full review soon.

Girl Most Likely by Max Allan Collins [DNF] - It seems like every year there's that one book that you loathe. Girl Most Likely is this year's book for me.

Currently Reading



Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky - There's a chance I may finally finish this before book 2 comes out. 😂

A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben - I'm loving this! So much so I considered skipping this post today so I could curl up with this book instead!

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller - I'm really loving the writing in this one.

Recent Acquisitions



The Ladies of Horror Fiction is hosting a readalong of The Winter People in May. I'm looking forward to it. It will be my first Jennifer McMahon.

I took advantage of the 2 for 1 deal on Audible and grabbed Michael McDowell's The Elementals and Blackwater. These have both been high on my wishlist so I was excited to see them listed in the 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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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Quick Reviews | Geek Love, Fountain Dead, The Haunting of Henderson Close

Here are some quick thoughts on a few books I've read recently.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn


Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.

I’ve decided this book is impossible to review. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read (which is the best part about it.) Geek Love is a character driven book and all of the characters are horrible and fascinating. It’s disturbing and well written and one of those books you really just need to read for yourself.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun


Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.

Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house's dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

Fountain Dead was one of my selections for the Ladies of Horror Fiction readathon. Unfortunately, the format of Fountain Dead didn't work for me. The timeline in Fountain Dead shifted back and forth between 1988 and the 1860s. There was a lot of jumping not just between timelines but also within the narrative of each section. It was hard to keep up with what was happening. I wasn't able to properly lose myself in the story or the lives of the characters.

⭐⭐★★★

Review copy provided by the author

The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish


The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish

Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone…

In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released.

Hannah and her colleagues are tour guides who lead their visitors along the spooky, derelict Henderson Close, thrilling them with tales of spectres and murder. For Hannah it is her dream job, but not for long. Who is the mysterious figure that disappears around a corner? What is happening in the old print shop? And who is the little girl with no face?

The legends of Henderson Close are becoming all too real. The Auld De’il is out – and even the spirits are afraid.

The Haunting of Henderson Close was a very atmospheric read. There were so many elements of haunting and supernatural stories that I love, but it may have suffered a little from having too much and a lack of focus.

⭐⭐⭐★★

Review copy provided by publisher

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

On My Wishlist {17}

I've been adding so many amazing books to my wishlist lately I decided it was time to do another edition of On My Wishlist! Here are a few books that have caught my eye lately:

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
Expected publication: August 13th 2019 by Saga Press


When an Earth-like planet is discovered, a team of six teens, along with three veteran astronauts, embark on a twenty-year trip to set up a planet for human colonization—but find that space is more deadly than they ever could have imagined.

Have you ever hoped you could leave everything behind?
Have you ever dreamt of a better world?
Can a dream sustain a lifetime?

A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race.

And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives.

It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong.

And something always goes wrong.

I first saw this on Tammy's blog, and it sounds like such a great read! I need to have it in my life.



A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by John Hornor Jacobs
Expected publication: October 29th 2019 by Harper Voyager


The award-winning and critically-acclaimed master of horror returns with a pair of chilling tales—both never-before-published in print—that examine the violence and depravity of the human condition.

Bringing together his acclaimed novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky and an all-new short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow, John Hornor Jacobs turns his fertile imagination to the evil that breeds within the human soul.

A brilliant mix of the psychological and supernatural, blending the acute insight of Roberto Bolaño and the eerie imagination of H. P. Lovecraft, The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky examines life in a South American dictatorship. Centered on the journal of a poet-in-exile and his failed attempts at translating a maddening text, it is told by a young woman trying to come to grips with a country that nearly devoured itself.

In My Heart Struck Sorrow, a librarian discovers a recording from the Deep South—which may be the musical stylings of the Devil himself.

Breathtaking and haunting, A Lush and Seething Hell is a terrifying and exhilarating journey into the darkness, an odyssey into the deepest reaches of ourselves that compels us to confront secrets best left hidden.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of John Hornor Jacobs. I have this one on pre-order, and I can't wait!



Selected Poems of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton, edited by Irene Goldman-Price
Expected publication: July 9th 2019 by Scribner


Edith Wharton, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her novel The Age of Innocence, was also a brilliant poet. This revealing collection of 134 poems brings together a fascinating array of her verse—including fifty poems that have never before been published.

The celebrated American novelist and short story writer Edith Wharton, author of The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Age of Innocence, was also a dedicated, passionate poet. A lover of words, she read, studied, and composed poetry all of her life, publishing her first collection of poems at the age of sixteen. In her memoir, A Backward Glance, Wharton declared herself dazzled by poetry; she called it her “chiefest passion and greatest joy.”

The 134 selected poems in this volume include fifty published for the first time. Wharton’s poetry is arranged thematically, offering context as the poems explore new facets of her literary ability and character. These works illuminate a richer, sometimes darker side of Wharton. Her subjects range from the public and political—her first published poem was about a boy who hanged himself in jail—to intimate lyric poems expressing heartbreak, loss, and mortality. She wrote frequently about works of art and historical figures and places, and some of her most striking work explores the origins of creativity itself.

These selected poems showcase Wharton’s vivid imagination and her personal experience. Relatively overlooked until now, her poetry and its importance in her life provide an enlightening lens through which to view one of the finest writers of the twentieth century.

Edith Wharton was an amazing woman and one of the lesser known pioneers of horror fiction. Having enjoyed both her novels and her short stories, I'm excited to read her poetry. [You can learn more about Edith Wharton and listen to Toni read one of her short stories (The Lady Maid's Bell) on the Ladies of Horror Fiction podcast.]



Are you planning to read any of these upcoming releases? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Book Review | The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

The Wolf and the Watchman is a historical fiction novel by Niklas Natt och Dag.

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

It is 1793. Four years after the storming of the Bastille in France and more than a year after the death of King Gustav III of Sweden, paranoia and whispered conspiracies are Stockholm’s daily bread. A promise of violence crackles in the air as ordinary citizens feel increasingly vulnerable to the whims of those in power.

When Mickel Cardell, a crippled ex-solider and former night watchman, finds a mutilated body floating in the city’s malodorous lake, he feels compelled to give the unidentifiable man a proper burial. For Cecil Winge, a brilliant lawyer turned consulting detective to the Stockholm police, a body with no arms, legs, or eyes is a formidable puzzle and one last chance to set things right before he loses his battle to consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell scour Stockholm to discover the body’s identity, encountering the sordid underbelly of the city’s elite. Meanwhile, Kristofer Blix—the handsome son of a farmer—leaves rural life for the alluring charms of the capital and ambitions of becoming a doctor. His letters to his sister chronicle his wild good times and terrible misfortunes, which lead him down a treacherous path.

In another corner of the city, a young woman—Anna-Stina—is consigned to the workhouse after she upsets her parish priest. Her unlikely escape plan takes on new urgency when a sadistic guard marks her as his next victim.

Over the course of the novel, these extraordinary characters cross paths and collide in shocking and unforgettable ways. Niklas Natt och Dag paints a deliciously dark portrait of late 18th century Stockholm, and the frightful yet fascinating reality lurking behind the powdered and painted veneer of the era.

I'm so glad I read The Wolf and the Watchman. I came across it many times while looking for upcoming releases. The title and the cover kept pulling me in, but the historical fiction genre is what kept pushing me back out. When Atria Books offered me a copy and compared it to Patrick Süskind's Perfume, I decided to take a chance. Again, I'm so glad I did!

The comparison to Perfume is accurate. Niklas Natt och Dag has a similar voice to Süskind, and the content was oh so dark. The Wolf and the Watchman is exactly the kind of historical fiction my horror loving heart wants to read.

I have no idea how to review historical fiction, but I do know I enjoyed the heck out of this book. I love the voice, I loved the characters, I loved how consistently uncomfortable it made me.

The Wolf and the Watchman is a beautiful book, too. I tweeted out this picture of the inside, and Hand Made Maps let me know they were the company that created the beautiful interior map.


It's still early in the year, but it's pretty safe to say The Wolf and the Watchman will land on my list of favorites for the year. Niklas Natt och Dag is a Swedish author, and I can only hope we are treated to more translated work from him in the future.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy provided by publisher

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Audiobook Review | Dead Moon by Peter Clines

Dead Moon is a science fiction/horror book by Peter Clines.


In the year 2243, the Moon belongs to the dead.

The largest graveyard in the solar system, it was the perfect solution to the overcrowding and environmental problems that had plagued mankind for centuries. And the perfect place for Cali Washington to run away from her past.

But when a mysterious meteor crashes into one of the Moon’s cemeteries, Cali and her fellow Caretakers find themselves surrounded by a terrifying enemy force that outnumbers them more than a thousand to one. An enemy not hindered by the lack of air or warmth or sustenance.

An enemy that is already dead.

Now Cali and her compatriots must fight to survive. Because if they don’t, everyone on the Moon may be joining the dead.

And maybe everyone on Earth, too.

I'm going to jump straight into the selling point of Dead Moon: zombies on the moon! Well, that and the fact that it was written by Peter Clines and narrated by Ray Porter. The only other Peter Clines books I've read are 14 and Ex-Heroes, but I loved them - especially 14.

Dead Moon is part of the same series as 14, but the Threshold series is comprised of stand alone books. They can absolutely be read independent of each other. (Some day I need to go back and read book 2!)

I don't have a lot to say about Dead Moon because it was mostly just fun action. There wasn't a lot of character development or anyone to really get attached to, but I still enjoyed the ride. The moon setting and all it entailed was the heart of what made this a unique zombie story, but I was happy to see another layer to the monster madness added in as well.

Dead Moon was a fun read that didn't require much effort on my part as the reader. It was just the right book when I needed it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★

Dead Moon is available exclusively through Audible and is narrated by Ray Porter (one of the best in the business). You can check out samples of Dead Moon below:

Prologue:



Excerpt 1:



Excerpt 2:



Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | March 17

This past week was *sort of* spring break for my kids. I say *sort of* because they still had school projects all week. My kids are grossly overworked.

The Ladies of Horror Fiction team picked our next readalong for May with help from a community wide poll. Thank you to everyone who took time to vote. We will be reading Jennifer McMahon's The Winter People if you want to join us. We will be posting discussion questions each Sunday in May.

The Winter People Readalong

Posted Since My Last Update



Finished Reading


In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - So happy because I loved it... so sad because now I'm totally caught up on this series now.

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Your eyes are not deceiving you - two ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ reads. Stay tuned for some reviews!

The Widening Gyre by Michael R. Johnston ⭐⭐⭐★★ - This one was very middle of the road so you will probably see it pop up in a mini review at some point.

Currently Reading


Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky - I'm buddy reading this one on audio with Lilyn. So far I'm surprised by my love of the spiders in this book. Life is strange!

A Dangerous Collaboration - I just started this one. I'm anxious to see what this series is all about.

Recent Acquisitions



Many, many thanks to Word Horde for sending me A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben and Memento Mori by Brian Hauser. I'm super excited to give these a review.

I'm also super excited to read Hanna Jameson's The Last! Thank you to Atria for sending me a review copy.

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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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Upcoming March 2019 Book Releases in Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction

March is already underway so let's take a closer look at the March 2019 new releases I'm most excited about!


The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag
Published March 5th 2019 by Atria Books

In this breathtakingly bold, intricately constructed novel set in 18th century Stockholm, a dying man searches among the city’s teeming streets, dark corners, and intriguing inhabitants to unmask a ruthless murderer—perfect for fans of Perfume and The Alienist.

It is 1793. Four years after the storming of the Bastille in France and more than a year after the death of King Gustav III of Sweden, paranoia and whispered conspiracies are Stockholm’s daily bread. A promise of violence crackles in the air as ordinary citizens feel increasingly vulnerable to the whims of those in power.

When Mickel Cardell, a crippled ex-solider and former night watchman, finds a mutilated body floating in the city’s malodorous lake, he feels compelled to give the unidentifiable man a proper burial. For Cecil Winge, a brilliant lawyer turned consulting detective to the Stockholm police, a body with no arms, legs, or eyes is a formidable puzzle and one last chance to set things right before he loses his battle to consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell scour Stockholm to discover the body’s identity, encountering the sordid underbelly of the city’s elite. Meanwhile, Kristofer Blix—the handsome son of a farmer—leaves rural life for the alluring charms of the capital and ambitions of becoming a doctor. His letters to his sister chronicle his wild good times and terrible misfortunes, which lead him down a treacherous path.

In another corner of the city, a young woman—Anna-Stina—is consigned to the workhouse after she upsets her parish priest. Her unlikely escape plan takes on new urgency when a sadistic guard marks her as his next victim.

Over the course of the novel, these extraordinary characters cross paths and collide in shocking and unforgettable ways. Niklas Natt och Dag paints a deliciously dark portrait of late 18th century Stockholm, and the frightful yet fascinating reality lurking behind the powdered and painted veneer of the era.




Cold Spots by Cullen Bunn
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by Image Comics

A tale of spine-tingling horror, psychological fright, the undead, and the bitter cold of a supernatural winter come together in this account of unexpected twists and mounting dread. Dan Kerr turned his back on his wife and unborn daughter 10 years ago. Now, both mother and child have gone missing, and Dan must embark on a weird tale of cosmic terror in order to find them again! Ghosts stir when Dan's estranged daughter is near, and as the dead grow restless, the cold deepens.

Collects COLD SPOTS #1 - 5




Cemetery Road by Greg Iles
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by William Morrow & Company

When Marshall McEwan left his hometown at age eighteen, he vowed never to return. The trauma that drove him away ultimately spurred him to become one of the most successful journalists in Washington D.C. But just as the political chaos in the nation’s capital lifts him to new heights, Marshall is forced to return home in spite of his boyhood vow.

His father is dying, his mother is struggling to keep the family newspaper from failing, and the town is in the midst of an economic rebirth that might be built upon crimes that reach into the state capitol—and perhaps even to Washington. More disturbing still, Marshall’s high school sweetheart, Jet, has married into the family of Max Matheson, patriarch of one of the families that rule Bienville through a shadow organization called the Bienville Poker Club.

When archeologist Buck McKibben is murdered at a construction site, Bienville is thrown into chaos. The ensuing homicide investigation is soon derailed by a second crime that rocks the community to its core. Power broker Max Matheson’s wife has been shot dead in her own bed, and the only other person in it at the time was her husband, Max. Stranger still, Max demands that his daughter-on-law, Jet, defend him in court.

As a journalist, Marshall knows all too well how the corrosive power of money and politics can sabotage investigations. Without telling a soul, he joins forces with Jet, who has lived for fifteen years at the heart of Max Matheson’s family, and begins digging into both murders. With Jet walking the dangerous road of an inside informer, they soon uncover a web of criminal schemes that undergird the town’s recent success. But these crimes pale in comparison to the secret at the heart of the Matheson family. When those who have remained silent for years dare to speak to Marshall, pressure begins to build like water against a crumbling dam.

Marshall loses friends, family members, and finally even Jet, for no one in Bienville seems willing to endure the reckoning that the Poker Club has long deserved. And by the time Marshall grasps the long-buried truth, he would give almost anything not to have to face it.




When All Is Said by Anne Griffin
Published March 5th 2019 by Thomas Dunne Books

A tale of a single night. The story of a lifetime.

If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said and done?

This is the story of Maurice Hannigan, who, over the course of a Saturday night in June, orders five different drinks at the Rainford House Hotel. With each he toasts a person vital to him: his doomed older brother, his troubled sister-in-law, his daughter of fifteen minutes, his son far off in America, and his late, lamented wife. And through these people, the ones who left him behind, he tells the story of his own life, with all its regrets and feuds, loves and triumphs.

Beautifully written, powerfully felt, When All Is Said promises to be the next great Irish novel.




The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Delacorte

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?




Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Razorbill

Almost everyone in the small town of Splendor, Ohio, was affected when the local steel mill exploded. If you weren’t a casualty of the accident yourself, chances are a loved one was. That’s the case for seventeen-year-old Franny, who, five years after the explosion, still has to stand by and do nothing as her brother lies in a coma.

In the wake of the tragedy, Franny found solace in a group of friends whose experiences mirrored her own. The group calls themselves The Ordinary, and they spend their free time investigating local ghost stories and legends, filming their exploits for their small following of YouTube fans. It’s silly, it’s fun, and it keeps them from dwelling on the sadness that surrounds them.

Until one evening, when the strange and dangerous thing they film isn’t fiction–it’s a bright light, something massive hurdling toward them from the sky. And when it crashes and the teens go to investigate…everything changes.




Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz
Expected publication: March 14th 2019 by Flame Tree Press

Aside from a quaint amusement park, the small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends. They're about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil. The werewolf. The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded. And though the beast remains on the loose and eager to spill more blood, the sleepy resort town is about to face an even greater terror. Because the four victims of the werewolf's fury are changing. They're experiencing unholy desires and unimaginable cravings. They'll prey on the innocent and the depraved. They'll settle old scores and act on their basest desires. Soon, they'll plunge the entire town into nightmare. Lakeview is about to become Wolf Land.




Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk
Expected publication: March 14th 2019 by Flame Tree Press

You don't read the book. It reads you.

Rumors of a deadly book have been floating around the dark corners of the deep web. A disturbing tale about a mysterious figure who preys on those who read the book and subjects them to a world of personalized terror. Jesse Wheeler--former guitarist of the heavy metal group The Rising Dead--was quick to discount the ominous folklore associated with the book. It takes more than some urban legend to frighten him. Hell, reality is scary enough. Seven years ago his greatest responsibility was the nightly guitar solo. Then one night when Jesse was blackout drunk, he accidentally injured his son, leaving him permanently disabled. Dreams of being a rock star died when he destroyed his son's future. Now he cuts radio jingles and fights to stay clean. But Jesse is wrong.

The legend is real--and tonight he will become the protagonist in an elaborate scheme specifically tailored to prey on his fears and resurrect the ghosts from his past. Jesse is not the only one in danger, however.

By reading the book, you have volunteered to participate in the author's deadly game, with every page drawing you closer to your own personalized nightmare.

The real horror doesn't begin until you reach the end. That's when the evil comes for you.




Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Holiday House

Emeline’s quiet village has three important rules:
Don’t look at the shadows.
Don’t cross the river.
And don’t enter the forest.

An illustrated fantasy filled with beauty and power, BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE WOODS sweeps you into a world where forests are hungry; knights fight with whips; the king is dying; and a peasant girl’s magic will decide the future of the realm…

When Emeline’s little brother breaks all three of their village’s rules, she is forced to use her family’s forbidden magic to rescue him from the dark things he awakens, the Ithin. Now that the Ithin are afoot in the land, she must, by law, travel to the royal court and warn the king. But the only way she and her family can make the journey to the capital is with the protection of a sour magister and a handsome, whip-wielding Lash Knight. Will Emeline survive in a city where conspiracies swirl like smoke and her magic is all but outlawed?

Seven full-page black-and-white illustrations included.




The Deepest Blue (The Queens of Renthia #4) by Sarah Beth Durst
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Harper Voyager

The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia.

Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island’s fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.

To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.

They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aide the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.




A Hawk in the Woods by Carrie Laben
Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Word Horde

When newscaster Abby Waite is diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness, she decides to do the logical thing… break her twin sister Martha out of prison and hit the road. Their destination is the Waite family cabin in Minnesota where Abby plans a family reunion of sorts. But when you come from a family where your grandfather frequently took control of your body during your youth, where your mother tried to inhabit your mind and suck your youthful energies out of you, and where so many dark secrets–and bodies, even–are buried, such a family meeting promises to be nothing short of complicated…




Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Tor.com

"A haunting story that reimagines the consequences of Shakespeare’s The Tempest."

After the tempest, after the reunion, after her father drowned his books, Miranda was meant to enter a brave new world. Naples awaited her, and Ferdinand, and a throne. Instead she finds herself in Milan, in her father’s castle, surrounded by hostile servants who treat her like a ghost. Whispers cling to her like spiderwebs, whispers that carry her dead mother’s name. And though he promised to give away his power, Milan is once again contorting around Prospero’s dark arts. With only Dorothea, her sole companion and confidant to aid her, Miranda must cut through the mystery and find the truth about her father, her mother, and herself.



What March releases are you most looking forward to reading this year?

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Book Review | The Suspect by Fiona Barton

The Suspect is the latest mystery/thriller from Fiona Barton.

The Suspect by Fiona Barton

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . .

I'm looking forward to getting back into thrillers this year. Last year was remarkably light in the thriller department so I'm making a point to place some focus back on thrillers.

I became a fan of Fiona Barton after reading the first book in the Kate Waters series (The Widow). It was one of those compulsive reads I couldn't put down so I was really looking forward to reading The Suspect.

The Suspect is the third book in the Kate Waters series, but each of these books can stand alone without having read the others. I missed out on reading book two, and my experience with The Suspect did not suffer at all. (I do still plan to read The Child, though!)

The Suspect is about an investigation into what happened to two girls who went missing while on vacation in Thailand. The story shifts between Kate and the parents' current point of view and the girls' past point of view before they went missing. I found these shifts very easy to follow, and I loved how Fiona Barton crafted her reveals and the timeline of the story.

The focus of The Suspect was understandably on the events that took place prior to the girls going missing and the steps being taken to find them and solve what happened. For me, this took away a lot of focus from character development. My reactions to events in books are directly tied to how deeply I care for the characters. The Suspect was an entertaining and quick read, but it's not one that will stick with me beyond the experience of reading it.

If you enjoyed Fiona Barton's previous releases, you are sure to enjoy The Suspect as well. If you like to focus on crimes and the events surrounding them, this is probably an excellent choice for you. There were some surprising moments in The Suspect. I just would have liked to have a deeper understanding of the characters.

⭐⭐⭐★★

Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | March 3

Eeek! The last two weeks have been crazy busy at the Book Den household. I'm hoping to bombard you guys with reviews this week. *fingers crossed*

Wyrd & Wonder

Fantasy month is in May, and the signups are open for Wyrd & Wonder. I have been in such a fantasy mood for the longest time now, but I have trouble finding the time to squeeze more in. I can't wait to put some focus on it in May.

Ladies of Horror Fiction

Also in May, the Ladies of Horror Fiction will be hosting another community wide readalong. I would love it if you would help us pick which book to read and join in with us!

Posted Since My Last Update



Finished Reading


The Between by Tananarive Due Collision by J.S. Breukelaar The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish

I finished reading The Between as part of the Ladies of Horror Fiction readalong. It was so good. I will be catching up on all of my Tananarive Due reading! ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

I also finished reading Collision - a short story collection by J.S. Breukelaar. You can read my review here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

I finished off Women in Horror Month and the LOHF Readalong with The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish. ⭐⭐⭐★★

Currently Reading


In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Recent Acquisitions


Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Many, many thanks to Rachel Caine for granting me access to Wolfhunter River. I'm a little obsessed with the Stillhouse Lake series, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

A Dangerous Collaboration is book 4 in the Veronica Speedwell series, and I've been told these books can stand alone? I hope so because I'm jumping in at book 4! Barb is a big fan of these books, so I'm excited to read this. Thank you to Berkley Books for mailing me a copy.

I'm not much of a Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett fan, and yet I bought Good Omens anyway. I'm hopelessly optimistic.

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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