Monday, December 30th 2013

Review: Dead Set by Richard Kadrey

17349326Title: Dead Set

Author: Richard Kadrey

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: October 2013

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Horror

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone Continue Reading →

Monday, December 16th 2013

Review: The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig

13793061Title: The Cormorant

Author: Chuck Wendig

Publisher: Angry Robot

Publishing Date: December 2013

Genre: Adult Fiction/Horror

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Three Continue Reading →

Monday, December 9th 2013

Review: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

17571907Title: Bellman & Black

Author: Diane Setterfield

Publisher: Simon & Shuster

Publication Date: November 2013

Genre: Adult Fiction/Horror

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone Continue Reading →

Monday, July 22nd 2013

Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Another Little Piece

Author: Kate Karyus Quinn

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: June 2013

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Continue Reading →

Monday, October 29th 2012

Review: Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig

Title: Mockingbird

Author: Chuck Wendig

Publisher: Angry Robot

Publication Date: August 2012

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two

Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Miriam Black is back!
I wasn’t shy about my love for Blackbirds, book one of this series and lucky for me, book two does not disappoint.

Miriam is desperately trying to settle down with Louis, but he’s on the road most of the time. And alone and bored, Miriam is not one to hang around waiting for life to happen to her. But one day, Miriam stumbles upon a nightmare she can’t ignore. Someone is killing school girls from the all girls academy.

I love Miriam’s bite. She has one, with sharp teeth and a hard edge. Her wicked sense of humor is in full force in this second novel, brough to a sharp point because of her boredom and her relationship problems. Her and Louis aren’t getting along so well right now, and maybe most of it stems from her being left alone in a trailer park. Or maybe it’s from fighting her urge to leave, explore, be on her own. Either way, Miriam is fighting the good fight, but losing.

I loved the mystery in this book. An all girls’ academy and the missing girls are being murdered? Sign me up! A creepy setting is just one part of this crazy story. The deaths are scary and Miriam’s visions are even scarier. The visions are truly terrifying and they allow the reader to see how this gift really affects Miriam’s personality. The dark humor is abundant and the gore and horror is there. But this story really seems to be about Miriam and fighting her own personal demons. I realized I was holding my breath a lot during this book, eating it up as quickly as I could.

And by the end, Miriam is transformed. For better or worse, you don’t know. Not yet anyway.
Pick up this book, buckle up and set some time aside. You’re going to need it.

I look forward to more adventures with Miriam Black.

Rating: 8 Cookie Worthy!

Monday, October 8th 2012

Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Title: This Is Not A Test

Author: Courtney Summers

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date: June 2012

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
Library copy.

Shhh, wait., What was that? Did you hear that? I thought I heard something.

Meet Sloane, a depressed teenager abused by her father, abandoned by her sister, and ready to plunge into an abyss where there is no turning back. Now, imagine her father answers the door one morning, only to come back in, screaming, with blood all over him. And Sloane enters into a nightmare.

Zombies have taken over and after many false starts, she flees with a group of kids and barricade themselves in the school. But how long can they last, not only from the outside but from each other?

Dirty, gritty and uncomfortable, This Is Not A Test is a rare book that kept me up, late into the night. Which is seriously impressive. Because I AM SCARED OF ZOMBIES. Like, seriously. Scared. Like ever since I watched 28 Days Later, I am terrified of lightening fast zombies. See, zombies should be slow. Sssslooow. And in my head, for some reason, I think they’re less frightening. But crazy fast zombies that want to eat my brains? Terrifying.

So Summers’s fast zombies made me put the book down a couple of times to remind myself it’s only a book. It’s only a book.

….What was that sound?….

Sloane is a complicated character. I can’t say I liked her, but I enjoyed the raw and truthful feelings she was experiencing. And how can you really blame her? Already depressed before the world ended, the few lights in her life now shattered, Sloane isn’t trying to survive. But she’s not trying to get the others around her killed either. As the zombies tap at the school doors, I couldn’t help but feel for Sloane and crew. Some are born fighters, like Cary. Some are lost and misguided, like Harrison. Every kid in that school has their own agenda. The vast spectrum of emotions that swell and dissipate between each teenager is real, haunting and bitter.

Sloane’s thoughts on suicide, the grim and hopeless world surrounding them, and the man eat man attitude within the school were all well developed, creating a very stressful and well written read.

I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that it did end abruptly and left me hanging. Usually, I don’t mind that in most books. But I felt such perpetual motion, such a forward sprint to the end, I was a little disappointed. That doesn’t mean that dear Sloane doesn’t have her epiphany, her cause, her realization. It just means, even if she does have it, does she know what to do with it.

That’s the beauty of the ending.
You just don’t know.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check my barricades.

Rating: 8 Cookie Worthy

Monday, August 6th 2012

Author Interview & Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Title: Girl of Nightmares

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Tor Teen/Macmillan

Publication Date: August 2012

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two

Synopsis can be found here.

My review of book one can be found here.
Go on. Read it. I’ll wait.

Back now?

Months after Anna Korlov disappeared, Cas Lowood still can’t get over her. She saved his life. She saved his soul, and sure she might have been under a curse that made her kill people in horrible ways, but you know what? Stuff happens. Don’t judge.

Flash to now and Cas is seeing Anna again, in dreams and hallucinations. Or are they? Cas doens’t know what to do but he has a very bad feeling that Anna is somewhere she’s not supposed to be. And she needs his help. But how do you rescue your girlfriend in hell?

You may have, and by may have I mean should have, already read my review of Anna Dressed In Blood. Therefore, you will already know that I thought it was fan-freaking-tastic.
Obviously I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on Girl of Nightmares. And it did not disappoint.

Oh, Cas, I missed you so.

Cas is back with all of his hilarious inner monologues, clever observations and bravery. He’s a little more damaged this time around and normal high school girls just aren’t very interesting to him. I mean, he did sorta fall in love with a princess ghost of destruction. And I mean that in the most loving way possible.
As always, best friend Thomas is there to lend some comedy and grounding. Cas and Thomas’s relationship really make this book for me. They both are going through some tough times and naturally lean on each other for some support. It’s easy to see why they’re best friends.
And of course, who could forget Carmel. Queen Bee by day and ghost hunter by night, she’s funny, complicated and overall adds a nice strong female touch to this boy group.

The story warms up and doesn’t let you go. Every time Anna appears, I died a little. As soon as you see her, you know Cas has to save her. You want Cas to save her. No matter what.
And that is the problem, my friend.
Because for Cas to save Anna…

Ooooh, you thought I was going to tell you! I don’t think so.

A wonderful book filled with adventure, voodoo, blood, gore and romance. Yes, all those things.
Go pick up Girl of Nightmares and Anna Dressed In Blood.
Leave the light on.

Rating 10, One of The Best
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Author Interview with Kendare Blake!

Thank you for stopping by Kendare!

What inspired you to become a writer?

Hmm. Well, reading, mostly. I read so much as a kid, and eventually found the worlds in the story WAY more interesting than the world we live in. I loved that writing gives you a chance to explore things.

What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was…We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. It’s a flippin masterpiece.

What sparked the idea for “Anna Dressed In Blood”? 

An urge to play Silent Hill. And the fear that if I played Silent Hill by myself I would cry like a tiny baby and break my TV. So I wrote Anna instead.

And when you wrote it, did you already know you would write a sequel? 

I didn’t. Well, that’s not true. I suspected all along that there might be another book’s worth of story to tell. But when Anna started to go to editor’s boards at publishers, most of them saw series potential, so I had to start really thinking about it, all the way out to expanding to a trilogy. Which I’m glad it didn’t do.

Cas’s voice is so unique, filled with dark humor, smart-ass remarks and clever observations. He is a multi-layered character and it’s awesome to have him back! How did you create Cas’s distinct voice and how do you feel he has changed from book one to book two? 

Oh! Cas would appreciate you saying such nice things! His voice was just his voice, from the start. From book one to book two, he goes through a lot. The loner slowly leaks out of him. And so does the sense that he has to complete some big journey. At the start of Girl of Nightmares, he doesn’t quite know what he’s supposed to do, now that Anna’s gone, and taken the Obeahman with her.

What are you favorite things about Anna? Do you believe in ghosts? 

I love that Anna is strong, not only in fists but in mind. As for ghosts, yes, I believe in them. Because why not? It’s more fun. Also, sad, if you think about it, but let’s stick to fun. In fact, here’s my most recent, super lame ghost story: 
Driving in my car with the windows rolled up. Hear a sound of something moving across the upholstery in the back right passenger seat. Loud sound. Loud enough to make me jump. But the back seat was empty. WOOOOOOOO!

Carmel and Thomas are loyal and trusted sidekicks. Have you ever thought of doing a spin off series involving Thomas and his witch heritage?

Oh my god, that would be so nerdy and fun! The shenanigans Thomas would get up to! I really love that boy. But no, I’d never thought of it before. Thanks!

How do you like your potato? 

Whipped, with butter, or maybe mayonnaise. Don’t judge me. Mayonnaise and I have a very special relationship.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? 

Institutionalized? No. I’m not sure. I was just thinking about what I might like to do after the writing dries up or I’m booted out of the industry. And I have no idea. Scary. I’d probably go back to school for something.

Batman or Superman? 

Batman. The entire Justice League exists just to prove that Batman can beat Superman. And that he’s cooler. Although, the Man of Steel teaser looks pretty cool.

Do you have a favorite literary character? 

Hector of Troy jumps to mind, but probably only because I’m currently writing about him. I also love Jane Eyre, Patrick Bateman, Morgaine, and Garfield cat.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Besides ghost hunting? 

Ha. I wish I ghost hunted. Sadly, I lack the tools. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. Or, eating. Often eating. Or hiking! Or playing really bad tennis. Hanging with my needy catsons.

Is this the end of Anna and Cas’s story? 

Yes. I think it is. And yet, I like to think it’s not…somewhere.

What are you working on now? 

My new series, releasing next August. ANTIGODDESS. I think we might call it The Goddess War Trilogy, or something. I’m doing edits now. It’s about dying greek gods and reincarnated heroes. Present day. Cassandra of Troy and Athena, pitted against each other, and things worse than each other. Lots of blood. Also love stories. Why not?

Thanks again for stopping by Kendare!
You can find Kendare here or follow her on Twitter at @KendareBlake