Mini-Reviews: Little Sister Death, Her Final Breath, The Worlds Traveler


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Little Sister Death

Tite: Little Sister Death

Author: William Gay

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

David Binder is a young, successful writer living in Chicago and suffering from writer’s block. He stares at the blank page, and the blank page stares back—until inspiration strikes in the form of a ghost story that captivated him as a child.

With his pregnant wife and young daughter in tow, he sets out to explore the myth of Virginia Beale, Faery Queen of the Haunted Dell. But as his investigation takes him deeper and deeper into the legacy of blood and violence that casts its shadow over the old Beale farm, Binder finds himself obsessed with a force that’s as wicked as it is seductive.

A stirring literary rendition of Tennessee’s famed Curse of the Bell Witch, Little Sister Death skillfully toes the line between Southern Gothic and horror, and further cements William Gay’s legacy as not only one of the South’s finest writers, but among the best that American literature has to offer.

Review: I love ghost stories, and this one is no exception, although at times, it didn’t catch my attention quite as much as I thought it would. It’s basically a retelling of the Bell Witch Haunting, but now when David Binder and his family move to the Baele homestead, where he hopes to find inspiration for a new book. The bouncing from era to era is a little difficult to follow at first, and makes it harder to connect to the characters. However, in the end it all ties up nicely.

Her Final Breath

Title: Her Final Breath

Author: Robert Dugoni

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite has returned to the police force after the sensational retrial of her sister’s killer. Still scarred from that ordeal, Tracy is pulled into an investigation that threatens to end her career, if not her life.

A serial killer known as the Cowboy is killing young women in cheap motels in North Seattle. Even after a stalker leaves a menacing message for Crosswhite, suggesting the killer or a copycat could be targeting her personally, she is charged with bringing the murderer to justice. With clues scarce and more victims dying, Tracy realizes the key to solving the murders may lie in a decade-old homicide investigation that others, including her captain, Johnny Nolasco, would prefer to keep buried. With the Cowboy on the hunt, can Tracy find the evidence to stop him, or will she become his next victim?

Review: I enjoyed the first book in the series, so I picked up the second one too. It was an okay read, and it had a few surprises, but the case unfortunately wasn’t all that interesting or original. Some of the drama seemed useless and done half a million times already. It did get better toward the end, and I did still enjoy myself reading it.

The Worlds Traveler

Title: The World Traveler

Author: M.L. Roble

Genre: Middle Grade

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Life on the run from madman Martin Reimer gets in the way of everything.

For fourteen-year-old Phillip, it has meant having to stay hidden, unable to use his gift of moving through maps to search for his missing father. But the arrival of a stranger named Delroy brings unexpected opportunity, for Delroy is a man with the ability to travel worlds hidden within our own and he was sent by Phillip’s father. Now Phillip will do everything he can to find his dad, even if it means tricking Delroy into helping him or a quest through those hidden worlds.

Even if leaving home means Martin can now find him…

Follow in the adventures of Phillip Stone and Natalie Bristol from the award-winning book The Magician’s Doll!

Review: I didn’t know the book was a sequel, until I started reading. I didn’t really need the first book to grasp what was going on though. I enjoyed the story, but there was a lack of consistency, and the author used telling instead of showing. The pacing went from slow to fast in milliseconds too. So while it’s enjoyable, the writing could use some work, and the story wasn’t alwways consistent either.

Mini-Review: Broken Chain, Tell The Story to Its End, Campfire Tales


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Broken Chain

Tite: Broken Chain

Author: Lisa von Biela

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

An unprecedented wave of senseless and brutal violence is sweeping the nation.
Livestock are mysteriously dying in droves-and there is no cure.
Meat and dairy products are rotting before their sell-by dates.
Dr. Kyle Sommers is one of a team of CDC doctors deployed nationwide to find the cause. Along with his wife Gretchen and young daughter Lara, he travels to St. Joe, Minnesota to investigate after a particularly gruesome murder shocks the small town. Frantic to find the answer before more people die and haunted by the secret that destroyed his father, Dr. Sommers uncovers the shattering truth behind the seemingly unconnected crises. And when he does, he discovers his own family is in grave danger.
Something has gone horribly wrong with the food chain. And nothing will ever be the same.
Part medical detective story, part post-apocalyptic tale, “Broken Chain” examines what might happen if a major component of our food supply had to be destroyed and banned because of its malignant effect on those who consume it.
You are what you eat…

Review: What would happen if we had a broken link in our food chain, in the form of genetically modified food? The outcome is quite bleak, if we’re to believe “Broken Chain”. The story is great, and it’s definitely a topic that’s up for debate. The book takes some scientific liberties, but I didn’t find those too annoying. What I did find annoying was how hard it was to connect to the characters. I’ve had that a few times when reading this author’s work, so while in general, I enjoy the story and plot, not connecting to the characters makes it a less enjoyable experience for me.

Tell The Story to Its End

Title: Tell The Story To Its End

Author: Simon P. Clark

Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In this beautiful, haunting debut, a boy is whisked away to the country in the wake of a scandal, and finds a captivating creature in the attic whose attention comes at a sinister price.

“Tell the story to its end,” says Eren with a grin.
His yellow eyes are glowing like embers in the night.
“When I reach the end,” I say, “what happens? You’ll have the whole story.”
“Hmm,” he says, looking at me and licking his lips with a dry, grey tongue. “What happens then? Why don’t we find out?”

People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his aunt and uncle in the countryside, but nobody will tell him why his dad where his father is. Why isn’t he with them? Has something happened? Oli has a hundred questions, and only an old, empty house in the middle of an ancient forest for answers. But then he finds a secret of his own: there is a creature that lives in the attic…

Eren is not human.
Eren is hungry for stories.
Eren has been waiting for him.

Sharing his stories with Eren, Oli starts to make sense of what’s happening downstairs with his family. But what if it’s a trap? Soon, Oli must make a choice: learn the truth—or abandon himself to Eren’s world, forever.

Reminiscent of SKELLIG by David Almond and A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness, EREN is richly atmospheric, moving, unsettleing, and told in gorgeous prose. A modern classic in the making.

Review: This book hooked me from start to finish. The creepiness is palpable, and grows worse with every page you turn. The stories within the story added to the overall atmosphere, and the question what Eren is and if Eren is friendly or not, is the red line throughout the book. Creepy,  out of the box, original, and highly enjoyable.

Campfire Tales: Great Lakes

Title: Campfire Tales: Great Lakes

Author: Christopher Larsen

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Enjoy 11 spooky campfire tales based on legends and true events in and around the Great Lakes region. Filled with creepy and sometimes humorous details, each has historic significance. Shiver as you read about the ghosts in Duluth, Minnesota, haunting the Glensheen Mansion, and the myth of a giant moose terrorizing tourists off the North Shore of Lake Superior. Meet the Melon Head Creatures, living in a dark and forbidden forest off Lake Michigan, the result of a mad scientist s experiments, or a classic Lady in White. Discover the Manitous water gods, Native American spirits living at the bottom of the lake always looking for unsuspecting prey. Find a giant man-eating turtle, storm Hags, and the Red Devil of Detroit. Learn about Niagara Falls’ Maid of the Mist, the real legend of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the Michigan Dogman.
Review: An okay read with 11 spooky campfire tales, based on legends and true events around the Great Lakes region. I did like the details the author included in the book. The stories aren’t all that believable though, but they are good fun.

Mini-Reviews: The Door That Led to Where, Greythorne, Undertow


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Door That Led to Where

Tite: The Door That Led to Where

Author: Sally Gardner

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change – but he could never have imagined by how much.

Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth – and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key. And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past – 1830, to be precise – where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain’s means. Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They’ve gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose – and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them?

A fast-paced mystery novel by one of the country’s finest writers, THE DOOR THAT LED TO WHERE will delight, surprise and mesmerise all those who read it.

Review: An enjoyable book that mixes a lot of different genres into a surprising, unique tale. The main downside is how slow the story is at the start. The writing just didn’t really impress me, and sometimes I even glanced past some of the plot developments because they happened so casually. While the book had a great concept (I love time travel in just about any shape or form), the writing needed some work and the plot wasn’t entirely believable. I don’t need the time travel to be believable, I just need the character’s reactions to be believable, and that was lacking here.


Title: Greythorne

Author: L.M Merrington

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Gothic

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

How did Lucy Greythorne die?

From the moment Nell Featherstone arrives at Greythorne Manor as a governess to eight-year-old Sophie, she finds herself haunted by the fate of the mistress of the house, and entranced by the child’s father, the enigmatic Professor Nathaniel Greythorne.

When a violent storm reveals Lucy’s body is not in her grave, Nell becomes suspicious about the Professor’s research. But what she discovers in his laboratory will turn all her ideas about life and death, morality and creation on their head.

Enthralled by a man walking a fine line between passion and madness, Nell must make an impossible choice between life, death, and life after death, where any mistake could be her last.

Perfect for fans of Daphne DuMaurier, Susan Hill and Kate Mosse.

Review: Despite the overused plot of a governess stuck in a haunted house, I did enjoy this book. I love gothic ficton, and “Greythorne” is an excellent addition to the genre. I saw most of the twists coming, but that didn’t take away from the plot, or how much I enjoyed the book.


Title: Undertow

Author: K.R. Conway

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Eila Walker knows luck is not a friend, so she is downright shocked to inherit a million-dollar Cape Cod home. And yeah, her new town isn’t perfect: the cheerleaders are heinous clones, the local undertow can kill ya, and her Great Grams was supposedly fried by lightning in the harbor square. Still, Eila is hopeful her luckless days are in the past . . . until history decides to repeat itself.

When Raef O’Reilly becomes her friendly, yet weirdly protective shadow, Eila thinks life is pretty darn perfect – until she is hauled beneath the waves by an unnatural undertow. Revealing coal-black eyes and iron-like strength as he rescues her, Raef can no longer hide what he is . . . or what she can do. Eila, last of her kind, can supposedly channel the power of human souls, while Raef is more adept at stealing them. Even worse, the legend about her ancestor isn’t such a myth, since Eila’s grandmother was one kick-butt warrior until her lightning-like power backfired. A power that is written all over Eila’s DNA.

Determined to stay one step ahead of a dangerous clan that is hunting her, Raef, along with three unlikely allies, will do all they can to protect her. But as hidden pieces of their brutal histories unravel, Eila begins to understand just what went down in the harbor square. She soon realizes that following in her grandmother’s fearless footsteps may be the only way to save those she loves . . . including Raef.

Review: Although I figured out early where this book was heading, I still loved it. The moment Eila moves into a million-dollar Cape Cod home, she starts having visions of sorts, and whenever she’s around local bad boy Raef, she feels fear, although she can’t explain why. Eila is an amazing character with a great personality. She acted like a real person, and her friendship with Ana and MJ seemed genuine too. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Mini-Reviews: The Lost Girl, Abandon, Took


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Lost Girl

Tite: The Lost Girl

Author: R.L. Stine

Genre: Young Adult, Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine’s bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine’s avid fan base of teen readers and adults.

New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael’s friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.

Review: When I was a kid, I loved the Fear Street books. They even inspired me to write my own horror series. “The Lost Girl” still has some of that Fear Street magic, like with the two time periods interacting, and it’s no surprise R.L. Stine still has some surprises up his sleeve, and knows how to tell a story. That the book still manages to creep me out means the Fear Street series hasn’t lost its charm at all, and that it’s still deliciously creepy.


Title: Abandon

Author: Blake Crouch

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A gripping thriller from Blake Crouch, internationally bestselling author of the Wayward Pines trilogy.

On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman, and child in a remote gold-mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins—and not a single bone was ever found.

One hundred sixteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them to the abandoned mining town so they can learn what happened. Recently, a similar party had also attempted to explore the town and was never heard from again. Now the area is believed to be haunted. This crew is about to discover, twenty miles from civilization with a blizzard bearing down, that they are not alone, and the past is very much alive.

Review: A surprising read filled with twists, that jumps from 1893 into the present seamlessly. It offers excellent characters, especially Abigail Foster and her crew, who move into the town of Abandon. All characters have quirks that make them stand out, and all of them have a past they bring to the table. The book had a clautrophic vibe, and definitely gave me the chills a few times.


Title: Took

Author: Mary Downing Hahn

Genre: Horror, Middle Grade, Ghosts

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

“Folks say Old Auntie takes a girl and keeps her fifty years—then lets her go and takes another one.”   Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid . . . a “stuck-up snot” from Connecticut. But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been “took”?
Review: A haunted house/woods story with a twist. Old Auntie was amazing, and she was creepy enough that ten-year-old me would’ve been half terrified to go to sleep. But adult me loves this creepy old hag living in the woods and taking kids. Daniel was amazing. So intelligent for a boy his age, so brave when he risked everything to save his sister. A page turner, for adults AND middle graders.

Mini-Reviews: Bonesy, The Dover Demon, Left to Darkness


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Bonesy

Author: Mark Rigney

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Bones on the run!

When Reverend Renner’s mentor gives him a brass rubbing of a skeleton, nick-named Bonesy, a chain of calamity ensues. Bonesy breaks free from its frame and begins a violent, chaotic search for––what? It’s up to Renner and his investigative partner, ex-linebacker Dale Quist, to uncover Bonesy’s spectral motives. Bonesy takes Renner & Quist on their most treacherous, rollicking supernatural adventure yet, a journey that will lead them from the ghost of Carole Lombard to the fens of Tudor England. And the books they find along the way are not the sort you can judge by their cover.

Review: I haven’t read the first few books in the Renner and Quist adventure series, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this one. Although parts of it were disjointed and uneven, with the pacing going too fast sometimes and too slow at other times, I did enjoy the original tidbits thrown in, and overall, it was an entertaining read.

The Dover Demon

Title: The Dover Demon

Author: Hunter Shea

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The Dover Demon is real…and it has returned.

In 1977, Sam Brogna and his friends came upon a terrifying, alien creature on a deserted country road. What they witnessed was so bizarre, so chilling, they swore their silence. But their lives were changed forever.

Decades later, the town of Dover has been hit by a massive blizzard. Sam’s son, Nicky, is drawn to search for the infamous cryptid, only to disappear into the bowels of a secret underground lair. The Dover Demon is far deadlier than anyone could have believed. And there are many of them. Can Sam and his reunited friends rescue Nicky and battle a race of creatures so powerful, so sinister, that history itself has been shaped by their secretive presence?

Review: Small town horror with aliens. Decades ago, Sam and his friends saw an alien creature, and the experience has haunted them since. Now the “Dover Demon”, as the creature was nicknamed, is back, and has gotten its claws into Nicky, Sam’s son. An entertaining book, but the pacing was quite slow at the start and it took a while before I began enjoying the story. Protagonist Sam annoyed me to no end though, and I found his decisions questionable at best.

Left to Darkness

Title: Left to Darkness

Author: Craig Saunders

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A meteor strikes the Earth. Dirt and dust fill the air. Only a few people remain under the setting skies, and those who still live find it’s not God’s England anymore.

It’s the Devil’s turn.

Lines are drawn between the dark and light. For the darkness, James Finley and his cult for the end of days. On the side of light, Paul Deacon, the lost policeman, and Dawn Graves, the last mother.

To survive, they must put their lives in one man’s hands: Frank Liebowicz, a killer with a soft spot for lost causes. Because come Armageddon, God won’t choose his champions.

They’ll choose themselves.

Review: If you thought a meteor striking earth was the worst thing that could happen to us, think again. Right after, with only a handful of survivors, a Satanic cult rises. The book was absolutely amazing, showing the depths of depravity of riots and mass killings that happen after the apocalypse, and the darkest side of humanity. The writing was excellent, and the characters were unique and engaging.

Mini-Reviews: Freaks of Nature, She’s Not There, Dead Investigation


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Freaks of Nature

Tite: Freaks of Nature

Author: Wendy Brotherlin

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The global Ebola-X pandemic of 2022 lasted five months, two weeks, and six days before a cure could be found. In its wake, it left a generation of psionic freaks, who can turn a single thought into a weapon…or worse. Fifteen-year-old Devon McWilliams is one of those freaks, but Devon rates a big fat zero on the scale of cool psychic abilities. Days after escaping from his psionic detainment facility, the military intercepts him. Regaining consciousness, Devon finds himself restrained aboard a military airship headed toward certain death. Aboard this one-way flight to doom are six other psions. One of them, a telepath named Bai Lee Chen, claims to have the means to escape. All the others have to do is convince her that they’re worthy of freedom by allowing her to telepathically replay their memories. The last thing Devon wants to do is reveal his useless plant-talking prowess to this destroy-you-with-a-thought crew. To complicate matters further, he’s crushing hard on Alya, the group’s lovely healer. Devon knows he must keep his wits about him if he’s going to survive this wild ride. And that’s going to be a tricky thing to do around a telepath who seems to have a diabolical agenda all her own.

Review: A great YA superhero / scifi novel. Devon was my favorite of all the characters, and I loved his quirky sense of humor. The plot was unique and entertaining, and not predictable at all. I’d like to read another psion adventure soon, so I’m looking forward to the next book.

She’s Not There

Title: She’s Not There

Author: P.J. Parrish

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

They say it’s better to battle the devil you know. But what if you don’t recognize him before it’s too late?

She knows her name is Amelia, but after waking up in a hospital battered and bruised with just the clothes on her back, it’s all she knows. Unable to piece together her shattered memory, she’s haunted by a vision: menacing faces and voices implying her nightmare is far from over.

Relying only on her wits and her will to live, Amelia becomes a fugitive from a mysterious man, and a life she can’t even remember. But the past she’s fleeing has no intention of letting her go.

Review: Amelia doesn’t remember anything, after she wakes up in the hospital. She barely remembers her name. But she does recall being afraid of her husband. She goes on the run while Alex hires a PI to look for her. The good: Amelia’s amnesia added an additional angle to this book, and made the story more original. Amelia’s memory slowly returning and pieces of her past being exposed was the most intense part of this book for me. I had to change my opinion about the characters a couple of times. The bad: rushed ending, and some parts of the book were unbelievable.

Dead Investigation

Title: Dead Investigation

Author: Charlie Price

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Rating: 2,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Dead Investigation is a mesmerizing stand-alone companion to Charlie Price’s acclaimed debut mystery, Dead Connection.

Murray Kiefer—friend to the dead—is happy to be living in an old shed on the grounds of the local cemetery. It’s a better home than the one he ran away from. Yes, he’d rather no one knew he can communicate with those buried beneath the tombstones, but word got out last fall when he unearthed the solution to a fellow student’s murder. Now people think he’s some kind of freak show, or want to use his ability for their own ends, or don’t care that he might not want to get tangled up with another investigation. But there’s been a brutal killing—maybe more than one. And Murray can’t pretend he isn’t hearing strange things beyond the graveyard that may help police unravel the crime. Yet even he doesn’t know that getting involved will ensnare him and the two people he cares about most in a deadly scenario that could bury them all.

Review: The plot of speaking to the dead has been done over and over again, but not often as bad as here. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t read the first book (although I doubt it) but I had trouble connecting to the characters. All of them were bland and boring, and Pearl was just a drama queen. The dialogue made me cringe a few times, and didn’t seem appropriate for teens at all, it just wasn’t very realistic.

Mini-Reviews: Insylum, Gathering Deep, The Disassembled Man


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Insylum

Author: Z. Rider

Genre: Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A.J. changed in boot camp, coming out all straight-backed and short-haired. His best friend Nate hardly recognizes him anymore, especially when it comes to the way he acts. His priorities. Now he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, and despite the rift growing between them, the two decide to have one last hurrah—at Insylum, the extreme traveling funhouse they’ve been waiting for a chance at for years.

They’re last in line on the last night of the show. They are the last two to go in.

And they may never come back out.

Warning: Some tentacular activity. (Also body horror. And maggots.)

Review: God, what a disgusting, vulgar, and at the same time, terrifying, chilling read. I loved the nightmarish vibe of the book, the unsettling undertones, how the main characters continued to try convince themselves everything they saw wasn’t real. Slightly predictable ending, though.

Gathering Deep

Title: Gathering Deep

Author: Lisa Maxwell

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Chloe Sabourin wakes in a dark, New Orleans cemetery with no memory of the previous days, she can hardly believe the story her friends tell her. They say Chloe was possessed by a witch named Thisbe, who had used the darkest magic to keep herself alive for over a century. They tell her that the witch is the one responsible for the unspeakable murders that nearly claimed the life of Chloe’s friend, Lucy. Most unbelievable of all, they say that Thisbe is Chloe’s own mother. As she struggles with this devastating revelation and tries to rebuilt her life, Chloe wants nothing to do with the magic that corrupted her mother…especially since she feels drawn to it.

Now, a new series of ritualistic killings suggests that Thisbe is plotting again, and Chloe is drawn unwillingly back into the mystical underworld of the French Quarter. To stop Thisbe before she kills again, Chloe and her friends must learn what they can from the mysterious Mama Legba. But when her boyfriend Piers vanishes, Chloe will have to risk everything and embrace her own power to save the one person she has left… even if that means bringing down her mother.

Review: I hadn’t read “Sweet Unrest”, the prequel yet, when I started this book. However, I could follow most of the story. Chloe was an all right character, but it took a while before I could connect to her. The story itself was intriguing though, and I finished this in one sitting. If not for how flat the characters were, and how hard it was to connect to the heroine, I would’ve given this a higher rating.

The Disassembled Man

Title: The Disassembled Man

Author: Jon Bassoff

Genre: Mystery, Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Frankie Avicious is a hard-luck fellow with a sordid past. Living in a dreary meatpacking town, stuck in a loveless marriage, and spending his days slaughtering cattle, Frankie has nothing to look forward to but his next swallow of bargain whiskey. His wife is threatening to leave him, and the local sociopath is threatening to kill him. And then there’s Scarlett Acres, a stripper with a heart of fool’s gold. Frankie can’t stop thinking about her . . .

With the encouragement of a mysterious traveling salesman, Frankie sets out to reverse his destiny through a series of bizarre murders. The consequences of his brutality turn out to be far worse than even he could imagine.

Review: Urban noir the way it’s meant to be. The main character, Frankie, is unraveling from the start and we see him spiraling further into madness. He sets out to reverse his destiny through a string of bizarre murders. The author’s main achievement is almost succeeding in making the reader think like Frankie as the book progresses, which is no small feat considering Frankie is all kinds of crazy. Entertaining, but probably not for everyone.

Mini-Reviews: Skinner, The Ugly Stepsister, Awake


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Skinner

Author: David Bernstein

Genre: Horror

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

For six close friends, a weekend away turns deadly when their vehicle skids off the road and crashes in a remote part of the Adirondack Mountains.

In the direct path of a blizzard, they are hurt, cold and scared, wondering if they’ll make it through the night. But the group’s luck seemingly changes when they take refuge in a small cabin.

Their plan is simple: wait for the storm to pass. But there is something else out there that has its own plans for them.

Invade. Reveal secrets. Invoke madness. Make enemies out of friends. Create chaos. And shed blood.

“The perfect horror novel.” —-Cat After Dark Reviews

“Fast-paced, cinematic, and excellent. Horror fans gather around, it’s time for another chilling tale from David Bernstein.”
–Keith Deininger, author of Within and Ghosts of Eden

“A harrowing, brutal thriller, SKINNER is Bernstein at his best!” -Peter Giglio, author of SHADOWSHIFT

Review:  A group of six heads out during a snowstorm, and ends up in the path of a blizzard. They take refuge in a small cabin, but something out there, in the storm, wants to hurt them. The plot seems reminiscent of just about every other horror movie out there, but it does have original elements. However, the villain wasn’t really terrifying, there was a lack of creepiness overall, and it just didn’t feel scary enough for me.

The Ugly Stepsister

Title: The Ugly Stepsister

Author: Aya Ling

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?

Review: A Cinderella retelling from the POV of one of the stepsisters. Surprisingly, it works. Kat is an adorable character, kind of clumsy, resilient, determined, and I hoped she’d be reunited with her family soon. The ending was a bit shocking, but I enjoyed it.


Title: Awake

Author: Natasha Preston

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Rating: 1,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Scarlett Garner doesn’t remember anything before the age of four—but a car accident changes everything. She starts to remember pieces of a past that frighten her. A past her parents hid from her…and a secret that could get her killed.
Review: Very dissapointing book. The best friends don’t act like best friends at all. The plot is cringe-worthy. The heroine is an idiot, the love interest is just plain creepy, it has instalove, and on top of that, the book suffers from a severe case of Mary Sue syndrome. How about hell no?

Mini-Reviews: Oscar and the Amazing Gravity Repellent, The Accident Season, Mother of Demons


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Oscar and the Amazing Gravity Repellent

Tite: Oscar and the Amazing Gravity Repellent

Author: Tina L. Peterson

Genre: Middle Grade, Science-Fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Oscar Schmidt is a klutz and gravity is his nemesis – it pulls him down, trips him up, and helps the neighborhood bullies make his life all-around awful. But when Oscar finds an abandoned train caboose one day after school, everything changes. Inside, he discovers a magical potion: Dr. Oopsie’s Amazing Gravity Repellent. Along with his best friend, Asha, Oscar learns what happens when he defies the laws of nature. But when the caboose comes under attack from a group of bullies, Oscar’s reaction puts his worst enemy in serious danger. Oscar must face the consequences of his actions, figure out right from wrong, and learn how to stand up for himself. A heartwarming mix of sweet humor and whimsical fantasy, young readers will immediately fall in love with Oscar’s tale and easily relate to the real-life issues at the story’s core.

For ages 8-10.

*A heartwarming mix of whimsical fantasy and real-life issues*Deals with bullying in a thoughtful and realistic way*Fun and sweet humor that young readers will love

Review: I’m a klutz, so I could easily relate to Oscar Schmidt – he’s a klutz too. He’s also being bullied, but that changes when he finds an abandoned train caboose one day after school. Filled with whimsical, fun elements, humor, and adventure, this is a great read for middle graders (and the occasional adult, haha).

The Accident Season

Title: The Accident Season

Author:Moira Fowley-Doyle

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

Review: I loved, loved, LOVED this book. Lyrical, haunting prose, amazing characters that all seem to hide something, a sizzling romance, and a creepy, foreboding sense. It had all the elements I love about YA paranormal wrapped into one book.

Mother of Demons

Title: Mother of Demons

Author: Maynard Sims

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The hunt is on! Alice Logan has gone missing, and Harry Bailey and Department 18 have been called to help find her. The main suspect is Anton Markos, a satanic cult leader who has a predilection for young women like Alice. Members of Markos’s cult start turning up dead—shredded by what seems to be a wild animal. Is there a madman within the cult? Or is it something far more horrible?Can Department 18 discover the impossible truth and end the spree of murder, insanity and carnage? Or will they become the prey?
Review: The story was all right, and had a few unexpected twists, but the final confrontation ended too easily. The characters were all right, but some were hard to connect to, or grasp why they did certain things. Top-notch writing, though, and definitely an entertaining book.

Mini-Review: Swerve, Winterwood and The Silenced


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.


Tite: Swerve

Author: Vicki Pettersson

Genre: Thriller, Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.

Review: I didn’t suspect a slasher book could be this good. I always thought the slasher genre would be something best kept to TV and cinemas, but I was wrong. The book is spine-chilling, and it’s so fast-paced, poor Kristine keeps on stumbling from one dreary situation into another. Loved it.


Title: Winterwood

Author: J.G. Faherty

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

You’d better watch out!

No one in Anders Bach’s family believed his old tales of Winterwood, a place where Krampus and his Wild Hunt rule a frozen land and where bad children don’t get coal for Christmas, they get baked into pies or forced into slavery. But now the Yule Lads have kidnapped Anders’s grandsons, and he has to rescue them before they’re lost forever. Anders and his daughter must cross the divide between worlds and enter Winterwood, where evil holds sway and even the reindeer have a taste for human flesh. By the time the sun rises, they’ll learn the awful truth about Winterwood: there is no escape without sacrifice.

Review: The good: the use of Icelandic folklore, in particular since I wasn’t familiar with it. The writing was good too. The bad: characters weren’t very realistic, and one character basically went from non-believer to believer in milliseconds. Entertaining, though, and since it’s a novella, I finished it in no time.

The Silenced

Title: The Silenced

Author: Heather Graham

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Ghosts

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Where is Lara Mayhew?

Lara, a congressman’s media assistant, suddenly quits her job—and disappears on the way to her Washington, DC, apartment.

Novice FBI agent Meg Murray, a childhood friend of Lara’s, gets a message from her that same night, a message that says she’s disillusioned and “going home.” To Richmond, Virginia. Meg discovers that she never got there. And bodies fitting Lara’s description are showing up in nearby rivers… Could she be the victim of a serial killer?

Meg is assigned to work with special agent Matt Bosworth, a hard-nosed pro in the FBI’s unit of paranormal investigators—the Krewe of Hunters. They trace the route Meg and Lara took more than once in the past, visiting battlefields and graveyards from Harpers Ferry to Gettysburg. Places where the dead share their secrets with those who can hear… As Meg and Matt pursue the possibility of a serial killer, they find themselves in the middle of a political conspiracy. Is there a connection? And who—besides each other—can they trust?

Review: I used to love Heather Graham’s books when I first picked one up, but now I find myself liking them less and less. The plots are just so predictable. In this one, it was obvious what was going to happen next, and it almost seemed like a recap of a previous book. The characters were flat too, and difficult to connect with.