Mini-Review: Blackwood, Primal, Windy Hollows


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.


Title: Blackwood

Author: Gwenda Bond

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.

Review: Talk about chills. I’ve always been intriguing by the dissapearance of the population of Roanoke, so I had to pick up this book about the mystery, and let’s say I wasn’t dissapointed. I liked the dynamics between the two main characters. They had some definite chemistry, and it’s not insta-love, so that’s great too.


Title: Primal

Author: D.A. Serra

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

The writer who made you laugh with Punky Brewster, who made you cry with Just Ask My Children, will now make you cringe with PRIMAL. This story was originally purchased by one of America’s most prestigious storytellers James Cameron.
What if the worst happens and you are not a cop, or a spy with weapons training and an iron heart? What if you’re a schoolteacher – a mother? In this gritty crime thriller a family vacation takes a vicious turn when a fishing camp is invaded by four armed men. With nothing except her brains, her will, and the element of surprise on her side, Alison must kill or watch her family die. And then – things get worse.

Review: Primal is dark, gritty and suspenseful. When a camping trip goes wrong, it’s up to one mother to save her family when four armed men invade their holiday home. Will she kill them, or watch her family die? The story was intense, and the characters were great, especially Alison.

Windy Hollows

Title: Windy Hollows

Author: Neo Edmund and Adira Edmund

Genre: Children’s Books, Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

From the award-winning educational software and kid favorite gaming website, arrives the first ever Graphic Novel from JumpStart and Knowledge Adventure! Come visit Windy Hollows and follow our group of adventurers: Logan, Maggie, Nicolas, Selena and Poe as they arrive at Oakcrest School of Magic. They discover their teacher absent but left a note, “Will be back soon. Read your lesson books and DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!” Follow them as they venture into Windy Hollows and embark on a series of quests to undo a potion that went terribly wrong.

This is a fixed-format ebook, which preserves the design and layout of the original print book

Review: I wanted to love this book. The illustrations were adorable, and the idea, although overused, seemed like a good one. Unfortunately, the story isn’t original at all, reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Magic School Bus and lots of other stories, except now for a slightly younger audience. I wouldn’t have minded if the characters hadn’t seemed so cliché, and the text is so dumbed down and simple it’ll be too easy for most kids.

Mini-Review: POE, The Creep, Girls and Monsters


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.


Title: POE

Author: J. Lincoln Fenn

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

2013 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

It’s Halloween, and life is grim for 23-year-old Dimitri Petrov. It’s the one-year anniversary of his parents’ deaths, he’s stuck on page one thousand of his Rasputin zombie novel, and he makes his living writing obituaries.

But things turn from bleak to terrifying when Dimitri gets a last-minute assignment to cover a séance at the reputedly haunted Aspinwall Mansion.

There, Dimitri meets Lisa, a punk-rock drummer he falls hard for. But just as he’s about to ask her out, he unwittingly unleashes malevolent forces, throwing him into a deadly mystery. When Dimitri wakes up, he is in the morgue—icy cold and haunted by a cryptic warning given by a tantalizing female spirit.

As town residents begin to turn up gruesomely murdered, Dimitri must play detective in his own story and unravel the connections among his family, the Aspinwall Mansion, the female spirit, and the secrets held in a pair of crumbling antiquarian books. If he doesn’t, it’s quite possible Lisa will be the next victim.

Review: I thought it was young adult, turns out it’s not, but it still reads like one. Dimitri is an okay main character. I wasn’t really that fond of him, but he turned out all right. Aspinwall Mansion is almost a character on its own, and some of the scenes are deliciously creepy. The writing is atmospheric and suitable for a gothic horror novel. Unfortunately the story lacked originality, and while the writing was atmospheric and haunting, the book never really reached the creepy-level I’d hoped for.

The Creep

Title: The Creep

Author: Jonathan Case, John Arcudi

Genre: Comic, Graphic Novel, Mystery, Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A young boy puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. The police don’t care – not about his death or the death of his best friend two months earlier. The dead boy’s mom seeks help from an old flame that’s employed as a detective. What she doesn’t know is that he suffers from a physical deformity that manifests at midlife. Will the detective’s freakish appearance get in the way of uncovering the terrible secrets of these two teenagers? This collection features additional art by Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Ryan Sook, and Tonci Zonjic.

Review: Two young boys kill themselves months apart. Nobody seems to care, so the boy’s Mom calls in the help from a deformed detective. Atmospheric reading, a noir graphic novel where tragedy meets mystery and suspense, and one of the most intriguing casts of characters I’ve read about in a while. A definite recommendation for fans of horror / mystery.

 Girls and Monsters

Title: Girls and Monsters

Author: Anne Michaud

Genre: Short Stories Collection, Dark Fiction, Horror

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

This dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:

Death Song: Liz is in love with Joe, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.

Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.

A Blue Story: When Katherine’s beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.

We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.

Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears…and lived to tell about it.

Review: Girls and Monsters is a short story collection, all featuring stories by Anne Michaud, and all stories have something to do with girls and monsters. The writing is of great quality overall, and the stories are original enough to entertain. “Dust Bunnies” was my favorite story, mostly because I’m scared of spiders, and this story played on that fear. Overall the stories offer unique twists, but I found “We Left at Night” to be a bit of a letdown.