Halloween Review: A Face in the Crowd by Stephen King, Stewart O’Nan

eBook: 32 Pages

Series: Short story standalone

Publisher: Scribner

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Dean Evers, an elderly widower, sits in front of the television with nothing better to do than waste his leftover evenings watching baseball. It’s Rays/Mariners, and David Price is breezing through the line-up. Suddenly, in a seat a few rows up beyond the batter, Evers sees the face of someone from decades past, someone who shouldn’t be at the ballgame, shouldn’t be on the planet. And so begins a parade of people from Evers’s past, all of them occupying that seat behind home plate. Until one day Dean Evers sees someone even eerier..

Yet another Stephen King short story and the last in the Halloween reads. This one was actually recommended to me by Sandra, more or less, and I’m glad I decided to read it.  Continue reading

Halloween Review: Throttle by Joe Hill, Stephen King

eBook: 47 Pages

Series: Short story standalone

Publisher: HarperCollins

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“Inspired by Richard Matheson’s classic “Duel,” “Throttle,” by Joe Hill and Stephen King, is a duel of a different kind, pitting a faceless trucker against a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in the simmering Nevada desert. Their battle is fought out on twenty miles of the most lonely road in the country, a place where the only thing worse than not knowing what you’re up against, is slowing down . . .”

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Halloween Review: Circus of the Dead by Seth Blackburn

Kindle edition: 32 Pages

Series: Short story standalone

Publisher: Seth Blackburn

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“Twenty years ago, the dead destroyed the world of the living. The survivors scattered in the wake of the Scourge, erecting small towns in the worlds’ most sparsely populated areas.

For young Gabriel, the walking dead are merely the memories that haunt the eyes of those old enough and lucky enough to have survived. He is more concerned with his hard life in America’s desert, where his chores keep him busy and the husks of books stashed beneath the cellar of the library are his only freedom.

Until the circus comes to town.”

This short story, with its oddly unexpected HEA ending, is brilliant! Exceptional. *checks dictionary for other synonyms* Clever, genius, inventive, profound (oh, yes, it is), sharp, masterly. Okay, I think you got it. Continue reading

Halloween Review: Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box by Mira Grant

eBook: 21 Pages

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Orbit

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“A new short story from Mira Grant, the author of Feed.

Every week five friends get together to play a game– a game they call the Apocalypse Game. It’s a fun time with chips and beer and plotting the end of the world. Except this time, one of them is missing and the stakes are higher than ever before.”

If the name Mira Grant sounds familiar, then you’ve probably read her Newsflesh series and you know she’s an awesome writer, as I am now convinced she is. Continue reading

Halloween Review: The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates

Paperback: 329 Pages

Series: Stand alone

Publisher: HCI Teens

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“A chilling and masterfully crafted teen horror novel guaranteed to keep the pages turning, the mind reeling, and the lamp on any reader’s bedside table on long after midnight. 

Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend Bean decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a horrifying turn for the worse. Caleb’s childhood home is abandoned and his father has disappeared. Children are going missing. The old insane asylum has reopened, and Christine is locked inside. Her mother, a witch, is consumed with madness, and Christine’s long-dead twin sister whispers clues to Caleb through the static of an a.m. radio. The terrifying prophesies of the spirits are coming to pass. Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world. As Caleb peels back layer after layer of mystery, he uncovers a truth more horrible than anything he had imagined, a truth that could only be uttered by the lips of the dead.

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Book Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Hardcover: 464 Pages

Series: Velveteen #1

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal… and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules… or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

~~ The review contains some spoilers ~~

Lies, lies and more lies. Lies and deceit. Continue reading

Book Review: The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens

Paperback: 376

Series: Graveyard Queen #2

Publisher: Mira

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) Review

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Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town….

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

In need of a change of scenery, and in serious need of a new project, Amelia accepts a job offer to restore a cemetery in Asher Falls. She welcomes the money and thinks it will be an easy job. But that’s not the case, as dark  forces and secrets are revealed to be at the center of the small, secluded town. Continue reading

Book Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Paperback: 376 Pages

Series: Graveyard Queen #1

Publisher: Mira

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My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer–and to his other victims–lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.”

I want to say I loved this book, I do. Before picking it up, I read some glowing reviews, the blurb, and I was sure I was going to absolutely and positively love it from page one till the end. If I’m being honest with myself, I did like it very, very much, but the heroine left a lot to be desired, for me. Continue reading

Book Review: Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Book Review: Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh

Hardcover: 429 Pages Series: Nevermore #2 Publisher: Atheneum Books Find on GoodReads “True love takes a twisted turn in the second book of this modern gothic romance trilogy channeling the dark brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe. While Varen remains a … Continue reading

Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Hardcover: 332 Pages

Series: Anna #2

Publisher: Tor Teen

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna#1) review

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It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.
His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.
Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

Girl of Nightmares was a great follow-up, unlike many other sequels. It was consistent with the series greatness. Continue reading