Showing posts with label Book Review. Show all posts

Publication:  August 17th, 2021  by Harper Voyager Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads T he incredible finale of the page-turning, high-octane Sand...



Publication: August 17th, 2021 
by Harper Voyager

The incredible finale of the page-turning, high-octane Sandman Slim series filled with an explosive ending and intense kick-ass action from New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey.

It’s been three months since Stark stopped a death cult and a potential ghost apocalypse, and he’s at loose ends. His personal life is a mess. His professional life isn’t much better. And the world…well, the world is going to shit. L.A. is gripped by a viral epidemic that has everyone wearing masks and keeping their distance from each other. But what’s even more frightening is the Shoggot gang and their leader, King Bullet, who revels in the city’s collapse.

Who is King Bullet? No one knows. He seemingly came from nowhere with nothing but a taste for mayhem and an army of crazed killers who follow his every command. What king wants seems simple on it face: Chaos. Destruction. A city in flames. But there’s more to the king and his plans for L.A. and what Stark discovers will change Heaven, Earth, and Stark himself forever.

It's hard to believe that this is the final book of the Sandman Slim series. The series finale finds Stark in the midst of a viral pandemic where everyone is wearing masks. LA is in chaos. And in the midst is gang leader King Bullet, who seems to have a vendetta for Stark. Hold on to your hats because the train is barreling into the station and there's no one at the helm. 

This is a welcome change as the last book in the series, Ballistic Kiss, definitely felt like one of the slower books. Kadrey put a lot more emotion into Stark, with more introspection than the kick-ass action that I have come to know and love from him. King Bullet takes us back to everything that the Sandman Slim series has been. Once again, there is a very eccentric villain (King Bullet) that Stark has been tasked with taking care of. He's questioning why exactly he was tasked with it, lending credence to the idea that Abbott has not been on the up and up with him. 

This pandemic is no COVID, as terrible as that has been. This one causes autophagia, the consumption of your own body. Yes, these people are chewing their lips and fingers, and...ugh. Disgusting.  In a lot of ways, it's a parallel of a lot of what's happened since COVID. Businesses are shuttered, masks have to be worn everywhere, and for other reasons, riots have happened. Honestly, I read to escape the real world, so reading a story about a novel pandemic in the midst of a novel pandemic wasn't really my cup of tea.

Kadrey certainly wraps up all the loose ends with this finale. All the character arcs are settled without feeling like they were quickly tied up for the sake of completion. I think most fans will be happy with the fulfillment of the Sandman Slim series. Don't think we can completely count Stark out though. That ending might just leave the tiniest bit of wiggle room. 






Publication: November 30th 2020  by Beneath Hell Publishing Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads " W e’d been in the house two weeks when Tommy...



Publication: November 30th 2020 
by Beneath Hell Publishing

"
We’d been in the house two weeks when Tommy pulled the first bones from the garden.”

When Cassie Baker buys the house on Cedar Street, it’s partly because it reminds her of the house she grew up in in the ‘80s. It reminds her of happier times, when her Mom was still alive, before the cancer had taken her. It seems like the perfect place to raise her baby boy, Sam.

That is, until a friend unearths the remains of a dog, buried in a shallow grave in the backyard.

After the bones come the cockroaches…

The Cockroach King is a new novella written by Andrew Cull, the award-winning author of Remains and Bones.

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Cockroaches are one of those bugs that most people hate and of which even more have a phobia, with good reason. They hide in the walls proliferating unseen, scattering when exposed to the light, invading our spaces. The Cockroach King not only plays with our innate revulsion of these scuttling six-legged pests, it quickly escalates it. At only 65 pages, this is one novella that excels at tending a feeling of dread and then coaxing it into an inferno of unease. 

Cassie is a single mother, intent on raising her little boy Sam and creating a life. Told from the first-person view, we quickly feel for her. She's just poured everything she has into their very first home after the death of her mother. She's so well written. She's relatable and her grief is familiar. There's a strength to her that you find yourself quickly cheering for. You want her to succeed and something is standing in the way of her hopes and dreams as Cassie soon finds that their house isn't quite the home-sweet-home that she'd hoped it would be. 

From the very first line—“We’d been in the house two weeks when Tommy pulled the first bones from the garden.”—Cull sets the scene for something foreboding and insidious. This is such a creepy little read. The characters are intimate and the pacing is excellent. The writing is deliberate and invokes such great visceral reactions while reading. The tension builds as the reader is given more questions than answers until it all comes down in a culmination of exposed horrific secrets. 

Interestingly enough, while I was writing this review, my husband came in from outside with an odd discovery: a tiny skull in his hand that he found lying next to the driveway.  We've had numerous pet rats throughout the years and they are all buried in the flower garden. I went outside expecting to find the rock pile set on top disturbed and the burial hole open; It was not. I don't know how the skull got where it was but I find any roaches in my house, you can bet I will bug-bomb this sucker to kingdom come. 



Publication date: April 27th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads "M essy divorce? Check. Emotional stability of the involved parties? Qu...



Publication date: April 27th, 2021


"Messy divorce? Check.

Emotional stability of the involved parties? Questionable.

Possibility of bloodshed? High.

Yep; it was definitely starting to sound like one of my cases."

​In addition to being San Diego's supernatural mediator, John Smith is the city's least successful private investigator. Those two careers collide when what was supposed to be a simple infidelity case draws the attention of the local werewolf pack. John soon finds himself pressed into service mediating a separation between the pack's married leaders.

Even under normal circumstances, divorce is hell. But when werewolves are involved? It's murder.

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Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff is book two in The Many Travails of John Smith, following Investigation, Mediation, Vindication. We pick up in John's life after his first mediation for the paranormal community went...well, he survived anyway, mostly unscathed. He's back in the PI business and even has a date! He did anyway until the vampires had to show up and ruin it for him. Truth be told, they didn't need to show up for it to be ruined; he's entirely capable of doing that himself. Something about still living in your parent's basement at 25 doesn't exactly lend itself to having a phenomenal dating life. He still has his PI business going for him and it's thriving—until werewolves start trying to kill him. 

John has truly made some interesting life choices along the way. He always manages to end up right in the middle of the mess. Not that he's trying, mind you. It's truly a matter of happenstance and some drunken advertising that has landed him where he is. This time he's been hired by a husband to find out if the wife is cheating. He's still out there giving it everything he's got and it turns out he's actually a pretty decent mediator despite getting in way over his head all the time. 

Humor is still a big draw in this series. We've continued with the truly fun chapter titles "In Which ___". For example: Chapter 12, "In Which People Are Strange When You're a Stranger". The vegetable demigod Bill, who is so strangely charming, is absent but he has tasked John with the care of his ward, Jee Sun aka Tiny Flower, who manages to be both adorable and a diminutive terror. John's inner voice is still as quirky as ever and his outside voice is still spewing things that would much be better kept inside. Tullbane's casual writing style hasn't changed but Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff gets darker than the previous book. John is still the average guy trying to feel his way through but the action kicks up a bit more leaning more towards typical UF fare while still avoiding second book syndrome.

I judge a lot of UF by whether you could pick up a book in the middle of a series and still understand what the heck is going on. The Many Travails of John Smith #2 passes muster. A good chunk of the opening is reintroducing characters and bringing the reader up to speed. That being said, the reader would get more enjoyment out of knowing the characters a bit more intimately and immersing in the worldbuilding gradually.  This is a series that is going to go the distance so do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. 









Publication date: March 19th 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads T he stakes are real. The mediator isn't. An exiled vampire queen. A vege...




Publication date: March 19th 2021

The stakes are real. The mediator isn't.

An exiled vampire queen.

A vegetable demigod.

A magic Nintendo.

When supernatural forces collide, it will take a skilled mediator to keep their conflict from destroying San Diego.

Unfortunately, all they have is John Smith.

Read now


 


Investigation, Mediation, Vindication (I'm already tired of typing that) is comedic urban fantasy gold. The story follows private investigator hopeful John Smith, who has an unfortunate genealogy of a long line of John Smiths. Let's be honest; there's a lot of unfortunates about John Smith. He still lives with his parents, he hasn't had a girlfriend in years (might be due to #1), and he's just found himself caught up in a potential war between a noble vampire House and the demigod of nightmares. He's casually enjoying a local Comicon when he's attacked by crab people and kidnapped by vampires for his own good. As it turns out, in one night of drunken bad choices, John posted an ad stating that he was in the business of investigation, mediation, and vindication, and after a hit on all the mediators in San Diego, he's the only mediator left. 

John is a fantastic character. He's nerdy, witty, twenty pounds out of shape, and way over his head. John has absolutely no magic or really any job skills for that matter.  One moment he's trying to survive paying the rent on his business in the not-so-great side of town, the next he's trying not to be killed by the vampires and prevent San Diego from being sucked into a Hell dimension. Pretty much the only thing is he's got going for him is a big mouth that doesn't know when to shut up. He does, however, seem to have an innate ability to avoid vampire whammies, to the displeasure of the vampires. 

There are a lot of secondary characters but they still manage to be unique for such a large cast. The snarky, vampire Juliette who wears Ramones t-shirts and nicknames John "little bird", thanks to his shower singing, is fantastic. However, the real character not to miss is the demigod of nightmares and terrors, Lord Beel-Kasan—who just happens to be a seven-foot-tall asparagus with coal for eyes, a carrot for a nose, and a magic marker drawn mouth—and goes by Bill. Yes, Bill (as if that's the weirdest thing about that sentence).  Thanks to John's immunity to supernatural mumbo jumbo, that's how Bill appears to him. Apparently, to others, he's enormously more frightening. Even without arms or legs, asparagus demigod Bill somehow steals the show.  

From the chapter titles like "In Which Hell is Being Stuck Somewhere With the Wrong Person", to the fact that the war might be started over a classic Nintendo, humor is obviously the main driving force in this urban fantasy.  Ridiculous and irreverent, it still manages funny without quickly nosediving into annoying. John is a huge nerd though so a lot of the dialogue is low brow. For example, after being kidnapped by the vampires, his inner dialogue is trying to decide on names to call the vampires. He settles on "manpire" and "femmepire" and he's really proud of himself for coming up with the second. Sometimes the banter takes a bit too long for the sake of the joke, which drags the novel down a bit, but it definitely gets better the further into the plot it goes. 

It's nice to have an urban fantasy series where the MC truly has no idea what he is doing. There are no magical abilities or black belts in martial arts. No weaponry expert or military background. Just a dorky smart-mouthed guy named John who has stumbled into the paranormal world. 








Publication date: April 2nd 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads I ’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore...



Publication date: April 2nd 2021

I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. Things have been busy lately. While the near-constant attempts on my life have ceased, I now have a vampire gentleman caller. I’ve been living with Clive and the rest of his vampires for a few weeks while the Slaughtered Lamb is being rebuilt. It’s going about as well as you’d expect.

My mother was a wicche and long dormant abilities are starting to make themselves known. If I’d had a choice, necromancy wouldn’t have been my top pick, but it’s starting to come in handy. A ghost warns me someone is coming to kill Clive. When I rush back to the nocturne, I find vamps from New Orleans readying an attack. One of the benefits of vampires looking down on werewolves is no one expects much of me. They don’t expect it right up until I take their heads.

Now, Clive and I are setting out for New Orleans to take the fight back to the source. Vampires are masters of the long game. Revenge plots are often decades, if not centuries, in the making. We came expecting one enemy, but quickly learn we have darker forces scheming against us. Good thing I’m the secret weapon they never see coming.


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The Dead Don't Drink at Lafitte's is the second book in the Sam Quinn series. Sam is the werewolf girlfriend of San Francisco's Master of the City and is living in the nocturne with his vamps while her place is under construction. As I, too, like to live on the edge, I did not read book one, The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar, before picking this one up. 

At first, this was a frustratingly slow read for me. While the author does a good job of giving you the backstory, it was challenging to be invested in the story. Sam simply was not a character that I felt strongly about and there wasn't enough action to keep my interest. Vampire politics take up a big chunk of the novel to start. It appears that vampires are bigots and begrudge that a smelly dog is now the girlfriend of their leader. There's enough unrest that the Master of New Orleans is attempting a coup on the nocturne. It is only after they go to New Orleans to answer that insult head-on, that the story really starts rolling. 

Once there was a change in scenery, the entire feeling of the book shifts. I've never been to New Orleans, so I enjoyed experiencing it through Sam's eyes. It didn't feel like the tourist's view that you get a lot when a book is set there. More back alleys than Marti Gras.  There's a whole new cast that enters into play in the Big Easy; ghosts and gorgons and alpha werewolves. Sam begins exploring her own talents as a necromancer, which includes influencing the dead. Clive even disappears in New Orleans for a while and can I just say I liked it better when he was gone! I might have even found myself rooting for a certain werewolf. 

There's plenty of snarky dialogue, hilarious banter with Stheno, the gorgon, and lots of "off with their heads" moments. In spite of the supernaturally enhanced abilities, Sam isn't the typical urban fantasy badass. She isn't filled with confidence and using her powers has an unfortunate downside. There are also some dark moments that include torture, slavery, and sexual assault. Yes, there's romance but as it's already established, it wasn't necessarily the main focus. The Wicche Glass Tavern—book three coming in October 2021—has a lot of potential if it can continue with the world building and character growth. 




Publication date: February 11th 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodre ads A rash of strange and horrifying births sweeps through London in the new...




Publication date: February 11th 2021

A rash of strange and horrifying births sweeps through London in the new horror thriller from master of the genre Graham Masterton.

A SERIES OF STRANGE BIRTHS
A young woman is rushed to the hospital with stabbing pains. The chief surgeon performs a C-section, and delivers a catastrophically malformed foetus that is somehow alive...

A DEVASTATING ATTACK
Sewage engineer Gemma is plunged into a ghostly darkness in the tunnel where she works. She escapes, but her boss goes missing in the chaos. He is later found alive... but his legs have been severed and his eyes pulled out.

A SUPERNATURAL THREAT
DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel of the supernatural squad must team up once more to solve the mystery and save the city. But, if they are to succeed, first they must delve into the dark arts of witchcraft...

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It's been a long time since a book has gotten under my skin but reading The Children God Forgot, I truly had a moment where I thought "This book is going to give me nightmares." This was a very strange book: deformed fetuses roaming for new wombs to call home, a fatberg blocking the sewer with glowing malformed children taking replacement body parts, and last, but certainly not least, a reanimated witch formed of smoke and vengeance. All of those things individually would be enough of a plotline to carry any horror novel, but together are the things that nightmares are made of. 

Told in varying points of view, the plot on this one jumps around. You get just enough action to draw you in and wonder exactly what the hell is going on when it switches to another POV to pick up where it left off before. Typically, I hate this style of writing, but I will say in spite of that it kept my interest, especially when you have the scenes set as they are. There are occult vibes, as well as police procedural, heavy body horror, and of course, the paranormal. 

I do have to wonder though, as a woman, if this book weighs as heavily on male readers; I would imagine it doesn't. There's a particular horror in simply being a woman and having fears that are unique to the female persuasion alone. The fear of reproduction, of growing a life that is abominable instead of the perfect being it should be, and the fear of being violated. I struggle with that last word because what truly happens here, under other descriptions is rape. Not in the usual sense, but by one of the aborted creatures crawling or attempting to crawl inside another woman's uterus to continue to incubate. See what I mean by horrifying?  

There are also some sociopolitical themes here that are played a bit heavy-handed. The entire novel could be a statement on abortion. Not only do you have the many-limbed but cherub-faced fetus being terminated before term, but there's the woman showing up to punish those who participated in the terminations stating that all life is sacred. I feel like this book should have been written decades ago when racism and homophobia were casual and women were written based on the size of their breasts.

I ended up very conflicted about this novel. In the beginning, it was extremely effective horror. It's definitely a horror that relies on the reader's revulsion over scares. Somewhere in the middle though, the momentum of the plot starting lagging. Then it was a rush to the ending, curt and to the point, without a lot of explanation. This is one of those novels that is either going to leave you checking the sheets before getting in the bed or leave you apathetic. However, one thing is for certain, some of these scenes will continue to play in your head long after you've closed the book.




Publication date: October 28th 2020 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads Ever wondered what it would be like if hunted animals were able to fight ba...



Publication date: October 28th 2020


Ever wondered what it would be like if hunted animals were able to fight back?

The Lodge unveils the mystery of a hunting lodge in the remote hills of the Scottish Highlands during the Christmas holidays. After the report of an accidental death at the lodge, Andrew, a young constable from the nearest town, drives up through a growing blizzard.

Snowbound, Andrew and the guests take cover at the lodge as the terrifying ordeal unfolds. These animals have souls. Souls that won’t rest until they’ve had revenge...

But will the hunters become the hunted?

 

 
I love "when animals attack" eco-horror. It's one of those genres that I do tend to get a bit giddy about simply because I enjoy the concept of animals taking their revenge. The Lodge essentially follows that pattern. A guest at a hunting lodge in the remote Scottish Highlands experiences a harsh end, choking during dinner. Andrew, the constable sent to make sure there was no foul play at hand, then gets snowed in at the lodge with its owners and guests. 
 
There's no wait to get into the action as the guest dies in the first few pages. It's not long after that the weird stuff starts happening and there is plenty of weird. Eco-horror either plays itself completely straight or on the campy side. The Lodge is a strange mix of the two. On one hand, you have a horde of intelligent rats dismantling the vehicles so there is no escape and on the other, you have some Evil Dead taxidermy waling on the wall. There's absolutely some great imagery here though. 

The Lodge has a lot of flashback-style, character backstories, which honestly, didn't really further the book for me and distracted me from the here and now.  Taking the reader out of the story to a backstory blocked the flow of the novel as the flashbacks didn't always feel organic. While show vs. tell has always been a debated writing tool, the info dump chosen often here instead made them feel flat. 

I grew up in a hunting family and my husband hunts. None of my family, even the most enthusiastic of hunters, were ever like the ridiculous caricatures of hunters that are in the book. There are probably hunters out there like this, but I've not met them. On top of that, the actions of the characters just didn't make sense. They all seemed to be stereotypical ideals of what they should be, even the vegans. 

The Lodge seemed to have the perfect formula for a great read. There were multiple storylines that converged in the end, but there really weren't any surprises. It was intriguing enough to be a fast read but the plot seemed to get more convoluted as it went. I liked the idea but found the execution bland. 





Publication date: July 20 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads F or as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has b...



Publication date: July 20 2021

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has been surrounding by the dark woods—a forest filled with terrible monsters that light cannot penetrate. Like every person who grows up in Oakvale she has been told to steer clear of the woods unless absolutely necessary.

But unlike her neighbors in Oakvale, Adele has a very good reason for going into the woods. Adele is one of a long line of guardians, women who are able to change into wolves and who are tasked with the job of protecting their village while never letting any of the villagers know of their existence.

But when following her calling means abandoning the person she loves, the future she imagined for herself, and her values she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbors safe.

Read now
 
 
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who walked through the dark woods to grandmother's house. Oh, you've heard this story before? I guarantee you haven't heard this version of the story, for you see—in this story, the little girl is the wolf.

This was such a lush and spellbinding version of Little Red Riding Hood. A dark, deep wood encompasses the village, barely kept at bay by those who live there. Only the careful eye of the watch who stand guard with torches keep the threatening woods from encroaching further, or so they believe. There's another watcher in the woods, however. Adele thought she has her life all planned out until she discovers her true fate and everything she thought she knew changes overnight. Thrilling, pulse-pounding danger awaits Adele in the woods and she is uniquely equipped to meet it. Risks and uncertainly await Adele every day and she's forced to make decisions that change her destiny and those of the villagers. 

Blood and savagery are about and it's not only the wood's monsters who are fearfully made.  Rachel Vincent has crafted an environment where deviating from the norm is dangerous, and where secrets must be kept to survive. This is witch-burning territory and it only takes a word to incite the villagers viciously into action. Like the dark woods, Vincent's world is perilous and full of wonder. This is a tale of fur and teeth, haunting and harrowing. 
 


Publication date: Feb 2nd 2020 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN MEETS THE ADDAMS FAMILY IN TH...



Publication date: Feb 2nd 2020
Links: Amazon Goodreads



MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN MEETS THE ADDAMS FAMILY IN THIS HAUNTING STORY OF ONE GIRL'S ATTEMPT TO RECONNECT WITH HER MONSTROUS FAMILY.


Eleanor has not seen or spoken with her family in years, not since they sent her away to Saint Brigid's boarding school. She knows them only as vague memories: her grandfather's tremendous fanged snout, the barrel full of water her mother always soaked in, and strange hunting trips in a dark wood with her sister and cousins. And she remembers the way they looked at her, like she was the freak.

When Eleanor finally finds the courage to confront her family and return to their ancestral home on the rainy coast of Maine, she finds them already gathered in wait, seemingly ready to welcome her back with open arms. "I read this in the cards," her grandmother tells her. However, Grandma Persephone doesn't see all, for just as Eleanor is beginning to readjust to the life she always longed for, a strange and sudden death rocks the family, leaving Eleanor to manage this difficult new dynamic without help.

In order to keep the family that abandoned her from falling apart, Eleanor calls upon her mysterious other grandmother, Grandmere, from across the sea. Grandmere brings order to the chaotic household, but that order soon turns to tyranny. If any of them are to survive, Eleanor must embrace her strange family and join forces with the ghost of Grandma Persephone to confront the monstrousness lurking deep within her Grandmere-and herself.

  
Boy, that's a tagline for high expectations, isn't it? This just sounded too unusual to pass by. 

From the start, Eleanor seems to be the most normal of the bunch. After being sent away to boarding school for years and running away from said school, she's looking for love and acceptance. Now that she's home, she's trying to scrape out a place to belong, but like as it was at school, she's on the outskirts again. It's no surprise after not attaining a huge warm welcome from her immediate family and the unexpected death of her grandmother, she reaches out to the only other family she has. Eleanor is ignorant of the world and somewhat bossy in the name of responsibility. While I didn't actively dislike her, I found myself extremely apathetic towards her. Again, this is YA so she fits the naive typecasting that I expected going in. 

Her family, on the other hand, would fit well in with the Adams' family. Her mother is covered in barnacles and spends her time sitting in a washtub full of water. Her grandfather is a shifter who has trouble keeping it reeled in as are her sister and cousin. Her grandmother is a witch. Everyone is very odd, yet seems normal to each other. The characters are definitely one of the best parts of the story. The family dynamics are strange and unusual yet interesting. The gothic atmosphere is incredibly well done here. The run-down house in the woods with the kooky uninviting family; Everything is dark and dreary. 

What Big Teeth is a veritable overload of bizarre, weird, and eccentric people and happenings. Things just happen without explanation and are never touched on again. It's all very vague and initially, the mystery of it all kept me turning the pages, but the novelty of it soon wore off. Just when you think you are finally going to get some answers, there's a very weird romantic arc with Arthur, who we know nothing about other than multiple family members seem to be in love with him. It's a new level of creepy, but an uncomfortable one this time. In the end, it did come together, but I had to push through to get there. 


 




Publication date: October 12th 2020 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads 1865 Hanau, Germany S ixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions...



Publication date: October 12th 2020
Links: Amazon Goodreads


1865
Hanau, Germany

Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide.
She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She’s heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow. But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner—none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it’s too late.


 
Broken Wish is the first in a series called The Mirror, written by different authors, spanning generations and the curse that afflicts them. Julie C. Dao kicks off the series with Broken Wish, a story of friendship and broken promises. Fractured fairytales one of my favorite things—if it's done right—and I will even read YA if the premise sounds promising. I know, I'm a YA snob. Most of the time it's the angsty romance that I can't do in YA. In fairytale retellings, I'm expecting it to be angsty so it's okay, I guess? (Don't judge me.)

Beginning in Hanau, Germany (the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm, btw), a young woman named Agnes Heinrich befriends Mathilda, and their friendship is sweet and true. Unfortunately, they live in a time where different is to be feared and Mathilda is "different". Agnes and her husband can't have children and Mathilda agrees to help them in exchange for Agnes' friendship. Agnes agrees but breaks her promise to Mathilda, breaking her heart in the process. Years later, Agnes' daughter Elva discovers that she might be able to stop a vision of danger surrounding the village and her parents. She sets off on a journey to discover more about herself and the curse that befell her family all those years ago. That means hunting down the witch who set the curse in the first place. 

I loved this story.  The characters are fleshed out and the writing is beautifully stylized. All the components for a perfect fairytale are here: the witch, the woods, and a mirror. True to Disney style, there is so much to download from this. It's darker, somewhere between Disney and the original Brothers Grimm. There are a lot of Easter Eggs if you are a fairytale fan like me. While there's a bit of romance, there's definitely skew towards friendships and other forms of love like that of family. While it's technically YA, the focus on friendship is almost MG. 

Overall, it's a story that feels true to Disney, about finding out who you are, staying true to your word, and forging ahead even if you don't know how the story will end. 




Bring on the cakes, balloons, cakes, gifts, cakes, and…well…cakes. It’s time for Grier’s baby shower! Grier is ready to smile for the camer...



Bring on the cakes, balloons, cakes, gifts, cakes, and…well…cakes. It’s time for Grier’s baby shower!

Grier is ready to smile for the cameras, rip open the presents, and finally taste that lemon chiffon cake, but it’s just not meant to be. The Grande Dame is MIA, which turns the big event into an even bigger search party. And that delicious cake? It’s going right back in the fridge.

While Grier doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother-in-law, she’s determined her child will grow up with one living grandparent or else. Even if it means wiggling into maternity jeans, putting on actual shoes, and waddling over to Lawson Manor to investigate the potential kidnapping.

Just as the investigation turns a corner, Grier pays the price for her stress. The baby wants out ahead of schedule, and it has a unique way of making its desires known. Unique and terrifying. Now the race is on to find the Grande Dame before the baby makes his or her first appearance.

What do you get when you cross a goddess-touched necromancer with an Eidolon?

Linus and Grier are about to find out firsthand. Now they just have to survive parenthood.
 

Leigh Morgan defeated the magical, monstrous denizens of Otherworld. She survived the curse their queen put on her in revenge and wielded...




Leigh Morgan defeated the magical, monstrous denizens of Otherworld. She survived the curse their queen put on her in revenge and wielded their most legendary weapon in battle. But the demonic forces invading Otherworld now are worse than anything she’s ever fought: powerful, cruel, and cannibalistic.

Leigh would return to the human world and leave the arrogant Others to rot except for one reason: Prince Dredarion Rath, the sly, sorcerous man who stole her heart. She’ll fight at his side to save his people even if it means joining forces with her former enemies. But when the worst happens and Leigh ends up cut off from Dredarion, injured and imprisoned, she’ll have to find a way to save the kingdom and the prince alone…or die trying.

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerri...



Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör is designed to retain its luster and natural appearance for a lifetime of use. Pleasingly proportioned with generous French flaps and a softcover binding, Horrorstör delivers the psychological terror you need in the elegant package you deserve.

A horror tale about the Witch Bride, second wife of a King, and the discord between her and her young stepson.



A horror tale about the Witch Bride, second wife of a King, and the discord between her and her young stepson.

New York City, 1990: When you slip through the cracks, no one is there to catch you. Monique learns that the hard way after her girlfrien...


New York City, 1990: When you slip through the cracks, no one is there to catch you. Monique learns that the hard way after her girlfriend Donna vanishes without a trace.

Only after the disappearances of several other impoverished women does Monique hear the rumors. A taloned monster stalks the city’s underground and snatches victims into the dark.

Donna isn’t missing. She was taken.

To save the woman she loves, Monique must descend deeper than the known underground, into a subterranean world of enigmatic cultists and shadowy creatures. But what she finds looms beyond her wildest fears—a darkness that stretches from the dawn of time and across the stars.