Book Blogger Hop: October 5th-11th

This weekly hop is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, featuring a question about books each week. The purpose is to bring bookish bloggers together, basically. To participate, write a post about the question for that week and add your link.

The question this week is: It’s getting close to Halloween. If you HAD to read one of these two genres, which would you prefer — urban fantasy, or horror, and why? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)

Almost certainly horror, because my most read genre is probably fantasy, and I think I might read more urban fantasy than other subgenres.

I tend to save up horror books to binge read during October because I participate in some spooky themed reading challenges and read-a-thons.


Which genre would you choose?

Advertisements

R.I.P. XIII: Update the Second

(Check out the R.I.P. 13 page here, and my sign up post here.)

I’ve officially completed Peril the First, whoo!

That doesn’t mean I’m stopping, because I have several spooky books lined up for October, and other spooky challenges to participate in (like FrightFall which I just posted about earlier). I’m just shocked that I A) actually finished four books that fit, and B) have done so before October even started haha.

In my first update, I’d read two books and was working on a third (I ended up DNF’ing The Library at Mount Char…maybe some other time).

Since then, I’ve also finished:

  • The Suffering by Rin Chupeco (the sequel to The Girl in the Well), and I loved it I think as much as the first book, maybe more. I might post a combo review soon, but I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
  • Kill Creek by Scott Thomas (reviewed here) which…I didn’t love. 2/5 stars.

For Peril of the Short Story I read:

  • Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts edited by Rayne Hall which I gave 1/5 stars :/
  • Then I re-read “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe which I gave 4.5/5 stars (it’s not my favorite Poe story, but I really enjoy it).
  • I think The Marble and Other Ghost Tales of Tennessee and VIrginia by Joe Tennis counts. It’s a super short book (70 pages) of ghost stories from a small region of TN and VA. I just read it this morning and gave it 3.5/5 stars.

For Peril on the Screen:

I watched Happy Death Day. I’ve wanted to see this movie since I first saw previews last year(?) and I was not disappointed. I don’t want to say much about it, but I honestly loved it. Probably enough to buy it if I ever find it cheap.

I give this one 4.5/5 stars for being so much fun to watch, and because if I hadn’t spoiled myself accidentally by searching for something while watching it, I honestly wouldn’t have seen the ending coming. I might have figured out the “who,” but not the “how.”

If you like movies like Scream, April Fool’s Day, Heathers, Final Destination, maybe Final Girl, Black Christmas (the original, I don’t think I’ve seen the remake), and–of course–Groundhog Day, you might want to check this one out if you haven’t already.


I think that’s it for my R.I.P. updating, but there will be more coming next month, probably.

Book Review: Kill Creek by Scott Thomas


Genres/Descriptors:
Horror

Why I read it: I found it on Net Galley last year (eek) and it sounded great.

Who I’d recommend it to: Honestly? Very few people.

My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Book Depository | IndieBound

 


Goodreads Description:

At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, lies the Finch House. For years it has perched empty, abandoned, and overgrown–but soon the door will be opened for the first time in many decades. But something waits, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests. 
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt soon becomes a fight for survival–the entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.


Review:

Meh. If I had to sum up my feelings about this book in a single word, it would be, “meh.” This was honestly one of the most disappointing reads I’ve had in a while.

I’ll start with the good, though.

This book was undoubtedly an homage to the big names of horror, probably both classic and modern. As someone who really likes horror, both on the page and on the screen, I could appreciate that.

At times, it was clear that Scott Thomas is capable of writing very well, and potentially delivering some scares, so I’m not writing him off just yet.

This book would probably make a great movie, and I’m thinking I would like the movie version more.

That’s pretty much all I actually liked about this book, and I feel weird about giving it such a low rating because it seems to be well-loved, in general.

The first 30% or so are seriously over-written. The remainder of the book is a little better, but I stand by what I said once (when I was only about halfway through it): it could probably lose 100 pages and nothing about the story would change. With horror, or any other spooky-ish book, I tend to call this “Stephen King Syndrome.” So if you like how wordy King can be, you probably won’t be bothered by that aspect. One additional note about it, though, is that some things were repeated way too often. Certain phrases, or recounting the same memory or whatever. Eventually, I just started skimming and skipping over pages.

Nothing really happens until close to the halfway point. Then, I finally had hope of reading a truly creepy story, but it lost steam really quickly. I don’t want to say much about what happened, so I don’t spoil anything for someone planning to read this, but there was a shift in the type of horror around 70% and I just rolled my eyes and thought, “Of course.” I’d seen it coming, but had hoped it wasn’t going to go there.

Two things frustrated me most about this book.

The first was the one (main) female character. At first, I thought I was going to like her. And eventually I did, but less in a, “Wow, this guy wrote a decent female character, hurrah!” kind of way, and more in the way that I wish I could take her away from him and give her to a woman author. The creepiest thing about this book was how T.C. Moore was written at times, and if she could come to life and speak for herself, I’m guessing she would verbally rip Thomas a new one. Or maybe even literally do it. I get it. She’s a tough, badass bitch, in a field dominated by men. I. GET. IT. I have no issues with unlikable female characters (I want more of them!). I have no issues with crass female characters. But Moore was just so over the top she became unbelievable, which is really disappointing because if Thomas had just dialed it back a bit (and maybe not mentioned her breasts and underwear and how she has a “pagan ritual”–which I have other issues with–of writing naked) it would have been much better to read about her.

The second thing was the lack of explanation. I still have no clue what caused the things that happened in the book. We’re given some vague ideas, but nothing is really settled and actually explained. I guess that’s supposed to make it creepier, but it just irritates me. And then there were the vines. I won’t elaborate on that part.

None of the characters really stood out to me. It’s like they should have had more depth, but just didn’t. I honestly can barely even remember their names already, even though (as I’m typing this) I just finished the book a half hour ago. I think the idea for them was to make them almost like archetypes of big-name horror authors, without actually making them into those authors. But that didn’t quite work for me, in the end, and so I never really cared about any of them. I just wanted the book to end so I could move on.

I feel like this book should have been a better experience for me, but I spent almost all of it bored and/or skimming over all the repetitive bits so I could finally finish it. wanted to like it, but it was just…fine. Not really good, not horrible, just fine. I saw the ending coming from pretty much the beginning, and it was also just fine. Nothing new or surprising there.

Would I recommend it? Not really. But, if you love Stephen King, maybe Dean Koontz, and others like them, you might like this more than I did.

 

I received a free copy for review from Net Galley

Top 10 Tuesday: Fall 2018 TBR

This is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader GirlEvery week, there’s a theme and you choose ten books that fit it. Check out upcoming topics here.


Wow, it’s been like 3 months since I did a T10T :/

This week’s topic is books on our fall TBR. I don’t make TBRs. I never stick to them, and they just end up frustrating me and making me feel bad, so I don’t bother. However, I do usually have books in mind that I’d like to read within a certain time period. I might not actually do it, but I try.

So, these are 10 things I’d like to try to get to this season, in no particular order.


Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson– This one sounds perfect for next month, probably between heavier/longer books to lighten things up a bit.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco– This has been on my shelf an embarrassingly long time :/

Vicious by V.E. Schwab– Another one I should have read ages ago, but I’m only saving it until Vengeful comes out next week, so I’ll hopefully be reading both of them soon.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux– This one is actually my husband’s, but he forgot about it, so…finders keepers?

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury– I finally own it! I’m excited for this one because I remember loving the movie when I was a kid.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty– I have no excuse for why I still have not read this *sigh*

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix– I’ve wanted to read this one since it came out, and now I have it! I’m excited because it sounds like something I’ll really enjoy.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier– I’ve wanted to read this for almost as long as I can remember, so maybe I’ll finally get around to it.

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco– I just realized I have two of her books on this list, but I just read The Girl From the Well and really liked it, so I’m hoping to grab this sequel ASAP.

For my tenth, I’m cheating. Cheating how? By not listing anything specific. My tenth spot is for short stories, mostly of the Victorian and Gothic varieties. I just don’t have any one thing in mind, so… however many short stories I can squeeze in over the next couple of months. Possibly some Gaskell, La Fanu, Poe, Blackwood, etc.


I’m not feeling very well today, so I’m not going in search of covers or trying to take any pictures to add to this. Sorry :/

 

What are some books you’d like to get to this autumn?

Have any spooky book recs you’d like to pass on?

Spooky Book Recs & Discussion: A Mixed Bag

So far, I’ve recommended Snack Sized Stories (novellas, short stories, etc.) and some for kids-teens (or anyone else who likes YA, MG, picture books, etc.), and between those two lists, I don’t have a lot of horror/thriller/otherwise spooky books left to recommend.

I have read a couple of things since writing those, though, and there were a few things that either didn’t fit with those lists or I looked over, so this is just a mixed bag of spooky book treats.

These will probably run the gamut from slightly creepy/darker setting (think gothic lit, or things that have a Halloween/autumn “vibe” to them, or are actually set in the autumn) to actual horror/thriller stories.


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie– Gotta have some Christie in these recs lists ❤
Bird Box by Josh Malerman– I really liked this one. It actually creeped me out several times.
Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl– I don’t think I finished this YA series, but I liked the first 3(?) books.
Dracula by Bram Stoker– Classic vamp book is classic 😛
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley– Again, classic. Not my fave, but I liked it.
Generation Dead series by Daniel Waters– I really liked most of this YA zombie series.
Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott– This one is hard to describe, but I enjoyed the mild-eeriness it had going on.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill– I wanted to love it more than I did, but it was still good and a bit creepy at times.
Horns by Joe Hill– I really liked this one. (The movie was pretty good, too.) Book + Movie review here
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson– I saw the movie first, but I think I liked the book more.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio– Kinda thriller? I will recommend this book every chance I get ❤ ❤ (Review of the audiobook here)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë– Gothic lit, so not terrifying, but definitely has a darker mood/vibe thing going on. Fave ❤
Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist– I really liked this, and highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet. (The Swedish version of the movie is also good.)
Living With the Dead series by Jesse Petersen– If you like comedy/horror, like the movies Zombieland, Dead Snow, etc., read this series!
Outcast vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman– I think I expected more from this comic series, so I’m on the fence about continuing it. This one was ok, though.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman– Ok, I didn’t love the book :/ It was good, but I like the movie more.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin– The book and movie are both great.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn– I have conflicting feelings about this, but I cautiously recommend it (just look up trigger warnings first if you need them).
Sweep series by Cate Tiernan– One of my favorite YA series with witches. Not super spooky, but I like re-reading it around autumn/winter.
The Funhouse by Dean Koontz (writing as Owen West)– I think this was adapted from a screen play (I can’t remember the movie well enough to be sure, though) and I loved it. Very campy, B Horror-ish.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson– Classic horror is classic. It’s good. Give it a read if you like haunted house stories.
The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine– These YA vamp books aren’t really terrifying, but there are some bits that are tense and they give me “autumn” vibes.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde– Just read it. It’s fantastic and gothic and creepy and funny and brilliant. (I’m in love with Oscar Wilde, ok?)
The Rose Master by Valentina Cano– YA gothic story that I really enjoyed (reviewed here) and can’t wait for the sequel (Of Bells & Thorns) coming out next month. (It’s also kind of a Beauty & the Beast retelling, and I really liked that aspect, too.)
The Shining by Stephen King– I’m not a Stephen King devotee, but I did like this one. I’m still not sure how I feel about his writing, overall :/
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon– I reviewed this one. I really liked it. Nice, spooky vibe throughout the whole thing.
The Witching Pen series by Dianna Hardy– One of my absolute fave indie/self-published authors and series. It’s not terror-inducing, but might be a good pick for people who like reading paranormal/PNR this time of year.
We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory– I also reviewed this one and it’s stuck with me. I don’t remember a lot about it, now, but I do remember enjoying it a lot.


See any favorites on this list?

Let me know if you check any of these out!

Book Blogger Hop: October 13th-19th

This weekly hop is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, featuring a question about books each week. The purpose is to bring bookish bloggers together, basically. To participate, write a post about the question for that week and add your link.

 

The question this week is: Who is your favorite horror/suspense author and why?

 

This is a really tough question for me, and I almost didn’t do it because, while I really like horror (in general), I don’t read a lot of it because I haven’t found much I enjoy. When I do, it’s usually only a single book from a particular author.

My first thought is Edgar Allan Poe. So many things I write and enjoy can be traced back to him and his writing, and he’s been a favorite most of my life.

But does R.L. Stine count? I read a ton of Goosebumps books when I was a kid, I just re-read one for the first time since middle school probably, and I still very much enjoyed it.

 


What about you? Do you have a favorite?

Spooky Book Recs & Discussion: Children’s, Middle Grade, and Young Adult Books

Earlier in the month, I did “Snack Sized Stories” (short stories, novellas, comics & graphic novels), and I’d intended to post one of these book recs lists every Monday in October (replacing my usual “Must Read Mondays” this month), but…I forgot because it was a really busy time :/

I remembered this week, though!

I actually don’t read a lot of middle grade or children’s books these days, except re-reads of books I loved when I was growing up, or reading aloud with my kid. But, I’ve read a few as an adult, and I remember some from when I was a kid, and I do somewhat regularly still read YA, so hopefully this list won’t be only like 3 book long 😛 (I’m including both things generally considered horror, and some things I just think are creepy/spooky/scary.)


Middle Grade & YA

  • Goosbumps by R.L. Stine– Just, all of them, basically. If you never read a Goosebumps book, try picking up one of the classics (Night of the Living DummyGhost BeachStay Out of the BasementSay Cheese and Die!, etc.) to see what you think.
  • The Fear Street Saga by R.L. Stine– These were more for teens, I think, and I only read about 2 of them, but really liked them.
  • Shivers by M.D. Spenser– There weren’t many of these, and I don’t think they were quite as good or well-known as Goosbumps, but I really liked them.
  • Bone Chillers by Betsy Haynes– I think I only read like 2-3 of these, but I think I liked them in grade school.
  • Scary Stories (all 3 volumes) by Alvin Schwartz– Creepy folklore? Yes, please! I think I almost wore out my school’s library copies of these books, and I still love them and sometimes re-read them now that I have my own copies.
  • Christopher Pike’s books– I can’t remember if these were in a series, but I read a few and remember them being super popular for a while.
  • Bunnicula by Deborah & James Howe– I…can’t remember if I ever actually read this, or if my BFF read it so much I just knew the story and think I read it :/
  • Point Horror series– These were books written by different authors (R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Caroline B. Cooney, etc.), and there was at least one spin off (Nightmare Hall, I think).
  • Haunting With Louisa series by Emily Cates– I might have only read the first one, but I remember liking it, at least.
  • Sweet Valley Twins Super Chillers by Francine Pascal– Yep, that Sweet Valley. My cousin had tons of the different Sweet Valley books, but I think I liked her Super Chillers most.
  • Neil Gaiman– I started to list a couple of books, but pretty much just read any of them and you’re probably going to find something creepy.
  • Doll Bones by Holly Black– I read this a couple of years ago and really liked it.
  • The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle– This was one of my absolute favorite books of 2015 ❤
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs– Not super scary, but still has some kinda creepy bits.
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black– I really loved this one, too, and I feel like it’s really underrated.
  • The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray– Partially because I will use any excuse to talk about, and partially because it has some creepy parts (but it isn’t a horror series at all).
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl– My favorite Dahl book growing up ❤
  • In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz– I don’t think this was as well known as Scary Stories, but still great.
  • Scary Stories for Stormy Nights by Mark & Michelle Kehl– I remember having 1 or 2 of these, and liking them, but I don’t remember much about them now :/
  • Bruce Coville– I think I had the Book of Monsters and… at least one other.

For the pre-school(ish) kiddos (or grownups if you like picture books):

  • Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell– I read this one to my kid around Halloween and we both loved it. (This one is mostly for pre-school aged kids.)
  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler– This one is also very cute.
  • The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing & Cynthia Fisher– I think this was my favorite to read to kid a few years ago.
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro & Jared Lee– This one was fun the first 12 times, then it got old. (This was probably kid’s favorite.)
  • Check for spooky versions/additions to your favorite series, like Berenstain Bears, Splat the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Little Critter, Disney, etc.

Did you read scarier books when you were a kid?

What was your favorite scary book/series?