My husband and I LOVED Penny Dreadful, and Vanessa Ives is one of the darkest most intriguing characters I've had the pleasure of meeting. Sure, she'sMy husband and I LOVED Penny Dreadful, and Vanessa Ives is one of the darkest most intriguing characters I've had the pleasure of meeting. Sure, she's got flaws and there's that pesky possession thing, but she's fascinating.
So when I found out about this prequel volume, of course I wanted to read it. And I did, in one sitting.
I have to be honest, asides from Jonathan Harker--plus Lucy and Quincey--there's not much new material. Sir Malcolm's search for Mina and his trek to Africa were all revealed in the show. Yet. Yet, there was something really compelling about this comic book. And the art style is so beautiful, the colours so vibrant, that I couldn't look away.
It's a stunning visual display that leads nicely into the show.
If you're a fan, you'll probably get a kick out of it. If you're not, you'll probably find it pointless. Me, I thought it was definitely worth reading....more
You know, I worked out Adele's secret along the way, and even her intentions eventually dawned on me. But what I didn'tO.M.F.G. That ending. WTF?! O.o
You know, I worked out Adele's secret along the way, and even her intentions eventually dawned on me. But what I didn't expect was that ending! Yikes.
So, um. Yeah. Let's talk about the story.
Louise is a single mother who works part-time as a secretary. She loves her son. She's still not able to trust men after what happened with her cheating ex-husband. She's got a good friend who's always got stories to tell.
The one night she goes out and meets a man she actually likes at a bar... he turns out to be her new--very much married--boss! Ouch.
As shocked and embarrassed as she is, they still have a mutual connection. But then she accidentally meets his wife. And they become friends! Yep. Now Louise is caught between her affair with David and her friendship with Adele.
The deeper she gets with both of them, the more she realises how bad their marriage is. Their picture-perfect exterior hides some festering secrets, and a toxicity that is catching...
Wow. This is some story! It's very well written. The breadcrumbs are many, but there are so many different things going on that it's not easy to know where to apply them. There's also a freaky thread that I didn't expect and totally throws the story into a spin.
Louise was a kind, lonely woman wanting to find her place and be a good friend. But she's also got too many trust issues, is quite gullible and let's be honest, drinks too much wine.
Adele is a beautiful woman who uses her looks as a way to ensnare and deceive and control. She enjoys playing games and is SO OBSESSIVE about her husband that it's a sickness. She's pretty fucked up, really.
Together, the alternating POVs of these two women take the reader on a wild thrill ride with a hint of horror. And it's SO good. I loved this book. It hooked me instantly, and I wanted to take my time with it... but when I got halfway I just had to know where this story was going to end up.
And in typical Sarah Pinborough style, it didn't disappoint. She sure can write a wicked, twisty tale with characters you love, you hate, and love to hate.
I heard about this story on Twitter, and I was instantly intrigued. I mean, who doesn't want to read a gothic horror story featuring a lesbian charactI heard about this story on Twitter, and I was instantly intrigued. I mean, who doesn't want to read a gothic horror story featuring a lesbian character and a remote castle? Besides, check out the creepy cover.
So I headed over to the Tor website today and read it.
Helen is a British woman who was living in Paris and is hired by a friend to teach his orphaned nephew how to speak English. They travel to a very remote castle/house in Germany, and Helen likes it instantly. She doesn't have plans to stick around for long, but she feels sorry for the boy and finds the nursemaid appealing. Helen likes to smoke and drink and flirt, so she does all of this here. But when her friend has to leave, she becomes obsessed with the crypt...
Yikes! Talk about starting nice and easy, pleasant even, before being plunged into Ewwww! town. LOL. But seriously, this is a great and horrific story that lays out all the questions, throws in some clues, and then everything hits you at once! That ending is a killer.
I absolutely loved Daughters Unto Devils, so I was super eager to read this one. And I pretty much devoured every word shortly after I started. This iI absolutely loved Daughters Unto Devils, so I was super eager to read this one. And I pretty much devoured every word shortly after I started. This is SO GOOD!
Lucy Acosta lives in a huge Victorian mansion with her emotionally-distant father, her beloved Aunt Penelope, and her cousin Margaret. The girls are homeschooled, and their house is always hosting one party or another for their local rich acquaintances.
The girls never leave the estate and are usually bored out of their minds. But they have each other. Well, they do until Aunt Penelope goes missing and Margaret starts losing her mind.
Lucy has always known there was something wrong with the house, and this time, instead of just giving in to the temptation of the razor, she's going to get to the bottom of the mystery...
What this poor girl finds is hideously awful. And extremely grotesque, in the best way possible.
I loved how the story starts out slow and leads you around the eerie house until you can practically see it in your mind. I loved how the underlining creepiness was there every step of the way. I also loved how it was written. Every word dripped with the atmosphere of the mysterious house, as the secrets eventually revealed themselves.
Lucy's voice perfectly captured how little love she'd really known, and how it kept her from forming any real human attachments. Oh, and that the story is filled with so many teenage girls and women is awesome!
I loved this creepy story, set inside a spooky house with a cast of very disturbed characters, and a bunch of deliciously wicked secrets.
I'm loving this author's horror. Can't wait to read her next one!...more
My daughter picked this up for me from the library the other day. It's a book that caught my eye because it looks so spooky. And since I finished writMy daughter picked this up for me from the library the other day. It's a book that caught my eye because it looks so spooky. And since I finished writing my own creepy NaNoWriMo story on Friday, I thought this might be an appropriate reading reward. :)
Poppy lives in a group home for girls and she sees another girl in the mirror behind her. Marcus feels distant from his family and can hear phantom music. Azumi keeps returning to the forest where she lost her sister and can't let go. Dylan and Dash are about to leave the sitcom they've been a part of for years and Dash keeps having weird nightmares about his brother.
All five kids have been invited to Larkspur for very different reasons. When they get there and start talking to each other, they realise that something isn't quite right. Kids with masks roam the house. The corridors sometimes seem endless. Doors appear and disappear. But the one thing that becomes very clear is that they're in big trouble.
This house has secrets, a dark mystery, some sort of connection to each one, and it's determined to imprison them...
First of all, this book is so nice! The creepy cover, the black and white photos, the grey pages and hidden symbols all add to the mystery. And the story hooked me in instantly and didn't let me go. I pretty much read it in one sitting because it was SO GOOD!
The story is told in the POV of all five kids, which was the perfect way to keep the story moving and the pacing perfect. Not to mention that the spooky factor and building tension sucked me right in. I wanted to know what was going on, and although the mystery will no doubt continue in the next book, some really bizarre answers are revealed.
This book is seriously creepy. Disturbing. Intriguing. And I loved the kids! All of them have flaws and weaknesses, which make each one uniquely interesting.
This isn't my first Mercedes M. Yardley story, so I knew I was in for a treat before I even started. She's got a way with words. An amazing knack forThis isn't my first Mercedes M. Yardley story, so I knew I was in for a treat before I even started. She's got a way with words. An amazing knack for telling real-world cautionary tales with a slant towards fantastical horror.
And this novella was no different.
Marie loves her daughter more than anything in this world. But even with all her love and attention to detail, she managed to miss the signs of a dangerous predator under their roof. Marie took care of him, but Aleta was never the same. Actually, neither was she. The guilt is something she can never wash away.
When Aleta volunteers to take a basket of goodies to her ill grandmother, their life changes yet again. Aleta doesn't make it to the hospital.
Marie is now all alone, but revenge keeps her mind occupied. And with the help of a kind police officer, she's detetmined to become the wolf in sheep's clothing...
Yikes. This story is dark. Sad. Disturbing. Haunting. Full of torment and loss. It's also beautiful. I'm not surprised it won an award. The way the Little Red Riding Hood tale is weaved into a modern story about little girls who are destined to be victims is truly amazing.
I might have felt uncomfortable and sad and wanted to rage against things that make the nightly news way too often, but I loved this novella....more
I wanted to read a creepy book and that's EXACTLY what I got. Yes! I mean, look at that cover. I think it captures the story perfectly.
Anyway. I borroI wanted to read a creepy book and that's EXACTLY what I got. Yes! I mean, look at that cover. I think it captures the story perfectly.
Anyway. I borrowed this book from the library the other day and started reading it right away. And I was hooked.
After Paige's parents go through a messy divorce, her mother takes her and her younger brother Logan from LA to Idaho. Where they rent a big, old house that comes with several tenants: a mysterious college student in the basement, a swarm of flies, and too many spiders. Not to mention that Logan's room makes her ears buzz, and he's started wandering around in the middle of the night. Every night.
It doesn't take long for Paige to realise that something is seriously wrong with the house. But her mother refuses to look at the negative and focuses too much on the positive. No matter what she says, Paige and Logan start to spiral out of control and it can only lead to tragedy...
I loved this book! It's written as online journal entries in Paige's POV. There are also creepy pictures and letters and other cool additions that turn this story into an experience. Her voice is interesting and pays close attention to detail. Not to mention that the tension starts building and continues to mount all the way through. And that ending. Yikes!
BTW, if you don't like spiders... maybe you shouldn't read this.
I've actually read this short story several times, and because I'm all about the spooky/creepy tales this month, I read it again this morning.
The trueI've actually read this short story several times, and because I'm all about the spooky/creepy tales this month, I read it again this morning.
The true horror of this story is how normal and slow it first appears, but doesn't take long to pepper the narrative with subtle clues. And when you get near the end and realise exactly what's about to happen, yikes. The horror!
I really enjoyed The Dead House, so of course I wanted to read this novella.
The story takes place after the mysterious Elmbridge High School 'incidentI really enjoyed The Dead House, so of course I wanted to read this novella.
The story takes place after the mysterious Elmbridge High School 'incident' that killed people and raised a lot of questions. This is what happened to Naida, following the events. After she cut her own tongue out! Yikes. But there's a very good (and creepy) reason why she did that. And via diary entries, found camera footage and notes, we get a little further insight into Naida's struggle. As well as what Kaitlyn really struggled with during her ordeal.
This is such a creepy little tale. It's dark and full of secrets. Secrets that are slowly revealed and lead the reader down a bunch of surreal corridors. Asides from the spooky factor, I also found Naida's fate to be quite sad. The sacrifice she's forced to make is so harsh. :(
It's Halloween, and this novella was perfect for an early morning read.
Charlotte is excited about travelling to Japan to meet her penpal, Takako. She'It's Halloween, and this novella was perfect for an early morning read.
Charlotte is excited about travelling to Japan to meet her penpal, Takako. She's relieved to find that they get along as well in person as they did in their letters. Besides, she really needs some time away from her life because she's at a crossroads and isn't sure where to turn.
Takako was kind enough to offer her a place to stay, and Charlotte is delighted. However, during the first night, strange noises awaken her. And she spots a strange woman in the garden. The more she tries to avoid what's happening, it soon becomes obvious that something isn't right with her friend...
This is a great novella. I loved how normal the story appears on the surface, but the tension rides just below. Every step of the way. The horror of the situation sneaks up on you, and leads to a shocking conclusion!
I really enjoyed this. It's a great mixture of ghost story, urban legend, and has a strong friendship at its core....more
It's no secret that the words demonic possession and/or exorcism are guaranteed to grab my attention. So, as soon as I fO.M.F.G. This book is amazing!
It's no secret that the words demonic possession and/or exorcism are guaranteed to grab my attention. So, as soon as I found out about this book, I wanted to read it. And I was lucky enough to get a copy from Hachette Australia!
Jack Sparks is a journalist and writer known for being erratic and taking the whole 'research' thing a bit too far. I mean, when he wrote Jack Sparks on a Pogo Stick he actually traveled less-used roads on an actual Pogo stick. Then he went underground while writing Jack Sparks on Gangs, and actually became a drug addict when he wrote Jack Sparks on Drugs. Plus he loves to talk about himself and is constantly updating his social media.
Did I mention that he's also an ego-maniac? Yep, he is.
After his stint in rehab, he decides to write a new book. This time he's going to tackle the occult by writing Jack Sparks on the Supernatural.
That's how he ends up inside a small, remote church in Italy. Where he's about to witness the exorcism of a thirteen-year-old girl. But being the skeptic that he is, during the exorcism he makes a stupid mistake that affects the rest of his life. Everyone knows you're not supposed to get the Devil's attention, but when you don't believe, why would you care? When someone posts a video on his YouTube channel, he's determined to figure out what the hell is going on.
What follows is an insane journey across the world. As Jack tries to outrun the problem he created, he puts a bunch of people in the direct line of danger. And doesn't give a crap...
Jesus! This book is something else. Yikes. What an adventure. The narrative is so addictive that I didn't want to put the book down. But, I took my time reading it, which is great because I enjoyed every single bleak moment.
Jack isn't a very nice person. Actually, the more I read, the less I liked him. He's totally self-absorbed, doesn't care about anyone, and is downright mean. He rides a roller-coaster of emotions and crazy, mean thoughts that inevitably become paranoia. Not to mention that he's totally unreliable and continually withholds important information. On purpose! And when he is honest, there are still lies woven in. But you know what? In spite of him being such a dick, when everything finally unravels, I felt bad for him. Especially when I read the completely opposite way other people's interactions with him were portrayed.
I guess that's the difference between most people and Jack--whether an asshole or not--we actually care about what happens to others.
Also, I have to mention how much I liked Sherilyn Chastain and Bex Lawson. They are two strong women with so much heart and attitude that I loved every time they were on the page. It's always awesome when a male author writes female characters who are actual people. And I have to mention the super creepy Maria Corvi, too. Because damn, was she super trippy and scary. Yikes!
The Last Days of Jack Sparks is one unstable, super freaky ride into darkness that kept me guessing all the way through. It's a thriller wrapped around a demented mystery, with some serious horror at its core. It's also creepy, intense, fun and filled with exciting aha! moments. And that ending was both, Wow and God no! If Jack's heinous story doesn't haunt you, the way everything comes together most certainly will.
No matter what I say, it just won't do this book justice. This is a story that needs to be experienced in order to truly understand the power of Mimi. So go, read it now!
As much as I complain about Rue Morgue magazine being the weakest item in my beloved Horror Block, I've bought several books because they were featureAs much as I complain about Rue Morgue magazine being the weakest item in my beloved Horror Block, I've bought several books because they were featured in this mag.
This was one of them.
Since the moment I found out about this book, I wanted to read it. I'm a sucker for demonic possession/exorcism stories. I'm also a sucker for anything 1980's. And this book combines both in the best way possible.
Not to mention that I loved Horrorstör!
Anyway, let's talk about the book...
Abby Rivers and Gretchen Lang met when they were kids. Gretchen was the only kid who attended Abby's rollerskating birthday party, and although things started out shaky, they soon became the best of friends. Being from opposite sides of the economic spectrum never affected their friendship, and they even welcomed two other girls into their group: Margaret and Glee.
One night, while the four are enjoying a lazy time in one of Margaret's family's many houses, they decide to try acid. And a simple experiment soon turns into a nightmare when Gretchen is missing all night. After that night, she's never the same and no matter what Abby does to try and help her struggling friend, she just makes everything worse.
Until the only thing left to do is an exorcism...
O.M.F.G! I loved this. Not just because of what I mentioned above, but because I liked Abby's voice and I was hooked. The tension is amazing. The gore is extreme. The demon is despicable. The possession totally insane. But mostly, I loved the true friendship. No matter how much Gretchen hurts Abby, or how much trouble she gets into while trying to help, Abby never gives up.
She's terrified, but doesn't give up. She's facing the wrong side of the law, but still doesn't give up. She pushes to the very end, and that was selfless and brave and awesome!
All the 1980's references were very well written into the story, and so very familiar. I especially got a kick out of the music, E.T. and My Sweet Audrina. Oh, and the demon mythology is definitely strong in this one. There's mention of a bunch of occult stuff I've researched myself.
And man, I can't write a review without focusing on that super creepy and perfect 80's-style cover. Or the special features added throughout the book. ...more
Last year I read THE DEAD HOUSE and really enjoyed it, so I thought this book would be a great way to start my Spooky Halloween Reading Month. :)
SillaLast year I read THE DEAD HOUSE and really enjoyed it, so I thought this book would be a great way to start my Spooky Halloween Reading Month. :)
Silla and Nori are sisters trying to escape their abusive home in London. The youngest, Nori, bears the physical scars of their abusive childhood, so all Silla wants is to offer her sister a better life. That's why she gets on a train and takes them to the countryside, to stay with their estranged aunt. Cath is more than happy to offer them a new home, and the three fall into a nice, quiet existence. For a while.
When Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic and spends all day and night pacing, everything else seems to fall apart. The nearby town is abandoned. Nori starts seeing the Creeper Man who hides in the woods and watches from the shadows. A mysterious boy appears one day. And Silla struggles to supply enough food for their survival. With the trees slowly creeping closer, it seems like the end of the world is near...
Wow. Yep. This is how you tell a creepy story.
I loved the way this book was written. Most of the narrative is in the POV of Silla, as she takes us through the super freaky story of what happened when her sister and her came to stay at their aunt's manor. A huge place that might have once been a lovely, bright house but slowly becomes a hellish cage made out of tall trees and a scary man who watches from afar. It also includes handwritten notes, the brief POV of Cath and Nori, plus a slow descend into madness. There are even secret messages hidden within some of the passages, which is really cool!
Is Silla's ordeal real or imagined? Is she so crazy that she can't tell if she's hallucinating or not? Or maybe something much more sinister is going on... Maybe an old family curse is at the core of what's going on and why the Creeper Man is here for them.
To find that out, you'll just have to read this book. And I highly recommend that you do.
This story has so much depth. It's a touching account of sisterly love. It's about old family secrets. It's a half-remembered love story. But ultimately, it's a disturbing horror tale.
The Creeper Man is a surreal, atmospheric nightmare in the form of a book. It's dark and creepy and captivated me from the very first word. From that point on, all I wanted to do was read more because I just HAD TO KNOW WHERE IT WAS GOING! And the ending didn't disappoint.
This book is such a creepy delight. It's also an awesome way to start Spooky October. :)
As soon as I read the blurb for this book and saw the very cool cover, I was very interested in checking it out. It sounded just like my kind of urbanAs soon as I read the blurb for this book and saw the very cool cover, I was very interested in checking it out. It sounded just like my kind of urban fantasy book: a broken protagonist, a loudmouthed animal and total hijinks.
So I picked it up the other day and was instantly hooked.
Gideon Tau, though everyone calls him London, works for the Delphic Division. He investigates occult crime for the South African Police Service. He has a demonic animal guide who loves to drink almost as much as he does. He's also haunted by the kidnapping and death of his daughter several years ago.
When he gets stuck with the case of a murdered ramanga, a routine investigation turns into a nightmare of conspiracy cover-ups, violent vampires, vengeful angels and a lot of bad news. But all of this insanity might somehow be linked to what happened to his daughter, so he's determined to follow it through.
The further London investigates, the worse things get, the more the body count rises, the violence surges, and the number of enemies increases. If he holds on and follows the clues and trail of corruption, he and his boss might crack the case of a lifetime. If he survives that long...
Yikes! I'm a huge fan of urban fantasy books because they encompass all the darkest and best features of the horror, thriller, police procedural and occult genres. Then twists them into a messy bundle that never fails to capture my imagination. And when the world building is this good and well-thought out and presented, I was bound to love my stay. The location of South Africa is unique and totally becomes a character in itself.
The characterisation is also brilliant. A haunted cop who's damaged enough not to care about who he pisses off to get answers, is guaranteed to keep me glued to the page. Add a very cool demonic dog and a bunch of kick-ass women, and I'm totally there! Armitage is tough as nails and so interesting. Parker is clever and somewhat mysterious. Jaeger and Maddoc are both frightening and fresh.
Not to mention that because of all of my personal research and writing, the supernatural beings featured in this story are both very familiar and different. I really liked the author's own clever twists.
Poison City is a fast-paced, action-packed, non-stop, exciting, gritty supernatural ride through the full extent of human immorality. It also introduces the reader to a very dark occult world. One where the creatures aren't necessarily the monsters, the depravity knows no bounds, and the surprises don't stop coming.
I enjoyed this SO MUCH, I can't wait to catch up with London and the dog again! ...more