Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | Book Review

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Series: Anna Duology
Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

“I’ve seen most of what
there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the
light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget
are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.
Imagination has a poor memory; it       slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
― Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood

Synopsis:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Goodreads | Amazon 

So I am trying to go back through some of the books I have read and write reviews, I read this back in Oct. and figured it was time.

Kendare Blake managed to write a unique story that was dark and gory, but yet still had me rooting for character you shouldn’t. I enjoyed that this books has unexpected twists and had some deeper and more moving moments. ‘

This was my first time reading a book with a ghost that was done well. Blake did not sugar coat the death and horror. It had me yelled at the book like I do when I watch horror movies. It was so interesting to learn about Cas’s back story and the world of hunting that he lives in. I would have loved to learn more because it was fun to learn about different ghost he had hunted. I did think the way the book began was absolutely perfect and really set the stage for the rest of the book.

Cas was a very likable character and much like any cocky teenage boy. He is the lonely boy that rides into a different town all the time and sometimes makes some silly decisions. Cas’s mom was my favorite character, she was that kooky witchy type. Then of course there is Anna, who is the ghost that Cas heads into Thunder Bay to kill, only it would not be that easy for him. I thought her story really made this book, she is such a complex character and one you cant help, but cheer for.

Overall this book was dark, gory but ultimate a phenomenal original story. It is the first real horror YA book I have read that I actually enjoyed. The atmosphere was perfect and definitely had that spooky, cabin in the middle of the woods vibe. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends! This  book is so suspenseful and pulls you right in, its such a quick read and I could not put it down. It completely surprised me and I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends. I am excited to see what happens in the following books.

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The Fall by Bethany Griffin | Book Review

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THE FALL BY BETHANY GRIFFIN

Genre: YA, Retelling, Gothic Horror

Amazon: The Fall

Synopsis:
Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher. [Goodreads]

review

The Fall of the House of Usher is one of my stories by Edgar Allan Poe. When I saw this book and read the synopsis I just knew I had to get it! I preordered it and everything, let me just tell you the cover is amazing! Anyways on to the actual story!

I was not completely head over heels for The Fall by Bethany Griffin. There were things that enjoyed and thought were really well done and then there were some things that I found annoying and frustrating. The book was really atmospheric, that dark and creepy feeling was definitely reminiscent of Poe’s work and created a great overall feeling throughout the whole story!  If you have read the original piece of work that this story was based off you will know it is a little vague and jumps in leaving you questioning so many things. Griffin takes the story and really runs with it.The overall writing was well done, I feel like Griffin put together a well crafted backstory that was intriguing and had me really interested throughout the whole story of where she would take it. Where the book fell short for me was the execution of the storyline. The book jumps around with each chapter being at a different age in Madeline’s life. I do not have a problem with chapters going back and forth between the past and the present because I think that it allows for the story to slowly unfold. Especially in this case where you are learning about the house and the curse, the slowly unraveling creepiness takes ahold of you and won’t let go. But that is not what happens, the story jumps continuously all over the place and it becomes very confusing and hard to follow what was happening when.

Griffin does a fantastic job of making the house come to life and really seem like an ominous villain. For me the characters were done great! At times I felt like there was not much development and the characters at time were vague, but it added to the atmosphere and you do learn about them. I really felt for Madeline and everything she was going through. You start to question her reliability and the events that are taking place. All of the connections to the house are relations are an interesting twist and shocked me a little.

Overall I thought this was an interesting story that really had the gothic horror feel and was fascinating retelling that did not just copy the original, but took the bones of the story and developed a dark and gripping book that explored some interesting ideas of a backstory and lead up to the original story by Poe! The book wasn’t without its faults, but I think it is worth a read for any fans of Poe’s work!

 

RATING

 

Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday | Book Review

19507564OF MONSTERS AND MADNESS BY JESSICA VERDAY

Genre: Ya, Horror, Retelling, Gothic

Source: Netgally (In return for an honest review)

“Two halves of the same whole.They cannot live together, yet
cannot die apart.”
-Jessica Verday, Of Monsters and Madness

Synopsis:
A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.

Summoned to her father’s home in 1820’s Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father’s assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they’re letting on. [Goodreads]

review

* I would like to thank Netgalley and Egmont USA for the opportunity to read and review this book*

When I first heard about this book it kept being referred to as a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee. When I heard this I was excited to get my hands on it because I love Poe and Annabel Lee is my favorite! I should state that this is not so much a retelling of Annabel Lee, but of classic gothic horror. I personally would say its more inspired by classic gothic horror in a way and part just telling the stories over that we already know, but just mashing them all together. To say the least I was highly disappointed with this book.

Verday managed to create a story that held true to the atmospheric feeling that comes from classic gothic horror. It was dark and mysterious with the creepy feeling just in the background waiting to present itself at the right moment. The story was driven much by the suspense and mystery that was weaved through the pages and made for a fast paced read. Many other aspects of the story/book fell short and frustrated me. The biggest thing that bothered me was I felt like the story took to much from its inspiration and classic works that it seemed very unoriginal. At times the story felt like it was just a work that was cut and paste from those classic gothic horrors that include (most prominently) Annabel Lee and The Fall of The House of Usher Edgar Allen Poe and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louise Stevenson. I felt that even the use of the names from these works just took it too far. I thought she took too many liberties with the life of Edgar Allen Poe, but I did appreciate that she referenced his other work that came from the character himself.

There also was not enough story. I felt that in many parts the books was extremely rushed and this caused for there to not be enough character development that I was hoping to receive. We start to get snippets of information that help to form and round out the character like the fact that Annabel wants to go into medicine, which during that time it was not what women do. It starts to form the ideas that she is independent and strong willed, but that point does not form much past that due to the short and rushed storyline. Due to the fact the writing ended up seeming stiff. There were a few parts where the author created some beautiful sentences and really brought the story to life and gave it that gothic horror feel, but I don’t think she did that enough throughout the story. The huge twist in the story also was ruined by the prologue, which definitely affected the way I felt about the book because it then became predictable and lost some of its suspense.

Overall I was not extremely pleased with this book. There were a few things I believe were done really well and I think that the story was interesting and intrigued me at times. I just feel like the execution of the story was not done well. The atmosphere was great and I felt that dark and gloominess that is associated with gothic horror. There were some unique elements and there were parts of the combination of classic stories that I enjoyed, I just wished there were woven together better and with more originality. At times it was just too much and there was too much going on that it created confusion and a rushed feeling in the story. If you haven’t read or are familiar with these classic gothic horror references you might really enjoy this story and be able to really appreciate it, I just think I was expecting something more and couldn’t see past those qualities that frustrated me. So if you are looking for a quick and interesting read I would love to see what your thoughts or feelings about this book are.

RATING-6

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad | Book Review

12860573172 HOURS ON THE MOON BY JOHAN HARSTAD

Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Horror

“In space, no one can hear you scream.”
-Johan Harstad, 172 Hours on the Moon

Synopsis:
Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2. [Goodreads]

review

172 Hours on the Moon is a frightening book that gave me chills. Its a nightmare inducing horror/ sci-fi book that deals with one of my greatest fears and makes me never EVER want to go to space.

NASA is holding a lottery for teens for the chance to win a trip to the moon. The three teens that win the chance all have their own reasons for wanting the opportunity to go to the moon. They go off to train in the US and than head off to the moon where things start to go downhill.  I really enjoyed that the teens were from other places around the world other than the US and that is shares a little of the country and culture as well. Harstad unfolds a story that gives the background to each teen and the history and reason for this trip to the moon.The writing is dark and ominous. Harstad crafted a slow building (in a good way) terror novel that until the end of the book the full terror never fully sets in. Throughout the book there were points that had chills running down my spine and had me completely creeped out, but it wasn’t until I finished the book that everything actually fully hit me.

I really enjoyed the characters. I thought they were all well developed to a point and each had their own quirks. Their actions and reactions to the situations that were presented to them was the same responses I would have had. I do not think that this is a very character driven book , but it works for the story.

Overall this book completely sucked me in. It was intriguing, gripping and made my claustrophobia even worse. I read this book super fast and could not put it down. I enjoyed the pictures and visual aids used and thought they added to the atmosphere of the story. I was enticed by the terror that was created and did not see the twists coming at all. At the end of this book your mind will be blown. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves horror, creepy and terror and wants a different kind of spine chilling read that is based in outer space, just the whole no oxygen thing gives me chills thinking about it.

4.5

Top Ten Tuesday| Top Movies To Get In The Halloween Spirit

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This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by Broke and Bookish is The Top Ten Movies to Get In The Halloween Spirit! I decided to go with movies because Halloween Movies are my absolute favorites! Especially Slasher Films! I also already did a Top Ten Books To Read For Halloween list (which should be updated due to the books I have recently read! So it is like a two in one this week! Also these movies are in no particular order and are a mix of scary, slasher and great kid movies! And I would also like to make it known that the original slasher movies (from the late 70s) are the best! I am obsessed with movies so there are so many more I wish I could add.

SLASHERS

MV5BMTY0Nzk0NTk2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjQ3NTk0MQ@@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_Halloween (1978)

Really any of the movies in this franchise! I love them all and Michael Meyers is my favorite Slasher! Every Halloween Season I make sure that I take a day to marathon all of these movies!

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BMjA0NDQ2MzMxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODg5MTkzMjE@._V1_SX214_AL_ Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with this movie and also had a huge issue with chainsaws in haunted houses and maizes when younger. I even own this movie on VHS! I do think the other adaptions of this movie are good too!

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BMTMxOTk4NjMzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTQ3NDAzMg@@._V1_SX214_AL_Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Someone killing you in your dreams /nightmares is scary shit. Put that together with the fact that Freddy looks creepy as shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BOTYzNDkwNTA1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjIyNDAyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_Friday The 13th (1980)

Another slasher film I know. Jason is just as awesome as the other slashers. Creepy camp setting adds to the fact that there is a killer running around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HORROR

MV5BMTU4NzMyMjAyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjY0MzI5._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_Poltergeist (1982)

This is the first horror movie I remember ever watching and it scared the crap out of me. The second one is even worst. I have no idea why at the age of 8 my parents thought it would be okay to let me watch this.

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BMTI4OTU2NjY5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTQ2Mzg3._V1_SX214_AL_Dawn of the Dead (2004)

This is a great Zombie movie. If you want a good laugh though you should watch the 1970s version! Zombies are a must have for Halloween time.  Although 28 Days Later is another good one I believe this one is my favorite one!

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BMTM1MjAyMjIxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzI0MDg5._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Darkness Falls (2003)

A scary killer tooth fairy….I think that is enough said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family/Child 

MV5BNTczNjA4NzczMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTkzMTQyMQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_Addams Family (1991)

This is a classic! I love the Addams Family. I have to say Wednesday is my role model she is just so fantastic. This family is so kooky and so awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BMTU4Njg1MDkxMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjk2MjAzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_Halloweentown (1998)

This is a solid staple to the Halloween season. I love all 4 of the Halloweentown movies and it also shows how awesome Disney Channel Original Movies use to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MV5BMTI3MDI2NDc3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQ2MzQyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_AL_Hocus Pocus (1993)

I have already watched this movie like 5 times this year. If you don’t watch this movie and/or don’t like it I don’t know if we can be friends. This movie is fun and has witches, talking cats and a zombie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Honorable Mentions:

The Village (2004)

Scream (1996)

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Sweeney Todd (2007)

 

What are some of your favorite horror/ Halloween movies to get in the spirit for the holiday? 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman | Book Review

15783514THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE BY NEIL GAIMAN

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
-Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Synopsis: 
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.[Goodreads]

review

I am going to keep this review short and sweet. The book is very short and I feel like if you read too much into it and look at reviews it will ruin the magic that revolves around this story.

It is a modern fairy tale story that brings about a feeling of nostalgia and childhood. The storytelling is absolutely beautiful and full of fantastic imagery and reminded me of those time in my childhood when everything seemed possible. The main character loves reading and all the worlds and possibilities that they present and really spoke to me and I could relate to him in so many ways. It was dark,eerie and ultimately a haunting novel that  produced that fear that we are all so familiar with from our youth. The imagination and mind can poses and create beautiful and wonderful things and Neil Gaiman definitely conveys this throughout the pages of this fantastic story.

There is such truth, sadness and beauty conveyed in a dreamlike state that had a huge impact on me. This is a book that I believe everyone can find a connection to and really speaks to everyones inner child. I believe this will be a book that I will be convincing everyone I know to read!

RATING-3

Sanctum by Madeleine Roux | Book Review

18812716SANCTUM BY MADELEINE ROUX

Genre: YA, Horror, Mystery/Thriller

Series: Asylum Duology
Asylum (#1 in Asylum Duology)
The Scarlets (#1.5 in Asylum Duology)

Synopsis:
In this haunting, fast-paced sequel to the New York Times bestselling photo-illustrated novel Asylum, three teens must unlock some long-buried secrets from the past before the past comes back to get them first. Featuring found photographs, many from real vintage carnivals, Sanctum is a mind-bending reading experience that blurs the lines between past and present, genius and insanity, perfect for fans of the smash hit Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Dan, Abby, and Jordan remain traumatized by the summer they shared in the Brookline asylum. Much as they’d love to move on, someone is determined to keep the terror alive, sending the teens photos of an old-timey carnival, with no note and no name. Forsaking their plan never to go back, the teens return to New Hampshire College under the guise of a weekend for prospective students, and there they realize that the carnival from the photos is not only real, it’s here on campus, apparently for the first time in many years.

Sneaking away from sample classes and college parties, Dan and his friends lead a tour of their own—one through the abandoned houses and hidden places of the surrounding town. Camford is hiding a terrible past, and the influence of the asylum runs deeper than Dan ever imagined.[Goodreads]

review
*Warning this is a sequel and might contain spoilers for the first book*

In the aftermath of the events that took place in Brookline, the old asylum located on New Hampshire College campus, Dan and his friends Abby and Jordan are still dealing with the nightmares and memories of what took place. With some mysterious information that is sent to them and presents itself to Dan, the trio must make the trip back to NHC and try to solve the secrets in order to be able to try and move on from what happened.

This sequel is fast paced, filled with suspense and reads much more like a horror movie than the first book, Asylum. It has the same creepy and eerie feeling that is found in the first book, but has  a feeling of being in the realm of possibility. Whereas Asylum was more about the overactive imagination and unreliability of the mind, in Sanctum there is a more immanent threat that is developed. For me that poses a greater threat and more fear because instead of just thinking something is happening or going on you know it is happening. There are actual people stalking the three and when you put that with the eeriness of the setting and the added element of a creepy carnival there is a trifecta of terror. The dark and ominous elements added with the well thought out story layered with secrets and hints of insanity, perfectly combined to make a suspenseful story that reminded me of horror films and even of the T.V. show American Horror Story.

I was happy to see that there were a lot of questions answered in this book that I felt were unresolved in Asylum. I did still think that there were some questions not completely answered and just insinuated that I wish were actually answered. I know others have said they felt this was too rushed and at time I understand why they say that, but I felt like it worked because it was a horror novel and that adds to the suspense. The other problem I had with the first book was the characters and I thin Roux did a much better job in this book with the characters in my opinion. The relationships and friendships actually felt real and not like it was trying to hard. The addition of the new characters Micah, Lara and Cal really helped to add to the story and overall plot. Roux does a fantastic job creating characters that are questioning their sanity and even the ones that are close to insanity. The carnival really allowed for there to be some creepy characters mentioned that gave me chills.

Overall this was a fantastic follow up and conclusion that was filled with suspense and the creepy possibility of becoming reality. It contained elements that made the book creepy and left me wanting to keep the lights on. It had secrets, secret societies, ghosts, haunted/creepy houses and a carnival. It sets the scene perfectly to drive your imagination crazy and send chills down your spine.

4.5

Asylum by Madeleine Roux |Book Review

13597728ASYLUM BY MADELEINE ROUX

Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal

“It was a house for those who could not take care of themselves, for those who heard voices, who had strange thoughts and did strange things. The house was meant to keep them in. Once they came, they never left.”
― Madeleine Roux, Asylum

Series: Asylum Duology

Synopsis:
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it’s a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it’s no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux’s teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.[Goodreads]

review

This book was definitely a creepy book. It was one that causes your imagination to work on overload as you slowly start to creepy yourself out about all the possibilities of what could happen. It has a dark ominous feel to it and the creepy pictures sprinkled throughout the book to help create that eerie atmosphere.

This book is about some kids who are attending a summer program at a college in New, Hampshire and the dorms are located in a building that use to be an asylum. You can just guess from that sentence that the book is bound to be filled with creepy and scary content. The main character Dan starts to uncover the history of the building and along with it he gets wrapped up in some of the workings and secrets that are held in the basement of the building. Roux weaves together a mysterious story that slowly comes together with a narrator that becomes unreliable.  The unreliability of the main character, Dan Crawford causes you to question his sanity and the facts of the story.

The characters seemed to not work all that well for me. Although I felt a connection due to the situation they were going through and have been in situations in which I have question my sanity because of things that were happening or what my imagination was doing to me. I also felt like the setting and story was something that was in the realm of reality. When I was in college we had a few buildings that were really old and had many ghost stories associated with them and when you had to go in them you always get this strange feeling and start to creep yourself out. Although I did enjoy that it was a male protagonist, Abby and Jordan were my favorite characters. They had great and quirky personalities that I really enjoyed. There was just something with the relationships , interactions and dialogue that wasn’t working for me and a little strange that I can’t exactly put my finger on.

Overall this was a spooky book that is perfect for the fall and Halloween time.The book was a easy and fast read that was layered with suspense making it captivating and gripping that I had to finish it and know what was happening. It is an eerie mystery horror story that plays with your mind and imagination. It gives you the feelings that many of us know so well of having our minds playing tricks on us and creeping us out imagining that they are things happening or there that are not. I would say that if you get scared easily, have an overactive imagination or live alone, don’t read this at night! I sure creeped myself out and had my mind making me think I was seeing things that were not there. It was a fantastic story that has the possibility of happening to you and your friends that makes it even creepier and a truly gripping book.

RATING-4

Horns by Joe Hill | Book Review

6587879HORNS BY JOE HILL

Genre: Adult, Horror/Thriller

You think you know someone. But mostly you just know what you want to know.
– Joe Hill, Horns

Synopsis:
At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . . .[Goodreads]

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I would not expect anything less creepy, disturbing and strange from the son of Stephen King. I have to say this was not what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I have put off writing this review for a little bit just because I am still processing what happened and the book as a whole. I am not sure what to say even now. This book was a complete mind fuck (sorry for the language). There were definitely parts that were disturbing and a little creepy, but it did not fit into the horror genre the way I thought it would. For me it felt a little more like a psychological thriller mystery in ways. The whole time I was trying to figure out what was happening and was left feeling the same way.

I do believe that Hill has a way with writing that kept me intrigued and captivated for the most part, but also made me question his sanity. There was a lot of suspense and mystery woven throughout the story as well as some disturbing situations with some heavy mature language. I felt like it was a very unique way to tell a story that just did not work for me real well. It jumped from past and present to tell both sides of the story, which was a quality I enjoyed, but than as well it kept jumping around to all the points of view from the story and some background to why the people are the way they are, and explanation of their actions. Although I saw where he was trying to come from with these and how he tried to show all sides of the story, it became too much for me at times and made it a little hard to push through the story. Certain sections held my attention a lot more than others up until the ending where I could not stop reading because I needed to know what happened and how it would end.

All of the characters seemed to have some serious flaws and problems. As Ig began to understand what he was capable of the story started to unravel more and you learn more about each character and see what was the driving force of each of their actions. The characters were complex and some really needed some serious help. I did enjoy the character of Lee even though he was disturbed and needed to seek some serious help, I though that all made for a really interesting character. I feel like that happens a lot, the more insane a person the more intriguing they become. I did not feel any serious connection to the characters until the end when the story was unfolded and become more accepting of Ig.

Overall this was a unique, graphic and disturbing story filled with suspense and mystery. In ways it is really hard to do a review for this because there were times I really liked it and times I wanted to throw it against the wall. It makes you question the authors sanity as well as you begin to question your own. If you enjoy dark, ominous and disturbing horror about the devil I would recommend you give this a try. Also this is coming out as a movie, which I am really excited and interested to see how this book is portrayed on the screen. It also has Daniel Radcliffe staring as Ig!

RATING

Dead River by Cyn Balog | Book Review

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DEAD RIVER BY CYN BALOG

Genre: YA, Horror

Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Synopsis:
My friends and I are spending prom weekend at a remote wooded cabin on the Dead. The Dead River.

I thought it was going to be just us.

I was wrong.

Nothing is what it seems in this creepy paranormal thriller by Cyn Balog. [Goodreads]

 

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At the time I read this I was really hoping for a really good horror novel and what I got was a confusing story about a girl named “Ki” Kiandra figuring out what happened to her mom when she was younger. I found parts to be very repetitive and the main character to be whiney and annoying. Just when I thought I was beginning to understand what was going on, there was a change in the plot and I just became even more confused. I thought the concept of teenagers in the weeks for a weekend would have led to some crazy horror story, but it really fell short of my  expectations.The writing style was perplexing to me and I did not understand the use of italics and what it was suppose to convey.The story was too complex for what it was. This is a short book and a quick read, but because of that parts seemed to be anticlimactic and there where story lines I felt were not complete. The ending really confused me and overall I am not really sure what ended up happening in the end. If this was a longer story or had a sequel I might have enjoyed it more.

Sorry if this seems like a bashing. I just did not find much that I enjoyed with the book beside the concept of the story, which did not deliver at all for me.

RATING-7