I love to see it when authors take already well know stories and remake them by adding their own unique touches. I didn’t read the previous book, THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER, which pays homage to THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU luckily HER DARK CURIOSITY can easily stand alone as we are told enough of what happened previously to get what is happening.
Jack the Ripper has become a familiar boogeyman across genre fiction, with explanations for the unsolved crimes ranging from psychopaths, to aliens, to dinosaurs, to demons, but in Sarah Pinborough’s MAYHEM, she applies the supernatural influence to a second killer operating in London, one whose crimes are overshadowed by the Ripper in number, but whose sins might be worse. This book is a lot like an old-fashioned roller-coaster, with a long, slow climb ratcheting up the tension before the mystery actually takes over and sends the reader on a ride.
With many anthologies it tends to be hit or miss depending on which short story I am reading in it. DARK DUETS has an excellent idea with authors pairing up to write some seriously dark urban fantasy tales.
With Halloween coming I decided to read NIGHTLIFE since based on its description it seemed like just the right scary suspenseful story to read in October on a dark rainy night. I was not disappointing and was met with an incredibly riveting, edge of your seat plot that was equal parts spooky mystery and gruesomely tragic horror novel.
RAGS & BONES is a gorgeously curated collection of short stories, as satisfying for the glimpses of each story’s origin story as the final product. Have you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall when your favorite author pitches an idea? See a little piece of art through their creative lens? As favorite authors distill classic tales to their essence, this anthology was immersive and thought provoking, a masters class in the creative process with an all star attendance list.
SUFFER THE CHILDREN by Kelley Armstrong
This story is heartbreaking and tragic as it demonstrates just how far a town of people are willing to go to save their children. It was shocking how gruesome the story became when the price for raising the townsfolks’ loved ones was.
THE DEAD RUN was an exhilarating thriller with a blend of horror and supernatural qualities, though I was left wondering whether I was reading a straight up horror novel as much of the super intricate and magical plot line doesn’t seem to start until a few chapters in. Aside from expecting more paranormal qualities earlier in the story THE DEAD RUN was a pretty enjoyable read and the plot was set to eleven in terms of speed which is how thrillers should be. I am typically not a fan of gore which tends to be synonymous with horror so I was pleased that while THE DEAD RUN does have a fair amount of gore it wasn’t excessive enough for me to stop reading it.
CORRODED continues to move a beautifully written story forward with amazing revelations and new challenges for Cherry St. Croix. Like the previous two books in the The St. Croix Chronicles. CORRODED feels like a dark nightmare with danger lurking around every corner.
The Ashes trilogy is better than any summer action flick. Cascading explosions and monsters and dangers fairly leap off the page, as vividly as if they were splashed across the big screen. I gulped down this entire trilogy in a matter of days, and was ever thankful that I could race from one cliffhanger to another until I’d reached book three.
I wasn’t always a zombie fan. It’s taken shows like The Walking Dead and emotionally intelligent books like Sophie Littlefield’s Aftermath series to bring me around to the reality that zombies don’t have to just be about gore and horror (two things that don’t especially appeal to me). CONTAMINATED is a book about tragedy, determination, and devotion in the wake of an epidemic that just happened to turn a large portion of the population into zombies.