The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher

In my personal opinion horror and folklore go hand in hand. Whether, we are talking about folk horror or just folklore that is used in a horror story. It meshes so well. I want more folk horror and horror that uses folklore. We all need more. So when I started the The Twisted Ones I was super excited.

Synopsis: A woman and her dog go to clean out her dead grandmother’s house with some interesting consequences.

What I like: There is a heavy folklore element to the story and I LOVE THAT. I really enjoyed Kingfisher’s characters. As a reader I cared about what happened to Mouse. The pacing was really well done and the folklore narrative was inserted in the story really well. I liked how Kingfisher was able to draw a linear line between folklore in Wales to folklore in NC. There was a great deal of Welsh migration to that area and I really enjoyed that little tidbit.

What I didn’t like: The story became slightly slow about 3/4s of the way in. I thought it would have picked up a bit during this climatic part of the story but it didn’t.

Star Rating: 4 stars

My Thoughts: I really wish that more horror had folkloric parts to it. With the rise of folk horror I am hoping that we will get more of this in the future. For those of us the enjoy folklore it adds to the story and can bring a different element to the horror genre. I really enjoyed this book. If you really enjoy folk horror pick this one up.

Big Thanks to Saga Press for a review copy!!

Doll Bones by Holly Black

I have really enjoyed some of Holly Black’s other books. She has a flair for the fantastical that I really enjoy. When I was going through my libraries MG horror category this popped up. I was talking to Jen about it and she told me that she thought I would love it. She wasn’t wrong.

Synopsis: Three friends go on a adventure lead by a ghost.

Things I liked: I loved the idea of these three friends which are growing up going on that one last adventure. MG is that awkward age between being a teenager and child. Black dealt with this wonderfully in the story. It was more of a coming of age story wrapped around a ghost story. The pacing of the story was perfect. The characters where very well written. The awkwardness of the changes the characters were going through were dealt with so well. The story was ended very well.

Things I didn’t like: I would have liked for this to be a series.

Star Rating: 4 stars

My Thoughts: I wish MG horror books I have been reading, were around when I was a kid. There are some wonderful themes of friendship and the changes that you go through as you grow up. I really enjoyed this story. I wish that this was a series but I enjoyed the way Black tied the story up. I enjoy Black’s writing but this is a book that I would recommend for anyone with a spooky loving child.

Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

If you haven’t realized that I am a bit of a nerd yet then you really haven’t been paying attention. As the host of a podcast you tend to do lots of research on whatever topic that you are talking about. I have been fortunate in that I talk about a lot of women horror authors. So when I saw this beauty floating around in the twitterverse I had to have it. The book itself is just beautiful!!

Synopsis: Each chapter deals with a influential women in the horror and speculative fiction genres.

What I liked: I loved that I was able to dip in and out of this book while I was reading it. The writing style was super accessible and I really enjoyed the information at the end of each profile. It tells you what to read by the author and other things to read if you enjoyed the author’s work. The illustrations through out the book are lovely.

What I didn’t like: Absolutely nothing

Star Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts: I think that this is a really important book. Women have been a part of the horror genre since the beginning. Whether they were writing Gothic horror or are writing now. Women have been instrumental in shaping the horror genre. This is a very important work that lists the most influential women. If you support women in horror this is a book that you will want on your shelves.

Big Thank you to Quirk Books for sending me a review copy. AND A HUGE THANK YOU to Lisa and Melanie for mentioning the Ladies of Horror Fiction!!!

Women in Translation: Our Life in the Forest by Marie Darrieussecq trans by. Penny Hueston

There is so much out there. Honestly since starting women in translation for the Ladies of Horror Fiction I have absolutely been swept away by the amount of amazing fiction that is there by authors I would have never heard of otherwise. Darrieussecq for example is one of these. I was watching a video at the end of July and Text publishing had been brought up. I had a look at their catalog and this beautiful cover jumped out at me. I am so so glad I bought it because I think my brain melted just a little bit.

Synopsis: A women lives in a forest with her half. *you totally have to read the book to understand that*

What I liked: So I think my brain melted..just a little. I wasn’t expecting the ending at ALL. Darrieussecq was so skilled I had NO idea where the story was going to go. I mean literally my jaw dropped. The story is written very all over the place going backward and forward. It reminds me more of having a story told to you instead of written by an author. The synopsis on the back of the book doesn’t do it justice. It is a bit of a slow read because of the way it is written but I enjoyed slowing down and really reading the words.

What I didn’t like: Some of the back and forth in time was hard to follow in the middle of the book but that is fine.

Star Rating: 4.0 stars

My thoughts: I know I keep saying that there is so much to read out in the world. But there is…..Darrieussecq is a very well known French author who has had a very prolific publishing career but I have never heard of her. Darrieussecq falls more to the speculative fiction side of the house but there are some horrific elements through out the story. There are also some moral questions that this story really brings up. Which I can’t talk about or it will ruin the story. But all in all I really really enjoyed it.