The Saturday Night Ghost Club By Craig Davidson

I was born in the 70s and was a kid in the 80s. I grew up watching the TV shows from the 60s and 70s like The Brady Bunch and Wonder Years. I wonder if Generation X is the first generation to really have this level of nostalgia for other times due to our love of media. With that being said, I love a good coming of age story, Boys Life, The Body or Stranger Things. There are different things I appreciate with each story. Over the last year or so I had seen The Saturday Night Ghost Club I was intrigued. When Penguin contacted me about reviewing the paperback of The Saturday Night Ghost Club I couldn’t resist.

Synopsis: A boy who grew up to be a brain surgeon talks about the summer where he really began to change.

What I liked: The pace of the story keeps the reader engaged. Davidson keeps the story moving by intermingling the story of the ghost club with the story of the narrator and his family. Davidson’s characters are three dimensional and you care about what happens to the characters. Davidson showed his talent by interweaving the past and the present seamlessly. the changes that the characters go through is completely appropriate for the situation and age of the characters.

What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like in the story

Star Rating: Star Rating 4.5

My Thoughts: The story wasn’t really what I thought it was going to be. I remembered being a young kid riding my bike without a care in the world. Where summer break wasn’t about taking care of a child but being a child out in the world with no cares and looking for adventure. But it also made me think about how we as a society deal with some issues that people have. I also thought about family and the things that we do to protect the people we love. I don’t want to compare this to other coming of age stories as each coming of age story falls into its own niche.

Big Thanks as always to Penguin for providing me a review copy.

Choking Back the Devil By Donna Lynch

Last year I got into reading poetry during National Poetry month. I am really glad that I did. I have been lucky to read so many great poetry collections. I review Donna Lynch’s Witches last year and knew that she was going to be a poetess that I would want to read again. I was so thrilled when she came out with another collection this year Choking Back the Devil. She is one to watch out for.

Synopsis: Dark poetry from the mind of Donna Lynch.

What I liked: Donna is a truly gifted poetess. Each poem in this collection is gut wrenching. Lynch has a real skill in taking words and conveying pure and raw emotion with them. All the poems were 4.5 and 5 star reads for me. Through the collection there is some truly heart wrenching subjects. Loss, love and depression. So many things within the this collection. I love how Lynch plays with words and metaphors. There is so much to unpack in this collection that there aren’t enough words to put it all together.

What I didn’t like: There was nothing in this collection that I didn’t love.

Star Rating: 5 stars!!!

My thoughts: After reading Lynch’s other poetry collection witches I couldn’t wait to see what she was going to come up with next. I was not disappointed in the least. I appreciate the the way that Lynch provides twists and turns within her poems. Lynch is truly a talented poetess. She deals with so many horrific themes in her poetry with such beauty.

I want to thank RDSPRess for sending me a copy of Choking Back the Devil in exchange for a honest review.

Last Things By Jacqueline West

I am continuing on my YA horror adventure. I was lucky enough to read some of West’s dark poetry last year. So when the author contacted me about reading a YA ARC I was like yeah. As I am on a YA horror adventure I thought it would be a great time to read and review Last Things.

Synopsis: A loner girl tries to help a rock star boy from her high school as everything goes very wrong.

Things that I liked: West’s treatment of the characters was very well done. As a reader I really appreciated the thought that West puts into the details for her characters. West was able to capture the dynamics of high school cliques in a three dimensional way. The story line was interesting and well thought through. There were some twists and turns that were really interesting and well written. There weren’t any real plot holes.

Things that I didn’t like: The pacing of the first 3/4s of the book was really slow. West was working on tension but it just seemed to drag for me.

Star Rating: 3.5 stars

My thoughts: Even though the first 3/4s of the story was slow I did enjoy it. There were enough twists in the story to keep you engaged. However, all the action in the story happened very quickly and I was left with a feeling of wanting more. I wanted to know more about Thea. I wanted to know more about her family and her mother. I just wanted a bit more from the story. However, I will say this I read Last Things after I finished Wanderers so that may have something to do with it. But I did enjoy the story. But the pacing was a bit too slow.

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

I don’t normally rush out to the store to buy a book the day it comes out. But a couple of the LOHF were reading it and were raving!!! So I had to buy it and see what all the hype was about. The raving was warranted 100%. I devoured the 780 page tome in two days. I am so glad that I had the fourth of July off because it would have been horrible to not have finished it and read it when I wanted to.

Synopsis: CDC, militias, AI, politics and so much more.

What I liked: Wendig is a truly talented author. The characters were so well crafted. As a reader, I disliked the baddies intensely and really cared about the good guys. The characters were fleshed out and three dimensional. The plot was fast paced and you had to keep reading. You needed to know what happens next. I really appreciated the different angles of the stories and how they well they all fit together. Wendig is truly gifted in putting all the angles together without large jumps in plot. The story was cohesive and it worked together wonderfully.

What I didn’t like: There was absolutely nothing about this story that I didn’t like.

Star Rating: 5 Stars so many of the stars

My thoughts: I work in IT during the day. There are aspects of this story that are horribly scary. Emerging diseases and AI are something that I enjoy reading about. Wendig really did his homework and it shows through his writing in how well he knows the subjects that rear their ugly heads in the book. I don’t want to give away too much. It was fantastic!! Wanderers gives you a lot to think about. This is not just a story but a book about the country as it is in 2019.

The Fearing Book 1 Fire and Rain by John F.D. Taff

Post apocalyptic fiction is totally my jam. Whether the world ends due to a disease, zombies or natural disaster I am totally there for it. I have read so many different ways the world can end that sometimes you get a bit burned out. You need something new, a new way for the world to end. Well, The Fearing delivered a new way the world ends and I can’t wait to read the next installment.

Synopsis: Three different stories of what was going on as the world as we know it ends. However, I think one of the stories is a bit more than that.

What I liked: I thought really appreciated the new way the world is ending. I can’t wait to see how Adam fits into this whole scheme. The pacing is spot on for a post-apocalyptic book. I am enjoying the characters and the mystery that is surrounding Adam. I am really enjoying Taff’s writing style. The plots for each story are well rounded and I haven’t seen any plot holes at this point.

What I didn’t like: There was a scene in the book that I wish I had a bit of warning about. It wasn’t really a big deal for me but for other readers it may have been helpful.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

My thoughts: I really have enjoyed Taff’s take on the end of the world. It is something different and I can’t wait to see where this is going in the next book. I loved the part where Taff used the phrase on fleek, it made me laugh and worked really well with the character. Taff’s character development is spot on. As a reader you aren’t sure what is going on with Adam but the other characters you are pretty sure you have a good understanding at what they are going through. Now I am wondering why these characters have survived. Come on Book 2.

Thank you to Grey Matter Press for sending me a review copy.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

I have not been a big middle grade or YA reader; even when I was in middle grade I was looking at other things to read. Some of the ladies of the LOHF have been enjoying middle grade and YA horror. So I wanted to make sure to give it a try myself. I have loved Arden’s other books so naturally I turned to Small Spaces as an introduction to middle grade horror.

Synopsis: A girl who has had a rough year steals a book and then weird stuff starts happening.

What I liked: I like Arden’s writing style generally. She makes the story very accessible for younger readers which I really appreciated. I really enjoyed how the story was setup. The pacing was good through the story and the characters were well fleshed out. I enjoyed the subject matter of the story and it would lend itself well to be read aloud. The story within the story was really well done as well.

What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything in particular that I didn’t like about the book.

Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

My Thoughts: I believe that this is going to be a series and the second book is going to be coming out this year? Honestly, it was a book that I would have loved to read as a 7th grader. Many of the feelings and emotions that the main character are going through are relatable. The creep factor is there for children and there is a major Halloween vibe through the story which I really loved. It made me think of apple cider doughnuts, hot chocolate and pumpkins. Yes I miss fall….alot.

The Resurrectionists by Michael Patrick Hicks

I love history. I have a bachelors and a masters in Archaeological Science. I really love history. Something that was new to me the last couple of years was historical horror. This my dear friends has opened a whole new world to me and I LOVE IT. I was very lucky to receive The Resurrectionists By Michael Patrick Hicks. This tome has lead me down a couple of different internet rabbit holes since I finished reading it. Which has been fantastic.

Synopsis: Resurrectionists are digging up graves of freed POC in New York. One man is going to stop them. But in order to do so, he has to stop a cult.

What I liked: I loved the concept. Hicks picked a interesting time in our nation and a historical event that I had never heard of and built an entire narrative out of it. The pacing of the novel was good. I enjoyed the climax of the monsters and learning about the cult. I really enjoyed Hick’s writing style. He handled a couple of delicate topics extremely well. Hick’s character building was done extremely well. His characters are three dimensional and well fleshed out.

What I didn’t like: I found the beginning to be a bit slow. However, it was important to build the setting and the characters.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I really liked it and I can’t wait for the second book. I think the way Hicks handled some of the nuances was really good. It think it really shows his skill as a writer. I really love that this book is a horror take on an actual event. The time that Hicks put into researching this subject is evident in his writing. It was deliciously gory and bloody. If you haven’t read any of his work I would highly recommend you pick this up honestly it is a helluva ride.

Thank you to Micheal Patrick Hicks for a review copy.