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.

Salvation Day By Kali Wallace with a Special 24 Hour Giveaway!!!

I have been on a roll lately with books. Most of them I have really liked for the fun story or how they made me feel. But Salvation Day was different. It was a fast paced read but there is a lot to unpack in this book. The difference between haves and have nots. The cult of personality etc….elitism. There was a lot to think about all wrapped up in a space story with a virus. Wanna see the book trailer!! Salvation Day will be out in the wild on July 9th, 2019

Synopsis: A spaceship is hijacked by a cult. They are on a mission to get to a ship which has been decommissioned due to a virus.

What I liked: The story was well paced. I didn’t feel like it dragged at any part. Wallace’s characters were well written and three dimensional. The reader was able to connect with both the main protagonist and antagonist. I thought many of the threads through out the story were interesting and well written. Wallace brought the story arcs together neatly. To be honest that is a hard thing for a writer to do but she pulled it off wonderfully. The story itself is told from two different POV each of the POV were woven together perfectly. I really enjoyed the idea of space, virus and HELLO CULT. Wallace really did pull it off with this one.

What I didn’t Like: I would have liked more information collapse. But I put that together in my head.

Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

My Thoughts: So lets talk a little about some of the themes in this books. The cult of personality is one that I thought was handled very impressively. There are aspects throughout the story you are thinking to yourself this could totally be today….especially when talking about misinformation or rather who is privy to information. I felt like Wallace was drawing inspiration from many of the dramas that are played out on our screens everyday. There was a twist that I wasn’t expecting to be honest. I was like OH well okay, sometimes twists don’t necessarily fit the story but this one totally did. It made sense to where Wallace was taking the story. I really appreciated the story and can’t wait to see what Wallace releases next.

NOW for the really exciting news Berkley is holding a 24 hour giveaway for Salvation Day!! Click here to enter the giveaway.

Rabid Heart by Jeremy Wagner

I am a sucker for a zombie novel. There are times when I feel like I have read every zombis scenario imaginable. Then something something new comes along. My lovely friend Laurie from Barksbooksnonsence knows I have a weird fascination with the zombie genre, so when she got an extra copy of Rabid Heart she sent me the extra. I’m glad to say that she did. It was something a bit different that made me happy.

Synopsis: Zombies, a girl and road trip.

What I liked: I enjoyed Wagner’s writing style, fast paced with plenty of action. I am not a fan of zombie books that drag on. It was fun. I enjoyed the characters and the situations that they found themselves in. Brad was an interesting take on a zombie and that made me happy. So often once you have rad one zombie you read them all. I enjoyed that the heroine was a woman that made truly human mistakes. All too often in zombie stories the hero makes all the right decisions. Our heroine truly did not. She acted on emotion instead of a military thought process. I also really appreciated that the zombie virus had a name.

What I didn’t like: I would have liked more chomping of the people. But that is just me.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I enjoyed Rabid Heart quite a bit. It was just a fun book where there were cannibals and zombies. I love that the heroine was flawed. The characters were well written. You can tell that Wagner put a lot of thought into the story in how it unravels. I dislike romance in my stories but this one was kinda sweet in a weird and gross way. For those that have read the book you will know what I am talking about. Anyways, for anyone that appreciates a good zombie story defiantly check this one out.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

I have been reading a lot of women horror authors this year. And let me tell you I haven’t been disappointed. Family horror is near and dear to my heart. I think that it deals with the aspect of being in a family unit and all the horrors that can come from that. Her Body and Other Parties explores many of the different aspects of women hood in a way that was so terrifying yet beautiful.

Synopsis: A collection of women centric short horror stories.

What I liked: AHHHHHHHH!!! The entire book. THIS ENTIRE BOOK!!! Let me gather my composure so I can talk coherently about what I liked. Machado’s writing is so smooth it is like drinking a really good whiskey. Every story was poignant and made me sit back and think. Which is one of the things that I love about the Horror genre. It can take things that may seem mundane and turn them into terrifying scenarios. You aren’t limited to the standard response for those situations.

What I didn’t like: There was one story that was a bit over my head but that is my issue not Machados.

Star Rating: 4 stars

My thoughts: I truly truly enjoyed this collection. There is a story for everyone in Her Body. Machado’s writing style was spot on for me. It was lyrical yet beautiful. The way that Machado handles such heavy topics with such beautiful writing really shows her skill as an author. The stories are terrifying but her writing style makes them beautiful.

Many thanks to Emily from Book Happy for the use of her photo!!

The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara

I love monsters; from Dracula to Godzilla; from the mummy to zombies. Throughout my life it was something that I hid from most people unless you really knew me. I feel in love with the drama and the chills that monsters are able to cause. I’ve watched Creature From the Black Lagoon more times then I would like to admit. I’ve always found the story of the Gill man to be sad just like I have found the story of Frankenstein’s monster to be sad. I never really thought about the people that designed the monsters just the story. After reading The Lady from the Black Lagoon that is all going to change.

Synopsis: Non-fiction biography of the woman that designed the creature from the black lagoon.

What I liked: Dear loard….this book gave me all the feels. I was mad and fascinated and sad all at the same time. I wanted to take to the internet to scream about this book as loud as I possibly could. I wanted to thrust it into the hands of my nearest and dearest and tell them to read it. O’Meara’s writing is conversational and flows through the book. You can truly feel O’Meara’s feelings about Milicent and monster movies through her writing. Some non-fiction books feel like a slog to get through but this wasn’t the case with The Lady from the Black Lagoon the anecdotes and the way that O’Meara wove Patrick’s life with her own made me want to keep reading. If you don’t read any other book recommendation that I make this year please please pick this up. Especially, if you are woman that is in the horror realm.

What I didn’t like: There is nothing in this lovely book that I didn’t like.

Star Rating: All the fucking stars!!!

My thoughts: I have a lot of thoughts about Milicent Patrick and lots of feels about her as well. But I want to start out by saying that a lot of what O’Meara says about herself was a lot like listening to my own inner voice. This is a book that is so much more then just about Milicent but it is for all us spooky girls and creative types. Growing up I took a lot of flack for wanting to be home early on Saturday Nights to watch Friday the 13th the series, Monsters or the fright night features. My friends never have been able to understand my love for horror movies and books. It is easier now with the advent of the internet and the fact that I have a great group of horror loving female friends and I don’t feel so alone in the world.

Her Smile will Untether the Universe By Gwendolyn Kiste

Sometimes you read something that resonates with you so deeply that there aren’t even words that you can put together that will do it justice. You can’t describe the depths that a story or a book can speak to your soul. Her Smile will Untether the Universe will defiantly do that.

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Summary: A collection of stories that will rip your heart out.

What I liked: Kiste’s writing is beautiful. Her use of imagery is exquiste and horrific at the same time. Kiste’s stories are multilayered and speak to you at different levels. There are horrors that Kiste uncovers within yourself with her writing and that is what makes the horror of the short stories so effective. The pacing of each story is perfect and there are no lulls between the stories. This is not a collection that you want to put down. The stories flow seamlessly between each other, complimenting each other perfectly. Kiste, is a magic story teller. World creation in short stories is difficult put Kiste does it so beautifully.

What I didn’t like: There is absolutely nothing about this collection that I did not like.

Star Rating: All the stars

My Thoughts: I’ve read a lot of horror. The most effective horror plays on your fears and your experiences in life. Kiste is able to take these fears and twist them into beautiful stories. As you read them you are pulled by her words into these little universes that she creates. This was a hard review to write. I loved the stories so much but I didn’t want to reveal too much. I want other readers to be pulled into Kiste’s worlds by her words and be moved. This was a time when the words won’t accurately convey the amount of feelings you have while reading. This is one of those times. This review can’t even come close to how much I loved this collection.

The Girl on the Train

I hate being late. I truly hate being late. To me if you aren’t 15 mins early then your late. However, when it comes to reading meh. The book that everyone has been raving about. I’ll read it in about five years when I can get it used or actually get it from the library.  That is my story and I am sticking to it. Which is why I just read The Girl on the train. Yes, I know. I am way late to the party and there is no beer left.

-Plot Summary: Story of three women whose lives are intertwined.

-What I liked: I love a character driven story. The way the characters different narratives and time lines are woven together was magical. I was floored at how well written this story was. If the narrative had been written in one character voice in a linear fashion the story would have lost what made it special.

-What I didn’t like: Read paragraph above remember what I said about a character driven story. Well, I didn’t like the characters. I found many of their personality traits deoploreable and truly disliked them.  I can usually find something likable with any character; yes that includes Patrick Bateman. But these three women, I found nothing likable about any of them. Yes that is going to get me hung drawn and quartered from the literary scene. But I just didn’t find any qualities about the characters that I liked.

-My Thoughts: All in all I LOVED the structure of the book. The story had enough twists and turns to keep me intrigued.