R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI

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Image: Abigail Larson

R.I.P. XI takes place from September 1st, 2016 through October 31st, 2016.
I’m a day late in signing up for this, and I blame my old day planner and myself for forgetting to write all the important reading events for the year down in my new planner.
There are multiple levels of participation.  I’m only going to give a summary of them here, so for the full details, click on the image above.
Peril the First – Read four books, of any length, from the very broad categories of Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic, Horror, and/or Dark Fantasy.
Peril the Second – Read two books that fit the R.I.P. categories.
Peril the Third – Read one book.
Peril of the Short Story – Read one or more short stories.
Peril of the Screen – Watch one or more movies.
Peril in Play – Play one or more video, electronic, board or table top games.
I’ll be doing Peril the First and, since I’ll also be participating in Castle Macabre’s Gothic September and Season of the Witch, Peril of the Short Story.  Though I’m sure to watch several movies in October that would count towards Peril of the Screen, I won’t be writing any movie reviews.  However, I might list the ones I watch in my Monday’s Minutes posts, especially if they are based on books.
Are you participating in R.I.P XI?  Which Peril(s) are you going to do?

Review: Billy Lovecraft Saves the World

Billy

  • Author: Billy Lovecraft
  • ISBN: 9781620077870
  • Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
  • Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy/Horror
  • Pages: 188

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

The last thing Billy Lovecraft’s parents sent him before the crash was a photo of something on the wing of their plane.

Now he’s stuck with a horrible and heart-breaking mystery: What was that awful creature, and why were his parents targeted?

It’s up to Billy to gather a team of like-minded kids and lead them through a dark new reality where the monsters are real, not everyone is who they seem to be, and an ancient alien wants to devour the world. – Goodreads

This is one of those books that I would have raved about on Twitter if I could have stopped myself from reading it long enough to do so.  Instead, I plowed through the pages as if they were going to be erased from my Kindle before I could finish.  I had so much fun reading Billy Lovecraft Saves the World that I’m beginning to think I enjoy Middle-Grade Fantasy and Horror above all other genres and subgenres.

I also sort of wish I had saved this book for October.  It’s the perfect read for that time of year since it’s a giant nod to H.P. Lovecraft, the king of the weird tale.  It’s also the perfect book for any fan of H.P. Lovecraft to give their kid as an introduction to his brand of Horror.  There are only a few tense, mildly frightening moments that the majority of Middle-Grade children could easily handle while also discovering the world and creatures H.P. Lovecraft invented.  Who wouldn’t want their kids to find out the awesomeness of the classic works of genre fiction?

The greatest part of Billy Lovecraft Saves the World is that I never once had to forcibly suspend disbelief.  I was fully immersed in the story and didn’t come back up for air until the end of the last page.  If you’re at all a fan of Middle-Grade Horror or H.P Lovecraft, you have to read this book.

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R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X

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               Image: Abigail Larson

Andi and Heather, of the Estella Society, are taking over as hosts for RIP X, and this is the 1st year that I’m participating!

It officially started yesterday, September 1st, but things have been so crazy busy since the Fall semester started that I feel like I’m I always running just a little bit behind and forgetting to do things.  The challenge is for two months (ending on Halloween), and this is the time of year when I love to read Horror and Gothic literature, and there is a reading “Peril” for everyone.  Perhaps it will help me feel a bit more grounded and get me into the spirit of Autumn.

I will be doing Peril the First: Read four books, any length, which fit the definition of RIP literature.

I don’t know what other books I’ll be reading, but the 1st one will be Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.  I’ve been itching to re-read the series for years, and now I’m finally going to do it.  I also want to read some Classic Horror like Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft, but I’m not going to lock myself down to anything specific right now.

I may also participate in the group read of The Quick by Lauren Owen, but I haven’t decided yet since it overlaps with my read-along of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.

Are you participating in RIP X?  Are you reading any Horror or Gothic titles that you think I should add to my TBR?  Let me know in the comments!

Review: The Library at Mount Char

Library

  • Author: Scott Hawkins
  • ISBN: 9780553418606
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers
  • Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Library at Mount Char was not what I expected at all.  I’m not sure if that’s because the synopsis was misleading, or because I feel like this book belongs more in the Horror genre than Fantasy.   Either way, it’s less about the Library than it is about the main character’s quest for revenge.

Putting aside my disappointment at not reading a true Fantasy book, Scott Hawkins gets bonus points for grabbing my attention with the very first sentence, and keeping it up to the point where Erwin enters the story.  The author lost all of those bonus points with Erwin, who’s character is completely unbelievable and who’s actions are mostly implausible.  Why?  Erwin is supposed to be a Vietnam vet who retired as a Sergeant Major.  If you’ve ever served in the Army, you’ll quickly figure out that the author either didn’t do enough research or he exaggerated the already tall tales he heard from a soldier.  The only reason I’m willing to forgive Erwin’s existence is that the story itself is beyond the point of “out there”.  Think of the most bizarre story that Stephen King ever came up with, and you’re close to where The Library at Mount Char is on the scale of outlandishness.  Somehow, it works.

With the exception of the parts involving Erwin, my desire to continue reading this book never wavered.  I’m glad I forced my way through those parts because The Library at Mount Char is a solid three-star read.  I enjoyed it most of the time, and I’m likely to read the author’s future books.  While Scott Hawkins is no Stephen King, I can safely recommend this book to fans of the King of Horror.

#COYER Scavenger Hunt #49: Read a book that contains all the letters in the word BLUE.

Review: The Sunken

Sunken

  • Author: S.C. Green
  • ISBN: 9780473305581
  • Publisher: Grymm & Epic Publishing
  • Genre: Steampunk/Horror

I recieved this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’m fairly new to Steampunk, but the few movies I’ve seen and the one short story I’ve read prior to this book were enough for me to be interested in trying out more of the genre’s offerings.  The Sunken by S.C. Green has the added benefit of being Horror AND there’s dragons!  However, the dragons aren’t the main cause of the horrific events.  Needless to say, the combination of these elements is surprising and interesting.

Unfortunately, I have to give a trigger warning, since the story contains what could be considered an unnecessary rape scene that is horrifically graphic in detail.  I was angered by one of the female character’s reaction to finding out about the rape, but I understand that it was considerably liberal for the times in which the story takes place.  However, the rape scene itself automatically docks a star off this book.  The rest of the story is fantastic and has all of what I enjoy about Steampunk.

I’m feeling a bit hesitant on who to recommend this book to, despite it being a good story overall.  I would say it’s for anyone who loves Steampunk, but if anyone in that category doesn’t like Horror or is triggered in any way by graphic sexual violence, I have to say stay away from this book.  If neither of those apply to you, then maybe give it a chance.

 

Horror October Fortnight!

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I just found out about Horror October Fortnight from Oh, The Books!  I’m a day late, but since I love October so much, I’ll be participating.  I’m also participating in the Something Wicked This Way Comes read-along, so I’m going to combine the two by doing a post about the playlist I’m listening to while I read.  I’ll be doing another playlist post containing my favorite Halloween tunes, and I’ll be doing a review of The Nightingale Bones by Ariel Swan, which I started reading during the read-a-thon.  I may also dedicate a post to the horror movies I watch every year.  In addition to my own posts, I’ll be wandering around the other participants’ blogs and joining in on some of their activities.

For today, I give you my Top 5 Fave Horror/Paranormal Books:

  • It by Stephen King – This book scared me so much, I had to put it down for a month before I could continue.
  • Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton – The first in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series.  This is my Horror/Paranormal brain candy.  Hamilton has yet to end the series, and I’m nowhere near caught up.  I look forward to having more Anita Blake books to read for a very long time.
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker – An essential read for anyone who loves vampires.
  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice – Another essential read for vampire lovers.  I was depressed after I finished the last of the Vampire Chronicles.  I’m planning on re-reading them all soon.
  • The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe – There’s nothing I love more than to read Poe during October.  There’s no way I could possibly name a favorite story of his.