Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Hide by Kiersten White

It’s Hide and Seek—competition style. At least, that’s what the participants are being told. A sporting goods company looking to build up it’s brand and name recognition is offering fourteen competitors a chance to win $50,000 if they can last through a seven day game of hide and seek. 

For Mack, winning would mean everything. Orphaned and homeless, the money would be life changing. And she’s knows how to hide. It saved her life once already. 

This is a hell of a fun read! Kiersten White reimagines the legend of the minotaur and the labyrinth but sets it in an uber creepy, abandoned amusement park! (Who doesn't love an abandoned amusement park setting?!)

Each of the competitors has been chosen for a very specific reason. And each one is pretty desperate to win, as becomes obvious when they realize exactly what is at stake in this game.

Mack, though, she's a real survivor. And anyone who hears her real name knows her story. 

I'm not going to lie, this book was a little reminiscent of the movie The Hunt. Which is not a comparison that I hate because I actually kind of enjoyed it (sorry to those of you who expected me to like something more high brow). 

But of course Hide leans into the mythology aspect to such a satisfying degree!

I read this in the middle of a slump. And I read it in one day. Which automatically gives a book high marks from me. But all of the pieces of this book—mythology, survival games, THE SETTING, and a heroine I really loved—made this such a fabulously enjoyable read!

Order a copy from Bookshop!

Friday, October 21, 2022

Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison

Rory never planned to return to her hometown. But when her sister's partner leaves in the midst of her pregnancy, Rory is the one she calls. 

Which is why Rory is back. And why she has a run in with an old friend who could be more. And why she finds herself getting attacked by a wild animal in the middle of the night.

And after that happens...things start to change for Rory. And not necessarily for the better.

If you didn't know, this is a werewolf book. And it's so much fabulous fun! I love Harrison's style of dark humor. It makes her books such completely enjoyable reads!

Rory is a big city girl who escaped her small town and truly never intended to return. 

Yes, she has family and friends there. But that's about it. It's a dead end and she wants to go places!

But when her sister calls, Rory is definitely not going to say no. Especially when her turd of an SO abandoned her! (Rory feels a little protective of her sister.)

The last thing she wants, though, is a complication tying her down. And that's exactly what she gets—in spades. 

She's attacked by something. Some say it was a bear, but Rory kind of thinks not. But it's when Rory starts to notice certain changes in herself that she begins to think the creature in question is actually one that couldn't possibly exist in real life!

I loved Rory's evolution in this book. She's kind of a bitch when we meet her. Very wrapped up in herself, in spite of the fact that she does clearly care about and want to support her sister. And the family dynamics are fantastic!

Harrison's exploration of personal growth through the lens of someone coming to grips with being a werewolf is the perfect combination of heart and escapism! With, of course, an excellent helping of horror!

Order a copy from Bookshop.org!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Malice House by Megan Shepherd

Haven's father was a famous name in literary scenes. But as a dad, he was somewhat lacking. Which is why she'd barely seen him in the years leading up to his death. 

But here she is, six months after he's died, with almost nothing to her name and taking up residence in his home. A home he claimed was haunted. A home that was no comfort in his last days.

When Haven finds an unpublished manuscript of her father's hidden in the attic, she thinks it could be just the thing to change her life. It would mean money for one, but as a hopeful illustrator, it could mean launching her career. After she finds the manuscript, though, things start to become...weird.

Is she imagining the noises within the walls? Was her father right about the house being haunted?

Shepherd's latest is a super fun and creepy read perfect for spooky season! (And any other time, at that!) A book about books, monsters, fathers and daughters, and some super creepy monsters of both the human and supernatural type!

Haven had been putting off dealing with her father's things, but life suddenly has left her with pretty much no choice. With just her art supplies in hand, she leaves everything—including her husband—behind. And it's clear that she didn't leave under great circumstances. 

You could say she's on edge pretty much from the start. 

The discovery of the manuscript—what appears to be a collection of eerie stories in the vein of fairy tales—is almost more than Haven can hope for. Her father left behind a lot of debt. Debt that was addressed by signing over future royalties to the man's published works. Which means that in spite of his popularity, Haven won't see a dime from them. 

But this, this is an undiscovered manuscript, this is a book that isn't tied into the financial mess. What's more, this is an opportunity!

Haven's goal is to work as an illustrator and this could be exactly what she needs to solve her money problems and get her foot in the door, making a name for herself.

Which is why, at first, she's willing to believe that the bizarre happenings in the house are all her own imagination. Plus, being there in the house with the manuscript is exactly the inspiration she needs to create the art she hopes will land her an agent and a book deal. 

But let's make it clear, Haven has no other choice anyway. She's got nowhere else to go and no money for a hotel. Even when people start dying under pretty strange circumstances near the property...

It was easy to sympathize with Haven considering her situation. Plus, I'm a sucker for books about books!

I found this so enjoyable! Especially the glimpses of Haven's father's tales. Everything about Malice House was freaky fun!

Order a copy from Bookshop.org!

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Big Bad by Lily Anderson

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Lily Anderson's Big Bad!
Into every generation a slayer is born...

When Buffy is transported from her own Sunnydale into an alternate dimension, she's willing to do whatever it takes to get home. And that includes stealing a dowsing rod that will find the biggest evils and a creation gem that can destroy them. 

But for Anya and Jonathan, the lately dubbed Demondale is their home. Sure it's not the safest place for humans ever since the mayor blocked out the sun, but Jonathan gets by. And plans to make his pal Warren a demon mean that he and his other friend Andrew will have protection. All of that goes terribly wrong with the Slayer crashes their ascension party and raises—or actually kills—hell! 

Jonathan had hoped that Anya would be able to grant his wish to bring Warren back, but with the creation stone missing her power is gone. Which means they must team up to find this Slayer, stop her plans, and retrieve the stone. And in order to do so, they're going to have to get help from the people who know the most about slayers—the vampires responsible for killing a large number of them and a warlock known as Ripper. 

Ah, a delightful and welcome return to Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

I am a huge Buffy fan. Always have been. In fact, I remember the summer I watched the movie just about every day courtesy of a VHS recording from our neighbor who actually had HBO! Needless to say, by the time the show premiered, I was tuning in without fail!

It has been quite a while, but I was super excited to hear that Lily Anderson was penning a new Buffy adventure! And it is SUPER good! All of the favorites are here including (but certainly not limited to) Angel(us), Drusilla, Spike, Anya (my personal favorite and one of the main POVs of the book)...and some I don't want to give away!

Anderson is clearly an undeniable fan of the franchise and has done it (and us) a huge service in imagining such a fabulous return! I certainly hope she has more planned in the future, as I would happily dive into her version of the Buffy-verse again in a heartbeat!

For more about Lily Anderson and her work, you can visit her website here