Genre: Adult Supernatural Horror
Year Release: August 2021
Buy Links: Huia Site | Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Read an eARC from the publisher
Content warning: Arson, cancer, death of immediate family, self-disembowelment, alcoholism, murder, violence against birds
Jena Benedict returns to her family’s farm twenty years after a tragic fire which claimed the lives of her parents and her siblings. Her grandmother, her last familial connection to the property and tragedy, is dying of cancer and Rose knows more than she leads on. Will, Rose’s live-in caretaker, has a penchant for the supernatural and follows Jena down the rabbit hole of darkness that surrounds that fateful night.
Māori/Pākehā author Cassie Hart weaves a ghost story full of eerie birds, cursed jewelry, family secrets, and chills to keep the reader up at night from start to finish.
Genre: Fantasy Mystery Seinen
Year Release in English: 2021
Buy Link: BOOK☆WALKER
Read a NetGalley eARC
Content warnings: Blood, murder, nudity, disembodied head
In 19th Century France, vampires are allowed to live alongside humans. Detectives are called in but little does anyone expect, it’s the disembodied head who’s also a demon.
This manga opens up with a dead vampire, a family member suspected, and a kooky trio consisting of a maid, a himbo, and a disembodied head in a cage. It is wonderfully strange and not very deep. It ends on a cliff-hanger, and I’m eager to see what the cage user has hidden behind his kind lack of sense.
The art style is really neat, though at times, the background work gets in the way of comprehending the words on the page. I’m unfamiliar with the differences between ARC manga and finished copies, so perhaps it is cleared up, and I hope so. I had a ton of fun during this read.
If you’re looking for something with cheek, thought-out world-building, and engaging action, definitely give this a shot.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Adult Supernatural Thriller
Year Release: 2020
Source: Library audiobook
|Content warnings: Stalking, violence against women, murder
The book’s dedication is to muderinos, and it truly feels like it was written by and for a true crime junkie. In Fell, New York, the Sun Down Motel has a checkered past, which include mysterious murders and hauntings. Viv Delaney ran away from home and settled in upstate New York in 1982. Thirty-five years later, her 20-year-old niece, Carly, searches for the truth behind her disappearance.
The pacing is impeccable. I had such a hard time putting this one down. Reveals and scares were perfectly balanced against each other. What St. James does so well in this one is also bringing attention to more everyday fears and considerations, like being wary of walking by yourself at night and the unsettlement of men getting too close.
One of the main highlights for me were the friendships between all the women. The balance between genuine care, tough love, and no-nonsense approaches to the terrors of Fell, New York felt authentic. Everyone had a sense of a life beyond the immediate problems. Carly felt a little flat, but she also had been through much grief before we meet her in this story (her mother recently died and she had no leads on who her aunt was). That being said, there were some wonderful male supporting characters.
It’s a true crime, small town spin on “1408” by Stephen King, with driven female characters, eerie hauntings, and a satisfying mystery.