Category Archives: Horror

Book Review: Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Published Sept 25th, 2018
218 Pages

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.- Goodreads

Although I purchased a copy of Katherine Arden’s book The Bear and the Nightingale, this is my first read by her and man it was fantastic.

The entire time I was reading this book, I was thinking of the movie Jeepers Creepers. The scarecrows, the school bus breaking down everything . . . well mostly everything reminded me of this movie.

But to the book. It was creepy. Real creepy. Arden sets the stage for a horror movie but still is able to keep it PG. How? Talent.

Ollie is an interesting girl because she is really talented but also in mourning. So she doesn’t do anything outside of reading. Not like in most instances this is an issue but in the case of Ollie it is a bit because she was an interactive girl and then closed up. I don’t blame her.

But the best part of the book other than the creepiness is the story within the story. I wanted more of it because it integrated with the main story so well and when they came together in real time, it wasn’t awkward and most importantly it wasn’t forced. Thank GOD! It wasn’t forced.

I loved the pace of novel. It moved at the right speed to keep you so into the story. It wasn’t fluffed with un-needed backstory nor was it fluffed with questions. I didn’t feel as if I was missing something and another important thing is I didn’t feel like I need something. Everything was there and the book concluded with an actual conclusion; not a cliff hanger that will make you think there will be a book two.

Honestly, Ollie’s story is done. May not the mini story or the creepy scarecrows but Ollie herself does not need a book two.

This is a short review because I really do not have anything to say other than a fantastic read that made me go down memory lane about a movie, I use to watch with my dad.

Overall,

4 Pickles

 

Book Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Dutton Books for Young Readers
Published Sept. 26, 2017

Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.- Goodreads

This was sitting in my tbr pile since its release, so with goal in mind to knock out as much as my tbr list before the new year, I started with this one.

Hands down one of the most entertaining books, I have read in these past few months. Firstly, from the beginning to the end, all I kept getting was that 90s horror vibe. It was so nostalgic it really made me excited throughout the entire book. If Perkins wasn’t able to incorporate this into the novel, I don’t think it would have been as good.

I say that because nothing in me liked Makani. She was boring, she was a liar and just not really like-able even before you know her dark secret. It was frustrating when she spoke or even when you heard her thoughts because although she has a kind of sort tragic backstory, she whinny. I wanted some form of strength from her; something strong with some personality but nothing.

Beyond, Makani, I loved the plot. Perkins was able to hide her intentions with who done it, without stating the obvious or even connecting the obvious. The story was dramatic and although the gore could have been upped a notch, it provided exactly what you needed for the story. I know that I mentioned that this book is a who done it, but it is less mystery and more let’s try not to get killed.

My biggest issue (not Makani) was but more so the ending. When everything comes out, I feel that Perkins didn’t have any other surprises left in her and it felt dull. Although she is able to keep up the pace, my excitement and the thrill was dwindling.

Overall, for my first Perkins book, I was impressed. I enjoyed the read and would recommend it.

3 Pickles

Manga: [Horror Edition]

Its everyone’s favorite pagan holiday (not me I don’t get down with that). What I enjoy about this month is the introduction to new horror/supernatural reads that I didn’t know about. I love me some spooky stories, specially within movies and manga.So I decided to share some new manga for this manga post. Enjoy!

Seven Seas
Published May 1, 2017
180 Pages

<—-Sukami Kyouichi comes from a family of exorcists, the strongest of whom has always been his sister, who keeps a special notebook by her side that details how to defeat even the most malevolent of ghosts. One day, shortly after his sister rescues young Kyouichi from a haunted shrine, she goes missing. Six years later, with only the notebook as his guide, Kyouichi is confronted by someone claiming to have been his sister’s friend. Who is this stranger, and what does she know about his sister’s disappearance?- Goodreads

High school student Kei Nagai is struck dead in a grisly traffic accident, but immediately revives to learn that he may not be like every other human. Instead, he may be a mysterious, almost immortal being, granted not only the powers of rejuvenation, but the abilities to see supernatural beings.

Vertical
Published March 7, 2013
228 Pages

Scared, he runs away, and is aided in his escape from society by his friend. Unfortunately for Kei, the manhunt is on and he will soon be caught within a conflict between mankind and others like him as they prepare to fight a new war based on terror.- Goodreads —–>

VIZ Media LLC
Published March 1, 2003
176 Pages

<—Caiman was not lucky. A sorcerer cursed him with a reptile head and left him with no memory of his life before the transformation. Adding to the mystery, there’s a specter of a man living inside him. But Caiman has one key advantage: he’s now completely immune to magic. Along with his best friend, Nikaido, Caiman is hunting down sorcerers in the Hole, searching for the one who can undo his curse and killing the rest. But when En, the head Sorcerer, of the sorcerers, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering sorcerers, he sends a crew of “cleaners” into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds.-Goodreads

A boy went to take his trash out late one night, and found a strange, creepy, gothic-lolita-dressed woman sitting amongst the garbage bags.

Published August 21, 2010

She asked if he had a little sister, and he answered her, hurrying afterwards back to his apartment.When he looked out the window, she was gone. Who is the strange woman, and why does she give him such a bad feeling?- Goodreads ——>

Published June 24, 2004
132 Pages

<— A collection of very short and mostly atmospheric stories dealing with urban legends, ghosts, and superstitions all organized around a specific theme (school, visitors, etc.). Some are just two pages long.- Goodreads

In the town that Takada Chinatsu moved to,

Kadokawa Shoten
Published 2011
192 Pages

there’s a legend about demons called Tsumitsuki that possess the feelings of guilt a person has over their sins. Those who are possessed are slowly devoured, body and mind, as the demon manifests. As one of Takada’s friends starts acting strangely, her classmate Kuroe steps in to help… but his true motives are hidden behind a mask.-Goodreads —–>

Kodansha
Published June 8th, 2004
448 Pages

A teenage girl, who possesses the “Mystic Eyes of Death Perception,” a supernatural ability that allows the user to see the “death” of everything in existence and kill the object by destroying its “origin.” She recently recovered from a two-year coma caused by a traffic accident. Prior to the traffic accident, she originally had two personalities, a male personality named Shiki (織), and the original female personality Shiki (式).

<—– Children born into the Ryougi family are generally male and are raised with two personalities, so the male personality is customarily called the “yang” personality, while the female is called the “yin” personality. It is easy to tell which Shiki is speaking at a given time because they both have a distinct style of speaking, most notably that the female Shiki refers to herself with the pronoun watashi (私), while male Shiki refers to himself as ore (俺). After waking from her coma, Shiki discovers that she can no longer feel the male Shiki’s presence and assumes that he died because of the accident. She also feels a detachment from her memories before the accident, and while she knows she is Shiki, she does not feel that she is. In the hopes of regaining herself and the “dead” Shiki, she puts on a cold facade that somewhat resembles the male Shiki’s and tries to act as the female Shiki did. Touko understands the sense of detachment Shiki feels, but considers the current Shiki a third, new personality. -Goodreads

Manga Review: Tasogare Otome × Amnesia by Maybe

Kaze Manga Published 2014
Kaze Manga
Published 2014

A young woman was left to died in the old building at the Academy for Sincere Teachings. Niiya Teiichi, a freshman, gets lost in that building and sees this young woman’s ghost. The two join together to find the truth about her death and past. 

*Review of the entire series. 

This manga was fantastic. If you do not mind some ecchi, then don’t read this. The plot. the pace, the mystery and the horror all moved together perfectly in each book.

I liked how the romance wasn’t over done nor was it completely obvious. It could have went either way and I appreciated that sort of “suspense.” Niiya was a character I didn’t think to like. He stayed true to himself and what he wanted and nothing stopped him from that. There was a love triangle… well other people were interested in Niiya but it was one sided. Perfect.

The artwork was great. There was horror not graphic, not bloody but certain images did provide the horror. What I really did love about this book is it was a huge game of telephone. Not everything was what it seemed, not everything was a lie. It was a great blend of what the babbling of high school students can and cannot do.

I can go on and on about this series but it would give a lot away. Overall, unforgettable story.

5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Tell the Story to Its End by Simon P. Clark

St. Martin's Griffin To Be Published Oct. 20, 2015 208 Pages
St. Martin’s Griffin
To Be Published Oct. 20, 2015
208 Pages

Oli is has been taken from his home and with his mom moved to the countryside for the summer to live with an Uncle and Aunt he never met. Oli knows that everyone is keeping a secret from him especially since he hasn’t heard from his dad and his mom won’t talk to him about it. 

So Oil discovers a secret of his own; a creature in the attic. His name is Eren and he likes stories. Soon Oli is sharing his story and slowly discovers the secrets his family is hiding. 

Short review*

This book was painfully slow and although I understood why people thought it to be creepy, the creepiness didn’t last long at all.

When you met Eren that is when it is creepy and the thought of not knowing if he is real or part of Oli’s imagination makes it creepy but the book itself isn’t creepy. To be honest by the end of the book, I thought it was in Oli’s head as a way to cope with the fact that he was away from his home, his mother wasn’t really speaking to him and his father was gone.

I felt that the author was trying too hard to make this book more of a realistic horror than actually a book that makes you uneasy in your seat. I can’t say I enjoyed the book it was okay. I don’t feel the author was creative enough nor was the characters interesting enough for an adult let alone a child.

The cover offers horror, the title offers mystery but the book itself doesn’t offer anything. Other people love it I don’t.

2 Pickles

Quick Five© with Jaime Lee Moyer

Goodreads

Name: Jaime Lee Moyer

Books: Delia’s Shadow, A Barricade in Hell, Against a Brightening Sky (Delia Martin Series 1-3) 

Buy: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

I love a good mystery book and I love it even more when the author is a bit of a mystery as well :)

Ladies and Gentleman, meet Jaime Lee Moyer, whose name and email is constantly misspelled and yet can still laugh about it.

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer? Most importantly, have you always known you wanted to write about murder, betrayal and magic?

Tor Books Published Sept. 17, 2013 336 Pages
Tor Books
Published Sept. 17, 2013
336 Pages

The first story I wrote down was when I was about eleven years old. I’d made up stories as long as I could remember; even going so far as to act them out and narrate them to myself.  I’d probably have put them on paper sooner, but there was the small issue of learning to write and being able to form coherent sentences.

Murder and betrayal are a grownup addition to my storytelling. Magic or some fantastic element, on the other hand, has always been a part of the stories I told.  A world without magic seemed lackluster. In a lot of ways magic is a part of me.

Why did you choose to write within the Young Adult genre?

While I’m thrilled that the Gabe and Delia books have found a YA crossover audience, I didn’t write them as YA. They were always meant to be adult novels, with adult protags.

Tor Books Published June 3, 2014 331 Pages
Tor Books
Published June 3, 2014
331 Pages

What is your process when you are writing a book? How do you keep the ideas flowing on to the paper?

I daydream, a lot. I ask myself what if questions, think of alternatives to my first idea and how each choice will change the course of the story.  Most important of all, I make sure from the start that I know my characters inside and out.  Characters drive the story for me.

What matters most when you are writing stories? The setting, the characters . . . etc Why does it matter the most?

The characters are always what matter most.  I try never to think of characters as puppets I can move around at will. In order for me to write them as believable people—and someone that readers will like and relate to—I have to think of them as people.

Think of some of the books you love the most. Did you love them for the cool buildings in the background, or did you remember the characters? I do my best to keep that in mind while I’m writing.

Tor Books To Be Published Oct. 6, 2015 336 Pages
Tor Books
To Be Published Oct. 6, 2015
336 Pages

Finally, if you can have dinner with one author dead or alive who would it be and why?

Only one?  Ursula K. LeGuin. I fell in love with her writing from the very first page. She paints incredible pictures with words, builds worlds I can get lost in, and still tells amazing stories. That’s a standard I can only aspire to.

 

Twitter: @jaimeleemoyer

Website: http://www.jaimeleemoyer.com