Waiting on Wednesday – Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman

October 18, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 3 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Unbury Carol by Josh MalermanUnbury Carol by Josh Malerman
Published by Del Rey on April 10th 2018
Pages: 384
Genres: Horror
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Bird Box, Black Mad Wheel

The Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of Bird Box returns with a haunting tale of love, redemption, and murder.

Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days.

Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.

And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself.

The haunting story of a woman literally bringing herself back from the dead, Unbury Carol is a twisted take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

About Josh Malerman

FUN FACTS ABOUT JOSH

1. Shares a birthday with Amelia Earhart
Is the middle child
2. At 12, got stung on the face by a jellyfish after father convinced him the ocean was safe
3. The Twilight Zone: The Movie was the first horror film he saw
4. Almost always writes as horror movie soundtracks play on the record player (The Howling, Poltergeist, and Zombi 2 are great, but Creepshow is best)
5. Sings for the rock n’ roll band The High Strung
6. Wrote/performs the theme song for Showtime’s Shameless (starring William H. Macy)
7. Has only read two books twice: William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Stephen King’s The Shining
8. Is a member of the Detroit Zoo
9. Lives with his fianceé (whose head he recently shaved) in Royal Oak, Michigan

A twisted take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale indeed. I’m all for some twisted fairy tales à la Angela Carter.

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Top Ten Tuesday – The Best Foodie Books

October 17, 2017 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 2 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I love food-related books. Fiction, Non-Fiction, it doesn’t matter.

Image result for food gif

These ten are my favorites of the bunch.

Non-Fiction

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas
This book made me want to visit Paris like never before. On top of tales of wonderful sweets, the author shares her own personal story about finding her way in a foreign place, gaining a new perspective on life, and simply learning to be thankful for what life dishes out to you.

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
This is my most favorite of foodie memoirs and Reichl is such a captivating writer. Effortlessly combining her love of food and her most interesting childhood, Tender at the Bone is an absolute must-read for foodie fans.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
Bourdain is known for his no-bullshit attitude and it’s evident in Kitchen Confidential. He even narrates this audiobook which is an added perk. KC is his story of developing his passion for food but is also an overly honest portrayal of just what life inside a restaurant is really like. (Insane as fuck.)

Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen
Much like Kitchen Confidential, Amy Thielen delivers an inside look at life inside the world of New York fine-dining. The difference being the perspective shift from a female’s point of view and her story of learning to cook in an off-the-grid cabin deep in the woods of Minnesota. The New York life was interesting, but I would have preferred more of her time developing her cooking skills when she had to pump her own water, didn’t have electricity, and grew most of everything that she cooked.

My Life in France by Julia Child
Julia Child is one of the originals so she had to make this list, it was just a given. This is not one to read on an empty stomach though.

Fiction

All Four Stars (All Four Stars #1) by Tara Dairman
One of my favorite middle-grade books ever. All Four Stars is the story of Gladys Gatsby who, even in just the sixth grade, knows exactly what she wants to do in life: cook. When she enters a writing contest in school, her entry ends up in the hands of the Dining Editor at a prestigious New York newspaper and she’s offered a job as a food critic. Hilarity ensues as she tries to keep her age a secret.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a delightful, lighthearted romance story that is also a love story to delicious foods and the city of Milwaukee. There’s even a delicious recipe in the back of the book for Coconut cake that I have to try myself someday.

Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas
Ruby’s bakery is failing and after her husband leaves her for another woman, she picks herself back up and begins to teach cooking classes to make ends meet. This was such a fun and light-hearted read despite the serious nature of the topic. And the food descriptions are insanely drool-worthy.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
My favorite Sarah Addison Allen. Less of a foodie book than the others on this list, but more about the comforting aspects of food in trying times. Josey Cirrini isn’t leading the life she planned, but she consoles herself by escaping to the closet in her room each night where she’s stockpiled it with sugary treats and romance novels. Sounds pretty wonderful, actually. 🙂

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
Sunshine Mackenzie has a popular cooking show on YouTube based around her being a Southern farmer’s daughter and is geared towards becoming the next Food Network star when someone hacks her Twitter account and reveals to the world that Sunshine is nothing but a fraud. Cute foodie novel about re-discovering the real you amidst all the fakery in this day and age.

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of October 16th, 2017

October 16, 2017 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

_________________________________________________

Week of October 16th, 2017

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Amulet Books

Sun Warrior (Tales of a New World #2) by P.C. Cast [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Wednesday Books

Last Chance (Rains #2) by Gregg Hurwitz [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Tor Teen

Weaver’s Lament (Industrial Magic #2) by Emma Newman [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Tor.com

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Dear Martin by Nic Stone [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers

Like Water by Rebecca Podos [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Balzer + Bray

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Swoon Reads

The Innocence Treatment by Ari B. Goelman [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Roaring Brook Press

Munro vs. the Coyote by Darren Groth [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Orca Book Publishers

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Running Press

Sand + Bone (Sand + Bone #1) by J.T. Krul [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Adaptive Books

The Bone Thief by Alyson Noel [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Delacorte Press

The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbott [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

The Player King by Avi [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Vallista (Vlad Taltos #15) by Steven Brust [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Tor Books

A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Del Rey Books

Breach of Containment (Central Corps #3) by Elizabeth Bonesteel [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Harper Voyager

Forbidden Suns (The Silence #3) by D. Nolan Clark [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Orbit

It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel (Night Vale #2) by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Harper Perennial

Return to Woodbury (The Walking Dead #8) by Jay Bonansinga [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

Boneyard (Deadlands #3) by Seanan McGuire [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Tor Books

In the Still of the Night: The Supernaturals II by David L. Golemon [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

The Two of Swords (The Two of Swords #1) by K.J. Parker [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Orbit

Killing Season (Killing Season #1-3) by Faye Kellerman [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers #10) by John Sandford [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Melville House

Righteous (IQ #2) by Joe Ide [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Mulholland Books

The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel by Liv Constantine [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Harper

Cold as Ice (The Country Club Murders #6) by Julie Mulhern [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Henery Press

Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by William Morrow

The Tiger’s Prey: A Novel of Adventure by Wilbur Smith & Tom Harper [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by William Morrow

The Floating World: A Novel by C. Morgan Babst [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Algonquin Books

Smile by Roddy Doyle [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Viking

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Berkley Books

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by Grand Central Publishing

Christmas at Whisper Beach (Whisper Beach #1.5) by Shelley Noble [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 17th 2017 by William Morrow Impulse

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Ominous October – Sleeping Beauties By Stephen King and Owen King

October 12, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2017 13 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ominous October – Sleeping Beauties By Stephen King and Owen KingSleeping Beauties by Stephen King, Owen King
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on September 26th 2017
Length: 25 hours and 20 minutes
Genres: Horror, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: Audiobook
Source: the Publisher
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

two-stars

In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.

“The elms made him think of brothers, of sisters, of husbands and wives—he was sure that, beneath the ground, their roots were mortally entwined.”

What would happen to the world if all the women fell asleep?

In rural Appalachia, the Aurora Sleeping Sickness only affects individuals with the XX chromosome. When women drift off to sleep they begin growing tendrils of webbing that cocoon their bodies completely and while they remain alive in this world they wake up in a different one entirely. In this world though, there’s one single woman named Eve Black that remains able to still sleep and wake up but she possesses mysterious powers and seems to be the reason why all other women are in the state they’re in.

This started off so incredibly fascinating and reminded me strongly of The Stand with this mysterious sickness slowly infecting the world. The Aurora Sleeping Sickness was chilling in its descriptions, affecting only women and the reverberations throughout the community that results from their absence was brilliant and no doubt made any woman reader leary about putting the book down and going to sleep. I especially loved the inclusion regarding the “Mother’s Instinct” described as such:

‘This phenomenon proved to be one of the most curious and most analyzed enigmas of Aurora – the so-called “Mother’s Instinct” or “Foster Reflex.” While reports of violent interactions between sleepers and other adults ultimately numbered in the millions, and unreported interactions millions more, few if any occurrences of aggression between a sleeper and her pre-adolescent child were ever confirmed. Sleepers handed over their male infants and toddlers to the closest person they could find, or simply put them out of doors. They then returned to their places of slumber.’

The story starts off unhurriedly as the authors build up the intensity but it ended up being my favorite part of the story (aside from the narration itself; Marin Ireland knocked this one out of the park. 5 stars.) The slow, steady pace building up this world where such a thing could possibly occur was all necessary to make this as credible as it could be. The most problematic bit was the vast array of characters that we were expected to keep track of. When reading stories that include far too many characters to keep straight, I’ll occasionally write myself little bullet point lists or draw family trees just to keep things straight. If I had even attempted something like that with this story my desk (and myself) would have ended up looking something like this:

One of the main female characters, Lila, resulted in some great passages from her point of view. Ironically though, her husband Clint ends up taking over as the main act in the final half of the book. Not only does he take over as the main character but he ends up playing an important role in the vast scheme of things and wait, wasn’t this supposed to be about the females? How come a dude once again gets to take center stage? I had worried about this possibility before I even picked this one up, but alas, the book is definitely less about what would happen to the females and more about what would happen to the men. They resort to violence and guns and explosions and everything in between, surprising no one. The authors also seem to miss making any solid point regarding why this happened and what was learned from the experience. Suffice it to say, the descriptions of the sickness and the infected were eerie and great to read but when it came down to breaking any gender stereotypes there’s certainly nothing new here.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Clarity: A Novel by Keith Thomas

October 11, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 0 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Clarity: A Novel by Keith ThomasThe Clarity: A Novel by Keith Thomas
Published by Atria/Leopoldo Co. on February 20th 2018
Pages: 304
Genres: Horror
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

For fans of Black Mirror and True Detective, a visceral high‑concept thriller about a psychologist who must protect the life of an eleven-year-old girl whose ability to remember past lives makes them both targets of a merciless killer.

Dr. Matilda Deacon is a psychologist researching how memories are made and stored when she meets a strange eleven-year-old girl named Ashanique. Ashanique claims to harbor the memories of the last soldier killed in World War I and Matilda is at first very interested but skeptical. However, when Ashanique starts talking about being chased by the Night Doctors—a term also used by an unstable patient who was later found dead—Matilda can’t deny that the girl might be telling the truth.

Matilda learns that Ashanique and her mother have been on the run their whole lives from a monstrous assassin named Rade. Rade is after a secret contained solely in memories and has left a bloody trail throughout the world in search of it. Matilda soon realizes Ashanique is in unimaginable danger and that her unique ability comes with a deadly price.

Fast-paced, suspenseful, and a chilling blend of science and danger, The Clarity is a compelling take on the possibilities of reincarnation and life after death.

About Keith Thomas

Keith Thomas worked as a lead clinical researcher at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and National Jewish Health before writing for film and television. He has developed projects for studios and production companies and collaborated with writers like James Patterson and filmmakers like Paul Haggis. He lives in Denver and works in Los Angeles.

Whoever writes these blurbs, they know how to get me. For fans of Black Mirror and True Detective? Come on. Here’s hoping it’s just that awesome.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Beautiful Autumn Book Covers

October 10, 2017 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 6 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Autumn is here! Except in my town, we kind of immediately jumped to Winter because it is cold as shit in the mornings. Cold weather is perfect reading weather being all bundled up with a blanket and a book which is probably why it’s my favorite season. Plus, I fucking love scarves. Anyways, today’s post is about all those Autumn books but instead of books set in Autumn or whatnot, I decided to make a pretty autumn color collage with book covers. 🙂

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of October 9th, 2017

October 9, 2017 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

_________________________________________________

Week of October 9th, 2017

The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

Into the Bright Unknown (The Gold Seer Trilogy #3) by Rae Carson [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Greenwillow Books

The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Delacorte Press

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Scholastic Press

The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Harlequin Teen

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Mirror Mirror by Cara Delevingne [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Harper

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Simon Pulse

The Book of Lies by Teri Terry [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Clarion Books

Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Candlewick Press

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Algonquin Young Readers

Sparrow by Sarah Moon [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Inevitable and Only by Lisa Rosinsky [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Boyds Mills Press

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Delacorte Press

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Philomel Books

Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Simon Pulse

Never Say Die (Alex Rider #11) by Anthony Horowitz [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Philomel Books

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

Dare Mighty Things (Untitled Duology #1) by Heather Kaczynski [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by HarperTeen

Tool of War (Ship Breaker #3) by Paolo Bacigalupi [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Knowing (The Forgetting #2) by Sharon Cameron [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Scholastic Press

Sorcery for Beginners: A Simple Help Guide to a Challenging & Arcane Art by Matt Harry [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Inkshares

The Silver Mask (Magisterium #4) by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Scholastic Press

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race (Mr. Lemoncello’s Library #3) by Chris Grabenstein [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Candlewick Press

My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Candlewick Press

The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Scholastic Press

Tentacle and Wing by Sarah Porter [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Aladdin

The Stone in the Skull (Lotus Kingdoms #1) by Elizabeth Bear [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Tor Books

Children of the Fleet by Orson Scott Card [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Tor Books

A Lot Like Christmas: Stories by Connie Willis [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Del Rey Books

Outcast, Vol. 5: The New Path by Robert Kirkman [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Image Comics

The Power by Naomi Alderman [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company

The Book of Swords by Gardner R. Dozois [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Bantam

A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford #3) by Paul Cornell [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Tor.com

The Four Horsemen by Gregory Dowling [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

Hide and Seek (Helen Grace #6) by M.J. Arlidge [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Berkley Books

Race to Judgement by Frederic Block [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Select Books (NY)

Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder (Sherlock Holmes Adventures #2) by Bonnie MacBird [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Collins Crime Club

Never Coming Back by Alison McGhee [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Crimes of the Father by Thomas Keneally [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Atria Books

Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Fairytale by Danielle Steel [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Delacorte Press

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery #3) by Jenny Colgan [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Gallery Books

Lady Killers: A Compendium by Tori Telfer [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Harper Perennial

Black Dahlia, Red Rose: The Crime, Corruption, and Cover-Up of America’s Greatest Unsolved Murder by Piu Marie Eatwell [Purchase]
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Liveright

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Ominous October – Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman

October 6, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2017 6 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ominous October – Black Mad Wheel by Josh MalermanBlack Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman
Narrator: Robertson Dean
Published by HarperAudio on May 23rd 2017
Length: 8 hours and 2 minutes
Genres: Horror, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Bird Box

two-stars

From the author of the hit literary horror debut Bird Box (”Hitchcockian.” —USA Today) comes a chilling novel about a group of musicians conscripted by the US government to track down the source of a strange and debilitating sound

The Danes—the band known as the “Darlings of Detroit”—are washed up and desperate for inspiration, eager to once again have a number one hit. That is, until an agent from the US Army approaches them. Will they travel to an African desert and track down the source of a mysterious and malevolent sound? Under the guidance of their front man, Philip Tonka, the Danes embark on a harrowing journey through the scorching desert—a trip that takes Tonka into the heart of an ominous and twisted conspiracy.

Meanwhile, in a nondescript Midwestern hospital, a nurse named Ellen tends to a patient recovering from a near-fatal accident. The circumstances that led to his injuries are mysterious-and his body heals at a remarkable rate. Ellen will do the impossible for this enigmatic patient, who reveals more about his accident with each passing day.

Part Heart of Darkness, part Lost, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking new novel plunges us into the depths of psychological horror, where you can’t always believe everything you hear.

“The question is not what you found… but what found you?”

When Philip Tonka wakes in an Iowa hospital, he can’t remember how he got there or what happened to him, but his doctor informs him that he’s been in a coma for six months after breaking every single bone in his body. Prior to this, Philip and the rest of his bandmates, from the 1950s band called the Danes, are approached by government officials to investigate a peculiar sound emanating from the Namib Desert in Africa. The sound has been reported to make people sick when hearing it but most importantly has been the reason why a nuclear warhead was disarmed. Whether or not that sound is the reason for Philip’s injuries remains a mystery since he can’t remember if the source of the sound was ever actually found. Through alternating chapters told in past and present, it’s slowly revealed just what kind of bizarre answers Philip and his friends found in that desert.

After adoring Malerman’s debut novel Bird Box, he quickly became an “I’m reading anything and everything” author for me. I went on to read his short story Ghastle and Yule (I didn’t even finish those 54 pages), his novella A House at the Bottom of a Lake (2 stars), and now I’ve finished his second full-length novel and damn but I’m full of disappointment. Mysterious sounds in the middle of a desert, government conspiracies, memory loss, injuries that shouldn’t even be possible… it sounded like one badass episode of The Twilight Zone and I was all onboard.

Image result for twilight zone gif

I first tried to read this on my Kindle but Black Mad Wheel has quite the slow, meandering pace that made it difficult to stay invested. I opted to try it on audiobook before officially calling it quits and even if I didn’t end up loving the story as much as I had hoped, Robertson Dean thoroughly sold me on his narrative skills and I will definitely be seeking out more books narrated by him in the future. His various accents used for the different characters did wonders in helping to differentiate them because just from text alone, they all tended to blur together a bit. Once the pieces of the puzzle started coming together though, the story took a decidedly philosophical turn and while I loved the inclusion regarding the true power of music, it all just ultimately lost me in the end with Malerman opting instead to give only a vague hint at any concrete answers the reader may have been hoping for in the end.

“I wonder, soldier, if it’s our mind playing tricks. I wonder if we cannot comprehend a sound with no source and so we invent one. Each our own way to stave off the feelings of futility for having tracked a sourceless sound.”

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Ominous October – The Empty Grave (Lockwood & Co. #5) by Jonathan Stroud

October 5, 2017 Bonnie Book Reviews, Ominous October, Read in 2017, YA 6 Comments

Ominous October – The Empty Grave (Lockwood & Co. #5) by Jonathan StroudThe Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud
Series: Lockwood & Co. #5
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 12th 2017
Pages: 448
Genres: Horror, Ghosties
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Screaming Staircase, The Whispering Skull, The Hollow Boy

five-stars

After the dramatic events of The Creeping Shadow, the Lockwood team (plus Quill Kipps) deserve some well-earned rest.

So naturally they break into the Fittes Mausoleum, on a perilous mission to discover the truth about London's top ghost-hunting agency, and its sinister leader.

What they discover will change everything.

But there's little time to ponder. A near-miss at a haunted fairground is only the start - as the Fittes agency closes in on the team, an epic struggle commences.

With the help of some unexpected, and rather ghostly, allies, Lockwood & Co must battle their greatest enemy yet, as they move ever closer to the moment when the earth-shattering secret of 'the problem' will finally be revealed.

Jonathan Stroud once again delivers a rousing adventure full of danger, laughs, twists, and frights. The revelations will send readers back to Book 1 to start the series all over again.

Lockwood & Co. Series

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud [Purchase|Review]
The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2) by Jonathan Stroud [Purchase|Review]
The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud [Purchase|Review]
The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud [Purchase|Review]

“It was a time of beginnings, and a time of endings.”

After the events of The Creeping Shadow, the group set off to prove the Skull’s story right: that Marissa Fitts hasn’t actually been laid to rest and she’s been posing as her granddaughter Penelope for years. As the title implies, they do indeed find an empty grave. How Marissa could possibly remain alive and looking as young as she does remains a mystery. The mystery of the empty grave isn’t the only thing occupying their time though. They’re battling the Fitts agency to remain in business when Marissa announces that all small agencies will be absorbed into one and they must also deal with a fairground haunted by La Belle Dame Sans Merci (The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy) who psychically enchain her victims after alluring them with her beauty. Never a dull moment with Lockwood & Co.

“We’ve worked wonders to get here, and we won’t panic now. If we’re right, there won’t be anything to worry about. If we’re wrong, we deal with it, as we always do. […] But we won’t be wrong. We’re on the verge of something big here. It’s going to be good!”

Kipps adjusted his goggles dolefully. “Since when has anything good happened in a crypt? It’s going to be bad by definition.”

It seems rare that a series possesses such a fantastic story in addition to a brilliant cast of characters. It always makes me cringe when books are constantly being compared to Harry Potter, but the friendship dynamic in Lockwood & Co. is certainly comparable. Of course, it also has that Ghostbusters/X-Files angle that sets it apart. Lockwood himself is quite the complex character with a growing death wish that comes to a peak in this final story. His dark backstory gets dealt out in small servings involving a sister that was ghost-touched at a young age and parents that both died under mysterious circumstances. We see all this through the eyes of Lucy and while the two have been developing an almost reluctant romance since the start of the series, it deserves mention that it never overwhelms the story itself or any of the supporting characters. I originally picked this series up because of my love for a good ghost story and while I’m not often scared by them these days, Stroud still manages to include lines that’ll leave tingles down your spine.

“Her jagged mouth opened in welcome; she was like a deep-sea fish swallowing her prey. As she hugged him close, blue veins of ice ran swiftly down his skin. [Name omitted] limbs jerked and thrashed; he tried to speak, but could only make a gargling sound as he was drawn back into the dark.”

Being that this is the series finale, there’s always the issue with wrapping up all loose ends. What happened to Lockwood’s parents? What caused the rampant increase in hauntings in recent years? How has Marissa Fitts managed to retain her youth for so long? Who is the skull in the jar and what will become of him? And of course, what will become of Lockwood & Co.? I’m notoriously displeased with the majority of series endings but I’m so relieved that this wasn’t the case with The Empty Grave since I’ve been a diehard fan from the very beginning. It retained the perfect balance of creepy and humor (with help in that department from Skull) and resolved unanswered questions without giving it that “and they all lived happily ever after” type of ending that I so dislike. I started Ominous October back in 2014 and The Screaming Staircase was one of the first books I posted about. It’s always heartbreaking to see an amazing story come to an end but I was so pleased to see these fantastic characters get the story they deserve. Lockwood, Lucy, George, Holly, and even Kipps… but I’ll still miss Skull the most.

“These spirits are a bit showy,” the skull said. “All that hooting and cackling. You don’t see me doing that. I ask you, where’s the class?”

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Waiting on Wednesday – Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

October 4, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 10 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Pitch Dark by Courtney AlamedaPitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 20th 2018
Pages: 384
Genres: Horror, Sci-fi
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Shutter

Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.

Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.

Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir.

Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together, or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves.

In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you'll hear.

About Courtney Alameda

A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and hailed as a "standout in the genre" by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott's 1979 film ALIEN.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five pound cat with a giant personality.

I really enjoyed Alameda’s debut Shutter (the story was great, even if it didn’t scare me. I’m starting to realize that’s seemingly impossible.) and am all about deadly aliens that kill with sound. I also see that Alameda made another successful offering to the cover gods because dayum, that’s awesome.

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What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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