Category: Ominous October

Ominous October – The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

Posted October 4, 2014 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Ominous October, Read in 2014 / 2 Comments

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

Ominous October – The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar CanteroThe Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
Published by Doubleday on August 12th 2014
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


two-stars

A mesmerizing novel...what begins as a gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt in The Supernatural Enhancements, Edgar Cantero's wholly original, modern-day adventure.

When twentysomething A., the European relative of the Wells family, inherits a beautiful, yet eerie, estate set deep in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, it comes as a surprise to everyone—including A. himself. After all, he never knew he had a "second cousin, twice removed" in America, much less that his eccentric relative had recently committed suicide by jumping out of the third floor bedroom window—at the same age and in the same way as his father had before him . . .

Together with A.’s companion, Niamh, a mute teenage punk girl from Ireland, they arrive in Virginia and quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and an opulent lifestyle. Axton House is haunted... they know it...but the presence of a ghost is just the first of a series of disturbing secrets they slowly uncover. What led to the suicides? What became of the Axton House butler who fled shortly after his master died? What lurks in the garden maze – and what does the basement vault keep? Even more troubling, what of the rumors in town about a mysterious yearly gathering at Axton House on the night of the winter solstice?

Told vividly through a series of journal entries, cryptic ciphers, recovered security footage, and letters to a distant Aunt Liza, Edgar Cantero has written an absorbing, kinetic and highly original supernatural adventure with classic horror elements that introduces readers to a deviously sly and powerful new voice.

‘…all those pathetic lonely people fooling one another into their clumsy games of afterlife and cosmic relevance just to avoid noticing the nauseating sadness of their real lives. How could it sink that low?
That’s how I used to feel, bound by reason to boredom.
And then along came Axton House.’

The main character, known only as “A.” inherits Axton House, a mansion in American, after a second-cousin twice removed by the name of Ambrose Wells commits suicide by throwing himself from his bedroom window. Strangely enough, Ambrose’s father died the same way. At the same age. A. travels to America to get his affairs in order and with him comes Niamh, a mute teenager who communicates throughout the novel via notepad. The two soon immerse themselves in the mystery of the house which they find involves a secret society and many mysterious coded messages.

The Supernatural Enhancements is a Gothic mystery with a sole ghost and a strange sense of eclecticism. Unfortunately, it ranks right up there for me with The Quick in terms of absolute pointlessness. The story is told through various means including audio and video recordings, A’s day to day diary and a most disturbing dream journal, letters to an ‘Aunt Liza’, as well as various excerpts from books that they use in their research. It definitely had a Night Film feel regarding the unique way of telling the story but the story itself bounced around far too much and left far too much confusion in its wake. The strange codes that the two must unravel in order to progress further in solving the mystery should have been fun but instead I found them to be a tedious addition since us as readers had little to no chance of solving them ourselves so the pages and pages of detail regarding how they solved it only resulted in causing me a headache of epic proportions.

The characters themselves were mysterious and quirky but not in the most appealing way. We’re given very little detail on the two (other than the fact that they’re X-File fans which should have caused me to like them on that principle alone, but no) or anything about A. (or why he’s only referred to as A. because that’s just weird) or Niamh and their strange relationship; only that Niamh likes A. but she’s underage so it’s pointless. Or so we’re led to believe. The two sleep in a bed described as “big enough for each of us to throw an orgy without her guests disturbing mine”. And she apparently sleeps there because she’s there to protect him, which makes total sense.

Actually, it never ends up making sense. None of it does. The characters don’t make sense nor their purpose, the bad guys, or this secret society. The mysteries are seemingly explained but in a quick and careless way that is meant to be quirky and interesting but left much to be desired. The Supernatural Enhancements had a promising initial feel that, as Rory put, felt like “a lighthearted, simpler cousin” to The House of Leaves — just minus the use of mirrors. It regrettably fell flat for me.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski {Purchase – My Review}
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan {Purchase}

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Ominous October – The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell: A Newsflesh Novella by Mira Grant

Posted October 3, 2014 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Ominous October, Read in 2014, Short Stories / 6 Comments

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

Ominous October – The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell: A Newsflesh Novella by Mira GrantThe Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell: A Newsflesh Novella by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #3.3
Published by Orbit on July 15th 2014
Pages: 112
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Zombies
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Also by this author: Feed, Deadline, Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella

four-stars

Outside the classroom walls the Rising was spreading, but inside was a carefully protected sanctuary against the growing threat.

Or so the teachers and students thought.

On what will be the last day in the teaching career of Elaine Oldenburg, who fans of the series know as Foxy, she must fight to survive and protect her students when the zombie outbreak shatters the safety of her school.

‘We forget sometimes how easy it is for the survivors to look back on history and judge those who came before. It’s simpler when there is a villain, when there is a reason for things to have gone so terribly, terribly wrong. […] Sometimes there is no reason for things to go wrong. They just do.’

The year is 2036, twenty-two years since the Rising and life is no less dangerous. Despite those dangers though, some parents still choose to place their young children in public school systems (elementary and middle school) in order for them to fully develop their social skills before changing over to a fully virtual school system as most people have already done. Security has been increased and precautions have been made, however, the dangers were still lurking. The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell is the story of Seattle’s Evergreen Elementary School tragedy; a tragedy that painted a clear picture that those dangers were lurking closer than anyone thought.

The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell is a riveting and suspenseful novella set in the same world as Grant’s popular Newsflesh trilogy. The story follows Alaric Kwong and Mahir Gowda in current day 2044 who are conducting research on the tragedy trying to find the cause of it all. Flashbacks to 2036 are told from the point of view of teacher Elaine Oldenburg and show the flaws of the ‘secure school system’ she thought she worked in. Her desperation to survive and to keep as many of the children safe as possible is palpable and even knowing that all sorts of wrongs are likely to follow, the reader can’t help but hope for a miracle. Incredibly thrilling for a mere 112 pages, (although there is also an excerpt from Parasite at the end)Mira Grant continues to impress with her boldness. The ending was fairly inconclusive and I certainly wanted more but for all my fellow Newsflesh fans out there? This is a must read.

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Ominous October: Scary Reading in October

Posted October 1, 2014 by Bonnie in Ominous October, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Chilly weather and foggy nights makes October the perfect time (and my favorite time) to read all those scary novels I have stacked up. I’ve always wanted to dedicate an entire month to a theme month of reading and have finally decided to make this October my first event! I’ve picked a few books I’d love to get to, a mixture of books about serial killers, ghosts and various supernatural tales. I have a ton more I could easily add but I’d love your input on any additional recommendations you might have.

I’d also love it if you’d join in! I’m dedicating the entire month of October, 1st-31st, to reading anything eerie and creepy. Feel free to join in and share your reading progress on your blog and in the link up below!

Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga {Purchase}
Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga {Purchase}
Party Games by R.L. Stine {Purchase}
MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hillary Monahan {Purchase}
 The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud {Purchase}



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