Jax lives at the bottom of a mountain in the Catskills. She loves exploring the mountains, but ever since her younger sister Kizzy almost drowned her mother hasn’t let her have the freedom she once enjoyed. Then one day a giant dog appears and adopts Jax. That same night she sees lights in the old building up the mountain. When she goes to explore she discovers Yeshi and Rinpoche, two Buddhist monks who are going to reopen the monastery. First they have to find a missing statue. The statue is a protector demon that was stolen from a monastery in Tibet. A mysterious man is also looking for the statue, but he doesn’t want to return it to Tibet. Jax ends up defying her mother and heading up the mountain in a storm to warn the monks about the mysterious man. Jax and Yeshi have to decipher the prophecy about the statue and find it before the man does and before he unleashes the demon.
This was a nice, quick read. The story is fast-paced with a lot of action and intrigue. I really enjoyed the fact that Yeshi and Rinpoche were Buddhist monks, that is not something you see a lot in middle grade fiction. It gave a nice introduction to the Buddhist faith and philosophy without being too much. There is a bit of a supernatural element with the demon that added a spooky element to the story as well. I liked how the friendship between Jax and Yeshi seemed to develop naturally even though it turned out Yeshi had a higher calling.
“How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”
Charlize Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They’ve been in love since the age of fourteen.
But as of this morning…they are complete strangers.
Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love…every memory has vanished.
“I don’t care what our real first kiss was,” he says. “That’s the one I want to remember.”
Charlize and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why. But the more they learn about the couple they used to be…the more they question why they were ever together to begin with.
“I want to remember what it feels like to love someone like that. And not just anyone. I want to know what it feels like to love Charlie.”
Never Never: A Novella Series, Part One.
Another enjoyable mystery by Juliet Blackwell. Minor peeve, I wish that the main character, the witch Lily would NOT have so easily dismissed the danger happening to various characters. Sometimes there’s a fine line between courageous and foolhardy. The mystery was Not crafted as well as the first book. I did like the continuing background information on Lily’s childhood though. Not as good as the first title in the series. I hope to see more of Beowulf, the cat.
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.
But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.
A Sudden Light is a rich, atmospheric work that is at once a multigenerational family saga, a historical novel, a ghost story, and the story of a contemporary family’s struggle to connect with each other. A tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, it reflects Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation, and his rare ability to see the unseen: the universal threads that connect us all.
Description from Goodreads.com.
Jeremy Logan has a highly-unusual profession- one which brings him to the strangest of places and experiences. He is an enigmalogist, an expert investigator of the bizarre and paranormal, and has been hired to work some of the most puzzling historical hauntings and mysteries in the world. When clandestinely hired by Porter Stone, the world’s most successful treasure hunter, he wonders why his expertise is needed. Porter believes he is about to discover the tomb of Egypt’s first unified pharaoh, Narmer, buried deep within the Sudd- a massive, nearly-impenetrable marsh on the upper Nile. The threat of what is protecting this tomb is what has prompted Porter to seek Jeremy’s help.
Lincoln Child is best known for writing as a team with Douglas Preston, but I’ve enjoyed his standalone adventures nearly as much. The setting and quest of this one couldn’t be much more up my alley. Porter’s base of operations in the Sudd is wonderfully inventive, and the search for the tomb exciting. Unfortunately, a twist in the tale is hinted at far too many times to be surprising, and the novel quickly fades at the end, offering frenetic action with little emotional impact, before fizzing out in the muddy Sudd. I was hoping for a little more.
Tana didn’t want to go to the party in the first place, especially since there was a really good chance of running into her ex, Aiden. When she wakes up in the tub the morning after the party, she’s more than a little embarrassed. Embarrassment, however, turns to horror as she walks out of the bathroom to discover that everyone who had been at the party with her is now dead; their blood soaking into the carpets. The only other survivors are the ex that she didn’t want to see in the first place and a trussed-up vampire. Realizing that what killed her friends is likely still around the house, she begins to panic. Fortunately for Aiden and Gavriel (the bound-up vampire), Tana can’t stomach the idea of leaving them to a similar violent fate and helps them escape from the house. The only place she can think of to go to is the nearby Coldtown, a quarantined area for vampires and those who are obsessed with vampires. It is obvious that Aiden has been bitten, so he’ll need to go to the Coldtown for sure. Tana gets scraped by a vampire’s tooth and might have gone “cold” (infected with whatever it is that causes vampirism) as well. The vampire Gavriel? Well, no one really seems to know where he came from, but it would appear that someone is out to kill him and he seems like a nice, albeit odd, fellow, so why not help him? The strange trio makes their way to Coldtown, but not without some difficulty along the way. Things in Coldtown aren’t likely to be any easier, but at least if Tana goes cold while she’s there, she won’t be worried about accidentally killing her father or little sister.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a ton of fun and a smart spin on the vampire genre. This is a world where vampires are known to exist and Coldtowns have cropped up all over the place in an effort to contain them. Since vampires aren’t allowed to leave a Coldtown, they’ve turned them into a giant, nocturnal party scene. Live streams and vlogs keep the general public intrigued by showcasing the most decadent of their parties while the humans who have chosen to live in Coldtowns willingly offer up their blood to feed their vampire hosts. Tana’s journey is a bloody and dangerous one. She has no desire to become a vampire; honestly, she just wants her life to get back to normal. Or what passes for normal for a girl who is now motherless thanks to a rogue vampire. There’s a surprising amount of character development for a person in Tana’s position, which is another refreshing change of pace in this novel. Other characters are diverse and well-written. The story moves fast and it’s not even a series, so there’s really no reason not to spend a bit of time with this one. It doesn’t even matter if you’re still burnt out on the relatively recent glut of vampire novels; this one’s a winner.
“In a small New England town over half a century ago, a boy is playing with his new toy soldiers in the dirt in front of his house when a shadow falls over him. He looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Jamie learns later, who with his beautiful wife, will transform the church and the town. The men and boys are a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls, with the Reverend Jacobs–including Jamie’s sisters and mother. Then tragedy strikes, and this charismatic preacher curses God, and is banished from the shocked town. Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from age 13, he plays in bands across the country, running from his own family tragedies, losing one job after another when his addictions get the better of him. Decades later, sober and living a decent life, he and Reverend Charles Jacobs meet again in a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and the many terrifying meanings of Revival are revealed. King imbues this spectacularly rich and dark novel with everything he knows about music, addiction, and religious fanaticism, and every nightmare we ever had about death. This is a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe”
King is still a master story teller. This got my imagination going and I was scared half to death. The suspense built like crazy towards the end. Loved it!!
This third installment in the American Vampire series takes place during World War II in the 1940s. Follow Pearl and Henry as well as Cash and Felicia as they battle for their very lives. Again, Skinner Sweet, the first American Vampire makes an appearance, though he doesn’t figure as prominently in this volume as the other 2. Still, he does not disappoint. Ever wonder what would have happened if the Nazis had vampires? Find out in American Vampire Vol 3. The story is beautifully written and the art is amazing.
When Deacon James’s younger sister Melanie calls him, terrified, he goes to her aid in the small Georgia town of Sociable. What he finds is a scared young woman in the grip of what she insists is a paranormal nightmare–and murder. Two local men have been killed under mysterious circumstances. And Melanie is the prime suspect. Trinity Nichols left a high-stress job for quiet, small-town life. But news of the murders has left her–and the town–on edge, especially when there is nothing remotely ordinary about how the men died. And her investigation is yielding more than she bargained for, including a group of strangers who have descended on Sociable, some with abilities Trinity finds hard to believe, and agendas she refuses to trust. For some reason, they know a lot more than they should about what’s happening in town. And what’s happening is growing stranger by the minute. Now Trinity, Deacon, and this odd band of FBI agents must work together to solve a series of disturbances so incredible that Trinity, and the town of Sociable, will be changed forever. She just isn’t certain who–or what–will be left standing when it’s all over
County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch. Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family–along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love… She had it once–for a moment–with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion. Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries
The residents of Spence Mansion are going into the greeting card business. Ghost Olive C. Spence writes the cards and young Seymour Hope illustrates them. The new business came about because author Ignatius B. Grumply started getting letters from an old love who wouldn’t take no for an answer. Nadia S. Richenov is determined to get Ignatius back now that he is a successful author and she is having money troubles. Then there are the two escaped criminals who look a lot like the new couple in town offering home security systems. There is a rash of burglaries but no one will listen when Seymour tries to tell them the truth. Olive brings back her old butler, also a ghost, to act as security at the mansion, but he just drives Ignatius crazy. The book is told through letters, greeting cards, newspaper articles, text messages and notes. I’m not a huge fan of this format as I think it doesn’t do a great job of telling the complete story. However, the book was a fun, quick read with a nice light mystery.
Boys of Blur is one of those books you are going to be thinking about long after you finish the last page. You will be wondering what just happened and how did all that fit into one short book. You will look at the book with squinted eyes as its cover and description has bamboozled you into thinking this was just your typical boys coming of age book. You will think all of that and then wonder if you should read the book again to see if there were things you missed. This was a very ambitious book that worked on a lot of levels. Sure it had a few issues, but it kept my attention. In fact, at a certain point in the book it grabbed my attention with both hands and wouldn’t let go until I completed the book. I’m still not 100% sure what exactly happened, but I know this is not a book I will soon be forgetting.
If you read the description and look at the cover of the book, you will think this is a book about sugarcane and boys running through the burning fields. It is about a boy named Charlie who comes back to the town of his birth, Taper, for the funeral of the legendary town football coach. He is accompanied by his stepfather Mack, mom Natalie and baby sister Molly. In Taper, Charlie meets his distant cousin Cotton who helps him begin his epic quest. He also learns his abusive father is in town somewhere and that Mack is thinking about taking over the football program at least through the end of the season. But this is mostly the story of sugarcane and muck and zombies. That’s right, zombies! Cotton takes Charlie into the sugarcane to show him these strange white stones on mounds of earth and the dead offerings that are left there. They meet Lio, with his helmet and sword, and Lio’s two panthers. Then comes the stank, the Gren, who are the dead risen again to be the army for the Mother. She wants to take back the world and bring it to ruin. Charlie and Cotton become embroiled in the struggle against the Gren. It is up to Charlie to find a way to stop the Mother and save Taper and ultimately the world.
When I started this book I really did think it was going to be about Charlie coming to terms with his abusive father and about Mack taking over the football program. I figured there would be a lot of running through the burning sugarcane chasing rabbits and football games and Charlie not fitting in with the other kids. Sure all of that stuff was there, but it was such a minor point of the book. I was not prepared for the story to take a turn for the supernatural. I wasn’t prepared for zombies or beings who control the dead. I wasn’t prepared for dead boys coming back to life. Maybe not being prepared made the book that much more intense. I wanted to keep reading to find out what the heck was going on. Sure sometimes I didn’t think the Gren story always worked, but it kept my attention as did the human story.
Charlie struggles to come to terms with his past. Mack and his father were football rivals who both went on to success. Unfortunately, his father’s demons got the better of him whereas Mack kept shining. That rivalry is still alive and well in the small town of Taper where football, even twenty year old football, still counts for a lot. So Charlie has to deal with other people talking about his dad like he is a hero when all Charlie knows is the abuse. I liked the fact that the adults were still valuable characters in this book. So often in middle grade novels the adults/parents are absent idiots who play no part in the story. Mack and Natalie are good parents and the story is even told from their point of view at times. Charlie’s dad also has his moments to shine even though his past doesn’t make him a hero.
I didn’t realize this was a homage to Beowulf until after I finished the book. It has been many years since I read Beowulf and I am not as familiar with it as I once was. It is mentioned briefly in the story, but it was not until I refamiliarized myself with the story that I realized how much Boys of Blur takes from Beowulf. It is not an exact reproduction of course but more of a homage to the epic poem. The Gren monsters attack the town and people of Taper, Charlie comes to do battle with the Gren then must battle the Mother. I don’t think you need to familiar with Beowulf to enjoy this story, but it is a great introduction and could lead young readers to seek out the original.
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family, bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna, have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls.
When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .
For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.
Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.
Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again .
“A girl with the power to search alternate futures lives out six weeks of two different lives in alternating chapters. Both futures hold the potential for love and loss, and ultimately she is forced to choose which fate she is willing to live through”
Addie lives in a community of people who have powers that most people don’t. They keep their community a secret from the world, whether to better retain their powers or eventually hold sway over normal humans, it isn’t really clear. After her parents divorce, she goes to spend some time with her father, but before going, she uses her power to see which of two futures would she rather live with. While it might seem nice to have some kind of ‘super’ power that others don’t, this book points out that it might not always be a good thing.
FIRST IN A NEW TRILOGY
From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale—populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it…
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.
There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).
Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…
Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.
Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.
Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.
Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.
Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined debut novel from a riveting new voice.
There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it’s unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don’t, when they’re vampires.
They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion–within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight.
She knows that he is a vampire. She knows that she’s to be his dinner and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, as dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day.
Lucy has run away from boarding school and is off to find her father. Her father is a ghost clearer and has gone to the Pacific Northwest on a job. Once Lucy gets there she finds her father gone with no idea where to find him. She discovers that something is very wrong there. The trees that the economy depend on are dying from Rust. She believes it is related to the loss of the dreamwood trees. Many years ago dreamwood trees grew on the Devil’s Thumb in Lupine territory. But they were all cut down and the thumb has been deserted. Anyone who goes there never comes back. Lucy partners with Pete who wants to find dreamwood to save his family. She also got backing from Angus Murrain the local landowner. The thumb is treacherous and full of supernatural powers but Lucy is determined to find her father.
I liked Lucy as a strong female protagonist. She is smart and spunky but maybe just a bit too full of herself. I found myself rooting for Pete more than Lucy. I liked this alternative history version of America with First People Nations and belief in ghosts. I even liked the thought of the first dreamwood being a nature spirit on a warpath. I thought Murrain was pretty one-dimensional and his intentions easy to read I just wish Lucy would have seen him for what he was long before she did. She was so smart about a lot of things but completely blind when it came to Murrain. Overall this was an entertaining book that I sure young fans of fantasy will enjoy.