Rose Red is a massive mansion in Seattle, the construction and haunting of which is described in the pages of the diary of Ellen, the young wife of an early 1900s oil baron, John Rimbauer. The site of several disappearances and murders, Rose Red becomes a living entity to Ellen, both welcome and terrifying. The fate of Ellen and her family mirrors the fate of the mansion.
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is fiction disguised as a diary, presented as paranormal evidence by a fictitious doctor, Joyce Reardon. Adding to the confusion is the real-world misconception that this novel was written by Steven King. Actually written by Ridley Pearson, this book was created to promote Stephen King’s Rose Red miniseries, which aired two years later. I didn’t find it particularly frightening, or believable as a diary, for that matter. A fair portion of the first half concerns world travel and the start of Ellen’s rocky marriage. Once back at Rose Red, however, the story starts a slow, unsettling burn toward a final confrontation, which is more compelling. This is a better than average tie-in novel, recommended for readers in search of creep rather than gore.
Very entertaining short story collection by some of the big names in fantasy and paranormal fiction like Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, and Rachel Cain. Great read for fans of the genre.
When Mimi and Cora’s mother fails to return, their traveling salesman of a father sends his daughters off to live in the English countryside with their mother’s Aunt Ida. Mimi and Cora are met considerable resistance from Aunt Ida, who has no intention of keeping the girls with her in her ancient, run-down manor. The girls have no idea that Ida might have extremely good reasons for not wanting them there, but they try to abide by all of Ida’s rules (which include never opening windows and staying far, far away from the crumbling several-hundred-year-old church down the road). Cora can’t stand living there and young Mimi isn’t much happier. Things brighten up a bit when the sisters meet Roger and Pete, a pair of brothers that live in the old town of Bryers Guerdon. Finally, there are children their age to play with. Unfortunately, since boys will be boys, the very first place the children go to play is the forbidden church. One visit is enough to make Cora and Mimi uneasy, even if they aren’t sure why. After a couple more visits, the kids all see things that don’t add up until they begin to learn the story of Long Lankin. Is the legend of Long Lankin real? The villagers won’t talk about it, but they won’t let their children near the church either. What is the connection between Lankin and the church? What does Ida know that she isn’t telling her wards? Secrets are revealed as the story reaches its chilling apex. This is not gory horror, but atmospheric and psychological. Readers won’t be able to get this one out of their heads easily.
The two volumes of this book are a fascinating and highly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the interactions between various pulp, mystery, adventure, and science fiction characters with real people throughout history. The premise of this book is inspired by SF writer Philip José Farmer’s “Wold Newton” concept which he developed in the 1970s: a “radioactive” meteorite crashed near Wold Newton, England in 1795 and affected several carriages full of people who were passing by. Their descendants became highly intelligent and powerful heroes (or villains) such as Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Dr. Fu Manchu, Doc Savage, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan), and many more. Farmer wrote popular and detailed biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage in which he detailed the family trees of many “Wold Newton Family” characters. Over time, the concept has been expanded and continued by others into the Crossover Universe. Win Scott Eckert has done a fantastic job of compiling references to literary heroes who have met each other (or “crossed over”) and had adventures together, and thus co-exist in the same fictional universe. Volume 1 covers the dawn of time up through 1939, and Volume 2 covers 1940 into the far future. Reading these two books is a fun and highly addictive experience!
Rachel Caine has released her 13th book in Morganville Vampire series. I found every book to be entertaining and suspenseful. Morganville is a small dusty Texas town where humans and vampires coexist, sort of, in a bare minimum way. In this chapter of the series the town is recovering from the draug, a parasitic enemy of the vampires and humans alike. Now the draug is gone the vampires feel free to rule the town. Humans feel they need to take up arms and free themselves from vampire rule. To add to the mayhem, a television crew come to town to film a ghost hunter show.
With many book series, the longer it goes, the worst it gets and you hope the author will put an end to it. Rachel Caine has written a series in which you finish a book and can hardly wait until the next one.
Ari is settling in to New 2 (the old New Orleans). She is recovering from her battle with Athena and trying to figure out how to get her dad and Violet back. She is going to the Novem school and learning more about her abilities. She is dreading turning into a Medusa when she is 21. With her friends Sebastian and Henri she embarks on a dangerous quest into Athena’s dimension.
I like Ari and I enjoyed this book. It does pick up right where the last one ended and the story moves along at a pretty fast pace. I find this world really interesting. New Orleans has basically been bought and saved by a bunch of paranormal families after a goddess destroyed it. I like the Medusa aspect of the story and the different approach to the Greek gods and myths. I guess my complaint about this book is that a LOT happens in a very short amount of time. It feels very rushed and leaves little room for growth and development. But it is a fun ride and I’ll definitely keep reading this series.
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In this next installment of the companion series to the Vampire Academy series by Mead, we get to see how hard it is to keep the vampires and their half-human, half-vampire offspring, separate and secret from the human population. Sydney is finding it harder and harder to keep her emotions under control. She should be very cautious about becoming close to them but as she spends more time with them, she finds herself becoming more entangled in their lives. A very fun series that is well written and keeps you looking forward to the next book.
First things first: I was really looking forward to this one. It all sounded like so much fun…Alice in Wonderland plus zombies. How could it go wrong? After a few hundred pages, I now know better.
Alice’s father has always been afraid of monsters that no one else can seem to see. He won’t let the family out of the house after dark, no matter how badly it impacts their lives. On Alice’s birthday, she asks for one thing: for the whole family to attend her little sister’s dance evening dance recital. After considerable cajoling, their father agrees. On the ride home from the recital, Alice’s father spots his mysterious monsters and manages to crash the car. Everyone except for Alice dies. While in the hospital, she meets a girl named Kat who will later become Alice’s BFF. When the school year rolls around, Alice is living with her grandparents and going to a new school. She immediately becomes entranced by bad boy Cole, in spite her inner voice telling her to stay away. Around the same time, Alice is noticing that she is seeing and smelling things that shouldn’t exist. Creatures that lurk in the dark. Creatures that no one else can seem to see. Students are known to have gone missing and the group of kids that Cole hangs out with always seem to be battle-scarred. Naturally, Alice is determined to get to the bottom of all this. As the title implies, Alice discovers that zombies are real, but they exist in the spirit realm and can only be fought there as well. Luckily, Alice has abilities that surpass even the best of the current zombie hunters. So there’s that.
My problems with the book? I had more than a few. I’ll just touch on some of the bigger issues I had. First and foremost, the Alice in Wonderland theme. It was practically non-existent. Aside from the fact that the protagonist’s name is Alice and her pal’s name is Kat, there are very few other parallels to the original. In fact, if it weren’t for the title and the chapter titles, one could easily forget this was supposed to have anything to do with Wonderland at all. It feels like a cheap ploy to pull in fans of more traditional mashups. Second issue: the zombies. Really? Spirit zombies? Zombies that can only be fought in the “spirit realm”? That can’t be seen by the average person? Takes most of the “zombie” out of the zombies. I mean, they can’t even kill them by chopping their heads off. And the zombies don’t really eat flesh so much as they consume “goodness”. If it weren’t for their quasi-physical description, they could just as easily have been some other supernatural spooks. A part of me even wondered if this was originally written as a vampire tale, but turned zombie as trends changed. Final issue: the writing. It’s clearly meant to sound like an average teen, but comes across as forced and cumbersome. It’s as though Showalter really wants Alice to be Buffy, but it’s just not going to happen. Alice is constantly questioning the logistics of her situation, which is necessary since nothing would make the slightest lick of sense otherwise. There’s entirely too much telling and not enough showing. When all your exposition comes from one character constantly demanding information, there’s likely an issue with the plot itself. I’ll be passing on the sequels.
Mark Spencer and his family live in the Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas. The Allen House is one of the most haunted houses in the United States. When the Spencers moved to Monticello they were fascinated by the Allen House, not because of the stories, but because of the house itself. It took years but they finally convinced the owner to sell it to them. Once they moved in they discovered that the ghost stories were real. The Allen House was inhabited by at least four Allen family members and several others who they are unable to identify. The Spencers allowed paranormal investigators into the house and were able to verify the existence of the ghosts. However, Mark Spencer also discovered a cache of letters belonging to Ladell Allen Bonner who killed herself in the master bedroom. These letters revealed the reasons behind her suicide.
I really enjoyed this book. Spencer does a great job in describing what happened to them in the house and what the paranormal investigators discovered. However, the real jewel is the cache of letters from Ladell. These were a true treasure and allowed Spencer to tell the tragic story of Ladell. It is a story of love and heartbreak and depression and suicide. I am glad the story didn’t rely on the few words the ghost hunters heard but on real background information about the family. Spencer did a fabulous job researching the Allen’s and the history of Allen House.
Veronica has been seeing ghosts ever since the Event. She’s not alone. In fact, since the Event, everyone can see the ghosts. They show up at the same places at the same times; trapped in some sort of metaphysical loop. It doesn’t really frighten anyone, even if it does cause unease. It’s been happening for a few years now, so no one’s too surprised when a ghost suddenly appears in their path. The thing is, there are now more and more ghosts appearing. Veronica even has one that appears in her bathroom. What really freaks her out though, is the creepy English teacher that lives down the street from her. He’s got a ghost of a former murdered student who appears on his doorstep every morning. And now the teacher appears to be fixating on Veronica. Shaken, Veronica and her new boyfriend, Kirk begin investigating the murder and discover that several other girls were all killed on the same day, four years apart: February 29th. Leap day.
In the course of the mystery and tension that “Break My Heart” presents, there is also a considerable amount of discussion on the nature of ghosts and what it means to those who are alive. Are the ghosts really just “images”, recorded on a medium we haven’t yet discovered? Are they trying to tell us something? Does their appearance in the real world mean that they don’t have an afterlife? What happens to those who do not turn into ghosts? And is there some meaning to the increasing number of ghosts making their appearance? A lot to think about.
I really enjoyed this book, even if I wasn’t particularly surprised by the ending. The only thing that really bugged me was the unnamed “Event” that is constantly mentioned, yet never explained. It’s obviously a catalyst for the ghosties, but is a bit of frustration for the reader.
At last, Zoey has what she wanted: the truth is out. Neferet’s evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side — but she’s far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world. First, a mysterious fire ravages the stables. Then, Neferet makes a devastating move that will test them all.
A good teen vampire series, with a mix of supernatural creatures to boot, a popular book with teen girls. I enjoy this series, as I have all the books by the Casts, it keeps me coming back to see if Zoey will ever just be able to enjoy being a teen without all the weight of saving the world on top of it all. Not too serious, just a touch of teen romance, and vampires, all the things girls like to read.
Harry returns as the winter knight. As a knight of the winter court in service to the fairy queen, Mab, Harry gets his first assignment from Mab, but as always when dealing with the fairy court – nothing is exactly as it seems. Multiple powerful forces are manipulating events and manipulating Harry along with them. Someone is also trying to blow up the island of Demonreach and Harry discovers the island’s true purpose. Of course, all the major events have a deadline for Harry to figure out what’s happening, midnight on his birthday, Halloween.
After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
I found that I did not enjoy this book as much as I had anticipated. There was definitely a hype to book but I found it dragged for me. I’m sure others found it enjoyable, but I did not. If there is a sequel, I doubt I’ll pick it up.
Evie O’Neill got into a little trouble in Ohio so her parents have sent her to New York to live with her uncle Will. Will is the currator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult or as it is known The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies. Evie is your typical flapper girl of the 1920s. She likes to dance and drink and go to parties. She is selfish and self-centered, but does truly care about her friends and family. Evie is settling into life in New York when her uncle is asked to consult on a grisly murder. Of course Evie helps out. The murders are dubbed the Pentacle killings and they just keep piling up. The police are at a loss and all the clues Will and Evie come up with lead to a man who was hanged 50 years before.
Evie also has a secret. She can read objects and tell you about yourself. She is a diviner. We meet other diviners in New York. Memphis is a numbers runner and a poet who also had the ability to heal people with his touch. His brother Isaiah can see the future and has visions. Theta is a Ziegfield Girl who has a mysterious past and power. She lives with Henry who has another undisclosed secret. The only non-diviner of the bunch is Mabel, Evie’s best friend and the daughter of political activists. These characters’ stories intertwined through friendships, family and chance meetings. It seems they will all have a part to play in the coming days but what that part is no one knows.
I have mixed feeling about this book. I really enjoyed the world and the setting of it. I think the 1920s are a fascinating time in history and New York at that time even more so. I also love the mix of the supernatural with the historical. I think Evie is a wonderful character. She is so very real with all her flaws and her ambitions. I also really enjoyed all the other characters; I found them interesting and wanted to know more about them. I also thought the murderer and his history was a nice twist.
The issue I had with the book was that it was so unwieldy. There are almost 600 long pages to this story and I feel like it could have really been pared down. I know this is the introductory novel for the series and most of it was really setting up the characters and the world. However, the primary story was the Pentacle Killer and that had nothing to do with a lot of the characters. It was really Evie’s story. While I found Memphis, Theta and Henry interesting there story really had nothing to do with the main plot. I feel like we got WAY too much info on them when that could have been saved for future books where they play a bigger role. Because of all the extra character information it almost seemed like the murders took a backseat at times. There was a lot of info dumping that wasn’t woven into the story as well as it could be and a lot of point of view skipping around that really didn’t seem necessary even if it was enjoyable. Basically I think some editing would have done wonders for the book.
Dazzling her patrons with scrumptious cupcakes at her Salem, Massachusetts, bakery, Elizabeth Tucker continues to fall for the irresistible Diesel, who protects her from a villain who is seeking mystical stones tied to the seven deadly sins.
Another fun series from Janet Evanovich, with Diesel, a sometime character in her Stephanie Plum series. I love to lose myself in these fun reads. I always try to picture her characters in my head since she puts so much into them, they can seem quite real. And another, yet different, take on paranormal things!
In this compelling sequel to “Unearthly,” Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.
A lot of loose ends were tied up in this sequel, I tend to like books that tie up in each one but continue the story in the next, only because sequels don’t come out fast enough to suit me. Also as enjoyable as the first.
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.
Vampires, werewolves, zombies and now angels. I thought this an interesting take on what it might be like if angels had co-mingled with humans. Not a bad read at all.
Callie has always had a fantasy friend. When she was a girl he visited her at night and told her stories. Callie has now taken a job at Fairwick College and her fantasy friend has become a fantasy lover. It turns out he is an incubus and Fairwick is full of more than just humans. There are witches and demons and fairies and vampires. And Callie isn’t just human either; she is a doorkeeper who can open the door between Fairy and the Human realms. Callie banishes the incubus, but then starts a romance with a new professor. But people on campus keep getting sick and it seems like someone or something is feeding off of them. Is the incubus back?
The premise of this book is pretty fun and I can see where Dark has set up this world for a series. However, there is almost too much going on in this book. You have the incubus and Callie’s relationship, then there is the thing feeding off the students and faculty, then there is the fact that there are all these supernatural beings at Fairwick, then there is Callie’s boyfriend, and Callie’s grandmother and to top it all off there is the story of the gates of Fairy. It is very busy and sometimes confusing. I found that I could guess where the story was going and who the characters actually were long before it was revealed. This made for a somewhat predictable plot. However, it was a little fun and a fairly decent paranormal romance.