Hi everybody! I am here, I am alive, and my mental health is more stable than it has been. I don’t know why I have been dragging my feet with book reviews since I have had so much extra time on my hands. There was a time in my life when I could read three to four books in one day, but that day has passed and technology is partially to blame. Admittedly, I have mostly just been watching Hamilton on repeat. I am a week out from returning (albeit remotely) to university. I am trying to get in as much fun reading as I can before that. Though I am not technically finished with the novel yet, I am close enough to the end where I feel I can give you all a solid opinion. Let’s talk about Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.
Dan Torrance has spent his entire adult life trying to escape from the aftermath of the Overlook Hotel. After relying on drugs or alcohol to silence his “shine,” he decides to start clean by getting a job as a hospice worker, where he uses his abilities to comfort the dying and elderly patients, which earns him the nickname “Doctor Sleep.” Everything seems to be going alright for Dan until he encounters Abra Stone, a remarkable young girl with the same abilities as him. The unlikely duo must work together to stop a murderous and immortal cult called The True Know, who prey on kids who “shine.” Now, Dan Torrance must battle this group of murderers while also facing the ghosts of the Overlook.
Before I begin, I will encourage you to check out my review of The Shining. Spoiler: I did enjoy that book so I was a little skeptical, but hopeful, as I am with all sequels. I will start by saying this is a slow but carefully plotted novel. King has always had a knack for build up and this novel was no exception. The scariest parts of this novel are in the smaller details, along with the use of repetition. Like its predecessor, this sequel focuses on the idea of inevitability, which is what makes it so suspenseful. You always feel like you’re waiting for that jumpscare (metaphorically speaking), but the scariest part is that it never comes. When the horror happens, it hits fast and bloody. It doesn’t feel like the most necessary sequel, but it fits nicely next to the suspenseful nature of The Shining. If you’re a Stephen King fan, then definitely read this novel as it is reminiscent of The Shining while still holding its own as a great horror novel.
Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy during this time. My university is moving to online classes at least until the end of March. While it is scary, I prefer caution over anything else. The only bright side I am finding is that I can do some catching up on my TBR pile. Why not combat scary with something scarier? I have mentioned previously that Dracula is one of my all time favorite novels so I was very excited to find this gem amongst the other spin-offs. Let’s talk about Dracul.
As a child, Bram Stoker was bedridden with a mysterious illness and his only company was his nanny, Ellen Crone. Ellen Crone, though, is not what she seems. When mysterious deaths begin to happen around town, Bram and his sister Matilda begin to put together a pattern but their nanny disappears. Years later, Matilda reveals her ongoing investigation into Ellen to Bram. Now, as an adult, Bram must confront the mystery of his childhood and the deeper, darker secrets that put everything he knows and loves in dangers.
I was mostly drawn to this novel as it was co-written by Bram Stoker’s great-great-grand nephew. I am normally hesitant with spin-off novels like these but I was thoroughly impressed with this one. It is equal parts creepy, gory, and suspenseful. The writing is great as it hops back and forth through time, increasing the mystery. The first part of the book does drag on a bit, if you ask me but the ending makes it worth the wait. The novel definitely harkens back to the classic horror I love so dearly. Dracul was thrilling and enjoyable for me and any fan of horror literature. I would definitely recommend giving this one a chance, if you are unsure like me. (Just a heads up, though: There is some serious gore in this book so be wary).
Hi everyone! In case you haven’t been able to tell, I am sucker for books that have been adapted to television and/or movies. I have watched some of the Netflix adaptation of this book, but I haven’t watched enough to properly compare the two. I just wanted to give you a heads up about that. Shirley Jackson has been on my radar for some time now. I did read her short story, “The Lottery,” in high school and I absolutely loved it. Since this novel has arisen in pop culture once again, I decided to give it a shot. Here is my review of The Haunting of Hill House.
Four strangers arrive to the infamous Hill House in order to find out the truth about the paranormal. First, Dr. Montague and his assistant, Theodora arrive to find the truth behind the mystery of Hill House. Eleanor, affectionately called Nellie, must use her knowledge of poltergeists to help them. Lastly, Luke, the heir to Hill House, is trying to clear the mystery behind his odd inheritance. Soon, the four realize that Hill House isn’t simply full of death. It is full of life that is growing stronger and stronger.
The Haunting of Hill House is the quintessential haunted house story. I have always loved classic haunted house tales and Jackson has an interesting take on this tale. The book is atmospheric in every way. The characters and setting are well-defined but also have an air of mystery that morphs throughout the novel. You feel unsettled throughout the novel as Jackson adds unsettling detail after unsettling detail. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this novel scary, I did certainly find it creepy. It is a relatively quick read also. I think all horror fans and non-horror fans can find enjoyment in this novel. I would definitely recommend The Haunting of Hill House. If you don’t feel like reading it, then at least read “The Lottery” as it is just as chilling.
Hello everyone! I was really hoping to post this review sooner but a storm took out the WiFi for a two days then I had to go out of town for a family reunion. The plus side of all of this was that I was finally able to finish this particular novel. I also got a whole new pile of novels plus Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Be sure to expect more book reviews soon. For now, I will give you my review of Vicious by V.E. Schwab.
Elliot “Eli” Cardale was on the brink of discovery. With the help of his roommate, Victor Vale, they were able to test the boundaries of human nature and unlock something supernatural. Unfortunately, this discovery leads the two brilliant and calculating young men down a dangerous path that they can’t come back from. Years later, Victor and Eli must face off in a merciless battle for revenge.
Vicious is a fast-paced and violent novel that doesn’t hold back. The characters are incredibly interesting as none of them can really be classified as “good guys.” It’s almost up to the reader to decide who the real protagonist is. Like I said, novel is fast-paced and it actually jumps around in time but it doesn’t lead to any confusion. Schwab excellently handles this non-linear story telling. There is plenty of gore and violence but it doesn’t take away from character development. One of the reviewers describes novel as “comic book-like” and I would have to agree with that. In fact, I would love to see this novel in comic book form. In conclusion, I highly recommend Schwab’s Vicious to any one looking for something violent and addictive to read.
Hi everyone. First of all, I’m really proud of doing two reviews in one weekend. Since Thanksgiving break is coming up for me, I’ve had a little bit of time to catch up on my reading. This book stood out to me in particular because I remember watching the movie adaptation when I was pretty young. It was the first R-rated movie I had ever seen. It’s certainly not the most intense movie but, for an 11-year-old, it was wild. We can all just admit that we went through a vampire phase in the early to mid – 2000s. I remember being obsessed with Twilight for a time. Dracula is still one of my favorite novels.I decided I wanted to read something in between Dracula and Twilight so I will now tell you what I thought about Interview with the Vampire.
A young man named Louis was riddled with guilt over his brother’s death when the mysterious Lestat appeared in his life. Louis soon falls victim to Lestat’s charms and finds himself transformed into a vampire. He is pulled down into a dark world of the undead and must navigate the dangerous society with the young Claudia by his side. After hundreds of years, Louis decides it is finally time to reveal his secrets to a young man and hold back nothing.
Like I said above, It’s been a while since I’ve read a vampire book and decided to give this one a shot. Anne Rice has written some of the most popular vampire novels. After reading this novel, I can see why. Louis makes for a great narrator as he is sympathetic and a bit of an underdog. He’s the closest thing to a protagonist in a book where there are little to no “good” characters. Normally, a book with one character talking would be boring to me but I found myself enjoying it more than I thought. Lestat is one of the more intriguing antagonists with his charismatic and intense nature. Claudia was even creepier in the novel than she is in the movie but it makes for a good horror element. While the book isn’t super violent or graphic outside of what you might expect with all of the blood drinking, it has enough to make it intense. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in a supernatural novel, specifically a vampire one. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and I would read it again.
Note: Anne Rice is a bit of a controversial figure but her life is pretty interesting so I’m going to leave a link to her wikipedia page if you’re interested in reading more about her.
It’s hard for me not to gush over a singular author but I am reviewing another Neil Gaiman novel. This one, however, is also co-authored by the late and great Terry Pratchett. If you know anything about these authors, you know that they both have written some of the more unique and profound novels. With ample amounts of wit and unconventional ideas, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is a hilarious clever read.
Good Omens starts with the friendship between an angel named Aziraphale and a demon named Crowley. The two develop an odd sort of friendship and engage in a friendly rivalry between Heaven and Hell. The two are assigned by the higher powers to be the godparents of the Antichrist and guide him to decide between good and evil. Unfortunately, they find out they had been watching the wrong kid. Now, they must go search for the real Antichrist who is blissfully unaware of his powers. Meanwhile, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are plotting to destroy the world, a young man joins a witch hunting army out of boredom, and a young witch tries to see if her distant relative was actually a nutter. These strange but fascinating plots weave together to create one entertaining and amazing read.
Good Omens has a dry, sarcastic, absurd, and sometimes dirty sense of humor. Despite the initial strangeness of the narratives, its easy to get sucked in by the combined writing of Pratchett and Gaiman. Anyone looking for a humorous take on the supernatural and spiritual is guaranteed to enjoy this novel. It’s a quick enough read with an eclectic cast of characters that are both human and not. The story lines all come together to form a wild ride that will keep you laughing and intrigued until the very end.