Browsed by
Tag: Horror

Book Review: Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery, by Brom

Book Review: Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery, by Brom


Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brom is almost distressingly talented. Not only is the man a brilliant artist, he has a deft hand and quick wit when it comes to storytelling. Krampus was the first book I had ever read by him, and it was one of my top reads of 2021. This book didn’t hit me quite as hard, but it did prove to me that Krampus was definitely not a one-off. Slewfoot is an exploration of control through religion, the subjugation of women under the patriarchy, the dangers of suppression when mingled with superstition, and the near mystical ability of nature to heal herself from wounds inflicted by man. And on top of all that, it’s just a fun, if brutal, story.

“Angels must often do dark deeds in the name of the Lord.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7) by Stephen King

Book Review: The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7) by Stephen King


The Dark Tower by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dark Tower is the pentacle of Stephen King’s magnum opus, and I’ve been terrified to get to it. King isn’t known for nailing his landings, and this one is especially controversial. I was afraid that, after reading 8,781 pages, or 3,951,408 words, on my long road to the Tower, I would be left feeling woefully disappointed, and as if I had wasted my time. I’m here to tell you that, thankfully, that isn’t the case. After reading the final pages of The Dark Tower I can safely say that this is my favorite completed series of all time. I’ve never read anything else like it. The only series that I think will eventually surpass it is Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives, but it will be well over a decade before that is completed. In the meantime, The Dark Tower stands alone among completed series for me. As it should.

“The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high… but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.”


There will be some vague spoilers here, though I’ll not mention any name save Roland’s. I simply don’t know how else to discuss a final book in a series so large. Skip to the end or turn back now if you wish to go into or continue this series knowing as little as possible.

Read More Read More

Book Review: Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6) by Stephen King

Book Review: Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6) by Stephen King


Song of Susannah by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Song of Susannah is the penultimate installment in King’s magnum opus, The Dark Tower. And though I still wouldn’t consider it a bad book by any means, I do believe it’s the weakest in the series since The Gunslinger. That being said, I still very much enjoyed my time in this world and with these characters. I was absorbed the entire time, and the tension was palpable. Even when King isn’t at his best, there’s something about his writing that just sucks me in and won’t let me go, even after I’ve read the final pages.

“In the Land of Memory the time is always Now.
In the Kingdom of Ago, the clocks tick… but their hands never move.
There is an Unfound Door
and memory is the key which opens it.”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) by Stephen King

Book Review: Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) by Stephen King


Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first read The Gunslinger, I wasn’t a fan. But I was determined to get past that first book, because I know King views The Dark Tower as his magnum opus and I really wanted to at least try to read that. Then I got to The Drawing of the Three and fell in love it. I couldn’t help but think that it would be the highlight of the entire series for me, but then I read The Wastelands. And Wizard and Glass. And The Wind Through the Keyhole. And I’ve loved them all just as much. Wolves of the Calla was no exception. I would have never thought that a western-horror-fantasy would become one of my favorite series of all time, and yet here we are. If King doesn’t drop the ball in the last two books, this will have quite possibly been the most epic literary experience of my life.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

Book Review: The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean


The Book Eaters
 by Sunyi Dean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 304 pages (Hardcover Edition)
Published: 2nd August 2022 Tor Books (US), 18th Aug 2022 HarperVoyager (UK)


The Book Eaters is a feast of a story, with an aperitif of supernatural mystery, an amuse-bouche of family politics, three courses of contemporary Gothic horror, a vintage bottle of vengeance and a well-earned finale where diners get their just desserts.

Devon is a book eater, part of a race of supernatural entities that consumes tomes while absorbing the knowledge they contain. Devon is raising her five-year-old son Cai, who is not a book eater, but a mind-eater: he must sustain himself by feeding on the brains of others. This process is more vampiric than zombie: the feedings imprint the victims’ personalities upon Cai, so this five-year-old must contend with multiple identities constantly fighting for control of his mind.

Female book eaters are rare, so Devon’s Family—and the other Families of book eaters across modern day United Kingdom—arrange temporary marriages between Houses for procreative purposes. Eater women are used as little more than birthing cows before being forcibly separated from their children and moved onto the next marriage. It’s a patriarchal society full of empty promises and it’s horrifying.

The narrative structure of the book divides its time between Devon’s past, alternating chapters with present day Devon and Cai on the run. Dean is a brilliant world-builder, farming out just enough bits of information along the way to help fill in the gaps of Devon’s early years while helping the reader understand her motivation and goals in the present timeline. Not all is as it seems.

Everyone is a monster in this book, and they are all terrifying. Flashes of Atwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale rears its ugly head as Devon’s desperation becomes agonizing and palpable. One of my favorite themes of the story is how painful love can be, and this is a driver of so many of Devon’s major life choices, which sometimes lead to ruin. But throughout it all, there is a sliver of hope for a way out. All the years of terror and loneliness and desperation might lead to freedom and companionship with a side order of vengeance if her wild plans could somehow fall into place…

The Book Eaters is one of my top reads of the year. It is atmospheric, it is brutal, it is exciting and emotional, and I planned my evenings around it. It tackles themes of identity, parenthood, the dark side of love, the importance of hope and sacrifice, and what it means to grow up different. It resonated hard with me. Highly recommended.

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : March 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : March 2022

Hi everyone!  Wow, Middle Grade March was a very full month of reading for me.  Aside from the fact that that MG books tend to be easy and fast to read, most of the ones that we’ve chosen to buddy read for the month of March were very enjoyable as well.  In total, I’ve managed to complete 11 novels this month, which was quite a record.

I didn’t only read Middle Grade this month, as I was working towards finishing two adult series – The Winternight Trilogy and The Riyria Revelations, as well as continuing with some classic (horror) short stories from Edgar Allan Poe and Ray Bradbury.  I also couldn’t resist picking up a self-published stand-alone fantasy novel which everyone was raving about on social media, and I’m so glad that I’ve done so because it was definitely one of my Books of the Month.  Yups, I couldn’t pick between two novels for BotM.

So let’s get the show on the road shall we?

NB. Books are rated within its genre.

Read More Read More

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : February 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : February 2022

Hi everyone, I’m back with my monthly wrap-up for February.

With the shorter month and the Chinese festivities of the Lunar New Year (which means more time spent with family and friends instead of my nose in my books), I only managed to complete 5 novels, a couple of Sherlock Holmes novellas and a handful of short stories.

I’ll start with the novel which was the book of the month for me.

Read More Read More

Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King

Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King


The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The stories we hear in childhood are the ones we remember all our lives.”

The Wind Through the Keyhole is a story within a story within yet another story. It’s a Russian nesting doll of a book of the highest class. No, the highest caliber is a more fitting description, I suppose, for this gunslinger’s fairytale. I loved it in the same way I loved The Eyes of the Dragon, but perhaps even more fervently. Actually, I did something I don’t recall ever doing before; I left a bookmark right at the beginning of the fairytale portion when I re-shelved the book, so I could flip it open and read just that section whenever I choose.

“Sometimes I feel the world has come loose of its moorings.”
“It has,” I said. “But what comes loose can be tied tight again…”

Read More Read More

Book Review: Krampus: The Yule Lord, by Brom

Book Review: Krampus: The Yule Lord, by Brom


Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Picking up Krampus: The Yule Lord started out as a bit of a joke. I was reading A Christmas Carol, which has been my Christmas tradition for about a decade now, and decided to balance it out with something completely different. I went into Krampus fully expecting a horror novel that ripped Christmas apart. What I got was wildly different and infinitely more powerful. This book was profound and though-provoking and so much more emotional than I anticipated. Strangely enough, Krampus ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, providing a depth and nuance to famous and infamous figures that surprised me, as well as giving me a cast of new characters to root for. I have never been more pleasantly surprised by a book with such a disturbing cover. Which was also done by Brom. The man is an incredible artist.

Read More Read More

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire, #1) by Jay Kristoff

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been looking forward to Empire of the Vampire since the day it was announced. I pre-ordered it as soon as the link to do so went live. So to say that my expectations for this book were high would be a drastic understatement. Which makes it all the more impressive that I found those expectations not only met and surpassed, but completely blown away. I loved everything about this book, and after having loved the Nevernight trilogy fervently, Kristoff’s adult fantasy is something that I will immediately and always purchase.

“We are hope for the hopeless. The fire in the night. We will walk the dark as they do, and they shall know our names and despair. For so long as they burn, we shall be flame. So long as they bleed, we shall be blades. So long as they sin, we shall be saints.”

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: