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TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : Oct 2022

TS’s Monthly Wrap-Up : Oct 2022

Hello all, and welcome to my Spooky October monthly wrap-up where I had been reading books within the horror genre.   I did make a couple of changes to my reading list for the month, and was also not able to read as many titles as I wanted to as one of these changes resulted in chonker of a story which surprisingly turned out to be much better than I’ve anticipated.

NB. Books are rated within its genre.  For avoidance of doubt, rereads are not considered for Book of the Month.

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Book Review: 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Book Review: 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill


20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

20th Century Ghosts is not the first short story collection I’ve read by Hill, but it’s the first one he released. As a whole, I think it might be a touch stronger than Full Throttle, a more recent short story collection of his I read in 2019. However, I also found the individual stories largely less memorable. It was more even across the board, but that meant that there were fewer that stood out to me. That being said, I really enjoyed my time with this collection, and there wasn’t a single story that I legitimately hated. In a collection of 15 stories, I’d say that’s a pretty fantastic achievement. Below are micro-reviews of each story.

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Book Review: Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Book Review: Fairy Tale by Stephen King


Fairy Tale by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“That much is true about songs (and many stories) even in my own world. They speak mind to mind, but only if you listen.”

Fairy Tale has been one of my most anticipated reads of the 2022 since it was announced. I preordered it in February, the day it first became available. So to say my expectations were sky-high would be an understatement. Reading anything you’ve been looking forward to for that long with your hopes for it residing somewhere in the clouds is always a tenuous undertaking. While Fairy Tale didn’t disappoint, it couldn’t quite live up to the hype in my head.

“it’s the stories of our childhood that make the deepest impressions and last the longest.”

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Book Review: Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks

Book Review: Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks


Prey Without Ceasing by Andrew Franks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I became friends with Andrew Franks on TikTok before I realized he was an author, because I enjoyed his taste and his content. When he reached out offering a code to the audiobook for Prey Without Ceasing, I was both excited and nervous. I tend to shy away from reading books written by people I’ve developed any kind of relationship with, because I try to be as (kindly) honest as I can be about every book I read, and this has cost me relationships in the past. But the synopsis of this book called to me so strongly that I accepted his offer and also purchased the Kindle book so I could tandem read and make notes. I made the right decision. This was definitely a book worth reading, and I related to portions of it so deeply that it was painful.

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Book Review: The Golden Age (Locke & Key #6.5) by Joe Hill

Book Review: The Golden Age (Locke & Key #6.5) by Joe Hill


Locke & Key: The Golden Age by Joe Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I read the original 6 volumes of Locke & Key, I fell head-over-heels in love with every element of it: the story, the art, the characters, the concepts, the setting, all of it completely enchanted me. I consider it one of my favorite series of all time, and definitely my favorite series of graphic novels I’ve ever read. Every single volume was a 5 star experience. I wouldn’t have changed a single sentence or frame. It’s one of those rare instances where the art and the prose carry equal weight in the story, and something about Rodriguez’s art style stole my heart as surely as Hill’s writing did. I loved every single thing about it.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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