Review: A Time of Torment (Charlie Parker, #14) by John Connolly

25930352 (1)Another great book by Connolly. Again, the ending of this book left me with chills and excitement of things yet to come. I really really REALLY wish Connolly would stop tormenting us with hints of the daughters and what they are capable of. Ha! I’m sick and anxious over them…and a wee bit scared as well!

For those that haven’t read Connolly before, you don’t HAVE to read his prior books to enjoy his works…however, there is so much story and history in the previous works. You won’t get lost having not read the previous books, but you won’t understand all the good stuff either. The layers and layers of history and characters that Connolly has interwoven. Charlie Parker really inspired those around him. Not all of those inspirations are positive. Some of them are borderline worshiping. And all of them are relevant. Imagine these novels are going to a wonderful city…yes, you can enjoy the city no matter what, but only a true local knows all the ins and outs that the city can offer. Those places not found in the tourist attractions. The very same is true for Charlie Parker. You learn much from Parker himself, but so much can be gained by the people that surround him in life.

Finally, I have to say, these characters are getting so rich and so many that I am thinking about starting a Charlie Parker notebook…So many characters that show up from novel to novel and so much of their stories growing and expanding…even though I’ve read of them in the past, I still feel as if I am missing some stuff because I can’t remember them all in all the details.

Of course that might just be an excuse my mind is using to go back and reread all the books!

Please, go read some Charlie Parker books…you won’t be disappointed…he’s really turning out to be a long time favourite of mine!

Until next time…
Urania

ARC provided by netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now A Time of Torment by John Connolly

Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

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I love a good ghost story.  Sure, blood and gore are fine.  But the scariest stories take you right to the edge and no farther, leaving your imagination to conjure things far scarier than the author’s words alone could ever manage.  This one from Katie Alender does just that.

When Delia’s aunt passes away, it comes as a surprise that she’s left her home to Delia.  Sure, they wrote to each other from time to time.  But they weren’t especially close, or at least that’s how it seemed to Delia.  But apparently she was wrong.  So off she goes with her mom, dad, and sister to clean out the rambling estate and sell it off.

She wasn’t prepared, however, to be the owner of an abandoned insane asylum.  And not only that, but it’s haunted.  When the first odd happenings start, she brushes it off as just her imagination. But then things get too real too fast.  And then Delia’s dead.

Here’s where the real fun begins.  Now she’s one of them.  She can see, feel, and communicate with the other ghosts at Hysteria Hall.  And boy, are there plenty of them.  It seems that more than a few patients didn’t ever leave.  Now they’re stuck there forever.  Delia probably could have resigned herself to wandering the hallways for eternity.  Until her family comes back to the house.  She can’t just sit around and watch her sister suffer the same fate she did.

This was a fun book to read.  Lots of ghosts with great descriptions, high on the goosebumps factor, and high on the page-turning scale.  Also a great read for young adults!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall

Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

  
Detective Cormoran Strike’s assistant Robin receives a special delivery – of a severed leg. And that’s the impetus for following around dangerous and seedy characters from Strike’s past. 

This book is way more gory and psycho than the first two – and definitely too much so for my tastes. But it’s a beautifully written book with just enough clues to make you feel like you should have known who the culprit was all along. Personally, I liked the side stories of Robin’s fiancé and Cormoran’s superficial love life. I also liked traipsing around city and country alike, accompanying Robin in shadowy doorways and looking out for the bad guys. 

Excellent read. 

-calliope

Buy: Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike Book 3)

Review: Slade House by David Mitchell

24499258Anyone that knows me already knows I am not a huge fan of short stories…However, there have been a few stories in anthologies that I have read that have helped me find some new (to me) authors that I want to read more of. This novel isn’t part of an anthology, however, it was interesting enough and entertaining enough to make me add Mitchell to a list of authors that I want to read more of. I did love the different characters that each told a new chapter in this book. I loved the concept of Slade House. The only real complaint I can make is that I wanted more. I wanted the full meal deal and not just the fast food shortened version I received. It was also more than a little bit creepy. A perfect late autumn read. Even better if it’s on a cold night whilst a storm is brewing outside…that way you have a valid excuse to hide under some warm covers…

I can’t wait to read another (longer) work of David Mitchell so I can read it, review it and share my thoughts of with fellow readers….

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgallery for an honest review

Buy it now Slade House by David Mitchell

Review: Wonderland by Jennifer Hillier

wonderland-9781501115189_hrJennifer Hillier is one messed up writer. And I mean that in the best possible way. I mean, how else can you explain the brilliance of Creep, Freak, and then the Butcher? And then along comes this one. And there are clowns. And scary dolls. All of the most important elements of one heck of a scary story.

Vanessa is forced to return to her hometown after a scandal nearly cost her a career. With the help of some much needed connections, she’s able to secure a job as Seaside’s chief of police. There’s some comfort in bringing her children home to the place where she grew up, a small touristy town that owes its existence to the omnipresent Wonderland. Everyone wants to be there, and everyone has been at one time or another.

But her less than happy homecoming is thwarted when she’s immediately thrown into the thick of things. A dead man has been found inside the amusement park, after hours no less. And he’s been dead for a very long time. Is this connected to the spate of missing teens that nobody wants to talk about? And what kind of secrets are lurking behind the gates of Wonderland, just under the smells of cotton candy and the cheerful sound of carnival music?

At the very surface, this is your basic scary-mystery-serial killer-slasher story. All the elements of the genre are there. But it goes much deeper than that, thanks to the brilliance of the author. She knows how to set the stage and how to build suspense from page one. This story is scary, and the fears are real. Grab it and settle in for a good read. With the lights turned down low. And then be prepared to sleep with the lights turned back on.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Wonderland

Review: The Executioner’s Daughter by Jane Hardstaff

9781405268288When I was a kid, I loved simple horror stories. Just enough to raise the goosebumps on your arm, maybe a bit more to keep you awake at night. And I still love those kinds of stories today. The problem is, especially for me as a teacher, most scary stories don’t fall within the acceptable range for younger readers. This one by Jane Hardstaff is an exception to that rule.

Meet Moss, a young girl who lives alone with her dad. Dear old Dad just happens to be the executioner of the Tower of London. And Moss is responsible for collecting the heads after each beheading, catching them as they drop and putting them in a basket. It’s the only life she’s every known, and her dad is the only parent she’s ever had since her mom died during childbirth.

But there’s more to that story than Moss has ever been told, and it’s the reason they can’t leave the Tower of London. When Moss finds a way out, she’s inexplicably drawn to the river. The river is slow and steady some days, fast and unpredictable on others. And there’s something lurking just under the surface, something that’s taking young children. Moss discovers that she’s tied to the river in a way she never dreamed possible, going all the way back to her mom’s death.

This book was a pleasant surprise. Not that I was expecting bad things, but you just never know. It’s historical, most definitely, but it has a healthy dose of paranormal/thriller thrown in. And I have to say, this is the first book I’ve read that’s set in Tudor times. This is a story that I’ll definitely be recommending to some young readers who I know. And the sequel, River Daughter, is high at the top of my TBR list.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Executioner’s Daughter

Review: The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

20454635This was a fun book to read. I love the way that Seth Grahame-Smith writes and have enjoyed several of his books.

Although it’s described as the sequel to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, it actually serves as a prequel as well. We get a good look at Henry Sturges in his pre-vampire era and find out how he came to be. There’s an excellent description of what happened after the conclusion of the previous story that was very satisfying to me as a reader. And, we find out that many of the major events, tragic ones especially, in our world’s history had the influence of vampires woven all within their thread.

A minor note on a personal level-this one was a bit harder for me to fall into and then to follow along with because it does bounce around a bit more than the earlier book. Still, the historical events are so accurately written about with Henry easily part of the story that it’s a book I would definitely recommend!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Last American Vampire