Author: Grady Hendrix
You don’t have to wait long for creepy things to start happening in “Horrorstör”. Employees of Orsk, a knock-off IKEA, have been dealing with weird things since the store opened. Staff keep getting lost on the floor, are receiving text messages that say “help” from blocked numbers and the furniture is trashed while the store is closed. Amy, a disenchanted employee, can care less about all this. Her main goal is to fly under manager Basil’s radar until her transfer comes in. When corporate sets a date for a team of evaluators to visit, Basil panics. He’s desperate to figure out who is vandalizing the store before corporate’s arrival. So, he bribes Amy into staying overnight with him to catch the culprit. As the night deepens, Amy begins to realize they’re trapped inside the building with a malevolent entity bent on “reconditioning” them.
Seeing as I’ve definitely gotten lost in the twisting labyrinth of an IKEA store before, I loved the idea of a haunted knock-off version. Orsk’s similar windowless floor layout is what made it such a great setting for a ghost story. It was easily believable that the characters would have such a hard time escaping the store, especially in the dark with things hunting them. Continue reading
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Nadia Stafford #3.5
For a lot of fans of the Nadia Stafford series, “Double Play” was a huge surprise. This series is a trilogy and not as popular as Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld or Young Adult books. So, fans had to wait years between each installment. When the third book, “Wild Justice” finally hit shelves, I hadn’t expected Armstrong to write anything further in that world. So, I was thrilled to see notification of this novella’s release pop-up in my email. Did I want to read a little more about Nadia and Jack? Why, yes. Yes I did.
Author: Thea Harrison
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Elder Races #4.7
“Hunter’s Season” is definitely the best out of the Elder Races novellas. While I thoroughly enjoyed all the others, my biggest complaint always centered around how the main plot was handled. The other novellas had fairly large plots and felt like they really should have been full length titles. The result was intricate plots getting wrapped up too easily (“True Colors“), left feeling unfinished (“Natural Evil“), or feeling extremely rushed (“Devil’s Gate“). Luckily, that wasn’t the case here. Continue reading
Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike
Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Illustrator: Emma Rios
Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick is a comic that borrows from several genres. The most prominent ones being western, folktales and horror. In 2014, it was nominated for a handful of Eisner Awards and I can see why. The illustrations by Emma Rios are gorgeous and the writing, as always with DeConnick, is fabulous.
I blasted through this volume pretty quick on a 45 minute bus ride one morning. (Warning: for those of you who like to read on your commutes: if you’re considering doing that with this one, you probably don’t want to take that empty seat next to the little old lady. There is nudity and sex on several pages, which makes for some “I’m judging you” side-eye. Don’t be like me.) Continue reading
The Fire Rose
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Elemental Masters #1
The Fire Rose is the first book in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, which re-imagines classic fairy-tales. This one is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but is set in the early 1900’s in California.
Rosalind Hawkins is screwed. She had been in the middle of getting her masters degree when her father died; leaving behind a mountain of debt and no way to pay it all off. Now all Rose has to her name is a couple of ratty dresses and a handful of worthless mementos. And, since this is 1905, her options of employment are pretty limited. So, when Rose receives a job offer to be a governess for the railroad baron, Jason Cameron, she accepts it and moves to San Francisco. Continue reading
House of Many Shadows
Author: Barbara Michaels
Publish Date: 1974
Genre: Gothic Mystery
Rating: A –
In House of Many Shadows, Meg Rittenhouse is having hallucinations after being hit by a car. Her doctor had told her to expect this and that they’ll eventually wear off. But after seeing an elephant strolling down a busy street in New York, Meg has decided to find somewhere more relaxing to live. So, she calls up her rich cousin, Sylvia, for help. Sylvia agrees that Meg needs help and offers to let her stay at the large Victorian house she owns in the country. But the house has a twisted history and suddenly Meg is having joint hallucinations with Sylvia’s step-son, Andy, about a family that lived on the grounds before the current house was even built.
Meg and Andy join together to discover who the people are in their visions and why there are shadows lurking around the house at night. As their research starts going deeper into what happened to the family who previously lived on the property, the hallucinations start becoming more real and revealing. The great thing about this book is that both Meg and Andy have had some issues that keeps you guessing if what they’re seeing is really paranormal or if they’re just feeding off of each other. Continue reading
Author: Patrick Süskind
Perfume follows the life of fictional serial killer Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in 18th century France. From the minute he’s born, the people who come into contact with Grenouille recoil from him without truly knowing why. As Grenouille ages, we see him develop from an emotionless child to a full grown adult who develops a sick obsession.
Throughout the entire novel the reader is in Grenouille’s head. It’s this and the extreme lack of humanity we experience through Grenouille that makes this book so creepy. The narrator likens Grenouille to a tick, a person with cold detachment from anything remotely resembling human emotion and with a self-serving drive that is the only thing spurring him onward through life.
Grenouille lacks a key component that signals humanness, a scent. His lack of a scent immediately disturbs people, even if most of them don’t understand why they have such a strong aversion to him. Because of this, Grenouille gets passed around until he’s an adult. Yet, despite seeing how sadly his childhood unfolds, Grenouille evokes no sympathy because he has no emotional reaction to anything that happens to him. He just accepts whatever is thrown his way and quietly watches the world while he bides his time. When Grenouille finally decides what he wants to pursue, he does so in a methodical and ruthless style that is chilling in how easily he seems to accomplish it.
If you’re looking for a quietly creepy book to read for Halloween this year, I highly recommend giving this one a shot.