Horror October Weeks 2-3

I kind of forgot to post the week 2 round-up, so here is a double whammy in case you missed anything. We wouldn’t want that now, would we!

Horror October Week 2-3 round-up: 8th – 21st (Click on the images to view the post

Revisiting The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (Review)

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Guest Post: When the 90s Come Back to Haunt You

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Top Ten Tuesday: To Visit or Not to Visit (10 creepy book locations)?

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Friday Feature: Must See TV

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Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner (Review)

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Friendship is a Haunted Doll

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Doll Bones by Holly Black

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Title: Doll Bones
Author: Holly Black
Series: N/A
Edition: Paperback, 256 pages
Publication Details: February 27th 2014 by Corgi Childrens
Genre(s): Children’s; Supernatural
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed a copy.

Goodreads
Purchase


My name is Eleanor Kerchner.

You can call me the Queen.

I died in 1895.

Now it’s time to play.

A chilling ghost story by the bestselling author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holly Black.

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

I loved everything about this book in theory. Unfortunately in reality, it didn’t quite deliver.

Doll Bones is very much a book with a message, or rather multiple messages.

Zach’s often absent father is back in his life and decides that it’s time for Zach to grow up. He believes he’s too old to play with action figures and dolls, and should be playing basketball instead of hanging around with his two female best friends.

So, in a moment of madness, and without warning, Zach’s father throws away all his toys, ending Poppy, Alice and his ongoing game of make-believe. Whilst Zach is trying to come to terms with this Poppy believes an old china doll they call The Queen is possessed with the spirit of a girl who was murdered, sending them on a real life spooky adventure.

I’ve heard Holly Black talk about this book and the messages within it, so I should have known what to expect. But I was a little disappointed. I didn’t expect these messages to be so blatant and overbearing. I realise that Doll Bones is aimed at a sightly younger audience than the books I usually read, which could explain it, but I really wished the story had a bit more of an edge.

I feel like the cover art and the synopsis suggests that this book is a lot more spooky than it actually was. I mean, I’m terrified of china dolls, so the idea of a doll made out of the ground-up bones of a little girl, and possessed by her should have at least resulted in a slight shudder, but it just didn’t.

It was too nice.

I’m sure if I’d read this when I was nine I would have liked it a lot more, but I still think I would have wanted more of the creep-factor.

That being said, it was a really adorable story about the pressures of growing-up and how it can affect even the closest of friendships. I also thought it was written really beautifully, so all is not lost.

I definitely want to read Holly Black’s YA books. I’m certain they’d more to my taste.

unicorn rating 3

Doll Bones is available in hardback and paperback at Waterstones now.

WWW Wednesday 22.10.2014

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! Here are my answers this week:

wwho3

Currently Reading:
I just started Killer Spiders by Lex Sinclair…I HATE spiders so I don’t know why I’m doing this to myself. Oh yes I do, Horror October of course! Not much to report yet other than it being very King-esque. There is a large cast of characters and it’s very descriptive. I’m yet to be hooked in though.

Recently Finished: I finished Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner which was a gruesome, action-packed Mermaid story. I really liked it. Check out my my review here.

Up Next:
I actually got through my Horror October reads quicker than I expected…I’m just a bit behind on the reviews, but watch this space. The books on the list that are left are An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman, and Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory, which is an ARC. They both look great!

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I want to Start

toptentuesday Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top New (ish) Series I Want To Start.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find enough books to do a Horror October twist on this week’s top ten… I admit defeat. So, here are ten new(ish) series of varying genres, (OK just YA then) that I want to start.

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Young Elites by Marie Lu
The Magisterium by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch
The Children of Camelot by Donna Hosie
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

tttc2

Landry Park by Bethany Hagen
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Veronica Mars by Rob Thomas
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare et al
The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo

Have you read any of these? Let me know if I neeeeeeeed to bump them up my list!

Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

icemass
Title: Ice Massacre
Author: Tiana Warner
Series: Ice Massacre #1
Edition: Paperback, 375 pages
Publication Details: September 18th 2014 by Rogue Cannon Publishing
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads
Amazon
Xpresso Book Tours

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.

I really enjoy stories that are rooted in mythology, and I haven’t read any based on mermaids so I was excited for this one.

Ice Massacre is centred around Meela who is just about to leave for the annual mermaid Massacre. She has been trained to be a warrior who will travel out to sea with nineteen other girls to fight the mermaids that have plagued Eriana Kwai for years.

The mermaids are beautiful and seductive, and use this seduction to enthral and kill men who come into contact with them. The Ice Massacre was once a man’s job, but this time it is girls that have been trained to kill in the hopes that the mermaid’s powers of seduction won’t work on them the same way, giving them an advantage.

I really enjoyed this book. It was completely action-packed. It started at a good pace and maintained it almost all the way through.

I liked that from the start we know Meela has a childhood secret that she keeps from her friends, and we then go back to when she was 10 years old to find out what it was.

It was a time when Meela had befriended a mermaid her own age, called Lysi. Lysi wasn’t evil like everyone said mermaids were. She was kind and fun, and Meela saw her in secret most days. Also at this time, Meela’s brother had still not returned from the previous year’s massacre, causing a lot of tension and sadness in their family.

This backstory was intriguing and suspenseful, and set up the present-day story well. I felt like I knew and understood Meela very early on, and I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to her and Lysi’s friendship. But one thing was for sure – it was obviously not going to end well.

There were so many great moments in this book. I loved how vicious the mermaids were, and that Warner didn’t shy away from graphic violence, just as the title suggests. But it is also a great coming of age story. Meela must come to terms with her past, conquer her enemies, and learn how to trust again.

I think a lot of people will find something to relate to in this book, just as long as you can stomach the bloody massacre. I couldn’t get enough…and I get the feeling there is room for a sequel…

unicorn rating 4

Friday Feature: Must See TV!

I hope I’m not being too premature here, but TV is getting good again, right?

Autumn always brings a fresh batch of shows just in time for us to start the yearly hibernation (I’m not the only one who does this…am I?), and I have a few on my not-to-miss list already. I haven’t started watching most of them yet…but I will. Soon.

Here’s what made the list last year.

Gotham

What’s the Story? This new US 16-parter takes us to a pre-Batman Gotham City with young detective James Gordon and the recently orphaned 12-year-old Bruce Wayne. We also see the original stories of the most famous Batman villains from The Joker, The Riddler and The Penguin to Poison Ivy and Catwoman.

Thoughts: Ryan from the O.C – LOL! It looks totally epic though.

Gotham aired on Fox in the US on 22nd September and just started in the UK last week, on 5.

The Strain

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What’s the Story? Based on the best-selling vampire novel trilogy, ‘The Strain’ follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Centre of Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.

Thoughts: I never got round to reading the book, mainly because it’s reeeeeeally long, and my friend Dora didn’t rate it much, but I’m intrigued to see how they’ve made it work on screen.

The Strain started last month in the UK, on Watch.

The Leftovers

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What’s the Story? Based on the novel of the same name, ‘The Leftovers’ tells the story of when the Rapture happened, but not quite like it was supposed to. Set just after the apocalypse, we follow the people who didn’t make the cut, and a world that will never be the same again.

Thoughts: The trailer looked interesting as did the premise but I wasn’t all that impressed with the first episode of this. I’m going to give it a couple more before making up my mind though. It’s got a pretty impressive cast so I was hoping for great things!

The Leftovers started in the UK last month on Sky Atlantic

The Knick

What’s the Story?
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this drama set in 1900 in New York City follows the lives and works of the staff of Knickerbocker Hospital including new lead surgeon, Dr. John Thackery played by Clive Owen.

Thoughts: I’m a sucker for Victorian Medical dramas. Or I would be if there were more of them around. I’m really intrigued by this. Clive Owen isn’t my favourite though. And that tash is scary.

The Knick started yesterday (16/10) on Sky Atlantic

The Missing

What’s the Story? Told using a fascinating narrative puzzle with twists and turns at every stage, The Missing follows Tony, played by James Nesbitt – a man who will do whatever it takes to find his missing child. When Oliver disappears on a holiday in France, Tony’s exhaustive search fractures his marriage to Emily, played by Frances O’Connor, and threatens to destroy his life.

Thoughts: Whenever I get excited about a BBC drama I feel like I’ve turned into my mother. Not that that’s a bad thing – my mum’s great (Hi mum, you can pay me later) – but y’know.

The Missing starts soon on BBC One.

AHS: Freakshow


What’s the Story?
The fourth season of anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Freak Show, is set in 1952 Jupiter, Florida. It tells the story of one of the last remaining freak shows in America, run by Jessica Lange’s German ex-pat Elsa, and their struggle for survival. Scroll through the gallery to see which of the cast are returning and to meet the new characters prepared to shock and terrify you this autumn.

Thoughts: I still haven’t watched the last season, Coven but I couldn’t not include this. I LOVED the first series, but I got a bit bored of the second one. I really hope this ends up being as good, and messed up, as it looks.

American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on 21st October in the UK, on FOX.

I am also slightly obsessed with Peaky Blinders at the moment. It is soooooo good. The Tom Hardy/Cillian Murphy combo is blowing my mind.

And, when is Broadchurch 2 happening?

WWW Wednesday 15.10.14

www_wednesdays4

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! Here are my answers this week:

WWWHO3

Currently Reading:
I’ve just started Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner. Not much to report so far but I’m really intrigued by the premise.

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Recently Finished:
I’ve been on a bit of a Horror October roll and have finished Doll Bones by Holly Black, Printer’s Devil Court by Susan Hill and Dark Satanic Mills by Julian and Marcus Sedgwick this week. All reviews will be up soon, Doll Bones, hopefully tomorrow.

Up Next:
More Horror October madness in the shape of Killer Spiders by Lex Sinclair (shudder) or Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory.