An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman #BookReview

HorrorOct2015

An English Ghost Story ~ Kim Newman

new3
Format: Paperback, 315 pages
Publication Details: October 7th 2014 by Titan Books
Genre(s): Horror; Supernatural
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it.

Goodreads // Purchase

A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most—threatening to destroy them from the inside out.

Review

This was the last book I read for Horror October, and I’m so glad because I finished the month on a high.

An English Ghost Story was exactly what I was looking for! It was a book which started with promise. I was absorbed from the beginning even before anything spooky happened and then it built up its suspense and creepiness in a masterful, almost majestic way.

The Naremore family move into a grand old house in the countryside which was previously owned by a famous children’s author whose popular series of books were about a haunted boarding school. It turns out that these books were a lot less fictitious than anyone would have believed.

However, the ghosts, spirits, or presences (however you would like to refer to them) struck the Naremore family as friendly, and they found The Hollow an enchanted place to live. A place where they were finally happy; it had brought the family together in a way they had not felt before.

Unfortunately for them…the family had been lulled into a false sense of security and bit by bit, the ‘others’ in the house start to make life very difficult in The Hollow. The dream home, becomes a nightmare. They are turned against each other, and it looks as if they won’t wake up until there’s no one left.

This book was delicious for a horror fan like me. Ghost stories aren’t usually my favourite because I often find them unbelievable and just not scary enough, but I loved how ‘real’ An English Ghost Story felt. It gradually built up momentum as the house began to turn against them and slowly pulled their family apart. I couldn’t put it down.

It was funny in places, certainly creepy, and had some great gory, gross-out moments, but it felt magical too; it had a whimsical feel about it, like reading through a dream.

I was very impressed by my first delve into Kim Newman’s imagination, and I can’t wait to read more. Maybe I’ll finally get round to Anno Dracula now!

unicorn rating 4

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Autumn TBR List

icon4-ttt

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

This week the topic is: the Top Ten Books on our Autumn to-be-read Lists.

Whenever these seasonal TBR topics come up I always cringe because I know I probably never got through the books on my previous list. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that I did actually read six out of the ten books on my Summer list this time round though, go me.

And so on to Autumn, which is one of my favourite times of the year, especially where reading is concerned. I love curling up on the sofa, under a million blankets to keep warm, with a good book.

This list is comprised of the ten books I’m most looking forward to reading over the next couple of months, in no particular order. Some of the books will be read for my annual Horror October, some are new/upcoming releases, and some are the ones on the top of my physical TBR pile.

Click on the book covers for Goodreads

1. Edgar Allan Poe: Stories and Poems (Classics Reimagined)

autumn1-poe This book was a birthday gift and it’s so awesome! I’ve been waiting for the nights to draw in to pick it up!

Rockport Books revisit the classics in a new series lushly illustrated by some of today’s most endearing and sought-after artists. These aren’t your typical classics–our artists reinterpret these stories and create a stunning presentation unlike any you’ve ever seen. Book enthusiasts and artisans will want to collect the entire series.

Renowned artist David Plunkert takes readers on a dark journey into the gothic stories of Edgar Allan Poe, through his luscious imagery. These stories take on a whole new meaning when accompanied by Plunkert’s mystical, and sometimes spooky interpretations. With this edition of the Classics Reimagined series, you’ll think classics boring, nevermore!

2. Seize the Night ~ Various

seizethenight This one is at the top of my list for Horror October.

A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins.

Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again.

Edited by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and featuring all-new stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon, Seize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest.

Expected publication: October 6th 2015 by Gallery Books

3. The Light That Gets Lost ~ Natasha Carthew

thelightthatAnother upcoming release that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there’s no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he’s only small, he swears that he’ll get revenge one day.

Years later, Trey enters a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It’s packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey’s been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he’s he not here for saving: this is where he’ll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.

Expected publication: November 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Childrens

4. The Lost Girl ~ R.L Stine

thelostgirlI love that the Fear Street books have been relaunched, I’ll be interested to see how this compares to the Point Horror books I loved as a child. I’m hoping to do a feature about it for Horror October.

Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine’s bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine’s avid fan base of teen readers and adults.

New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident.

Soon, Michael’s friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago.

Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.

Expected publication: September 29th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin

5. Behind Closed Doors ~ Elizabeth Haynes

behindclosedI missed this one the first time around, but thanks to Netgalley I have a copy of the relaunched edition waiting for me. I really loved Into the Darkest Corner so looking forward to this one.

‘To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror . . .’

Ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished without a trace during a family holiday to Greece. Not being able to find Scarlett was one of the biggest regrets of DCI Louisa Smith’s career and when Scarlett is discovered back in her home town after all this time, Lou is determined to find out what happened to her and why she remained hidden for so long. Was she abducted or did she run away?

As Lou and her team delve deeper into Scarlett’s past, their investigation throws up more questions than it answers. But as they edge closer to the truth about what really went on behind closed doors, it is more sinister and disturbing than they had ever imagined.

6. The Winter Place ~ Alexander Yates

thewinterplace I was thrilled to get approved for this ARC, it sounds soooo good!

When a mysterious stranger and his brown bear show up on the same day that Axel and Tess’s father dies in an accident, Axel fears he might be going crazy, especially as only he can see them. However, the strange duo are quickly forgotten when Axel and Tess are shipped off to Finland to stay with grandparents that they’ve never met. But when they arrive in Finland, Axel is stunned when the stranger and his bear reappear. More incredibly, the stranger tells him that his parents are lost and need help. Desperate to see his father again, and actually meet his mother, Axel follows the man and his bear, disappearing deep into the frozen wilds of northern Finland.

When Tess realises that her brother has vanished she’s distraught. And so begins the frantic search across snow and ice into the dark forest. But as the hours creep by and with no sign of Axel, Tess begins to wonder if her brother has ventured onto a path that she cannot follow.

Delving into the timeless, fantastical world of Nordic mysticism, set against the harsh beauty of a frozen landscape, The Winter Place is an imaginative, beautiful story of loss, love and hope, a story of family, and of a brother and sister who find each other again.

Expected publication: October 22nd 2015 by Simon & Schuster Children

7. Alice in Zombieland ~ Gena Showalter

alice2
I’ve been meaning to give this series a try ever since it came out. I only recently grabbed myself a copy so hopefully I’ll get round to it soon.

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that’s all it takes. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

8. An English Ghost Story ~ Kim Newman

new3
I think this was the only book I didn’t get round to reading on my Horror October list last year, so I have to include it this year too.

A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most—threatening to destroy them from the inside out.

A stand-alone novel from acclaimed author Kim Newman.

9. The Black Tongue ~ Marko Hautala

blacktongue
Sounds terrifying! I think I’m going to have buy a copy of this. It’s flown to the top of my wishlist!

For generations, the urban legend of Granny Hatchet has plagued the quiet residential area of Suvikylä in northern Finland. As the story goes, this immortal killer murders her victims with a hatchet, then buries the hearts in a potato field and eats them after they’ve rotted black. But not everyone is convinced it is just a story.

Maisa Riipinen has returned to her hometown to complete her dissertation on urban folklore at the same time that Samuel Autio has come home to arrange his father’s funeral. As hazy, disturbing memories from their pasts meld with strange events in the present, Maisa and Samuel attempt to make sense of the town’s fearful obsession with the mythical Granny Hatchet. But if it’s only a legend, then why are people still vanishing without a trace?

From Finnish author Marko Hautala comes The Black Tongue, a gripping novel about a terrifying story with the power to silence—and the power to make those who dare speak disappear.

Expected publication: September 22nd 2015 by AmazonCrossing

10. Winter ~ Marissa Meyer

wintermeyer
I couldn’t not include this. It’s definitely one of my most anticipated releases this year, never mind this Autumn!

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Expected publication: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends

Can’t wait to see what you guys chose – feel free to leave your link 🙂

This Week In Books 02.09.15

icon2

Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

I’m keeping it short again this week as I haven’t bought any new books or put any requests in…boo to busy life!

twib29

Now: The Wolf Wilder ~ Katherine Rundell// The Turning Test ~ Chris Beckett

I’m liking The Wolf Wilder so far – it’s really getting me in the mood for Autumn. Get the blankets out! I’m still going on my lunch-time read too.

Then: Beneath the Lake ~ Christopher Ransom

This left me a little deflated after a great start 😦 My review will be up on Saturday.

Next: ???

I still need to start This Crumbling Pageant by Patricia Burroughs as part of my review request mission, but I also have lots of September releases on Netgalley to get through. Busy, busy.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Thanksgiving ~ Mary R. Arno

I like the sound of this one.

thanksgiving
New Orleans, Summer 1965: Nancy Drew, the Beatles, Hurricane Betsy. For four young people, it is a time for sailing lessons, clandestine cigarettes, facts of life, guilty secrets. Playing girl detectives, Peg and Emmaline hitchhike to the Winn Dixie, where Emmaline hopes to find her runaway sister. Harry, Emmaline’s brother, lurks on the edges of their toxic, disjointed family. Meanwhile, Mimi catches the measles at her family’s summer cottage. Sent home with the family’s housekeeper, she gets a taste for grown-up adventure and a glimpse of the compromises and deceit that come with it.

As seasons and years go by, each of the four must come to terms with what happened that summer and what they did—or didn’t do. Thanksgiving slowly reveals the adult ugliness festering beneath the summer idylls of childhood.

Expected Publication: November 26th by Koehler

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

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

September 2014 on Lipsyy Lost & Found/ October Releases

September hasn’t been my best month, reading wise and beyond.

I had a successful month free of booze (hurrah), but I also had to start job hunting, which left less time to read than usual (not hurrah). However, I’m trying to see the whole palaver as an opportunity. On to bigger and better things…I hope.

But for now, let’s just get on with the stats…

Total Posts: 24
Books Read: 5

Reviews (5):

  • Trust In Me by Sophie McKenzie, 4/5 (View)
  • Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, 3/5 (View)
  • Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah, 5/5 (View)
  • Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead, 3/5 (View)
  • How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, 4/5 (View)

Read But Not Yet Reviewed: N/A

The Breakdown

Most Surprising: Of Scars and Stardust
Most Disappointing: Prince of Thorns
Most Exciting: Of Scars and Stardust
Most Swoon-worthy: Shadow Kiss
Most Beautifully Written: Of Scars and Stardust

Genres: YA (3/5); Thriller/Mystery (2/5); Dystopian (1/5); Supernatural/Paranormal (1/5); Fantasy (1/5)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/5); Paperback (3/5); Owned (1/5); Borrowed (2/5)

Friday Features:

  • Book Event Envy (View Post)
  • Horror October: Ghostly Guest Posts & Slimy Submissions Wanted (still open!) (View Post)

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights:

Most Viewed Posts:

 

Added to the Shelves:

I lifted my book buying ban to buy some books for Horror October…and The Maze Runner for good measure.
septbuys

Netgalley Approvals:

septnet

Awards

botm - sept
cotm - sept

mlft - oct

October Releases

Here are the October releases I’m most excited about:
octcoll

Available to pre-order from Waterstones.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to read this Autumn

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 ten books on my Autumn to-be-read list

Some of these are my reads for Horror October, and some are just the ones at the top of my TBR pile.

tttautumn

tttaut2

Coming Soon!

16129308
Title: Let the Games Begin
Author:Niccolò Ammaniti
Details: Translated
Expected Publication: 1st August 2013 by Canongate Books

In Let the Games Begin, internationally best-selling author Niccolò Ammaniti, winner of the prestigious Strega Prize, fuses a riotous dose of anarchic absurdity with a clear-eyed critique of contemporary society caught in a narcissistic spiral of longing and striving.

It begins on the night of the most decadent party of the century. A rags-to-riches real estate magnate has planned an over-the-top weekend safari for the who’s-who of celebrities at his sprawling residence in Villa Ada—once a public park, now the largest private home in Rome. Starlets, politicians, soccer stars, and intellectuals all turn up to rub elbows. Among them is a neurotically charming author struggling to write his next literary tome and pining for renewed recognition. In an unexpected turn of events, he crosses paths with The Wilde Beasts of Abaddon, a satanic sect planning to ruin the evening’s festivities in order to go down in history as a world-famous cult. What was intended as the most spectacular fête of the year quickly descends into apocalyptic chaos. In this satirical tragicomedy, Ammaniti reveals a side of modern culture riddled with superficiality and vulgarity that nourishes our deepest dreams and insecurities.

17262197
Title: The Wolves of Midwinter (The Wolf Gift Chronicles #2)
Author: Anne Rice
Details: Hardback
Expected Publication: November 7th 2013 by Random House UK, Vintage Publishing

It is the beginning of December and it is cold and grey outside. In the stately flickering hearths of the grand mansion of Nideck Point, oak fires are burning. The Morphenkinder are busy getting ready for the ancient pagan feast of midwinter. Everyone is invited, including some of their own who do not wish them well…

Reuben Golding, the newest of the Morphenkinder, is struggling with his new existence as a Man Wolf, struggling to learn to control his desires and bloodthirsty urges. His pure, luminous girlfriend Laura seems all set to join him in this new way of life, but Reuben is not at all certain he will love her if she becomes as he is. Beyond the mansion, the forest echoes with howling winds, which carry with them tales of a strange nether world, and of spirits – centuries old – who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and taunt with their dark, magical powers.

As preparations for the feast gather pace, destiny continues to hound Reuben, not least in the form of a strange, tormented ghost who appears at the window, unable to speak. But he is not alone: before the festivities are over, choices must be made – choices which will decide the fate of the Morphenkinder for ever.

I’m really excited about both of these!

Top Ten Tuesday #4: Top ten books on my to-be-read pile this Autumn

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten Books on my to-be-read pile this Autumn.

These aren’t all necessarily new books, but they are the ones I have lined up that I am most exited to read in the next few months.

Autumn Reads2

Autumn Reads1

Feel free to leave a comment with the link to your TTT post so I can check them out!