Horror October: Week 3 Wrap-up #HO17

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Well, that was another busy week! I took a few days off over the weekend so need to catch-up this week. Anyway, in case you missed anything last week, here is a handy summary of all the goings-on.

Horror October Week 3

 

Review: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

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30 Days of Horror:

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Day #14: Cruel Summer

Day #15: Department Zero

Day #16: The Merciless

Day #17: The Haunting

Day #18: Redder Than Blood

Day #19: Phantoms

Day #21: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day & Day #22: Ghostland

 

This Week in Books 18.10.17

 

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Flash Fiction Battle

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Entry #1: Holding On by Sean Seebach

Entry #2: Master of Cemeteries by Justin Bienvenue

Still to Come:

The last two entries for the Flash Fiction Battle and the vote will open shortly!

30 Days of Horror #18: Redder Than Blood #HO17 #30daysofhorror

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Join me for 30 Days of Horror in which we spotlight one horror book for each day until we reach Halloween!

Tonight’s horror book choice is by an author that I’ve been meaning to try for ages now. This book was only released in April, but when I first saw the cover I thought it was from the 90s or something. I like it! It’s a short story collection of horror-interpreted fairy-tales. Sounds awesome.

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Available in digital formats only, 209 pages

Published April 4th 2017 by DAW

A vampiric Snow White whose pious stepmother is her only salvation….
A supernatural Cinderella who strikes at midnight, leaving behind a prince mad with desire….
A sleeping beauty never meant to be woken…


In her World Fantasy Award-nominated short story collection, Red as Blood, Tanith Lee deconstructed familiar fairy tales, recapturing their original darkness and horror in haunting new interpretations. Behind gilded words and poised princesses, she exposed a sinister world of violence, madness, and dangerous enchantments.


With Redder than Blood, Lee resumes the tradition of twisting tales. Among its nineteen tales, this volume explores unnerving variations of Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince, Snow White, and other classics, including three never-before-published stories.


A recognized master fantasist, Tanith Lee has won multiple awards for her craft, including the British Fantasy Award, the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Horror.

 

Goodreads // Not My Review

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Have you read it? What did you think?

Up Next on Horror October:

Flash Fiction Battle: Entry #2

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell #BookReview #HO17

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ThesilentcompanionTitle: The Silent Companions
Author: Laura Purcell
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 384 pages
Publication Details: October 5th 2017 by Raven Books
Genre(s): Horror; Historical Fiction
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads 

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Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling gothic ghost story to send a shiver down the spine…

Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself.

Review

 

 

The premise of this book had me at ‘Susan Hill’ and ‘crumbling mansion’, and although it wasn’t without its flaws, I ended up really enjoying it.

In The Silent Companions, we first meet Elsie in an institution. She can’t talk and the doctors seem very wary of her; she’s mad; a lost cause. But there is one doctor who tries to help her to communicate, to hear her story.

Elsie tells the story of how she came to The Bridge, an old mansion with incompetent staff, pregnant and husbandless. Now a Lady of the House, Elsie tries to adjust to her new life, but the mansion is strange, cold, and unwelcoming. Her only friend is Sarah her late husband’s sister, who she finds dull, but beggars can’t be choosers as they say.

When Elsie and Sarah come across a locked attic room whilst exploring the house, they wonder what could possibly be up there. Then, all of a sudden, the door isn’t locked anymore. In the room is something that will propel a series of bizarre and dangerous events – a silent companion.

I had never heard of silent companions, and this book compelled me to look them up. They are strange wooden paintings made to look like people with shading and the like. They’re pretty creepy by all accounts, especially when they start multiplying and moving of their own accord!

It took me a while to get into this book- I wasn’t a fan of the beginning- but by the time Elsie and Sarah found the first companion I was already starting to get intrigued, and from then on I was hooked.

What I struggled with was the structure. Now, I don’t know whether it was down to the digital proof (which could be resolved now it’s published) but there was no indication of when we shifted in time which was really off putting. It threw me off on a lot of occasions. It also took me a while to realise that a second storyline came from a diary that Sarah found – also in the attic – and gave us an origin story as to the original ghost/companions. It would have certainly benefited from a dinkus or *** each time, so the reader doesn’t have to work too hard in figuring out where they are in the story, and whose storyline we are following.

However, this was a great read overall. As the premise suggests, it is a return to a traditional ghost story in the style of the likes of Susan Hill & Shirley Jackson, and it’s an impressive diversion from Purcell’s usual historical fictions.

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Up Next on Horror October:

30 days of Horror: What will day 16 bring?

Horror October: Week #2 Wrap-up! #HO17

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Well, that was a busy week! I can’t believe we’re half-way through already!
If you missed anything, do not fret, here is a handy summary of all the goings-on.

Horror October Week 2

Review: Misery by Stephen King

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Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Autumnal Book Covers

30 Days of Horror:

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Day #7: Some Will Not Sleep

Day #8: Interview with the Vampire

Day #9: Battle Royale

Day #10: You Die When You Die

Day #11: Goth Girl

Day #12: The White Road

Day #13: Universal Harvester

This Week in Books 09.10.17

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This Year in Horror (so far)!

Lazy Saturday Review: Killing the Dead by Marcus Sedgwick

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Posts from around the blogosphere

Review: S.T.A.G.S – A World of Books

Come for a walk through Bram Stoker’s Dublin – Come Here to Me

Review: Hell House – Ruined Head

Top Ten Scariest Towns You Never Want to Visit – Redmangorereviews

October Scary Book Recommendation: The Hallowed Ones – Reading in Winter

Movie Review: The Ritual – One Room with a View

Movie Review: Happy Death Day – Literary Dust

Up Next on Horror October:

Book Review: The Silent Companions

30 Days of Horror #13: Universal Harvester #HO17 #30daysofhorror

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Join me for 30 Days of Horror in which we spotlight one horror book for each day until we reach Halloween!

Happy Friday 13th horror fans!

I’ve chosen another recent(ish) release that I’m yet to get hold of for tonight’s horror book choice. It was definitely the striking colours of the cover that got my attention initially, but the premise sounds amazing too!

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Available in all formats, 214 pages

Published March 1st 2017 by Farrar Straus & Giroux

Life in a small town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut

Jeremy works at the counter of Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It’s the 1990s, pre-DVD, and the work is predictable and familiar; he likes his boss, and it gets him out of the house.

But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return her copy of Targets, she has an odd complaint: ‘There’s something on it,’ she says. Two days later, another customer brings back She’s All That and complains that something is wrong: ‘There’s another movie on this tape.’

Curious, Jeremy takes a look. And what he sees on the videos is so strange and disturbing that it propels him out of his comfortable routine and into a search for the tapes’ creator. As the once-peaceful fields and barns of the Iowa landscape begin to seem sinister and threatening, Jeremy must come to terms with a truth that is as devastatingly sad as it is shocking.

 

Goodreads // Not My Review

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Have you read it? What did you think?

Up Next on Horror October:

Lazy Saturday Review: Killing the Dead

30 Days of Horror #11: The Goth Girl Series #HO17 #30daysofhorror

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Join me for 30 Days of Horror in which we spotlight one horror book every day until we reach Halloween!

This series is perfect for younger readers this Halloween. Or, young-at-heart readers like me. I loved the first two books in this series, but am yet to read the rest. Chris Riddell’s illustrations are amazing, and believe me when I say that pictures of these books don’t do them justice. I would highly recommend splashing out on the hardbacks over other formats. They so shiny.

Available in all formats

1st book published 2013

 Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

Meet Ada Goth. She lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least half a dozen ghosts, but she hasn’t got any friends to explore her enormous, creepy house with.

Then, one night, everything changes when Ada meets a ghostly mouse called Ishmael. Together they set out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, and get a lot more than they bargained for…

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Goodreads // Goth Girl Spotlight

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Have you read it? What did you think?

Up Next on Horror October:

 This Year in Horror (part 1)

Horror October: This Week in Books 09.10.17 #TWIB #HO17

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Throughout October, I’ll be doing the short version of this post where I will simply share what I’m reading now, then and next. Because quite frankly, there’s enough going on around here.

Last week was slightly crazy because I clearly wasn’t prepared for the extra work involved in HO, but I’ve caught up and scheduled lots of posts now so I’m very happy. Every year I’m astonished by how much this event grows and the interaction, comments, and increased blog traffic makes it all worth while, so thanks to everyone reading this!

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

Now: I Am Behind You  ~ John Ajvide Lindqvist

I’ve only just started this so nothing to report yet!

Then: Under My Skin ~ James Dawson // The Silent Companions ~ Laura Purcell

Under My Skin was a fun YA read with an edge, and The Silent Companions was like an old-fashioned ghost tale set in an old mansion a la Susan Hill. I enjoyed it a lot, but parts of it were a bit slow. Both reviews will be up by next next week.

Next: ??? Definitely Alone by Cyn Balog.

When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they’re not going back to the city…or Seda’s friends and school.

As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.

Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…

Up Next on Horror October:

30 Days of Horror – what will day 12 bring us?