Ghostfacers! of the Victorian Age (Something Strange and Deadly – A Book Review)

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Something Strange and Deadly

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

22/25

 

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt’s life is complicated. Her brother has gone missing. Her mother is breathing down her neck for her to find a rich suitor to repair their fortune and reputation. In a world where necromancy and running from the dead is so common. With technology and science growing, the hope that the dead can be extinguished and defeated is no longer just a dream.

Eleanor seeks out the help of the Spirit-Hunters, who help defend the city from supernatural forces, to find her brother. At first, they turn her away, but as it turns out, her brother may have something to do with all of the dead rising. Working together, they’ll figure out who’s causing the dead to rise and bring an end to the vengeful uprising in the city.

 

This book marks 22 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was a random and also a chance to get outside of my usual box.

 

First things first, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Mystifying with a chrome-like shine and the mysterious Eleanor front and center. The gears surrounding the tree really gave way to the Victorian era and industrial age as it also gave way to darkness. Just stunning.

Scarlett Reader

The world building was rather interesting, especially since there is a specific time period. The Victorian era is interesting because technology takes a leap, but the class system in which women are still at the bottom of the pit and considered fragile glass statues that are utterly useless is still very much in play. The delightful twist? ZOMBIES and GHOSTS! I thought that was really interesting. The supernatural is an everyday occurrence with procedures on how to handle it.

Scarlett Reader

I hit a snag with the characters. I wanted to be interested in Eleanor and Daniel and Joseph and the others characters, but I couldn’t. The way they interacted and acted was unrealistic and overdramatic. In some cases, it just came off as confusing. I couldn’t get a full read on their relationships between each other. If I had a favorite, it’s Jie. She’s spry and sneaky and takes no crap from people. My least favorite was definitely Eleanor’s mother, but only because of how she’s dependent on her daughter getting married for a better lifestyle. The woman is disgusting in how she doesn’t care for the welfare of her daughter. She only wants the reputation, riches, and materialist things.

On a side note: The Spirit-Hunter gave me Ghostfacers vibes. I was giggling to myself a few times over because all I could hear was their them song while imagining Sam and Dean Winchester rolling their eyes. A Supernatural thing.

 

The snag with the characters I think came from the style the book was written in. I could get a grasp on it. Though it was comical in places, the story was quite vague. I just wasn’t convinced. There was so much focus on the word dead and rot. It became redundant sadly. It felt as if vocabulary relating to the time era was just plopped in there and it diminished the story.

 

Overall

I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I hoped to. Not enough to finish the series. I was too thrown off by the style and redundancy. This book just didn’t reach geek-out territory.

 

Quotables:

“What did the stories say? The Dead hunt endlessly until they’re laid to rest or their bodies are destroyed.” (p. 3)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? Love is to Die by Warpaint.

 

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You Don’t Know Me From Adam (The Space Between – A Book Review)

The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2011

On Goodreads

Space Between

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

21/25

 

Once, my mother told a whole host of angels that she rather die than go back to a man she didn’t love.

When you’re half-angel and half demon from Lilith and Lucifer life can be…complicated. Daphne’s life is nothing but an endless expanse of time filled with soap operas and knick-knacks from Earth. When her brother, Obie, goes missing up on Earth, she thinks she may be to blame. She’ll do anything to get him back.

She sets out to find her Obie, but she’ll need the help of possibly the last person to see him. Truman. Together they trek through the cold streets of New York City in search of her brother. It grows increasingly dangerous for them. Daphne delves more into her demonic half as Truman tries to figure out his strange dreams. The both of them struggle with their growing feelings for one another while hoping they’re not too late to rescue Obie.

 

This book marks 21 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Brenna Yovanoff is an author that I’ve heard quite a bit about, so I was glad to find a few YA novels by her.

 

Angels and demons. Some think of this as quite the taboo subject when it comes to fiction of any kind because of how it reflects on the Bible and beliefs. I, however, get fascinated. It’s got a mythos base just like Egyptian Gods and Greek Gods. So, I was pretty intrigued when I spotted this book. The cover art was pretty freaky too.

Given the notion of a hellish ride, I’m not sure it got that far for me. If it didn’t seem to jump all over the place, I think I would’ve been much more immersed it it. The story jumped between first person POV of Daphne two third person POV of Truman and that was really conflicting.

Scarlett Reader

More so, I couldn’t get a grasp on any chemistry between Truman and Daphne. That was a bit of a downer. Her desperation to find her brother, and his inner turmoil was stronger than the attempted pairing of them. I was in this for the adventure!

The details and depictions in the book were really interesting. Yovanoff really pulled me into this realistic world of heaven, hell, bringing it to our world in a very real sense. It was dank and dark with a sliver of hope. The creatures that slithered in the darkness were creepy! However, this world only felt scary when with the characters. They gave it life more than any other element.

The ending of the book made reading it all worth it. Quite a few surprises. Even a special cameo by the one and only Lucifer. It was chilling! I’m not talking about the dapper, heart-melting grinner that we’re waiting to reappear on Netflix either. This Lucifer’s presence made me stop breathing. He didn’t make any other appearance in the book, but the build-up around him throughout the story was so good!

 

Overall

This was a nice little page-turner with freakishly, hellish originality. The Winchesters would approve. I enjoyed the mythos that was touched on as well as the side of depression I feel like some people don’t understand. I do wish some parts had been more clear

 

Quotables:

“Open your eyes and look at yourself. That’s you, undisguised. That’s your black, revolting heart.” (shadow man to Truman, p. 125)

“All my life, I’ve understood the nature of where I come from, but I never thought I might be wicked until now.” (Daphne, p. 143)

“Love. The word makes me feel unsteady, like something is moving under my skin. I’m not about any kind of love, but I don’t tell him that. Love is for people with a certain amount of humanity.” (Daphne, p. 160)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Feels Like Falling by Digital Daggers.

 

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Sundown Rundown – November 2018

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Hello book clan!!

It’s the end of November and this is the Sundown Rundown. It’s been a stressful month, honestly. Thanksgiving was special. I’m thankful for the things I do have in my life. I’m lucky to have my mum and my family.

So, while the sun is setting, and much earlier thanks to Daylight Saving Time, so get cozy, maybe grab a snack and take the opportunity to catch up on any reviews you’ve might’ve missed this month. Orr, if you’re looking for new books to read, you may just find one here.

Bloodlines - The Scarlet Reader

Bloodlines

Author: Richelle Mead

A baby vampire needs protecting when she’s nearly assassinated. Trouble follows her and her new protector, alchemist, Sydney Sage to the boarding school in Palm Springs that they’ve been relocated to. Kids are getting strange tattoos that give them supernatural abilities. Sydney’s teacher is delving into the alchemical arts.

Semi Definitive List of worst Nightmares - The Scarlet Reader

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Author: Krystal Sutherland

Facing your fears is easier said than done, especially when your family is cursed to die from a fear specially picked out for them. One person will step up to help to remove the curse and face death in the face.

What a Girl Wants - The Scarlet Reader

What a Girl Wants

Author Lindsey Kelk

It’s not easy to have choices. Choosing between two men. Choosing between two amazing jobs. What’s one to do?

The Rules of Magic

The Rules of Magic

Author: Alice Hoffman

The Owens family have always been the talk of the town and not in the good way. It doesn’t stop them from living wildly and free. From a legacy of witches, Vincent, Jet, and Franny will confront the family curse, that an Owens can’t have true love. They might even beat it.

Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Author: Alice Hoffman

The Owens family have always been whispered about, but that doesn’t stop them. Sisters, Sally and Gillian each go on their own journey to find love and happiness. Sally is grounded and Gillian is carefree. Both will come to realize their love for each other triumphs everything, even evil.

Scarlet Reader - From Here to You

From Here to You

Author: Jamie McGuire

Darby is on the run, and Trex is just settling down from his life as a Marine. When their lives collide, Trex is sure he’s found the one, but Darby is still recovering from here last relationship and almost marriage to an abusive man. Trex will do anything to have her, but she knows he’s hiding things. With so many variables, can they make it work or will their pasts come between them?

Tis the season to get merry, drink hot cocoa, and watch cheesy Christmas movies while decorating the tree. It’s also the time of year when you hope your road gets plowed so you can get to work without playing slip-n-slide the whole way there.

Stay warm and cozy and see you in December.

More to come soon…

-K

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That’s What Friends Are For – A Book List

Hello, loves.

With Thanksgiving coming up, I decided on a booklist to represent friendship. I know personally, I’m thankful for my family and friends. Sometimes I’m a lot to put up with LOL.

Whether we’re up or down. In great times of need. Blood or not. Friends are always there for us. This book list is dedicated to them. With love, tragedy, heartache, and hardships, life would be a different beast if we had to tame it by ourselves.

And sometimes it isn’t easy to have friends. You’ll fight and cry and may not speak for days or weeks or months, but you know they’re not far away and that you’ll make up. Sometimes you drift apart and that’s okay, too. Make room for as many as possible is my advice.

Like an onion or a flower, sweet or sour, there will be many. Only a few will crack open your heart and be in your special circle. The circle you pair your family in, and it won’t matter how far away you are from each other. It’s the heart that keeps you connected (and of course social media these days LOL).


The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

“Don’t live a little. Live a lot.”

Goodreads

Amazon                      Barnes & Noble

 

 

A Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L’Engle

Scarlet Reader - A Wrinkle in Time

“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.”

Goodreads

Amazon                      Barnes & Noble

 

 

The Thing About Jellyfish
Author: Ali Benjamin

The Thing About Jellyfish

“But a person doesn’t always know the difference between a new beginning and a forever sort of ending.”

Goodreads

Amazon                    Barnes & Noble

 

 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Author: Rick Riordan

PJ - hypable

“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”

Goodreads

Amazon                     Barnes & Noble

 

 

Daughters of the Moon
Author: Lynne Ewing

Scarlet Reader - Daughters of the Moon

“Life is like riding a bicycle. You get nowhere standing up, so get up on that seat and go!”

Goodreads

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Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Author: Ann Brashares

Scarlet Reader - Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

“Maybe, sometimes, it’s easier to be mad at the people you trust because you know they’ll always love you, no matter what.”

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The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger

FullSizeRender

“You can lie to yourself if you want, but reality is going to catch up with you. I’ll be waiting when it does… whether you like it or not.”

Goodreads

Amazon                       Barnes & Noble

 

 

Pay It Forward
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Scarlet Reader - Pay It Forward

“What’s weird is when you mean a lot more to somebody else than they ever meant to you. I mean, a whole lot more. Like life on two whole different planets.”

Goodreads

Amazon                       Barnes & Noble

 

 

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
Author: David Arnold

Scarlet Reader - Strange Fascination of David Hypnotik

“But I also know that sometimes—not always, but in the best of cases—innocence lost can be knowledge gained, and I think this is one of those times.”

Goodreads

Amazon                       Barnes & Noble

 

Sisters in Sanity
Author: Gayle Forman

Scarlet Reader - Sisters in Sanity

“It’s just that we’d like to think that craziness and sanity are on opposite ends of an ocean, but really they’re more like neighboring islands.”

Goodreads

Amazon                     Barnes & Noble

 

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Halloween Book Tag

Scarlet Reader - Halloween

 

Halloween Book Tag!

 

It’s the most wonderful (and scary and fun and candylicious) time of the year!!

Scarlet Reader - dancing candy corn

That’s right. Halloween time! The best time!

Scarlet Reader - Halloween

I have a book tag dedicated to just that! I was looking around for one, but decided on one of my own. It’s fun and quick and I love sharing my interests with you!

When answering, use a book you’ve read or really want to read!


Something new…

A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares – Krystal Sutherland

Semi Definitive List of worst Nightmares - The Scarlet Reader


Something old…

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

Scarlet Reader - Haunting of Hill House


A book with an orange cover.

Into the Cold Fire (Daughters of the Moon #2) – Lynne Ewing

( I don’t usually like picking books from the middle of a series, and usually only go with the first book, but this cover is a favorite of mine and the series is so original.)

Scarlet Reader - Into the Cold Fire


A scary book

Jay’s Journal – Anonymous

Jay's Journal


A book with witches

Practical Magic- Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic


A book with werewolves

Blood and Chocolate – Annette Curtis Klaus

(Do Not Judge Me LOL.)

B+C - banned Library


A book with vampires

Morganville Vampires: Glass Houses – Rachel Caine

(Actually the whole darn series <3)

Scarlet Reader - Morganville Vampires: Glass Houses &amp; The Dead Girls Dance


A book with one of your greatest fears

Awake – Natasha Preston

Awake


A fairy tale gone dark

Valiant – Holly Black

Valiant - Goodreads


An edge of your seat thriller.

There’s Someone Inside Your House – Stephanie Perkins

There's Someone Inside Your House


Three scary/paranormal/thrilling/magical books you’ll be reading this month!

Bloodlines – Richelle Mead

Bloodlines - The Scarlet Reader

 

The Space Between (hopefully) – Brenna Yovanoff

Space Between

 

Caraval – Stephanie Garber

Caraval


If they’d like to participate, I’m tagging:

Always Trust In Books

A Cat. A Book, and A Cup of Tea

The Book Raven

A Court Of Coffee And Books

Trang (Bookidote)

 

Everyone feel free to partake! Just don’t forget to tag me since this is my book tag. 😉

 

More to come soon…

-K

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

Buzz Buzz Little Crow (Black Bird of the Gallows – A Book Review)

Black Bird of the Gallows (Black Birds of the Gallows #1)
Author: Meg Kassel
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

black bird of the gallows - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A simple but forgotten truth:

Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues of soon be full.

Angie Dovage knows there’s more to Reece Fernandez than the tall, athletic boy of mystery that the whole school is swooning over, just like he can tell there’s more to her than the spazzy band-geek. When he tells her that him being here, in her town, means a great tragedy will strike, she knows he must be full of it, right? But then why is there a murder of crows always around him? Why is he sneaking off and to who know where?

When something dark and supernatural attacks Angie, she’s lucky that Reece is there to help her. Then fellow students and people around town have been going crazy. She’s left with more questions than answers. There’s a battle between good and evil, chaos and death, she never saw coming. In the middle of it all, and which is a bad idea, she may or may not be falling in love with a harbinger of death

 

The cover of this book is utterly gorgeous and breathtaking!!!!! If that didn’t make me curious enough, then the mysterious back cover did. All around, this book drew my interest and I enjoyed it! It was quirky and funny mixed with the drama of teenage love mixed with the chaos of an intriguing mythos around the harbinger of death and creator of chaos.

Scarlet Reader - Excited

the approach to magic was genius and unique. Major disasters became so much more. So did animal mythos. Evil bees? I love bumble bees so I surprised when they were used as a force of evil. The logic behind was awesome though. Same with crow. It was like the dark met the light and the light met the dark in this book and was sprinkled with love and a hint of tragedy from the main characters. Everybody has a little tragedy though, right?

Scarlet Reader - Black Bird of the Gallows

The magic was incredibly enchanting, yet dark, reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty in that way. It wasn’t overbearing, but perfectly fitting into everyday life, perfectly hidden. This design was beautiful.

Angie was both interesting and not. There were times I wasn’t into her. She’s a teenager, so she’s going to have those dramatic moments, but her tone came off goofy. She rambled off from time to time and it seemed pointless. But I loved her relationships with her dad and her friends and how mixed up she felt for Reece. I admired her passion. It was louder than a bass dropping at a rave.

I love Love LOVED the style and unique vocabulary that Kassel used to sweep this book away. It was brilliant and refreshing and kept my attention with such enthusiasm. I giggled. I felt my heart break. I was swelling with emotion and engulfed in the words.

 

Overall

I’ve never read anything like this before. Something that was both enchanting and chaotic and tragic and yet, filled with love. My big problem? The ending felt hugely rushed and vague and confusing. I was as clueless as Angie and Reece were, but more so because there was no real hint as to how everything happened. And the special possibility about magic in Angie’s family? It didn’t feel very solid. I was more fascinated than anything so it was easy to let those bits slide. I feel like they’ll possibly come into play in later books, which I hope to read someday.

 

Quotables:

“Crack your bones and eat the marrow, snap your spines like broken arrows.” (p. 104)

“…I don’t kiss guys who don’t tell me what planet they’re from.” (Angie, p. 119)

“Death doesn’t require a prediction. It’s an inevitability.” (Reece, p. 128)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles

 

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall (Devoured – A Book Review)

Devoured
Author: Amanda Marrone
Published: 2009

On Goodreads

Devoured

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

There’s always one bad apple.

Since the car accident years ago, Megan has been trying to move on with her life. It hasn’t gone well. Her mother is obsessed with dog dancing competitions. Her dad has been in a coma since the accident. And Remy, Megan’s twin sister, has been haunting from beyond the grave.

Now, she’s gotten a job at an amusement park. Of course, she didn’t get the job to keep tabs on her boyfriend and his best friend (who admitted her undying love to him). And the cute boy, Luke, who works there too (and whom her friend likes) doesn’t matter either. Nope. She just wants a normal summer job experience before she goes off to college.

When Remy starts saying weird things and causes things to break, Megan has to figure out what’s going on. People are missing and with Remy’s violent outbursts, Megan just knows somebody is going to be next, but who? She knows she should avoid Luke, but he may be the only that can help her.

 

Megan isn’t the typical teenage girl. Or at least I don’t think talking to ghosts is typical. Neither is a magic mirror. Yep, that’s right. A magic mirror. If you’re thinking about Snow White then you’d be in the right area. This book stems from the fairy tale. In this book, Snow White is a true story and that pesky mirror is actually a prison for the djinn inside of it.

 

I thought the idea of the mirror being villainous was incredible since its viewed as nothing more than a pawn that is under the Evil Queen’s control. Instead, the mirror is the one in control, causing paranoia and fear with its visions of the future. The other connections to the fairy tale with Megan being as fair as Snow White and the family related to the woodsman was a great tie-in since the book wasn’t a retelling.Devoured - fandoms

The writing really had me on the fence. There were times when the writing kind of dozed off. Some bits came off as pointless in regard to the story and I didn’t understand them. Megan’s love triangle with her boyfriend and his best friend, for example. It was just awkward. This issue that Megan had with them didn’t feel like it was any part of the main plot. It came and went and I didn’t get any strong feeling that Megan truly cared, especially since this relationship was so new. There was just no real attachment, I felt.

The style, however, was witty and funny at times, lightening the story up some when at other times it got scarily dark. Remy is one terrifying little girl, and I’m talking on a Supernatural level. The psychic energy was strong in this book, which was cool. I haven’t read many books that include the psychic ability. That last one I read was back in high school and it was Dark Visions by L. J. Smith. So, getting to read another novel that included this was great.

Unbreakable

Megan was at times a curious character, but overall, I wasn’t a fan of her. While I understood her heartache after everything she’d been through, she was quite bratty at times. I loved her best friend, Nicki, and the cute boy, Luke. Luke was swoon worthy and Nicki was outright hilarious. There were a few times when she’d say something I’d say. So, there was a fair share of those I liked and didn’t.

Overall

This wasn’t some Disney movie. Nope. It was pretty twisted and quite surprising at times. I liked this book and yet, I didn’t. The villain was pretty awesome. For the first time in a long while, I really dug him and thought he was cool. The djinn was such a trickster. I liked him more than the other characters. And as a side note, the cover was a little confusing. As you can see, it’s Megan between two boys while holding an apple. So…there’s no apple involved in the book. Also, only one boy got seriously involved in the mysterious ghost-psychic mystery and overcoming of tragedy. All in all, the cover makes no sense, though the color scheme is vibrant and beautifully dark. This book had me feeling all kinds of mixed up.

 

Quotables:

“…Anyone with more than twenty lawn gnomes in their yard was most definitely a psycho, not a psychic.” (Nicki, p. 30)

“Land of Enchantment isn’t just about stereotypically helpless women in need of rescue—there’s Hansel and Gretel’s Haunted Forest, which is more of a celebration of child abuse and cannibalism, and the petting zoo in Mother Goose’s Family Fun Farm, which is all E. coli, all the time!” (Ari, p. 37)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Good Girl by Carrie Underwood.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments belo