Plain Bad Heroines – Emily M. Danforth, with illustrations by Sara Lautman
Mystery, horror, haunting, sapphic, romance, fiction.
At the school for girls, Brookhants, experience a horrific tragic accident involving two students who were in love and their story was told by a fellow student who witnessed their affair. The students’ names were Flo and Clara and the third student was named Mary. The school had to shut down as more students were dying from Yellow Jackets stinging them and they were found with Mary’s book. Nearly a century later, the school is haunted and is being used to film the movie based on their lives. The bestselling author is helping make sure everything that happened remains authentic. Just as filming production occurs, the terrors and haunting begin.
I saw that this book was extremely hyped for being sapphic and mystery horror. I have to say that the mystery horror was sort of expected to be predictable. I loved the sapphic parts of the novel. I enjoyed that at least. The pacing could have been a bit quicker. I loved world building and storytelling. I do recommend this novel for those who might be into this more than I did. I didn’t hate it. I felt it was an alright novel. I would maybe in the future reread it to see how I feel about it.
Interview with the Vixen: Archie Horror Book 2 – Rebecca Barrow
Archie comics, fiction, horror, young adult.
Veronica comes home from cheer practice and wants to inform her parents of her evening plans. She finds them dead in her father’s office and a looming dark figure threatening her. She tries to escape but only escapes with a terrifying bite from the vampire monster. She gets into a car accident with another vehicle and later wakes up completely healed as if nothing happened. Except she sees herself with blood red eyes and sharp fangs. She has somehow become a vampire from the bite. Veronica asks help from Dilton Doiley to find a way to become human again which is finding the sire and properly getting rid of him. In an attempt to do so, Archie is caught in the crossfire and is captured by the vampire’s henchmen, which are her parents. They are under his control. Both have to go back and regroup plans. Meanwhile Reggie Mantle is the other car that Veronica crashed into and he wakes up to find himself changed into a vampire. He goes to try to find Veronica to get answers. When he does, she tells him he will tell her as much as she could but they had to first go get help from Betty to try to figure out what is going on with the vampire who has control of her parents. Veronica successfully rescues Archie from the clutches of the vampires with the aided help of Betty. The trio with Dilton and Cheryl formulate a plan to save Riverdale.
I thought this novel was going to be better than I had expected but it was not that bad. Not entirely good either. I do not have issues with the storyline. I was expecting a lot more but it’s all right. I preferred the other book in the Archie Horror universe. I like werewolves over vampires personally. However, Archie is always no matter what iteration he is in, he is always promiscuous no matter what as well as always indecisive over who he wants to be with either Betty or Veronica.
The Terminal Man – Michael Crichton
Science fiction, horror, thriller, fiction.
Harry Benson is admitted to a hospital in hopes of curing his seizures after attacking two people. Harry Benson is under careful watch for a while. Before long, Dr. McPherson reads the file and thinks of the options. Dr. McPherson believes he can cure Harry Benson with this procedure. The procedure is a surgical experimentation that fixes these seizures. During the procedure, things take a turn for the worst. Harry Benson gets off the operating table and on the loose. Dr. McPherson calls security to find this man that escaped and if he was caught in the building to restrain Harry Benson. Security footage reveals that the man left the building. It’s a manhunt to find this man before he claims more lives.
This novel was moderately entertaining and had a balance of science as well as plot that were interconnected. I never doubted Crichton’s abilities to create literary works that were thought intensive and very intense. I did enjoy this novel though, but it was not as great as his other works. Not bad though, don’t get me wrong. I was expecting a more thrilling novel, but this was moderate thrill. I have a sense that Crichton loves to write about certain possibilities of playing with genetics, things that shouldn’t be played with in the first place, then having it turn horribly wrong to prove that playing God is never a good idea. That fits with this novel for sure but in its unique morbid way for sure.
A Werewolf in Riverdale – Caleb Roehrig
Archie comics, horror, young adult, fiction.
Dilton Doiley was found dead in the Riverdale graveyard, torn to pieces, and because of the loss of a student at Riverdale High, school was canceled for that day for the students to mourn the loss as well as seek counseling for this troubling time. Jughead Jones remembered a dream about chasing Dilton and witnessing a murder scene. Jughead begins to think he murdered Dilton. Betty Cooper blames herself for not ready for the werewolf attack. She knew it had to have been because no wild animal would create such carnage. Archie finds Betty’s behavior to be very suspicious and confronts her about it. She tells him that she is a Werewolf hunter of Riverdale and reveals to him that there are a few families with werewolf genes and one name that stands out is Jones, their best friend’s family name. Archie doesn’t want to believe in the possibility of his friend being this murderous werewolf. Grundy and Pop Tate are found dead and half eaten. Archie teams up with Betty to hunt down the Riverdale Ripper and face their choice that can save more lives.
I love all things Archie Comics and this book brought my favorite world of fantasy to the world of Archie Comics. My boyfriend and I were book shopping, he saw this on the shelf and snuck it into the book pile to be purchased. I have to say this novel was so worth purchasing and reading as well. I could not put down the book because of the fact that it had werewolf lore that was legit. Most books twist some lore and change it, this one remained faithful to the werewolf lore I come to know and love. However, this novel is not for the faint of heart because there are descriptions of violence and gore.
If It Bleeds: If It Bleeds – Stephen King
A mysterious package arrived at an elementary school and no one at first suspects much until it was too late. Holly investigates this new mysterious outsider that came to town and comes to terms of how to handle this new person. As well as sees that this person was connected to multiple crimes that is to ensure she is in danger and must escape.
This novella was short and alright. I prefer longer works of fiction because I felt that this could’ve been developed into a full novel. I did admire the thrilling aspect that worked well with the plot. Anyways I do recommend this if one is into a short and quick read.
The Stand: Complete and Uncut Edition – Stephen King
Pandemic, outbreak, survivor, thriller, horror, fiction.
Charlie is going AWOL with his family due to some disease or sickness like flu that killed most of the base he was enlisted at. They travel east, while his symptoms got worse. His wife and child got the illness. They crash at a town in Texas where their bodies were exhumed and sent to the Health Department for further examination. Stu Redman is taken in to be observed as to why he didn’t catch the flu like sickness. They perform tests and examinations on him. The state patrol catches whatever Charlie, his wife, and child had caught. From there, the sickness spreads outwards affecting more people like wildfire. Fran tells Jesse she’s pregnant, uncertain of what she wants to do, she goes to her dad for advice, he welcomes whatever she decides whether her mother agrees or not. Fran’s father tells Fran that her mother is really sick with a flu like illness. Larry, a famous singer, finds himself in trouble returns home to his mother to stay until he can get back onto his feet. During Larry’s stay, she gets extremely sick with this deadly flu. Nick finds himself robbed and assaulted, he is found and brought into be cared for. The deputy asks him information and realizes that Nick is deaf and mute, a birth defect. The deputy helps Nick catch the people who robbed and assaulted him, locked them in the jailcell. The deputy gets sick with the deadly flu. Each person who had caught the flu results in a fatal death where no one is immune. Randall Flagg senses a rebirth of society and he is ready for his own rebirthing. Survivors must come together and become a community to rebuild society that was nearly destroyed by the Super flu. Stu, Fran, Nick, and other survivors meet, and they decide to follow the old lady, Mother Abigail to Boulder, Colorado to build a community. Some plans go as plan whereas some are disrupted by people who don’t want organized society.
I had been wanting to read this novel for years. I tried many times to read it and couldn’t find myself going beyond a couple hundred pages. I guess the perfect time to read this novel was during a quarantine where I hardly had much to do. To much of my surprise I couldn’t believe I waited so long to read this novel. I am thankful I read it and this novel was a bit scary for me especially since there is a pandemic going on. This novel made me feel thankful that things weren’t too bad, and things could’ve been worse. I love and enjoyed this novel a lot. The pure size is overwhelming but reasonable because of the genre and style of storytelling. King’s novel starts off slow but then picks up the pace then slows down then picks up the pace. I was on my toes while reading this. I came to love some of the characters like Fran and Nick because of their personalities and their interactions they had with other survivors. The old lady, Mother Abigail was sweet. I do recommend this novel but not for the faint of heart.
Gerald’s Game – Stephen King
Jessie and her husband are into some kinky games. He talks her into another one, but this doesn’t go through. She wants to not play at all, and he sees this as a part of the game. When she tries to get him off her, she kicks him right in the privates and chest, killing him in the process. She thinks otherwise until much later. Jessie tries to break free but can’t. Hours pass and she is still stuck to the bed. Again, she reattempts but fails. She spends a good long time tied up with the only thing that is keeping her alive, her will to survive and the memories. These memories haunt her and suddenly reality starts to fade as she begins to see a figure in the corner of the room. This throws Jessie into full panic and survival mode. She knows what to do to escape but this won’t be easy.
This book was anonymously requested, and I also wanted to read this novel for a really long time. I finally found a copy and began to read. My expectation was that Stephen King would slowly ease into the climax where Jessie is tied up. I was wrong and happy that I was wrong. I learned that never expect anything when reading Stephen King and never read his books when it gets dark outside. The story starts off with her already tied up by her husband and the events happen in a very fast pace. The rest of the book is her facing her memories and being haunted by delusions that her mind generated due to the fact that she is alone, hungry, and thirsty. This book freaked me out and scared me in some parts of the narrative. I do recommend this novel for sure.
Dreamcatcher – Stephen King
Jonesy and his friends are out hunting as well as camping for a while. During one of the expeditions, one of them found a stranded man and another person finds a stranded woman. Both with eerily similar stories, orange tag, and a dreamcatcher in possession on their persons. The only difference is the woman seems to be possessed by something and later it becomes known that there is a parasite from these aliens that have abducted these people and inject them with their spawn then releasing them in the woods. This becomes a war for survival.
I didn’t really care for this novel honestly. I had read better Stephen King novels and this one was not his best. Besides that, I don’t like alien abduction nor invasion stories. Too cliché for my taste. This was a hard novel to get into personally but maybe in the future I’ll give it a reread to give another chance. For now, this review remains truthfully blunt and not apologizing for the shortness of this book review.
Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky
Thriller, mystery, horror, fiction.
Kate is on the run with her son, Christopher, from her abusive ex-boyfriend. She finds a cozy home in a small town and tells her son that this is permanent. A few days in, their lives become better. Christopher uses the answers from his quiz to play the lottery and wins. One day, Christopher hears and senses this being in the forest and is drawn into the forest. A nice man tells Christopher he has to build a treehouse for a specific reason and before Christmas. Once Christopher sees the truth, it is up to him to save the world. Against all odds, Christopher must prepare for the war that lies ahead of him.
This felt like a Stephen King novel but more unique to the author’s style of writing. There was a lot to unpack and to read because of the different points of view as well as a lot of descriptions. I enjoyed the complexity of the storyline and the many different plot twists that the author takes you down on. Not exactly an author trying to be a copycat of Stephen King but inspired by the famous author. I did enjoy the novel. I would highly recommend for those who seek a different thrill.
Dark Matter – Blake Crouch
Thriller, horror, mystery, science fiction.
Jason lives a happy life with his lovely wife and his teenager. One-night changes his life entirely as he is kidnapped and drugged. When he comes back alive, he realizes that everything he had is gone. His wife isn’t his wife, their kid doesn’t exist, and he is a major scientist. No one believes in his story. They all see him as a threat and chase after him for answers. He learns that he is in another dimension of reality. He must jump into various dimensions to hopefully find his own dimension before his world ends.
I love the mix of science fiction, horror, mystery, and thriller that this small book has to offer. Its compacted a lot of action and science fiction. Never a dull moment inside this novel. This plot becomes weird but makes sense with all the science theories involved. I wish this was longer, but I prefer a hasty cliff hanger for now. I do recommend this novel for those who are looking for some crazy science fiction horror thriller.