Mini Reviews – April 2022

Typically I’d post these as their own reviews but I needed them together to illustrate the 12 hour swing in weather we had here in Minnesota. Not only is the weather just complete opposites but the books here are the perfect way to show the range in books I enjoy. I read these both on Sunday and talk about a crazy swing from historical fiction that is beautifully written that borders on fantasy to a horror novella that is so dark and twisted that I can’t even give content warnings without completely spoiling the book.

Please keep in mind – these two photos were taken the same day. The first photo (ALL THE HORSES IN ICELAND) was taken at 6am and the second photo (DEAD INSIDE) was taken around 530/6pm.

Thanks to the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review

ALL THE HORSES IN ICELAND – Sarah Tolmie (Released March 1st, 2022)

DEAD INSIDE – Chandler Morrison (Released April 22nd, 2015)

ALL THE HORSES IN ICELAND – Sarah Tolmie (Released March 1st, 2022 – Thanks to Tordotcom for the gifted copy)

A hypnotic historical fantasy with gorgeous and unusual literary prose, from the captivating author of The Fourth Island.

Everyone knows of the horses of Iceland, wild, and small, and free, but few have heard their story. Sarah Tolmie’s All the Horses of Iceland weaves their mystical origin into a saga for the modern age. Filled with the magic and darkened whispers of a people on the cusp of major cultural change, All the Horses of Iceland tells the tale of a Norse trader, his travels through Central Asia, and the ghostly magic that followed him home to the land of fire, stone, and ice. His search for riches will take him from Helmgard, through Khazaria, to the steppes of Mongolia, where he will barter for horses and return with much, much more.

All the Horses of Iceland is a delve into the secret, imagined history of Iceland’s unusual horses, brought to life by an expert storyteller.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

This book is so different from the horror novella I read shortly before it. ALL THE HORSES OF ICELAND is beautifully written and almost lyrical. While it’s historical fiction it does border on fantasy and dives into legend a little bit. This was my introduction to the author but I have a good feeling that this will not be my last time reading her. I read through this shorter book within a couple hours and the pacing was perfect to keep me completely invested. The imagery the author creates for the readers is so vivid and comes to life and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

DEAD INSIDE – Chandler Morrison (Released April 22nd, 2015)

A young hospital security guard with a disturbingly unique taste in women. A maternity doctor with a horrifically unusual appetite. When the two of them meet, they embark on a journey of self-discovery while shattering societal norms and engaging in destructively aberrant behavior. As they unwittingly help each other understand a world in which neither seems to belong, they begin to realize what it truly means to be alive…And that it might now always be a good thing.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

I don’t know what I can say about this book without completely spoiling things. I will tell you right now, DEAD INSIDE, will not be for everyone. Like I can’t give the adequate content warnings without spoiling everything, but you’ll know immediately, within the first couple sentences, if this book will be for you. Talk about a pair of people though. Two unusual people with very…unique…tastes and their paths collide and what unfolds is disgusting, gory, disturbing, and I absolutely loved it. It’s a short book that packs quite the punch and it’s not for the faint of heart. This book reminded me why I love horror and why I need more of it in my reading this year.

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