Happy Monday! The spooky reads continue and the fall pictures aren’t quite done yet.
Thanks to Disney Books and TLC Book Tours for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review
MALICE HOUSE – Megan Shepherd (Released October 4th, 2022)
“One step away from our world lies another: a land of violent fantasies, of sharp-toothed delights. . . .”
Of all the things aspiring artist Haven Marbury expected to find while clearing out her late father’s remote seaside house, Bedtime Stories for Monsters was not on the list. This secret handwritten manuscript is disturbingly different from his Pulitzer-winning works: its interweaving short stories crawl with horrific monsters and enigmatic humans that exist somewhere between this world and the next. The stories unsettle but also entice Haven, practically compelling her to illustrate them while she stays in the house that her father warned her was haunted. Clearly just dementia whispering in his ear . . . right?
Reeling from a failed marriage, Haven hopes an illustrated Bedtime Stories can be the lucrative posthumous father-daughter collaboration she desperately needs to jump-start her art career. However, everyone in the nearby vacation town wants a piece of the manuscript: her father’s obsessive literary salon members, the Ink Drinkers; her mysterious yet charming neighbor, who has a tendency toward three a.m. bonfires; a young barista with a literary forgery business; and of course, whoever keeps trying to break into her house. But when a monstrous creature appears under Haven’s bed right as grisly deaths are reported in the nearby woods, she must race to uncover dark, otherworldly family secrets—completely rewriting everything she ever knew about herself in the process.
My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars
What reader doesn’t like a book within a book? Then add in the fact that things are spooky and potentially haunted and this is a combo that certainly grabs my attention. MALICE HOUSE was my introduction to Megan Shepherd and I hadn’t heard too much about the book before beginning – which is honestly the best way for me to start a book. Zero expectations are set and there’s no risk in having things spoiled by an overly detailed synopsis (that’s not the case here, so if the synopsis piques your interest then definitely give this a read).
Haven Marbury is cleaning out her late father’s seaside house when she stumbles upon a handwritten manuscript, and while he was Pulitzer Prize winning author, it was worlds away from his usual work. Bedtime Stories for Monsters was a short story collection with all kinds of terrifying monsters and mystifying humans. Haven thinks this is exactly what she needs after her failed marriage, she is hoping to illustrate these stories while staying in her father’s old house, that he claimed was haunted. Of course, all kinds of mysterious things begin to happen while she works there – everything from attempted break ins, curious neighbors, and gruesome deaths happening in the nearby woods.
While I loved parts of this book there were other things that didn’t wow me. The book begins strong and grabs a hold of you and the ending was also to my liking, but there were some parts in between that didn’t really work for me. I did enjoy the horror elements throughout and there was a good gothic atmosphere to the book. I do think that this won’t be for everyone, but I would still recommend giving it a try if you want something to get you in the October spirit!