Mini Reviews – October 2022

I’m not sure how I feel long-term about this format for reviews, but it really helps me stay caught up! It’s been a busy start to the month and I have a few reviews to share. I think I’ll go back to my regular review posts after this. Who knows, I could come back and add more to my reviews if the mood strikes me. For these mini reviews, they’re typically the little blurbs of a review for my Instagram posts (since character count is limited).

Thanks to the mentioned publishers and authors for any gifted copies in exchange for my honest reviews.

Mini Reviews – October 2022:

THE LUMINARIES – Susan Dennard (Releasing November 1st, 2022 – Thanks to Tor Teen for the gifted copy)

From Susan Dennard, the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchlands series, comes a haunting and high-octane contemporary fantasy, about the magic it takes to face your fears in a nightmare-filled forest, and the mettle required to face the secrets hiding in the dark corners of your own family.

Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.

Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family’s good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

This is the start of a new YA fantasy series and based on this book, I’d say it’s heading in a very promising direction. I know book one in series, especially fantasy ones, can either feel lacking in some detail or it’s a dump of information to help with the world building, but I feel this had a good balance. There’s so much potential for these characters and this premise that I’m excited for book two already. Also, folklore and legends and nightmares? How could I not love this 🖤

LEECH – Hiron Ennes (Released September 27th, 2022 – Thanks to Tordotcom for the gifted copy)

In an isolated chateau, as far north as north goes, the baron’s doctor has died. The doctor’s replacement has a mystery to solve: discovering how the Institute lost track of one of its many bodies.

For hundreds of years the Interprovincial Medical Institute has grown by taking root in young minds and shaping them into doctors, replacing every human practitioner of medicine. The Institute is here to help humanity, to cure and to cut, to cradle and protect the species from the apocalyptic horrors their ancestors unleashed.

In the frozen north, the Institute’s body will discover a competitor for its rung at the top of the evolutionary ladder. A parasite is spreading through the baron’s castle, already a dark pit of secrets, lies, violence, and fear. The two will make war on the battlefield of the body. Whichever wins, humanity will lose again.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

If you’re looking for Gothic Horror with a little sci-fi horror element, then this is the book for you. Something to keep in mind when reading this is that it can be very detailed and slow at some parts. The atmosphere is eerie and all-consuming, the details about the chateau and medicine involved are engrossing, and there’s plenty of body horror to make you queasy (or giddy because you love that shit, like me). I loved the writing and found a new author I’ll be keeping an eye out for in the future. My October TBR is off to a fantastic start.

GHOST EATERS – Clay McLeod Chapman (Released September 20th, 2022 – Thanks to Quirk Books for the gifted copy)

From the acclaimed author of The Remaking and Whisper Down the Lane, this terrifying supernatural page-turner will make you think twice about opening doors to the unknown.

Erin hasn’t been able to set a single boundary with her charismatic but reckless college ex-boyfriend, Silas. When he asks her to bail him out of rehab—again—she knows she needs to cut him off. But days after he gets out, Silas turns up dead of an overdose in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia, and Erin’s world falls apart.

Then a friend tells her about Ghost, a new drug that allows users to see the dead. Wanna get haunted? he asks. Grieving and desperate for closure with Silas, Erin agrees to a pill-popping “séance.” But the drug has unfathomable side effects—and once you take it, you can never go back.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

Grief, addiction, and an all-encompassing feeling of dread and anxiety as you get further and further into this book. It’s one that kind of snuck up on me. You hit a point in the book and you realize you’re incredibly aware of your surroundings and feel almost claustrophobic just thinking about the ghosts you cannot escape. I really enjoyed this and was the best way to start October. Highly recommend his other books as well!

LITTLE EVE – Catriona Ward (Releasing October 11th, 2022 – Thanks to Tor Nightfire for the gifted copy)

From Catriona Ward, the international bestselling author of The Last House on Needless Street comes Little Eve, a heart-pounding tale of faith and family, with a devastating twist.

Winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel.

“A great day is upon us. He is coming. The world will be washed away.”

On the wind-battered isle of Altnaharra, off the wildest coast of Scotland, a clan prepares to bring about the end of the world and its imminent rebirth.

The Adder is coming and one of their number will inherit its powers. They all want the honor, but young Eve is willing to do anything for the distinction.

A reckoning beyond Eve’s imagination begins when Chief Inspector Black arrives to investigate a brutal murder and their sacred ceremony goes terribly wrong.

And soon all the secrets of Altnaharra will be uncovered.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

I loved both The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial, so this book was one I had to read. There’s just something about a books about cults that I’ll always be drawn to. What I can always count on is an atmospheric novel that just swallows you whole and this book had all the gothic and dark vibes you could want. Characters to cheer on and others that are just downright nasty, along with some truly gruesome moments made for another unique and consuming read. Highly recommend all of her books!

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