How is it November, already? It’s beautiful outside and I’m just relieved that people were able to enjoy Halloween and trick or treating without it snowing!
Thanks to the mentioned publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review – two of these were recent book purchases!
Mini Reviews – October 2022 Part Two:
THE UNITED STATES OF CRYPTIDS: A TOUR OF AMERICAN MYTHS AND MONSTERS – J.W. Ocker (Released September 27th, 2022 – Thanks to Quirk Books for the gifted copy)
Meet the monsters in our midst, from bigfoot to Mothman and beyond!
Welcome to the United States of Cryptids, where mysterious monsters lurk in the dark forests, deep lakes, and sticky swamps of all fifty states. From the infamous Jersey Devil to the obscure Snallygaster, travel writer and chronicler of the strange J. W. Ocker uncovers the bizarre stories of these creatures and investigates the ways in which communities embrace and celebrate their local cryptids. Readers will learn about:
• Batsquatch of Washington, a winged bigfoot that is said to have emerged from the eruption of Mount Saint Helens
• Nain Rouge of Michigan, a fierce red goblin that has been spotted before every major city disaster in Detroit
• Flatwoods Monster of West Virginia, a robotic extraterrestrial that crash-landed in rural Appalachia
• Lizard Man of South Carolina, a reptilian mutant that attacked a teenager in the summer of 1988
• Glocester Ghoul of Rhode Island, a fire-breathing dragon that guards a hoard of pirate treasure
• And many more!
Whether you believe in bigfoot or not, this fully illustrated compendium is a fun, frightening, fascinating tour through American folklore and history, exploring the stories we tell about monsters and what those stories say about us.
My Thoughts: 5/5 stars
Well, OF COURSE, Minnesota has one of the scariest ones in the book, AND I live less than 2 hours away from Lake Windigo and the possibly lurking “winter cannibal monster” known as the winter Wendigo. I love mythology and local lore and urban legends, so this book was perfect! There are so many more monsters and cryptids that I didn’t know about in the US and the illustrations are amazing.
A FAMILIAR STRANGER – A.R. Torre
Such a quiet and ordinary wife and mother. Who will even notice what she’s done?
Lillian Smith leads an unexceptional life, writing obituaries and killing time with her inattentive husband and disconnected son. Then she meets David, a handsome stranger, in a coffee shop. Lured into an affair, she invents a new persona, one without strings, deadlines, or brooding husbands.
Lillian has never felt so reckless, unpredictable, or wanted. But as her affair with David intensifies, she withdraws from everything that’s real, even her closest friend. When evidence of her life as a secret lover finds its way onto her son’s social media, she risks ruining much more than her marriage or reputation.
As lies beget lies, Lillian’s two worlds spiral dangerously out of control. And betrayals run deeper than she imagines. Because Lillian isn’t the only one leading a double life.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
This is my sixth book by A.R. Torre (and I’ve read two of her books under Alessandra Torre) and I have to say that she knows how to write an addictive book! A FAMILIAR STRANGER was no different – short chapters, multiple POV’s, some good twists, and the perfect amount of drama. Who knew one little, seemingly harmless, lie could spiral out of control to this magnitude? Well, Lillian definitely wasn’t expecting it to. A white lie to a stranger in passing turns into an intense affair and Lillian having to lead a double life. Yes, you need to suspend some reality for this one, but it was so much fun. Torre can always build the incredible tension and give you the perfect book to escape into. I’m a chapter-to-chapter reader and whenever I see that the next chapter is only 5 pages then I’ll read it. Well, before you realize it you’re halfway through the book! I highly recommend anything by AR Torre, and if you like romance novels, then her books under Alessandra Torre will be right up your alley!
TENDER IS THE FLESH – Agustina Bazterrica
Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.
Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.
My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars
I had heard such great things about this book, that it was gory and disturbing, and it was exactly that. TENDER IS THE FLESH is about Marcos, he is a butcher at a local processing plant, only this isn’t your average slaughterhouse. Due to a virus, animal meat is now poisonous to humans. So, what’s the new alternative? With this being a horror novel, I’m sure you guessed it, the government has now approved the consumption of “special meat” – human meat. The premise alone is incredibly dark and disturbing, like I kept trying to put myself in this situation and wondered, could I eat this meat knowing what it actually is? How could people turn to cannibalism like that? Hopefully we’ll never have to find out! Those who are sensitive to intense gore might want to avoid this book, and there is some sexual assault depicted in the book. I think the only reason my rating dropped below a solid 4 stars was because it read super slow at the beginning. It was hard to get into it for me, but once I did then I couldn’t stop.