The Hay Bale is written by Priscilla Bettis, who is a huge supporter of many booktube channels including mine.
The Hay Bale is 42 pages, but reads like 20. I flew through this story. Because it's very short, I can't give too many details without ruining the story but I found a lot of meaning in the choices made here.
Our main character's history hit close to home for me. The objects in the story and the memories the main character experiences represented emotional and physical scars
If you're a fan of extreme horror, you should be reading Brian's work.
In most books (or movies) there's a build up before something awful happens. You'll almost get a warning. "And this was the last time she saw Michael alive." or something like that. Brian doesn't screw around, he doesn't spend time warning you. Shit happens. And it happens in really horrific ways.
We follow a group of teenagers that form a band together and a serial killer called the Lobotomizer with L.A. as
GhostCityGirl is part cyberpunk and part horror, mixing them together seamlessly.
In a relatively short book, Simon Paul Wilson manages to do quite a bit of world building. Now I know what some people think when they hear world building. Oh no, here come the info dumps! Not here. The information we do get is sprinkled throughout the book and in a way that keeps you wondering what the hell is going on but still answering enough questions to keep you hooked. The bits and pieces we do get
Nocturne was written by H.B. Diaz it's a collection of short stories and was published in December of 2020
A synopsis from Amazon:
Because this is a collection of short stories, this review won't be in my usual format (What I liked, didn't like, rating ect.).
I picked this book up on a whim when I saw a Twitter thread a few weeks ago where authors were promoting their independent books. I grabbed a handful of books and intended to get to them when I could squeeze them in
Before I started Edge of the Breach, I heard about how dark and brutal it is. That piqued my interest. I don't put much stock into reviews but when a book has been described as grimdark and has a high rating average it's pretty unusual. Usually a book that's really dark will have some lower ratings because people can't stomach it. Then I found author Halo Scot on Twitter and it's the funniest account I follow. So, what gives?
This is a post apocalyptic world where the season of your bi
Priest of Bones is a fantasy (grimdark) book written by Peter McClean and was published in 2018. It's the first book in the War for the Rose Thorn series. There are plans to adapt the series for television.
A warning that this book contains violence and abuse of children, so if that's something you're sensitive to you may want to steer clear of this one.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this, it was the first time dipping my toes in grim dark fantasy. I was expecting somethin
All Systems Red is a science fiction novella written by Martha Wells and was published in May of 2017 and is the first book in a 6 part Murderbot series.
With a title like Murderbot, I was expecting this:
It was the exact opposite of that.
What I liked:
This book is pretty funny. The humor is my type of droll humor I enjoy. I laughed out loud more than a few times.
Especially now we can all relate to just wanting to be left alone and those
One Way is a novel written by Jeff Lane and was published in 2013. The book is being adapted into a movie (more on that later).
For full transparency: when we announced the book club, Jeff Lane contact me on Twitter and offered a free digital version of one of his books to anyone who joined the book club. I bought myself and my wife paperback copies and a digital copy via Amazon. A few other book club members received a free copy and a couple opted to purchase the book. Mr. Lane gifted
Vicious is a fantasy and science fiction novel written by V.E. Schwab and was published in 2013. It's the first book in the Villains series.
What I Liked:
Strong character development.
This isn't a good vs. evil kind of book. At a point in the book one of the characters says "There are no good men in this game" and that sums up the characters. I've heard other reviewers say they couldn't enjoy this book because none of the characters are "good". That's
Kings of Paradise is the first installment in the Ash and Sand trilogy
What I Liked:
The plot moves smoothly from one POV to the other, each character has it's own distinct voice and background.
The characters make both heroic and horrific decisions though the story, but because you feel as though you've been on this journey with them you have a little bit of sympathy when you probably shouldn't. You care for the characters in the world even when they
Crackle and Fire is the first book in the Angela Harwicke Mysterys series.
I was provided a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What I liked:
In what feels like a lifetime ago, I was a Private Investigator for a period of time. This story took me back to those days. I wonder if the author either has been a PI at some point or knows someone who has.
The environments are vibrant
The book is fast paced with lots of tw
Red Harvest Moon was published in 2021 is the first book in the Wandering Knife series. The book is available on Kindle Unlimited.
I received a digital copy of this book from the author for an honest review. I also purchased a paper copy on my own to support the author.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
What I Liked:
The characters were likable and fun. Their banter back and fourth was hilarious and genuine.
The environments are described very well. You always kn
Kings of Ash is the second book in the Ash and Sand trilogy and was published in January of 2019.
What I Liked:
Ruka. He's one of my all time favorite characters, not only in fantasy but overall. He has some great quotes in this book that make me a bigger fan.
In my Kings of Paradise review I mentioned that there were some parts of the story that felt as though they were missing. Without a
Escape Reality is a science fiction novel written by Kayla Frost and was published in November of 2020. It's free to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or you can order the paperback.
It is the Gold Award winner in the 2020 - 2021 Reader Views Literary Awards
What I Liked:
The world building. It surprised me how deep and lush a world Kayla Frost creates, especially this being her first novel. There is a whole universe that is created and fleshe
Nightmare is a horror novel written by Chad Nicholas and was published in October of 2020
What I Liked:
This story keeps you guessing until the very end, and keeps you thinking about the book days after you've finished. There are so many times I've gone back to try to catch clues or things I missed.
There are some terrifying and gut wrenching moments.
This book could be read in one sitting, it flows really well and it's very ha
Chapel Street is a horror novel written by Sean Paul Murphy and was published in July of 2020.
This book was inspired by real life events the author experienced. There is some information online that he has posted about it, but I'm only reviewing this book as a stand alone story. I have not read more into the backstory and his experiences.
What I Liked:
There are some new ideas presented here that had potential.
It handles difficult topics pretty resp
Last year I read the Poppy War trilogy with fellow booktubers Forbookingoutloud and WalterWrites7. If you're interested in seeing our live stream discussions that are spoiler filled: The Poppy War, The Dragon Republic, The Burning God
I'll give thoughts on each book in the trilogy without spoiling anything for you.
The Poppy War
The Poppy War was a mixed bag. It started out reading like a YA novel, had I not been in a group read I would have DNF'd it about 40% in. Not that ther
House of Leaves isn't a book. It's an experience.
Before starting House of Leaves I read that some people skip the footnotes and just read the story. Don't skip the footnotes. You'll cheat yourself out of the experience.
It's tough to describe House of Leaves to someone who hasn't read it yet, or attempted to read it. It took me a little while to get into a rhythm with this book because you don't read this book like any other book that I know of. It's almost 700 pages long, but fr
If you are familiar with my reviews you know I try really hard to not spoil anything other than the very basics that you'd get from a cover. I even try to avoid stuff in the synopsis most times. So this one will be tough to give my thoughts without spoiling any surprises.
The setting for this book is in the 1820's, the time period is perfect for this type of horror story. Our main character is Hester, a young woman living in a small village. A stranger arrives one day and people in the
The Wild Dark is quite a ride, it's hard to describe to someone in a few sentences. It's part horror, mystery, drama and suspense - but does everything well.
The first line caught my attention and didn't let me go. "Dreams cocooned me, wrapping me in their silky embrace like a thousand scarves"
There are time jumps in the story but it's done in a way that will keep you wanting more from chapter to chapter. It gives you enough of the past or present to connect with what you just rea
Chad Nicholas can write a page turner with surprises that you don't expect. If you've read his previous book, Nightmare you know what I'm talking about.
In Shade we follow two FBI agents who are trying to locate a serial killer. They begin having a cat and mouse game and it weighs heavily on both agents. The people who spend their lives hunting these killers do so at a high cost to their own health and well being. They get too close to the case only to press and lose sight of what's in
I was a little nervous going into Aching God. Hadn't had too much luck with fantasy for a couple of books and I was feeling a little burnout. After talking with Mike I was even more excited to read it but it exceeded my expectations.
It's a great mix of epic fantasy, dark fantasy and even a touch of horror. Wait, horror? Yep.
There are some great horror moments in this book that will have you hoping Mike Shell writes a fantasy horror series one day.
In Aching God the characters
First we have to start with talking about the cover. 😎
Looking at that cover I expected this to be an unrelenting, brutal and terrifying read. And it was at some points, but it also had lots of dark humor.
The Virus is a fast paced zombie horror book that surprises you with humor. I like information about what is turning people into flesh eating zombies as much as the next guy, but it doesn't get bogged down in details. It's a fun zombie story with some really great action scenes,
Cold Comforts was recommended to me by H.B. Diaz. So you know I had to give it a try.
Cold Comforts is described as 'quiet horror' or 'literary horror'. What does that mean? Here's a portion of an article from mobidlybeautiful.com
After reading Cold Comforts, quiet horror is my favorite horror sub genre.
In this collection the stories creep up on you. You get bits of pieces of a mystery that slowly unfolds and before you know it what started as something creeping up you're f
After hearing everyone talk about this book incessantly on social media, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Yeah, I admit it.
The story is told through email and messenger correspondence between our two main characters. I may be 100 pages or so but it's really a 40 page book if you were telling it in a traditional style.
While I enjoyed the writing style, it would have been much more impactful in a different storytelling format. Because we're reading