Unmemory by Kristi DeMeester

Unmemory Published: 2018

Publisher: Tallhat Press

Format: Chapbook, Paperback

Pages: 40

Genre: Christmas Horror

Buy: Yves Tourigny

Rating: 4/5

An original, 9,000-word short story by Kristi DeMeester, with 10 illustrations by Yves Tourigny. A university student attempts to track down the briefly-glimpsed Christmas film which traumatized her as a child.


I received this short chapbook in my December Nightworms box which is a new horror subscription box that you can check out here.  

Since this is such a short book, my review is short and sweet but worthy of a mention here on the blog, and it’s Christmas Horror…who doesn’t love holiday themed horror to get you in the spirit!?

This was my first introduction to Kristi DeMeester and now I’m dying to read more of her work.

A young college student tries to track down a film that traumatized her as a child. What follows is a bizzare and creepy reminder that it’s not always ghosts and demons that haunt us.

The artwork is by Yves Tourigny and was absolutely phenomenal, it really added to the overall vibe of the story. There’s an image towards the end that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get out of my mind.

Do you enjoy reading themed books during the holidays? I’ve got two other books on my TBR this month that are full of Christmas horror goodness!

Happy Reading!

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Graphic Novel Review: Wytches, Vol. 1

So I’m relatively new to the graphic novel world, probably over the last year or two, and I’ve found that I rather enjoy them. They’re a fun way to break up my larger novels and I admire the creativity that happens on the pages between the illustrator and the writer.

Of course I tend to be drawn towards graphic novels in the horror genre; the darker the story and images, the better.

Wytches, Volume 1

Publisher: Image Comics

Author: Scott Snyder

Illustrator: Jock

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer: Clem Robins

Edition: Paperback, 192 pages

Genre: Horror

Source: Purchased

Rating: 3/5

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.


 

Image result for images from wytches vol 1 by scott snyder

Wytches starts off with a familiar trope: new family in-town, father is a writer and a recovering alcoholic, teenage daughter with a troubled past starting at a new school, moves into a house in the middle of the woods. The basis of your most typical horror story.

What I really enjoyed about this story is Scott Snyders vision and ideas about traditional witches. He creates these creatures that are terribly creepy and when you hear them in the woods, chhhit-chhhit-chhhit, you better turn and get your ass running.

Strange things start happening to the family as the Wytches come to claim their ‘pledge’. I did feel like a lot of the strange events that occurred, weren’t tied together very well and I didn’t completely love the characters; however I enjoyed it enough that I would love to see what happens in the next Volume.

My biggest ‘meh’ about the book was the artwork. I actually really loved the creepy artwork but hated the random splotches of colors all over it. I didn’t quite understand the purpose and what it was supposed to add to the experience of reading it. When it was just one image on a page it wasn’t as troublesome but when you had a lot happening all at once it became visually distracting and just terrible to look at.

Overall I gave it 3 stars because I did like the story, it just wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be.

Do you enjoy graphic novels? Mention some of your favorites in the comments below!

Happy reading!

 

 

The Grip of It by Jac Jemc

The Grip of ItPublished: August 1st, 2017

Publisher: FSG Originals

Format: Paperback

Pages: 273

Genre: Horror

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 3/5

Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. The move – prompted by James’s penchant for gambling, his inability to keep his impulses in check – is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to leave behind their usual haunts and start afresh. But this house, which sits between ocean and forest, has plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to settle into their home and their relationship, the house it’s surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The architecture – claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms – becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall – contracting, expanding – and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of bruises; mold spores taint the water that James pours from the sink. Together the couple embark on a panicked search for the source of their mutual torment, a journey that mires them in the history of their peculiar neighbors and the mysterious residents who lived in the house before Julia and James. 

Written in creepy, potent prose, The Grip of It is an enthralling, psychologically intense novel that deals in questions of home: how we make it and how it in turn makes us, mapping itself onto bodies and the relationships we cherish. 


I adore creepy haunted house stories and The Grip of It by Jac Jemc has all of the classic bones: couple buys old house cheap, house has been on the market for years but couple doesn’t bother looking into why, couple moves in immediately, odd things begin to happen, couple slowly goes insane.

When will people learn?

Julie and James get the idea to start fresh outside of the city because James can’t seem to get his gambling problems in check (so buying a house is totally the correct course of action). Hoping that a new house will mend their broken relationship and re-store their faith in each other, they move in with no questions asked. They’re enamored by all the secret rooms and hallways and the possibility of a clean slate.

From here the story builds slowly but like any good haunted house novel or movie, eerie things begin to surface: shadowy figures lurking in empty rooms, growling in the dark and hot stinking breath hovering over you while you sleep.

And that’s sort of where the parts that I enjoyed about the book ended.

I know I’m in the minority here when I say that I didn’t love this. ‘The Grip of It’ confused me more than anything and maybe it was supposed to? The narration was constantly switching between Julie and James whose voices were so familiar that at times I was confused by who I was following. The chapters were also ridiculously short which, while it makes for speedy reading, makes it difficult to become immersed in the story, especially coupled with constant POV changes.

So while I liked it, I just didn’t love it. A generous three out of five stars from me.

Do you like haunted house stories?

Happy Reading

 

The Moor by Sam Haysom

The MoorPublished: May 8th, 2018

Publisher: Unbound Digital

Format: Kindle Edition

Pages: 224

Genre: Horror

Buy: Amazon

Rating: 3/5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

It begins with a ghost story around a campfire. Teenagers out on a walking trip, trying to act brave in front of each other. 

But as the walk gets underway and the boys begin to fall out, odd things start to happen.

Noises in the night. A severed rabbit’s foot outside someone’s tent. 

Soon, the boys begin to disappear.

As panic sets in and a storm approaches, the remaining boys must band together to face a darkness not even the local ghost stories could help them predict.


This is a tough one to review because as someone who is not a fan of spoilers, I can only say so much without giving everything away.

In The Moor by Sam Haysom, we follow a group of boys and one of their fathers, on what should’ve been a simple and fun trek across the moor. There’s Gary who is the more popular boy but a bit of dick; James who is always being ragged on, particularly by Gary, and Matt and Tom who just want everyone to get along. Then there’s Tim, whose a bit of an odd ball and eerily quiet. His dad, Mr. Stevens, is the group leader. The ladies of the town love Mr. Stevens, even though most of the kids find him strange.

Not to far into the trip, and after a campfire ghost story, tension begins to build among the group. Then, strange things begin to happen and boys begin to disappear.

The story alternates between past and present, newspaper clippings and perspectives of each of the boys. For such a short book, I found this to break up the flow of the story which was otherwise, very unsettling and creepy.

It’s a quick horror read – screaming children, mutilated animals, and things that go bump in the night – what’s not to love? I just wouldn’t recommend reading it at night by the fire, strange things may happen.

Happy Reading! 

Upcoming Releases | June – October 2018

 

My TBR is longer than I know what to do with (which is an excellent problem to have in my opinion), but here’s a look at some upcoming releases that I’m really excited about! Now if I can just get Mo Hayder and Paul Clave to release something new, I’d be the happiest little reader on the planet!

The Cabin at the End of the WorldExpected Release Date: June 26th, 2018 (ahem, TOMORROW!)

Publisher: William Morrow

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 288

Genre: Horror

“Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.

I’m pretty sure that right there is a sure sign that something terrible is going to happen you guys. A cabin in the woods with no one around? Classic horror.

Your dads won’t let us in, Wen. But they have to. Tell them they have to. We are not here to hurt you. We need your help to save the world.”

Somebody's DaughterExpected Release Date: July 10th, 2018

Publisher: Berkley Books

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 432

Genre: Thriller

When Michael Frazier’s ex-wife, Erica, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, she drops a bombshell that threatens to rip his family apart: Her ten-year-old daughter is missing – and Michael is the father.

Over the course of one night, lies that span a decade come bubbling to the surface, putting Michael, his wife, and his whole family in jeopardy. And as the window for a little girl’s safe return closes, Michael will have to decide who can be trusted and how is hiding the truth…

I just started reading the ARC of this and I’m really enjoying it so far. David Bell is a new-to-me author so I’m not very familiar with his other novels however I do love a good gut-wrenching suspense novel!

Pieces of HerExpected Release Date: August 21st, 2018

Publisher: Harper Collins

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 480

Genre: Thriller

What if the person you though you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all…?”

“Pieces of Her” follows Andrea Cooper and her mother, Laura. Andrea thinks she knows everything there is to know about her mother. But after a trip to the mall ends with violence, Andrea realizes that there is a completely different side to her mother. Because it turns out her mother wasn’t always Laura and for nearly thirty years, she’s been hiding from her previous life hoping that her past won’t find her. Now that it has, the police want answers and Laura won’t speak to anyone, even her own daughter Andrea.

I’m a big fan of Slaughter’s work, especially the darker novels because my soul itself is a little dark. I’m really looking forward to this new standalone novel even though I keep hearing it’s not a typical ‘Slaughter novel’. My guess is it’s a slight departure from the darkness but because I really love her writing style, it’s bound to be awesome.

The CraftsmanExpected Release Date: October 16th, 2018

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 432

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago in a small village in Lancashire. Like something out of a nightmare, the victims were buried alive in. Florence was able to solve the mystery and get a confession out of Larry before more children were murdered.

But now, decades later, he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Is someone copying the original murders? Or did she it wrong all those years ago? When her own son goes missing under similar circumstances, the case not only gets reopened…it gets personal.

You guys, I LOVE Sharon Bolton and this sounds like one of her creepiest novels yet!!  I am so excited about this release I can’t even begin to tell you! Whoever got there hands on advance copy of this, I’m so jealous!

The Witch Elm

Expected Release Date: October 9th, 2018

Publisher: Viking

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 528

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

I’ve read all of Tana French’s books, most I’ve really enjoyed and others I didn’t like as much but regardless, I never fail to miss one! She writes beautifully – the prose, the characters and ingenious plots, she always finds a way to surprise you. Really looking forward to this one!

So there you have it! Some great new releases coming out this summer and fall be sure to have star status at the top of my TBR pile.

Any new releases you’re looking forward to?