Review: The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

The Last Murder at the End of the WorldThe Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On an island at the end of the world, a small settlement of survivors lives. Outside the island there is nothing. Well, nothing but a murderous fog that contains insect-like creatures with a taste for human flesh.

I may be exaggerating this a little, but trust me, you don’t even want to dip a toe in that fog.

122-villagers and 3-valued scientists live together on the island in harmony. It’s a simple life, but they do need to abide by some stringent rules; all for their own good. We should trust the scientists, right?

Well, the villagers certainly do. One day though, the unthinkable happens. One of their beloved scientists is found murdered, thus setting into motion a chain of events that could lead to the destruction of their world.

They need to solve the murder within the next 107-hours, or risk bringing on the fog and all the terrible little creatures that come with it.

The Last Murder at the End of the World was one of my most anticipated releases of 2024. I’ve really enjoyed both of Turton’s previously releases and was excited to see what sort of brain-teaser he was going to create for us next.

Sadly, this one just wasn’t suited to my tastes, but I can still appreciate the solid plot progression and creativity it took to create this whole world.

IMO, this book would work best for Literary Fiction fans, who enjoy stories with Speculative, or Futuristic elements.

I did enjoy the very beginning; the introduction to the setting and characters. It was all very mysterious and murky. It was giving me serious LOST vibes.

Not the attractive people suddenly stranded on a beach thing, though. More the disturbing community bits that they discover on the island way later…

I feel like I knew very early on, around page 37, what one of the big reveals was going to be. I don’t normally care about that, actually, I don’t. I don’t care about that, but unfortunately for me, the reveal I felt was coming is a trope I don’t tend to enjoy.

True to trend, it didn’t work for me here either. Obviously, I am not going to spoil for you what that is, but I’m aware that is strictly a personal taste issue, and is no way a reflection on Turton, or his work.

In fact, I doff my cap to Turton’s writing, creativity and overall mental prowess. It’s clear, if you’ve ever read one of his books, that his brain works better than around 95% of the rest of us.

For me though, this failed to capture my attention. I feel like some of it was kept too obscure, meaning, I couldn’t picture any of this. I was being told a lot of things, but I couldn’t actually imagine it, in my mind’s eye, playing out.

I also did find the pace to be incredibly slow, and not in an enticing slow burn sort of way. More in a, I’m starting to fall asleep way. And once I started to feel that, I couldn’t shake it. I really just wanted it to be over, which hurts me to say, but we’re all about honesty in this house.

I was fortunate to receive an early copy of the audiobook, because that definitely helped me to get through this one. I did find the narration quite charming.

At the end of the day, this just wasn’t a great fit for my tastes. The content wasn’t something I enjoyed. Nevertheless, I still love and admire Stuart Turton as an author and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!

Thank you to the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark and Tantor Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. Even though this wasn’t my cup of tea, I am still very glad I had the chance to pick it up!

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Review: Indian Burial Ground by Nick Medina

Indian Burial GroundIndian Burial Ground by Nick Medina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After reading Nick Medina’s story, Quantam, in the Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology, Never Whistle at Night, I knew I needed to pick up more of his work.

It was one of my favorites of that collection. I loved his storytelling style and couldn’t wait to be immersed in another one of his creative tales.

In this story, we follow two perspectives: Noemi and Louie. Noemi provides us with a Contemporary Mystery. While Louie, Noemi’s Uncle, delivers us a beautifully-executed Coming of Age Horror element.

In present day, Noemi’s boyfriend, Roddy, dies suddenly and tragically. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding his death, but the authorities categorize it as a suicide. That doesn’t track for Noemi though, who feels like something more sinister may be at play upon their tribal lands.

Just prior to receiving this tragic news, Noemi’s Uncle Louie shows up on her doorstep, in town for an upcoming powwow. After more than a decade away, it’s a bit of an awkward reunion, but soon enough Uncle and Niece are bonding just like old times.

When Louie hears the news of Roddy’s mysterious death, it brings to mind for him some very dark memories, all of which occurred in the Summer when he was 16-years old.

We alter back and forth between Noemi, taking us through the current events, and Louie recounting what happened on the reservation, all those years ago.

Medina wastes no time jumping into the intrigue of this story. The very start is fascinating, as we get a glimpse into the events surrounding Roddy’s death.

I was immediately impressed with the writing. IMO, Medina just has a natural storyteller’s voice. The way he delivered this story, specifically the sections from Louie’s perspective, felt like Louie was speaking his story directly to me.

You forget that you are reading a book. It feels that fluid, and comes across as an actual person would tell the story of their life, versus an author trying to impress you with all the big words they know…

This is exactly the type of writing that I like to read!

It was fascinating to go back and forth between the two perspectives. I couldn’t see right away how Louie’s past was going to help Noemi understand her present, and I loved how Medina ultimately wove the two together.

The Coming of Age aspect was the highlight for me, but I think as a genre blend, this worked together so well.

The Horror imagery itself was very well-crafted. There were some truly unsettling moments. Things that gave me downright chills. It was never difficult picturing exactly what was happening to these characters.

I loved the examination of the real life horrors, as well. Particularly in regards to addiction, which really is its own vampire in a way, isn’t it?

Additionally, the family drama and other events occurring on the reservation brought a heavy emotional component to the story. This one definitely moved me and the ending hit me like a punch to the gut.

Ultimately, Louie’s story will live on, rent free in my heart forever, and ever, Amen. This is a special book.

A slow burn mix of Indigenous Horror with a powerful Coming of Age story; what’s not to love about that? The themes explored and rich quality of storytelling are impressive to say the least.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

This is for sure on my Most Memorable List for 2024!!!

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Review: I Was a Teenage Slasher by Stephen Graham Jones

I Was a Teenage SlasherI Was a Teenage Slasher by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In 1989, Tolly Driver was an average 17-year old boy, just living his life in his small West Texas hometown of Lamesa.

He’s a good kid, who mostly keeps his nose clean, helping his Mom at her hardware store, and spending time with his best friend ((crush)), Amber. All it took was one crazy Summer night to change everything…

This book is presented in a sort of confessional style. It’s Tolly writing about that summer, about the events that occurred, relaying them and also reflecting upon them. He’s addressing Amber, so it feels genuine and personal.

I connected with this one from the very first pages. I love how SGJ chose to present Tolly’s story. It’s much more than a Slasher. It’s a Coming of Age tale from the perspective of a killer. A Slasher with a twist.

Reading this, it feels like a personal story for SGJ. Not the murdery-bits of course, but the sense of place, the experience of being a teenager in West Texas in the 1980s and everything that went with that.

Honestly, it felt so rich with heart, emotion and nostalgia. I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s because SGJ and I came up around the same time, both in small towns and probably with a lot of similar interests, or if it’s just the humanity channeled into his stories, but they hit me differently.

Maybe it’s as simple as our mutual love of this nuanced genre of Horror; Slashers in particular, I don’t know, but there’s something special in his delivery that takes me right back to my youth. I feel it.

I’ve never read anything like this. It’s special. I absolutely loved it. There’s only so much you can say about a book you loved without diving off the deep end into fangirl territory.

Stephen Graham Jones is one of my favorite authors. Out of the 8-books of his that I have read so far, the lowest rating I have ever given is a 4-star, and it was just the one.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I finished this, and I actually think this is my favorite SGJ work EVER!

For those of you crying yourself to sleep every night ((like I was)) because you just finished the last book in The Angel of Indian Lake trilogy, have NO FEAR, this one will fulfill your darkest Slasher desires and then some.

I’m so excited for this to release this Summer so that I can add a hard copy to my shelves. I can’t wait to read it again. Tolly is a character I will never forget.

I would recommend this to any Horror Reader. It’s a perfect Summer Scream story. My heart slowly shattered over the course of this novel, but it simultaneously made me ridiculously happy. I want everyone to feel that.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Saga Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it far exceeded even my lofty expectations.

Stephen Graham Jones is such a gifted storyteller, who truly breaths life into his characters with the power of his words. His stories are edgy, raw, emotional, powerful and nostalgic. I’ll never stop coming back for more.

10-out-of-10 recommend!!

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Review: The Eternal Ones (Deathless #3) by Namina Forna

The Eternal Ones (The Gilded Ones #3)The Eternal Ones by Namina Forna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4 5-stars**

The Eternal Ones is the final installment in Namina Forna’s Deathless series. I’m walking away an emotional mess.

I wasn’t ready for this to end.

I’ll admit, this series intimidated me at first. It took me a while before I dared to pick it up, but once I did, Forna laid those fears to rest. With this being said, this is heavy and a bit complicated; it’s not an easy read by any stretch.

You need to be focused and paying attention at all times, but if you do, it pays off in spades.

I’m not going to say anything about the plot here, as I am seriously at a loss for how to describe this book without spoiling the events in the previous two.

My experience with this was very positive. I was a little nervous that it’s been a few months since I read The Merciless Ones, the 2nd-book, and I was concerned I wouldn’t remember enough about how that one left off.

Again, I should have trusted Forna’s skills more. She provided a perfect, natural-feeling recap that helped to jog my memory so well. I really appreciated that aspect. It was concise and gave just what I needed to get me back in the proper headspace for this series.

As mentioned above, this is complex, and by that, I mean the world is complex. You are being dropped into a fully-formed, beautifully-developed world and while I may have thought I knew everything about it by this point, I was wrong.

We had some great new developments here, with Deka and her friends traveling to the edge of the world and discovering a whole new realm. It’s there they glean some information needed for the final showdown and meet some promising new potential allies.

I was surprised by the emotional levels that Forna was able to bring to these books. In each one, I always felt for Deka, but in this one in particular my heart was with her. It was a roller coaster, for her and for me.

I just couldn’t imagine going through everything she had been through. It’s tumultuous. It’s like Deka can never catch a break, it’s one thing after another, but she had to travel the path she did. She really had no choice. I respect her courage throughout this series.

In addition to the fabulous main character that Deka is, I also love her best friend, Britta so, so much. She’s like Samwise Gamgee level perfect sidekick.

Their friendship is actually one of my favorite aspects of this entire series; the way it is written. Like when it is just the two of them having a private moment, it’s so cute. In those moments, you can really see their humanity; just two teen girls caring about each other. Britta is just such a light to me, in an otherwise fairly dark narrative.

I also enjoy Keita, Deka’s love interest. Their relationship is sweet and definitely hit me in the feels.

He has been through a lot in his life, like Deka, so I think it’s easy for them to relate to one another and find solace in one another. Even though their experiences are very different, they can appreciate what they’ve each been through.

One of the most powerful scenes in this book, IMO, involves them returning to Keita’s family home. Y’all, you better have your tissues ready. There was something so moving and believable about that scene for me.

Lastly, the Found Family element, created over the course of the series, for me is shining its brightest in this book.

This group is tight, and with what they’re facing in the final scenes, it couldn’t have come at a better time. The camaraderie, the good spirits as a group and the ability to communicate well and work together, it’s so well done.

I’m sad this is over. Frankly, it’s such a beautifully-imagined world Forna’s created here, it’s a shame to use it just for these three books and never see it again…

That’s why I’m proposing a prequel following Deka’s Mom and White Hands. Forna, if you’re out there, we need this.

To the rest of you, write your Congressman, your mayor, pass around petitions, let’s make this happen!

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Review: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Ghost StationGhost Station by S.A. Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ophelia Bray is a psychologist specializing in the study and prevention of ERS, a space-based condition, similar to PTSD, that can lead to mental deterioration and violence.

Dr. Bray is assigned to join a small exploration crew as they journey to an ancient, abandoned planet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take Ophelia long to realize that the new crew isn’t exactly excited to have her aboard.

They’ve never needed a Head Doc before, why now?

Ophelia is confident in her purpose though, so she just tries to do her best to fit in and help them to understand the reasons for her attendance. She knows better than most just how imperative her skills may become.

The rest of the crew have worked together before and feel more like a family than a team. Ophelia, as the only outsider, has a long way to go to endear herself to the group.

As they begin to establish themselves on the abandoned planet, they start discovering disturbing signs left behind by the previous colonizers, who apparently departed with haste.

It presents a real mystery for the crew. They have no idea what happened to the previous inhabitants, but signs are pointing to the fact that they didn’t live happily ever after.

The longer Ophelia and the crew remain on the planet, the more unnerving things become, until Ophelia’s worst nightmare starts to come to life.

Ghost Station is the latest from S.A. Barnes, author of Dead Silence, which I read and really enjoyed. I’ve been anxiously anticipating more from Barnes ever since. I loved the SF Horror vibes she delivered in Dead Silence and definitely believe she succeeded on that front here as well.

For me, Ghost Station is way more of a slow burn than Dead Silence, but the content and MC, Ophelia, are so interesting, I didn’t mind that one bit. I enjoyed getting to know Ophelia and learning of her past and motivations, while watching her try to find a place within this new crew.

I also feel like you can see a maturation of Barnes writing in this one, which is lovely to see. We love to watch an author progress over the course of their career.

I really enjoyed the dangerous feel of the atmosphere that was created on the planet they were exploring. There was a sense of foreboding over every page that kept it compelling and also kept my pulse slightly elevated.

The audiobook for this was fantastically narrated by Zura Johnson. I highly recommend that as a format choice if you have the option available to you. The narration style was very soothing to me, in spite of this being an intense story. I really felt myself relaxing into it.

I was extremely satisfied with how Barnes wrapped this up. The conclusion surprised me in the direction it ultimately took. I wasn’t expecting it and I was happy with that.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys SF Horror, or darker SF in general. As far as Science Fiction goes, I would consider this light, with concepts that are easily understandable to a wide audience. You aren’t going to get bogged down in scientific jargon in this one, if maybe that is a concern for you.

This is an easily understandable, compelling story, with chills and thrills, as well as great characters throughout. Additionally, I think this could translate really well to film.

Thank you to the publisher, Tor Nightfire and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

As mentioned above, I was anxiously awaiting this one and it didn’t disappoint. I look forward to seeing what Barnes comes up with next!

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Review: The Angel of Indian Lake (The Indian Lake Trilogy #3) by Stephen Graham Jones

The Angel of Indian Lake (The Indian Lake Trilogy #3)The Angel of Indian Lake by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Angel of Indian Lake is the final book in the Indian Lake Trilogy. It’s also my most anticipated release of 2024.

I finished this a week ago and have been sitting with my thoughts ever since. I find myself thinking of the story at random times during the day, and trying to decide how I would explain my overall experience with this trilogy.

I really haven’t come up with anything that I think serves it justice. At this point, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is just one of those 5-star reads that I may never end up writing a full, thoughtful, and analytical review for.

It simply is what it is. I love this series with my whole heart. It’s special to me, because in a way, I feel like this series validates my passion for the crazily nuanced genre of Horror.

Stephen Graham Jones is such a talented storyteller. His nostalgic, yet edgy-style, brings a distinct voice to his stories, while also bringing heart and emotion. We swoon.

While I recognize this trilogy won’t be for everyone, for the people it is for, for the people it resonates with, it’s truly a gift. My heart hurts that it’s over. Is this really the last time I’m going to spend with these characters I love?

I know I can read it again and again, as I do with my favorite King books, but still, I’m going to miss them nevertheless. SGJ is clearly a life-long Horror lover, a student of the genre, and someone that can tell one hell of a story.

I’d love to hang out with him around a campfire…

I highly recommend this series to Horror Readers. Particularly to Horror Readers who have been turning to the genre their whole life for comfort and to face fears. Perhaps you’ll see a little of yourself in here too.

Also, coincidentally, I did happen to rewatch Scream III while reading this and loved coming upon Randy’s rules for Slasher Trilogies, which definitely could be applied here. It was great to hear those again from him whilst reading this.

So perfect. We love making beautiful Horror connections!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Saga Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I already can’t wait to read this one again!

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Review: Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands (Emily Wilde #2) by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands (Emily Wilde, #2)Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands is the much anticipated sequel to Heather Fawcett’s runaway Cozy Fantasy hit, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries.

I was swept away by the first book and was beyond ready to be back with Emily, Shadow and Wendall Bambleby on another cozy, magical adventure!!

In this story, Emily and Bambleby have returned to Cambridge, and to their roles at the University. Emily’s Encyclopaedia has come to fruition and she’s currently working on a new project, a map of the Otherlands.

In the wake of their time in Hrafnsvik, Emily now knows the truth of Bambleby’s heritage. Summarily, that he’s an exiled faerie king on the run from his murderous mother, but he also is desperately searching for a door back to his realm.

When magical assassins arrive at Cambridge, and attack, looking for Bambleby, Emily is swiftly dragged into another fae-filled adventure.

They set their sights on a picturesque destination, the Austrian Alps, where Emily believes they will finally be able to find the portal. They hope they’ll be able to set Bambleby free, once and for all from his mother’s menacing grip.

They’ve brought along some additional traveling companions this time, Emily’s niece, Ariadne, and Department Head, Dr. Rose, which added to the fun.

But if you’ve read the first book, you know Emily, she’s not exactly a people person, so let’s just say, these new additions may be more by folly than gracious invite.

Nevertheless, along with the ever faithful Shadow, all these individuals, with vastly different personalities, make for a humorous and greatly-engaging traveling group.

While I still loved the adventure and the cast of characters, this one did lose some of the feel of the cozy atmosphere that the 1st-book captured so well; at least for me.

Obviously, the setting is very different, so that was the main culprit, but also the stakes were a lot higher. It felt more dangerous and at times I was at the edge-of-my-seat with worry for these characters, particularly, Bambleby.

The way this kicks off, it happens very quickly. There’s no quiet build like in the first book. This felt more like being shot out of a cannon in comparison.

Even so, in the context of the story, it does make sense. The setting of Cambridge is more dynamic, just in its general nature, and there’s a lot happening for our characters in the aftermath of the first book.

We also have a larger cast of characters affecting the narrative. I did love our new additions though. Both Ariadne and Dr. Rose grew on me greatly over the course of the story and I loved seeing Emily’s reactions to their presence change over time as well.

In fact, IMO, Emily does soften a bit over the course of this story, which actually filled my heart to see. She’s still the same feisty, determined woman she’s always been, but perhaps with a bit more room in her world for others.

With all this being said, I loved watching this story evolve and I came to a realization by the end, it was still Cozy. This time however, the coziness came from the relationships, not the setting as much, and I thought that was brilliant.

I absolutely recommend this series. If you enjoyed the first book, you need to pick this up. You’ll walk away even more in love with these characters than you were before.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am looking forward to more adventures with Emily Wilde!!

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Review: Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice (Finlay Donovan #4) by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice (Finlay Donovan, #4)Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice by Elle Cosimano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice is the highly-anticipated 4th-installment to Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan Cozy Mystery series, featuring my favorite gal pals, Finlay and Vero!

When Finlay and Vero mention they need a Girls Weekend, people think rest, relaxation, that the women need to let their hair down. After the events at the Citizen’s Police Academy, it wouldn’t be surprising if they needed a break.

This is Finlay and Vero though, so you know there’s more to it than that. What they’ve really got planned is negotiating with a loan shark, rescuing Vero’s childhood crush, Javi, and finding a stolen luxury car.

Getting away won’t be so easy though. After Finlay’s mother hears about the Girls Weekend to Atlantic City, she insists on going. They’ll need help with the kids and she’s a girl too. She wants in.

Then Steven, Finlay’s ex-husband, gets word of the trip and insists that Finlay cannot take the kids over a state border without his permission, which he’s not giving, but he’s willing to go along.

Thus begins the most hilarious road trip from hell.

They check into a seedy casino hotel, two rooms of course, and Finlay and Vero get to work right away. It’s tricky, but they don’t have a lot of time.

After negotiations with the loan shark, Marco, fail, the gals have to move on to Plan B. They’ll just have to find the whereabouts of Javi and the Aston Martin themselves, using nothing but their phenomenal sleuthing skills.

They figure out where Marco’s suite is and decide to break in to search for clues. I mean, obviously, right!?

Unfortunately, they discover much more than they bargained for in that suite; Marco’s dead body. With police circling like birds of prey, Finlay and Vero need to stay out of their sights, find Javi and get the heck out of dodge before they get accused of killing Marco themselves.

Y’all, I had so much fun with this. First of all, I was stoked to be back with this outrageous cast of characters. I love Finlay and Vero with my whole heart, but it’s not just them. All the side characters are wildly entertaining as well.

The way this one kicked off, with the road trip to Atlantic City, was hilarious. Just how the girls thought they could get away real quick and do what they needed to do, and the next thing you know, we’ve got two rambunctious kids, a opinionated mother and a jerk of an ex-husband in tow.

Then Marco’s hotel room. OMG, I was laughing out loud, exclaiming things. I couldn’t believe how much they were bumbling up that crime scene. It was hilarious.

And people kept showing up! Like, oh, now Nick is here!? I loved that, how even though the setting had changed, we still ended up having the full cast of wacky characters.

I absolutely adored the Atlantic City setting. It’s absurd how many opportunities for hi-jinks they had there. I was living for every minute of it.

This is an extremely strong addition to the series. At this point, my level of attachment for these characters is off the charts and this is one of my favorite mysteries so far.

Overall, Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice is another well-plotted, explosive, uproarious, utterly ridiculous adventure with Finlay and friends. 100% recommend to Readers who have enjoyed other books in this series.

If you haven’t started the series yet, but enjoy Cozy Mysteries full of OTT-humor and wild escapades, you definitely should give it a go.

I have listened to the audiobooks for the last three and have loved that format so much. The narration is perfect, A++!!!

Thank you so very much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I love this series and hope that it continues for a long, long time!

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Review: What Feasts at Night (Sworn Soldier #2) by T. Kingfisher

What Feasts at Night (Sworn Soldier, #2)What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

What Feasts at Night is the 2nd-release in the Sworn Soldier series by one of my favorite authors, T. Kingfisher.

When I read the 1st-book in this series, What Moves the Dead, an atmospheric reimagining of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, I believed it to be a standalone novella.

Having loved it as much as I did, imagine my surprise when I learned we were going to be getting more stories following the witty, charming and delightful MC, Alex Easton.

Alex has quickly become one of my favorite character perspectives to read from. Kingfisher channels her signature sense of humor beautifully into this character and reading their perspective feels like you are sitting with a friend, as they tell you the most horrifying vacation stories ever.

In this installment, Alex, along with some of the best side characters ever, including Hod, Angus and Miss Potter, travel to Alex’s family’s hunting lodge, deep in the dark, cold forests of Gallacia.

When they arrive the rest and relaxation they were hoping for is impossible to find, as the caretaker has died and the property is in disarray.

The local village is a titter, claiming that a breath-stealing monster, coming in the cover of night, has taken up residence at the hunting lodge.

While Alex generally doesn’t put much stock in local rumors, or the monsters of lore being real, having just survived what they did at the Usher manor, it’s hard to write off the possibility entirely.

Soon things that Alex could have never imagined, nightmare-like situations, begin to become reality. Maybe something is going on in the lodge after all?

I loved this. I’m already excited to read it again and to get a hard copy for my shelves. I’m not sure what the plans are for the Sworn Soldier series, but I truly, truly hope this is not the last we are going to see of these characters.

Whether there is one more to come, or sixty more, I am here for them all!!

Kingfisher succeeded again in making me care so much about these characters and what was happening to them. Even though this is just a novella, it packs a punch. The atmosphere, plot progression and horror imagery, were all so well done.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a dark, gothic story, following fun and engaging characters. If you enjoyed the first book, I definitely think you will love this one as well.

Thanks to the publisher, Tor Nightfire and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

I will be keeping my fingers crossed for more Alex Easton!!

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Review: No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall

No One Can KnowNo One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


No One Can Know is the most recent Adult release from beloved author, Kate Alice Marshall, who made her Adult Debut last January with What Lies in the Woods. I enjoyed that quite a bit, so have been anxiously awaiting this release.

Happily, it didn’t disappoint for a moment. I listened to the audiobook and yet again, Karissa Vacker’s stellar narration knocked it out of the park.

In this story we meet Emma, who after her husband, Nathan, loses his job, and essentially their housing, has to come clean to him about that fact that she actually already owns a home. It has the potential to save them.

As you can imagine, he’s surprised, but the truth is, Emma hasn’t told him much about her past. He knows her parents are dead and that she’s estranged from her two sisters, other than that, he knows nothing of the bloody and tragic events that shaped Emma’s life.

The situation is that Emma owns her parent’s home jointly with her sisters. They can’t sell it, but they can live in it.

Without having much of a choice, and trust, Emma would do anything else if she could, they move in.

Unfortunately, moving back to her hometown and into her family home means that Emma’s going to have to come clean with Nathan about a few more things…

For example, like the fact that her parents were actually murdered in the home and many in the town believed that Emma was the one responsible.

Emma’s sudden presence comes as a shock to the town and yet again, rumors and speculations begin to swirl. She sort of figured that would happen though, that’s why she stayed away for so long.

Her being back has another, more unexpected consequence. It lures her sisters back too. The three have never actually talked about what happened. Each of them has their own thoughts and secrets regarding that fateful night.

But are their secrets continuing to put them in more danger? If Emma didn’t do it, then who did? And will they ever be able to rekindle their once loving relationships?

I found this set-up so interesting. I liked Emma as a character from the start, but I hated her husband.

Those feelings continued throughout and only helped to solidify my connection to the story. My ire towards Nathan alone, kept me glued to the pages.

I felt bad for Emma, having lost her parents and then her sisters. It seemed unfair to me, as she seemed genuinely distraught by the events that had led to the family demise.

We eventually get the perspectives of Emma’s sisters, Juliette, now going by J.J., and Daphne. While I didn’t have the same level of feelings for them that I felt for Emma, I did find them interesting; messy, but interesting.

I loved getting the back-and-forth between the past and present. I always enjoy that, as the puzzle pieces are set in place. I love just sitting back and enjoying the ride as everything becomes clear.

I will say, this one kept me guessing for way longer than I expected. I think Marshall did a great job of keeping enough possibilities in play to keep the Reader engaged and guessing. It wasn’t quite clear until almost the very end.

I suspected everyone at one time or another. I also enjoyed how the pace steadily increased the further you got along, until it was pedal to the floor, full throttle, full speed ahead!

I’m really enjoying KAM in this Adult space. I also love her YA work, so it’s clear to me, she’ll be successful with whatever she chooses to write. She’s just that good.

If you haven’t yet read Kate Alice Marshall, I feel like this could be a fun place to start. I definitely recommend this audiobook too, if that is an option for you. Karissa Vacker is one of my all-time favorite narrators and she definitely helped to bring this story to life.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

This was fantastic and certainly delivered on the tense family drama and deep dark secrets I was expecting. I can’t wait to see what Marshall gives us next!

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