September Wrap-up

Hey guys! I am here with my September Wrap-up. I honestly have no clue where September went. I do feel September was a bit of a weird month for me. I made a bit of an ambitious TBR. Then when the time came to read I found myself not really interested in what I picked out. I also found myself not really wanting to read so I tried to resort to audiobooks. Overall I did find a couple new reads I liked so let’s dive in to see what books those were!

King of Fools By Amanda Foody

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, Romance, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 602 pages
Publication Date: April 30th 2019
Publisher: Inkyard Press
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

My Thoughts: This ended up being a reread for me. I wanted to refresh myself with what happened before I read Queen of Volts. I am a huge fan of The Shadow Game series. I just love this amazing world Amanda Foody created based off of Atlantic City. I have so much love for these characters. In this book we end up getting a new POV which is always exciting. All in all just a great continuation of the series and really leaves you wanting more at the end. You can find my review HERE.

Thunderhead By Neal Shusterman

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 504 pages
Publication Date: January 9th 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

My Thoughts: This ended up being another reread for me. Man did I forget so much of what happened in this book. It really did almost feel like I was reading this for the first time. I loved this just as much as I did the first time I read it. I reread this because it was a buddy read and I wanted to prepare myself for reading The Toll. Honestly this is one of my favorite series. I loved this book even more than the first one. I recommend you guys pick up this series if you haven’t already done so. I can’t wait to finish this series.

*This reread was a buddy read with Bex @As Told By Bex.*

Queen of Volts By Amanda Foody

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Fiction, LGBT, Science Fiction
Pages: 598 pages
Publication Date: September 1st 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.

After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.

Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…

And monsters.

My Thoughts: I honestly was not ready for this series to be over. However I knew it was going to be one hell of a ride so I was ready for it. I loved how we ended up getting even more POVs than the last book. It was great to be inside the minds of characters who were mysterious and were just introduced in the last book. I think overall this was a good sendoff for the book. A part of me does wish things ended up a bit differently. If you want to see what I mean you can read my review HERE. I go more in depth about my thoughts and do post some spoilers. So please beware if you haven’t read the book. I do point out it that it is spoilers so it is avoidable.

The Outsider By Stephen King

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Suspense
Pages: 561 pages
Publication Date: May 22nd 2018
Publisher: Inkyard Press
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can. 

My Thoughts: So I think this book kinda sent me into a slump. I really thought I was going to enjoy this one. I have been hearing nothing but great reviews. Plus I also picked it up to watch the show. (probably will still check it out) I just honestly found myself not caring about this book at all. I really had no interest in it. I think part of it was because I kinda had an idea what the outcome is. I just feel the way people described this book basically spoils things. I also wasn’t a fan of Stephen King putting his political ideas randomly into the story. It wasn’t very often but it felt very unnecessary. It was a turn off for me. It does make me a bit wary of picking up his new releases. I do have to say I was so happy to see Holly from the Bill Hodges series in the book. I honestly probably would have DNFed if she wasn’t in the book.

Little Secrets By Jennifer Hillier

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 352 pages
Publication Date: April 21st 2020
Publisher: Minotaur Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman desperately tries to save her marriage in award-winning author Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets, a riveting novel of psychological suspense.

All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret…

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.

Permanently.

My Thoughts: This was my second book by Jennifer Hillier and I loved it. I read most of the book in one sitting. I found myself not wanting to put it down. I ended up just getting sucked in right from the start. I did find things to be predictable. I did have an idea about things and I did end up being right. That didn’t stop me from enjoying this book. I still wanted to know the answers. I really can’t wait to pick out more books from Jennifer Hillier. If you would like to read my review for more details you can check it out HERE.

Mexican Gothic By Silvia Monreno-Garcia

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Gothic, Mystery, Fantasy, Historical, Thriller, Adult
Pages: 304 pages
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Publisher: Del Rey
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find – her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind. 

My Thoughts: This book has been getting so much hype over the last couple of months. So after some debate I decided to pick it up. I was sure this was going to be a new favorite for me. However I just found things to be a bit slow. I then found out that is how Gothic horror novels usually are. I am not very familiar with them so I wasn’t aware of this. Overall I did end up liking this one and probably would have been a favorite if it wasn’t for the pacing. I do plan to read more from the author. I really enjoyed her writing a lot. I did write a review for this one which you can check out HERE.

It Came from the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Thrillers by Joshua Viola (Goodreads Author) (Editor, Contributor), Warren Hammond (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Angie Hodapp (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Dayton Ward (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Kevin Dilmore (Contributor), Betty Rocksteady (Contributor), Keith Ferrell (Contributor), Gary Jonas (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Mario Acevedo (Contributor), Orrin Grey (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Sean Eads (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), K. Nicole Davis (Contributor), Stephen Graham Jones (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Steve Rasnic Tem (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Kevin J. Anderson (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Paul Campion (Introduction), Jeanni Smith (Foreward), Bret Smith (Foreward)

Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Anthologies, Fiction, Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 316 pages
Publication Date: September 15th 2020
Publisher: Hex Publishers
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Welcome to tonight’s feature presentation, brought to you by an unholy alliance of our spellcasters at Hex Publishers and movie-mages at the Colorado Festival of Horror. Please be advised that all emergency exits have been locked for this special nostalgia-curdled premiere of death. From crinkling celluloid to ferocious flesh—from the silver screen to your hammering heart—behold as a swarm of werewolves, serial killers, Satanists, Elder Gods, aliens, ghosts, and unclassifiable monsters are loosed upon your auditorium. Relax, and allow our ushers to help with your buckets of popcorn—and blood; your ticket stubs—and severed limbs; your comfort candy—and body bags. Kick back and scream as you settle into a fate worse than Hell. Tonight’s director’s cut is guaranteed to slash you apart.

Edited by Joshua Viola
Produced in collaboration with the Colorado Festival of Horror
Cover art by AJ Nazzaro and Joshua Viola
Story art by Xander Smith
Header art by Aaron Lovett

Contents:
FOREWORD: Bret and Jeanni Smith, INTRODUCTION:Paul Campion, ALIEN PARASITES FROM OUTER SPACE By Warren Hammond, RETURN OF THE ALIEN PARASITES FROM OUTER SPACE By Angie Hodapp, NEGATIVE CREEP By Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, HELLULOID By Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, RISE, YE VERMIN!
By Betty Rocksteady, THE CRONENBERG CONCERTO By Keith Ferrell, CREATURE FEATURE By Gary Jonas, INVISIBLE By Mario Acevedo, SCREEN HAUNT By Orrin Grey, THE DEVIL’S REEL By Sean Eads and Joshua Viola, ON THE ROCKS By K. Nicole Davis, COMING ATTRACTIONS By Stephen Graham Jones, LATE SLEEPERS By Steve Rasnic Tem and SPECIAL MAKEUP By Kevin J. Anderson

My Thoughts: I didn’t know much about this before picking it up. I was only interested in it because of the cover. This ended up being such a nice surprise. I overall ended up enjoying most of the stories. I ended up finding some new authors I haven’t heard of before. This really made me miss going to the movies so much. There were a couple of stories I wish ended up being longer. The first two stories went together but were by different authors. I would have loved to see more of that with other stories. I did write a review where I give my thoughts on each story. You can see which ones I liked and which ones I wasn’t fond of. You can find that HERE.

Cirque Berserk By Jessica Guess

Genre: Horror, Novella, Fiction, Adult
Pages: 111 pages
Publication Date: Feburary 20th 2020
Publisher: Unnerving
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: The summer of 1989 brought terror to the town of Shadows Creek, Florida in the form of a massacre at the local carnival, Cirque Berserk. One fateful night, a group of teens killed a dozen people then disappeared into thin air. No one knows why they did it, where they went, or even how many of them there were, but legend has it they still roam the abandoned carnival, looking for blood to spill.

Thirty years later, best friends, Sam and Rochelle, are in the midst of a boring senior trip when they learn about the infamous Cirque Berserk. Seeking one last adventure, they and their friends journey to the nearby Shadows Creek to see if the urban legends about Cirque Berserk are true. But waiting for them beyond the carnival gates is a night of brutality, bloodshed, and betrayal.

Will they make they make it out alive, or will the carnival’s past demons extinguish their futures?

Book 4 in the Rewind-or-Die series: imagine your local movie rental store back in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, remember all those fantastic covers. Remember taking those movies home and watching in awe as the stories unfolded in nasty rainbows of gore, remember the atmosphere and textures. Remember the blood.

My Thoughts: I feel the moment I heard this book takes place at a carnival I was excited. I feel one of my favorite locations is carnivals. I’m big on amusement parks. I haven’t read too many books with a carnival location so it’s always exciting for me. This book goes back and forth with the past and present. I had so much learning about this group of teens and why the massacre happened in the first place. I don’t want to say too much because this is such a short story but I found it so enjoyable. I can definitely see myself rereading this again in the future. If you like slashers and carnivals then I highly recommend picking this one up!

*This was for Bex’s Book Club Attack of the Killer Book Club*


Overall I feel like I found some new authors I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to read more from Jessica Guess and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I also enjoyed rereading some of my favorites. I am so excited to pick up The Toll soon. I am not sure if it will be in October but if not definitely aiming for November. My October TBR will be up soon. I am still on the fence about what I want to read. I don’t really have a set TBR but do hope to find some spooky favorites.

What did you guys end up reading in September? Any new favorites?


 

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