Blogmas Day 3: October Wrap-up

Hey guys! So it is time for my October Wrap-up. I know that this is a bit late. I didn’t end up blogging during the month of November. I still wanted to update you guys on what I ended up reading in October. It did end up being a bit more than I remember. However I did read some short stories and some comics so that is part of it. I honestly felt like I read some of these books a while ago. My brain is definitely shot from this year. I do look forward to 2021 and starting a clean slate. I do hope it ends up being better. Anyway now let’s dive in to see what I read in October!

Kingdom of the Wicked By Kerri Maniscalco

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Mystery, Historical, Fiction
Pages: 448 pages
Publication Date: October 27th 2020
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

My Thoughts: I was really looking forward to this book. I have been sad about the Stalking Jack the Ripper series ending. I have been looking forward to Kerri’s newest book. However this one really didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t as interested as I was in the other series. The more I think about it the less I really feel like I want to continue on with the series. I also don’t really remember much of the book. I did write a review for it and was a part of the blog tour. You can find my review HERE.

Deep Dark Fears By Fran Krause

Genre: Horror, Humor, Graphic Novel Comics, Fiction, Short Stories, Adult, Art
Pages: 144 pages
Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: A devilishly funny collection of comics that explores our most gruesome, hilarious, and bizare fears—and the dangers lurking around every corner.

We all have strange, irrational fears—from seeing ghosts in the bedroom mirror to being sucked into a mall escalator or finding yourself miles below the ocean’s surface on the deck of a sunken ship. In Deep Dark Fears, animator, illustrator, and cartoonist Fran Krause brings these fears to life in 101 vividly illustrated comics inspired by his wildly popular web comic and based on real fears submitted by online readers. Deep Dark Fears reveals a primal part of our humanity and highlighting both our idiosyncrasies and our similarities. 

My Thoughts: This is just a quick comic that showcases people’s dark fears. Some of them are silly. Then there are others I felt like oh yeah that’s pretty creepy. I do like the drawings as well. I can see myself having this as like a coffee table book. I would buy it to randomly pick up once in a while for a good laugh or to develop a new fear. It works both ways.

The Wicker King By K. Ancrum

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Magical Realism
Pages: 305 pages
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Publisher: Imprint
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Plot: When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth. 

My Thoughts: This is another book I really wanted to like. I was so excited to pick it up. I had heard really great things about it. I also thought it was so cool how the book slowly goes from normal pages to almost just all black. It also has doodles here and there. However this story just didn’t grab me. I found myself forcing myself to continue. I knew it was a quick read so I kept going but for majority of the read I couldn’t wait to just finish. I also did find myself a bit annoyed with the main character and other characters in the book. I don’t really want to say much because I don’t want to spoil things. I just wish they told someone. I’m really bummed about my feelings on this one.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism By Grady Hendrix

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Thriller, Humor
Pages: 337 pages
Publication Date: May 17th 2016
Publisher: Quirk Books
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act….different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

My Thoughts: I have to admit I am pretty much blanking on this book. I do remember I loved how each chapter was a different song title. I thought that was really fun. However, I don’t really remember the story. I think I got into it during the beginning but later on I just became disinterested. I wasn’t fully paying attention to what was fully going on. I do want to check out other work by Grady Hendrix. I know people really enjoy his books.

*This was a buddy read with Destiny @Howling Libraries.*

When I Arrived At the Castle By Emily Carroll

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Fantasy, LGBT, Gothic
Pages: 72 pages
Publication Date: April 16th 2019
Publisher: Koyama Press
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Plot: “A castle, a killer, and prey all bound and blurred by lust and blood.”

Like many before her that have never come back, she’s made it to the Countess’ castle determined to snuff out the horror, but she could never be prepared for what hides within its turrets; what unfurls under its fluttering flags. Emily Carroll has fashioned a rich gothic horror charged with eroticism that doesn’t just make your skin crawl, it crawls into it.

My Thoughts: I had no clue what was happening during this comic. I was just very confused and didn’t enjoy it. However I did really enjoy the art a lot. I have read Through the Woods By Emily Carroll. I really enjoyed the artwork in that book. So I knew at least I would enjoy the art here. It’s very creepy and gothic. She’s very good at gothic artwork. I am sad the story didn’t work for me.

Lady Killer By by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich

Genre: Graphic Novel
Pages: 288 pages
Publication Date: June 2nd 2020
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother–but she’s also a ruthless killer!

She balances cheerful domestic bliss with coldly efficient assassinations. From the World’s Fair in Seattle to the beaches of Florida, Josie tries to keep her perfect family alive in a bloodstained new vision of the American Dream.

Joelle Jones became an overnight sensation with this gory midcentury series, leading to successful runs on DC’s Catwoman and Batman titles. Now Lady Killer‘s complete story (so far) is together in one oversized hardcover, the perfect showcase for Jones’s phenomenal artwork.

This oversized hardcover collects the original series cowritten by Jones’s longtime collaborator Jamie S. Rich, as well as the followup, which she both wrote and drew solo. Also included are the sketchbooks from both series and previously unpublished art.

Collects Lady Killer TPB volumes 1 & 2.

My Thoughts: I am not sure how I found out about this comic. I randomly had it in the for later shelf on my library account. I absolutely loved this series so much. It was entertaining and I wanted more. I was so bummed when I finished the second volume. I wanted so much. The ending kind left on a cliffhanger. I would love if the author comes back to this story at some point. I want more with these characters. I need more! I highly recommend this story if you’re into a badass chick living two lives.

Coyotes , Vol. 1 (Coyotes #1-4) By Sean Lewis, Caitlin Yarsky (Illustrator)

Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Fiction, Adult
Pages: 128 pages
Publication Date: April 17th 2018
Publisher: Image Comics
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Women are going missing in the City of Lost Girls, a border town in the desert. Officer Frank Coffey is trying to get to the bottom of this when he meets Red, a thirteen-year-old girl with a katana blade and a mission: murder the Werewolves stalking the border picking women off one by one. When it’s discovered that the Wolves are the men of these villages, both Red and Officer Coffey are thrown together in a thriller of mythic proportions with the lives of their friends and loved ones in the balance.

Collects issues 1 through 4.

My Thoughts: I am sad to sad I don’t remember this comic. I believe it was another story where I was confused what was going on. I really only picked this one up based off the cover. I thought it was so badass looking. I definitely can see myself checking out other comics from this artist.

The Gateway By by Greer Hendricks (Goodreads Author), Sarah Pekkanen (Goodreads Author), Emily Bauer (Narrator)

Genre: Audiobook, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Short Stories, Novella, Adult, Contemporary
Pages: n/a
Publication Date: April 30th 2020
Publisher: Audible Original
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: In this short thriller from number one New York Times best-selling authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, a young woman’s dream getaway becomes her worst nightmare.

Prepare yourself for a transformative experience. Sometimes, life’s setbacks contain hidden gifts. Here at Lakewood, you’ll find the space to unwrap them.

A weekend at the Lakewood Retreat is exactly what Chloe Powell needs. Freshly unemployed after her boss loses a reelection campaign, the former press secretary desperately wants a break from the bustle of Washington DC. A flier posted at her yoga studio leads her to the getaway, which looks amazing: organic meals, celebrity testimonials, and a serene private property within driving distance of the city.

It’s so perfect, in fact, that Chloe’s barely bothered by the intensely personal questions she’s asked in her application, or the unnerving social experiments her enigmatic host, Sebastian, imposes on her once she arrives at his remote cabin. But when a mysterious new guest shows up, Chloe can no longer suppress her rising panic: This place is not at all what it seems.

A pulse-pounding story from the first minute to the last, The Getaway explores the weight of the small choices we make every day, and their staggering, unintended consequences. 

My Thoughts: So I really enjoy Greer and Sarah’s previous books. So when I saw they did an audible exclusive I had to check it out. Overall I found the story to be very predictable. It’s a very quick listen so things happen fast. If you’re used to thrillers/mystery you probably will end up predicting the ending too.

Jaws By Peter Benchley

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Classics, Suspense, Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Novels, Animals
Pages: 325
Publication Date: May 6th 1974
Publisher: Random House
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Plot: The classic, blockbuster thriller of man-eating terror that inspired the Steven Spielberg movie and made millions of beachgoers afraid to go into the water. Experience the thrill of helpless horror again—or for the first time!

My Thoughts: So I have never seen the Jaws movie. I have always wanted to watch it. So the moment I saw this on audible, I knew I had to pick it up. I was really into the story in the beginning. However later on in the book I feel there was a pointless storyline added. It really took away from the story. Then I ended up finding myself disinterested. I know there are other books in the series but I won’t be continuing with the story.

Evidence of the Affair By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Short Story, Romance, Adult, Audiobook, Novella, Adult Fiction
Pages: 87 pages
Publication Date: September 20th 2018
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: The repercussions of an illicit affair unfold in this short story by bestselling author Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Dear stranger…

A desperate young woman in Southern California sits down to write a letter to a man she’s never met—a choice that will forever change both their lives.

My heart goes out to you, David. Even though I do not know you…

The correspondence between Carrie Allsop and David Mayer reveals, piece by piece, the painful details of a devastating affair between their spouses. With each commiserating scratch of the pen, they confess their fears and bare their souls. They share the bewilderment over how things went so wrong and come to wonder where to go from here.

Told entirely through the letters of two comforting strangers and those of two illicit lovers, Evidence of the Affair explores the complex nature of the heart. And ultimately, for one woman, how liberating it can be when it’s broken.

My Thoughts: Well this is my 4th story by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I loved it. I’m not sure what Taylor has against her readers but she likes us to suffer. I have to say I was not excepting things to end the way they did. A part of me wanted more and then the other part of me was happy with the ending. This story is told in letters so it flies by. If you’re a Taylor Jenkins Reid fan, I highly recommend checking this out. You won’t regret it.

Renegades By Marissa Meyer

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 556 pages
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

My Thoughts: Overall I am in between on this book. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. I thought it was enjoyable and kept my attention. It had a lot of action scenes. I do feel like there were a lot of characters. I wasn’t 100% on the side characters. I did find myself looking in the front to remember what each person’s super power was. The ending left on a cliffhanger. So I need answers. I do plan on reading the second one soon so can’t wait to get more answers.

*This was a buddy read with Shirley @Shirley Cuypers*

Lady Mechanika Vol 6 Sangre By Joe Benítez (Goodreads Author), Marcia Chen, Brian Ching (Artist), Martin Montiel (Artist)

Genre: Fantasy, Comic
Pages: 145 pages
Publication Date: August 19th 2020
Publisher: Benitez Productions 
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Lady Mechanika accepts a job in Spain protecting a Barón’s son who was allegedly attacked by a demonic entity, but she quickly begins to suspect the young man’s condition was actually caused by illicit experiments forced upon him by his narrow-minded father. As she investigates further, Lady Mechanika gradually uncovers the sinister truth, leaving her entangled in a dangerous situation which seems to have unexpected ties to her own past. A dark tale that exposes the devastating power of love…and hate. Collects the entire five-issue Sangre mini-series, featuring a main story by guest artist Brian Ching (Supergirl, Star Wars) and a prologue story by Joe Benitez and Martin Montiel.

My Thoughts: Lady Mechanika has been a comic I talk a lot about on my blog. It’s a comic I really enjoy and I don’t see people talk about that often. In this volume Lady Mechanika gets sent on a job trying to help a boy who was supposedly attacked by a demon. Along the way she finds creatures that are similar to her. She’s been on this whole discovery about trying to find out more about herself since it’s unknown. I love how we slowly find out more about more about her each volume. I can’t wait for the next one since the ending was left on her trying to find out more about herself.

Crossroads By Laurel Hightower

Genre: Horror, Novella, Fiction, Adult
Pages: 93 pages
Publication Date: August 10th 2020
Publisher: Off Limits Press LLC
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: How far would you go to bring back someone you love?

When Chris’s son dies in a tragic car crash, her world is devastated. The walls of grief close in on Chris’s life until, one day, a small cut on her finger changes everything.

A drop of blood falls from Chris’s hand onto her son’s roadside memorial and, later that night, Chris thinks she sees his ghost outside her window. Only, is it really her son’s ghost, or is it something else—something evil?

Soon Chris is playing a dangerous game with forces beyond her control in a bid to see her son, Trey, alive once again. 

My Thoughts: Okay this book messed me up. It is such a heartbreaking read. A mother who is desperate to reunite with her son and will stop at nothing to get him back. It was honestly difficult to read at times because of the uncomfortable situations Chris put herself in. I can only imagine the pain she was going through. I am happy that Chris had such an amazing support system. I thought her ex was going to be a douche but he turned to be very supportive. Her boyfriend was by her side through it all even when he was hurting for the things Chris put herself through. The only thing that turned me off from giving this a higher rating was the pacing. It was just a bit too slow. I had to push myself at times to read. I do want to read more from Laurel. She did a great job at making me feel uncomfortable which is what I want in a horror book.

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

Unboxed By Briana Morgan

Genre: Horror, Plays
Pages: 68 pages
Publication Date: July 25th 2020
Publisher: Briana Morgan
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Greg Zipper is a paranormal vlogger whose livelihood relies on his online popularity. When a fight between him and his girlfriend goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Greg purchases a dark web mystery box in hopes of restoring his audience’s faith in him and hitting one million subscribers. But when Greg opens the box, he gets much more than he bargained for, including a Boxer who’s determined to stop him from taking his loved ones for granted. Now Greg must do all he can to stop the Boxer, or else he’ll lose his livelihood – along with the woman he loves.

My Thoughts: When I first heard about this book I had no idea it was in play format. I was a bit skeptical. Well I am so happy to say I loved this story. It was just so fast pace. I couldn’t put it down. I can really see this being turned into an actual play. It is something I know I would love to go see. It also is very modern which added to the story. I haven’t read too much modern day horror but it is something I can see myself picking up more. I can’t wait to read more from Briana Morgan.

*This was a buddy read with Luna @Bookish Luna & Jenna @J.K. I’m Exploring.*

Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark By Jonathan Maberry

Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Anthologies, Fiction, Children, Young Adult
Pages: 416 pages
Publication Date: September 1st 2020
Publisher: HarperCollins
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Featuring stories from R.L. Stine and Madeleine Roux, this middle grade horror anthology, curated by New York Times bestselling author and master of macabre Jonathan Maberry, is a chilling tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Flesh-hungry ogres? Brains full of spiders? Haunted houses you can’t escape? This collection of 35 terrifying stories from the Horror Writers Association has it all, including ghastly illustrations from Iris Compiet that will absolutely chill readers to the bone.

So turn off your lamps, click on your flashlights, and prepare—if you dare—to be utterly spooked!

The complete list of writers: Linda D. Addison, Courtney Alameda, Jonathan Auxier, Gary A. Braunbeck, Z Brewer, Aric Cushing, John Dixon, Tananarive Due, Jamie Ford, Kami Garcia, Christopher Golden, Tonya Hurley, Catherine Jordan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alethea Kontis, N.R. Lambert, Laurent Linn, Amy Lukavics, Barry Lyga, D.J. MacHale, Josh Malerman, James A. Moore, Michael Northrop, Micol Ostow, Joanna Parypinksi, Brendan Reichs, Madeleine Roux, R.L. Stine, Margaret Stohl, Gaby Triana, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rosario Urrea, Kim Ventrella, Sheri White, T.J. Wooldridge, Brenna Yovanoff 

My Thoughts: So I randomly ended up picking this book up. Right away I could tell how much Jonathan Maberry loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. There was just so much love in the introduction. So I knew this was going to be a good collection. Overall I really enjoyed majority of the stories. Some I liked more than others. Some were silly but I felt that made it more enjoyable. Also these stories are really terrifying since this was made for kids. I felt I still got a lot of enjoyment out of them. I was happy to finish this right before Halloween.

Overall I feel October was a decent month. I read a lot but like I said in the beginning it was a lot of short stories and comics. I didn’t love the regular length books. I haven’t been having too much luck with books lately. A part of me wonders if my mood has to do with it. It might be the case. November wasn’t that great of a reading month either. You guys will see that wrap-up next week. 

Have you guys read any of the books I read in October? If so what were your thoughts on them?

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One thought on “Blogmas Day 3: October Wrap-up

  1. Anytime I read the word jaws, the music just pops in my head. 😂 Evidence of the Affair By Taylor Jenkins Reid is still sitting on my shelf to read and I really want to get to it. Glad to see you liked it.


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