Creepy YA Horror!

Title: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, Book 1

Author: Candace Robinson

Setting: Texas, present day and inside the vault

Deer Park, Texas isn’t unusual, except for two things – people have been disappearing, and there’s a new museum in town. Perrie Madeline doesn’t think the two are connected until her cousin gets a job at the new museum and never comes home. Then her ex-boyfriend goes missing. Perrie decides if the police can’t put a stop to this, she’s going to look for them. Only her new friend August believes her, and pretty soon, the two of them are trapped inside the vault.

I got this book for free from the author, which was extremely nice, because I hosted the  Mega Blitz Launch Party Giveaways. I was intrigued by the story and wanted to read more, but also, I admit it, I was mesmerized by that cover. Can you blame me? It’s really something! As you might guess, this has got elements from several fairy tales or folk tales in here. There’s Snow White, Rapunzel, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and then Jack the Ripper. It’s creepy and violent, not your typical YA retelling. Those are generally sweet Happily Every After type story. This is really, really not.

I did enjoy this book, and I give Robinson credit for embracing the horror element. I mean, she didn’t tiptoe around it. The ending is bloody, that’s for sure. But I think in the end, it wasn’t really a good fit for me. For that reason, I’m not going to rate it. I admire her; I think she took some risks with this book and I hope they pay off for her. If you’re into horror, give this one a try. It’s something different and I hope you like it.

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell

22304616._SY540_Review: Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy/Horror Novella

Silence is an innkeeper, but if you’re thinking of a friendly, garrulous sort who likes to gossip with the patrons, you’re far off. Silence is grim. Most folks are pretty grim, here on the outskirts of the forest. She’s also a bounty hunter, and between both jobs, she’s barely making enough to provide for her 14 year old daughter and her ward. Now she’s heard of a fat bounty on a known criminal, currently sitting downstairs in her tavern.

Silence and her daughter William Ann wait for the right moment, then follow to get the bounty. They’ll have to track a whole group of men, kill them, and bring back the body of the one they want, all without getting killed by the men or attacked by the shadows who dwell in the forest.

Of the two, the forest shadows are far more deadly. One touch and you’ll start to wither. Only silver can stop you from becoming like them. There are rules to keep you safe, but even when you follow the rules, there’s never any guarantee. But Silence needs that bounty.

Sanderson is really one of my favorite writers. I loved how he painted such a vivid picture of a grim world and a tough woman determined to keep her family together no matter what it took. Haunting and mesmerizing, you have to read this one.

Vampire book review!

xmasvamp

This one totally should have been up for Halloween, but I didn’t finish it in time, so Merry Christmas, bloodsuckers!

Something in the Blood: The  Untold Story of the Man Who Wrote Dracula

by David J. Skal

genre: non-fiction, biography, and horror

where did I find this: Received by Library Thing for an early review – Thanks!

I’ve always been bugged by the sparkly vampire type of story. Vampires should not sparkle. They shouldn’t be the heroes of any story. They are the villains. I’m okay with them as silly, campy villains like in Bugs Bunny or Scooby-Doo. I’m fine with them as menacing villains like in Buffy. I like a good comic vampire. But as a possible romantic partner? A misunderstood sort of fellow who agonizes over his need for blood but at the same time keeps it PG and clean, avoiding any real mention of the violence inherent in its very existence? No thanks.

In a new book by David Skal, the writer confronts head all the most disturbing aspects of vampires, and he does it with a scholarly thoroughness. The blood and gore, the violence, the sexual dominance, the violation – he really examines it, what it all means, and where it fits into Victorian society of the times. He uncovers all the little secrets of Bram Stoker and his influences. If you are a reader who thought Dracula was just a crackling good horror story, you would appreciate it so much more when you see what you missed.

But.

Why are we reading so much about so many other things? Where are you going with this, Mr. Skal? So many times listening to this, I  would just be getting into the story of Bram Stoker, when the writer would introduce a new character, like Oscar Wilde, or Oscar Wilde’s mother, or Oscar Wilde’s brother, or a friend of Oscar Wilde – seriously, why so many Wildes? – and we’d wander totally off the into somewhere else. By the time we meandered back onto Stoker, I had completely lost track of what he was talking about before.

So I don’t know how to rate this. I think I’m going to take the easy way out and give it 2.5/5 stars and split it right down the middle. Also, if it does sound interesting to you, I would recommend the print version instead of audio. The author read it, and he did a fine job, but like I said, sometimes I wanted to skip ahead and the tracking made it impossible for me to know when a chapter was coming to an end.