Wednesday, 2 November 2016

October 2016 - Reading Wrap-up

October has been primarily a horror and thriller reading month. I really got into the spirit of Spooktober and I freaked myself out with some of these books. In terms of ratings, it was pretty mixed with a couple of two stars but also a couple of five stars. I didn't quite get to as many books as I wanted but the first two books in The Passage trilogy is to blame for that.

On to the books:

I was quite disappointed by this short novella. I had watched the film prior to reading but I honestly could not remember much about it. Susan Hill builds fantastic atmosphere in this story BUT I just did not feel scared until the last five pages. The main character, Arthur was scared out of his wits and I wanted to feel scared alongside him. The film was better and in my opinion, this is probably a book to skip.

★ - The Beauty, Vol. 1 by Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley

Another disappointing read. At first glance this comic volume has so much to offer. A sexual disease that makes people eye-hurt beautiful but is also exploding their brains? Sounds awesome. Unfortunately the art and the story is what let it down for me. I found it really hard to distinguish between the characters who are infected with the disease and those who were not. The plot was so predictable and followed every police-procedural trope ever. Such a shame but needless to say I wouldn't recommend it.

★ - The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley

This is hands down the weirdest, most disgusting book I have ever read.  It is a short novella chronicling some future event where all of the women worldwide are dying from disgusting fungal infections resulting in yellow mushrooms sprouting from their corpses. The men are left to live out their lives in this post-apocalyptic future, the human race is most certainly going to die out completely... or is it? The writing was beautiful but the story was just so bizarre, it made me feel physically sick in places. Would only recommend to readers who enjoy weird fiction.

★ - The Twelve by Justin Cronin

This is the second book in The Passage trilogy so I can't go into two much detail but as you can probably tell I did not enjoy it as much as the first. The storyline goes back to the very beginning to follow a new group of characters before returning to the original group from the first book. I found the narrative to be slightly messy, I found it hard to follow and there are so many things I didn't understand. I still love the story but I am hoping the third book, City of Mirrors is better.

A fast paced and twisty thriller, I really enjoyed this book. Its about a married couple, Anne and Marco. On night, after their babysitter cancelled on them, they decide to leave their baby alone in the house while they attend a party next door. They take a baby monitor and check on her every half hour but of course at the end of the night when they go to check on the baby, she is gone. It is very plot driven and kept me guessing. Thrilling and enjoyable, I highly recommend.
This book really affected me and it stayed on my mind for days afterward. It is the haunting tale of one woman's obsession about a secret film that is said to contain footage of some unspeakable act that occurred during the massacre of Nanking. She goes to Tokyo to talk to an elderly university professor who is rumoured to have the film in his possession. This book went places that I just could not believe, it is a masterful thriller and I could not put it down. It's not for the faint of heart so I would recommend this book to those who possess strong stomachs and a robust emotional constitution. 

 - Bird Box by Josh Malerman

One of my new all time favourites of the month, Bird Box absolutely terrified me and kept me awake at night. It tells the story of Malorie and story begins with her decision that the time has come for her and her two children to escape from their living situation. They have lived a basically blind life terrified by unknown things that dwell outside. Malorie knows they can't stay living an unsafe, lonely and cloistered life but their only chance of escape is to sail a small rowboat down the nearby river. The narrative then alternates between present and past as everything that has happened to lead up to this point in Malorie's life is unveiled. It's brilliant and so creepy. Highly recommend.

 - The Passage by Justin Cronin

This book kind of derailed my TBR for the month because it is huge and I just never expected to love it as much as I did. I had to read the second book The Twelve immediately afterwards. The story told in this book is just so epic, it's a post-apocalyptic sci-fi blended with horror. A government experiment has repercussions for the whole world, think The Last of Us crossed with The Walking Dead, with elements of The Village. It was just so, so good. I urge everyone to read this amazing book! I have even seen it compared favourably to Stephen King but I haven't read enough of his work to comment on that. But seriously. READ IT.

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