Friday, April 21, 2023

Horror Reviews - Black Mouth, The Loney, My Heart is a Chainsaw

I'm writing shorter reviews these days and so have I decided to share digests of a few horror novel reviews at a time. These are in reverse order, with the most recent appearing first. 

Black Mouth
by Ronald Malfi (5 stars)

Once again, another riveting story by Mr Malfi. He just keeps getting better and better. I don't say this often (sadly), but this one was on my mind all the time. I just couldn't wait to get back to it. I felt this was partly coming-of-age horror, but the theme reminded me so much of Stephen King's The Outsider (another one I couldn't put down). The solving of a supernatural mystery with very human characters. I don't know how he comes up with these stories. I just hope he keeps doing it for many years to come.

The Loney
by Andrew Michael Hurley (4 stars)

I've always been drawn to folk horror (Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home, I'm looking at you) so the resurgence of the subgenre in recent years has been a boon for me. The Loney fits nicely in the folk horror niche. I really liked the subtlety of it. While reading, we know there is some menacing local tomfoolery going on. And why is everyone suddenly younger, ailments gone, trees bursting with fruit out of season, etc.? I had a picture of The Loney in my mind, and that's a credit to the author who firmly plants the reader in the scenery. Very satisfying read. I will definitely be reading more Hurley.

My Heart is a Chainsaw
by Stephen Graham Jones (5 stars)

Started off with a bang, then was slow for a bit. The main character, Jade, made up for the slowness. What a great character. About midway through, it took off and didn't stop until the end. Let's just say there's a pretty high final body count. This is a must-read for anyone who loves horror.

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Sunday, April 2, 2023

I Read Horror Year-Round Reading Challenge - 2023 First Quarter Check-In

The first quarter of 2023 is in the books. How did you fare? 

I'm doing the Chilling level which is 12 books in a year and I'm happy to say, I've finished three books.
  • Book by BIPOC author - My Heart is a Chainsaw, Stephen Graham Jones
  • Set in the past - The Greeen Man, Kingsley Amis
  • Folk Horror - The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley
I keep track of my yearly challenges over on my sister site, True Book Addict. There's a link to my 2023 challenge page in the menu above.

Next up for me are The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin (Title with dead, blood, or bone) and Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi (black, red, or white cover). 

I hope you're enjoying your horrific reading! Share your progress in the comments (update, links to posts/reviews, etc.)...

Announcement! The Spring into Horror Readathon is going on through the month of April. You can still sign up. Full details at the Seasons of Reading blog.

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Monday, January 2, 2023

2022 I Read Horror Year-Round Reading Challenge - Wrap-up

Year two of I Read Horror is done and dusted. How did you do? Once again, I don't think I quite completed the Chilling level (which is 12 books in a year), but let me list the categories below and see how I stacked up...
  • Book by a BIPOC (female) - Certain Dark Things, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Book by a BIPOC (male) - The Only Good Indians, Stephen Graham Jones
  • Folk Horror - Winterset Hollow, Jonathan Edward Durham
  • A Gothic horror classic (published 50 or more years ago, published no later than 1972) - The Marble Faun, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • A modern Gothic tale (published within 50 years ago, published 1973 or later) - Fireside Gothic, Andrew Taylor
  • Purple, orange, or green on the cover - The Devil in Silver, Victor LaValle
  • Serial killer from the past - fiction or non-fiction (before 20th century) Examples: Jack the Ripper, H.H. Holmes, Burke and Hare (I started The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, but have not finished yet.)
  • Short story collection/Anthology
  • Slasher
  • Vampires - Impact Winter, Travis Beacham
  • Werewolves
  • Witches - In the House in the Dark of the Woods, Laird Hunt
So, I didn't do too badly. Managed to finish 9 out of 12. 

How about you? Share your wrap-up in the comments, or link to a wrap-up post on your blog (or social media, shelf on Goodreads, etc.).

In case you missed it, sign up for I Read Horror YR 2023 is open. Here's the link to the post.
I hope you will join me again!

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Friday, December 30, 2022

2023 I Read Horror Year-Round Reading Challenge

Year three! I can hardly believe it. So much great horror out there now. How do we even keep up?! I know! This reading challenge!

Once again, there are 12 categories and 4 levels of participation.

Here are the categories, or themes:
  • Fairy Tale Retelling
  • Zombies, Witches, Vampires, or Werewolves
  • Book by BIPOC author
  • Title with Dead, Blood, or Bone
  • Something by Poe
    Note: Since most of Poe's works are less than 100 pages, the rule doesn't apply for this some of his poems, a couple/few short stories, or a combination of both.
  • Set in the past
  • Horrific cover
  • Folk horror (Ideas: or
  • Winter theme or cover
  • Black, red, or white cover
  • Written by a woman
  • Debut horror

Spooky: Read 6 books from 6 categories
Chilling: Read 12 Books from all 12 categories
Frightful: Read 2 books from each category for a total of 24 books
Horrifying: Read 3 books from each category for a total of 36 books

Challenge runs from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023. Cross overs with other challenges count. Short stories are allowed if you're reading an entire collection or anthology. Books must be over 100 pages. You do not have to pick your books ahead of time, but you can if you want.
Hashtag for social media: #IReadHorror

Grab the button (awesome, right?!) and spread the word. Thanks!

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