Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Devil in Silver Read-Along - Final Discussion


Spoiler Warning: If you are not reading along with us, the below discussion post and comments may contain spoilers.

This book was SO good! I really felt the ending was appropriate. 

First of all, I was shocked by the way Dr. Anand spoke to Pepper and Loochie after Dorry's death. Then he goes on to elaborate about his situation and the situation there at the mental hospital. This book really demonstrates how broken our mental health system is. I truly believe there are facilities like this in our country. It's a sad realization. 

So, first I'm going to mention the part toward the end when Josephine tells Pepper that Miss Chris has been telling the new doctor that he is not ill. My thinking is Pepper carrying Mr. Visserplein (aka the Devil)...well, falling with him through the ceiling...him no longer seeing the man as a beast was proof to at least Miss Chris that he was not in fact insane. Still mind boggling how long he was kept there when he was never charged or sentenced to serve his time in a mental ward. My hope is that he did in fact get released and maybe he reconnects with his family, and then gets in touch with Xiu in California. The one amazing thing about this story, at least in my opinion, is how Pepper has grown as a person. 

And knowing Loochie is free and out in the world. That's wonderful. 

Thanks for reading along with me! We will have another great read-along for next year's Something Wicked Fall. What will it be?!

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. 

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Monday, October 31, 2022

Blessed Samhain...Happy Halloween!


The 2022 Miller family jack-o'-lantern.


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Monday, October 24, 2022

My thoughts on Old People (2022)


The elderly are sick of everyone's shit.

What would happen if something (a virus, something in the air a la The Happening) started affecting the elderly and turned them into murderous, super human beings? That is what is explored here in this German horror film. Honestly, I was not prepared for the gore and violence, but it was certainly effective in portraying the rage. It was definitely unsettling. The characters were understandably shocked. I mean no one really expects a bunch of old people to go on violent rampages. In all, a pretty decent Netflix offering. It definitely had me on the edge of my seat, and I might have screamed a couple of times too.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The Devil in Silver Read-Along - Discussion Three


Spoiler Warning: If you are not reading along with us, the below discussion post and comments may contain spoilers.

Well, the start of this section escalated quickly. Poor Kofi...and the revelation by Dorry. Is the "Devil" really her child? And what/who exactly is this animal/person/thing they call the "Devil?" We still don't know! And sadly, no more Scooby gang. 

I think what I liked most about this section of the reading was the focus on mental health, and how easily people who are mentally ill can be swept under the rug. The articles and death notices the three late night lounge ladies work on collecting, as a kind of war memorial (as Pepper put it) to all those lost who were also mentally ill. Rarely do their stories make front page news and that's sad. We still have a long way to go in this country in regards to the issue of mental health.

The romance between Pepper and Sue was sweet, but I wondered if it really added anything to the story. Sue knows she is being taken away by immigration sooner than what she told Pepper. So when Pepper discovers she's gone, he feels more urgency to try to contact her sister. But...was Sue really taken by immigration? After the "Devil" tried to take Japanese Freddie Mercury (Glenn), only to be foiled by Pepper and Sue, he/it could quite possibly have a vendetta against them (if a creature like him is capable of that). I guess we will find out.

What happened at the end of this section was a tragedy. Why did she do it? Guilt over Kofi? The inevitability of the demise of her "child?" We may never know. Poor Dorry.

I'm looking forward to finishing and finding out the truth. I'm hoping for a spectacular ending. I hope we are not disappointed.

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. We'll be back for the final discussion on October 30 (or thereabouts). If you need the reading schedule, find it here.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Horror Stories Master Post 2022 #SomethingWickedFall


This is the master post for horror books or short stories read during Something Wicked Fall. I will be updating this post with my thoughts on stories I've read during the event.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments. I think this will make for some hearty conversation!

There's a tab in the menu for easy access to this post.

If you're still reading Gothic stories in October, the Gothic stories master post is still a available in the menu.


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I Read Horror Year-Round Reading Challenge 2022 - Third Quarter Check-in


Three quarters have flown by! I apologize for not having an update at the end of the second quarter. I was going on vacation in early July so I was working, and getting prepared for the trip. Completely slipped my mind!

I'm not doing too bad. My progress is below. Still not sure if I'm going to make it or not. Fingers crossed!


What I've read so far: 

Book by a BIPOC (female): Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Book by a BIPOC (male): The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle (currently reading)
Purple, orange, or green on the cover: The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor
Vampires: Impact Winter by Travis Beacham
Folk Horror: Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham
A modern Gothic tale: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Gothic horror classic: Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake (currently reading)

So, how's it going for you with the horror reading? Share your progress in the comments (update, links to posts/reviews, etc.).

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Monday, October 3, 2022

The Devil in Silver Read-Along - Discussion Two


Spoiler Warning: If you are not reading along with us, the below discussion post and comments may contain spoilers.

Well, shit got real in this section of our reading! I don't know about you, but I could honestly feel Pepper's fear when that "thing," or whatever it is, lowered itself down from the ceiling, and then the attack. What the hell IS it?! And why does the staff seem to be complicit? The real horror story is that mental ward and how the patients are treated. 

I'm also enjoying the occasional social commentary. Coffee (Kofi): I am trying to reach the Black President...

Pepper: "...I don't care who the Big Boss is. I don't care if someday it's a Big Lady! The whole game is fixed. Top to bottom. Left to Right. The Black President is just like the White President. 'Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.' "

This is something I hear from (some) people all the time. "It doesn't matter. They're all corrupt." Man that irritates me! Call me naive, but I just don't believe it. I like what Coffee then says, "Dorry was right. You think all those things you say make you sound smarter, but I think you sound like a fool." 
Exactly my sentiments, Coffee.

Also, the part where Pepper refuses his medicine and the nurse tells him if he had nothing to hide, he wouldn't say no. Pepper thinks back to conversations with his black friends when they mentioned the stop-and-frisk from the NYPD. Pepper asked them why they care about being searched if they have nothing to hide. But now, he finds himself in a situation of disenfranchisement, and he realizes that "certain types of people must be overseen" and he hadn't thought of it as a problem until he became one of those types. What's the old adage? Walk a mile in my shoes.

So, what will happen next? The Scooby gang (as I like to call them) have decided to take a stand and confront the problem who lives in Northwest 4. Right at the end of this section, Loochie lets him (it) out. I have to admit, I'm kinda scared. lol

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. We'll be back for the next discussion on October 16 (or thereabouts). If you need the reading schedule, find it here.

I apologize for some of the broken images on my site. I'm having an issue with my hosting. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Devil in Silver Read-Along - Discussion One


Spoiler Warning: If you are not reading along with us, the below discussion post and comments may contain spoilers.

A few days late. What else is new with me? Always a day behind and...well, you know. Anyway, to start, this book is amazing so far! 

I read LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom novella several years ago and I really liked it. Such a great spin on a Lovecraftian tale. I didn't hesitate to buy this one, but then it languished on my shelf for a time. My mom did read it and said it was really good so at that point I knew it would be right up my alley. I have not been disappointed so far.

I think we all secretly fear being imprisoned against our will, especially if that imprisonment occurred in a mental hospital. This may be even more visceral for women, who in history were committed for hysteria and other stupid reasons like speaking their minds, or going against the norms of the time. So, I can relate to Pepper's predicament, even though I've never been committed myself. I mean really, if you're arrested for assault, the last thing a person would honestly expect would be to find themselves in a mental hospital. Jail would seem the proper avenue, right? So, right off the bat, I knew something was fishy. Next we get allusions to danger in various ways...Dorry stating Northwest Four is off limits, then Coffee talking about needing to call the Mayor because he's "seen it," and then perhaps not really an allusion...Pepper's encounter with the creature (yikes) putting its hands in his mouth, etc. Now that part was unsettling. 

Not much more to say about this section except for speculation on who or what this creature is. Is it indeed a creature that had been living there and Northwest was built just to hold it, or is it what Dorry said, it being the first patient on the ward before her time? I guess we will find out, but I will say there seems to be some kind of supernatural element as well. Remember the invisible snorting and stench with no obvious source that Pepper and the cop (Dewey) experienced? Also, the strange pull that door at the end of Northwest Four had for Pepper when he ventured that way. What do you think?

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. We'll be back for the next discussion on October 2nd (or thereabouts..lol). If you need the reading schedule, find it here.

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Friday, September 16, 2022

My thoughts on Barbarian (2022)


You've probably seen the previews and you may already have a clear picture in your mind of how the movie is going to go. I'm not going to tell you one way or another. No spoilers shall come forth from my mouth. Let me just say...WOW! This movie has everything a fan would want in a horror movie. Set in the abandoned neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan (part of the premise is that real estate is way cheap there), this quaint "Air BNB" house sticks out like a sore thumb. The creepiness of these abandoned houses really adds to the film's atmosphere. But I've digressed from my main point. Barbarian pretty much has it all. Suspense. A few jump scares. Yes, there is even some gore, and other gross elements. It really was scary, and it definitely will have people questioning their stays in Air BNB, Home Away, and other such places. Just keep in mind that you don't need to go in the basement of one of these rentals. I mean it. 


So yeah, this is one of the best horror films I've seen in a while. You should definitely add it to your scary movie schedule this season. 

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Monday, September 5, 2022

My thoughts on The Invitation (2022)


Saturday was National Cinema Day. Most theaters across the U.S. were offering $3 tickets for all movies. We saw The Invitation, a movie I was looking forward to seeing. I was not disappointed. Even better than I expected regarding the scare factor because the previews didn't really allude to it being really scary (in my opinion). There were some genuinely scary (and jumpy) moments. Ultimately though, the film is a twist on my favorite classic horror novel, Dracula. If you love the book like I do, you will enjoy the various references to the original. The only downside for me were the incessant conversations between Evie and Walt. Entirely too much talking. I will say that Evie and Walt had great chemistry, and I liked them both for their particular roles. I've been a fan of Nathalie Emmanuel (Evie) since her stint on Game of Thrones, and Thomas Doherty as Walt is a newcomer to me, but I did see he has been in quite a few shows/movies. I'd like to see more of him for sure. Those eyes! 



In all, I say see this movie if you like horror, Gothic tales, and Dracula. It's the perfect movie for the fall spooky season. 

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Gothic Stories Master Post 2022 #SomethingWickedFall


This is the master post for Gothic books or short stories read during Something Wicked Fall. I will be updating this post with my thoughts on stories I've read during the event. Look for the link in the menu above (Gothic Stories 2022).

I have lined up a selection of works and collections by classic authors considered writers of Gothic horror/fiction. I will be picking and choosing from works by M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, and from this Project Gutenberg collection of works by various authors, Black Spirits and White: A Book of Ghost Stories. I'm also considering The Witch of Ravensworth by George Brewer, The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, and The Haunted House by Walter Hubbell. This will be time permitting, of course.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments, or share a link to your blog post. You can also share in our Goodreads group (Seasons of Reading). There will be a thread under Fall Readathons/Events. You can also share in our Seasons of Reading Discord

If you continue reading Gothic stories into October, please feel free to share in the comments. I'll keep the tab in the blog menu.


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#SomethingWickedFall 2022 featuring The Devil in Silver Read-Along...plus, stories, movies, and more!


Here we are at year five! I don't know about anyone else, but here at Castle Macabre, spooky season starts TODAY! Keep reading for all the wicked fun!

Everything on the agenda is on the button above, but I'm going to share more details below. If you're on Facebook, we have a Seasons of Reading group and page, where we interact during readathons so I'll be sharing info there, and also on the Seasons of Reading Instagram, and in our Seasons of Reading Goodreads group. Castle Macabre also has a Facebook page. Forgot to mention...we have a Seasons of Reading Discord. I will create a Something Wicked Fall channel if anyone is up for some live interaction. Here's the invite link: https://discord.com/invite/e6uAmXtGqA

😈 Victor LaValle's The Devil in Silver read-along. We will be reading the book for the entire two months. My mom borrowed it a couple of years ago, and said it was really good. Time to mark it off the TBR!


Discussions will be held on this blog. I will put a new post up every two weeks on Sunday. We will read along according to the schedule below.

My edition is the Spiegel & Grau (hardcover) edition, published 2012. 412 pages.

Read-Along Schedule
  • Week One (start Sept 1): Ch 1 - 4, pp 3 -48
  • Week Two (week of Sept 12): Ch 5 - 11, pp 49 - 101
    Discussion post over weeks one and two - Sunday, September 18
  • Week Three (week of Sept 19): Ch 12 - 15, pp 102 - 153
  • Week Four (week of Sept 26): Ch 16 - 20, pp 154 - 203
    Discussion post over weeks three and four - Sunday, October 2
  • Week Five (week of Oct 3): Ch 21 - 28, pp 204 - 251
  • Week Six (week of Oct 10): Ch 29 - 33, pp 252 - 299
    Discussion post over weeks five and six - Sunday, October 16
  • Week Seven (week of Oct 17): Ch 34 - 37, pp 303 - 351
  • Week Eight (week of Oct 24): Ch 38 - Author's Note, pp 352 - 412 (end)
    Discussion post over weeks seven and eight - Sunday, October 30

💀 In September, we're focusing on Gothic stories (Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and others). There's a great list on Goodreads for reference, Best Gothic Books of All Time. I'm not going to set up any read-alongs for this. I'll create a master post and you can stop by and share what you read, and your thoughts, in the comments of that post.

🎃 In October, we're focusing on horror stories. There are a couple of great lists on Goodreads for reference...Best Horror Anthologies and Horror Collections (Single Author). I'm not going to set up any read-alongs for this either. I'll create another master post and you can stop by and share what you read, and your thoughts, in the comments of that post. 

👹 Horror movie/shows I watch an inordinate amount of horror movies and shows during the season so I will be sharing my take on some of those, and will probably share a few book reviews as well. As always, I invite guest posts or reviews from anyone who cares to contribute. The more the merrier! 


👻 #FrightFall Readathon, October all month long, at Seasons of Reading. Sign ups for the readathon will be open soon. Reader's Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) is going on right now as well.

I believe I've covered everything. If you have any questions, feel free to comment, or contact me via the contact form (click the image near the top of the sidebar) No official sign-up for this. Just share that you're in by leaving a comment. You can join in as little or as much as you want.


If you have already read this post (or if you haven't), I'm adding an addendum, as I forgot to mention Countdown to Halloween! It's an annual event hosted by my friend Michelle aka Naila Moon. You can check out all the details here, and grab a badge if you'd like to participate. 

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

I Read Horror Year-Round Reading Challenge - 2022 First Quarter Check-In


I'm so sorry for being late with this! Thankfully, Gilda messaged me which was a much appreciated reminder. 

First quarter is done and I guess I'm not doing too bad. I'm doing the Chilling level which is 12 books in a year. I'm currently on my second book (and almost finished) The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (BIPOC male author), and planning to read my third one by end of month which is Ten by Gretchen McNeil (Slasher category). First book read, in the BIPOC female author category, was Certain Dark Things by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia. 

Not quite sure what's up for me next, but probably either The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice (Vampires category) or The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Serial killer from the past category).

So, how's it going for you with the horror reading? Share your progress in the comments (update, links to posts/reviews, etc.)...

...and, as always, thank you for joining me!

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