Review- Roses of May (The Collector #2)

Roses of May (The Collector #2)
By: Dot Hutchinson
Release Date: May 23rd, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: The Collector

Book two in this dark and twisted series wasn’t quite what I expected. When I learned there were more books in the series I thought we’d get to see more about the victims from book one as they move through their court case. Instead, we are sticking with agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez which, I’m not complaining about. We learn about another young woman, Priya Sravasti and the challenges she and her mother are facing years after the murder of her sister.

Review- The Butterfly Garden (The Collector #1)

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector #1)
By: Dot Hutchinson
Release Date: June 1st, 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: The Collector
Award: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Horror (2016)

I know what you’re all thinking-Another thriller? Yes, of course. Why? I couldn’t resist the synopsis or the draw of the series.

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Holy crap. And yes, there should be a GIGANTIC trigger warning across this book, if you haven’t already caught on to that by way of the synopsis.

I admit it was a bit of a tough read, given the subject matter but the mystery behind the Gardner, the women in the garden and the survivor Maya kept me turning the pages quickly.

The story was a bit weird at times, given that the information about the Garden was told in flashbacks and that the story was broken up by Maya’s interrogation. I will not say this book was perfect and I know there were parts that were difficult to believe but at the same time I was so deep in the story that I couldn’t find my way out. When I finished book one I bought the rest of the books in the series and dove right in. Probably not the best sign of mental stability to read about crime as much as I do, but oh well!

If you like crime, thrillers and mysteries and can stomach some harsh details you will enjoy this book and series.

Review – The Patient

The Patient
By: Jasper DeWitt
Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

When I saw this book on the NetGalley website I was intrigued. Normally I reserve my horror reads for the fall time, when the theme seems to fit the weather. Still, a chance at an advanced reader copy for such an interesting story was something I couldn’t resist so I put the request in and was approved. I waited for a day that I felt ready to jump into the horror genre and here we are, talking about a book that took me on a wild ride and that surprised me.

#BookTour – Eden by Tim Lebbon

Eden Eden
By: Tim Lebbon
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

A brand new eco-thriller hit shelves earlier this month. Eden is the latest novel by Tim Lebbon, winner of three British Fantasy Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, the Shocker, and a finalist for both the International Horror Guild and World Fantasy Award. His latest novel combines horror, near future sci-fi, and ecological thriller genres into one unforgettable story.

Review – Sealed by Naomi Booth

Sealed by Naomi Booth Sealed
By: Naomi Booth
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Titan Books
Award: Guardian's Not the Booker Prize Nominee (2018)

A rather timely horror novel, Sealed by Naomi Booth is set in a world in fear of an epidemic, the knowledge of which is suppressed in a country whose government seems to be sliding into a dystopian landscape. Reading this during the beginnings of the Coronavirus outbreak and around the time of the massive fires in Australia provided a rather morbid ambiance, one that hits a little too close to reality was a very unique experience.

Review – Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff Last Ones Left Alive
By: Sarah Davis-Goff
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

Debut author Sarah Davis-Goff brings us a standalone novel titled Last Ones Left Alive, a unique take on what happens when a sheltered young woman has to suddenly face the post-apocalypse alone. This novel is set in a post-apocalyptic Ireland, a place filled with zombie-like creatures called skrake. Orpen’s early life was sheltered, having been raised by her mother and Maeve on an uninfested island off the Irish coast. But now her mother’s gone, and Maeve is gravely ill. Determined, angry, and searching for her identity in the remnants of the world, Orpen takes Maeve to Ireland on a journey to find a rumored city and the banshees—the all-women fighting force that’s fought the skrake for generations.

#MangaMonday Review – No Longer Human by Junji Ito

No Longer Human
By: Junji Ito; Osamu Dazai (original novel)
Illustrator: Junji Ito
Translator: Jocelyn Allen
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)

The latest manga from Junji Ito is somewhat different from his usual fare. No Longer Human by Junji Ito is Ito’s take on Osamu Dazai’s novel of the same title. A character study more than true horror, this story is filled more with commentary on the human psyche than the monsters and ghosts that frequent Ito’s pages.

4 (More!) Podcasts for Audiobook Lovers

Here’s the thing with fictionalized podcasts. They can be hard to find. For example, I use Google Play to listen to most of my favorite podcasts, but the platform doesn’t have any sort genre listing for fictional stories. This makes it difficult to find fictional stories at large, let alone stories in a specific genre.

Once again, I’m here with podcasts that tell fictional stories that are perfect for audiobook lovers. Everything I’ve recommended below is something I’ve listened to completion or am fully caught up with all released episodes. If you’re interested in more recommendations you can visit the first and second posts in this series!

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Review – The Missing Season by Gillian French

The Missing Season by Gillian French The Missing Season
By: Gillian French
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen

Gillian French’s newest novel, The Missing Season, is a novel that straddles several genres—mystery, horror, and thriller. The author is no stranger to the genre, her novel Grit being nominated for an Edgar Award. This novel, too, is a great example of a young adult book that falls within that liminal space between thriller and horror.