Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Saturday, December 31, 2022


IT LOOKS LIKE US is a superb YA Supernatural Horror/Thriller set in Glorious Antarctica, and I totally devoured it. If you've enjoyed John Carpenter's The Thing and/or read the original story, John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There?", you'll readily identify the trope: shapeshifters on the Last Continent. Only instead of a team of dedicated, single-minded, scientists plus military and/or corporate security, this is a small experimental group of high-schoolers on Winter Break, performing (untrained) unscientific sampling of ice cores, at the behest of a Billionaire tech baron very closely resembling a certain real-life example. [Extremely closely resembling, which makes for frequent chuckles and head-shaking.] The author is really good at exemplifying the young folks' characters, especially protagonist Riley. You just know "it'll all go tremendously wrong!," but still you can't help cheering these youngsters on. Quite subtly terrifying, actually, rendered more so because Riley's diagnosed anxiety disorder panic attacks can create hallucinations: are these events real, or aggravating brain glitches?

I particularly enjoyed the author's in-depth understanding of Riley's psychological issues; I expect she is quite possibly neurodivergent, and she is so extensively delineated I felt for the duration like I lived inside her skin. Another exciting aspect is the unraveling of the reasons behind this make-work Antarctic expedition [all that expenditure! Where's the Science?] and the way the author utilizes it to draw out carefully the character (or lack of) of the funding Billionaire financing the expedition. So realistic, so despicable! The type of villain whose nefarious schemes always prevail.

I'm definitely adding IT LOOKS LIKE US to the Reread shelf and holding my breath in anticipation of more from author Alison Ames!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Review: HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE by Grady Hendrix

Release January 17, 2023

Review: HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE is a highly perturbing novel, both due to its terrifying Supernatural elements (by themselves those would be enough to make me "all shook up") but by the depths of, if not exactly depravity, then of foolishness, selfishness, and gross generational deception, throughout several extended families. Those themes I found both griefworthy and highly depressing. However, the talent of Grady Hendrix lifts the novel far above simple Horror and severe family dysfunction and makes it compelling and engrossing.

Caution: contains references to child fatality, self-muilation, gore, physical and psychological pain, surgery, dolls, puppets, fire, drowning.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Tour: ALL THE BLOOD WE SHARE by Camilla Bruce

Release: November 22 2022

Review: 5🌟:

ALL THE BLOOD WE SHARE is a finely melded Historical Fiction character study with Frissons of Supernatural and Spiritualism, that fascinating fad and telling trend of the 19th century, on both sides of the Big Pond (Atlantic Ocean). The renamed "Bender" family, fugitives for their lives, remind me of an ill-driven team of oxen, in which it's every animal for itself, and nothing is accomplished. With these personalities and this degree of conflict, it's no surprise that tension and Suspense ratchet continuously, and self-destruction is the mode du jour.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Review (Tour) BISHOP by Candace Nola

I found BISHOP a tremendously exciting story, packed to the brim with maximum suspense, adventure, life-and-death action, close calls, fatality.
Especially if you love the Alaskan Wilderness, Native American legends and mythology, shapeshifters, strong familial bonds, protagonists struggling against impossible odds, themes of Man vs. Nature and Man vs. Supernatural, there's so much excitement and engrossing suspense right here.
BISHOP is a wild nonstop adventure featuring so many of my favorite themes, reading it was like discovering a Christmas/Yule pine, guarding presents stacked head-high!


Monday, October 3, 2022


An Anthology of Folk Horror to span the globe and travel through time, awakening Horrors from back in time while reminding us that electricity and technology still can't exempt us from the Horrors that surround us. Aficionados of Folk Horror and Spooky Folklore, jump right in. What you fear might be monstrous beyond belief or as near as your neighbor or spouse.

Thursday, September 1, 2022


http://castlemacabre.blogspot.com/2022/09/somethingwickedfall-2022-featuring.html?m=1 My Plans: Reread THE DEVIL IN SILVER by Victor LaValle Read Dennis Wheatley, Lovecraft, Poe, Lumley,as Classic Gothics, plus read Neo-Gothics (THE HACIENDA; Kate Alice Marshall; BENEATH THE STAIRS; BRIARCLIFF PREP; reread THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons). Watch Gothic/Spooky TV Series and films (HELIX; etc.)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Review: DAISY DARKER by Alice Feeney

What an incredibly powerful, creative, deeply-layered, convoluted, engrossing mystery! Ever since I read Agatha Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE in childhood, I have adored the Locked-Room Mystery Concept. Here Author Alice Feeney frames it as an intermittently-inescapable tiny island as the "locked-environment," one from which escape is only possible by motorboat once the tide is high, not by rowboat or swimming or walking the causeway. Once you're on the island, you'll stay, until Low Tide. Not an environment suitable for everyone, but for children's author/illustrator Beatrice Darker (Nana), who inherited Seaglass House (and tiny isle) from her mother, and for her youngest granddaughter, Daisy, it is ideal, and exceptionally special. For Daisy's mother Nancy, it's a sometime escape. For orchestra conductor Frank, son of Nana and Daisy's father, it's to be escaped, as it is for Daisy's older sisters, Rose and Lily. Author Feeney delivers through the difficult lens of First-Person Narrative, operating through a truly Unreliable Narrator, likely the most stunning example of unreliability in narration I have ever encountered [ and if there's an example more so, please clue me in!] I've often written of being blown away by a Denouement or Ending. In DAISY DARKER, there isn't a clever Hercule Poirot to elucidate the crimes, the causes, and the culprits. But the unfolding of this Denouement is without par, and I was speechless throughout.

Saturday, July 23, 2022


Electrifyingly suspenseful and breathtaking, this Paranormal Suspense Thriller is the first in a new Series: THE MERCURY MEDIUMS. I'll be lined up to devour each Mystery in the Series! Check your disbelief at the door and dive right in: these mediums are straightforward and right on, one a mind-reader, the other is directly a medium who sees, hears, and connects with ghosts. The case they take on in GRAVE LIES is seriously intent and fraught with danger for many. The tension is high-,voltage and inescapable.

Friday, July 15, 2022


I unabashedly adored this novel from the very beginning. Heartbreaking, warm, sad, grieving, loving, terrifying, sensual, vivid, emotionally fraught...it's a rollercoaster read but at the same time THEY DROWN OUR DAUGHTERS is both high class literary fiction with emphasis on vividness, lyricism, and Character, and implacably frightening Horror (especially for those who are hydrophobic and for whom the concept of Drowning is both terrifying and seductive, as it becomes for each of the multiple generations of girls and women, daughters and mothers, encased in this spectacular novel). This is the kind of story that lingers, not because of some gory images, but because it will settle into your soul and nest there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Review: THE GHOST THAT ATE US by Daniel Kraus

Release July 12 2022 Without in any way detracting from how engrossing and horrifying this engrossing novel is, from the beginning I experienced such strong overtones of fiction by Grady Hendrix and Daryl Gregory, as well as true-crime Nonfiction and true-crime podcast transcripts. Simultaneously, reading the unfolding story, I felt like a Paris citizen standing on the Avenue watching the Juggernaut rolling with royal victims to the guillotine. The foreshadowing frisson in this novel is as heavy as the silence preceding a tornado lurking just over your shoulder. In addition to the weight of the foreshadowing, which should cause sensible individuals to run away before uncovering the inevitable tragedies, the novel carries its own compulsion: like witnessing a passenger train about to collide with a stalled fuel tanker, the reader simply cannot turn away! We are compelled to witness to the end, no matter how horrifying, nor unavoidable. We must watch and witness.

Saturday, April 2, 2022


Who doesn't adore Fairy tales and Folk Legends? Probably very few; and those who do can revel in this delightful (yes sometimes scary!) collection from 17 disparate authors around the globe. Get your fairy tale groove on! ONCE UPON A WINTER is first in a series Celebrating the Seasons.

Thursday, March 17, 2022


http://seasonsreading.blogspot.com/2022/03/spring-into-horror-readathon-time-to.html?m=1 TITLES READ: 1.* MY EVIL MOTHER, Margaret Atwood. Witchcraft/Psychology/Fantasy 2. I'VE NEVER MET MY GRANDPA, Shannon Zigmund, children's 3.* THE HAUNTING OF KINNAWE HOUSE, Steven Rigolosi. Horror/Contemporary and Historical (Generational) 4.* UNDER HER SKIN ANTHOLOGY.Feminist Poetry 5.*THE EXORCIST'S HOUSE, Nick Roberts. Contemporary Rural Horror 6.*THE DARK OFFERINGS, Marc Layton. WWII Horror. 7. *THE LOST SPEARHEAD, Marc Layton Contemporary Horror