10 Perfect Halloween Reads

Happy Halloween! Today I’m sharing 10 incredible books that are perfect for reading on Halloween – or any occasion! Definitely add these to your TBR and request them at your local library. I’d love to know what books you’re reading this Halloween?


31371752Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

HarperTeen | July 24, 2012

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard adds a “never before in print” e-novella and a gorgeous new cover to the first book in the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy. Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series.

Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Fitt’s brother is missing. After discovering the Dead are rising and wreaking havoc in Philadelphia, she knows that her brother is involved.

So Eleanor enlists the help of the Spirit-Hunters. This motley crew, hired to protect the city from supernatural forces, is after the necromancer who has been reanimating corpses. Their skills can save her brother. Yet as Eleanor spends time with the Spirit-Hunters and their handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. Now not only is her reputation at risk, but her very life hangs in the balance.

In Something Strange and Deadly, Susan Dennard weaves together beautifully imagined scenes of action, adventure, and vivid Victorian life to create an entertaining steampunk tapestry of humor, horror, and romance. Readers will be intrigued from the start.

This is the debut novel of one of my favourite authors and let me tell you, this book is an excellent Halloween read. It has steampunk and necromancers and zombies! I will forgive you for not having this on your shelf, so long as you add it immediately.


36952594A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

Imprint | September 25, 2018

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

This is pitched as Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Alice in Wonderland – what’s not to love? I’ve been dying to read this!


34198648The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

Viking | October 30, 2018

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

For Teodora DiSangro, a mafia don’s daughter, family is fate.

All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.

Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one.

Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country—and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost.

I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time, but every time I hear someone talking about it, THE BRILLIANT DEATH gets higher and higher on my TBR.


36671146Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

HarperTeen | August 28, 2018

Buy: Amazon | Book Depository |  Chapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move…is murder.

This twisty thriller from Paula Stokes should be at the top of your TBR pile! Filled with secrets, high stakes and murder, HIDDEN PIECES is the perfect Halloween read.


Certain Dark Things HC Mech.inddCertain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Thomas Dunne Books | October 25, 2016

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…

Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.

Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.

Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.

And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.

Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?

I started reading CERTAIN DARK THINGS and it is incredible – this should be on everyone’s TBR! I love the cover and the characters just draw you in.


27414411Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

Feiwel & Friends | February 20, 2018

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.

Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.

Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir.

Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together, or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves.

In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you’ll hear.

I’m almost finished my binge of Riddick movies and this will be the perfect book to read afterwards. I love anything to do with space and aliens. Definitely add this to your TBR!


23168806Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

Tor Teen | May 5, 2015

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one.

Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch.

Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose—and into Devon, the cute new boy at school.

Now Cam’s suddenly got bigger problems than passing Algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween Dance.

To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch…will that mean she’s wicked too?

I loved the humour and heart in SERIOUSLY WICKED! I read this last year and I really liked the author’s take on witches and magic.


27414389A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Roaring Brook Press | October 25, 2016

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.

I’ve heard so many incredible things about A DARKLY BEATING HEART and it’s everything I love to read in a book. A must-have for Halloween.


35068650Contagion by Erin Bowman

HarperTeen | July 24, 2018

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

It got in us.

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

Erin Bowman is another fave of mine so I was super excited to read this. I love sci-fi and this just sounds so intriguing. Also, this cover is to die for!


BONUS BOOK:

39863277Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Tor Teen | February 12, 2019

Buy: Amazon | Book DepositoryChapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Bloodwitch doesn’t come out until February, but this is the perfect Halloween read and I just had to share some preorder links. I love this fantasy series so much (this is book #4!) and you can check out my reviews of Truthwitch, Windwitch, and Sightwitch.

Advertisements

Recent Cover Reveals in YA Sci-fi

In the last couple of weeks, the covers for two of my most anticipated 2018 YA sci-fi releases were revealed. They are so incredible, I really wanted to share them here. Preorder links aren’t up yet, so I’ve included links to Goodreads instead. If you missed them or you haven’t heard of one or both titles, here they are:


33382313Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

Delacorte | July 2018

Add to Goodreads

Delacorte has acquired Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie. It was pitched as a YA Battlestar Galactica in which two girls risk everything they have for new lives as mechanically enhanced soldiers; after a rebellion against the governing body forces dark secrets to the surface, the fate of the entire fleet is left in their hands. Publication is slated for summer 2018.

I know that’s not a very detailed summary, but I have a lot of faith in Skrutskie. I loved her debut The Abyss Surrounds Us – which you should definitely check out – and have been avidly awaiting her next series. The HULLMETAL GIRLS cover was originally revealed here. The first chapter was also shared here.


35068650Contagion by Erin Bowman

Harper Teen | July 24, 2018

Add to Goodreads

It got in us.

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

Sci-fi is probably my favourite genre, so I’ve been really desperate to read some new and thrilling YA releases in that genre. Some great sci-fi novels are coming out next year and I’m super excited. It also helps that the author’s Pinterest board for this book is super intriguing. I’ve been following the Pinterest board and the author’s teaser tweets for awhile, so I know CONTAGION was originally called Achlys. Bowman also shared more details about it here. The cover for CONTAGION was originally revealed here.

Book Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

portfolio_vengeanceRoadCoverVengeance Road

Erin Bowman

4/5 Stars

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Chapters/Indigo.ca | B&N | Kobo

Synopsis on Goodreads:

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

Review:

What do you get when you combine the West with revenge? Erin Bowman’s Vengeance Road. I don’t think I’ve read a better Western-themed novel in a long time. Her combination of fiction and fact to create this Western-set world is stunning and finishing it gave me that feel-good moment, like watching Old Yeller or reading Little House on the Prairie. Laura Ingalls was one of my favourite authors growing up, so it was great connecting that with Vengeance Road. This novel has tough, gritty characters that are neither black or white, but grey and fast-paced writing that leaves you stunned at every turn of the page. Erin Bowman presents us with the memorable work that is Vengeance Road.

The main character, Kate Thompson has been shaped and formed by the world she lives in, giving us this rough character bent on revenge. Kate might even be considered the anti-protagonist, determined to kill the ones who killed her father in cold-blood, aka the Rose Riders. Yet, the reader is still rooting for Kate because her morals are better than the Rose Riders, who don’t care whether the people they hurt are innocent or not. Not only that but Kate grows to have a lot of regrets about her actions, so we see she doesn’t take things lightly. As the novel progresses, Kate reveals more of herself to her companions, Jesse and Will Colton and Liluye, and we see a softer side to this incredibly grey character. I think the most surprising part about her is her love for an edition of Little Women, given as a gift by her father, which ends up being her most treasured possession. Other characters in turn reveal things about themselves. We have Jesse who tells about how he watched his mother die, and how that effected his relationship with his father. Bowman’s characters carry themselves with this hard shell, necessary for surviving, but character development is huge and the cast learns a lot about each other and themselves.

Getting to the writing and voice, this was probably one of the strongest parts of Vengeance Road. I was totally and completely inside Kate’s head. This was due to Bowman having the diction represent Kate’s voice and how she’d sound if you had the chance to speak with her – which would be awesome, unless of course you’re a Rose Rider! Kate was taught to read and write by her father so she’s not completely uneducated, but she never went to school (the school having been built when she was 12). Bowman create’s a balance of improper and proper grammar, fitting with the environment Kate’s grown up in. Furthermore, the action is fast-paced and there’s never a dull moment. The plot twists are real, ripping open both the characters’ heart and my own in ways we never saw coming. This heartache and despair is the sort of thing that makes a good Western book or movie – with it we know we’re living in the real world! There was one plot twist that took me by complete surprise, I was hoping the author would come in and say, “just kidding!’. Bowman’s writing captures both Kate and the West extraordinarily well.

There were a few things I disliked about Vengeance Road. In the beginning of the novel, after Kate sets out on her search for the Rose Riders, she’s in search of a man called Abe. I was originally confused with this because I thought he was a member of the gang, but it turned out he was a friend of Kate’s father, and if anything were to happen to him, Kate was to find Abe. Something else I’m conflicted about are the ghost stories surrounding the Superstition Mountains – where the gold the Rose Riders are seeking is said to be. My first impression was that we’d hear about it earlier on and more frequently. I did enjoy the way the author set it up, but I am a huge fan of myths and legends so I’m at odds.

As a whole, I loved Vengeance Road and hope to read the companion novel Erin Bowman is planning. Both the wonderful and the melancholy moments leave me wanting more from her world and its deeply, intriguing characters! I agree with the comparison to Blood Red Road; this is perfect for fans of Moira Young. There are aspects of both novels that share a similar feel to it, while still being different enough that you wouldn’t go into VR expecting things to occur in the same way as Blood Red Road. I recommend this to people wanting a feel-good, Western-themed novel and characters you can’t help loving, regardless of where their moral compass points. Be sure to check out this book!

I received a free eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.