Reads for Halloween

As a genre reader who needs romance in her books, picking a few reads for Halloween is hard! Is there such a thing as horror romance with a happy ever after?!

Last year I read The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell and it seriously creeped me out. I couldn’t find any that fit the creepy romance vibe – so, I’ve narrowed it down to three random books. I’ll post a review for the one I end up reading and who knows maybe I’ll end up reading all three?

I’ll be honest, my spooky read knowledge is weak! I prefer books with a little fantasy and magic – so if you have a spooky rec you’d think I’d enjoy, let me know in the comments.


Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfrann, a strange isolated Irish town, a place where the earth is littered with small corpses and unspoken truths. A place where, for generations, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains. As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. And when Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Author’s Website: http://deirdresullivanbooks.com/ (not currently active)


Dark Matter a Ghost Story by Michelle Paver

Synopsis:

A terrifying 1930s ghost story set in the haunting wilderness of the far north.

January 1937. Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year old Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So when he’s offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway: five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. Gruhuken.

But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. He faces a stark choice. Stay or go. Soon he will see the last of the sun, as the polar night engulfs the camp in months of darkness. Soon he will reach the point of no return – when the sea will freeze, making escape impossible.

And Gruhuken is not uninhabited. Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark…

Publisher: UK edition Orion

Author’s Website: https://www.michellepaver.com/


Hocus Pocus the sequel By: A. W. Jantha Illustrated By: Matt Griffin

Synopsis:

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don’t quite go as planned, it’s a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches’ latest vile scheme.

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Author’s Website: N/A

Fairyloot September 2021

Just incase it’s not obvious – this post will be a spoiler for anyone who has not received their September Fairyloot box yet.

September 2021 Theme is Uprising

Details from the spoiler card *to jump straight to the item you’re interested in click their links*

Looking for a new home for your library card? Look no further! Your new card holder designed by Jezhawk (link to Instagram page), is inspired by our exclusive cover of The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni!

In preparation for peak sock season, we’re delighted to include this beautiful pair inspired by Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim, with cute little crane details by the amazing catarinabookdesigns (link to Instagram page).

Decorate your new reading space with your new tapestry inspired by Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, staring Karou and Akiva locked in a starry embrace. The stunning artwork is by the one and only sallteas (link to Instagram page).

We absolutely had to include an enamel pin inspired by one of our favourite series, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It was designed by the amazing Jezhawk (link to Instagram page).

Your eyes do not deceive you, there are, once again, two books in your box – score! Your special edition of Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray comes with an exclusive cover and a digital signature! In this stunning pan-African inspired fantasy, fate binds two teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the ancient creature menacing their home.

This month’s collectable tarot cards are the Three & Four of Pentacles. They are designed by morgana0anagrom (link to Instagram page) and feature Jacks and the Fallen Star from the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber

Our featured book of the month is Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer. A richly imagined fantasy novel centred around the balances of power, elixir magic and the overthrowing of a corruption kingdom, this is a book that will definitely keep you hooked! Your Fairyloot exclusive edition has an exclusive cover, sprayed edges, foil on the case, artwork on the reverse of the dust jacket by lizzart_zardonicz (link to Instagram page) a ribbon bookmark and is signed by the author. As always be sure to check the author letter and the Beautiful artwork on the reverse side also by lizzart_zardonicz

Card Holder

This is such a useful item! I rarely use cash when I’m out and about. Its compact and fits in my coat pocket – so no need for a bag on those days I’d like to leave with minimum effort. I love purple, so this goes with a few of my outfits too.

Six Crimson Cranes Inspired Socks

These are super cute pastel colour socks. I don’t have the book unfortunately, but these match the cover aesthetic. Always handy to have plenty of socks.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Inspired Tapestry

Again, unfortunately I haven’t read the book. It has been on my TBR for a while though. I do love purple, so I can make this work in my reading room. I’ll probably hang it so that it falls along the back of my reading chair or down the side of my bookshelves. I love this artist and glad I finally have something created by them!

An Ember in the Ashes Inspired Enamel Pin

Hmm. This is another book that has been on my TBR (it is never ending). I’m a collector of book pins and this pin will have a place amongst my collection!

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

Wow. This cover is stunning. The original cover is lovely too from what I’ve seen online, but this cover really pops. I can’t wait to read it! It’s out in February 2022!

Synopsis:

Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome mythical creatures to pay off her family’s debts. But when they are threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand.

As the son of a decorated hero, Ekon destined to become an elite warrior. Until a fire at the Night Zoo upends his future and, on the brink of his final rite of passage, Ekon is cast out – his reputation left in tatters.

For Koffi and Ekon, the outlook is bleak – unless they can capture the Shetani, the vicious monster that plagues their city. As Koffi and Ekon enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and danger, the tentative alliance between them is tested to the extreme.

The hunt begins – but are they the hunters or the hunted?

Publisher: Penguin Published date: 03/02/2022

Author’s Website: https://www.ayanagray.com/

Three & Four of Pentacles Tarot Cards

These are currently Fairloot’ collectable items. The art is fab!

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Remember when I said I loved purple? This book is a dream! Look at the sprayed edges!

Synopsis:

A spark of rebellion is all it takes to DEFY THE NIGHT.

In a kingdom where sickness stalks the streets and only the richest can afford a cure, King Harristan and his brother Prince Corrick are forced to rule with an iron fist.

Tessa Cade is a masked outlaw marked for death, but she likes it that way. Together with the mysterious, handsome Weston, she robs from the rich to help the poor, distributing food and medicine to those who need it most.

As it becomes clear that the only way to save her people is to assassinate the King, Tessa must face a deadly mission that will take her to the dark heart of the kingdom . and force her to work with the very people she intended to destroy.

Publisher: Bloomsbyry YA Published Date: 14/09/2021

Author’s Website: https://brigidkemmerer.com/


Overall this was a lovely box – especially for purple loving lil ol’ me. Each item can be used and the books are ridiculously stunning and I can’t wait to add them to my shelves! Are you subscribed to any book boxes? Which one is your favourite?

Disclosure:

I have been on the waitlist for Fairloot for a while now and I actually managed to purchase this box from a private seller on Facebook for retail. I have also recently come off the wait list for Illumicrate, so future boxes will be Illumicrate until I move up the Fairyloot wait list! Both boxes are about to start an Adult Book only option in the new year and I’m so excited for that!

Book Review: For The Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Synopsis:

THE FIRST DAUGHTER IS FOR THE THRONE.
THE SECOND DAUGHTER IS FOR THE WOLF.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose – to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in order to save her kingdom. Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the Wilderwood – and her world – will be lost forever.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Review:

One of the things about being a new parent, is that I have very limited time to myself. This means when I pick up a new book it HAS to grip me from the very beginning. For The Wolf did not disappoint – and the snatched moments of a chapter here and there, were something I looked forward to each day for the last week or so (pre baby I would have binged this in a day easily).

From the very first page, the prose wraps itself around you, demanding you read on making it easy to flow through the opening. Although this is a Red Riding Hood retelling there were also Beauty and the Beast vibes. Red is instantly likeable. The bond between her and her sister Neve, is evident without feeling forced as is sometimes the case. The stifling responsibilities that each of them have to face, defines their character and it was so easy to relate to both of their actions.

The interludes from Neve’s perspective have a way of creeping up on you. Considering Red was the one sacrificed to the Wilderwood, Neve’s chapters are considerably more darker and full of a foreboding atmosphere that lures you in enough to keep you guessing what will happen next.

The foreshadowing taunts you throughout the entire book. Towards the end my fingers were twitching to read the last page just so my heart could handle whatever was about to go down. The tension that rises over the last few chapters was completely nerve wracking, but, the slither of hope seeping through the anguish keeps you invested.

Slight spoiler below:

Bath time reading

The slow burn between Red and Eammon was a delicious yet torturous build up. The chemistry between them is evident from their first (or technically second meeting) and it’s palpable in their scenes together. It’s so well orchestrated that the satisfaction of them FINALLY giving in was one of the highlights of the book, for me.

The angst; not just with the main characters but the side characters too – compliment the deep mysterious fog that lingers on each page.

It was wonderfully dark and had such a rich gothic feel – that this book would be a perfect read under a blanket, by the fire on a rainy day. The ending will leave you clutching at the possibilities to come for many of the characters in For the Throne – which is released in June 2022.

Publisher: Orbit Published date: 01/06/21

Author’s website (includes content warnings for For the Wolf): https://hannahfwhitten.com/