Book Review: The Rules of Magic (Alice Hoffman)

The Rules of Magic.pngLike I have mentioned previously, I have been looking for books that would get me into the Halloween spirit. Enter, the newest release by Alice Hoffman, The Rules of Magic. I was pleased to find out that this book was a prequel to Practical Magic. Now, I have never read Practical Magic but I watch the movie every year around Halloween and always enjoy it! It was a no-brainer to move this book immediately to the top of my TBR pile.

I went into this novel with no expectations. The first thing I noticed was how whimsical the book felt and how paranormal/supernatural it was not. It sort of had a folktale vibe to it and I was almost expecting for a black cat or a frog to talk at any moment but I was shocked that there really wasn’t any “witchiness” to it.   Aside from a few moments, this book could have been just a run of the mill outcast story. I know that this story is supposed to be more in the “magical realism” genre instead of a pure supernatural story but it didn’t really get me into the Halloween spirit, which was what I was looking for.
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Book Review: Mary Rose (Geoffrey Girard)

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 6.25.10 AM.pngI am such a sucker for a horror read as soon as October hits. I want to grab a cozy blanket, cuddle up in my sweats and scare myself silly. With this in mind, I began to compile my October lineup, and my picks for #cjsreads, one of which was Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard. Going into this novel, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was intrigued by the description of this novel being “a chilling and modern take on a classic ghost story”. I was also intrigued when I found out that the premise for the story was actually written by J.M Barrie for a film adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock; not sure what went down with that but I figured there was nothing more chilling than films by Hitchcock, so, if he deemed this story worthy of film, then I needed to check it out!

The general premise brings us Mary Rose and Simon, a couple of working professionals, who are about to be engaged. They travel to England to ask for Mary Rose’s hand and Simon’s plans are slightly derailed when he finds out that Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl and then randomly reappeared thirty-three days later with no memory of her time away or knowledge of where she was. Not only does this give Simon the heeby-jeebies, but he becomes obsessed with trying to solve the puzzle of where she could have been and what could have happened.

Would I call this a traditional ghost story? Not really. Did I find some moments creepy? Absolutely! Told in alternating perspectives of Simon and Mary Rose, both characters have the opportunity to show the reader their growing paranoia and fright. I think my favourite character was Mary Rose. She is quirky, to say the least, and when she was acting strangely, I was compelled to continue reading to see what her actual deal was. Would she end up being possessed? Was she actually dead? Perhaps she was a figment of Simon’s imagination? I had no idea what the actual end game would be, so, Girard definitely had me hooked in that regard. I also felt like the general setting of the story added another chilling layer to the tone.

If I am being honest, I was a little underwhelmed at the ending of the story and I felt like maybe something HUGE was missed within the pages; in reality, I feel like maybe it would have been better received on screen, which makes sense when thinking of how this story started out.

I feel like this novel had several components, which would make a chilling tale perfect for Halloween, and, although I didn’t love the full execution of the novel, I did appreciate the general tone and feel.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this book?  Keep reading to find out!

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Book Review: Area 62 (Michael R. Martin) @MRMartin_Author

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When Colin purchases an abandoned building near his home to expand his business, he is excited at his new venture. However, after speaking to those around him, he begins to hear stories of strange occurrences that happened there years before.   As he digs deeper and deeper into the past, he begins to uncover and awaken the darkest of government secrets. Area 62 by Michael R. Martin is dark, intricate and forces the reader to throw out anything they have been told.

The general plot of the book I loved. A man entering an abandoned space, creepy things begin to happen, and he uncovers a conspiracy.  As soon as the storyline became clear, I was intrigued. UFOs creep me out. I am not sure if I believe in them but I’m not taking any chances ya know?   However, as much as I loved the UFO aspect, there was a lot that was right over my head. There were several parts that were saturated with physics and technical sci-fi elements that I found myself skimming over until I could back to the actual plot.    Continue reading “Book Review: Area 62 (Michael R. Martin) @MRMartin_Author”

Book Review: Ink and Bone (Lisa Unger) @lisaunger @TouchstoneBooks

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So mistakes were made. This was my first Lisa Unger book. What have I been doing??!! You better believe this will be rectified immediately and I will be going back to read everything by this author.

My friend Chelsea, from The Suspense is Thrilling Me, recommended this book highly and she did not steer me wrong; if you didn’t guess already, I LOVED this book.

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#cjsreads2017: Seed (Ania Ahlborn) @aniaahlborn

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In honour of Ania Ahlborn’s newest release, The Devil Crept In (you can check out my review for that one HERE), #cjsreads decided to read her first novel, Seed.  SO. CREEPY.

Keep reading below for a synopsis of the book and our thoughts.

 

 

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Sitting Down With Ania Ahlborn #authorinterview #q&a @aniaahlborn @gallerybooks

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Unless you are brand new to Clues and Reviews, you know how much I adore Ania Ahlborn. Her writing is smart, chilling and downright addicting.  In honour of her new book, The Devil Crept In, releasing TODAY, I had the opportunity to ask Ania Ahlborn some questions.

In case you missed it, I read The Devil Crept In late last year and LOVED IT! I think it was my favourite Ania Ahlborn, to date.   You can check out my review here.

The novel follows a young boy, Stevie, whose best friend (and cousin), Jude, goes missing. Sick with worry at the loss of his only friend, Stevie begins his own search for what happened to Jude when he went into the woods. Deer Valley, the town where the boys reside, is no stranger to tragedy; a little boy went missing (and was murdered) years ago and animals in the town go missing often. Stevie continues his search and finds out that whatever is in the woods is a lot more sinister than he could even imagine. And when Jude shows up back in town, seemingly unharmed, Stevie realizes that this Jude is not Jude. Whatever evil lurks in the woods seems to have crept in.  Super creepy right?!

Super creepy right?!

 The Devil Crept In had a little bit of everything, for every reader. It contains some elements of every genre (supernatural, horror, thriller, mystery) and has such multi-dimensional characters. I truly became invested in each storyline.  I have been recommending this book to everyone and anyone. I am already naming this one as one of my favourite releases of 2017!

Keep scrolling to check out what the author, Ania Ahlborn, had to say about her new novel, her writing process and life in general!

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Book Review: The Bird Eater (Ania Ahlborn)

Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 7.10.26 AM.pngTwenty years ago, Aaron’s aunt, his main caregiver, passed away unexpectedly in her home (known as Holbrook House), leaving him alone. After his seven-year-old son passes away in an accident, he finds himself back to her home in Arkansas as he tries to deal with his own grief and his addictions.   Once he arrives back home, he hears stories and rumors of what has been happening at Holbrook House.   Aaron doesn’t believe in the paranormal but begins to change his tune when he begins to see a strange boy everywhere he goes.   As Aaron becomes more paranoid, begins experiencing visions and having strange dreams, whatever is happening at Holbrook House seems to be getting stronger….will Aaron be able to fight his own demons to stay alive or will what is happening in Holbrook House consume him?

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Book Review: The Shuddering (Ania Ahlborn)

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A group of friends, including twins Ryan and Jane, gather at a mountain cabin in Colorado for a weekend of fun.   Drama unfolds instantly, as Jane’s ex-boyfriend brings his new fiancé and Ryan finds himself falling for Jane’s friend. As the group deals with their personal issues, something far more sinister in unfolding in the forest. Watching them. As the snow turns to a blizzard, leaving the group stranded, the things in the forest begin to attack, turning the winter blanket of snow blood red and leaving each person shuddering in fear.

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