Women in Horror Month

DHR_DeadHead_WIHM_InstaSCREAMQUEEN

February marks Women in Horror month, when the Horror Community raise up the voices of women in horror, celebrating everything they stand for, whether it’s the characters we remember kicking ass, the creators working behind the scenes, the women writers who create dark, twisted stories that drag you deeply in.

This is the first year I’ve actively participated in Women in Horror Month. I’ve always tried to pay attention to it, noting books others were reading, adding them to my ever growing wishlist. But this year, things are different.

See, in 2019, I became a contributor for Dead Head Reviews, and more recently became a copy editor for them, too. A few months back, I asked Patrick if we planning anything for Women in Horror. At that point, we decided we definitely should do something, and a small spark of an idea has flared into a full raging fire.

Throughout February, Dead Head will be featuring articles, reviews, interviews and stories, all focusing on and/or created by Women in Horror. As copy editor, I’ve had the great pleasure of reading many of these, and I can tell you, they are bloody fantastic. I also put together a ‘Love Letter to Horror’ article, featuring the Dead Head Ladies, and personally, I am so proud of how it’s turned out.

There are so many reasons why Women in Horror month is important. Women have long been creators and consumers of horror, yet historically have been overlooked in these roles. Horror is a constant presence in our lives, even in the media aimed at little girls. If you don’t think there are some dark as hell moments in Disney, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.

As we grow older, women from all walks of life face horror, in one form or another, in their every day lives. What woman doesn’t know the fear of walking down a street after sundown, and hearing footsteps behind them? Or the fear in a crowded bar, when a man starts talking to them and sometimes follows them back to their table, or outside, or are even waiting at the toilet door when they emerge. (Yes, that happened to me!)

Is it any wonder that even when they’re not creating Horror, women are often the focus?

Being a woman is dangerous. Danger and fear and horror are all part of it, and that’s without going deeper into the statistics and realities.

One thing, above all others, stands out to me as I read the articles appearing on Dead Head next month.  Women may live their lives in fear, but they take that, grabbing hold of the horror inflicted upon them, and they use it. They – we – turn it into a strength. The darkest parts of our lives are used to create amazing horror. The worst things we can imagine are brought to life, and through horror we find acceptance, and strength, and power.

Every single man I personally know in the horror community has been nothing but supportive regarding Women in Horror Month. Everyone – man and woman – has really come together, determined to make this month successful for all of us.

And I dare you to get through February without your TBR growing.

So, this February, check out Dead Head Reviews and the other horror sites. Read the articles and interviews and reviews, and read some work by amazing women in horror. Join us for the ride, cause I guarantee, it’s going to be a bloody good one.

DHR_WomenInHorrorMonth_FINALADJUSTMENTGraphics by the amazing, super talented @ImaginariumCS.

Dead Head Reviews

Twitter & Instagram: @ReviewsHead

Slay My Love – Lee Colgin [Book Review]

slay my love.jpg

He couldn’t possibly be this lonely forever

It’s been a while since I read something that could be classed as Paranormal Romance, and Slay My Love was a great way to dip my toes back into the genre.

The new vampire in town is different than any the hunters have seen before, and Franklin is sent to investigate, on behalf of The Scourge. Gianni, a born vampire, realises he’s being followed, and rather than attack the hunter, he talks to him. So begins an unlikely friendship between enemies, forming the basis for a smouldering attraction between the two.

A lot of the paranormal stuff I’ve read in the past, even stuff that focuses on vampires, tended to introduce other creatures into the mix, especially werewolves/shifters and the like. Having the focus on just vampires in Slay My Love works really well, keeping the reader focused on these two characters. And they are great characters to read about, the duel POV used to good effect.

Although we get glimpses into both character’s heads, the tension is effective, some information held back, the writing cutting away from one character when it feels like we’re about to learn something we maybe shouldn’t. The writing itself ensures the reader never feels cheated by this, but more that we really are listening to two men, each with their own agenda, each battling their own inner demons as well as external ones, and each lying not just to each other, but to themselves.

The relationship between the two developed really well, and had me really hoping they would overcome any obstacles and remain together, despite the problems standing in their way. Gianni and Franklin were really enjoyable characters to read about, and their voices carried the story very well.

Colgin creates characters who are intriguing, broken, and lonely, and who manage to find comfort in each other, despite their differences. The story flowed well, the tension worked to keep me reading, and the action involved was gripping. Overall, if you’re a fan of paranormal romance, I really do recommend Slay My Love.

 

Children of Virtue and Vengeance – Tomi Adeyemi [Book Review]

COV&V_JKT_Trade_032819.indd

The second in the Legacy of Orïsha series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance continues the story of Zélie and Amari, who, together, have brought magic back to Orïsha. Although the maji have regained their powers, nobles with magical ancestry now find themselves able to use magic as well, presenting even more dangers for the two young women.

The maji are still hunted, but can now fight back. And Zélie knows the best chance her people have of a safe, peaceful future is with Amari on the throne. But getting her there will be difficult, especially when both find themselves hunted by the remaining nobility.

I really liked Children of Blood and Bone, the first in this series, but Children of Virtue and Vengeance shows how much Adeyemi has already improved as a writer, even in the short time between the release of her debut and the sequel.

The writing is stronger, and in some ways, even the characters feel more realised. THe multi-POV worked that little bit better in this book, as Zélie and Amari no longer have a single goal uniting them. Throughout, a distance grows between them, and though both want to close it, neither seems able to do so.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I liked the wider scope of it, the introduction of more maji and information about them, about how they worked together before The Raid and how their history unfolded. I liked the different relationships that emerged through this, and the way both Zélie and Amari are portrayed. Neither are the same as when we first met them, and it’s clear how recent events have affected them both, as well as the events contained in the novel.

The ending packs a strong punch too, leaving the reader desperately eager for the next installment to find out what happens next.

There is a lot more I’d like to say about this, but I feel saying much more risks introducing spoilers into this post, and this book is one that definitely has some nice surprises you don’t want spoiled.

If you liked Children of Blood and Bone, definitely check out this continuation. I cannot wait for book #3.