That Dreaded TBR #2

A while ago, I did a post about cutting down my Goodreads TBR. I thought it would be worth revisiting, and seeing if I can’t get it down just that little bit more.

I originally saw this at Becky’s Book Blog, as explained in the previous post.

Rules

Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.

Order on ascending date added.

Take the first 5/10/however many books. If done again, start form where you left off.

Read the synopses of the books

Decide: should it stay or should it go?

what happensWhat happens in office, stays in office – Ankur Mithal

A no-holds-barred account of life in the cut-throat world of large corporations, told in a unique humorous and ironical style. A world where millions are employed and are forever engaged in finding a balance between doing right for the organization and doing right for themselves. The domineering boss, the whining employee, the counter-productive policy-making, the jockeying for visibility, are all products of this interesting world. Not all, however, is as it appears on the smooth and shiny surface of this world. There are personal anxieties and fears which get carried into business interactions.

Though informal outlets are available to people in corporations, mostly through the often innocuous art of bitching, many of these subterranean currents never get recognized or discussed openly. Perhaps for the first time ever, this book discusses situations where these subtle (to the doer) and shameless (to the doee) acts often create outcomes that are both poignant and funny and, at times, downright disgusting. In the garb of humour and satire, this book delivers some hard-hitting management lessons. In doing so, however, Ankur may have inadvertently let out some never before talked about secrets of success of The Club that the Corporate world appears to be from outside.

I added this book to my TBR way back in May 2013, just under a year after graduating from uni, less than a year into an office job I would remain at for five years. Something about this book really intrigued me at the time, but I feel like now it might even have more of an impact. I’ve been in two office jobs since leaving university, and it would be great to read about different experiences. The one I was in for five years was for a big, global organisation. The company I work for now is much smaller, but some elements remain the same. I’m going to keep this one on, because rereading the synopsis has rekindled my desire to read it.

a prayer for owenA Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving

Eleven-year-old Owen Meany, playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire, hits a foul ball and kills his best friend’s mother. Owen doesn’t believe in accidents; he believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul is both extraordinary and terrifying. At moments a comic, self-deluded victim, but in the end the principal, tragic actor in a divine plan, Owen Meany is the most heartbreaking hero John Irving has yet created. 

I’m kind of on the fence about this one. Okay, so it has a lot of positive reviews on Goodreads and is one of those ‘must read’ books, but I’ve had really mixed experience with all kinds of absolute must reads. Hmm. Although I do kind of want to read this, I don’t really think I’m ever going to. It goes.

something wicked this way comesSomething Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury

A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show’s smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes – and the stuff of nightmare.

This is another of those must read books, but more for horror rather than ‘literary’ purposes. I know this book has inspired a fair few American horror authors. Goodreads has it noted as the second in a series (after Dandelion Wine) but as far as I’m aware, they can be read as standalones? I definitely still want to try and read both, however. This one stays.

divine comedy

The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy describes Dante’s descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.

I want to read this, I really do, and I’ve tried a few times, but I never can quite get into it. Maybe I need to give it another chance. Or, as I did with Camilla, try and find an audio version? I slogged my way through Paradise Lost, and most of that was – excuse the pun – hell to get through. There’s just too many other books I physically have that I know I’m going to enjoy, to get a book which I have a feeling I might not enjoy as much. Like I said, I’ll probably check out an audio version eventually, but for now, this goes.

brave new world.jpgBrave New World – Aldous Huxley

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in feeling discontent. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, and a perverse distaste for the pleasures of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress …

Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

I have a feeling this is one those books which are now considered…problematic. I’m not entirely sure, but the fact ‘Savage Reservations’ is in the blurb makes me think yeah, I probably wouldn’t want to actually touch this. Even if that wasn’t the case, it’s another of those ‘classics’ that probably don’t hold up well, and there are way too many better books out there, by writers who aren’t white men, I’d rather spend time on. This one goes.

Not too bad today – three out of five taken off the Goodreads TBR. These ones leaned more towards ‘classics’ too, and I think I’ve grown out of feeling there are particular books I have to read. I’d rather spend my time now reading books I enjoy.

Have you read any of these? Agree or disagree with my choices?

Blogtober Day Eleven: Witches

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Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves    /   Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

Another slight amendment from the list – the challenge notes ‘Witchy YA’, but I don’t read enough YA (I wish I did – I love YA!) to talk about that. So I’ll talk more about witches in fiction in general.

Firstly, I can’t do a blog about witches without mentioning Harry Potter. This series Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover.jpgreally got me hooked on reading, and reading about J.K’s struggles (I know, not as many rejections as they made out, but to 10-year-old me it was A LOT, not to mention everything else) made me think maybe it was something I could do, too. And the female characters (in the books, maybe not the films so much) helped me see how strong  and varied women could be, from Ginny to Hermione to Luna to Tonks, Lily, and even McGonagall. These were women to admire, and as a kid who loved nothing more than reading, Hermione was great to read about, and earned a place in my heart right next to Matilda.

The next book is one I’ve mentioned a few times this month, and I finally finished reading it last night! Under My Hat is an anthology about witches, fromunder my hat a variety of different authors. It’s a great collection of short stories, each story presenting something different, and the book itself was an absolute pleasure to read. From young teenage girls trying to protect their school, to older witches trying to ensure their family’s happiness, each story was intriguing and interesting in different ways. A book very fitting for spooky season,

Next, Equal Rites. It’s the third Discworld novel, and the first of the Witches series. This novel introduces us to Granny equal ritesWeatherwax, who travels with a young woman to the wizard’s university, trying to help her learn how to control her powers. It’s a fantastic book, full of Pratchett’s brilliant humour, and well worth a read.

The last book I’ll mention here is a bit different than the ones above. Although there are some elements of horror in Under My Hat, and really dark moments through the Harry Potter series, they aren’t full horror, unlike Hex (review and review-with-spoilers). This novel deals with a town held hostage by a witch who died a long time before. She wanders the streets, her eyes and lips stitched shut, and is very much part of hexthe town. But the townspeople cannot stay away for long, and the younger generation, fed up of this arrangement, look for ways to stop her. The book is eerie in ways that haunt the reader, especially with the imagery of the witch, standing in the corner of a living room, unseeing yet always watching.

So there we have it! Some of my favourite witches in fiction. Do you have any favourites? Have you read the books listed here? I’d love to know!

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Blogtober Day Ten: Spooky TBR Update

Blogtober Day Ten

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks    /   Day Eight: 5 Autumn Reads    /   Day Nine: Vampires and Werewolves

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

Another one I’ve amended slightly – day ten on the list is Reading Challenge update, but I don’t tend to do reading challenges, so I thought I could take a look and see how things are going with the books I mentioned in my first Blogtober post.

The first book mentioned in the post was Under My Hat, an anthology featuring some of under my hatthe leading names in fantasy, all based around witches. I am currently just a few short pages away from finishing it. And it’s really, really good. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this one, and there are definitely some authors I’ll be checking out more from in the future.

The other book I was reading at the start of October was Laurel Hightower’s fantastic, eerie Whispers in the Dark. I finished that, and you can find my review (as well as an interview with the author) on Dead Head Reviews. You can also see more of my thoughts on thewhispers book, especially in relation to the trope of the strong female, in the Day Six post.

The other books I mentioned wanting to read were –

The Sea Was A Fair Master – Calvin Demmer

Danse Macabre – Stephen King

World Of Horror Anthology

Dear Laura – Gemma Amor

And, oops, I’ve not actually got to any of them yet! After Whispers, I ended up reading The Tunnelers by Geoff Gander and A Parallel Abyss by Kat Wicks (links included to reviews on Dead Head). I’m currently in the midst of In the Scrape, by James Newman and Mark Steensland. It really is a fantastic book, and it’s completely and utterly sucked me in!

With Dear Laura specifically, it’s just a nice, slim book, I’m tempted to save it for my upcoming Disney trip, as it’ll fit in nicely to my bag, so I might not actually get to that one until November. But we’ll see.

I kind of veered away from my Spooky TBR, but I’ve still read a lot this month! If you’re participating in a reading challenge for October, how are you getting along? Or have you made a dent in your own spooky TBRs?

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Blogtober Day 8: Five Autumn Reads

Blogtober Day 8

Day One: Spooky TBR    /   Day Two: October Releases    /   Day Three: Bookish Autumn Bucket List    /   Day Four: Perfect Cosy Reading Nook    /   Day Five: Top 5 Disney Villains    /   Day Six: Strong Woman Horror Trope    /   Day Seven: Reading Snacks

Challenge List – Anniek’s Library 

I love Autumn. I love the nights drawing in, the heating going on, the actually being able to get comfy because it’s not stupidly hot anymore feeling. Halloween approaches, followed by Bonfire Night, my birthday a week later and Christmas is just around the corner. In short, Autumn is amazing, and here are 5 books I think are great for this most wonderful season.

Under My Hat

under my hatOkay so I haven’t actually finished this yet, but so far this witchy anthology is proving to be a great start to the autumn season. It covers various kinds of witches, with each story presenting a unique and different view, and the authors involved are fantastic. Definitely well worth a read.

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban

hppoaThis book makes me think of Halloween more than any of the others, maybe because so much of it is about revealing Harry’s past, and it’s when the books start to take a darker  turn. Perfect for longer nights. FUN FACT: The second or third time I was reading this, I was in bed, curled up, when I got to the part where the dementors came onto the train and all the lights went out. And…all the lights went out. In my house. As they appeared. I legged it downstairs so fast to find my parents. Just a normal power-cut, but yeah, it was kind of freaky.

The Near Witch

the near witchMy Review

This atmospheric novel feels like a fantastic autumn read, with descriptions that will make you glad to be huddled down in your blanket. Schwab has quickly become one of my favourite authors, and if you haven’t read it already, now seems like the perfect time to pick up The Near Witch, full of creepy imagery, a compelling cast, and haunting prose.

The Cruel Prince

the cruel prince.jpg

I really loved this book, and something about fae and the world they inhabit makes me think of autumn, or at least the tail-end of summer, the in-between time as one season changes to the next. It’s another book with fantastic imagery and absolutely compelling characters, and a story to keep you riveted. And the last of the trilogy is out next month, so this seems like a perfect time to read The Cruel Prince and book 2, The Wicked King.

‘Salem’s Lot

salems lotI couldn’t do an autumn books list without including at least one Stephen King. King was the author who first got me into horror, and along with JK Rowling and Anne Rice, inspired me to start writing. Almost any SK book could be included on this list, but I went for ‘Salem’s Lot partly because it was one of the first King books I ever read, and I read it before I ever read Dracula. Which means I read it a long time ago, but I do remember it being eerie, sparking a lifelong search for books that would scare me. And it was one of my first exposures to vampires AS EVIL. I was a vampire obsessed teen, but until ‘Salem’s Lot, I’d only really read Buffy and a couple of Anne Rice books, both of which had vampires with the potential to be good, not just villains. And I remember staring out of my bedroom window at night, after putting the book down, and paying particular attention to the shadows outside.

Any books you think are perfect for autumn? Any recommendations for me to check out? Let me know in the comments!

Rose – Rami Ungar – Book Tour

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Welcome to my stop for the Rose book tour, the horror fantasy novel by Rami Ungar, and thanks so much for the invite from Blackthorn Book Tours. See my review below for this gripping novel.

About the Book

Rose wakes in a strange greenhouse, with no idea how she got there, her memories missing, and her body transformed. As she struggles to discover what happened to her, she finds she now has buds sprouting from her, her skin is green, and she has somehow gained roots, requiring her to settle in soil every so often to feed off the nutrients.

Enter Paris, claiming to be her boyfriend, who explains Rose was involved in an accident the night before, and he found a way to bring her back. She’s in his greenhouse, and Paris tells her how completely in love they are, and how he’s going to protect her – she has nothing to worry about.

My Review

The reader is drawn into the situation, gripped by the events happening to Rose, and Ungar does an excellent job of ensuring the reader never quite knows what to think, leading them through twisted corridors and constantly second-guessing everything.

The majority of the novel is set in just Paris’ apartment and his greenhouse, but Ungar does great things with the space, making the reader feel as penned in as Rose, but never losing them with the containment. And when the novel moves, it really moves, dragging the reader along with the characters, increasing the pace and tension with every step.

It’s hard not to feel for Rose, trapped as she is and unable to interact with anyone, as her memories slowly start to come back. And it’s hard to get a handle on Paris, the impression being that perhaps in their previous life together, he wasn’t that great of a boyfriend.

The twists and turns in the novel feel natural rather than jarring, and the tension is kept high throughout, without feeling like its all just too much. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and definitely recommend it to any horror/fantasy fans.

The Author

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Rami Ungar knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of five, when he first became exposed to the world of Harry Potter and wanted to create imaginative worlds like Harry’s. As a tween, he fell in love with the works of Anne Rice and Stephen King and, as he was getting too old to sneak up on people and shout “Boo!’ (not that that ever stopped him), he decided to merge his two loves and become a horror writer.

Today, Rami lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. He’s self-published three novels and one collection of short stories, and his stories have appeared in other publications here and there. Rose, his first novel with Castrum Press, will be released June 21st, 2019.

When he’s not writing your nightmares or coming up with those, he’s enjoying anything from the latest horror novel or movie to anime and manga to ballet, collecting anything that catches his fancy, and giving you the impression he may not be entirely human.

Don’t Forget
You can read my previous reviews about Rose on Goodreads and on Dead Head Reviews
Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour, too.
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Blogtober Day 3: Bookish Autumn Bucket List

Blogtober Day ThreeDay One: My Spooky TBR

Day Two: October Releases

Anniek’s Library: Challenge List

I don’t usually do bucket lists, mainly because if there is something I want to do, I don’t like setting a time limit on it. It makes me feel awful if it’s not completed, and I have been really busy lately.

But, okay. I’m going to make this a sort of writing & bookish list.

Read creepy/spooky stuff. As you can tell from my Day One list, I have a lot of good horror to read. I’ve just finished Whisper’s In The Dark, and there’s plenty more for me to dig into next. I’m currently reading Under My Hat, and hopefully will get that finished soonish.

Edit, edit, edit. Not my own work, but things have been picking up for my Fiverr beta reading gig, and I’m honing my skills as an editor. I’m not far off levelling up!

Birthday! Yep, my birthday falls sort of autumn, right on the cusp of autumn and winter (November 12th). This year, I’ll be spending it in Disney Paris with my amazing boyfriend, and it’ll definitely feel more like winter there with all the Christmas decs up. And hopefully, the coach to the airport + flight will include lots of reading! I’ve got the Frozen Twisted Tales lined up ready for it.

Write! I’ve recently been working on a couple of horror short stories, one that I hope to submit to an amazing horror podcast I absolutely love, one where the idea dug in and wouldn’t let go, and another I hope will be the start of a horror story collection. So we’ll see how that goes.

Unfortunately I don’t have any annual leave from work this month, so I’m relying on evening and weekends to get stuff done. We’ll see how it goes, but you can probably guess (especially if you follow me on Twitter) what I’m most excited for!

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Blogtober Day 2: October Releases

Blogtober Day Two

Day One: Spooky TBR

Anniek’s Library – Blogtober Challenge List

Confession: I am not great at keeping up with what’s coming out at any given time. This is mainly because I can’t afford to buy new books, and I have such a big TBR I try to add to it as little as possible. I do keep an eye out for anticipated releases, but often don’t know about them until right before release date. I very rarely pre-order books (though I have started doing so more recently, and trying to keep up with authors doing events in the local area, so I am getting better).

So in this post, I’m going to talk about three books I’ve already had the privilege of reading, that are either out (but released earlier this month) or are due out soon. And they’re all horror, so definitely consider these if you’re looking for some great Halloween reads.

Midnight In The Graveyard

Edited By: Kenneth W. Cain

Release Date: October 1st

midnight in the graveyard

Read The Full Review

An anthology of ghost stories, with some of the strongest emerging names in horror. Some of these stories will leave you feeling creeped out and looking over your shoulder, others will fill you with warmth on cold autumn afternoons. Highly recommended from me.

The Festering Ones

S.H. Cooper

Release Date: October 4th

the festering ones

Read My Release Date Post

Check out that epic cover and tell me you don’t want to read this novella, about a woman who goes searching for the truth behind her father’s death. Gripping, eerie, tense, featuring monsters, cults, and otherworldly gods, this is definitely one horror fans should check out.

Grind Your Bones To Dust

Nicholas Day

Release Date: October 10th

grind your bones

Read The Full Review

This book is eerie as anything, with twisted monsters and even more twisted people contained in its pages. The writing is beautiful and almost lyrical, contrasted with the actual events of the novel and the characters explored. Throughout, Day doesn’t let up, tugging the reader along on a journey that will leave them breathless.

Three October releases, three perfect reads for spooky season. Definitely check them out, though maybe don’t read them too late at night in a house all by yourself.

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Blogtober Day 1: My Spooky TBR

spooky tbr

I saw this Blogtober list over on Anniek’s Library, and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I was a little caught up the last few days trying to make sure I got some other stuff written, so I am a little behind, but hopefully I can get a few of these up and try to keep up with it for the rest of the month!

The full list is at the bottom of this post, and definitely pop over to Anniek’s Library to check out the blog there!

Spooky TBR

My horror TBR has increased a fair bit recently, mainly because I’ve started reviewing for Dead Head Reviews, which is awesome as it means I’ve recently read some absolutely fantastic horror.

At the moment, I’m reading two books. One for the website, and one anthology. The anthology isn’t ‘horror’ as such, but it is all themed around witches. Perfect for October. under my hatThe anthology is Under My Hat, which includes authors such as Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Tanith Lee and Garth Nix. I’ve only read a few stories from it so far, but they have been really good.

I’m also reading Laurel Hightower’s Whisper’s In The Dark which, if you are any kind of horror fan, you really should pick up. Strong female MC, creepy but adorable kids, and scenes where I’ve literally had to put my Kindle down and take a moment. Which doesn’t happen to me a lot. I’m just under whispershalfway through the book, and I already absolutely, without a doubt love it.

For the TBR, there’s a few spooky books I’d like to get to this month, if I can.

The Sea Was A Fair Master – Calvin Demmer

Danse Macabre – Stephen King

dear lauraWorld Of Horror Anthology

Dear Laura – Gemma Amor

It’s doubtful I’ll get to read much more than that, but I will try! And of course, you can look out for my reviews of the books I’ve read on this blog, Dead Head, and on Goodreads.blogtober.png

 

Happy Release Day to THE FESTERING ONES

the festering ones.jpgToday, dear fiends and friends, marks the release of S.H. Cooper’s fantastic novella, The Festering Ones.

Blurb

A monster lurking in the mountain.

A mysterious cult seeking a doorway.

An otherworldly evil waiting to be unleashed.

Faith York was a young girl when she saw her father dragged into the ground by a spider-armed woman, never to be seen again. Twenty years later, the events of that day continue to haunt her, and her need for answers has only grown stronger with time. After her estranged mother’s death forces her to return home, old wounds are reopened and Faith finally decides to face her demons. What started as a search for closure soon pits her against a shadowy cult known as The Gathered and the eldritch beings they worship. With reality becoming more blurred by the day and the thousand eyes of an alien deity fixed on her, Faith must decide if the dark secrets of White Crow Mountain are really worth losing herself over.

The Author

(From the author’s website)

S.H. Cooper is a Florida based author with a penchant for horror. She has penned short story collections, co-wrote the podcast, Calling Darkness, and is a regular contributor to the award winning anthology series, The NoSleep Podcast. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, pets, and a cup of Earl Grey.

The Book

Without a doubt, this is a novella all horror fans should read. It’s fast paced, engaging, with strong female characters, and has hooks which will dig into your skin without letting you go. There isn’t a moment where you’d wish things would hurry up, not a second where you won’t be enthralled by what’s happening. Faith is a protagonist uncertain of her past, and unclear about her future, but she won’t stop until she discovers what, exactly, happened to her father all those years ago. And on the way, she picks up other allies, all looking for answers, all looking for their own end to the nightmare they’ve found themselves in.

With monstrous horrors, a creepy cult, and otherworldly gods lurking on the edge, the tension remains high throughout, and the only way to find out if Faith actually survives is to keep reading.

This is definitely a book worth picking up, so what are you waiting for? Go check it out, and while you’re at it, why not take a look at S.H. Cooper’s other books, or her podcast (co-written with Gemma Amor) Calling Darkness? You seriously won’t be disappointed.

And if you do read the novella, or listen to Calling Darkness, let me know what you think!

The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School – Kim Newman [Books]

drearcliffAfter Amy Thomsett’s mother finds her floating on the ceiling, Amy is shipped off to Drearcliff Grange, but rather than squash this strange ability out of her, Amy learns more about her abilities, while her and her new found friends are tested in various ways.

They face off against The Hooded Conspiracy, before a new girl arrives at the school, bringing with her a strange new way of doing things.

I thoroughly enjoyed Kim Newman’s novel, about strange, powerful girls who can do strange, wonderful things in a strange, creepy school. The book reads very much like the old pulp novels, mixed with the great British boarding school novel tradition. The characters are likeable, though a bit numerous, and it was fun to read the clever ways the girls came up with to get themselves out of dire situations.

Newman has a gift for immersing the reader in the time period, as evident in Anno Dracula and Drearcliff, and a solid love for whatever literature he is using as a base for his work. Drearcliff isn’t Hogwarts, Miss Peregrine’s or Xavier’s School. These girls aren’t witches, Peculiars or mutants. Some of them don’t have abilities, but may have other skills. Some just have interesting family backgrounds, but a few, like Amy, are Unusual. In the girls of Drearcliff, Newman has created a brand new batch of teens with abilities, with his own twists. The main core all feel fully fleshed out, though when it came to some of the more background characters, I did find myself losing track of who was who, now and then, especially as a couple of the girls had similar sounding names.

But overall, I really did enjoy this, including the more Lovecraftian aspects filtering in throughout the novel. The novel is set in the 1920s, with the girls using exclamations such as, “Crumpets!” and with that time period in mind, there’s an interesting parallel as the Black Skirts slowly infiltrating the school, mirroring the rise of fascism in Europe.

Some things aren’t as clear as they could be, and some of the characters can get a touch grating, but the clarity feels like a purposeful choice, and Amy Thomsett is enjoyable enough to counter the others.

The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School is a fun, creepy, enjoyable read, with masterful use of language and a solid sense of place and time. Definitely one for fans of more subtle but fantastical horror, and a good twist on the British school literary novel.