I’ve been meaning to get around to this story for ages and finally checked out the audio from my library. It’s a really good history of Halloween while being a touch scary too. I could see how this book has influenced other storytelling since it was published, while I could also guess some of Bradbury’s influences. I think more than anything, The Halloween Tree is an interesting story in where it sits in 20th century fantasy/horror. I wouldn’t say it’s a great story, but definitely influential.
Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man, by Emily J. Edwards
This is a darling mystery set in 1950 New York City narrated by girl Friday to a famous detective, Viviana Valentine. Short, clever, and so well-written, you feel like you’re a city girl making her way in the world. When Viv’s boss disappears, she sets out to solve the case he was working on and finding the identity of the dead man found in his office. Highly recommend.
The Book Eaters, by Sunyi Dean
True to its title, this book is really about a clan of people who eat books and gain the knowledge contained within. The book eater families are mired in tradition—one in which woman eat fairytales and men eat any book they want. Devon grew up thinking she was a princess until the families’ traditions break her heart. When her son is born a mind eater, she will do whatever it takes to give him a life. Even if it means taking down all the book eaters. Very odd story, but very well-told. It’s really about what family demands of us and what mothers will do to take care of their children.
The Art of Prophecy, by Wesley Chu
Epic fantasy set in a fantasy ancient China-styled world. When the Eternal Khan dies, the boy who was prophesied to kill him becomes persona non grata after being raised as a prince. An old warrior saves his life for she believes that the prophecy might still come true. After them are all sorts of elite assassins who want to kill the prophesied boy for their own reasons. The way the action in this is described is like watching a 1970s martial arts film. It’s fantastic. Story is good but a little long. Especially considering there will be at least two more books.
Ghost 19, by Simone St. James
Third audio of the month and second one set in 1950 New York, but upstate this time. Aspiring actress Ginette is recovering from a breakdown in a small town. There she becomes obsessed with watching her neighbors from the back window of the house she’s renting. But there is something sinister in the house, something that won’t let her leave. Is she losing her mind or is the house really haunted? This was a great story. The perfect amount of scary and the perfect amount of surprise.
Chilling Effect, by Valerie Valdes
Irreverent space thriller filled with laughs and nerd references. I loved it. This is the book that Ready Player One wishes it was. If you are a fan of spaceship action stories, you’ll love this one.
Natsume Book of Friends, vols. 25-27
I’ve been reading this series for like 12 years. Any new volume is like visiting with old friends. Plus Nyanko-sensei. If you know, you know.