I received this book for free from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 8th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Horror
Source: Simon and Schuster
Sometimes I believe the baby will never stop crying.
Sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner fears she is losing her mind. When her family move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, Amanda hopes she can leave her haunting memories behind: of her sickly Ma giving birth to a terribly afflicted baby; of the cabin fever that claimed Amanda's sanity; of the boy who she has been meeting in secret...
But the Verners arrive on the prairie to find their new home soaked in blood. So much blood. And Amanda has heard stories - about men becoming unhinged and killing their families, about the land being tainted by wickedness. With guilty secrets weighing down on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or within her soul...
Review: I love a good creepy read and Daughters Unto Devils definitely delivered with its historical setting, mountain location and distinctly sinister plot. After Amanda’s family move to a remote cabin, she hopes she can leave her past behind, including the fever that she’s worried has caused her to lose her mind. Only, the cabin is soaked in blood and there are stories about the area – about murder and unhinged minds.
Oh, this book is delightfully creepy and Lukavics writes a sinister, disturbing tale with an intriguingly unreliable and very often unlikeable narrator. The plot develops and becomes even more horror-filled and disturbing by the end and has this feverish quality to it. The horror and gore is not sanitised so I would recommend this to younger readers personally.
Books like this aren’t for everyone; that said fans of books with sinister, creepy tones and settings could find a lot in this book and it’s definitely ideal for Halloween.
I received this book for free from Stripes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sleepless by Lou Morgan
Published by Little Tiger Press Group on January 5th 2015
Young, rich and good-looking, Izzy and her friends lead seemingly perfect lives. But exams are looming – and at a school like Clerkenwell, failure is not an option. Luckily, Tigs has a solution. A small pill that will make revision a breeze and help them get the results they need. Desperate to succeed, the friends begin taking the study drug. But as the side effects take hold they realize there are far worse things than failing a few exams.
“…creepy, claustrophobic and pant-wettingly scary…” Kim Curran, author of Shift
Lou Morgan’s terrifying novel is part of the Red Eye series, perfect for fans of James Dawson’s Say Her Name and Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.
Review: As some of you may know, I do like the occasional creepy read (hence the theme of this post) and Little Tiger’s recent Red Eye series fulfils the creepy quota with Point Horroresque stories. Sleepless tells the story of Izzy and her friends who attend a competitive school and are stressed about exams. When their friend offers a solution; a pill that will help them concentrate and get the results they need, it seems perfect. Only there are some side effects to the medication.
I liked that this was UKYA and the London setting really worked well. I also felt the impetus for the plot was relatable and concept interesting – exams are a huge thing for teenagers and I remember all of the anxiety and stress of knowing I needed to succeed – I also went to a competitive school so I could relate to that.
The hallucination scenes are creepy and Morgan has a good grasp on horror. I read through Sleepless very quickly and there were some definitely tense scenes. I did wonder and guess a couple of the twists but it didn’t overall impact my reading of the novel. I did feel the end felt a little loose at times and some plot elements were predictable. It did feel very cinematic and like a horror film so I think fans of the genre should find a lot to take from it and enjoy.Dark Room (Red Eye) by Tom Becker
Published by Little Tiger Press Group on September 10th 2015
When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it'll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose - the 'Selfie Slayer'. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood...
Review: I’ve read Tom Becker’s novels before and enjoyed his previous books so Dark Room was an anticipated read. I enjoy the Red Eye series, as mentioned above, and the idea of a ‘Selfie Slayer’ and horror book involving cameras intrigued me as I’ve always been interested in that trope in horror films.
I think because I’d read Tom Becker before I made an assumption this was UK set, however it’s not. This was clearly my own error and the setting did work well overall as it contributed to the sort of homage to horror films it has. One thing about this though that didn’t always work was that it felt a little familiar at times and borders on using some cliches (particularly around some of the murdered teenagers) That said, it’s a tense at times read and the concept and way it all ties together is well done.
I did find Dark Room a little slow at first, though the prologue does draw you in, however I’m glad I pursued the book as it became much more gripping to me as it progressed. Overall, Becker writes well and while I did predict some of the twists the final third was still a tense and compelling conclusion.