The City of Brass Review—A Tale of Deliciously Dark Djinn

My favorite part of being a book reviewer is when I find a brand new author to absolutely fall in love with. I stumbled upon S. A. Chakraborty a few weeks ago at a reading for the New York Review of Speculative Fiction. After hearing her read the first chapter of her debut novel, I immediately went home and requested a review copy so I could find out what happens next. The City of Brass is the first book The Daevabad Trilogy, a new adult fantasy series that delves deep into Islamic mythology, particularly those devious creatures known as the djinn. The book just came out on November 14th, so you can find it at your local bookstore or click the link at the end of this post to buy it online. Continue reading The City of Brass Review—A Tale of Deliciously Dark Djinn

Review of The Eterna Solution–Conclusion to a Thrilling Paranormal Epic

It’s time for a new release from my favorite author, Leanna Renee Hieber! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know that I’ve been following the Eterna Files series almost since its inception when I reviewed The Eterna Files nearly two years ago. I followed that review up with one for the second book, Eterna and Omega, when it came out last August. And now, I’m here again to give you the goods on the third and final installment of the series, The Eterna Solution. The book comes out tomorrow, November 14. As usual, if you’re local to the New York area, you can come celebrate the release at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in upper Manhattan. Join us at 6:30 on Friday, November 17, for a reading and signing by the author, along with a costume contest, an exhibit of elegant accessories by Wormwood & Gall, and some light refreshments. Continue reading Review of The Eterna Solution–Conclusion to a Thrilling Paranormal Epic

Dracula, Performed

Dracula was always meant to be adapted to the stage. At the time that he wrote his most famous novel, Bram Stoker was working as the business manager for the Lyceum Theatre in London, owned by his friend, the renowned actor Henry Irving. Irving’s performances were often dark and dramatic, and he was best known for playing charismatic villains. It’s even been suggested that he partially inspired the appearance and personality of the Count in Stoker’s novel. Thus, it should come as no surprise that when Stoker finished his masterpiece, he envisioned Irving playing the titular character in a stage adaptation. He even drafted a script and ran through a staged reading of Dracula, or The Undead at the Lyceum, afterwards eagerly asking Irving what he thought. Irving’s answer, however, shut down any hopes Stoker had for his stage production: he summed up his opinion in one word: “Dreadful.”

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Review of Haunted Nights—A Halloween Collection

I’ve got another new Halloween book for you! Haunted Nights, a Horror Writers Association anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton just came out two weeks ago, on October 3rd. The anthology collects sixteen never-before-published short stories by major authors including Garth Nix, Seanan McGuire, and Kelly Armstrong all revolving around the central theme of Halloween. Continue reading Review of Haunted Nights—A Halloween Collection

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures Review

A couple of months ago, I started listening to an excellent podcast called Lore, in which Aaron Mahnke tells spooky stories from folklore around the world. Now Mahnke is coming out with an affiliated book called The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures, which hits stores tomorrow, October 10. This beautifully illustrated book collects a variety of folklore stories with a focus on particular types of monstrous creatures. It’s the first in a World of Lore series, and Mahnke plans to follow it up with two more books on Wicked Mortals and Dreadful Places within the next year. Continue reading The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures Review

Review of From Here to Eternity—Death Around the World

If you’re a fan of macabre content on Youtube, you’ve probably already come across Caitlin Doughty and her popular web series “Ask a Mortician.” In her videos, Caitlin combines absurd, witty humor with professional insight to answer viewers’ questions about death. Apart from being a Youtube star, Caitlin has also founded an organization called The Order of the Good Death, which aims to dismantle the cultural taboos we’ve built up around talking about the fate that awaits us all. In 2015, she published her first book—a memoir called Smoke Get in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory. You can read my glowing review of that book here. Now her highly anticipated second book has finally arrived, and it’s every bit as good as the first! From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death hits shelves tomorrow, October 3. You can also check Caitlin’s website to see if she’s doing any signings at the bookstores or cemeteries in your area. Continue reading Review of From Here to Eternity—Death Around the World

Review of The Dark Nest Chronicles–A Gothic Space Opera

Love paranormal gothic romance? How about paranormal gothic romance in space! In my quest to read and review everything Leanna Renee Hieber has ever written, I recently picked up her first published series, The Dark Nest Chronicles. The Chronicles consist of three novellas, the first of which won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance. A couple years ago, the three novellas were compiled into a single volume and released together. That’s the version I got, and I read them all in one fell swoop. Continue reading Review of The Dark Nest Chronicles–A Gothic Space Opera

Emilie Autumn’s The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls Ebook Review

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls coverIf you weren’t mad when you entered the gates, you will be soon enough…. Emilie Autumn tells a complex dual narrative of madness and mental institutions in her semi-autobiographical book The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. If the author’s name sounds familiar, it may be that you know her from her music career. Emilie Autumn has been one of my favorite musicians for over a decade by this point. Her dark lyrics, haunting voice, classically-influenced music, and unusual style appeal strongly to many goths, though Emilie tends to reject that label for herself. One of the recurring themes throughout her music is madness, especially how women struggling with mental illness are perceived and treated by society. In The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, she explores this topic more directly.  Continue reading Emilie Autumn’s The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls Ebook Review

Dorian Gray: The Musical, a NYMF Production

Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray took on new life this summer in a musical adaptation as part of the New York Musical Festival. NYMF is a three-week annual festival that seeks to shine the spotlight on new works, many of which go on to perform Off-Broadway, and some even make it to the Great White Way! Dorian Gray: The Musical began as a graduate thesis project for playwright Christopher Dayett, with music arranged by Kevin Mucchetti. Last week, the beta musical appeared in three showings at the Acorn Theater. Director Christen Mandracchia invited me to attend a performance and share my opinion on the show. Continue reading Dorian Gray: The Musical, a NYMF Production

Review of One Was Lost–YA Survival Horror

To me, a three-day camping trip in the middle of the woods sounds like a nightmare under the best of circumstances. But in One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards, Sera’s senior experience field trip takes a far more sinister turn when she and three of her classmates wake up to find that someone has drugged them, been in their tents, destroyed their things, and left ominous messages written on their skin. Just reading the premise of this book, I knew it was going to be the kind of thing to keep me up at night. Continue reading Review of One Was Lost–YA Survival Horror