TITLE: Children of the Dark
AUTHOR: Jonathan Janz
SYNOPSIS: Will Burgess is used to hard knocks. Abandoned by his father, son of a drug-addicted mother, and charged with raising his six-year-old sister, Will has far more to worry about than most high school freshmen. To make matters worse, Mia Samuels, the girl of Will’s dreams, is dating his worst enemy, the most sadistic upperclassman at Shadeland High. Will’s troubles, however, are just beginning.
Because one of the nation’s most notorious criminals—the Moonlight Killer—has escaped from prison and is headed straight toward Will’s hometown. And something else is lurking in Savage Hollow, the forest surrounding Will’s rundown house. Something ancient and infinitely evil. When the worst storm of the decade descends on Shadeland, Will and his friends must confront unfathomable horrors. Everyone Will loves—his mother, his little sister, Mia, and his friends—will be threatened.
And very few of them will escape with their lives.
PUBLISHER: Sinister Grin Press
Children of the Dark crotch kicked me directly in the feels. I am still heartbroken over losses I experienced. I have waited a week to write this in hopes I can articulate better than "It's so good!"
Will. Will is the son every mom wants, the big brother everyone needs, but damn if he isn't a bit of a horrible friend. His mother struggles with addiction and his father is MIA. His crush is dating the worse person alive and I am upset his best friend isn't even mentioned in the synopsis!
Janz gave us two big plot lines with this one: escaped serial killer in the area and something is in the forest around Will's house. Without giving up spoilers, the two connect nicely. On top of dodging death, Will also has to deal with normal high school issues and be the parent to his little sister.
I felt for everyone in this book. I even felt for Will's mom and I actually hate her a little. The ending hinted at maybe a continuation of the story and I have heard a rumor about part two, so I hope it is real because I want to know more!
TITLE: Anoka: A Collection of Indigenous Horror
AUTHOR: Shane Hawk.
SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Anoka, Minnesota, a small city just outside of the Twin Cities dubbed “The Halloween Capital of the World” since 1937. Here before you lie several tales involving bone collectors, pagan witches, werewolves, skeletal bison, and cloned children. It is up to you to decipher between fact and fiction as the author has woven historical facts into his narratives. With his debut horror collection, Cheyenne & Arapaho author Shane Hawk explores themes of family, grief, loneliness, and identity through the lens of indigenous life.
PUBLISHER: Self Published
Six tales by indigenous author, Shane Hawk, takes us to Anoka, a small midwest city known as The Halloween Capital of the World. I personally love the idea of several stories all happening in one location so this was a plus. Shane also brings forward some painful issues in the indigenous community specifically alcoholism and domestic violence. I found his approach to the topics respectful while also making his stance on the issues obvious.
At the end of the collection is a list of story notes. I love when writers include these! These gave an interesting perspective into the stories.
This story is a frightful way to address infant loss.
This story turned me into an emotional mess (Thanks Shane) and by addressing the painful topic of missing and murdered indigenous females this was one of my favorites of the collections.
Grief horror to punch you straight in the feels.
Imi-TATE. This stroy includes another creepy kid and I am here for it. We get a boy clone under the bed that says the monster is the boy on the bed. WHATTT??? My favorite story of the collection.
This story really fucked with me. Seriously, spiders laying eggs in your mouth 😩
One of the best werewolves stories I have read in a long time! I also adore the queer rep here with our nonbinary wolf.
I cried, was disgusted, and creeped out with this collection. In addition, the writing was well done! I felt for characters and feel more aware of indigenous issues. For these reasons, Anoka gets 5 stars! I look forward to reading more from Shane Hawk.
Thank you to Shane Hawk for gifting me a copy of Anoka in exchange for an honest review.
AUTHOR: Justina Ireland
"There's nothing white folks hate more than realizing they accidently treated a negro like a person."
BLACK LIVES MATTER. PERIOD. FULL STOP.
Lincoln set the slaves free and then the dead raised up. Now blacks are sent to slaughter camps to train on killing the undead, but also learn the finery needed to be in the presence of rich folks.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
This was an interesting take on a zombie story. The zombie field is a little over plowed right now so I was going in with high hopes of strong characters to really pull this off. I am actively seeking female and POC authors in my go-to genres of horror and fantasy and Justina Ireland has cemented her spot.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
I only rated it 4 stars because I really wanted more zombie fighting/killing action, but after the ending, I am sure we get more in Deathless Divide.
Join us on the 1st for Jonathan Janzuary! It's been 6 months since we bought all those Janz books in Flame Tree Press's 4th of July sale and it's about time we read them. Use the hashtag #jonathanjanzuary and tag us all month long!
Members voted and the following four books were picked!
We have also added to the fun by offering a giveaway to all our US members that complete a review either on Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon and sends proof to the Queens of Horror Bookclub IG account.
So you have read the 4 books for #jonathanjanzuary with the Queens of Horror Book Club, what now?
Below is a list of coming-of-age horror recommended by the super rad Jonathan Janz
- Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
- Ghoul by Brian Keene
- It by Stephen King
- The Body by Stephen King
- The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale
- Ghost Summer by Tananarive Due
- A House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman
- Shadowland by Peter Straub
- December Park by Ronald Malfi
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
January is here and so is winter! Living in NE Indiana, we are no stranger to snow. Luckily the last few winters have been mild compared to my first one here. The twins had 27 snow days to make up! It was insane, to say the least, but it made me appreciate curling up with a warm latte and a good book.
January 1 | Bloodletter: The Hemato Pages by C. E. Lutze | Static Age Books | Horror | Last year, Brielyn led a normal life in Los Angeles as a tattoo artist. Now, thanks to her estranged father, she’s a vampire with a lust for blood.
January 1 | Taiping Tales of Terror by Julya Oui | Penguin Random House | Malaysian horror collection Thirteen boys retell tales of terror one night around the campfire. But as the session draws to a close, they realize they started out with only twelve.
January 1 | Scream to the Shadows by Tunku Halim | Penguin Random House | Malaysian horror collection | Unconfined to a single theme, this new collection of twenty short stories by Halim offers five distinct worlds - the paranormal mysteries from 'The occult words', with its dark settings reveal supernatural existences in the characteristic Halim style.
January 5 | The Thirteenth Koyote by Kristopher Triana | Death's Head Press | Splatter Western | Gunfights, ghouls, and graverobbing. #8 in Death's Head Press Splatter Western series.
*Mini-synopsis are taken from synopsis by publisher*
If you saw an adult abusing a child, would you report it?
I have and certainly will again if need be, ramifications be dammed, but after reading this, I am reminded why.
Joe Crawford, a top-shelf girl-dad, confronts a mother abusing her young son. Doing so sets a snowball effect of reactions with fatal consequences. Then the boy is placed with a foster family.
In comes an ancient fire cult (not Satanist yay) with some INSANE practices.
What I loved:
"Michelle doesn't need a gun, she gets angry."
- Joe. This guy was like the epitome of awesome guys with flaws. I especially loved his relationship with his daughter.
I read this in two sittings only because sleep was demanding. It was my first Janz experience and I am excited to read the rest!
Book Club read #1:
#jonathanjanzuary with @QueensofHorrorBookClub on @Instagram
I am so excited to announce that my short story, "The Wild Hunt", will be published in the forthcoming winter horror anthology, Bitter Chills, edited by the awesome Nick Harper!
Out February 13th, you will not be disappointed by this lineup! Just check out these awesome people I get to share a table of contents with!
Make sure to check out www.BloodRitesHorror.coma for news on all upcoming releases, including some charity anthologies.
TITLE: Kingdom of the Wicked
AUTHOR: Kerri Maniscalco
SYNOPSIS: Two sisters.
One brutal murder.
A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…
And an intoxicating romance.
Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
PUBLISHER: Jimmy Patterson
PUB DATE: 27 Oct 2020
I have so many feelings about this book! First, I am a sucker for Maniscalco’s Jack the Ripper series and I knew I was going into this in total fangirl mode. Luckily, I didn’t let me down!
Set in a beautiful Italian city, twin sisters who are streghe, witches, have to fight detection. When one of their love interests joins the church, things get a bit awkward. Emilia soon finds the body of her sister, Vittoria (beautiful damn name btw), the careless risk-taker of the pair. Soon Emilia uses forbidden spells to summon a demon, Wrath, and the sexual tension could be cut with a dagger from House Wrath.
Murders of other witches send the pair on a wild ride of mystery and magic. Kerri creates a Kingdom of the Wicked where seven princes of hell each have their own castles and The Morningstar has a curse upon him. Here the author takes religious theologies and gives us a cool take on the seven deadly sins. The princes aren’t the only ones that want to harm the witches, so as the duo try to stay ahead of the murderer, they also have to avoid being murdered.
I was annoyed by the grandmother, but I assume she is a play on the stubborn Italian woman thing. She was definitely a well-formed person even if she was annoying. Emilia was a bit like Audrey Rose but whinier. I am excited to see where her new role takes her because that cliffhanger was painful! I cannot wait for the next book!
Thank you JIMMY Patterson for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.