Genre: Gothic

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich

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Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich
And the Trees Crept In
Dawn Kurtagich
Genre: Gothic, Mystery, YA
Publication date: September 6th, 2016
by Little Brown BfYR

A stunning, terrifying novel about a house the color of blood and the two sisters who are trapped there, by The Dead Houseauthor Dawn Kurtagich

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?

Filled with just as many twists and turns as The Dead House, and with achingly beautiful, chilling language that delivers haunting scenes, AND THE TREES CREPT IN is the perfect follow-up novel for master horror writer Dawn Kurtagich.
-A copy was provided by Little Brown Books for Young Readers for review-

I read The Dead House last year and immediately fell in love. It was eerie, scared the bejezus out of me, and twisted my mind into a pretzel. I LOVED the thriller aspects, the mystery and just the plain horror of it so I was excited to dive into And the Trees Crept In. While I definitely enjoyed the novel, I wasn’t as blown away by it as I was by The Dead House.

This novel starts with a happily ever after. Silla and Nori  have escaped their abusive household and are ready to start over at their aunt’s but then things go downhill. Kurtagich is the queen of building tension. When I was half-way through the novel, I had no idea how things could get any worse but holy shit did they get worse. I had to take breaks and walk around and just calm down because I was freaked out.

Besides the lovely (HA) tension, this book also features some great familial relationships. Nori, Silla and her aunt are so great together even when they are not perfect. The romance however did not work at all. Silla and Gowan’s relationship reads more like insta-love even though they have a backstory of sorts. The timeline and Silla’s unreliability as a character make it hard to really understand the kind of relationship they have and it also doesn’t allow for a slow burn romance which I am all about. I guess it might just come down to personal preference but as a couple they were a no-go for me.

My biggest problem with this book was the final twist. Kurtagich is great with twists but I don’t think this one worked–at least for me it didn’t. It left me feeling unsatisfied. To be fair, lots of endings can do that for people but there was just something about this one that made me feel like it didn’t do the amazing story justice. I felt let down and yet I am not sure what ending would actually suit the story. 

Basically, the biggest reason this book didn’t live up to Kurtagich’s debut novel for me was that last twist at the end of the novel. Otherwise, it was a fantastic book with wonderful pacing and a whole lot of scary. If you’re looking to pile up on some reads for Halloween (or you just love yourself a good horror), I’d definitely recommend And the Trees Crept In.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Posted by on 09/25/2014 • 16 Comments

The Fall was so very unique and the writing: wonderfully atmospheric. Having really enjoyed Bethany’s Masque of the Red Death (I have yet to read the sequel), I knew that I was in for a stunning read. Masque was very well written, gorgeous in its melancholy, really – and that’s what I love the most about these historically creepy novels: the way they enchant you into their eerie settings. The Fall was no exception. I felt transported into this ancient house which was truly a character in and of itself. I could see every crack and hear every faint footstep. You could say that I was sufficiently creeped out.

Madeline is living with a curse. A curse revolving around a house that feels alive and vengeful, a house they…

Review: A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron – Blog Hop, Day 6

Review: A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron – Blog Hop, Day 6

Posted by on 09/16/2013 • 12 Comments

With the same atmosphere and wonderfully charismatic characters as the first book, A Spark Unseen is a good sequel to The Dark Unwinding, but I felt somewhat bored while reading it. Even though the pacing in the first book was unhurried, I still found myself entertained by the characters in such a way that I hardly noticed. A Spark Unseen, on the other hand, while it did have the same fun personalities, much of its time is spent expanding the now thicker political layer. Not being a big fan of strong political plots – especially in historical fiction – I had difficulty staying focused during this one.

I can’t say that there is any lack in character atmosphere in this sequel. We have our good old Katharine who…

Review: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Review: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Posted by on 09/06/2013 • 27 Comments

A decent dose of creepy, this was!

The Dark Unwinding started rough for me. For the first quarter of the book at least I had a very difficult time getting into it. My attention kept waning, my mind wandering. I think mostly caused by my own restlessness, though, but surely not helped by the ambiguousness of the plot by that point. It has a strong show rather than tell writing style; while it’s not always easy to initially situate ourselves in a story told as such, it does remain my preferred way of storytelling. I find it works especially well for this type of book, the eerie, gothic style, as it leaves room for our own imagination to creep ourselves out. This is where this novel excels, followed closely by…

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Posted by on 07/15/2013 • 39 Comments

“Their faces were white. And grim. They glared at me, streaks of pale moonlight sweeping across their cheeks. They looked somber and gruesome and not like kids at all.”

Highly atmospheric, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a haunting tale of evil and family secrets for every Gothic horror fan!

Although most Gothics are set in the past, this one is not, but it takes place in an old and tired estate which gives this book the perfect ancient feel. It’s not long before strange things start happening in Violet’s extremely small, quaint town, setting about hair-raising goosebumps that last throughout. First we get frightening legends about a kidnapper in a retired tunnel, then creepy kids walking around the cemetery claiming to have seen the devil, but…

Review: Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

Review: Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

Posted by on 06/10/2013 • 31 Comments

“He’s cursed. He’s human flesh worn by a demon.”

A fantastically atmospheric Gothic novel, Ashes on the Waves is based on an eerie Edgar Allan Poe poem – which is really all you need to know, right?

In a way, this novel reminded me a little of Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz. It’s set on a secluded island where people live in the old ways without much as far as laws and structure goes. There is also paranormal presence that makes the island unique, and a little chilling. Like in Teeth, you will need to go into this with an open mind as the novel is not considered a paranormal, but a Gothic story. Meaning the paranormal aspects are not examined in detail as far as their history or…

Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

Review: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

Posted by on 05/15/2013 • 35 Comments

Set in beautiful Paris, 1899, The Beautiful and the Cursed is a unique, violent, sometimes disturbing YA Gothic involving demons, Gargoyles, and… something unexplained that is one of our main characters.

With the appearance of two dead bodied within the first 70 pages, I knew I was in for a good time. Though not a bad thing (for me), this book was a little more violent than I expected. Aside from the initial dead bodies we’re treated to gory bodily remains and beastly attacks–which were pretty cool I might add. Hell hounds make for really awesome evil! To protect from these creature are gargoyles; amazingly described as these massive beasts, gargoyles have to protect the humans residing in their estates, and can turn to and from human form. This gargoyle…