Posts Tagged: Horror

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

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Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest
The Toll
Cherie Priest
Genre: Adult, Gothic, Horror
Publication date: July 9th, 2019
by Tor Books

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From Cherie Priest, the author of The Family Plot and Maplecroft, comes The Toll, a tense, dark, and scary treat for modern fans of the traditionally strange and macabre.

State Road 177 runs along the Suwannee River, between Fargo, Georgia, and the Okefenokee Swamp. Drive that route from east to west, and you’ll cross six bridges. Take it from west to east, and you might find seven.

But you’d better hope not.


Titus and Davina Bell leave their hotel in Fargo for a second honeymoon canoeing the Okefenokee Swamp. But shortly before they reach their destination, they draw up to a halt at the edge of a rickety bridge with old stone pilings, with room for only one car . . .

When, much later, a tow-truck arrives, the driver finds Titus lying in the middle of the road, but Davina is nowhere to be found.
 
-A copy was provided by Tor Books for review-

I love southern gothic with a dash of horror and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Cherie Priest so when I came across The Toll, I was curious. I ended up being disappointed. Maybe this book never stood a chance because I read it in the midst of an extreme book hangover from finishing Spin the Dawn but here we are.

For one, there are too many different POVs for my liking. Sometimes many POVs work, especially when distinguished. They were not distinguished in this case so the transitions were always sudden and it took me a bit to figure out who I was following. Honestly, it wasn’t until I hit the 33% mark that I was actually able to differentiate the names and the voices of the characters. So for about 100 pages, I was basically lost and confused. 

The pacing was too slow for my tastes as well. The atmosphere is deliciously creeptastic but… there is literally nothing else going on. Titus’ wife goes missing and the town is sort of weird and there are weird things happening but only the first of those things is a plot point. There is an increasing tension propelling the plot forward but the book is fairly tame. I was not creeped out or concerned.

I also did not connect to any of the characters. Maybe except the old ladies who hate everybody because that’s a big mood. I don’t know. 336 pages is a lot to read when you don’t feel connected to anyone or that invested in the plot or really in anything at all. 

So why did I keep reading? Maybe I just have issues and don’t like DNFing but honestly, the one good thing I can say for this book is that Cherie Priest is undoubtedly a terrific writer. This seems to contradict all of my issues with the book but also, I don’t know what else to say. Something kept me just invested enough to keep turning the pages and I think that for all these book’s faults, Priest is good at her craft.

The Toll is not the worst book I’ve read this year (although I cannot actually think what the worst book I’ve read is.) I think it just needed a lot more work to keep me invested. I think characters needed to be developed, voices distinguished and the plot needed to become more exciting. People who like slower books with that hint of horror sort of lurking in the background will genuinely enjoy this book. Simply put, I was the wrong reader for The Toll and all my love for southern gothic books cannot make up for that.

2 Stars
2 Hot Espressos

A Fun Read If A Little Romance Heavy: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

A Fun Read If A Little Romance Heavy: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Posted by on 10/11/2017 • 2 Comments

While I admittedly have some complex feelings about Anna and the French Kiss, I can wholeheartedly say that I enjoy Stephanie Perkins’ writing style and that when I heard about There’s Someone Inside Your House, I was extremely excited to see how her unique writing style would translate across genres.

It did take me a while to get into There’s Someone Inside Your House so it is slow-going but as soon as things started getting bloodier and gorier, I was HERE FOR IT and I just got sucked in.

While it does kind of suck it took me a while to get into There’s Someone Inside Your House, I think it also makes sense because it is drawing from the classic horror movie, Scream and classic horror movies take time…

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

Posted by on 02/10/2017 • 1 Comment

I have no idea how I am supposed to feel about this book. I love how the author builds tension throughout the book and I love the general creepiness of it but I struggled with a lot of other aspects of the book. The characters, the romance, and even some of the horror elements of the book.

I think my biggest qualm in terms of the actual horror parts of the book is how much they are based on Christian myth. This is obviously a very personal qualm and not all readers will have that same experience but as someone who exists outside of that narrative, it can be a little unsettling to have all this info forced down ones throat. It isn’t even just the satanic elements but rather the…

Review: Lost in Texas (The Living Dead Boy #2) by Rhiannon Frater

Review: Lost in Texas (The Living Dead Boy #2) by Rhiannon Frater

Posted by on 10/25/2016 • 1 Comment

As you are all probably aware, I love Rhiannon Frater. She writes amazing books with in depth characters, and tons of suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. This follow up to the first book was no exception. The book may be short, but it packs a punch. Right from the start there is a tension about things. The looming threat of zombies, and the people around about to snap from fear and feeling trapped. I flew through this book simply because I had to. I couldn’t stop until I knew the outcome of it.

Josh is back of course and he is undoubtably one tough kid. Yes, he’s scared, but he has seen enough horror movies to know the things that will make you become zombie…

Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Posted by on 09/23/2016 • 9 Comments

I don’t write in books and have become too lazy to keep an actual notepad by my side while I am reading but recently I decided that I wanted to do a better job of keeping track of my feels so when I write a review two weeks after I’ve read the book, I have something to jog up my memory. Sticky Notes were the answer. And while I did not tab the shit out of this book (or really any book because I am more of a reader than a note taker), I did tab a scene in this book and write OMG!!!

You were probably wondering where I was going with the whole insight into my reading process thing weren’t you? I AM SORRY. I felt like backstory was…

Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Posted by on 09/13/2016 • 9 Comments

I literally don’t know how to start this review because there are a lot of things to say but they can all just be covered with a big NO. There is potential in this book but it’s all potential that is unrealized. From the spoilt MC who is a cardboard cutout to the world building, this book is just lacking. It isn’t BAD but it isn’t GOOD which is especially disappointing because I was really looking forward to reading this book.

The MC was a clear let down but I was really upset that the MC’s cutting is not at all talked about in ways that isn’t a character trait. It’s used as a description of the MC in the way an adjective might be used.

There are…

Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich

Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich

Posted by on 09/08/2016 • 8 Comments

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…

Blog Tour: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker (High School Horror #1) Review and Guest Post

Blog Tour: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker (High School Horror #1) Review and Guest Post

Posted by on 01/18/2016 • 3 Comments

Hello everyone!! I am happy to be participating in the blog tour for this book. Right when I read the synopsis, I knew that I had to read the book. So I will be doing my review and I have a great guest post with a real life high school horror story from Charlotte Huang, a friend of the author who is also an author.

To start, I really liked the characters. They were great. Especially Tor and her best friend Owen. They really were what pulled me into the story. I did enjoy this book, but had to ignore all of the things that just didn’t make sense to me. As with all things fiction, not everything has to make sense or be logical right? I can’t go into…