Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mini Reviews: Witchtown, The Monstrous Child, The Education of a Coroner, The Creeps

Here are four reviews of some books I've read this year.  You can see that I enjoy various genres of books, including young adult, non-fiction, and comics/graphic novels, even though I tend to read a lot of YA for some reason.  I've read over a hundred books this year (which is crazy!) so I'll be posting a lot more of these mini reviews on this blog in the coming weeks.  I hope I can read as much next year! 😬

*Some of these books may be advanced reader's copies from the publisher for review.  This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review.  All thoughts/opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  I am an Amazon affiliate and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through one of my links.

Witchtown by Cory Putman Oakes
Publication Date: July 18, 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: eARC
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 Stars)

My Thoughts:

Witchtown by Cory Putman Oakes was an intriguing supernatural story that I really enjoyed.

I was first drawn to this book by the cover. I just think it's a really beautiful book cover.

This book also had quite a unique premise.  In this world, there are Natural witches (born with powers) and Learned witches (born without powers), and all witches live in witch-only havens.  The most famous of these witch-only havens is called Witchtown.  In the beginning of the book, sixteen-year-old Macie O'Sullivan and her manipulative mother, Aubra,  move to Witchtown in order to rob the town. Her mother constantly moves them to different witch havens with the intention of robbing them. 

I thought Macie was an interesting character. She doesn't want to rob these 
havens but she is basically forced to help her mother..  Macie ends up really liking Witchtown, especially because she makes some new friends.  I really disliked Aubra because she was a very self-involved, cruel person.  There was constantly tension between Macie and Aubra because they were such different personalities.  

I really liked the setting of Witchtown because it was an interesting place filled with magic and mystery.  I never got bored while reading this book and I thought there was plenty of action and supernatural creepiness throughout the story.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a good supernatural read. I really enjoyed this story and I look forward to reading more from Cory Putman Oakes.

The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon
Publication Date: December 1, 2016 by Faber Faber

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher via Library Thing
Format: Paperback
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5 Stars)

My Thoughts:

I read this book so long ago that I'm having some trouble remembering certain details.  I do remember that this was a strange book that takes place in a creepy world.  It looks like this is actually the third book in the Mortal Gods series but I think this can be read as a stand alone.  I didn't read the other two books because I didn't even realize this was the third book in a series.  

The story follows teenage Hel, the Queen of the Dead.  Hel is forced to be the queen in the Underworld, a position she absolutely detests.  She just wants to be a normal teenager but she has no choice.  Hel is the daughter of a giantess and a god, and she was born with a decaying lower body.  This sounds weird and reading about it was definitely weird.  Half of Hel was normal and half of her was decaying flesh.  Ewwww!!

This was a dark and creepy read.  Hel was a sad character because she did not choose to rule over the dark Underworld.  She lives a lonely and miserable life stuck in the land of the dead and I really felt bad for her character.  Most of this story is Hel trying to deal with being trapped in this depressing and lonely Underworld.  

If you are looking for a dark and strange read, then you might want to check this one out.  I thought this story was okay but it's probably not something that I would read again.  It was just a really strange book.  

The Education of a Coroner
Lessons in Investigating Death by John Bateson
Publication Date: August 15, 2017 by Scribner

Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: eARC
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 Stars)

My Thoughts:

When I saw this book on NetGalley I knew I wanted to read it because I've always had a fascination with forensic science and true crime.  I love all those forensic shows and I'm always looking for a new book about the field of forensics.  The Education of a Coroner by John Bateson was an extremely interesting read that really takes the reader into the life of a coroner.

Bateson interviews retired coroner Ken Holmes, who was the Marin County coroner for thirty-six years.  Holmes tells about his many gripping cases, from murders to suicides.  It was just very interesting to read about Holmes' experiences in a field that has always fascinated me.  The job of a coroner is definitely not an easy job and there are many cases in here that were shocking, horrifying, and heart breaking to read about.  

If you have any interest in what life is like as a coroner, or if you just have an interest in forensics or true crime, you should definitely read this book.  This was a very interesting and informative read that I definitely recommend.

The Creeps by Fran Krause
Series: A Deep Dark Fears Collection, Book 2
Publication Date: September 26, 2017 by Ten Speed Press
Genre: Graphic Novel
Pages: 144
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: eARC
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 Stars)

My Thoughts:

The Creeps by Fran Krause is the second book in the Deep Dark Fears collection that features illustrations of crazy, hilarious, and terrifying fears.

I really enjoyed the second book in this collection and I think I even enjoyed it more than the first book.  People have some crazy and hilarious fears and I love how these fears are illustrated in comic form.  The illustrations are seriously cute!  

I can definitely relate to some of the fears in this book and I've had some crazy fears over the years.  I used to be so scared to ride down an escalator when I was little because I kept fearing I would fall and be sucked into it.  Escalators in malls were my hell!  It took me a long time to finally get up the nerve to get on those darn escalators and I'm able to laugh about it now.

I definitely recommend this book, especially if you are curious about the crazy fears that people have.  I hope that there will be more volumes in this comics series.  


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