Title: Gretel Author: Ben Meares Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Graphic Novel Publisher: Zenescope Source: Publisher via NetGalley Format: Ebook Release Date: February 4, 2020 Rating: ★★★★
Gretel’s story has been more nightmare than fairy tale ever since the tragic events of her childhood involving her brother and a maniacal witch. These events have left her cursed with a life that will span centuries.
After consuming the heart of a psychic witch, Gretel has been gifted the power of premonition. But when she has a psychic vision foretelling the end of the world, Gretel must open old wounds if she wants to try and prevent it from coming true.
This story tells an alternate story of Hansel and Gretel, where Gretel became a witch.
I really enjoyed the plot of this story. Gretel searches for the original witch, and meets many others along the way. It also tells the story of what she has been doing for the hundreds of years since her brother and her were captured by the witch.
This was quite a gruesome and graphic comic. The witches in this story eat human hearts. They eat children’s hearts to stay young, and they eat the hearts of other witches to gain their powers. These parts had realistic illustrations, so they were graphic.
This was a great horror graphic novel.
Thank you Diamond Book Distributors for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Blood Countess (Lady Slayers #1) Author: Lana Popović Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Horror Publisher: Amulet Books Source: Publisher via NetGalley Format: Ebook Release Date: January 28, 2020 Rating: ★★★★
A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula
In 16th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.
This was a creepy story inspired by a real woman.
Elizabeth Báthory was a real noblewoman who lived in the sixteenth century. She was the inspiration for Dracula because of her bloodlust. She was a serial killer who tortured many women.
This story follows Anna, who is from a small village. She goes to work for Elizabeth, and she is so proud of this job that will bring much needed money to her family. However, she soon learns that being with Elizabeth means witnessing and taking part in the torture and murder of girls who she used to call her friends. The story introduces Elizabeth as a misunderstood woman who is surrounded by rumors, before her true behavior is revealed.
Some parts of this story were quite gory and horrific. Elizabeth was relentless in her torture. It makes it all the more creepy to think that she is based on a real woman.
At first, I thought this was going to be a series about Elizabeth. Based on the ending, I believe this series will be about various “lady slayers” throughout history. I’m curious to see who will be in the next book.
Thank you Amulet Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Cadaver and Queen (Cadaver and Queen #1) by Alisa Kwitney
Have you read Blood Countess? What did you think of it?
Title: Season of the Witch Author: Sarah Rees Brennan Genre: Young Adult, Horror Publisher: Scholastic Inc. Source: Publisher Format: Ebook Release Date: July 9, 2019 Rating: ★★★★★
It’s the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She’s always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she’s also lived a normal mortal life – attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.
Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn’t sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey’s true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires in a big way.
Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?
This is a great prequel to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
I read the graphic novel of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina before I watched the show on Netflix. The graphic novel was the creepiest one I’ve ever read! The show is also quite creepy and gruesome. I was so glad that this book didn’t have the same horror themes.
I loved the way the characters were introduced in this story. The story added a lot to the plot, by introducing the characters before the beginning of the show. It also gave a lot of the background on Ambrose, who I always found was a confusing character, as to how and why he was there. It also gave some details on Harvey’s family.
I really enjoyed this story!
Thank you Scholastic for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack
About the Author:
SARAH REES BRENNAN is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have been long-listed for the Carnegie Medal and short-listed for both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award, as well as received multiple starred reviews. Her most recent novels include In Other Lands, Tell the Wind and Fire and the Lynburn Legacy trilogy.
5 copies of SABRINA: SEASON OF THE WITCH by SARAH REES BRENNAN
Title: Wilder Girls Author: Rory Power Genre: Young Adult, Horror Publisher: Delacorte Press Source: Publisher Format: Paperback Release Date: July 9, 2019 Rating: ★★★★
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
This story was a rollercoaster ride!
I felt the camaraderie between the girls right away. They were close because they had all been affected by the same disease, called the Tox. It affected everyone differently. Some girls grew gills, another grew a second spine, and other people grew tree branches out of their bodies. Each symptom kept getting creepier than the last, because they were unpredictable.
I liked the way that this story had two different perspectives. Hetty had the Tox, but she was fairly reliable throughout the story. The narratives switches to another girl for a few chapters, and she is very sick with the Tox. This gives an inside look into how it affects the girls when it takes over their bodies.
I really enjoyed this story. It had creepy horror elements that kept me hooked. I would love to see a sequel happen one day!
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé
Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
Have you read Wilder Girls? What did you think of it?
Title: The Dark Beneath the Ice Author: Amelinda Bérubé Genre: Young Adult, Horror Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Source: Purchased Format: Hardcover Release Date: August 7, 2018 Rating: ★★★★
Something is wrong with Marianne.
It’s not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.
She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.
Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.
This was a suspenseful, modern ghost story.
This story was very creepy. It had a contemporary setting in the real world. However, strange things keep happening to Marianne. Things start spontaneously breaking in front of her, and she has gaps in her memory. These unexplained events built the suspense in the story. Since the setting is the real world, it was even more creepy to read and imagine it happening to myself.
There was some discussion about mental health in this story. Marianne is sent to a therapist for help after some unusual things happen with her, and her mother is admitted to the hospital because she thinks she is hallucinating. When Marianne takes some medication to help with her stress, she discovers that her aunt took the same pills years earlier. This broke down the stigma around getting help for mental health problems, since all of them sought out help without being blamed for their actions.
This is one of those stories where the ending can make it or break it. I won’t spoil it, but I can say that I liked the way the story ended. This is a great, spooky ghost story.
What to read next:
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Have you read The Dark Beneath the Ice? What did you think of it?