Mini-Reviews | 2 Great ARCs & 2 Spooky Amazing Stories 🌙

 🌙  Hi, guys! I hope you’re having a beautiful day, it makes me SO happy to come back with another post this month, since I’ve had super busy days, so I’ll celebrate each post that I upload and give it the value it deserves, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do by writing them.❤️ Today I decided to bring you a post with 4 mini-reviews of books that I’ve read in the previous months and I haven’t had time to review before, so I thought it was fun to create a single post where I highlight them and give them the attention they deserve, but It’s also obviously a good way to catch up with them and bring you all my thoughts. 👏🏻 👏🏻
Of course, even though these reviews aren’t as extensive as my regular reviews tend to be, didn’t mean I haven’t touched on every important point, in fact the only difference is that in these reviews I go straight to the point when talking about every aspect of them, cause you know I like to ramble sometimes so I hope it really is something that helps you to know a little about these books, but also that you can get each idea and thought that I want to transmit here.
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I wanted to thank you as I always try to do, for the love and support that you continue to give me and to the blog in these moments when I can no longer be so active, that always makes me feel super happy and also gives me that encouragement to want to return to write, which you know I love to do with all my heart. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU because also the blog has officially reached 6k followers! 🥳 It’s crazy, it seems like yesterday when I just started posting and it was a disaster (LOL) but even so, I always had so much fun, this space means a lot to me for all the beautiful people I’ve met but also because it is a very special way of expression for me. 😭 

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Returning to where we were, Today I’ll share with you my thoughts about these 4 great books, I’ve really liked all of them, so I can’t wait to share with you, and maybe you decide to add some to your TBR to give them a chance in the future. 😍 Obviously, super grateful to the publishers and NetGalley for the possibility to read the following ARCs. The books I’ll talk about next are The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep by Laurie Faria Stolarz, The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties, # 1) by Marina J. Lostetter, Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake, # 3 ) by Victoria Schwab & Horrid by Katrina Leno. 📝
So, make yourself comfortable, go get your favorite drink ☕️ because WE’RE GETTING STARTED!
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TitleThe Helm of Midnight

By: Marina J. Lostetter

Series: The Five Penalties #1

Pages: 464

PublishedApril 13th, 2021

By: Tor Books

Genre: Adult – Fantasy – MysteryHorror

Buy itBook Depository | Amazon


A legendary serial killer stalks the streets of a fantastical city in The Helm of Midnight, the stunning first novel in a new trilogy from acclaimed author Marina Lostetter.

In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power–the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city with a series of gruesome murders.

Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.

It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.

| Goodreads |


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I want to thank NetGalley & Tor Books very much for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book! I think it deserves its own credit for taking a dark mystery and a murder story, and blending it perfectly with this fantasy world where magic also plays a supremely interesting role. I especially like the vibe that’s quite atmospheric, but dense at the same time, I’m not saying this negatively, but the author takes her time to develop everything in a very detailed way, which gives a lot of depth and context to everything that happens. Although confusing at one point, the construction of the world is super intriguing and fascinating to discover.

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On the other hand, the magical or cursed objects, and the story behind them is great, as well as it’s a book that relies heavily on the history of each object and how it impacts today’s society. Also has a very complex and interesting look at society and its different social classes. I also want to emphasize that this book is very easy to read as a standalone so I love that, even so in a world that’s clearly very complex and gigantic, it’s to be hoped that the author has decided to continue a little more and explore more of it.

I should mention that it’s not an easy book to read at all, in fact, it’s quite slow-paced and the beginning can be confusing to understand, but once you go through it and understand better where you are located, then it unfolds wonderfully. One of my favorite factors is that the book is divided between several POVs and not only that, but we jump in time between the past and the prest.

Another point that has been super refreshing for me wasn’t only the characters, which I tell you are very complex and realistic but also the book itself has a perfect mix between the mystery that we follow as the main theme and the fantasy elements, which are highlighted and explained but almost to a lesser extent. I feel that this will not be for everyone, but I liked the idea that the fictional world such as the fantasy and magic aspects are put in the background since it gives it a new and original vibe where it focuses on more mundane things, but always with that paranormal vibe that I love, it’s a great touch that, although it seems minimal, gives the book a lot of character.


4/5

4 Estrellas

TitleThe Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep

By: Laurie Faria Stolarz

Series: Jane Anonymous #2

Pages: 336

PublishedMarch 16th, 2021

By: Wednesday Books

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary – Mystery/Thriller

Buy itBook Depository | Amazon


Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with a thrilling novel where an eighteen-year-old girl’s search for answers lands her in one of the most terrifying situations imaginable.

Four days…
Trapped in a well, surrounded by dirt, scratching at the walls trying to find a way out.
Four days of a thirst so strong, that when it finally rains, I drink as much as possible from the dripping walls, not even caring how much dirt comes with it.

Six months…
Since my escape. Since no one believed I was taken to begin with – from my own bed, after a party, when no one else was home…
Six months of trying to find answers and being told instead that I made the whole incident up.

One month…
Since I logged on to the Jane Anonymous site for the first time and found a community of survivors who listen without judgment, provide advice, and console each other when needed.
A month of chatting with a survivor whose story eerily mirrors my own: a girl who’s been receiving triggering clues, just like me, and who could help me find the answers I’m searching for.

Three days…
Since she mysteriously disappears, and since I’m forced to ask the questions: will my chance to find out what happened to me vanish with her? And will I be next?

| Goodreads |


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I want to thank NetGalley & Wednesday Books ​very much for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

This is certainly a difficult story to read at times because it focuses much on an extremely traumatic event where the main character is the survivor who escapes from her captor. I enjoyed the plot a lot, due to how it’s told and from what point of view it is played, and also I find it extremely intriguing, although heartbreaking, to see how the veracity of the victim’s kidnapping story is questioned a lot to the point of humiliating and treating her as a liar. Of course, all this makes it a hard-hitting book, but you still can’t stop reading because there are many unknowns things to which you want to know the answers.

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First of all, I want to mention two things, first I didn’t read “Jane, Anonymous” before reading this book, and I don’t think that’s really necessary, even so, if you want to do it you’ll surely have a greater context and a better idea of what you’ll find yourself with & second, I wanted to clarify that some scenes can be quite graphic and some descriptions are painful to read, so I recommend discretion if you’re a sensitive person.

Regarding the story itself, it’s very interesting, I love the mystery and this book has a great element of mystery in it, which I liked because it’s written in a way that you feel the frustration that the characters feel. And you can go on creating your own ideas and conclusions about each action. It’s a book that calls you a lot to reflect on, and that’s a very interesting complement. In addition, I also appreciate the pace of the book because despite being a fairly short book it’s not a story that passes quickly, on the contrary, it has a slow pace that I think is very correct for this type of more intense, dark and dark plots.

One factor that I absolutely adore and it’s something I usually love in thrillers is that this is a book that makes you wonder what’s real and what’s not, it has moments when you think “oh, well this makes sense” and then something happens and make you question your previous thoughts. All these elements make this a very addictive and entertaining book to read.

On the other hand, something that prevented me from enjoying the book completely is that I didn’t like the characters very much, in general, I feel that they need more development work or depth in their personalities, this doesn’t mean that I haven’t felt the emotions for what they’ve to go through, especially the main character who is Terra, but I would have liked a little more development there.

I don’t really have much more to say about the book, especially since everything is a potential spoiler, so I try to tell you a little about what I felt and what happened to me without revealing too much, which is a challenge. Basically, this is a pretty solid story about a girl struggling to be heard after going through a totally traumatic situation that no one seems to believe 100% of. Keeps you intrigued all the time wanting to know what will happen. It has something very dynamic due to its small details and because it makes you wonder many things, it’s also very interesting to see how it develops and everything ends up making a lot of sense. On the other hand, the ending wasn’t the best, I think it lacks the impact and that vibe that the book knows how to maintain very well at the beginning, so I don’t think the ending is something to highlight, but I would still recommend the book as it has many intriguing factors to discover and also solid revelations and twists that I’m sure you can enjoy if you like this type of genre. 


3.5/5


TitleBridge of Souls

By: Victoria Schwab

Series: Cassidy Blake #3

Pages: 304 

PublishedMarch 2nd, 2021

By: Scholastic Press

Genre: Middle Grade – ParanormalHorror

Buy itBook Depository | Amazon


Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows … unless it’s the other way around?

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while travelling for her parents’ TV show.

But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

Cass takes on her most dangerous challenge yet… 

| Goodreads |


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This book was a lot of fun, maybe I was hoping to get a slightly more dramatic and powerful ending, but it was pretty good anyway, I had an incredible set of adventures, friendship, and paranormal situations, which are factors that I adore about this entire series in general. Above all, I know that I’ll miss the characters a lot, who already have a place in my heart.

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In this third and final book, we continue with Cassy’s adventures but this time in New Orleans where her parents make their next stop for their paranormal tv show. There Cassy along with his faithful ghost friend, Jacob, will be surrounded by a lot of paranormal activity, magical places, and secret sects, but that’s nothing because they will have to face a challenge that Cassy never thought she would meet before, the servant of death himself.

The book is super dynamic and I love that, the characters are always on the move and we know many emblematic and interesting places of New Orleans, in addition, and as we are used to during these books, we know everything about the local legends from the hand especially of Cassy’s parents, but also other new characters that this time join the plot to give it a different tone and new paths. I love it, it’s really fun to read this type of adventure, the MG genre is obviously much easier for me to read, but it doesn’t lose the emotion and those feelings of wanting to know what will happen, apart from having all the factors for a good MG book, also gives us a dark and intriguing side, which is the true soul of this story and what, for me, makes it unique.

It was extremely entertaining to follow the guys behind each paranormal situation and watch them fight to defend those they love but also humanity itself, this time it’s different because literally, death is looking for them to hunt them down and take them once and for all. This time we also have Lara as the most active member in the story and that’s great, I love the friendship that came to be created between her and Cassy (in fact, I cannot fail to mention that I felt something more than a friendship coming from these two ) but above all, to see the friendship become more real between Lara and Jacob is really a pleasure.

Another thing that I really enjoyed on all these books and hasn’t missed this time is the explorations to haunted and terrifying places, this time we visited several of them, but above all, I really enjoyed meeting some New Orleans cemeteries and their legends, I kind of feel I’ve myself traveled to each of these places in some way and I love that. On the other hand, I also enjoyed the humorous vibe that the author manages to generate within moments of drama, which obviously lightens things up a lot but also makes it even more fluid to read.

Obviously, because it’s the last book in the trilogy, many questions that hadn’t been able to be resolved previously are made in this book, not only secondary situations but also real and primary concerns that Cassy has always had, both related to herself and Jacob. Due to this, the ending should be the most intense of the three books, but it wasn’t for me, even though I liked what happened and I think it was extremely interesting, it answered many questions and gave more meaning to the stories, I’m not sure it had the necessary impact to be a great ending, I felt it somewhat tepid as the impact factor is lost a bit.

To summarize a bit, I ended up enjoying this conclusion a lot, most of the book has that horror and comedy vibe that I love so much about this story, and as they always complete each other very well, I’ve also come to love the characters without a doubt, I would read thousands of books following Cassy, ​​I think it’s super fun, entertaining and even intriguing. The paranormal aspects are wonderful and it’s full of them at all times, but also it also touches on topics of daily life such as friendship, family, and even the purpose of our lives. Also, this time discusses other family issues that surround Lara above all, and they’re quite important to discuss, despite the fact that it’s played far above, I definitely feel the weight in that story.

It’s a really wonderful story that makes you laugh and feel super close to the characters until you love them deeply and don’t want anything to happen to them. Besides, if you like fluid stories, easy to read and entertaining but also paranormal and somewhat spooky then this is 100% for you, I know you’ll not regret giving it a try


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4/5

4 Estrellas

TitleHorrid

By: Katrina Leno

SeriesNO

Pages: 327

PublishedSeptember 15th, 2020

By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal – Horror – Mystery/Thriller

Buy itBook Depository | Amazon

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From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?
 

| Goodreads |


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Love this book, I think it will not be for everyone since it has one of those very weird and particular plots, but it worked well for me since I adore this type of vibe in my stories, it’s also extremely atmospheric and the setting is one of my faves for this kind of dark genre with paranormal touches. I’m slightly disappointed perhaps with the end since it wasn’t what I expected, and it felt rushed, but taking that away, the whole book is incredible to me, it has a perfect pace that slowly develops things to surprise you, also the twists are solid & the characters are unlikeable, which this time worked very well.

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In this book, Jane moves with her mother to her childhood house to try to start over after her father unexpectedly passes away from a heart attack. But although they hope for a new and hopeful beginning, North Manor keeps secrets behind its doors, secrets that begin to torment Jane making her doubt even of herself. Jane’s mom also seems to be having a hard but doesn’t want to reveal why… Then Jane discovers that the “storage” room is actually a little girl’s room and for some reason, she has stayed there untouched for years. As time passes Jane asks her mother for answers, but she’s not willing to give him the whole truth … what’s really happening? Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more … horrid?

This book has very interesting elements of terror that I found very unique, I’m not a person who is easily scared by books, but this book gave me chills on several occasionsI think it has a tense vibe that gradually builds up and makes you commit too much with what’s happening, therefore once something happens it manages to take you by surprise and leave you with a feeling of insecurity and almost discomfort. It also gives us an incredible atmosphere with its great descriptions that aren’t too many, but the necessary amount, and a super beautiful setting but also super dark and creepy, we are talking about this story taking place inside an old Manor that’s located in a land surrounded by forests and with a garden full of roses, it’s SO impressive, I really loved it, and I think the setting is key for the story to take shape, it gives the plot a lot of personality.

On the other hand, we also have the beautiful writing style that I’ve enjoyed before with Summer of Salt, a book that I also adore, but this time the author focuses much more on the dark side of almost everything. What do I mean by this? well, explore the dark side of each of the characters a lot more in some way, some of them are going through the loss of loved ones and this triggers them in different ways and not always very prettyWe also explored mental health, which I found very interesting and isn’t a minor piece of information in the book.

I liked the characters because I think the author explores many facets of them and gives us the opportunity to know the good and bad sides of each one, this is great because it makes the characters come to life, giving greater impact to their decisions and behaviors. The revelations are very good, some of them I saw coming but not most of them so that’s always a good thing.

The paranormal aspects are great, I didn’t expect it to go in that direction at first, in fact, I thought that the book would take another path, but anyway I liked the decision of the author to look for other elements to include in this plot that plays a lot with the minds of the characters and you as a reader never know what’s real and what’s not, which I love.

In addition to the main plot, which combines the paranormal elements with the situations and vibes of terror, there are also moments of calmer interactions between the characters that I really liked, the dialogues are very good and give depth and give shades to the characters, and something I think was very smart is to include a little Agatha Christie style which was a very good idea.

When we talk about a book like this, there’s much that I cannot tell since each element can be a potential spoiler and the fun is discovering it yourself, so there’s a lot that unfortunately I cannot share, something I do want to highlight is that there are many disturbing and graphic situations during the book and Jane’s character eats pages of books to calm down after going through a stressful situation that she cannot control, there are many scenes where we can see her anger problems and then we discover how this is linked to her mother and her family history. It’s extremely intriguing and interesting, but it can also be sensitive content for some people which is why I wanted to mention it. The cover makes a lot of sense once you finish reading the book, I promise, and I love that it has so much meaning and that it’s not just a beautiful cover.

The end wasn’t for me, as I mentioned before, it felt rushed, I would have read at least 50 more pages of this story, and perhaps the ending could have developed a little more. It doesn’t bother me that it’s an open ending nor what happens as such, if not that it seems to me that it happens at a time when everything is unfolding and we’re understanding many things about the story, then you don’t have time to understand so much information, and you don’t know what will happen next, which is frustrating because I needed more, I did love the story, though.

So in short, I loved the book, I think it has an absolutely incredible vibe of horror combined with an atmospheric setting that succeeds. The characters are realistic and have many layers which is always appreciated. It also has super interesting twists and revelations, quite unique, as well. The author’s style is beautiful and I would definitely recommend it. Read the book if you’re open to enjoy a very rare but unique plot that will make you doubt every second. Incredible work, I hope the author decides to continue on this path!


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4/5

4 Estrellas

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20 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews | 2 Great ARCs & 2 Spooky Amazing Stories 🌙

  1. I normally watch horror movies but horror stories can work too. I think I’ll go for The Helm Of Midnight. I don’t like the second one much but Horrid sounds nice too. Thanks for the great reviews anyway. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks to you for checking my reviews and for your comment!! ❤️ I love to watch horror movies and stuff, but the genre in books is something new for me and I really liked the experience I had with these, so I hope you enjoy them if you get to read them 🥰✨

      Like

  2. Sofii! Congrats on 6k followers lovely, you deserve it! 💕 Ah I’m a bit of a scaredy cat so spooky stories are not really up my alley though Horrid sounds like a wonderful read, I love the sound of a rare and unique plot with great atmosphere! Thank you for all the reviews! 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, sweetie!!!! Thank you SO much, you’re super kind, I still feel so excited and really touched by the 6k followers 🥺🥺✨❤️ & I understand that! I don’t think this type of plot is for everyone, but without a doubt they’re super additive and the atmospheres are perfect. 😊
      I hope you’re having a beautiful month ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […]  🌘 Horrid by Katrina Leno | From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid? […]

    Like

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