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review 2020-09-03 23:06
DECEPTION by Lee Nichols
Deception (A Haunting Emma Novel) - Lee Nichols

Emma's parents go missing then her legal guardian, Bennett, shows up and takes her to Boston where she sees ghosts and other things that go bump in the night. She does not quite trust Bennett nor he her. How will she discover what is going on?


Wow! I really liked this story. It took me a little while to get into it but when I did I was wide eyed with wonder about what was going to happen. There are a lot of questions I want answered so I will read the rest of the trilogy. The world building is good. The storytelling is good. I liked the characters and I like that Emma can communicate with the ghosts. I also like that she has a line she does not want to cross. I hope the rest of the story will be as good.

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review 2019-12-12 12:01
Boogerman's House by Dax Varley
Boogerman's House (A Haunting Novella) - Dax Varley

Boogerman's House, A Haunting Novella by Dax Varley is a frightening story. I gave it four stars.


A group of young people are going to "Boogerman's House, one of the most haunted spots in America and Thornback, Texas's famous landmark." They are there on the anniversary of the first murder-suicide. Teagan is writing an article for The Paw Print, her high school newspaper. Ryan and Will are with her. They have a competitive 'eyerolling' type of relationship with each other.


There is something unsettled about Boogerman's House. It's isolated. It infected you with despair. There were multiple murders and suicides over the years.


I received a complimentary kindle copy from booklikes. That did not change my opinion for this review.


Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1507605021

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review 2019-11-21 18:08
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

If you're going into this novel expecting it to be like the recent Netflix series, you will most likely be disappointed. While the series is based on the house featured in the book, it is a very different story.

However, I absolutely loved it. By today's standards, this book isn't scary. It is creepy and unsettling, which is what I love most about Jackson's writing. Even when nothing is blatantly jumping out at you, her descriptions make you feel ill at ease and instantly understand how creepy it is to be inside Hill House. Her writing on the off angles that make of the house were so vivid and convincing that the narrative is very unsettling and there is such a creepy tone to the whole thing.

In terms of action, not a lot happens. The book is more focused on the characters, their various interactions, and their conflicts within themselves. This is what makes the novel so superb. It is so amazingly written and thought out. I was instantly pulled in by Eleanor's character and the oddity of the house.

While the Netflix series is very different, I did really enjoy all of the little nods to the book like character names and the memorable cup of stars.

A fantastic read for those looking for a dark, unsettling, odd, weird, creepy tale.
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review 2019-11-02 19:16
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 - P. Djeli Clark

This novella takes place in Cairo in 1912. Agent Hamed Nasr and his new partner, Agent Onsi Youssef, work for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. Their newest case appears, initially, to involve a haunted tram car. However, they soon realize that there's something else going on. Unfortunately, knowing what they're dealing with isn't the same as actually solving the problem, considering the shoestring budget the Ministry has given them. The agents find themselves having to get a bit creative, with the assistance of some local women.

This was decent, and featured a few aspects that made me want to read more by this author. It's steampunk that, for once, isn't set in London. In fact, London didn't even come across as being particularly important - magic first entered this world via the work of a Sudanese man, who used a combination of alchemy and machinery to open a doorway to the world of the djinn. And although the book starred two male agents, women's suffrage was constantly in the background, and women played an important part in dealing with the being in the tram car. The few appearances of "boilerplate eunuchs" (robots) also fascinated me - some appeared to possess this world's version of artificial intelligence.

I'd happily read more stories starring Hamed, the experienced and somewhat grumpy agent, and Onsi, his shinier and more cheerful new partner, although I'd really love to read a full novel set in this world. From what I can tell, there's currently just one other story, "A Dead Djinn in Cairo," which stars Fatma el'Sha'arawi, the one female agent in the Ministry.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-10-22 00:00
Diary of a Haunting
Diary of a Haunting - M. Verano I like the nod to early novels with the false author who introduces their found evidence/epistolary story. The buildup is very effective and the incidents with her brother in particular made me not want to read it before bed. The ending makes very little sense given what we have to go on as readers. I get that she's an unreliable narrator but this is taking it too far and using that as a cheat to force a twist in the story, IMO. However, I see that this is #1, so perhaps #2 will redeem that for me.
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