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text 2019-01-01 12:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Novels of 2018
Creature (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea
The Woman in the Woods - John Connolly
The Listener - Robert R. McCammon
Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott
We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Behind the Door - Mary SanGiovanni
Husk - J. Kent Messum
Cold in July - Joe R. Lansdale
Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) - Vic James

Welcome to my Top Ten Novels List!

 

I read 157 books over the course of this year and here's what I thought were the best of the best novels.

(These are books that I read this year, not necessarily published this year.)

Click on the cover to read my review.

Let's get started!

 

 Creature (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea  

 

CREATURE was not what I expected at all. 

Hunter Shea is great for creature feature novellas, and that's what I expected from this book. Instead, I got punched in the gut and my heart was torn out!

 

The Woman in the Woods - John Connolly 

 

The Charlie Parker series continues with what I think was the best entry yet!

Sixteen novels in and at this point, I can't imagine a world without a new Charlie Parker book every year. 

 

The Listener - Robert R. McCammon

 

Robert McCammon, author of BOY'S LIFE, (my favorite book of all time), crushes my heart again with this book about an exceptional young black man. (Technically, I read this book in 2017, but it didn't come out until 2018. So sue me!) This book is beautiful and brutal all at once, and features characters both good and bad, that you'll never forget. (I love you, Curtis!)

 

 

Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott 

 

Megan Abbott is a recent discovery of mine thanks to author Randy Chandler. Now I'm lined up every time she has a new book out. She writes about women like no one else. 

 

 

We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix 

 

With this entry Grady Hendrix became one of my favorite authors. MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM was great, but this book knocked me out. Maybe because I loved Metal back in the day, and also because the protagonist reminded me of Joan Jett. Whatever the reasons, I LOVED this book!

 

Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes 

 

 

Caroline Kepnes hit my list of favorite authors in 2018.

I listened to both YOU and HIDDEN BODIES, (both of which are on my TOP TEN AUDIOBOOKS of the year list), and then I read this one back in June. All I can say is I know that I will read anything she puts out. She could write out a grocery list and I would read it with pleasure!

 

 

Behind the Door - Mary SanGiovanni

 

 

After reading BEHIND THE DOOR this year, I know that I will be catching up on more of Mary SanGiovanni's  backlog while staying up to date with her latest releases. With a distinct voice and style, she causes me to think-and her characters in this one are quite memorable!

 

Husk - J. Kent Messum  

 

This is probably my most recent read that made it to this list. Fast paced, imaginative and adventurous, this book has more of a science fiction base, but there are horrific aspects as well. I was really impressed!

 

Cold in July - Joe R. Lansdale 

 

The Champion Mojo Storyteller strikes again!

 

Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) - Vic James 

 

This was more of a dark fantasy than horror, but I don't really care for labels as much as I care about a good story and mark my words this was one.A follow up to the previous year's GILDED CAGE, I thought this was an imaginative story about young adults, but so, so dark that it surprised me. Who doesn't love a good surprise?

 

 

Thanks for staying with me this far if you're still here. I appreciate you!

I hope you'll join me again at the end of 2019 for another list of my favorite books of the year. I hope that your New Year is also filled with outstanding and amazing reads!

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-10-01 18:50
The White Road
The White Road - John Connolly

I´m not going to say too much about The White Road, since it´s the fourth book in a series and I would probably spoil plot points if I do so. The only thing I´m going to say is that I liked the third book, The Killing Kind, better than this one. But since The White Road is the continuation of The Killing Kind, both books should be seen as one big story. Which makes this book in any case a difficult one to review.

 

I will encourage everyone to give this series a chance, though. It is one of the very few book series I happily go back to again, even though I´m a compete failure in finishing up series. And to get the most out of these books, they should be read in order.

 

What makes these novels such exceptional reads are John Connolly´s almost poetic writing style, the overarching story line, in which Charlie Parker slowly learns his true profession of becoming “the voice and the avenger of the dead”, the supernatural elements, the wonderfully evil characters Parker has to deal with and of course the recurring cast of “good” characters. Charlie, Rachel and his friends Louis and Angel, both hitmen, are so lovely and I like how their witty banter can light up the mood of these pretty dark stories.  

 

One word of advice: these books aren´t for the faint of heart. People get viciously killed, the stories of the victims are heart breaking and especially in the third book, Connolly plays with a specific fear that many people might have.  But these novels are gripping and intense as well and this book series is something special. And I will happily pick up the next book very soon.

 

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text 2018-09-30 07:32
Reading progress update: I've read 192 out of 388 pages.
The White Road - John Connolly

I showered in my room and called Rachel. She was just about to head into South Portland for a reading at Nonesuch books. She´d mentioned it to me a couple of days earlier, but I´d forgotten about it until now.

"An interesting thing happened today," she said, giving me just enough time to get the word "hi" out of my mouth. "I opened the front door and there was a man on my doorstep. A big man. A very big, very black man."

"Rachel..."

"You said it would be discreet. His T-shirt had the words "Klan Killer" written on the front."

"I..."

"And do you know what he said?"

I waited.

"He handed me a note from Louis and told me he was lactose intolerant. That was it. Note. Lactose intolerant. Nothing else. He´s coming to the reading with me. It was all I could do to get him to change his T-shirt. The new one reads "Black Death". I´m going to tell people it´s a rap band. Do you think it´s a rap band?"

I figured it was probably his occupation, but I didn´t say that. Instead, I said the only thing I could think of to say.

"Maybe you´d better buy some soya milk."

She hung up without saying good-bye.

 

I love these characters.

 

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text 2018-09-27 16:29
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 388 pages.
The White Road - John Connolly

I have decided to read the fourth book in the Charlie Parker series for the Modern Noir square. Thinking back on the first three books in the series, this is as noirish as it can get. And all of them were great and intense novels and I have no doubt that this will be a great read as well.

 

 

 

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text 2018-09-12 15:44
Halloween Bingo Catchup.
Beyond the Empire (The Indranan War Book 3) - K.B. Wagers
Murder In Thrall - Anne Cleeland
A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel - Jacqueline Winspear
The Last Namsara - Kristen Ciccarelli
The Reapers - John Connolly

So far this month I have read 5 books.

Some of them are easy to put into a square and some are difficult:

 

Last Namsara falls somewhat into Doomsday; it involves stories so I think A Grimm Tale would be pretty apt but it is about Dragons so Cryptozology is the best slot.

 

A Dangerous Place is set in Gibraltar which I'm pretty sure counts as a Small Town, it could also have been Genre Suspense, just about Fear the Deep (she arrives on a Liner from India) and most of this series qualifies as Cosy, the first few pages are quite Gothic, Maisies mental health is not the best here and that's most of the terror in the tale... but Terror in a Small Town is the best fit.

 

Beyond the Empire is more space opera than anything else, the only thing I have that it fits into is New Release 

 

Murder in Thrall falls into Genre Suspense, Supernatural a little, Modern Noir and Gothic; I'm going to use Genre: Suspense here.

 

The Reapers has elements of Genre Suspense, Modern Noir and Supernatural; you could also argue Southern Gothic and Terror in a Small Town (where the final battle takes place and most of the gore) I think I'll go with Modern Noir here.

 

Feel free to tell me I'm wrong.

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