Review: The Claiming

A ghostly apparition appearing along a dark and lonely stretch of highway. A ritual bound in blood. A race against time against a deadly supernatural force.

Kendra Garrity’s twin brother, the only person she has ever loved, will be dead at dawn.

Gwydion has done the unthinkable. He has triggered The Claiming, an ancient ritual that can turn an ordinary person into a witch. But power comes with a terrible cost. Now he hovers in a state near death, trapped in the underworld. At sunrise, he’ll be lost forever. And something dark and unnatural will rise in his place.

Kendra is the only one who has any hope of saving the brother she loves, the brother who once gave up everything for her. But in order to rescue him, she must enter into a terrifying mirror world populated by nightmare creatures and controlled by demons. If she fails, she will be trapped there forever. And if she succeeds, it might mean giving up everything she has ever known.

This book definitely ticked all the boxes when it came to buzzwords that I would enjoy and general feel. It was definitely on the spookier side and the writing was beautiful in so many ways. The descriptions are rich and suit the story perfectly.

You spend the whole story wondering about people’s motivations and learning things little by little. Finding out some of the history of the town and just what lays beneath the surface was great and definitely makes me want to read more in this series.

I will say that woven in to this story there are definitely some trigger worthy topics, there’s talk about abuse, rape and more, so if those are subjects you can’t handle then this one may not be for you. All in all I really enjoyed this one and it definitely fit my craving for something darker and mystical.

The Claiming is out now if you want to pick up a copy. Happy reading!

Review: The Cold is in Her Bones

When I first heard that this book was a take on Medusa, I was instantly intrigued and wanted to check it out. Things based on mythology always pique my interest as that’s one of my buzzwords/favorite concepts. This book did not disappoint on the Medusa aspect for sure.

After the prologue (which gives us a glimpse of events in the past) we follow Milla, who is sheltered and lives a quiet life outside of the village with her parents and brother. As the story unfolds we learn about the curse that the village lives under where young girls get afflicted by a “demon” and get taken away. We then continue to follow Milla as she does everything she can to learn more and to help those she cares about.

This book opens up great conversations about the extremes that some religious beliefs can go to and what happens when people react harshly out of their fear. In some ways you could draw some parallels to stories such as those written about the events that happened during the Salem witch hunts. There’s also a lot of talk about oppressing females if they don’t act the norm or perfectly obey. I felt that these concepts were subtle enough to not be overt, but still there.

Overall I really enjoyed this read and loved how the story unfolded. I would recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something mythology based or perfect for the spooky season.

Happy reading!

Review: The Babysitters Coven

Title: The Babysitters Coven
Author: Kate Williams
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: September 17th, 2019

When I first read the concept of this book, I wanted to read it immediately. Babysitter’s Club meets Buffy? Yes, please! While the book did meet that brief, there were some aspects that I didn’t love. I really enjoyed all of the great pop culture references (Labyrinth, Buffy, Harry Potter and more) as well as some of the discussion surrounding difficult issues such as Esme’s mom’s condition and how the town/school treated her because of it, as well as her internal dialogue about her worries and fears. Esme’s voice/point of view is rather harsh at times, which could be considered unlikable or polarizing, but for the age of the character it is understandable.

I do wish that some things had been a little more descriptive. At times the relationships between people didn’t seem to be as close as they were described. Also, a lot of the characters (granted, more minor characters) could have used more description to differentiate them from each other. That being said though, this was mostly with characters that only appeared a few times and I’m sure that if they show up in future books they will be fleshed out more.

The last half of the book was jam packed with action and went much faster than the 1st half, which I really enjoyed. There were definitely a lot of twists and turns that were surprising, but there were also many twists that were pretty predictable. There were times that I had a hard time liking Esme and Cassandra (mostly Cassandra) because of their decisions, but I could see some of those things being addressed in future books. In that respect this book set up future conflicts really well.

All in all I did enjoy this book and as I said the last half was really quick paced and enjoyable. If you’re looking for books that have great pop culture references, lots of mystical and paranormal content and babysitters who have to protect the world, then you’ll probably enjoy it. It was definitely a fun book with a lot of quirks and capers.

The Babysitters Coven is out now from Delacorte Press, so be sure to pick up a copy if it’s something that is up your alley, Happy reading!