Tag: 5 stars

Book Review: Sister Funtime by Spencer Hamilton

Sister Funtime: A Smileyland Story
Series
: Smileyverse
Author:
Spencer Hamilton

Published: December 1, 2021
140 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

“Welcome to hell, Sister.”

Sister Mary Matthew arrives on the steps of St. Teresa’s Joyous Youths Orphanage determined to be the children’s favorite nun. But she can’t seem to win over the head of the orphanage: stern, withered Sister Agatha Eustace, whom everyone secretly calls Sister Killjoy.

Mary tries to rise to the challenge, but things at St. Teresa’s feel . . . off. A mysterious benefactor. Sick children denied medicine. A crowded cemetery. Strange noises from the basement. Cruel punishments. Terrifying dreams.

Worst of all, her prayers remain unanswered. She feels as if God has abandoned her and everyone at St. Teresa’s. Until, one full-mooned night, a voice calls to her. A voice that claims to know her heart’s desire.

Before there was Smileyland, before Mister Smiley, there was a decrepit orphanage run by an evil nun and full of children who chanted:

“Sister Funtime, Sister Funtime, Sister Funtime!”

From the author of Welcome to Smileyland and The Fear comes the new religious horror novella, the latest entry in the Smileyverse. Come on in—and don’t forget to say your prayers.

Kim’s Review:

Holy cannoli! Since this is a prequel written after the initial book that I have not read, I wasn’t expecting too much. I could not have been more wrong! This book was terrifying! Just enough paranormal to keep it from being a simple gore fest, but enough gore to keep it realistic. I want so badly to read Mr. Smiley, Hamilton’s original work, but I guess I have to wait until the next printing. But I am now emotionally invested and psychologically hooked! Nuns running orphanages is one of those tropes I adore, then you add in the horror elements and I’m happy! Plus, the cover is fabulous! I definitely recommend it to all the horror fans out there!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

ARC Audiobook Review: Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Stay Awake
Author:
Megan Goldin

Narrators:
Imogene Church
January LaVoy
To Be Published: August 9, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 19-25, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.

Jessica’s Review:

Whoa! Stay Awake was quite the ride to go on! It kept reminding me of the movie Memento, with some similarities and a murder mystery. I love that movie, though it has been many years since I have seen it. It might be time to watch that one again!

Stay Awake has dual timelines: present day and two plus years ago. It also has two narrators: Liv Reese, our main character with memory issues (every time she falls asleep she forgets everything from the past two+ years. We also have a female detective Halliday as our other narrator, who is trying to figure out a murder case and putting things together. 

Once I realized we have an unreliable narrator with Liz I got nervous as those novels can be hit or miss for me.  But it reminded me so much of Memento, I really enjoyed it! It was fast paced, intense and everything I love about thrillers!  This is one you won’t want to put down because you just have to know what’s going to happen next!

I liked both Liz and Halliday.  You can’t help but feel for Liz with her memory issues and not knowing what is going on, who to trust (basically no one!) and you just want Halliday to solve the case! The two narrations and dual timelines all come together to wind everything up in an intense conclusion.

The narrators are Imogene Church and January LaVoy, both whom I have listened to previously and also enjoyed. Imogene Church portrayed Liz perfectly with her confusion and LaVoy was just as good with portraying Halliday.

If you choose to read the physical book/kindle I can see a reader doing their best to stay awake and finish this in one sitting!  I really enjoyed Stay Awake many thanks to Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review!

Pre-Order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Asylum by William Johnston

Asylum
Author: William Johnston

Published: December 4, 1972
139 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Black magic, murder, and madness-most-bizarre stalk the tortured inmates of Dunsmoor, a mental institution in which life is a torment of horrors and death is the most desirable escape…ASYLUM, A New Experience in Heart-Stopping Terror!

Kim’s Review:

Again, is anyone surprised? I saw it and wanted it and read it! And it was fascinating! Now I do hate it when I say that I can’t say much because I don’t want to give anything away, but I don’t want to give anything away! At its most basic, this is a book filled with psychological twists and guess work and it felt like my opinions and rumination were all a part of the story. Overall, I liked this book almost as much as I like Shutter Island … and that’s saying something!

Purchase Link:
Amazon US

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