Author: C.J. Cooke
Published: September 29, 2020
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.
Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway – in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.
Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady…
Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.
What a strange book. At its core, it’s a murder mystery. But there’s a lot of weird, Norwegian type horror elements that were just … weird. Then throw in some environmentalism that actually makes everything worse. I know it sounds awful, but I feel like I don’t even remember most of the story. The murder mystery was solid and I like that part of it. But the rest of it feels so muddled. Maybe if I knew more about Norwegian mythology, it would have been better. But unfortunately it just fell flat for me.
Author: Joe Hill
Published: April 30, 2013
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.
First Joe Hill book … worth it! As soon as I read the description, I was hooked. And he had me almost the whole time. The only reason I took away a star is because he unfortunately falls into the same flaw as his father, sometimes he just drew out the story when it should have been condensed. However, I still really enjoyed this book! I liked his timeline within the story. I loved the characters! There was a lot of growth and emotions. I didn’t know how it was going to end, but when the end came, I loved it. There were so many scary elements that kept me on edge. The mystical, metaphorical elements, I actually got most of them! I feel like I understood the story and I don’t always say that with these ambiguous plots. I really liked this book a lot. It kept me engaged (most of the time), I cared about the characters, and I understood it! I can’t wait to read more Joe Hill!
Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre
Author: Max Brooks
Published: June 16, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 3-11, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now.
But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten.
In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it.
Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death.
Yet it is also far more than that.
Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.
Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.
The title of the novel tells you everything you need to know and expect: a volcanic eruption, Sasquatch (what!?!?!) and a massacre (Everyone is gonna die!!! Right?????) and I was ready for this adventure of horror. I listened to the audiobook version which was superb!
Devolution is formatted through Kate Holland’s journal, investigations, and more. Through the novel we get a first-hand account of the Mount Rainier eruption and the small town’s fight for survival. Due to the eruption, the already well isolated town becomes even more isolated as they cannot reach anyone outside and have to fend for themselves. Then comes…. Well you know what is coming.
I cannot give the novel 5 stars as the beginning did really drag for me. I was even tempted to DNF it, but the fact that I knew Bigfoot and disaster was coming kept me going. And once the monsters appear, you can’t help but HAVE to finish this novel! Kate totally transforms from housewife to a badass warrior and I really liked her and rooted for her. Devolution has multiple meanings and we see Kate evolve or more so devolve throughout the course of the novel.
If you have ever had any interest in Bigfoot/Sasquatch then Devolution is a MUST READ book! If you are picturing Bigfoot as in Harry and the Hendersons, these are NOT that kind of Sasquatch! These are big, hairy, animalistic, and downright frightening monsters!
From the title you know what is going to happen and I was ready for this frightful adventure! I hope that is becomes a well-done series for TV. I would totally watch it! The main narrator for the audiobook is Judy Greer. You may not know her name but if you look her up you WILL recognize her as an actress who has been in many films, but never in the starring role. As I listened to Devolution I pictured Greer as Kate Holland and really hope that when and if a mini-series comes around that she has the starring role!
There are other narrators in addition to Greer: Nathan Fillion, Kimberly Guerrero, and Max Brooks with special appearances by Jeff Daniels, Mira Furlan, Kate Mulgrew, and Steven Weber. The audio also included Terry Gross and Kai Ryssdal as themselves. But Greer was the star of the audiobook for me.
Brooks is very descriptive and you can picture everything from the way the monsters are portrayed. I even liked the way the novel ended.
Devolution is recommended if you can get past the slower pace of the beginning![Top]