The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish

“It’s worse than creepy in here. Let’s find what we need and get out.”

What a fantastically atmospheric ghost story! I was really excited when the publisher offered me this eARC for my honest review because I love tales of the supernatural even though I am a total skeptic about it. Interestingly enough, my one unexplained ghost experience happened on a ghost tour in the Underground Vaults in Edinburgh, so I was extra excited for this one! While the character’s backstories and initial conversations felt disjointed at first, the story definitely shines with building tension and crafting a truly spooky read.

For those of you that have never walked the streets and closes of Edinburgh, they definitely have a haunting atmosphere to them. Our main character is Hannah, a recent divorcee that’s relocated from England to Edinburgh to as an actor and guide for haunted walking tours of Henderson Close. While Henderson Close itself is fictitious, there are countless walking tours where the guides dress up as people from the past to lead the tours and discuss ghost sightings around the city (I’ve been on one!).

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Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

“People aren’t supposed to have lives in two eras. You know that, right?”

Friends, this book took me completely by surprise in the best of ways! I had been in a reading slump for 20 days and nothing that I picked up could hold my attention, but when I picked up Here and Now and Then it was like I had been waiting for this book. This is a genre-bending and unique tale of love, and I loved every heartbreaking second of it.

The story is so much more than just a science fiction story about a man stuck between two times: it’s about the love our main character feels for his family and being torn between two lives. Kin is from 2142 but was stranded during a mission in 1996. Despite there being strict rules about maintaining the timeline, he goes against them when it becomes obvious that he won’t be rescued. Eighteen years later he remembers nothing of his past life in 2142 but snippets he wrote down in a journal about time travel and the bureau he worked for, but nothing of the life he left behind. He has a wife and daughter and is happy. But rescue finally comes and it is time for him to leave the only life he knows – the one that should never have existed – for the one he left behind. But he will do anything to protect them, include leaving them without a word.

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Firefly: Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder and James Lovegrove

It’s been almost sixteen years since Firefly was cancelled by FOX, and honestly I’m still not over it. As a person that lives in a reality where Serenity does not exist, I was more than eager to dive back into the black with the crew that started my love for space opera and ragtag crews. But I was also apprehensive: would the series hold up? For me this book was everything that I was looking for and I am so excited for the next books in the series!

Firefly: Big Damn Hero contextually happens in the middle of the short lived tv series, which means that some jobs and events from the eleven episodes are referenced, but the great thing is that a reader new to the Firefly franchise will not feel lost among references. Holder and Lovelace did an excellent job of including references for fans of the tv series without alienating an entirely new audience.

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Witching Hour Theatre by Jonathan Janz

“Because Fridays at midnight, long after the casual moviegoers filed out of the exits, the Starlight Cinema transformed into something dark and perilous. Theater One, the newer half of the Starlight, closed for the night, while the other half, Theater Two—the older, original theater—was plunged into a shadowy world of hauntings and serial killers, werewolves and cannibals, slaughter and mayhem. Witching Hour Theatre. It was the one place he could go and allow his imagination to run rampant.”

Um, excuse me but why doesn’t my town have something like this?! Well, minus the disappearing horror movie patrons and the creepy figure slowly making their way to the front of the theatre. I could do without a night like what our main character Larry Wilson experiences. But honestly this is such a unique, fast paced, and enjoyable read – and you can tell that it is written by a lover of horror films.

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Pretty Little Liars (#1-4) by Sara Shepard

As you may have noticed, I’ve been reading the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard for the first time and honestly rather enjoying myself! The television series was something that I loved until it got super convoluted and it was obvious no one had any idea where things were going. I legit watched closely like an investigator 🔍 and took notes to figure out who A was, but by the end of the series I was spite-watching it just to see how it ended. Spoiler alert: not well. Many people told me that the book series was better (which is often the case with adaptation) and completely different.

I wanted to do something a little different with my review for Pretty Little Liars. The way the series is written is each arc is really one story (so books 1-4 roughly follow seasons 1 and 2, ending with the first A reveal). It made the most sense to me to review the arcs of the series in one post, so here is my review for books 1-4 of Pretty Little Liars!

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