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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The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

“Everywhere he looked, he was surrounded by gilded wolves. And for whatever reason, it made him feel perfectly at home. Wolves were everywhere. In politics, on thrones, in beds. They cut their teeth on history and grew fat on war. Not that Séverin was complaining. It was just that, like other wolves, he wanted his share.”

I am a sucker for historical fantasy, and The Gilded Wolves delivers an action-packed story with a diverse cast of characters that I treasured with every ounce of my being. A secret society that pulls the strings of society (Illuminati?!)? Hunting for artifacts? Magic and technological invention when the world was on the cusp of Industrialism? Heck. Yes. If you are in the mood for an adventure with a precious found family, this book might be for you!

It’s Paris, 1889. The world is at the brink of the Industrial Revolution, but there is another kind of technology that goes back way further. “The art of Forging is as old as civilization itself,” and is the magic system of the book. Those born with the ability manifest it by their 13th birthday and can either influence the mind or matter.

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Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

“Blackness, a sort of darkness we didn’t have on Earth. A perfect pitch dark. A complete absence of light. Void-like. Terrible.”

What a creepy and atmospheric story! Pitch Dark is a fast-paced and frightening story; I was completely sucked in on the first page and captivated until the very end. There are so many different layers of complexity here and Alameda crafted a really good book. My friend Destiny recommended this book to me months ago after I read and fell in love with Contagion by Erin Bowman, and when I saw it available on BookOutlet for $6 back in September I had to get it. She gets an A+ for this book recommendation, if you enjoyed Contagion or other horror/sci-fi mashups then this book is for you!

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The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz

The Sorrows is the first of many re-published backlist titles from Jonathan Janz and was his first book. It was originally published in 2012 and has been out of print for some time, and I am so glad that this and his other work is being re-released!

Holy crap what a ride that was! Friends, I know you have seen me screaming about The Siren and the Specter and The Children of the Dark, so I am sure that it will come as no surprise to you that I thoroughly enjoyed The Sorrows as well.

The story follows Ben Shadeland and Eddie Blaze, a Hollywood composer duo trying to beat the deadline for the score for the next horror film from renowned director Lee Stanley. Ben’s had a bit of creative block since his horrible wife divorced him, and Eddie has taken to haunting legends in Northern California to scare Ben into inspiration.

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

“The knowing of what’s coming, the death that creeps up over the town like fate clawing at the door of every shop and home. I can feel it in the air, in the spray of the sea, in the hollow spaces between raindrops. The sisters are coming.”

Reading books that have been highly recommended to me by multiple people always makes me a little nervous, but I am so happy to say that The Wicked Deep is worth the hype! If you are looking for the perfect Halloween read, look no further: The Wicked Deep is captivatingly written and feels almost magical with its prose. I was spellbound!

The Town of Sparrow has a sordid past and has done the most American thing in response: turned it into a tourist attraction. Two hundred years ago, three sisters were drowned after being found guilty of witchcraft, and every year for three weeks they possess the bodies of three teenage girls and lure men to a watery end. The possessed girls have no memory of what happened during the Swan Season and no one can tell that the girl is possessed…

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