Shutter by Courtney Alameda

“Nothing monstrous was conquered with a kiss, nor by love. Evil went down by the trigger, overcome with bullets, shutters, blood, and courage.”

After reading and loving Pitch Dark last year, I was excited to check out Alameda’s debut for some more spooky goodness. Friends, while I expected to enjoy Shutter a lot more than I did, it was a creepy and enjoyable read for me. It’s fast-paced and hauntingly atmospheric; Alameda has a way with words that is impossible to ignore. If you are a fan of spooky stories that deliver on the horror with imaginative detail, then keep reading because this book might be for you!

Shutter is told in the third person perspective of Micheline Helsing, the one of the last descendants in the lineage of the Van Helsings, and I honestly was sucked into the book with its opening lines: “Call it a reaper’s insomnia, but the dead wouldn’t let me sleep at night. Everytime the sun went down, I swore I sensed them stirring, starving.” There is something about the writing style that sets an almost noir mood with the words and painting the scene of my mind in black and white.

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Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk

“OBSIDEO. […] ALWAYS WATCHING”

Friends, this was… a weird book. I finished reading it almost 2 weeks ago and honestly I don’t know if I will ever shake the “WTF did I read?” from my brain. This book definitely delivered on the horror, but it is also a strange read.

WARNING I read a book much like the one you’re holding now. And this is what happened to me. Don’t make the same mistake. Please, put it down. Or better yet, throw it away. This is your last warning. Turn the page, and you’re on your own. Actually, that’s not true. Turn the page and he’ll be there, watching you.

The premise of this story is instantly gripping: a book that somehow puts you on the radar of some evil entity? Yes please. I read those opening lines the warning as I was curled up in bed, and legit noped out for something a little less creepy for my nighttime reading – which is always a good sign!

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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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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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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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