Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

I already reviewed most of the September releases I read. These are the ones I did not get to write before my month-long migraine struck me.

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
Spells for Forgetting is Adrienne Young’s first standalone novel and her first for adults. She is more than welcome to continue writing adult books because this one was fantastic. A little mystery mixed with a bit of fantasy makes for a compelling story in which the island is an ominous secondary character. Ms. Young describes Saorise Island in such a way that it becomes a place you want to visit with its folksy charm, adorable shops, and apple farm. The story’s heart is the mystery of what happened on that fateful night. Between that and the strained history of Emery and August, Spells for Forgetting mesmerized me. All of this is what made it my favorite novel of the month.

We Spread by Iain Reid
We Spread is the latest psychological thriller by Iain Reid, and boy, is it a doozy. This time around, Mr. Reid explores dementia and old age. Through Penny’s eyes, we experience what it is like to forget to accomplish mundane household chores, forget the names of things, and lose time. If that isn’t scary enough, we also experience life in a long-term facility. As Penny succumbs to more lost memory, all we can do is sit, watch, and wonder if we are getting the complete picture. After all, Mr. Reid is an expert in misdirection or at least making you think it is misdirection. After yet another intense novel, Mr. Reid is quickly becoming a must-read author!

House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson
I had such high hopes for House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson. On the surface, it includes all of my favorite things; it includes vampiric tendencies and strong female characters, and it is Gothic. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of how the story played out. Everything happens a little too quickly and a little too conveniently for me. Everything is just a little too much. The evil is too evil, the violence too violent, and the romance too intense. I looked forward to finishing the story because I wanted it to end. It intrigued me enough that I did not want to set it aside, but I was happy to finish it.

One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Rachel Gillig’s One Dark Window was a great novel to end the month and usher in the spooky season. A countryside filled with a menacing mist. Monsters that talk to the main character. Political machinations. Family drama. It is quite the story, and Elspeth is quite the character. Between the Nightmare, her partnership with the highwaymen, and her complicated relationship with her father, Elspeth has to deal with more than your average female. She does so with courage, passion, and compassion. The ever-growing presence of the Nightmare adds its complications and fascination to the point where I tore through the novel too fast and finished it too quickly. Now I have to wait until the sequel, and that’s just too long.

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