What Moves the Dead

by T Kingfisher

What a horrifically beautiful cover!

This was the perfect book to start off my summer. The novel starts with our narrator Alex, who is on their way to visit their dear friends Madeline and Rockrick Usher. Before they even arrive, Alex is mesmerized by the woods in which he travels. Although the lake and trees seem to possess a threatening and ominous air, the mushrooms and all things “fungal” seem to enthral Alex the most. The mushrooms “ grew out of the gaps in the stones of the tarn like a tumour growing from diseased skin [Alex] had the strong urge to step back from them and an even stronger urge to poke them with a stick.” Before they get the opportunity to do so, an older woman Eugenia Potter stops them. Eugenia is one of my favourite characters; eccentric and bold; she paints the various fungus she finds with the ambition of having her own name in the books recognized by the “Mycology Society”.
Second, only to Eugenia Potter, Alex is in themselves a fascinating character. As “Sworn Soldier”, Alex carries the courage they possessed on the battlefield in t the horror that awaits at the Usher’s estate. Alex discovers that their friends Madeline and Roderick have wasted (rotted?) away both physically and mentally.

Can Alex determine the cause of this decline before they too succumb to the madness and death surrounding them?
What moves the Dead, a gothic tale inspired by Edgar Alan Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher”, is well crafted with viscerally vivid detail even though it moves at a rapid pace. It is the perfect novel to add to your summer tbr pile.

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor for the free copy.

A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong


I love Kelley Armstrong. My favourite Series of her’s is the Cainsville Series.” I started the first one, Omens, and then proceeded to stay awake all night reading it. There are 5 titles in this Series if you’re interested.
Armstrong’s newest novel is A Rip Through Time which sets us up for a whole new series; this one is about serial killers and time travel. HOW FUN DOES THIS SOUND!
Mallory, our heroine, is a homicide detective from Vancouver. She is in Edinburgh, Scotland, to be with her dying grandmother. While on an evening run she hears a scream and goes to investigate just to be knocked unconscious. She then wakes up in the year 1869, inhabiting the body of a young housemaid named Catriona. Mallory soon discovers that Catriona was strangled in the same alley more than a century before Mallory was attacked.
Mallory now takes it upon herself to solve Catriona’s murder, all the while trying to figure out how to get back to her own time and place in history.
My favouite thing about Armstrong’s writing, besides the incredibly imaginative and entertaining plot, is the voice of her protagonists. The first-person narration presents Mallory as a funny best friend relaying a crazy story over a bottle of whiskey. But, of course, the more you drink the crazier the story becomes, and you laugh and laugh and laugh until your belly aches.

A Rip Through Time will not be published until June 2022 making it the perfect addition to your summer reading list.

The Toll by Cherie Priest

“The things I take are mine to keep” (135)


One of my favourite genres is Gothic Literature so one day, a couple of months ago I Googles “Contemporary Gothic Literature” and up popped a wonderfully detailed list of titles. One of the titles on this list was “The Toll” written by Cherie Priest. The caption under the title reads “Southern Gothic Horror with a Contemporary Twist”. Perfect.

Admittingly I bought this novel thinking it was an escapist pulp fiction – something easy to read and entertaining enough to distract me from the realities at hand. I soon found out; however, this novel is not only entertaining but wonderfully written as well—a combination of horror, mystery and humour.

What is it’s the premise? A bridge appears where no bridge should be. Right in the middle of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. If you happen to be driving along the road when this bridge appears you just might be “taken” or rather there is a good probability you WILL be taken. By whom? By what? And what is it that lurks in the water….watching….waiting.

This novel possesses a variety of memorable characters however I absolutely adore the “godmothers” Miss Daisy and Miss Claire two rick as 80-year-old heroines who “[know]about everything that [goes]on within a hundred miles (pg. 11).

I found this novel highly entertaining, and because I love her writing so much I definitely will be reading more of Cherie Priest’s novels.

Legendborn

Legendborn
Tracy Deonn
Love, love, loved this novel. From the first page until the last I was swept away in the story Deonn has written. I’ve always been a sucker for stories about secret societies that may or may not exist on campus, any campus. What would make someone special enough to be admitted to one? What rituals take place? Is there a price to pay?
Bree is our protagonist. She is beautiful and brave and has a huge chip on her shoulder since the trauma of her mother’s fatal accident. Needless to say when she has the opportunity to attend a boarding school for gifted students she jumps at the chance if only to escape the memories of her mother’s death and the guilt she possesses for the cruel way she spoke to mother at what would be their last conversation.
Strange things start happening right from the onset of her move. She can see “things” other people cannot see. What are these terrifying flying creatures that create mayhem and chaos among her fellow students? And who if the breathtakingly handsome young man who is trying to modify her memory?
Bree soon finds out the answers to these questions but in the meantime faces a plethora of other questions about her identity, her legacy and most importantly, the identity of her mother.
Spoiler alert…this story touches upon the Arthurian Legend, which is a tale I adore!

With the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, I have been consciously trying to read more novels written by black authors. I was so grateful that Netgalley and Simon and Shuster Canada sent me a free advanced copy to read.
Legendborn will be an obvious addition to any classroom or school library. It will also make a perfect novel for a choice in classroom literature circles. Not only is the plot entrancing, and the characters dynamic, the discussion of the various themes presented would be beneficial in any classroom. It is also so well written it can serve as a mentor text.